Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 01:42:13
23 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Scandals, lies, sci-fi, and other sporting events

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Sports Goals and Science Goals

1. In a sad development for sports patriots, Russia’s track and field team has been banned from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics due to news of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups. Athletes have dubbed the ban a “direct violation of human rights,” and clean athletes are appealing for permission to compete for Russia. They could run their races as neutral athletes, but where’s the patriotism in that?

2. By 2035, you can press a button, watch your body fade into bluish light, and rematerialize on Red Square. At least, that’s the dream, since a report on Russia’s scientific and technological goals includes a plan to work on teleportation. Unfortunately, the actual aim is quantum telecommunication (sending messages, not people). Tweeters theorize how teleportation could look, from relocating pensioners to sending cash offshore.

3. Soccer scandals are all over the Russian news – only some of those scandals are figments of a muckraking imagination. Simon Rowntree, whose Twitter bio identifies him as a bisexual football writer for a (fictional) football news outlet, has made a name for himself by tweeting soccer news – specifically, made-up, offensive soccer news. Nothing like a fake journalist to give propaganda sites new source material.

In Odder News

  • In nonfictional football news, Russia suffered a dismal loss to Wales – in spite of all holy icons placed before TV screens.
"It's not helping yet." themoscowtimes.com
  • The bright side of being insulted by homophobic city councilman Vitaly Milonov: the chance to turn his diatribes into a catchy tune.
  • Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Cultural Minister, is concerned that Netflix is one feature of a U.S. government attempt at worldwide mind control.

Quote of the Week

"Our ideological friends [the U.S. government] understand...with the help of Netflix, how to enter every home, to creep into every television, and through that very television, into the heads of every person on Earth."

—Russian Cultural Minister Vladimir Medinsky on the insidious nature of Netflix, the popular U.S. video-streaming service.

The spy who stayed out in the cold
The spy who stayed out in the cold

Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).

Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice
Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice

Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies. 

Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob
Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob

A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth. 

Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics
Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics

A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness. 

The Kremlin on Ice
The Kremlin on Ice

Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself. 

100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away...
100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away

Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times. 

Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll
Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll

A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!

Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs
Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.