Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 13:16:48
15 November 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.

Victory Day and cheeky chess pieces
Victory Day and cheeky chess pieces

Victory Day meant full streets but empty skies. A hollow chess piece hides more than its next move. And a day in the life of an Arctic doctor. 

Pop music, Pythons, and Kindergarten on the Run
Pop music, Pythons, and Kindergarten on the Run

An anti-politics pop song, the drive against Hollywood, and education for deer herders. Plus, Putin, pianos, and pythons. 

Russian Youth, Then and Now
Russian Youth, Then and Now

We celebrate the anniversary of the Pioneers, explore Russia’s Generation Z, and for fun, admire a baby bear helping out in the garden. 

Bananas, Ballerinas, and Bubble Bath
Bananas, Ballerinas, and Bubble Bath

Blackface and bananas raise racist concerns ahead of soccer match, a linguist links Siberian Ket and Navajo languages, and video bloggers bring bubbles and pets to parliament. 

Celebrating Russian Language Day with Poets, Filmmakers, Journalists, & Robots
Celebrating Russian Language Day with Poets, Filmmakers, Journalists, & Robots

Celebrate the wealth of Russian culture with Pushkin's birthday, Russian Language Day, Sokurov's film award, Russian museums, and, um, Megyn Kelly's weird interview with Putin. Well, at least those first four. 

The Wooly Mammoth of the Past Is the Hotel of the Future
The Wooly Mammoth of the Past Is the Hotel of the Future

Mammoth skulls, ancient lizards, intangible money, train-jumping, and the great knights of Slavic history. Russia Day really does bring out the best.

Soccer, Sci-Fi, Snipers, and Tsoy
Soccer, Sci-Fi, Snipers, and Tsoy

Russia hosts the Confederations Cup, Strugatsky sci-fi gets a reboot (or just gets booted), and we honor the memories of WWII's female snipers and of the rock legend Viktor Tsoy. 

Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky
Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky

Celebrate soccer with metro-station ballet, explore the galaxy with Yandex, and take a stroll through Moscow's rooftop gardens. Plus the Beatles, Stephen Colbert, and 29 Russian writers.