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14 December 2018


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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.

Births: Modern Russia, baby LSDUZ, and lots of leopards
Births: Modern Russia, baby LSDUZ, and lots of leopards

Russia Day marks the birth of the post-Soviet Russian nation. This week saw some other births too, from literal leopard cubs to figurative names and games. 

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

Fictional sportscasters, the all-too-real Olympic ban, and the possible reality of teleportation in Russia's future. And don't forget about mind control.

What Brexit means for Russian economic and territorial expansion
What Brexit means for Russian economic and territorial expansion

Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Does that mean a boom for Russia? Or is that title a ploy to get you to read about how Russians go about sunbathing?

Get undressed and read the news till you sweat
Get undressed and read the news till you sweat

Presidential speeches urge disrobing, but it's not what you think. All while laws get passed, politicians play judo, and – wait, is that Leonardo diCaprio?

Ballooning of strict laws, and ballooning of a hot air balloon
Ballooning of strict laws, and ballooning of a hot air balloon

Adventure takes many forms. There's regular travel, round-the-world travel, and navigating the Russian legal system. Also beards. 

Ivan the Terrible and Pokémon the Great
Ivan the Terrible and Pokémon the Great

Pokémon goes to Russia – and so do memories of fallen tsars, athletes, street cleaners, and of course, a kitty cat.

That's not cheese. It's a cyborg.
That's not cheese. It's a cyborg.

A joke-telling Pushkin robot, an unimpressed Putin, and cheese that's as virtual a reality as Pokémon. 

Fake elections, real Cossacks, and how to do yoga in prison
Fake elections, real Cossacks, and how to do yoga in prison

Why some Russians would rather vote for a fictional candidate, the importance of a Cossack education, and some artsy graffiti along the way.