The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
How to spy at the table and park a tank
1. If you’re in a tight spot, blame the tableware. Dmitry Zakharchenko, an official in the Russian Interior Ministry, accused a “spy plate” of eavesdropping on him at a restaurant. Zakharchenko was arrested earlier this month for taking bribes, but denies the charges, claiming that the conversation in question – recorded by that handy microphone-equipped plate – was bribe-free. Watch for the tactic in the next James Bond movie: The Spy Who Served Borshch to Me.
2. A controversial commercial for an Israeli parking app features a puppet Putin – shirtless, piloting a tank, and steamrolling cars around the Kremlin to smash out a parking place for his daughter. The company claims, “We can handle your needs just as well as Putin.” Hilarious? Offensive? The only true solution to parking problems? You decide.
3. It took three days and over 100 people to find a toddler who toddled into a Siberian forest. Armed with only a bar of chocolate, the three-year-old faced the threat of bears, wolves, and night frosts during his time alone in the wild. The whole village is planning a party to celebrate the survival of Siberia’s Mowgli, but the young explorer’s biggest concern after being rescued was the fate of his toy car. Toddlers have priorities, too.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
"I was 10 years old when Yury Gagarin flew [into space], and soon after that the first men walked on the moon….I was convinced that by the 21st century we would already have scientific stations on Mars and settlements on the Moon. But the 21st century came and all we do is wage war, make money, and stuff ourselves."
—Fyodor Konyukhov, who recently completed the fastest round-the-world hot-air balloon trip, on the lost sense of adventure characterizing the 21st century.
Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.
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.
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.
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?
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?
Adventure takes many forms. There's regular travel, round-the-world travel, and navigating the Russian legal system. Also beards.
Pokémon goes to Russia – and so do memories of fallen tsars, athletes, street cleaners, and of course, a kitty cat.
A joke-telling Pushkin robot, an unimpressed Putin, and cheese that's as virtual a reality as Pokémon.
Why some Russians would rather vote for a fictional candidate, the importance of a Cossack education, and some artsy graffiti along the way.