Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 20:35:13
21 November 2018


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Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Biggest Cheesecake, The Artsiest Robot, and The Spaciest Station

by Alice E.M. Underwood
Confections, Canvases, and the Cosmos
1. Let them eat cheesecake—all 40,000 of them! Some cities' founding days mean fireworks and looking back at history. In Stavropol, it meant a 4.2-ton dessert. In honor of its 240th anniversary, Stavropol played host to the baking and consuming of the world’s largest cheesecake. The 2.3-meter confection earned its spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, and thousands of Stavropol residents lined up to get a taste.
 
 
2. The art world has discovered the next Monet: a robot. Over the summer, a giant, intelligent mechanical arm created a work of art, and it’s pretty much how you’d expect Claude Monet’s take on Red Square to come out. With the goal of emphasizing how art and technology unite, Rosbank and other companies developed the robot to be interactive with its surroundings and incorporate passersby into its artwork. Watch how this mechanical Monet paints up a storm.
 

 

3. That’s no moon. It’s a space station near the moon. Roscosmos and NASA have agreed to collaborate on Deep Space Gateway, a new international space station in the moon’s orbit. Russian scientists are planning several projects, and say that the first modules could be ready as early as 2024. Representatives signed the collaboration agreement at this week’s 68th International Astronautical Congress in Australia, showing with this peaceful project in the cosmos that Earth politics don’t make it beyond the atmosphere.

In Odder News
  • Is the future here? A flying car is on the road – that is, in the air – for prototyping, with a “practical application” to be unveiled soon.

  • To prep for interplanetary travel, cosmonauts train in isolated and unfriendly spots on Earth. Here’s a firsthand account of prepping for life on Mars.
  • If you’re tired of diamond rings and pearl necklaces, try jewelry featuring shoelaces and chewing gum balls, inspired by the aesthetics of 1990s mass culture.
Quote of the Week

"Imagine climbing up hills, digging in the ground, or soil sampling, and always watching out for polar bears while dressed in a space suit at all times."
—Anastasia Stepanova, a member of a team that spent four months simulating life on Mars, on the month spent in the Arctic.

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.

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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!

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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.