Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 02:20:20
14 November 2018


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


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.

Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge
Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge

Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.  

Slavic-Style Spooks
Slavic-Style Spooks

Halloween or Hallowon't? The holiday is more trick than treat in Russia, so dive into the details and creep yourself out with some frightful tales while you're at it. 

The Big 100
The Big 100

This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).

Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!
Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!

Ice Age lions thaw out, fairytale heroes meet social media, and foreign news needs a new passport. Plus, all about Russian art in less than 30 minutes. 

Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars
Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars

Father Frost gets iced, a space shuttle gets wet, and cars get driven driverlessly. Plus, famous Russian buildings go on vacation, the Romanovs take TV, and Russian smilies)

Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends
Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends

Putin announces he'll run for president, the Olympic Committee announces Russia can't compete, and some swans announce that they want a new house. 

Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers
Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers

An art exhibit proves once and for all that Putin is a superhero. Plus, World Cup counterfeits, how Russian media monitoring works, and a leopard cub.

Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat
Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat

What a Russian holiday looks like, the Romanovs go to The Gambia, and why secret police are extra special around the holidays. All that, and Russia's most popular cats.