Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 15:23:24
19 November 2018


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Thursday, December 22, 2016

We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Deck the halls with freakish fishes

1. What’s biting you? Hopefully not any of the insane fish caught by a Russian fisherman from Murmansk. Not all of these are from Russia, but it took a Russian trawler to reel them all in and share the ocean’s alien depths via Twitter. With advanced fishing technology and social media combined, any fin is possible.

sputniknews.com

2. More than 60 residents of Irkutsk have died after being poisoned by drinking a bath tincture. “Boyaryshnik,” or hawthorn berry tincture, is often consumed for its high alcohol content, but the batch in question contained methanol rather than ethanol. President Vladimir Putin has called for tighter rules for the production and sale of liquids with alcohol content of over 25%, and the Irkutsk governor has declared a state of emergency in the region.

3. ‘Tis the season to be spendy: Russians’ average New Year meal this year will cost R5,500 ($90) per household, with a big shopping spike expected on December 30 and 31 for the ingredients for popular New Year dishes, champagne, and candy. Prices for holiday food and common gifts go up at this time of year, but most Russians grit their teeth and pay up in spite of tighter times and still-uncertain economic prospects for the country.

4. Bonus item: A survey released yesterday argued that the popularity of Russia among Americans is at a 30-year low. The only country in the survey that did worse than Russia among Americans? North Korea. Ouch.

washingtonpost.com

In Odder News

  • What did it look like when pioneer of theatrical movement Konstantin Stanislavsky staged a Christmas fairy tale in 1908? See for yourself.
rbth.com
  • Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev would have been 110 this week. If you're thirsting for fun facts or off-color jokes about the leader, we’ve got you as covered as his chest was by medals.
  • Christmas is December 25, right? Wrong: in Russia, it’s celebrated on January 7. Not for long, if populist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky gets his way.

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.

The spy who stayed out in the cold
The spy who stayed out in the cold

Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).

Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice
Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice

Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies. 

Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob
Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob

A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth. 

Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics
Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics

A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness. 

The Kremlin on Ice
The Kremlin on Ice

Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself. 

100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away...
100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away

Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times. 

Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll
Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll

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!

Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs
Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

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.