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Thursday, December 22, 2016
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.
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.
In Odder News
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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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.