Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 12:37:41
21 November 2018


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


Friday, August 18, 2017

Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge

by Alice E.M. Underwood
Sweets, Brains, and Plaque

1. A sweet treat for Kazakhstan? Perhaps weary of finding the exact spot demarcating the country border in the middle of a lake, Russia has transferred the entire Lake Sladkoe (meaning sweet) to the government of Kazakhstan. But don’t go calling it a gift: Kazakh officials noted that the lake formerly belonged to Kazakhstan, while the Russian government said that the “half-lake, half-swamp” has no fish, and its transfer will not economically impact Russia.

2. Moscow’s Metro is not only pretty: it’s a great defense against a zombie apocalypse. A Russian illustrator has created detailed drawings to diagram what life (and death, and the undead) would be like in the Moscow subway system if zombies went on the loose. The artist’s careful mapping and survival advice shows that he’s thought a lot about the possibility; a Moscow subway expert even confirmed that it would be possible to survive a zombie attack underground. The biggest problem: the smell.

3. The “Last Address” project, which memorializes victims of Soviet repression by installing plaques at the homes where these people were arrested, is facing repression of its own. After installing a plaque on an old wooden house in Arkhangelsk, a Last Address activist was fined for damaging a historical site – even though the house was slated for demolition. It’s hard enough getting homeowners to agree to the installation, as many fear undue attention, and this event will likely cause new difficulties for the memorial project. Like dentists say, plaque can be dangerous.

In Odder News
  • Last week, President Putin’s bare-chested fishing trip turned heads. The response: the #PutinShirtlessChallenge, democratizing shirtless shots for Russian men everywhere.

  • The Moscow zoo has acquired a baby hippo, its first in 40 years. Is it just us, or is it doing the #PutinShirtlessChallenge?

  • Discover Izborsk, a former fortress on the Russian-Estonian border. There’s an ancient city, clear waterfalls, and...ostriches?

Quote of the Week 

“The smell would be monstrous, if the generators broke down and the ventilation failed. Sooner or later, the survivors would have to move to another location, after gathering their strength.”
—Max Degtaryev, an illustrator of the zombie apocalypse in Moscow’s metro system, reporting a subway expert’s assessment of the possibility of survival underground.

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.

Burger Bucks, Dyeing of Shame, and Flying Ballerinas
Burger Bucks, Dyeing of Shame, and Flying Ballerinas

Burger King makes money (its own), broke taxi passengers turn green, and summertime snow. Plus, a ballerina with a backup plan, Borodino, and the Museum of Death. 

Fake Countries, Sausages, and Mystery Highways
Fake Countries, Sausages, and Mystery Highways

How to be patriotic to a nonexistent country, get a proper education, and deal with a highway through your house. Plus buildings, bridges, and bratwursts to die for. 

Evil Clowns, Ballerinas, and Other Movie Monsters
Evil Clowns, Ballerinas, and Other Movie Monsters

Clown horror is horrid for clowns, a ballet scandal on the silver screen, and a pack of protesting porkers. 

Guns, Gents, and Stalin
Guns, Gents, and Stalin

Heroes who caused deaths, heroes who saved lives, questionable movie heroes, and the heroes who make art and cheese. Which is your favorite?

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

A record-breaking cake, a robot breaking (conceptions of) art, and a space station breaking international boundaries. Plus, flying cars and how to live on Mars.

Spying for Russia and Flying for Russia
Spying for Russia and Flying for Russia

The glorious deeds of a famous spy, the smaller deeds of everyday spies, and a whole new horizon for female fighter pilots.

Putin in Birthdayland and Alice in Wonderland
Putin in Birthdayland and Alice in Wonderland

For Putin's birthday, a fake burger, a real burger, and a puppy. Plus, St. Petersburg rooftops, frogmen, and how to bathe in crude oil.  

Bread and Circuses. And Tetris.
Bread and Circuses. And Tetris.

Arcade cars, patriotic circuses, and administrative festivities. Also, some crazy murals, Moscow's transformation, and the secrets of Peter the Great.