August 22, 2019

Come Hell or High Horses, Let's Save This Plane!


Come Hell or High Horses, Let's Save This Plane!
Twenty-first-century convenience meets eighteenth-century flair. Tipichny Saratov

Quote of the Week

“Of all my hobbies, I like problems with self-esteem the most.”

— What one Russian bot thinks a female Elon Musk would sound like

Road Trips through Inferno, Horse Trips to Your House

1. If, in 2009, you asked Damir Yusupov what he’d be doing in ten years, he probably wouldn’t have said “crash-landing a plane to safety.” But that’s exactly what the lawyer-turned-pilot did last Thursday. When a flock of seagulls flew into the engines of their plane, Yusupov (and his 23-year-old co-pilot) had almost no time to react. But, thanks to their rapid thinking and extensive training, they landed the plane in a nearby cornfield — and everyone lived to tell the tale. “I don’t think I’m a hero,” Yusupov said afterwards. But when the president gives you a Hero of Russia award… then yeah, you’re a hero.


A woman in the background describes it as a “second birth.” / Deniz G via Youtube
 

2. Sometimes the road to hell is paved with… nothing. Driving along a newly paved road to Yaroslavl, Maxim Malkin reached the city limit and discovered that the road ended in a dirt path. He struggled across the “kilometer-long hell,” during which he saw horrors fit for Dante’s Inferno: a huge clearing with no lane markers, an abandoned construction site, and potholes the size of craters. “If you’re really going to finish restoring part of the road, then you might as well sweep the entire road away with a dirty broom,” Malkin fumed on VKontakte. The mayor has now promised to fix the road, though, so even this street has a sunny side.

A road ending in a dirt path
Not the road to hell so much as a hellish road. / Maxim Malkin via VKontakte

3. What’s better than getting your lunch delivered? Getting your lunch delivered on horseback. Saratov food deliverer Alexei Savelyev has eschewed the traditional car, opting instead to deliver food astride his glamly saddled white horse. (He used to teach horseback riding, so he’s not soe kind of greenhorn.) His employer has offered him an electric scooter, but Savelyev insists that at least he should be allowed to alternate. So, if you get delivery from him when you feel like you could eat a horse, well, no.

In Odder News

  • Paragliding is fun, but have you tried paragliding off a construction crane? These construction workers in Siberia did, and it looks like fun. (Don’t try this at home, or at your under-construction future home.)
Paragliding off a construction crane
Whee! / Anastasia Verevkina
  • Twenty-eight years ago, the August Coup against Gorbachev began. It was the last in a series of events precipitating the end of the Soviet Union. Check out photos of the coup by a foreigner who saw it with his own eyes.
  • Need a gift for a Russian friend? A new poll says you should buy them books.
Pushkin's self-portrait
This guy would approve. / Wikimedia Commons

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Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
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Fearful Majesty

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Survival Russian

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