January 10, 2019

Crooks and Crazies this Russian Christmas


Crooks and Crazies this Russian Christmas
The coldest race in the world. Gavril Sobakin

Baby it’s (Very) Cold Outside

1. Does the thought of running a marathon send a chill down your spine? Does the mention of temperatures below -45º Celsius make your toes curl? Well, imagine doing both at once. This week, runners in Sakha completed the “coldest race in the world,” racing distances of 5, 10, 20, 30 and 42 kilometers while in Oymyakon, which holds the world record for the coldest temperature recorded at an inhabited settlement. At the beginning of the race, temperatures were at -52° Celsius, and as one runner crossed the 39 kilometer mark, they had risen to a positively balmy -48° Celsius. Don’t feel too bad, though, participants were superheroes of all stripes: two world marathon champions, one veteran, and one mother of eight.

Coldest Race in the World
The coldest race in the world. / Gavril Sobakin

2. From crooks to crones: money seized in Russian corruption cases will now go into Russia’s pension fund. The move comes on the heels of a contentious rise in the retirement age, which had the elderly (and the soon-to-be elderly) up on their feet. It’s unclear whether or not this extra padding will make everything right, though: while the estimated gain from this measure is expected to be R1.2 billion by 2024, it takes a whopping R20 billion per day to fund the national pension fund. But hey, a kopek saved is a kopek earned.

3. Season’s greetings, from above! At least two aerial holiday stunts were spotted this holiday season, both meriting a second glance into the Moscow sky. Santa and one of his elves tightroped across a street in Moscow, shouting out holiday greetings and doing the chicken dance. Additionally, Santa-suited skydivers rained down upon the city, passing on their own New Year’s wishes to crowds people. Maybe this means that things will start looking up in 2019.

In Odder News:
Quote of the Week:

“This is a nightmare… I’ll tell the internet about this”

— One babushka speaks disdainfully of the Liberal Democratic Party’s New Year giveaway

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