October 21, 2021

Message in a Bottle, Moscow Canal Blockage, and Mother of 22


Message in a Bottle, Moscow Canal Blockage, and Mother of 22
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News,  a successful message in a bottle, the coolest cakes in the world, and 21 babies in a year and a half.

  • A Novosibirsk woman makes the most transcendently beautiful cakes that we cannot imagine eating. She got started when her son was five years old and she ordered a cake for his birthday; she was horrified at its ugliness. Pictures of her cakes, here, include a watering can with flowers, a hamburger, a basket of KFC chicken, a skull, Simba, a handbag with a Russian zagran passport coming out of it, a fake bomb with chocolates and strawberries inside, a pot of borscht, a box of ramen noodles, and more. Her unbelievable cakes run about R4,000 ($56).
  • A 24-year-old Russian woman and her older Turkish businessman husband want to have 100 children. And they are already almost one-fourth of the way there with 22 children. He asked her to marry him the same night they met on vacation in Georgia (the country). Since they want lots and lots of kids, all of their biological children were born with the help of a slew of surrogate mothers. In a year and half, the couple had 21 babies. The mother has only been pregnant once – with a daughter she had prior to meeting her husband. An army of nannies keeps diaries so that the parents can keep up on the family news. It's a shame they live in Georgia, where he manages a bunch of hotels, instead of Russia; in Russia, she would be the biggest mother-hero in the whole country.
  • A Moscow riverboat had its own Suez Canal moment recently. The Konstantin was motoring to its winter parking place in the Moscow region when it got stuck and stopped up the canal. The ship, with 80 crew and no passengers, collided with the shore and ran aground. Equipment failure is being blamed, not human error. It is a big deal, but it is hardly Suez Canal big.
  • Some sweet news: After five years, two young sisters from Samara, who sent out a message in a bottle, have connected with the discoverer of the message. Back in 2016, the girls occupied a summer day at the dacha writing a letter on hot pink paper with pictures on fluorescent blue paper. When it rolled up onshore, the paper was white. Thanks to social media, the Samara family that received the bottle was able to connect with the now-teenaged senders – one of whom shares a name, Karolina, with one of the recipients.

You Might Also Like

Art in Utero
  • July 01, 2010

Art in Utero

St. Petersburg’s Russian Museum has inaugurated a program to acquaint pregnant women with the arts, on specially guided tours. Those who participate swear it is making them, and their children, better off.
Birthing Pains
  • January 01, 2015

Birthing Pains

Birth was no easy thing in rural Russia in the nineteenth century, not for mother or child. All manner of bizarre and unsafe practices reigned, from being “corrected,” to getting popped in the oven, to being left alone all day while mom worked in the fields.
A Celebratory Cake
  • May 01, 2020

A Celebratory Cake

А фestive Napoleon Cake that is plenty complex to offer lots of stress baking relief.
A Soviet Bake-Off and Blini
  • June 30, 2021

A Soviet Bake-Off and Blini

Julia Frey's parents, Victor and Victoria, created beautiful feasts in the Soviet times. For Victor, it meant getting cake equipment tailor-made and becoming the best baker in town. For Victoria, it was cooking a Russian and Ukranian storm. Julia cooks, bakes and reminisces about her "great childhood" in London.
Finding Her Russian Roots
  • July 18, 2021

Finding Her Russian Roots

How a conversation led one of 60,000 Russian adoptees in the United States on a journey to her past.
Better Policy for Children? No Kidding.
  • February 23, 2020

Better Policy for Children? No Kidding.

Five Russian oblasts have schooled the rest in good socio-economic policy, according to recent awards from the Expert Institute of Social Research.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955