July 26, 2018

Russians in the Dark, One Way or Another


Russians in the Dark, One Way or Another
Back in my day… we got more money!

1. Out with the new and in with the old is becoming a phrase a whole swath of Russians are supporting. The Russian government recently announced that it will raise the age at which Russians can receive their pension, and the State Duma approved the bill on Thursday. Over the next 15 years, the age at which men qualify for their pension will rise from 60 to 65, and for women it will rise from 55 to 63. This sparked protests, both when the bill was announced, and when it was passed. To sum things up (by mixing animal products): these protesters are no spring chickens, but they want to keep bringing home the bacon.

2. Was it a sign from God? Or a sign from the devil? These would have been reasonable questions to ask in the far northeast of Russia this week, when the sun disappeared into a deep, physical darkness for three hours. The devil was probably the better bet, as one of the more reasonable explanations is that the darkness was caused by smoke and ash from wildfires in Siberia (which have brought smoke all the way to New England!). However, officials have not yet been able to identify the cause of the event, and, of course, alternate theories abound: UFOs, military tests, and so forth. TWERF’s not one to spread conspiracies, but we don’t think it would be a bad idea to invest in some anti-devilry protective measures right about now.

Dark day

The Siberian Times

3. Russians rose early to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Romanovs’ execution. And it came just one day after investigators finally confirmed their DNA testing of the Romanov remains. Early meant 2:45 am (for those dedicated to begin at the same minute of the Romanov execution), at which time a 22-kilometer pilgrimage began. 100,000 pilgrims took part, indicating the continuing pull of the Romanov story and the growing popularity of Tsar Nicholas II.

In Odder News:

New old bones

Alexei Akimov

  • She was just big-boned! Scientists found massive elephant-like bones that are half a million years old

  • If you want the bigliest burgers in Russia, check out the Krasnoyarsk restaurant Trump Burger

  • Last week we highlighted Russian adults reflecting on the World Cup, but this time, it’s the kids’ turn (and it’s pretty darn cute)

Quote of the Week:

“So many people from so many different countries came here and spoke so many different languages. And I just think that was so nice.”

—  Igor Chudaikin reflects on the 2016 World Cup

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93 Untranslatable Russian Words

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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.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

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