Geology, technology, and prison
1. Even geology is on Russia’s side. Scientists have determined that the tectonic plate upon which Crimea sits is drifting slowly in the direction of Russia. Working at the Institute for Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the scientists began studying the movement pattern of the Crimean peninsula after its annexation by Russia in 2014. The referendum may be contested, but where Crimea’s future is concerned, giant telescopes don’t lie.
2. Don’t kill the messenger – unless it’s a messenger bearing free Internet access: then, shoot it down. Flying drones that can beam Internet to land-dwellers without web access are not welcome in Russian airspace. If they show up, the drones (owned by Facebook and other foreign companies) will be shot down as a national security threat. Whether the threat is the drones or the ideas that come with the Internet, they didn’t say.
3. Russia is bringing back forced labor in 2017, but that doesn’t mean a new Gulag archipelago. Valery Maximenko, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, says that forced labor is better than jail (citing the more social atmosphere and relative lack of restrictions). And maybe he’s right, given today’s prisons: Russia’s Justice Ministry is aiming to implement measures to prepare for prison riots, fearing that uprisings are becoming increasingly likely.
In odder news
Quote of the week
“This actually isn’t a joke, although it seems like one. Crimea is moving approximately to the northeast.”
—Alexander Ipatov, Director of the Institute for Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, on the Crimean peninsula’s tectonic movement toward Russia.
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