April 04, 2019

Smart Homes, Sledgehammers, and Star Wars References

Smart Homes, Sledgehammers, and Star Wars References
Preparation for a reindeer race. Vesti Yamal

Two Cool Things to Do in the Arctic Circle: Sledging and Sledgehammering

1. Reindeer galore! March 30 was the Day of the Reindeer Breeder, an important holiday for the indigenous peoples of Russia’s Far North (as you may have read in the Mar/Apr issue of Russian Life, or online {digital sub required}). A holiday marking the passage from winter to spring, it features reindeer sledding, snowmobile racing, wrestling, and a competition for the best children’s clothes, among other activities. This year, the city of Salekhard did a modern take on old traditions. Usually, the city exhibits a chum, or traditional tent made from reindeer hides, but the city displayed a “smart chum” — a chum equipped with internet, television, and smoke detectors. Even if spring didn’t arrive, at least there’s wifi in the tundra.

2. When all the world isn’t a stage. Elsewhere in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, one driver encountered a badly parked car and got so mad that he took out a sledgehammer and wrecked the other car. Don’t worry – the video was entirely staged; the guy wrecked his own car to create the meme. However, it wasn’t all no harm, no foul: the prankster was arrested and charged with “hooliganism with the use of weapons or objects used as weapons.” When a car prank takes a bit of a handbrake turn.

Is it legal to smash in your own car? Apparently not. / Vkontakte

3. Luke, I am your mayor. Someone on the Belgorod city council is a huge fan of Star Wars. So huge a fan that, when incoming mayor Yuri Galdun had his swearing-in ceremony, the Imperial March began to play as he walked in. The city council didn’t seem to find this as entertaining as we did: a few days later, an official resigned, and the council issued a statement apologizing for having played something “foreign” at the ceremony. Sure, playing a space opera theme song at an inauguration is a little unprofessional. But still, fun it is.

Only thing missing? A lightsaber. / Screencap from edited video: МБХ Медиа

In Odder News

  • A leopard with an inverted print was sighted in Primorskii Krai. Read the full Facebook post for the juicy details.
  • When his favorite hockey team scored, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin got so excited that he kissed billionaire Gennady Shevchenko on the cheek. The moment was caught on camera and to put it lightly, entertained some internetians.

“Me, work, Twitter”: One tweeter’s take on the moment. / Я к вам из твитора

  • Several Petersburgers rescued two tired young seal pups. The pups are now resting peacefully in a rehabilitation center. This makes us excited enough to (consensually) kiss our neighbor on the cheek.

Sleeping seal pups. / Спасение тюленей 699-23-99


Quote of the Week

“Still, the taste of victory is impossible to describe. It is pleasant for the soul.”

Lev Ezyngi, local champion of peretiagivaniye palki (a tug-of-war with sticks), a game traditionally played on Day of the Reindeer Herders


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