July 18, 2019

The Illegal and the Unbelievable

The Illegal and the Unbelievable
This girl isn’t sitting at home playing (para)Chutes and Ladders. Personal archive of Chernikh family | Komsomolskaya Pravda

Still-developing child brains, dead brains, missing brains.

1. Dead Souls has come to life. The plot of this classic novel by Nikolai Gogol, published in 1842, in which the dead are used to inflate the value of a landowner’s estate, became an actual news story on July 15. Four candidates in the Moscow City Duma elections allegedly included the signatures of dead people in their petitions for inclusion on the ballot. The candidates involved think this is all a grave mistake and will dispute the decision to exclude them from the election. 

2. Here’s a story that will blow your mind. Sixty years ago, a man was born without half his brain. Oblivious to this fact, he grew up, had kids, worked as an engineer, and retired. Only after going to a hospital in the Moscow region, because of a transient ischemic attack in the left side of his brain, did doctors realize that… there was no left side of his brain. He refused to participate in additional studies, saying that he didn’t want the “glory.” Doctors eager to study this unique phenomenon surely would like to give him a piece of their mind. (Except he actually doesn’t need any more pieces of mind; the right side is doing just fine on its own.) 

Brain scan with half of brain missing
It is almost unthinkable that a man could think with this. / Marina Anikina, Federal Center of Extrapyramidal Illnesses and Psychiatric Health FMBTs | Gazeta.ru

3. Russian children from Yekaterinburg are going places, by trolleybus and parachute. A seven-year-old boy who thinks hard work is the ticket to success has decided to spend his holidays selling tickets on trolleybuses. The regional children’s rights spokesman is conflicted, because he says such underage labor is illegal, yet he also wants to support the kid’s initiative. Meanwhile, a 10-year-old girl became the youngest parachutist in Russia. The young sportswoman has also already won awards in tennis, running, and weightlifting competitions. Next up is climbing Mount Elbrus

Kid conductor counting change in Russia
Earning pocket change by counting change. / Anton Derbenyov | Facebook


In odder news

  • Modern Robin Hoods from Tyumen stole 140 bars of chocolate and distributed at least some of them to random people on the street. 
  • A woman from Moscow made a fake call to the police about a bomb in a train station, because she wanted to be arrested and go back “home” to jail. 
  • Guess which of these phenomena is natural: a bright blue lake in Siberia, or an orange sea in the Far East? 
Bright blue chemical lake Siberia
The news that this lake has turned poisonous from chemicals doesn’t seem to be making these visitors as blue as it should. / @Maldives_nsk | Instagram
Orange water in Vladivostok
No, it’s not spilled orange juice, it’s algae. / @vdk_news24 | Instagram 


Quote of the week

“I want to talk to mom so bad… Mom looks at me and listens, but doesn’t say anything.” 

– A 10-year-old boy who will have his first ever conversation with his mother, who was completely paralyzed in a fire ten years ago and will now get to communicate thanks to the neurochat system.

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