January 09, 2020

Of pigs and cussing and parachutes



Of pigs and cussing and parachutes
In Odder News Photo by Karl Anderson on Unsplash

This week's Odder News, we cover everything from mummies to hogs, from cussing to bows and arrows. Oh, and skyscraper jumping...

  • Shoppers in the Siberian city of Tyumen were surprised to find three domesticated hogs roaming the alcohol aisle of the local supermarket. After sampling a few bottles of cognac following ham-fisted attempts to open them, the pigs were returned to their owner.
  • The ancient Egyptians were overthinking things: all you need to mummify someone is put them on an apartment building balcony in St. Petersburg for a couple years.
  • Opposite corners of Russia apparently have opposite levels of cussing: uncensored utterances are spoken most in Vladivostok and least in Petrozavodsk. Unsurprisingly, throughout Russia, higher living standards are correlated with less frequent exclamations like “f*** this.”
  • Russian authorities bowed to popular pressure and legalized hunting with bows and crossbows.
  • Two men in Krasnoyarsk jumped from the 24th floor of an apartment building with parachutes. All we can say is what Lenta.ru used as their url for the article: “Oh, Russians.”

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Some of Our Books

Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
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.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

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Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

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The Best of Russian Life

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Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

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Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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.

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