October 06, 2016

Liquor machines and lullaby missiles


Liquor machines and lullaby missiles

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 

theguardian.com

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.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955