November 15, 2018

Whoosh, Bark, and Boo


Whoosh, Bark, and Boo
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Clean Energy

1. Russia is blowing with the wind, at least when it comes to renewable energy. The Russian electric company RusHydro has opened up a wind farm above the Arctic circle to help one town move away from expensive generators and fuel deliveries. Tiksi, a town of 5,000, will use three particularly hardy wind turbines to offsetits use of diesel by 500 metric tons a year. This project was done with the help of Japanese researchers, in an effort to better supply remote municipalities with a stable source of energy.

2. There’s life in the old dog yet… one dog was recently memorialized for being the true best friend that every person wants, but doesn’t quite deserve. Belyash, a dog in Chelyabinsk, waited for his owner for two years at the last place he saw him, not knowing that his owner had died in a car accident. A few years after the death of Belyash, Chelyabinsk has given him new life through a statue, which portrays the dog in motion, looking for his master. (It’s okay, we’re all crying).

Waiting dog

Photo: tim_miloslavskii

3. What’s scarier than Halloween? Only someone trying to ban Halloween, which is a common pastime in Russia. This year was no different. For example, State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov said the holiday should be banned, because it is based on Satan and the worship of dark forces. A couple of Hallow-haters claimed that Halloween either encouraged mass shootings or was disrespectful to victims of violence, and to top it off one archpriest said Halloween was for the brainless (to be fair, that is an apt description of zombies). Although most Russians don’t celebrate Halloween to begin with, we personally hope this didn’t dissuade the few that do!

In Odder News:

President Pumpkin

Photo: president_rf

  • This Putin-o’-lantern is something that happened, please take note.

  • Should you be able to eat caviar in prison? A probe into a convicted gang member’s luxe life behind bars aims to find out.

  • Sweet caper: one man stole 18 tons of chocolate to pay off his debts.

Quote of the Week:

“A celebration of unscrupulous and brainless people”

— Archpriest Andrei Tkachev, condemning Halloween and its adherents

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.

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Some of Our Books

Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
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.  
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.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
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.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
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.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.

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