"An elderly shepherd in Russia’s North Caucasus survived a bear attack by fighting off the animal with kicks and headbutts, local television reported. Yusuf Alchagirov, 80, also tried to stab the bear when the beast approached him in a raspberry field in Kabardino-Balkaria, but said the animal knocked his knife away. The ensuing tussle culminated in the bear, enraged by the headbutt, throwing Alchagirov off a cliff and walking away, the man said on the regional affiliate of VGTRK television."
Every day, humans kill millions of animals. We kill them in the hideous industrial slaughterhouses, we kill them with our F-350s barreling down the county road, we kill them with gigantic fish-harvesting scrapers dragged along the ocean floor, we kill them at the "Humane Society," and we kill them when they've made the critical mistake of surfacing near our ugly houses. But it is only News when an "unlikely" animal finally has enough of this constant holocaust and decides to "kill back" a human.
Today's example comes from Belarus, a place we rarely hear about despite its romantic name meaning "White Russia." It was here, reportedly, that a large beaver [...]
What with Chloe Sevigny reading from the Pussy Riot closing statements tonight and a demonstration in New York's Times Square this afternoon, maybe it’s no big deal that several dozen people assembled outside the Russian Embassy for a Free Pussy Riot rally in Washington, D.C. the other day. Congress is on recess and it was an August Friday afternoon: perfect conditions for checking out of the office to check out an Amnesty International event. Glover Park is far from everything, but between Russian diplomats and fussy residents, someone in the neighborhood was bound to take umbrage with so many signs reading “pussy.” What could go wrong? Maybe something!
The rally [...]
For the first time, police in St. Petersburg, Russia, have made arrests on the strength of a new law banning the dissemination of information on homo-, bi- and transsexuality. Two men were arrested in the city center on Thursday after holding up a sign reading "Homosexuality Is Normal," according to the newswire Interfax.
Russia's second-largest city passed the controversial law on Feb. 29. The two men now face a possible maximum fine of 500,000 rubles (€12,800/$17,000). The maximum penalty is more than the average annual income in Russia.
Had I bothered to put “walk through Moscow in a tuxedo” on my list of things to do in this life, I could now safely check it off. The sidestreet in front of the theater was a static maze of Benzes and Bentleys, with no place to pull up. Arriving as I was in a regular taxi, the jam gave me a face-saving chance to get off around the corner and hoof it to the red carpet from there.
The Russian GQ had rented out the theater, a hideous 1990s edifice glowing at the sidestreet’s end, to hold its Man of the Year awards: “the unofficial start,” in the breathless [...]
Earlier today, to absolutely no one's surprise, a Russian court decided to let a state-backed residential development fund proceed with its plan to build houses on a field in Pavlovsk, outside St. Petersburg. The reason this mundane matter even reached a court is that the field is presently inhabited by thousands of rare fruits and berries, better known as the historic gene bank of the Pavlovsk Experimental Station.
What does this mean for those of us who will want jam on our toast even after the apocalypse comes? And what does it mean for Russia, which is having its own apocalypse problem right now?
You may remember the rather terrific Giant Russian Penis escapade, designed by the art agitprop outfit War, to torture the Russian Federal Security Service. Now (or as close to "now" as we can tell from the slow migration of news from Russian Livejournals), they are protesting supermarkets. The translation goes something like this: "Food in Europe became a privilege and not a right of every freeman. And we, War art-movement, are waging a war with this infernal system till the very last cog of the Capitalists machine will be torn out." Commenters at English Russia are torn on whether the protesters are "dirty smelly hippies," [...]
"Arrived at the launch presser for an 'international project' promoting Russia as a haven for traditional values," writes GQ Russia editor Michael Idov this morning. "This is the sign out front. Good start!" More good news: "First person to be convicted under anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law arrested by his own parents."
The concept of people typing Dadaist humor on Twitter has existed since Twitter got its first big batch of smart-ass users in 2007, at that year's SxSW. Twitter was suddenly the place to get breaking news on inconsequential online-media events. Also, it was full of banter and inside jokes and drunken jabbering. It became fun, because a lot of bored funny people now had a way to narrowcast every oddball thought to people who might appreciate that kind of nonsense.
What do you think Rick Ross's favorite Fiona Apple song is? When you picture him in the audience at last week's show at the Hollywood Palladium, where he was filmed pulling up in his Porsche for his new video, what song do you imagine him singing along with, standing on his seat in the front row, clasping his hands in front of his chest, just totally into it? "Criminal" is a good bet. Or "Paper Bag," or "Anything We Want"—that's my favorite one on her new album. But I think "Extraordinary Machine" is actually more his style. That phrasing—I could actually see that being a song title [...]
"Russian businessman Mikhail D. Prokhorov… this winter became the first of the post-Soviet set of ultrawealthy financiers to run for president…. Being a billionaire in itself — Mr. Prokhorov owns 20 Jet Skis, a 200-foot yacht and a mansion outside Moscow — might seem a fatal handicap in an era of anger at the rich that is as prevalent in Russia as anywhere." —"Might." Each something gets the something it deserves.
Today's rather horrific bombing at Domodedovo airport in south Moscow—in the baggage claim, it looks like—is Russia's first act of terrorism in ten months. (Unless you count the Chechen Parliament attack in October. Or the Vladikavkaz bombing in September, or the bombing in Stavropol in May.) There are more! (No really. Anyone remember Dagestan? Ingushetia?)
This is the worst idea since Mr. Carlson's Thanksgiving turkey drop on "WKRP in Cincinnati."
There is controversy about a new station on Moscow's metro line named in tribute to Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Apparently it is not a particularly upbeat place.
The station, called Dostoyevskaya, is decorated with brooding grey and black mosaics that depict violent scenes from the 19th-century writer's best-known novels. One mural re-enacts the moment when the main character in Crime and Punishment murders an elderly pawnbroker and her sister with an axe.
Another shows a suicide-obsessed character in The Demons holding a pistol to his temple. If that was not enough to darken the mood, shadowlike characters are shown flitting across the cavernous new station's walls and a [...]
No less an authority than Harvey Fierstein makes a call to boycott Russia's 2014 Winter Games. Actually he makes a pretty good case, since Putin is about one step away from creating forced labor camps for gays:
"Mr. Putin signed a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail….Earlier [...]
It was probably unrealistic to expect the apocalypse to start right on time at the end of 2012—especially if it starts in Russia, where Christmas is two weeks late. So, here it is, a giant meteor (or meteors?) filling the skies over the Ural Mountains, and injuring nearly a thousand people.
But what do the religious leaders of Russia's Orthodox Church have to say about this terrifying incident? Well, being gloomy Russians, they are just blaming it on the God they worship:
A meteorite which injured hundreds of people in Russia's Chelyabinsk Region on Friday was "the Lord’s message to humanity," a senior local clergyman said. "From the [...]
Russia wants to build a permanent base on the moon, which is mostly indicative of what a terrible hellhole Russia is.
"A Moscow court on Friday ruled that the country’s sole independent election watchdog had broken Russian law by publishing citizens’ complaints about campaign abuses during the run-up to this weekend’s parliamentary elections." —"Most of the reports concern the ruling party, United Russia, which is struggling to preserve its control of parliament at Sunday’s vote."
This is something we all should probably read to be more informed world citizens? It is on the state of Russia's operations against Georgia since 2004. It's remarkable how far everyone in power is willing to go to claim that oh gosh no, Russia has never had anything but super-warm feelings and a total lack of pipeline bombings towards its Georgian friends. Ta da! Wikileaks! Definitely good for something! (Also here is a primer on where and what Abkhazia is, for those of us who can never tell Khujand from Bishkek.)
It's been a billion degrees in Russia since mid-June, and as a consequence, 1200 people have drowned-and"49 people, including two children, had drowned in the last day," is what CNN says. "The majority of those drowned were drunk," said Vadim Seryogin, a department head at Russia's Emergencies Ministry. "The children died because adults simply did not look after them." I don't really have a funny name for Russia to go with this because somehow this seems sadder than English people stabbing each other constantly, though it's probably not.