Fri Nov 16th, 2007 at 06:24:15 PM EST
Contents: "Countdown to the perfect storm of Climate Crisis Cold War Jihad Economic Collapse AIDS Epidemic Civilization Clash"
Well, not really. Not at all actually. Uhm, if you are looking for that kind of blogging I suggest you go elsewhere. Like, anywhere else in the whole entire blogosphere. There's enough Impending Disaster! porn out there to feed the entire Russian Army for a year. Especially given all of the defections, what with fewer mouths to feed and all... And they probably can survive on vodka, cigarettes and Chechens alone anyway. That, however, should not detract from fact that there is an astronomical amount of fear mongering out there in Cyberia. But not here, friends, not in this magical oasis of Odds & Ends. No, you'll need to go find someone who 1) actually believes anyone cares, 2) has the gift of prophecy and 3) can count backwards for your doomsday clock blogging. Me, I don't even wear a watch.
No, you'll get no emceeing from me as we gather to watch the blazing apple of millennia of human accomplishments slide to their inevitable & irreversible End.
I'm just here for the champagne & kisses.
This Week In Doomsday?
AlterNet: Russia vs. America: Is Another Arms Race Afoot?
Uh oh. Sounds like we might be on the brink of a ... New... Cold... War !!!
On a non-Morrissey note, the next person who uses the phrase "Russia vs. America" in a headline in a publication not entitled The eXile should be sent to do a lifelong investigative report of Russia's prison system. Now that I think of it, "A day in the life of Anne Applebaum-ovich" might make a nice novella....
NYT: Collective Farmers' Monuments Meet Paintball
Paintball at VDNKh?!!!! Can we have a Meet Up there? Pleeeeeze?
More, from the Moscow Times:
Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel: In the shady and quaint Fisherman's Village, near the Likhoborsky Entrance, you can rent fishing tackle to catch carp, trout or several kinds of sturgeon and catfish -- and have it immediately cooked for your meal. While you're enjoying lunch and a sauna, the kids can work out their sibling rivalry in a game of paintball.
See the facility's web site (www.fishing-moscow.ru) for more information, and definitely call ahead (544-3504/05) since it is frequently closed for corporate retreats. Apparently paintball tournaments are good for team-building -- or eliminating departmental rivals.
Nothing really says "neo-Soviet authoritarianism" like corporate retreats, wouldn't you agree?
IHT: Officials coax Russian doomsday cult to leave cave, where they await end of world
Self-declared prophet Pyotr Kuznetsov, who established his True Russian Orthodox Church after he split with the official church, blessed his followers before sending them into the cave earlier this month, but he did not join them himself.
I am going to cross every line of human decency if I allow myself to comment on that.
Also in religious news,
CNN: Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster
because there's never a bad time to post this...
The appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting gives a kind of scholarly imprimatur to a phenomenon that first emerged in 2005, during the debate in Kansas over whether intelligent design should be taught in public school sciences classes.
It was the emergence of this community that attracted the attention of three young scholars at the University of Florida who study religion in popular culture. They got to talking, and eventually managed to get a panel on FSM-ism on the agenda at one of the field's most prestigious gatherings.
The title: "Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody."
"For a lot of people they're just sort of fun responses to religion, or fun responses to organized religion. But I think it raises real questions about how people approach religion in their lives," said Samuel Snyder, one of the three Florida graduate students who will give talks at the meeting next Monday along with Alyssa Beall of Syracuse University.
The presenters' titles seem almost a parody themselves of academic jargon. Snyder will speak about "Holy Pasta and Authentic Sauce: The Flying Spaghetti Monster's Messy Implications for Theorizing Religion," while Gavin Van Horn's presentation is titled "Noodling around with Religion: Carnival Play, Monstrous Humor, and the Noodly Master."
Using a framework developed by literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin, Van Horn promises in his abstract to explore how, "in a carnivalesque fashion, the Flying Spaghetti Monster elevates the low (the bodily, the material, the inorganic) to bring down the high (the sacred, the religiously dogmatic, the culturally authoritative)."
How the hell did Mikhail Bakhtin sneak into this diary???!!! Get out, Bakhtin! Go home. Leave me alone already. Haven't you caused enough suffering?!!!
Recently the Moscow underground presented its French counterparts with the gift in the form of a stained glass window depicting "Kurochka Ryaba", the golden egg-laying hen.
Lying Russians. Everyone knows Mr. Faberge laid those eggs.
BBC: Robot 'pied piper' leads roaches
A robotic cockroach can act as a 'pied piper' to its flesh-and-blood counterparts, persuading the real insects to hide in unusual places.
European scientists introduced tiny autonomous robots into an "arena" where cockroaches were allowed to run free.
They wanted to see whether the robots would be accepted by the insects and whether they could influence their collective decision-making process.
The results were reported in the academic journal Science.
The robots - built by Jose Halloy, from the Free University in Brussels, Belgium, and colleagues - do not look at all like cockroaches.
But by covering the robots in filter paper infused with cockroach pheromones, the researchers were able to fool the animals into thinking the automatons were genuine members of their group.
Holy cow, it's Blade Runner for the tarakanki. What is going on with all of these stories about robot cockroaches and outerspace cockroaches? Why do they get to have all the fun? Where the fuck are our fucking flying cars? We're all 13th century over here, debating the merits of water torture and praying for rain, and they are living the Jetsons' dream?
New species of Dwarf Manatee discovered in the Brazilian Amazon.
How much would it suck to be discovered right before the whole world was about to end?
Maybe he's the Messiah.
I heard a tv movie critic this morning say the film Love in the time of Cholera is really good, but it has a "stupid title." I just had to share that with someone. Ok. I feel a little better now. Thanks for being there.
Also in entertainment news,
VOA: 'People' Magazine Says Matt Damon is Sexiest Man Alive
Sexiest man alive? That would be Matt Damon. People Magazine bestows the honor upon the 37-year-old actor in its latest issue, on sale November 16.
Damon joins his pals George Clooney and Brad Pitt, each of whom has earned the title twice.
In a letter published in the magazine, Damon said "You gave an aging suburban dad the ego boost of a lifetime. My nine-year-old stepdaughter now thinks I'm cool - well, cooler."
MATT DAMON? GAH!!!
If this is actually true, I am going to go join those crazy cave people in Russia. Not because I take it as a sign of the end of the world (though I haven't ruled it out...), but because, ...I don't know, hopefully there will be sexier men in heaven or something. Or in Russia...
Wait! There are!!!
Vladislav "Read Dostoevsky" Surkov
There you go, kids. Three sexy men who are even sexier than the sexiest man alive, which is like, mathematically impossible, making it a definitive sign that the world is about to End.
Ok, have a lovely weekend, everyone!