Member of Ukraine parliament really just a grey blob

Russia may be trying to slowly take over Ukraine, but the former Soviet satellite has bigger problems on its hands–like a blog taking over seats in the Ukrainian parliament.

Claiming that his fellow members of parliament don’t show up for their jobs as often as they should, Borislav Bereza has brought a grey blob to sit in one of the empty seats next to him. The plush blob has been a popular meme in Russia and Ukraine in recent years, and that has seemingly translated into a seat in government. As absurd as an internet meme in a leadership role might seem to Americans, apparently it’s possible there. Bereza even sat the blob behind the podium.

What does it want? What if it multiplies? What if Ukraine falls under blob rule?

Say, what’s up with those militarized dolphins?

It’s been a while since we last checked in on the military dolphins left over from the USSR. Nearly three years ago to the day, we warned you that some Ukrainian dolphins with special military skills went AWOL. Luckily, we haven’t seen them since.

But now, Russia wants some more dolphins. You see, when Russia invaded Crimea a couple years ago, they captured the Ukrainian Navy’s prized killer dolphin unit. Now it looks as if Russia wants to expand that program. The Defense Ministry is offering $24,000 for five bottlenose dolphins for unknown reasons.

Let’s keep in mind that these things have worked with knives and guns specialized for their use. Russia, you have teamed up with the enemy of all mankind. This will not stand.

(h/t Stephanie)

‘Star Wars’ characters enter Ukrainian politics

We haven’t heard from Ukraine in a while. Last time we checked in, they were mad about their historic wine being served to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi. Turns out that since then, they’ve gone over to the dark side.

In response to a new law requiring all symbols of the fallen communist regime to be removed, the city of Odessa turned a statue’s likeness from Vladimir Lenin to that of Darth Vader. Then things really got ugly. Over the weekend, Chewbacca himself was arrested while heading to the polls in Odessa, and apparently he was taking Darth Vader to vote.

The election results haven’t been released yet, but it’s been reported that, and this is true, Emperor Palpantine has been elected to a seat on the city council.

Bros drink bottle of wine

Why Crimea? Love like theirs isn’t legal in Russia.

Most people don’t cause an international incident when they visit a winery. But most people aren’t Vladimir Putin and Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi.

While broing out in Russian-controlled Crimea recently, Putin and Berlusconi went on a tour of a historic winery (they’re European, they bro-out differently), and likely drank a bottle of wine treasured as Ukrainian history. They reportedly drank a bottle of 1775 Jeres de la Frontera, worth more than $90,000.

Perhaps the most shocking part of this story is that it’s not what Putin and Berlusconi did while they drank, it’s what they drank.

You Missed It: End of 2014 edition

I'm not eager to do this, and you shouldn't be, either.
I’m not eager to do this, and you shouldn’t be, either.

We’ve reached the end of the year. I know, I didn’t think we’d make it, either. We found new reasons every day to get mad at each other online. We dumped ice water over our heads so we didn’t have to donate to charity, and felt good about it. We allowed Taylor Swift back into our lives. We voted out a bunch of Democrats because of Ebola. We watched Vladimir Putin close the Winter Olympics with the ceremonial invasion of Ukraine. In a year this dismal, one can feel lost. When I start feeling that way, I just ask myself, “What would Ernest Hemingway do?” Then I get rip-roaring drunk and forget the question. So pour yourself a glass and let’s do this.

January

At least she was clothed
Lena Dunham (of course we’re starting with her) was on the cover of Vogue magazine in January, and not in an ironic way. It got all the lady bloggers of all the internets upset, too, because her picture was clearly touched up. The Girls creator has touted herself as an example of what real people look like, and the photo betrayed all that, they said. In other news, Dunham was given an award for best magazine cover ever.

Let your bowels take a vacation
It was not a good month to be on a boat. First, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship had to cut its tour short because some 700 crew and passengers got sick. Then, a Princess cruise ship had a similar outbreak. We’re not talking about a head cold going around on the ship–it was the norovirus. A sizable amount of people were enjoying their vacations either in their cabin bathrooms without ventilation, or heaving over the side. They say bad things come in threes, but sadly the Bud Light cruise ship at the Super Bowl wasn’t affected.

In case you’re not sick of him already
Justin Bieber was arrested after police said he was drag racing in Miami while drunk and high, which is probably how everyone else in Miami drives in the first place. Bieber reportedly cried when he got arrested, and compared himself to Michael Jackson after posting bail. Between him and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, it’s nice to see that Canadians can be just as big asses as Americans. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2014 edition

Ukraine to become home to new Galactic Empire

If he dresses like a Darth Vader, has his name changed like a Darth Vader and has stormtroopers surrounding him like a Darth Vader, then he’s a Darth Vader, right? But what about if he’s in the Ukraine?

Yes, and best of all, he wants your vote.

Seriously, he really needs your vote. See, Darth Vader is polling pretty low in the parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, this can be attributed to his involvement in the scandal known as “the prequel trilogy.”

Crimea: just a test date before really hitting the field

"Yes. Yes, I want to see more Ukrainians. Immediately." (Confused? This women's rights protester is from Ukraine.)
“Yes. Yes, I want to see more Ukrainians. Immediately.” (Confused? This women’s rights protester is from Ukraine.)

Russian President and guy who always asks if you’re going to eat your meat before stealing your entire plate, Vladimir Putin is officially single. He and his now ex-wife, Lyudmila, finalized their divorce according to a Kremlin announcement on Tuesday.

When announcing their separation back in June, Putin stressed that their decision to split was a mutual decision, much in the same way that Putin stresses that it’s a mutual decision to annex parts of other countries.

Based on the timing — coinciding with the ongoing crisis in Crimea — it’s possible that Putin needed to get himself out there on a pick-up date with one of Russia’s exes before he felt ready to see other countries.

If that’s the case, then we may finally understand what Sarah Palin warned us about: Putin rearing his head.

The dolphin arms race heats up

Guess what, America? Russia now has attack dolphins that it stole from Ukraine. That just makes the War on Animals even more complicated. We’ve covered military dolphins before.

This puts us in a strange situation. We don’t like that the U.S. Navy has trained animals how to kill us, but if the Russians have such technology, it makes sense that we should, too. In fact, if Russian dolphins ever attack, the U.S. can deploy its arsenal of dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, sharks and birds to fend them off.

“She’s a Barbie girl, in a real life world”

What’s happening in Ukraine is very scary. It’s quite terrifying and not reassuring at all to see people in near acts of war so shortly after the Olympics.

That doesn’t mean we’ll hold back when the topic of Valeria Lukyanova comes up.

Lukyanova is a Ukrainian model that is possibly insane. Through the magic of plastic surgery and special diets (the secret ingredient is starvation), she’s managed to make her body look like Barbie, down to the near plastic skin shine. But it’s not enough.

The lady would now like to subsist solely on air and light. While Valeria claims that this might be her final stage (of what? Evolution? Is she becoming a Mudkip?), we suspect that this actually might be a ploy to gain attention for Big Algae.

Americans fail to medal in team liquor drinking

The year is only two months old, and we’ve got more bad news for the U.S. in the realm of international drinking. We already told you that India leads the world in whiskey drinking.

When it comes to drinking liquor, South Korea is kicking our ass. What’s worse is that Team USA barely cracks the top 10. We average 3.3 shots per week, regardless of liquor. Whoever is leaving the 0.7 shots in the glass each week is probably a lightweight. Out ranking us, from #9 to #1, are Brazil, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Russia, and South Korea.

Russians drink 6.3 shots per week, nearly twice what we do. But South Koreans make even the Russians look like wine-cooler-sipping high school girls, averaging 13.7 shots per week.

The study only counts those of legal age, so there’s no doubt the U.S. would do better if the American sub-21 crowd was let in to compete on the international stage. Those of us who can legally drink need to step it up.