Saturday, February 26, 2011

Link roundup

1. From a fascinating article about an alleged Russian drug dealer:

I reply that I am in fact in his time zone and that we should meet. After another long “Duuuuuuuuddde!” Vrublevsky promises to send a car if I will wait in the hotel lobby. He tells me he’ll be sending along with the driver his receptionist, named Vera. He proceeds to describe Vera as this grossly overweight, unattractive older lady but, hey, she speaks English and knows how to deal with Westerners, so she’s coming, he says.

Fifteen minutes later, I am seated in the lobby waiting for Vera, watching incoming guests as they stomp off snow and trudge through the hotel’s revolving door. I find it difficult to avoid staring at this unusually attractive, slender, dark-haired young woman standing nervously just beside the door. I notice she also keeps glancing at me. Finally, she comes over and asks if my name is Brian. I am momentarily alarmed (I know next to no one in Moscow yet) until she says her name is Vera and I suddenly remember with a smile why I can trust almost nothing of what comes out of Vrublevsky’s mouth.

The joke continues when, after enduring about 20 minutes of creeping Moscow rush hour traffic to travel a couple of miles, we arrive at ChronoPay’s offices and I run into the same girl clad in different clothes: It turns out that Vera has a twin sister who also works at the company.
Via these sites.

2. And speaking of, every so often I see a movie that seems so ill-advised that I become convinced that it must have been made to help an international mobster launder money. And then I read this - - Bloomberg says Muammar Qaddafi's son has invested 100 million dollars in a film production fund and is currently bankrolling a movie starring Mickey Rourke and Susan Sarandon's daughter.

3. Apparently there's a lot more manufacturing still done in the US than you'd think.