#21 Digest about… Black Friday. And other World News

Every 2 weeks ELK team picks the most captivating, forward-looking and inspiring articles from the best media around the globe to share with you in our digest. Learn what the world is talking about today! Please vote for your favorite article in the comments (and also share articles that inspired you).

Digest curated by our teacher Svyatoslav Tugeev

Black Friday

First of all – Black Friday is coming in less than two weeks, a day when shops are going to be full of people looking for the best deal and hoping to snatch something they have their eye on. The event itself has started in America, but has spread all around the world since then. 

What form does it take around the world? Do other countries have their own versions? Here is the answer.

Black Friday Discount Half Price Promotion Concept

What about its history? When did it actually start, and how? Is this a recent invention, or a new form of a long standing tradition? Turns out, the history of this event has some very interesting and unexpected moments.

And if you are planning to join – here is the website of the event itself.

But of course, that is not the only thing happening around the world.


Venice is full of water

Water is one of the most defining elements of Venice as a city. Its rivers and channels are known all around the world and have become a famous tourist destination.  But these days the city is struggling to handle its most recognizable feature. And while it is undoubtedly a sad and dangerous event, it is hard to deny that there is something very beautiful about seeing the ancient fresques reflected in the rising waters. 

Tsar’s last drink

Speaking of water – an article about a curious find has recently been published in the Smithsonian magazine. Last shipment of alcohol, meant for the last russian Tsar, or at least for his closest friends among nobility, has been recovered in the Baltic Sea. Where was it found? How was it recovered? What did Nicholas II or his friends like to drink? Answers are in the article, of course.

What is dopamine fasting?

Personal productivity is the thing in Silicon Valley. And any methods of gaining it are sure to gain popularity. The most recent thing – dopamine fasting. Logic is that by depriving the brain of constant pelasing stimuli, one can make it react stronger when something good actually happens. Like food tasting amazing the first time you eat after fasting for some time. Sounds logical, but how much does this have to do with reality? And how new is this technique actually?

Biodegradable plastic

And in more scientific news – plastic is considered one of the most serious environmental problems. It does not degrade, and so every plastic bottle, every bag, all is just lying there, polluting the nature. Which is why this news item is so significant. Created from a really unexpected source this new material could revolutionize the industry. Another truly interesting this that this solves another problem as well. As long as it does not in the end smell of fish.

White sand

BBC has published another wonderful video in the series “made on Earth”, this time about pure, white sand. What do you think it is used for? Sandpits for kids? Cement for our buildings? No. It is actually used in our tablets, laptops, coffee machines and toys, because it is a key component of microchips. And since it is impossible to imagine our world today without the electronic devices, it is interesting to see how we make them, from the excavators digging sand to the precise assembly with microscopic precision. 

Fighting misinformation

An interesting chain of events occurs in our culture. With more and more people able to share their opinion and content they create, more and more platforms struggle with the idea of moderation – what do they allow? Do they check the facts that people claim? As this question is raised in courtrooms and on forums, other creators take the task upon themselves, creating, for example, channels specifically dedicated to examining the claims and promises made by others. And recently, platforms have started to formalize their relationship with these fact checkers, making them an integral part of the digital ecosystem

Deciphering a language

We all know the history of Minotaur, a man with the head of the bull, roaming the labyrinth at the island of Crete. But this is actually one of the very few pieces of information we have about a civilization predating Greeks. There is not much left from them, but we still have access to their language, preserved on many artifacts the archeologists have discovered. The trick is, this language is not like any other we know. So how do you go about solving a puzzle like that? 


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