#22 World News Digest – New Format!

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).

These digests seem to be changing, evolving and adapting, shedding categories and growing in new directions, so stick with us and we might arrive somewhere interesting together!

Digest curated by our teacher Svyatoslav Tugeev

So, what has happened in the last two weeks? Well, quite a lot, as always, but here are just a few of the curiosities and interesting – if not always the most important – events that took place since we last saw each other (and no, there is not a single mention of Thanksgiving): 

First of all – an ice burn, or the latest example of the famous british sense of humor. When two of the most influential candidates refuse to participate in the televised debates about climate change, there seems to be little one can do, right? Well, no, as it turns out, and those candidates might wish they had participated after all, if only to avoid the stinging embarrassment. Those who watched these debates saw podiums with their names, but instead of the politicians themselves, other participants were joined by two ice statues, which proceeded to melt quite quickly under the studio lights, making a silent but rather poignant statement. 

Channel 4, which organized the climate debate, said the ice sculptures “represent the emergency on planet Earth.”Credit…Pool photo by Kirsty O’Connor

And speaking of climate change – want to know why New York Metro is saying they are switching to submarines?

Secondly – did you know that one of the most active critics of the internet is the man who actually invented it? Internet being a relatively recent invention, we have an opportunity to listen to what the inventor himself, Tim Berners Lee, is thinking. If you are curious what he initially wanted the internet to be, what problems he sees today and how he thinks we can solve them, first you should check out his open letter in the Guardian, and then read about his new initiative, which he invites the tech companies around the world to join.

Thirdly – Cybertruck. No, that’s not the name of the new racing game, it is a new electric car, recently unveiled by Elon Musk. Most likely you have heard both about the car itself as well as the fact that unveiling was somewhat buggy, pardon the pun. There is little doubt that the design itself looks almost too futuristic, but did you know that there is actually very little original about the way it looks? Jalopnik offers a deeper look at the newly unveiled vehicle, diving both into the interesting technical details and looking at the designs from half a century ago, which look surprisingly similar. 

Kim Reynolds – WordsManufacturer Photos Nov 22, 2019

And now let’s talk about the hotels, because they managed to figure in two interesting stories from the last two weeks. 

First one is from Japan, and is about the hotel, where you can stay for 1$. Of course, the first thing you think is “it must be a cardboard box or a joke”. But it is not. Second – “there must be a catch”, which is closer, but a bit more complicated. Turns out, that price is offered if you agree to livestream your stay in the hotel 24/7. And there is at the same time a lot to be said about this offer and nothing at all. I do have a question, however: would you consider saving on the trip to Japan that way?

Second hotel story is almost diametrically opposite, but at the same time, like any reflection, quite similar. Edward Hopper is one of the most famous realist painters of the 20th century, who loved to paint scenes which seem quite mundane – a cafe at night, a hotel room, a cinema hall. But his unique manner catches the eye and infuses them with something very special, making paradoxically one wish they could experience these places in real life. Well, now you can, if you visit the exhibition of his works in Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The centerpiece of this exhibition is a painstakingly recreated hotel room from one of his paintings, where guests can stay. If you are wondering what it feels or looks like – take a look yourself.

A highlight of the “Edward Hopper and the American Hotel” exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art is a functional hotel room inspired by Edward Hopper’s “Western Motel,” at right.Credit…Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Eliot Dudik for The New York Times

And finally, let’s talk about boys and girls, language and maths, gender and profession. There is a constant issue of the lack of women in certain professions, although it is equally true that there is a lack of men in others. And the reasons are not quite clear, as there are many theories but now final definitive answer. There is, however, a possible key to finding the reason for this imbalance. And it is not as gender specific as was once thought, but actually has to do with the balance between two skill areas: language and mathematics. The better you read, the less likely you are to consider exploring your mathematical abilities, even if they are equally great. If you want to know what the deal is – take a look yourself. The article is a bit long, but is definitely worth a look.

Oh, and have you ever seen Star-Wars kabuki?


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