Weekly Digest #15
5 things to learn from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life
By: Agastya Rao
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG as she was affectionately known) was a major icon and changemaker in the 21st Century. Renowned as an advocate (Get the joke?) for equal treatment, equal rights for all genders and for racial equality. She was the second ever female Supreme Court Justice in the History of the United States. Here are five things from RBG’s life that inspired me and millions of people around the globe to be better human beings, and work as hard as we can to accomplish our goal(s).
1. Always fight for what’s right- As I said in the introduction, RBG was a MAJOR changemaker in the 21st Century. She always fought for Gender Equality and equal rights. In the Ledbetter Vs. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, she ruled in favour of Lilly Ledbetter who was being paid lesser than her fellow employees who were men. Lilly Ledbetter was given 3.8 million dollars in damages.This would later lead to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would help bridge the pay gap between men and women in a step towards gender equality. She was also a champion of Gender equality and was the FIRST EVER Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America to officiate a same-sex marriage. Barack Obama paid tribute for her continued efforts towards justice for all, by saying, “Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist — Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.”
2. Hard Work pays off- Way back in 1956 when RBG enrolled in Harvard, she was just one of the 9 women in a class of 550! It was not easy being a woman lawyer back then, and there were very few women lawyers at the time. In the midst of all this, RBG had a daughter with her Late husband Martin D Ginsburg. Martin was diagnosed with cancer during his tenure at Harvard. That meant that RBG had to take care of her husband and her daughter, take her own notes, help her husband with his studies, and study for her exams! RBG and her husband managed to graduate from law school. While at Law School, she was also the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. It was a great achievement to be an editor of a college publication. Her hard work really paid off.
3.Age is just a number- Many people stop exercising after a certain point, thinking they are too old to do it. However, RBG broke all the stigmas, proved everyone wrong and worked out in the gym even at the age of 87! She would work out with a personal trainer twice a week and would do 20 push-ups a day. This was also after she was a cancer survivor. She continued working till the very end of her life too. Talk about inspiration!
4. Shoot for the stars- RBG worked extremely hard to become a lawyer. After becoming a lawyer, she worked very hard and was an advocate for equal rights and gender equality. Then she had to work doubly hard to become a Judge, and after becoming a Judge she used her power for good, and fought hard for what was right.For her rulings she came to be known as Notorious RBG (named after the rapper Notorious BIG) in a good way. If you aim high, dream big and work hard… you will go a long way.
5. Big Inspiration for girls all over the world- RBG was also a Feminist Icon. Along with her fight for Gender Equality, she was also the second ever female judge in the Supreme Court of the United States of America. This proved to be a big inspiration to girls all around the world, again telling them that they could be anything they wanted to, as long as they set their mind to it.
RBG was more than just an Associate Justice in the American Supreme Court, she was a changemaker, an icon, a feminist, an equal rights advocate and a brilliant lawyer. It will be very hard for the next Justice to live up to RBG, she changed the American Legal System and the world, for the better. Rest in Peace RBG, we salute you.
The Rat Race to… Nowhere
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Now that we are in grade 9, We usually get asked what we want to do after we finish school. Though a lot of people (including me!) do not have an answer to that question yet, we have noticed that in the past few years, the cutoffs to being admitted to many universities in the country have increased rapidly. Now many of you may be thinking that this is a good thing, as it encourages people to work harder to get into said universities, but is setting such unrealistic standards really the best way to ensure competition? That is what we are looking at today...
In the time when my grandparents were finishing school, there was a set of marks that was considered amazing, and that score was… 60% and above. “What?”, I hear you saying, 60% won’t get you places today, but at that time, getting above 60 was like getting a 99 or a 100. How far have we come, to a time when people are getting 100/100 in their sleep! So what has changed so much?
Not much, really! Fine, you can say that people have gotten more used to the way examinations are, and therefore may have gotten slightly higher marks, the benchmark of 100 is scary, if not terrifying. How did we get from 60 being satisfactory, to 100 being something you needn't cheer about? Then you say, “Isn't that good? Aren’t we mankind some fast intellectual progress as a country? Why are you saying that this is terrifying, it should be something to cheer about.”. Then again, ask yourself, how is it that we are living in a world where the most subjective of subjects, like English, or History, or Civics have been a hub for the well loved 100/100? Is the meaning of this that there are right or wrong answers in questions? What is this confusing education system?
It is a fact that the Indian Education system is based on a system of keywords and rote learning, but then, do the marks really make a difference? If all you have to do is memorise a set of keywords, and memorise certain definitions, are you really learning something? The point of analytical, application based questions, is that they make you think, develop critical thinking skills, challenge yourself, and most importantly, gauge your understanding of a topic that you have been taught.
Fun fact: Did you know that many people have told me that sometimes just highlighting keywords in an answer with gibberish in between those keywords can get you marks in your board exams! Huh? What is this? What world do we live in, where rote learning and memorising a certain set of words can help you get 100% (I know I’ve said this before, but it’s important). Still, ask yourself, is the label of class topper anything more than a label, if you get it by memorising keywords?
Additionally, what about getting into the colleges itself? With a cutoff like 100%, even the most brilliant of minds, but not someone who fits the mould that our system seems to prize highly, may lose out on an opportunity to get into their colleges of choice - even if they score highly, because the cutoff whas a lofty 100%, and will hate their performance, even though getting a score like 99% is really great!
Furthermore, marks and grades don’t denote the kind of person you are, in a system that awards scores mostly based on one’s memory and ability to retain and regurgitate information. So if these marks don’t show much about you, then why use them as a cutoff? Exactly the question we at The Paperless Press are trying to find the answer to. The way you solve problems may be radically different from the way the majority, but that doesn’t make it wrong, and this is something that the education system has not yet tackled.
It may be argued that there are many options available today in terms of colleges. While some people who couldn’t get into their first choice college options may be able to look at colleges outside India or at one of many private universities within the country, remember that this option is available only to a privileged section of society. Millions of students are left with few alternatives. So is the education system now becoming exclusive? Not entirely. The education system is supposed to be adding more application based questions in future examinations, which hopefully adds equal opportunities for all. In our usual style, we at The Paperless Press remain ever optimistic!
This article has been quite negative, but unfortunately, this is the reality of our educational system. The good news? It’s never too late for change, and we still have time to fix the education system, to ensure better chances in the future. We cannot, however, use this as an excuse to not work hard in the current scenario. This is the second positive I was coming to. The current state of the education system teaches us to work in environments we do not find comfortable, and get us out of our comfort zones.
In conclusion, while the current state of the education system is not stellar, to say the least. We have a long way to go, and change is never instant. Online school has added a completely new perspective to the world of education, and integrating that with traditional practices may be a game changer in the schooling world. An example of this has been used in various schools across the world since before the pandemic hit. Many schools use an education edition of the popular game ‘Minecraft’, which integrates the game of minecraft with common school concepts like density. So, while we may not believe that the education system has any hope left, there is always hope, and we have more hope that just Obi Wan Kenobi, we have… the WORLD!
The Importance of Books and Poems: Don’t go straight to hate!
By: Mihir Rao
Everyone remembers their teachers giving them assignments to read books about different things which seemed very boring, and a lot of us used to hate it, even going as far as not reading books. Well, let me tell you,
Don’t go straight to hate!
Let us imagine a world where books and poems were not there. Imagine how bland the world would be, because books, essentially, are imagination captured and made real!
There is another side to this that shows how essential books are in our lives.
Without books, there would not be any documentation, which means we would not be able to function properly as a society!
Not to mention the fact that Books are a multibillion dollar industry (14 billion, to be exact), and our economy, just wouldn’t be the same.
Now, let me talk about how books have impacted us with the help of a few examples.
Do you remember reading Harry Potter? Well, I was forced (well, not really) to read the first book of Harry Potter, ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ as my reading assignment for the summer. I hated that task at the time, but after I read a few pages, I was hooked! And now, I simply cannot imagine a world without Harry, Hermione and Ron.
Let me take another example, one that might be a little more relatable towards the older audience.
Sherlock Holmes. I for one, cannot fathom an existence where I haven’t loved reading stories about the famous sly sleuth and I refuse to. Sherlock Holmes has made me think, and made me smarter.
My last example is a childhood favourite of mine, and I still love the books she had written.
Enid Blyton. Her books were comforting, and happy, and I loved them. I used to curse the fact that I was not in the world of Moon-Face, Jo, Bessie and Fannie. The books used to make me happy when I had a long day at school.
Poems are a little different. Many people who love books with all their heart do not like poems. But, with poems, there is a lot more than meets the eye. Poems are an art form conveyed only using a limited number of words! Even if it is in another language, with poems, there almost always is a hidden meaning.
Leading to my point: books and poems make you feel comfortable, when you might not! books make you feel in place, and make you wish you were nowhere else.
So, all the people who hated books and poems, please don’t stay like that, and give books a second chance! You may not find anything interesting in the books I have mentioned, but there always is a book or poem that you will find solace in.
So much to be happy about, and be inspired by, this week:
23 year old photographer-filmmaker Aishwarya Sridhar won a “Highly Commended” Award at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. Her photograph of fireflies, titled ‘Lights of Passion’ taken in the Western Ghats is now on display at the Natural History Museum, London. She is the first Indian woman to win this award.
Photo credit-aishwarya sridhar
2. Phil from West Sussex raised thousands of dollars for a homeless charity by drawing what he calls “rubbish” pictures of pets. Phil, who has a spoof alias “acclaimed artist Hercule Van Wolfwinkle” started this on a lark by doodling a picture of his pet, posting it on Facebook and marking it with a price tag as a gift. Once he started receiving orders, he started a donation page, and says perhaps people are looking for a smile in these difficult times. Anyone who brings happiness deserves to be supported.
3. In another first for women in the Services, three pilots – Lt Shubhangi, Lt Shivangi and Lt Divya - have successfully completed training for maritime reconnaissance missions on Dornier Aircraft.
4. Hidetoshi Matsukawa, a Japanese entrepreneur has developed edible plastic bags to replace existing plastic bags that have been responsible for the deaths of many deer in the tourist destination of Nara. These deer are considered sacred in the city of Nara. The new bags are made of rice bran and milk cartons!
5. 14 year old Anika Chebrolu from Texas has won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her invention which uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule. This molecule can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and can prove to be a game changer in finding a cure for the ongoing pandemic.
6. Kamal Singh, a 17 year old boy from Delhi and the son of an autorickshaw driver has made it to the English National ballet, becoming one of very few Indian students to achieve this. He worked very hard and was supported by a crowdfunding campaign to achieve his dream.
7. Princeton University has agreed to pay nearly 1 million US Dollars in back pay to female professors, after facing allegations of salary discrimination between male and female professors.
8. A futuristic looking car carrier ship named Oceanbird, being manufactured in Sweden, will become the world’s largest wind-powered vessel. A step in the right direction, towards reduced pollution and careful use of energy.
9. The Barisha Club Durga Puja pandal in Behala, Kolkata has paid tribute to the struggles and resilience of migrant labour. This year, instead of the traditional image of Goddess Durga, there is a sculpture of a migrant woman with her children.
By: Agastya Rao
The world has been abuzz with new happenings and discoveries, let’s see what we have for you today-
1.All that glitters is not gold, it is plastic. Everyone loves glitter, it has been a timeless part of childhood for many children in the 21st Century. Sadly for the glitter industry, and happily for the environment, many British brands are banning the use of glitter in their products and stores. Glitter is formed after combining Aluminium and Plastic, and sadly it is a microplastic. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than 5mm in length. These microplastics are not biodegradable, and can severely pollute the environment. If a fish swallows them, they will go undetected through the fish’s body, and when and if we eat that fish, the microplastics will enter our body- that will hold disastrous consequences for us.
2. Indian Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj is gearing up to make his own adaptation of the famous Agatha Christie series. This is going to be a series of movies based on Agatha Christie’s works. He has teamed up with Agatha Christie’s great grandson James Prichard for this project. James Prichard is also the Chairman of ACl- Agatha Christie Limited. This year happens to mark 100 years of the publication of Christie’s first novel- The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Are you ready for the mysteries written by the Queen of Crime to be given an Indian Twist?
3.Exciting news awaits us! Scientists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have discovered a possible new organ- A pair of Salivary Glands, located in the Human Skull. Scientists made this discovery while scanning for growths of tumours. This unexpected find will soon have a name, scientists have been thinking of calling them ‘Tubular Glands’. However, some research still remains as to whether they will be counted as a part of the Salivary Gland, or count them as a new gland altogether. As for now, The debate over the name shall continue…
4. New species discovery alert, in India. Nine exciting new species have been discovered in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. One of the discoveries was also made by a High School student, the insect has been named after him. Some of the discoveries include- A fish, two wasps and 4 true bugs. These new discoveries were made in 2019. India’s total for new discoveries in 2019 was a whopping 368. At The Paperless Press, we remain hopeful for more discoveries to be made!
5.Just in case you thought you were the only one eating a bit too much this festive season, you’ve got some high-level company. NASA’s spacecraft Osiris-Rex consumed so much asteroid rubble from Asteroid Bennu, that it is now jammed open and spilling out precious materials collected in space! Scientists are scrambling to end this mega space-belch.
A.Apple Tv Plus-
Tiny World-Paul Rudd (Marvel’s Antman) narrates this beautifully informative and fun documentary as he explores the lives of Tiny Animals and Insects on our planet.
School of Rock
C. Amazon Prime Video
The Lego Movie
Unsolved Mysteries- Funny Coincidence and Throwback
By Mihir Rao
Bett1Hulks Championships (Tennis)
-Alexander Zverev won the game against Jannik Sinner that happened in the last week in the Bett1Hulks championship and is now in the semifinals.
-On other news, Felix Auger-Aliassime lost the game against Diego Schwartzman as he outlasted him and won the game, and is now heading to the finals.
Portugese Grand Prix (Formula 1)
The Portugese Grand Prix is happening today at the Algarve international circuit at 6:40 PM with Lewis Hamilton leading in the starting grid. Lewis Hamilton is going to try his luck to get the most ever wins, he is currently tied at 91 wins with German racing legend Michael Schumacher. Will Hamilton make history?
IPL Fever continues-
KXIP won yesterday against SRH by 12 runs.. there is another match that is happening as we are writing this article between RCB and CSK, and another match happening today at 7.30PM between RR and MI. Tomorrow, there will be a match between KKR and KXIP at 7.30 PM, so look forward to it!
Looking for Books? See how we rank this week’s top book- The One and Only Bob By Katherine Applegate
Reviewed by: Agastya Rao
The One and Only Bob - Katherine Applegate's beautiful sequel to The One and Only Ivan. Bob, the cheeky dog from the previous book, has found a home, but his adventures haven't come to an end. He sets off in search of his missing sister with his best pals (you know them - Bob the dog and Ruby the elephant). Bob's lines are as hilarious as they always were and this book takes us through a journey of the meaning of family. (8+)
(Due to some technical difficulties, we were unable to get a video on the weekly digest post 😥, We promise that we will find the problem, and fix it before #16)
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A Note To Our Readers:
We thank our readers for supporting us these past months. We truly hope you enjoyed this digest and we hope this put a smile on your face. Here at The Paperless Press, we strive to provide free,fun and positive news. We would be very happy to receive your feedback and receive guest submissions from our readers. We hope that you spread the word and enjoy reading our digests.
-Team Paperless Press
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