Weekly Digest #17
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Hidden in Plain Sight: The importance of the obscure
By: Abhimanyu Rao
From murder mysteries to camouflage, the most powerful ability that anyone, or anything has, is to be hidden in plain sight. Not only can anyone or anything hidden in plain sight be the best observer in the world, but they can influence their surroundings, and learn so much about you, that you will probably be terrified. Luckily, this is not the kind of ‘hidden in plain sight’ things I am going to be talking about. What I am talking about, is the things we miss. The important things that affect us, but we never really notice them - they just stay there, affecting us, forever…
All right, now that the dramatics are over, let’s talk. We never really observe our surroundings, do we? Now that is a mistake that we make, something that causes our lives to be full of ‘smoke and mirror’ moments - why most of us can never never figure out the ending of our favourite Poirot books, and get fed up of seeing everyone’s favourite busybody,
Miss Marple, can solve crimes from her armchair. For example, something that is written about in Mihir’s Article, is about the pollution to the water and land. This pollution affects us just as much as all other types of pollution, but we never notice it. It just stays there, affects our health, and is usually not dealt with, because no one knows it exists!
What I just talked about was something negatively impacting us, now, let’s look at something positive. Earthworms have been a lifeline for so many farmers around the world, haven’t they? They help fertilise the soil by consuming dead
organic matter and excreting it in a way that fertilises the soil, and helps people in their endeavors of growing crops and plants. Even then, do we ever even think about them? No. We always take these earthworms for granted, even though they do so much to help the world! So now that we have a problem, what do we do about it?
Thinking logically, if the punishment should fit the crime, then the solution should fit the problem in the same way. So if our problem is that we often do not notice things that are hidden in plain sight, that in this case, affect us in ways we cannot even imagine, and therefore, are unable to address these effects. Thinking in the way we just discussed above, our solution will be… to start noticing things, or in other words, improve our powers of observation.
Unfortunately for us, this is much easier said than done. “Alas”, you now say, “We have found the problem, and created a solution, but now, we are not nearly strong enough to enact this solution, and we will forever be nagged at by the fact that we knew what to do”. Luckily for you, you need not fear! I am here to help you find your footing in your attempt to increase your powers of observation. So what are we waiting for? Let’s Go!
Firstly, what you can do is stop rushing! We can’t deny it, most of us end up rushing through a lot of things, be it reading a book, watching a movie, or even just walking around. This way, we never really take in the details of what we are reading/watching/walking through, and so, we never notice anything important, like a hidden reference to the prequel of this book, or little ‘easter eggs’ in movies and TV shows that reference another show, or tease the coming few episodes of the show. That way, we miss out on things that we could easily figure out.
Secondly, Secondly, can you spot the difference between the two ‘secondly’s? I know, it’s very easy, and by now, you have probably figured out what I am planning on talking about, scoffed at it, yawned, washed your face to prevent being bored into sleep, and come back to read this. What I am talking about is… spotting the differences in things. I know that it’s a game for children to pass the time with, but believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be boring! You can take photos of a few specific places while you are walking around without rushing (see? They all compliment each other), and take a few photos of places that you see. Then while you are occupied with traditional spot the difference activities, time will pass, and a few months later, take a photo of those same places, and when you are back at home, try and see how many differences you can spot. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
I think that this will be a great help in your journey to becoming a Spotting Expert. “There is always reason to fear the unknown, but the fear will vanish when that unknown becomes known.”~ Abhimanyu Rao. This is what I firmly believe, and it applies almost too well over here. So get out there, and discover the importance of the Obscure!
Looking through the (History) Glass
By: Agastya Rao
2020 has been full of changes. Whether they were political changes or social changes, change reigned supreme. With the number of changes that have been going on, a lot of mistakes have been made. We often look to others for an answer, be it a politician or a parent. I have for you, another person to look to - History. Yes, I know that History can sound boring , but the only way forward is to look back into the past. History is full of mistakes, in fact, mistakes ARE history. But let us not make mistakes ‘history’ just yet (Get it?). It is time to dust off the old history book, and step into a new world ( or an old one). Ever thought of correlating books, history and the modern world, well now you have it! I am going to attempt to find solutions to modern day issues/happenings using examples of mistakes from history and their answers from books.
1. Respecting and preserving heritage sites- The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Cultural Heritage sites in India have a bad rap for poor maintenance (Weekly Digest #3). Most of the museums and heritage sites I have been to, are either poorly managed and broken, or they have names of people etched onto them. ‘The Explorer’ revolves around the story of (you guessed it) an explorer who finds an ancient site, and then never returns home because he falls in love with it and vows to protect it and not tell the outside world about it. Then he has to take care of children who land in a plane crash and discover the ancient site… I won’t spoil the rest of the book for you. Imagine if all the Ancient Inca sites were not plundered. Seriously, how much history could have been protected if we had all read this book. Learning from historical mistakes- No.1
2. Accepting people for who they are- Can you see me by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westacott and Wonder By RJ Palacio
This year has all been about accepting diversity and fighting for equality in all forms. The books ‘Can you see me’ and ‘Wonder’ are all about accepting people for who they are. Wonder is about a boy (August “Auggie” Pullman) who has Treacher Collins Disorder which is like a Craniofacial Disorder. He was homeschooled for most of his life, but he starts going to middle school and is bullied by people at his school. However, the wind changes its direction and people start accepting August for who he is.
‘Can you see me’ is based on a personal anecdote and diary of Co-Author Libby Scott. Libby is autisitc and is bullied at school and is soon excluded from her friend. This book follows her story to people accepting her and her reaching a stage of self-acceptance. For our full video review, visit the ‘From the Literary World section (Weekly Digest #16). Imagine if we did not have to protest for gender and racial equality? Imagine a world where people with disabilities were not discriminated against and shunned from society. If only I could travel back in time and distribute millions of copies of these books, so that humans could have stayed human and not been so inhumane and discriminatory.
3.Anti Semitism and Racism- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas By John Boyne
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas takes us back to World War II. Bruno’s father was recently promoted to the job of ‘Head of Auschwitz.” Auschwitz was a concentration camp in Poland, under Hitler’s rule. On one of his walks, the innocent Bruno meets and befriends Shmuel, a Jew who is in the Concentration Camp. He does not know why the camps are there, what the camps are for and why Shmuel is in the camps.This story of an innocent friendship warns us about what would happen if there is another anti-semitic and racist dictator like Hitler.
4. Animal Rights- Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Appelgate
Born to Run is a book by the LEGENDARY author Michael Morpurgo. This book is about a greyhound named ‘Best Mate’ who is rescued by this boy, and then as the story goes forward- he is forced to race in dog races. This book is a heartwarming tale of friendship, and just goes to show how our lives are connected.
The One and Only Ivan is a tale of a gorilla named Ivan who is the main attraction at a circus. However, he yearns to be free. This Newberry Medal winning book teaches us the importance of Animal Rights. For the full review head to- Weekly Digest #15. Animals have been treated very badly, and they have been made to sit in circuses. Their habitats have been taken away, and they are forced to dance and jump around for our entertainment. These books highlight the need to safeguard animals and their rights.
5. Mental Health and The Answer to Everything- The boy, the mole the fox and the horse By Charlie Mackesy:
This book is THE BEST book of 2020. I regard it as the Holy Grail of 2019-20. This book is for readers of all ages. This delightful book takes us through a journey of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse. This book offers the answers to everything. Whenever you are thinking about something, and you open the book to any random page, there will be something meaningful on that page. It offers a daily dose of positivity and important life lessons that us children and even adults may forget.
Charlie Mackesy has received praise from celebrities like Chris Evans and his book is topping charts and is being lauded by critics worldwide. 2020 has revolved around mental health, and this book is the best way to keep your mental health sound. In the past, people used to misunderstand mental health. My request to you- read this book, it will change your lives!
We must learn from our mistakes and we must learn from the mistakes history made because that is the way forward. These 8 books have taught me a lot on the issues we face today. Let us not forget the past, but not get too hung up on it either. It is said that it is the winners who write history, let us rewrite that history; not as winners, not as losers but together- by reading books!
SOS: Save Our Surroundings!
By: Mihir Rao
As you all may know, Deepavali/Diwali is approaching and everyone is extremely excited about it! But with every September and October comes an annual horde of pollution. And with this Deepavali approaching, we need to talk about the major concern of pollution.
Pollution comes in many different shapes and forms, and I will briefly talk about a few of them in this article.
When we use our cars, our ozone layer is depleting, which is causing another event called climate change. Our climate is rapidly changing, with different flora and fauna being extinct and some even ceasing to be extinct and rising from the dead! Some people (hint hint) say that climate change is just a hoax created by the media, but climate change, if you look into it a bit, is a really big issue.
Because we pollute our surroundings with our trash, India has got a reputation of being one of the dirtiest and most unclean countries!
But there are ways that we can counter this, so don’t lose hope yet! Anyway, let’s move on to the next, and upcoming topic:
The Deepavali Months:
India has an average air pollution rate, up until September/October, where it goes extremely down.
The reason behind this is that farmers burn the stubble around this time, and the fumes/ash from there goes all around India and gets mixed in with the air, resulting in a ‘smog’(smoke+fog). This, coupled with Diwali, has us scrambling to wear masks every single year!
Now, I just listed the types of pollution that are visible, but let me talk about another type of pollution that is not visible, but not at all less deadly.
Especially during Deepavali, where everybody is complaining about the loud fireworks, which actually cause damage to your ears! This actually doesn’t just happen during Diwali, It can happen any time, from when your neighbours or maybe even you play loud music, to extremely loud concerts making your ears hurt!
Plastic is another major factor. Because of Plastic, We have things called landfills! Because of Plastic, the beaches are littered!
And we just can't forget about one thing. We are not the only living things on Earth. There is a reason that Earth has a plethora of resources, because it needs to accommodate for everything!
Our pets are getting scared because of the fire crackers, and Marine life is not surviving because of plastic!
BUT WAIT! Before you lose any hope, remember: If we were able to do all of this, then we are able to undo it!
Tell your neighbours or even yourself, to not play loud music, maybe play it softer!
Stop using Plastic bags and start using other alternatives that will help the environment!
Safely segregate your waste into biodegradable and non biodegradable!
We are already taking initiatives, as you can see with the things that I am about to mention:
Last year, Two youtubers, MrBeast and Mark Rober, got together and made an initiative to try and stop deforestation. It was simple, really: Donate one dollar to teamtrees.org, and they will plant one tree and take care of it. Their goal was to plant 20 million trees before the year ended. They reached their goal extremely quickly!
Scientists created an edible water bottle, which was packaged in a clear seaweed wrap that’s called Ooho! The wrap could be coloured or even flavoured! They wanted to replace plastic and remove it from the equation when you think of drinking water.
In conclusion, we need everyone’s help to help the environment, and we can make Earth like it once was again! But, we need everyone’s help. That means everybody. So if someone approaches you and asks you to help them in a movement for the environment, consider doing that! The world is sending out an SOS (Save our surroundings) and we need to comply with that!
I would like to end my article with a quote: ‘The world has enough resources for everyone’s need, but not for anyone’s greed.’
HAPPINESS QUOTIENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD
By: Mihir Rao
So much to be happy about, and be inspired by, this week:
Kamala Harris created history by becoming the Vice-President elect for being the first woman, the first South Asian person, the first Black person, and the first daughter of immigrants to reach this stage. We heard her victory speech and whether or not anyone agrees with her politics, her achievement is an inspiration for everyone, especially girls, showing them that nothing is out of their reach.
Abhijita Gupta, the granddaughter of the poet duo Santkavi S. S. Gupt and Rashtrakavi M. Gupt has become a famous author at the age of 7. She created a compilation of the stories and poems she wrote during the lockdown. She tilted her book ‘Happiness all around’. We really like seeing people take the initiative and be creative in these tough times.
Until now, everyone has thought and believed that our Earth is one of a kind, and we’re the only habitable planet in the entire Universe. Recently, a study has shown that our galaxy possibly has 300 MILLION extra habitable planets that even may have extra-terrestrial life on them!
The Taurid and Leonid Meteor showers will be happening this month, so that has every star gazer on their toes and excited! These meteor showers only grace us with their presence annually, so if you can, you should try and observe this spectacular event!
In 2018, the body of a prehistoric hunter was found and no one thought anything of it until recently: It was discovered that the remains of the hunter were not male, they were biologically female! After doing further studies, it was discovered that 30 to 50 percent of hunters were biologically female! Need more proof about women’s strength?
DID YOU KNOW?
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Masks are becoming a complication these days! All the masks we use in our daily lives protect us from different things. Halloween masks protect us from being recognised, cloth masks protect us from Covid-19, and N95 masks protect us from the deadly PM2.5. While halloween masks were recently used, we now face a dilemma. We need cloth masks due to the ongoing pandemic, and we will soon need N95 masks due to the pm2.5 caused by diwali pollution. How will we manage wearing two masks? Will we be able to breathe? The answer? Stay at home, and decrease the need for so many masks.
For around 13 years, scientists have observed some strong, yet very brief bursts of radio waves, that originate from outside our galaxy. The short time span of these bursts make it nearly impossible to study them. Luckily for us, a homemade telescope, made by a doctoral student in California (Yes! Homemade! I still haven’t gotten to picking my jaw off the floor.), and a telescope from a Canadian observatory, both observed a much weaker burst of the same kind coming from inside our galaxy! Finally, after a 13 year long hunt, the sources of these bursts were identified! Neutron stars that are exceptionally dense are called magnetars, and were the cause for these bursts. ‘
Remember Weekly Digest #6, where Mihir talked about why we are happy to be Indian? Well now we are even happier! Why? Because recently, Stanford University created a list of the top two percent scientists of the world. Guess what? Over 1000 of them were Indian! We are very happy for all the people who made the list, and heartily congratulate them!
The ‘Forest Man of India’, Mr. Jadav Payeng, who you probably know because he SINGLE HANDEDLY planted an ENTIRE forest! He was presented with many awards, including the extremely prestigious Padma Shri, and multiple awards from other countries. He has now been given one of the most important awards anyone could receive. He is now being taught about in a few schools in Bristol, in the USA! He completely deserves this ultimate award of going down in history! This just goes to show that, no matter how old you are, no matter where you are, you can make a difference!
Laugh it Up: A good joke!
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Q: “ What is happening in Delhi?”
Ans- The Desolation of SMOG!
Entertainment quotient for the week:
A.Apple Tv Plus-
Long Way Down
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Last Shot:Your weekly sports roundup
By: Agastya Rao
Paris Masters (Tennis)
As the year nears an end, and the tennis season is about to end, one of the last tournaments remaining is the ATP 1000 Paris Masters. This is one place where big points and big prize money are up for grabs.
-Rafael Nadal was beaten by Alexander Zverev to secure a place in the Finals. The winner of the Finals will cash in more than 200,000 Euros and will also earn a staggering 1000 points.
-Daniil Menvedev defeated Milos Raonic to get a chance to face off against Alexander Zverev to win the Paris Masters.
After recently surpassing racing legend Michael Schumacher’s record for the most race wins, Lewis Hamilton has hit a new high. He has earned himself 26 points and is currently coming first in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton’s success continues.
IPL Fever continues-
-As the festive season begins, so do the IPL Playoffs. The Mumbai Indians beat the Delhi Capitals by 57 runs and have secured their spot in the Finals.
-The Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 10 wickets. The Sunrisers Hyderabad regained their splendour and even managed to win without dropping a single wicket.
- The Delhi Capitals shall take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad on 8th November. Will the Mumbai Indians win their 5th title in the IPl, or will another team defeat them?
From The Literary World:
Looking for Books? See how we rank this week’s top book- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Reviewed by: Mihir Rao
Visit these pages to see some of our other endeavours!
Visit A Dogs Daily Antics to laugh your heart out with crazy captioned dog photos!
Visit TheChinappaChannel to see some quirky but nice videos that will make you roll with laughter
Our Request to you-
Here at The Paperless Press, we are committed to saving the Earth and making it a better place. The AQI (Air Quality Index) has rated Delhi pollution as severe. By bursting firecrackers, we are not only polluting the air and ruining our lungs, but are also running the risk of severely injuring birds and animals.This festive season, it is our humble request to you to stop bursting firecrackers, and to stop other people from bursting firecrackers. Only together can we make the world a better place. As always, as our motto goes, ‘Pressing a head for a better world’. We shall be saving paper, one article at a time.
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.
-The Paperless Press
We hope this issue brightened up your day!
Contact us at-
The Paperless Press ™
The Paperless Press™
All Rights Reserved