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Weekly Digest #18

Updated: Nov 16, 2020














TOP STORIES


Space and its mysteries

By: Mihir Rao



Thanks to the pandemic, the past few months’ narrative has been all about a multitude of problems, but we at The Paperless Press would like to focus on things that are positive and informative. Let’s go a bit away from Earth, and take a look at space, and its many quirks.

Let me talk about something big. Something giant, colossal.

You all know how big our Earth is, and we can’t even fathom to explore all of it. Now, imagine the Earth, but 109 times wider. A HUNDRED AND NINE times wider than our Earth! That is our Sun. It may look like a little sphere from earth, but it is unbelievably large. Now, Imagine our Sun, but 1700. YES, you heard me right. 1700 times wider. That is UY Scuti, the largest observable star. It is unbelievably massive and we are like grains of sand to it!


We’ve been talking about bright stars for a while now, so let’s go the other way and talk about the darkest things to exist:


Black Holes:


Black holes are stars that died a long time ago, and collapsed in on themselves and became a small little thing with a very small radius but are UNBELIEVABLY massive. This results in an UNIMAGINABLE gravity, which doesn’t even let light escape.


Now, let me ask you something.

What do you think the brightest thing in the universe is?


You would probably answer with maybe a star’s name right? Maybe UY Scuti, because it’s the biggest star. Maybe the sun, because you can’t look at it, all of those are wrong, sadly.


To find out what the brightest thing in the universe is, we have to coincidentally, look at the darkest thing in the universe:


Black Holes.


If a black hole gets unbelievably massive and eats many stars per year, then it will start to form a disk around it called the accretion disk. This disk is made up of the countless stars and planets that are torn apart by the black hole’s gravity, eventually getting sucked in. Once a black hole gets that much mass, then the accretion disk itself starts to glow.



This is called a Quasar.

Quasars shine brighter than the brightest STARS!

Well, It’s scarier. Quasars shine brighter than the brightest galaxies.

They are the brightest things in the universe and you could see one many lightyears (a unit of distance) from our solar system because of how bright they shine!


Black holes are one possibility when stars die. The other possibility of what happens to the star is the most spectacular option. The star would explode in a brilliant display of light called a supernova and would later become gaseous and spread out in the form of a Nebula.


I’ve been talking about these massive things so much, let me talk about something small.

You might have heard in a science class that atoms are the smallest particles ever (not counting subatomic particles). But how small are they, anyway?


Let me put this into perspective. If you scaled an atom to the size of a tennis ball, a coin would be the size of our EARTH!


We’ve discovered all of these things, MILLIONS of lightyears away, from our own backyard! This shows us how humans have matured, and how they have the potential to do ANYTHING. The first people on Mars could be around us, maybe even you!


I just want to say one thing to conclude.

Never,

Give

Up.



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Cover Story:


Paternity Leave - the Virat Kohli connection

By: Abhimanyu Rao

Since evolution worked its magic on some bacteria all the way till the first humans were formed, till the very time you are sitting down with a cup of tea/milk/coffee, and reading your friendly neighbourhood Weekly Digest! The one notion that I am talking about came to mind because of a certain thing that Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli did, that certainly turned heads. That was something most uncommon for men to do which we hope will change the perspectives of multiple conservatives in India, if not the rest of the world as well. He declared that he would be going on Paternity Leave after the first Test match against Australia!



Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but when you accompany me on a journey through time, you shall see what I mean. We are going to begin at the beginning, when the first humans became hunter gatherers. It has recently come to light that there were also a lot of women who were hunter gatherers, on an equal footing with men. Alas! This paradise was soon destroyed, and women were assumed to be subordinates, and their rights slipped away. By the eighteenth century, people were convinced that women were subordinate to men. A popular politician in France, named Chamette said that nature had instructed men to ‘Be a man. Hunting Agriculture, political duties, that is your kingdom. Similarly he stated that nature had instructed women to “Be women” and take care of motherhood, and household duties! Outrageous, isn’t it?


So how does this have any relation to paternity leave at all? Trust me, these two are more connected than you could ever imagine. This notion that men are generally big, strong, and aggressive is linked to the concept of toxic masculinity, and it also depicts men as tough, emotion lacking steely humans, which brought out the notion that “Boys Don’t Cry”. I notice that I have been meandering a bit, so, getting back to the matter of Paternity Leave.


This notion of men lacking emotions gave rise to the idea that they shouldn’t care for children, and the apparently “more emotional” women should be left to do that while men attend to the tough grueling task of bringing home the bacon. This ideology has very rarely been questioned, and due to the evils of social conformity, people have followed this notion ever since!

Then, very recently, Virat Kohli’s request for paternity leave was accepted, and the world had a lot to say about it! Multiple people were supportive of his decision, most notably the coach of the Australian cricket team, Mr. Justin Langer commended his decision. There were, unfortunately, a lot of netizens who berated him, claiming that he had a “National Duty” to finish the ongoing test series between India and Australia, and that he was betraying his nation. The elaborated on the same by giving the example of M.S. Dhoni, who had chosen to skip the birth of his daughter because of his duty to the country.


All this criticism, however, must not distract us from the true importance of this act. If you look at this without the lens of gender, all that he has done is ask for time off to look after his newborn child. Let’s simplify his further - he is asking for time off for parenting duties. Parent does not mean just the mother - so, why is it that the task of parenting seems to be equated just with the mother?



As per a report released by the UNICEF, almost two-thirds of the world’s children under the age of 1, live in countries where the national law does not provide for paid paternity leave. Many developing countries in Asia and Africa have introduced parental leave policies for fathers too. Not providing for statutory leave for fathers mean at least the following things happen:


(i) The entire responsibility of childcare falls on the mother;

(ii) There is evidence of women’s careers suffering after a maternity break;

(iii) Single fathers and fathers in same sex families are deprived of parental leave.


The Paternity Benfit Bill was introduced in India in 2017, but it is yet to become a law. Service Rules across different organisations provide for some paternity leave, but there is no law that mandates this across private and public sectors. We hope this gap is bridged soon.


Just like rules, moulds are meant to be broken, to ensure the creation of something far more unique, and far more beautiful. The mould of the mothers being the ones who stay at home and nurture the child, while the fathers sit through grueling office hours to provide for the family isn’t wrong - it’s incomplete. We need to find a balance between the two, so that this small step for raising children will become one giant leap for all of gender equality! This just goes to show how far baby steps can go, and these baby steps to making the world a better place are small things that stand up tall, which is the main topic of Agastya’s article.


Coming back to everyone’s hero, Virat Kohli - if people can think of him as an icon for his aggressive leadership on the cricket field, and his sense of style, why can his powerful statement about taking time off for the birth of his child be emulated? With him being a national and international icon, we hope his actions will encourage people who idolise him.



To those berating Virat Kohli, we would like to say, yes -he will miss a few cricket matches, but he has also restarted a conversation about the way gender norms are viewed, and has most likely put a great set of events into motion, and brought us closer to making this world a better place.


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Stand Up Tall: Even if You Can't

By: Agastya Rao




It was Diwali a few days ago, and I was sitting at my table, and thinking of what I should write about. As I was staring out my window, gazing into the distance, I noticed a candle in my balcony. This candle was out there, in the cold weather and it was braving the wind outside. All around it, people were bursting firecrackers (much to my dismay). The wind that was around, unleashed all its fury on the tiny little candle. Yet, the candle stood its ground. Flickering, but staying alive. It was then that it struck me, that if a small candle can hold its ground, why can’t we?


Taking inspiration from Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, no matter how small you are: you can always make a difference. According to BBC’s Science Focus Magazine, Asian Weaver ants can lift 100 times their body weight! Bullet ants are tiny, and their bite packs quite a punch. Time traveling back to Abhimanyu's Article in Weekly Digest #17 on ‘The Importance of the Obscure’, where he spoke about how tiny earthworms have a major impact on our lives.


Taking the notch one step higher, little PM 2.5 particles, are always the highlight of the festive season. Those miniscule particles make headlines in the Diwali season every year. At The Paperless Press, we hope that people stop bursting firecrackers. Even cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, rose up tall in the cricket world, while he was only 5 feet 4 inches tall. You don’t have to be tall, thin, or even short to do something.


Here are my Top Tips to Stand Up Tall: Even if you can’t-


1. Confidence-


It is like a rope that pulls you out of a dark pit. It shall always be inside you, you just need to discover it. Confidence is not always a knight in shining armour, it can be a small spark inside you that gives you enough power to speak up. If you are confident, you will always have your head held high, and you will be able to try new things. Sometimes, first impressions are the best impressions, and if you believe in yourself- people will believe in you.



2.Optimism

Here at The Paperless Press, we try to be as positive and optimistic as possible. If you are optimistic, it tends to make your day better. If you keep thinking of negative things, and think you are too small to make a difference, how will you move forward? If you are optimistic, you will spread good vibes, which will also make the people around you happy. If you have a positive outlook towards life, you will feel like you can fly (Don’t try this at home). With this newfound optimism- you will be ready to Seize the Day!




3.The Infamous Ego/Pride


Yes, yes I know- it is not good to have a big ego, there is a positive side to the ‘Infamous Ego’. Pride plays an important part in our lives. If humans were never proud- we would never have had statues of each king and emperor. However, there should always be a balance of the good and the bad- or Yin and Yang. If we are proud of ourselves for accomplishing something, it tells us that we can do anything. If we are proud of what we have done, we shall know that we are good, and no one should tell us otherwise. Keeping that in mind, let us move on to the final quality...


4.Enter the Zen Zone-


If you think of the word Zen, you are probably thinking of peace and tranquility. While it is important to have peace and tranquility, another Zen quality which we should have- is the ability to keep the naysayers out. There will always be people teasing you, telling you that you can;t do anything. This quality of being able to ‘shut the naysayers out’/ ignore them: shall cement your success. Once you ignore them, they will realise that you are unfazed by what they are saying, and they shall accept your strength. You shall rise high up- even if you can’t.



Conclusion-

Now that you know the steps to stand up tall, you must be wondering what you can do with them. Well, you can do anything. So go and follow your dreams, and make a change in the world and yourself, for the better.


Always remember to -


1. Be confident - don’t let the nerves get to you. As the famous quote goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”


2. Be optimistic - a smile a day, keeps the sadness away.


3. Be proud of yourself and your work - a little pride goes a long way.


4. Be able to ignore the naysayers, enter the zen zone, and remember that you can do it!


As Master Yoda from Star Wars said, “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you?”


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By: Abhimanyu Rao


1. Invento Robotics had recently created a robot named ‘Mitra’(मित्र) to help covid workers and patients. Mitra has a screen attached to its chest, and video cameras on its body, which allows it to conduct video calls between patients and their families! Additionally, Mitra can be an assistant to doctors and nurses, and can help in screening patients for Covid-19, and therefore prevents humans from risking their lives! Not all heroes wear capes, but not all heroes are human either!

2. Two companies, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have made a breakthrough that will undoubtedly bring a smile on your face big enough to fit a slice of watermelon in there! Wait for it… These two companies have developed a potential Covid-19 vaccine, that has shown a 90% success rate! Out of the 44,000 people to which it was administered, only 94 have been diagnosed with the virus! This is a great step in the process, which has prompted a government adviser in the United Kingdom to say that things may return to normal by spring 2021! HOORAY!

3. A United Kingdom based materials technology company had set out to do the impossible. They have a contract to extract extraterrestrial oxygen dust on the moon! Scientists from the company, namely Metalysis, have said that even after they extract the oxygen from the dust, the residual material is a mixed metal alloy that can be used in construction. Together, these two produced materials bring humanity closer to its dream of establishing a colony of humans on the moon!

4. Renewable energy has fought bravely against Covid-19, and hasreached a growth rate that has broken all previous records. A repost by the International Energy Association projects that green energy will dethrone coal as the largest power source! This is just another example of how the virus has helped nature(Weekly Digest #6 {Agastya’s Article}) and how us humans do not stop in the face of hardships(Weekly Digest #4{Mihir’s Article})like the virus!


` -------------------




By: Agastya Rao


1.How many of us like glow in dark t-shirts? I sure do! Imagine if a moon could glow? Well, scientists may have just made a groundbreaking discovery- Europa (Jupiter’s Moon) may glow in the dark! Jupiter has a very strong magnetic field and has very high radiation levels, and they react with Europa’s cold and icy surface. Imagine what would happen if the Earth’s moon started glowing- Happy (belated) Halloween :)


2. Down in the great old Down Under, there have been two new discoveries of marsupial species. One of them is a Greater Glider, and recently it was discovered that there are two more species of the same glider marsupial. Sadly, these Gliders found themselves on the IUCN Red List: as vulnerable species- because they depend on fully grown trees to survive. The bushfires that have been raging in Australia from 2019, have caused a double whammy to these animals. At The Paperless Press, we hope that their life will improve.


3. Attention Star- Gazers! We have exciting news for you. It has been discovered that this week (14th-21st November), we shall be able to see ALL the planets in our Solar System. This shall definitely provide solace to all of us in these times. Sadly, for all those in India: It may be slightly hard to see them (Post-Diwali pollution…), but we are confident that the situation will improve! Who knows, you may see them if you are lucky?



4. 100. Phew! What a big number. However, it is surely not as big enough as 100 Ancient Egyptian Coffins? Yup, you heard me right, 100 of them. These 100 Ancient coffins were unearthed in the Saqqara Necropolis of Giza, Egypt. Buried more than 2,500 years ago, these 100 coffins, plus 40 statues of Ancient Egyptian god Ptah are truly a sight to see.


5. Sir Richard Branson has achieved new speeds. His company Virgin has just tested its Hyperloop System. The Virgin Hyperloop is a floating pod, which is not like your average subway train. This pod can reach top speeds of upto 172km/h! Powered with magnets to help it levitate, this is truly the future. It recently completed its first journey with human passengers onboard.


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Guest Submission-

Art for our sake

‘Untitled’ By Rohan Jagadeesan,14

Medium- Digital








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Entertainment Quotient for the week





A.Amazon Prime- Wonderstruck


B. Netflix- Cobra Kai

C. Hotstar - Rogue Trip


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By: Mihir Rao




Tennis (Nitto ATP Finals)


In the NITTO ATP Finals, Roger Federer won against Rafael Nadal. Another match is scheduled to happen today at 7.30 PM, which I’m sure everyone is looking forward to! Tomorrow, 2 matches are scheduled to happen:


-The first match is at 1:30 am with Rafael Nadal facing off against Andrey Rublev. This is probably going to only be watched by the hardcore fans since it is at 1 in the morning for us (tee hee).


-The second one is at the same time as today’s match, which is 7.30 PM, with Novak Djokovic facing off against Diego Schwartzman on the court.



Formula 1

In the Turkish Grand Prix that just happened today at 3:40 pm on the Istanbul Park, Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton was in the lead. In the Bahrain Grand Prix that’s supposed to happen on the 29th of November, it will happen in, you guessed it: The Bahrain International Circuit.






Cricket

IPL Finals 2020-


The finals of the IPL, the biggest cricket showdown of 2020. It all came down to one game, and two teams. The Mumbai Indians took on the Delhi Capitals. After a tough match, the Mumbai Indians clinched their 5th record breaking IPL title. The Player of the Match award in the Finals was won by the Mumbai Indian’s Trent Boult for the 3 wickets he took.


-The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award went to Rajasthan Royal’s Jofra Archer, taking 20 wickets and scoring 113 runs and 10 sixes.


-Delhi Capital’s Kagiso Rabada won the Purple Cap for taking a whopping total of 30 wickets this season


- Kings Eleven Punjab’s KL Rahul won the Orange Cap for scoring 670 runs!


-The IPL’s Emerging Player of the Year award was bestowed to RCB’s Devdutt Padikkal for his 473 runs scored.

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Looking for Books? See how we rank this week’s top book- The Stars Beneath our Feet: By David Barclay Moore

Reviewed by: Agastya Rao






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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!


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