Weekly Digest #26
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
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Safe Travels Vs Travel Terror- A guide to safe travel during the Pandemic
By: Agastya Rao
We have been locked in our homes for the better part of 2020 and although the vaccine will soon become available, things are still not back to normal in 2021. We have all got a bad case of cabin fever, and are feeling the urge to travel. Travel is one of the greatest joys in life, and something we took for granted, whether for work or for a vacation. Here are my tips on how to travel safely during the pandemic-
1. Wear a Mask
Everyone’s favourite fashion accessory and life saver these days, is our very own personal mask! This shall be your main life saver, and is the most important item for survival. 99.9% of hotels around the world require you to wear a mask. A mask is your best chance of safety and survival. So, always remember to wear one and carry extra masks too. Funny story-
“Our Co- Editor Abhimanyu was sleeping when we were traveling by car, and his mask fell off his face when he got out of the car- and he didn’t realise it. Then he walked a few steps ahead, still feeling drowsy, and suddenly bolted and ran back to the car to get his mask”. A Mask a Day, helps keep the doctor away. Forget the apple, wear a mask (get it?).
2.Don’t travel in large groups-
As much as we would enjoy traveling with a large group of our family and friends, in these times- we shouldn’t. Try travelling in smaller groups, or with your parents. Trust me when I say this, it will be much safer. (Bonus advantage- you save on luggage space, another positive way of looking at this).
Large groups will make travel coordination harder, and increase the possibility of Covid-19 transmission (Sadly). Hotels will also be trying their level best to ensure social distancing, so it will make their work easier for them.
3. Make sure to pick the right place to stay-
It is important to pick the right hotel, and I don’t mean the bathtub situation and the minibar - I mean the Covid Protocols that the hotel has taken. Be sure to call the hotel, and check reviews online for what Covid-19 safety protocols the hotel is following, and if the hotel is full or empty. Do also pick a hotel that lets you enjoy and have fun, while also giving you enough space to stay safe! There are many options these days - you could opt for a smaller cottage for your travel group over a large hotel, or find a hotel that has enough open air spaces for all their guests.
The Good Ol’ Road Trip: Car Travel tips-
Road trips are a good idea to reduce exposure to multiple people and touch points. Here are some special Covid Safety tips for a road trip:
-Always carry sanitiser- some places you stop at while you are driving for a break, may or may not have soap in their washrooms. Sanitiser is your next best safety alternative.
(Disclaimer- The Paperless Press does not sponsor the following brands, or guarantee their effectiveness).
-For anyone who has germaphobia (Which is very unlucky in these times), carry a disinfecting spray (Dettol and Savlon manufacture them, to name a few). This comes in handy to sanitise surfaces, if you are planning to sit anywhere or open a doorknob etc.
-If you take a snack break, try and find a place with outdoor seating, to avoid breathing in recirculated air.
For air travel-
Despite any misgivings you may have, air travel during the pandemic has become quite streamlined in terms of safety protocols. For air travel, I would recommend just keeping a safe distance and maybe wearing a face shield if you want to. Also be sure to check all restrictions and guidelines given by the airline, with regards to boarding time etc.
Lastly, don’t let your paranoia and fear of Covid-19 stop your travel. We must stay positive and have fun, because that is the main goal. Obviously we have to stay safe and vigilant, but don’t stress too much about it. Us human beings deserve to take the year off and just relax, after the stressful year we have led. Enjoy the rest of your holidays dear reader! If you have exams coming up, good luck. Travel, and stay safe!
The Little Things in Life
By: Mihir Rao
Everyone who is reading this has probably been in a science class at least once, right? Even if you may not remember everything from your science lessons, I bet everyone knows about the indivisible particles that make up our whole universe: Atoms. They make up the chairs we sit in, the air we breathe, EVERYTHING!
But wait. Atoms, are not that. Sure, they may make up a lot of the things in our universe, but they do not make up everything. Secondly, they are not indivisible.
Now, if you have learnt a bit farther in the structure of the atom, you will know the fact that atoms are not indivisible; they are made up of 3 different particles called Protons,
Neutrons and Electrons, and each of them have a charge that makes them unique.
You may think that: Yes, we know about this, what else is there to know? These protons and neutrons, they are indivisible! We have reached the final stage of matter, right?
Well, that’s where you are incorrect. Atoms have one more stage of division (as much as we know) which is even smaller than protons and neutrons. Quarks.
Quarks are one of the smallest particles ever conceived and observed.. They are the building block of Protons and Neutrons! Normally there are 3 quarks that make up a particle, each of them being a type of quark, which gives the particle its uniqueness. For example, for Protons, it is 2 up quarks and one down quark. This gives the proton its charge and uniqueness.
And to have these quarks bond with each other and make a particle, you need to have another particle, called a gluon. Like the name suggests, the gluon is like the glue that holds the quarks together and helps make them into a bigger particle. Without gluons, we would not have anything.
Now, let’s talk about one of the most important parts of the atom, which is extremely essential in everything. The Electron.
The Electron, as we all have been told, orbits the nucleus. But, if the electron wasn’t
here at all, if it wasn’t orbiting the nucleus always, then we would have unstable atoms and our world would not exist as it is today. The electron does the crucial job of stabilizing the atom, and keeping it neutral. And, electrons create electricity, so if we didn’t have one, we wouldn’t have any of the things that we have today: Laptops, Phones, even our lights!
Gravity is one of the main 4 forces, and it is known to almost everybody. The Earth has gravity and the Sun has gravity, right? Well, not really. EVERY object in the known universe has gravity. If an object has a mass, it has a gravity. But, scientists are still clueless on how this force works. Some have theorized particles which carry the force, and some theorize that the force is in the form of a string! Crazy, right?
Electromagnetism is the next force that we have. Again, it is well known, but maybe not as well known as gravity. Electromagnetism is the force between different charged particles. Without electromagnetism, we wouldn’t have lightning, electricity, MRI machines among a multitude of things that are necessary for our life.
Now, we go to the last two, more obscure forces:
Strong forces and Weak forces.
Now, these forces aren’t different because one of them works out and the other doesn’t🤣
Instead, they are the forces between the smaller things: Atoms. Strong forces are the forces between the subatomic particles: The Quarks. This force binds the quarks together and makes them into the well known protons and neutrons.
The other force, the weak force, is the underlying principle that makes radioactivity possible. This force is responsible for the radioactive decay of atoms, and is a very necessary force.
If even one of these forces did not exist, we would not have had a universe to live in!
Of course there are other particles such as muons, bosons, and I haven’t even touched on the topic of antimatter! Even if one of these things that I mentioned in this article wasn’t there, then we would not have anything and our world as it is would not exist. Size doesn’t matter. The smallest things can make the biggest change. That’s why, no matter how small something is, even if it is at the atomic level, we should always appreciate it. After all,
‘Always appreciate the little things in life.’
Break the Glass- The terror of Glass Cliffs
By: Abhimanyu Rao
I have had the sad opportunity of witnessing an innocent human being run face first into a glass door, and this really shows us what glass can do. It can stop you in your tracks most unexpectedly, and act like a barrier, or a prison of torture, where you can see what the people who are free are doing, while you reach out, and feel the pain of it not looking like you are trapped, and constantly reaching out, only to be blocked by the clear glass! But then, isn’t there something else that glass can do? It can become a cliff, a cliff makes you feel like you are levitating, but it has a HUGE downside, how will you know when it ends? Won’t you just plummet, falling unexpectedly?
Well, these glass cliffs actually exist, and or created when women, or people from minority groups are suddenly placed in positions of power, in companies that are
going through a crisis, and they are (unbeknownst to them, of course) in a lose-lose situation. This is because, if they manage to commandeer the company through the crisis, in which case they are readily demoted to their previous position, or they fail to end the crisis, and are blamed for running the company aground, and while they would have done whatever they could, they are the used as scapegoats. Awful, right?
Why do people do this? Do people believe that they can just give someone a chance that they may never get again, in a silly way to get themselves clear of any backlash, or the opportunity to take the blame for their own actions?
Yes. They do believe it, and it works, because these people are minorities for a reason! No one was willing to stand for them, and their voice was not enough to give them the equality that they deserve. Due to this, more women than men have been forced out of their CEO positions than men, in a 38%:27% ratio! This means that even for the same mistakes, women are held more responsible, and have a higher chance of being fired than men! So, to put it simply, women and minorities, those who do not have the numbers, or influence to defend their jobs, become the “fall guys” for people who orchestrate the entire incident.
I know that many of you may be very surprised by this subheading, but all coins have two sides, and so does the glass cliff coin. Sometimes, the intention is not to make a perfect “fall guy”, but to actually find the right person for the job, and that person is a woman, or a minority, and that is not at all an incident of when the glass cliff occurs! For example, Carly Fiorina became the CEO of HP in 1999, and only resigned in 2005 because of a disagreement with the board! This just goes to show that not all actions have a secret malicious intent.
Now come the cons. Firstly, there is the fact that this is like a once-in-a-lifetime offer for minorities and women, who then decide to take it, because it will give them a rare opportunity to try and make their company more inclusive, which is usually white men, will think about it and usually decide against it, because this offer usually comes while the company is going through a crisis, and therefore, they find it too risky, and know that they may be offered the position again, and with that in mind, they refuse the offer of becoming CEO. Furthermore, this “risk”, of the company’s first minority CEO can set a bad precedent, if the CEO fails, and prevent minorities from reaching such heights again.
There is only one solution to this gargantuan problem, and that is to promote equality, and ensure that this sort of despicable action never happens again. There must be some sort of monitoring from the government that regulates the appointment of people in power, and have a team that goes through these people’s profiles and qualifications, and decide whether or not the person is the right choice, or whether there is a secret reason for the appointment of said person. While this may sound excessively tedious, it is the only way to flush out this villainous discrimination once and for all!
By: Agastya Rao
-An all women Air India Crew, is making history for the longest non-stop non commercial flight operated by any airline to India. The flight took off from San Francisco and will land at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. For all our readers who are aviation buffs, the aeroplane is a Boeing 777-200LR. This flight will take 17 Hours and cover more than 16,000Km, and fly over the North Pole (a highly technical flying skill is needed for this). We salute the Pilots and Crew of the Flight!
- Claire Polosak became the first female match official in a Men’s Test match, at the Third Test Match between India and Australia. She was already the first woman official in an ODI series between Oman and Namibia. We hope that more women officials and umpires take part as officials in Men’s Cricket matches.
- Lawyer Jane Spilsbury helped contribute to major marine sightings when she took it upon herself to find out more about Whale Migration in Kenya. Up until now, whale sightings were unheard of to most locals and tourists. To track and prove the existence of whales in Kenya, she and her marine biologist husband carried out extensive research, were helped by local fishermen, and went on long sea expeditions.They discovered humpback whales in Kenya. Working with the Kenyan Government, they helped increase local tourism numbers, even in the pandemic. A little initiative can go a long way!
-The sports industry took a hit during the pandemic. Social Distancing norms and lockdown rules came into effect. Now, the industry is slowly recovering, with Tennis, Football and Basketball matches resuming, in ‘ safety bubbles’. I had written an article in Weekly Digest #11 about how cycling returned to its splendour during the pandemic, another sport that has seen its participants, learners and viewing increase is…. Golf! The Golf Industry has found a lot of success, as Golf is one sport that can be played safely with social distancing during the pandemic. Even golf viewership has vastly improved. The economy is slowly getting back on track, and with sales of Golf equipment surging, we can slowly get back on track. I really enjoy playing golf, and if you get the chance to try it, you definitely should!
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Burying the dead had been thought as something only Homo Sapiens, us humans, have ever done in the history of the world. Archaeologists have always debated if other species of humans did the same. Fresh analysis of a 14000 year old Neanderthal skeleton that was discovered in a cave in France way back in the ‘70s has now proved that Neanderthals did indeed bury their dead.
An ancient slab of marble from the Roman times was discovered in a garden in Southern England (after being used as a house mounting block for years) and is now a mystery for experts to solve.
A ring named Marigold with a whopping 12368 diamonds has set a new Guinness World Record. The ring was designed by Mr Harshit Bansal of Renani Jewels, Meerut.
Guess what! Identical twins may not be fully identical after all. Researchers recently reported in Nature Genetics that, on an average, identical twins differ by 5.2 genetic changes.
Ever wondered how humans’ best friends, i.e. dogs, became domesticated? Researchers recently claimed that ice age hunters fed leftovers of meat to wolves and turned them into dogs. Let’s wait for further research on this, but this sounds like a fascinating discovery!
Entertainment quotient for the week:
A. Apple TV +
Guns of Navarone
C. Disney + Hotstar
By: Agastya Rao
Tennis- Australian Open Qualifiers
The Australian Open Qualifiers are underway! Defending Champion in the Men’s Singles Category Novak Djokovic has been ranked as the first seed, followed by Rafael Nadal as the second seed with One Australian Open Grand Slam championship win in 2009, and the third seed as Dominic Thiem, last year’s Australian Open Runner Up.
Two highlighted players who were among a group of players awarded Wildcards into the Main Draw are-
India’s Sumit Nagal, who made history for being the first Indian to go qualify for the second round of the US Open in 2020 since 2013, he has a bright and promising future ahead of him. India has high hopes for him, and we wish him the very best.
Former World Number 1, 3 time Grand Slam Champion, 2 time Olympic Gold Medal and One Olympic Bronze Medal winner AND 5 time Australian Open Finalist, Andy Murray. All eyes will be on the current World Number 123 who is looking to make a comeback.
Women’s Singles defending champion Sofia Kenin has been seeded at Rank 4 in the Women’s Singles Draw. The Top 3 ranked are-
Current World Number 1 Ashleigh Barty, who was one of the Semi-Finalists last year, will be looking to clinch the trophy this year. She is seeded first.
Current World Number 2 Simona Halep, who was also a Semi- Finalist in the Australian Open 2020 is seeded second.
Current World Number 3 Naomi Osaka, who was the Championship winner in 2019, will surely try her best to win this year.
Ranked 11th in the World Serena Williams, who has won the Australian Open 7 times, will be looking to equalise a world record set by Margaret Court for winning the most Grand Slam titles.
-Charlotte Hornets Point Guard LaMelo Ball, (3rd Pick in the NBA 2020 Draft), made history by becoming the youngest player in NBA history to make a Triple Double. According to the BBC, a triple double is when a player gets a Double Digit Total in Points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.
-The Philadelphia 76ers are currently at the top of the Eastern Conference Table with a 7-3 Win Loss record, with the Boston Celtics in at Number 2. In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns are also at the top of the table, with a 7-3 Win:Loss Ratio, with the LA Lakers closely behind at Number 2.
The Third Test match, in a series of four with India Versus Australia is currently underway, with the series tied 1-1. We shall see who wins the Third game :)
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