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Weekly Digest #34


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The lost art of P’s and Q’s

By: Mihir Rao


Everyone here knows the art of conversational skills, and some of you readers may be proficient in it. But one ESSENTIAL part of this fundamental practice is another art that most people forget, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today: The lost art of P’s and Q’s.


P’s and Q’s, to those who don’t know it, are Please’s, and Thank you’s. This entails a gigantic portion of how we phrase our speech and writing, and is crucial for day to day life in this world.


You may ask, why is this needed? Aren’t these expressions only needed in a formal setting? Well, that is a big misconception. This art has been viewed as a crutch to the conversation, only needed when someone is applying for a job, talking to their boss, or something else that is formal.


But wait! Formal communication is wildly different from Polite communication. While formal communication may entail all of the things that I mentioned above, polite communication is completely different and doesn’t require a specific type of environment to function.

Anyway, let’s get started!



Firstly, there are some phrases that people need to learn. First, the two words that have been forgotten by many spoiled brats around the world (hee hee), “Please”, and “Thank you”. It’s necessary to request for something, since one should not demand for things. Thank you is just a nice addition that may brighten someone’s mood after they give you something that you have requested for.

When you’re trying to ask someone if they would like something politely, you always have to use the word would, to make it a polite sentence.

But, enough with the grammar lessons, let’s move on to something that people don’t really do that much.




Assertive communication.


There are 3 types of communication. Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive.

Passive communication is when you don’t really provide your opinion and let the other person go along with whatever they’re saying. This may put you at risk of being a pushover.



Aggressive communication is when you enforce your opinion on the other person and don’t let them provide their perspective.


Lastly, Assertive communication is when you provide your opinion in a non-aggressive way, and let the other person also voice their opinion. This lets the person make a correct decision without harming them in any way.

Let me give you some examples:


Case 1: Your friend comes up to you and asks you if you want to try a cigarette.

These are your responses:


Passive: Okay, I’ll try one then…


Aggressive: HEY! SMOKING IS DANGEROUS AND ANYONE WHO DOES IT IS BAD! I HATE YOU!


Assertive: No, I wouldn’t like one, and you shouldn’t try one too, since smoking can harm you.


Case 2: Your friends berate you for not doing something they want to.

Passive: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.. I’ll do it..

Aggressive: OH YEAH?! WELL I DON’T CARE! IF I DON’T WANT TO DO IT THEN LEAVE ME ALONE OKAY?! I HATE YOU! (I love doing these lines😂 )


Assertive: I didn’t want to do it, but that won’t ruin my character. I’m still the same friend I always was, and there’s no reason to believe otherwise.


So, you can guess which one’s the better option, and you now know how to use this type of communication. I consider my job here done. 😂

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Cover Story-


Boots on the Ground: Regional Flights

By: Agastya Rao



Welcome to another segment of the Boots on the Ground series! Boots on the Ground is your go to place for articles and first hand accounts written on site at various important locations by us. Our last Boots on the Ground segment in Weekly Digest #16 was a guest submission of the review of a Vande Bharat Flight.


In this digest, I shall take you on a trip through my experience of flying during the Pandemic on a domestic Flight. This shall take you step by step about everything you need to know before taking a domestic flight, from the all important question of whether meals will be served, and precautions that you and the airline will take to ensure your safety. I had not met my grandparents in over a year, and the safest option was to take a flight as opposed to a train. Here is my experience combined with some of my personal tips and my overall review of the flight!


1. Phase 1- Before the Flight


Covid cases are on the rise, and even though vaccines are being administered daily, right now they are not enough to keep up with the rise of daily Covid-19 cases. However, The Paperless Press is all about positivity and therefore, I would like to give you some tips for safe air travel during Covid-19. Let me talk about my experience before the flight - all the way from entering the airport to checking in.


I would recommend reaching the airport at least 2-3 hours early, because the second we reached the airport… it was madness. Quite a few people had not worn masks, or had not worn masks properly while going through the pre-airport entry security check. The Pre-Entry lines were surprisingly long and there was little or no social distancing in the lines at all. This crowd and commotion was at 6 am!


-My tip #1: "When in the line, try putting your suitcase/bag right behind you to ensure that people stay at least 3 feet away from you and this will help you have at least some form of social distancing from. Do remember, that a mask is a must at all times.


After entering the terminal (T3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi) there was more social distancing, most people had worn masks properly and at least at the check in counter- there was enough social distancing. The staff members at the airline counter had worn a mask and there was a good distance maintained and a glass barrier between the passenger and the check in employee. This led me to breathe a sigh of relief. Little did I know what would await me at the security check stage."


-My Tip #2: “Do remember to visit the website of the airline you are using to see if they ask for any specific information or things to be carried. For example, you may need to get a Covid Test done before you board your flight. This may depend on your destination - travelling to and fro some States currently requires passengers to carry a negative report for a Covid test.


We got a covid test done and printed the report and carried it with us, just to be safe. Do also check Covid Restrictions/ Regulations for the region you are flying to. These too may vary from location to location. I would recommend getting a covid test done within the 96 hour limit. Do also remember to print your own boarding pass before leaving for the airport, to reduce touch points at the airport. During web check-in, you may be asked to provide you address at your destination"


--

The Security check was a whole other story. Just like any typical busy Indian airport, there were people jumping the queue and minimal social distancing. The security personnel had all worn masks, and one thing I noticed was that the major point of contact was everyone was utilising the same trays to put their luggage to be scanned in.


I don’t think the trays were sanitized each time, but it was just one thing I noticed.

After the security check all the cashiers and store workers inside the shops at the airport had worn masks, and many shops had a hand sanitiser stand outside the shop. All employees at the Foodcourt had also worn masks and the tables at the foodcourt were kept away from each other at a minimum of 3-5 feet of distance. This was a good addition to safety features at the airport.


At the boarding gate (which we had to run to because we got late due to the long lines and security check commotion, even after reaching a good 2 hours before our flight) we were given a small care package of sorts which contained a surgical mask, face shield and a bottle of hand sanitiser.



Most passengers had put on the face shield provided. If you were not sitting with your family member and were travelling as a solo passenger you were asked or requested to put on a PPE kit, though it was not made compulsory. I was sitting with my mother and my brother and therefore only needed to put on the face shield and keep my mask on. There were also people who had put on a PPE kit and another good sign was that there were one or two specially marked dustbins to dispose of your PPE kit upon arrival.


-My Tip #3- I would highly recommend wearing the Face Shield provided by the airline when you are sitting with your family on the flight too. If you are travelling solo- a PPE kit will make you feel much safer!


Phase 2- On the Flight


99% of the people on the flight had worn their masks throughout the flight. Many of the seats were empty and some rows were also left empty. On the flight, passengers were given a prepackaged meal in a box and a tetra pack of juice and there was no tea / coffee served. Many passengers kept their masks on through the flight and did not end up eating the snack.



All the Cabin Crew members had worn masks, PPE kits and face shields. So overall, the flight was relatively safe. There was also no priority boarding of any form and boarding was staggered to decrease contact. Once the plane landed, passengers also departed from the plane in a staggered manner and sets of 5 rows each.


-My Tip #4- I for one chose to just have juice on the plane, because I would not have to take my entire mask and face shield off just to drink juice. You can decide whether you wish to quickly take your mask off and grab a snack, or avoid it altogether. Our flight was just an hour long, so it made no sense to eat a meal and take my mask off for an unnecessary risk.


Phase 3- After the Flight


After landing (at Amritsar International Airport) the airline (Vistara) told us that we may be asked to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival, but that never happened. We were not supposed to fill up any forms at all as to where we were going etc, we were given no information about if we have to home quarantine ourselves or not. According to the rules and a government document provided on the airline’s website, “passengers would have to submit a written undertaking to health officials for self monitoring their health status….”. All of this was non-existent at the airport. So post landing, it was pretty bad.


-My Tip #5- Wrap your suitcase in a cover or cling film. You can easily rip the film off after you pick up your suitcase. Everyone’s suitcases go on the same converter belt, and this means THOUSANDS of passengers’ luggage. This will also decrease the risk of carrying any virus back home with you on your suitcase. (Though I didn’t wrap my suitcase, a few people I know did, and I thought it was a smart thing to do and decided to share it.)

Here is a final roundup of the safety measures that the airline took and that we took-


Airline:

-Masks were mandatory.

- Pre-packaged food and drinks.

- Provided sanitiser, face shield and PPE Kits.

- Staggered boarding to ensure lesser contact.

- Web Check in to decrease contact.


Me-

-Wore a mask, face shield and maintained social distancing even in crowded lines (Read tip #1)

- Did not eat a meal on the flight to decrease taking my mask off. (Read tip #4)

- Took a Covid-19 Test within the 96 hour limit and printed it and brought it with me (Read tip

#2)


*If you are taking a regional/international flight and want to know more airline specific information about safety measures etc, be sure to check the Covid-19 travel information section on the airline’s website.*



Hits/Misses and the Conclusion-


I thought the safety measures taken by the airline were great and a few let downs were mainly the lack of social distancing and masks at the pre security check in at IGIA Delhi and the fact that no forms etc were given and no Covid Test were taken at the Amritsar Airport.


Overall, I think with a few tweaks, regional flying during covid could be even safer! This is good news, especially with summer holidays coming up. The experience was great, and I never thought I would fly with a mask on, but it was an interesting experience.




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Dream On!

By: Abhimanyu Rao



We humans love to sleep. Sleeping relaxes us, we can let go of all our worries, and we can spend some time doing absolutely nothing! We sleep in many different places, in many different positions, and for varying lengths. Sleeping is a string of various

variables, but one thing that is almost always constant is… Dreaming!

Dreams are various scenarios and images that you see at night, and some of them are relaxing, while others are terrifying (called nightmares), but all dreams are equally baffling. Today, I am going to write about these mysterious, confounding things called dreams.


What are they?


Dreams are images, instances, and ideas that you see and feel while you sleep. They are different from thoughts. Thoughts have a lot of logic associated with them, but dreams could be anything from you being chased by a bear (possible), to you becoming a bear who is also a lion and can control water and resides in a volcano (IMPOSSIBLE).


If you find dreams baffling, you are most certainly not alone. Since the beginning of time, people have been baffled by dreams.

In ancient Mesopotamia, kings used to document their dreams on wax tablets. In ancient Egypt, priests made a booklet out of the most common dreams and the meanings they interpreted from them. Since then, we have discovered exoplanets and nebulae, new species of animals, we have made vaccines! Even then, we haven’t solved the mystery of dreams. Nevertheless, there are a few theories:

  1. Emotions: The most popular theory is that dreams confront your emotions and counsel you through your problems, almost like a therapist.This theory is supported by the fact that the brain is governed by emotions more during the day than at night. This means that your brain may be trying to get you to deal with things that have occurred during the day, especially if that instance involved a heated argument or something you did in anger. Your dreams may exist to guide you through your feelings, and reflect on what went wrong.

Rehearsal for fight-or-flight: The most active part of our brain while we dream is the amygdala. The amygdala is mostly used for fight-or-flight decisions. This brought forth the theory that dreams are actually rehearsals for these decisions, so that you are well prepared enough to make these decisions if you ever need to. This is an interesting way of interpreting dreaming, but it really is like any time you are preparing a play, you rehearse until you get it right!

  1. Wishes and yearnings: Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are a depiction of your wishes from the past that were never fulfilled. He believed that your dreams are a combination of items in your daily life that are meant to signify wishes of yours that were never fulfilled. Furthermore, he believed that these dreams could be analysed to find the root to any issues you may be facing, and help you deal with them!

Sleep on it!: The saying, “Sleep on it” has been around for very long, but does anyone know where it began? Well, studies have shown that dreaming about a problem you need to solve is the best way to solve it. In 2010, scientists put together an experiment which used an exceptionally complex 3D maze. Subjects who slept between their first and second attempts of going through the maze, and dreamt about the maze while sleeping were10 times more successful than people who did not! This led the scientists to believe that there are a few thought processes that occur only when you sleep, and applying those to the maze caused this success.



3.Memory Assistance: Your memory is extremely valuable, and your body knows that. Therefore, it is important to clear your short term memory and move some memories to long term. To do this, your body needs some downtime, so sleeping and dreaming will move all your memories, and dreaming about a few things may keep them in your brain for longer. (Watch Pixar Studios’ Oscar-winning film Inside Out for an animated depiction of emotions, memories, and the inside of our brain!)


4.Screen Saver: We all know that our brains need to remain active for us to survive, but just like our computers, our brain also needs to decrease energy consumption at times. Like our laptops have screen savers, it is possible that our dreams are screensavers for our brains, while they go into low power consumption mode. That is a cool way of comparing our brain to a computer, and is a really exciting way to observe dreams!


Now that we have got some theories laid out, it is up to us to decide which one we would like to believe. What do you think is the most likely answer behind the mystery of dreams? Till then, all we can do is wait for new scientific developments, or make some of our own!

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By: Abhimanyu Rao



-Have you ever watched 10 episodes of a Netflix series in one sitting, only to start feeling guilty about the amount of electricity and wifi you have just used? Well, fear no more, because Netflix has announced that by the end of 2022, they will be completely emission free, and so, you will be guilt free!


-More on the topic of tech giants with new eco-friendly goals, Google has announced that Google Maps is preparing a feature to send people through the most eco friendly option possible. Since Google Maps is very widely used as a GPS, this feature, which will release first in the US, and slowly go across the globe, will really help the Earth in a positive way!


-When it was announced that he had won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, famous actor Rajnikanth thanked a lot of people. He thanked his brother, his family, the Prime Minister, The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and several other people. But one standout person he thanked was Mr. Raj Bahadur, his friend who told him about his first audition and helped him when he was starting out. How heartwarming to see a superstar of his stature acknowledge his humble beginnings and the person who helped him when he was a nobody!


-Los Angeles was recently announced to be the largest city in the US with a No Kill animal shelter! The city has a 90% save rate, which means that approximately 90% of the animals in the shelter make it out alive. Furthermore, the out of the 10% that don’t survive, most of them die due to medical issues, or issues with their behavior that require humane methods of euthanasia, and are not being killed due to lack of space in shelters. This is great news that will surely make your week. This one is particularly special because today also happens to be Stray Animal Day.

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By: Agastya Rao


-I am sure that many of you must have seen your parents or relatives getting the Covid-19 Vaccine and have been yearning to get one. Well, then have good news for you. Pfizer has said that its Covid-19 Vaccine has a 100% efficiency rate in teenagers. Who knows, your wish of getting a Covid-19 vaccine may come true pretty soon!


-Who knew that tiny particles could tell you so much? A recent sample of 17 particles from a mountain in Antarctica shows that a Meteor may have exploded above Antarctica 43,000 years ago! These particles contained quantities of Nickel and Magnesium in quantities that are unusual to Earth. What a discovery!


- In BREAKING NEWS, the Mars Helicopter ‘Ingenuity’ has touched down on the surface of Mars after being dropped off by Perseverance (its mother ship). The helicopter completed a journey of 473 million kilometres aboard the Perseverance. It is carrying a historical piece of the History of Flying: A postage stamp that was once attached to the wing of the first plane to ever fly- the Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers..


-In order to prevent a possible collision between different spacecraft, NASA exchanged information and data of its current mission on Mars with China, India and the UAE and the ESA (European Space Agency). It's amazing to see the cooperation from these 4 countries!


-Scientists used blobs of skin cells from frog embryos to create a new microscopic organism called ‘Xenobots’ which can live for 10 days without food! After being made using stem cells from the embryo of a frog these xenobots made themselves into balls and grew. This could have far reaching implications for the world of science and medicine.




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Entertainment quotient for the week:

A. Netflix

Rise of the Guardians

B. Disney + Hotstar

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers



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By: Mihir Rao


Tennis

In the semi-finals round that took place on the 2nd of April, Jannik Sinner won against Roberto Bautista Agut, having 5 aces, 98 points won and 17 games won. In the other semi-final round on the 3rd of April between Andrey Rublev and Hubert Huracz, Hubert Hurkacz won with 8 aces, 72 points won and 12 games won. The finals will be held on the 4th of April between Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz.


Basketball

On the 4th of April, the Dallas Mavericks lost against the Washington Wizards by 22 points. On the same day, the Philadelphiaa 76ers won against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 9 point lead. The man of the match was Karl-Anthony Towns with 39 points, 5 assists and 14 rebounds.


Cricket

In a thrilling match between India and England on the 28th of March, India won by 7 runs winning the ODI series 2-1. Johnny Bairstow was adjudged Player of the Series, while young Sam Curran was Player of the Match.

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A Note To Our Readers:

We thank our readers for supporting us this past year. 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.


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