Weekly Digest #4
Updated: Jan 6, 2021
THE PAPERLESS PRESS
The Weekly Digest.
-Plus our regular movie , book review, entertainment review,
- Happiness quotient from around the world
-Article:All Hail The Mighty Tardigrade:Ever wanted to meet an indestructible teddy bear?
-Article:Online School: Where do we draw the line?
-The New-Did you know? Section
-The Weekly Changemaker Show:With The Paperless Press
Online school: Where do we draw the line?
We have a lot to be grateful for right now, and one of those innumerable things is the allowance to learn right now. All our schools and teachers have been working very hard in an attempt to make virtual learning the best possible experience. This has made our education seamless, but we are currently looking at this scenario from a very one-dimensional view. Most of us live in big cities and have not faced logistical challenges in preparing ourselves for virtual learning, but teachers in many smaller cities, with smaller schools and inadequate access to technology are now facing multiple challenges. We at the Paperless Press by Ms. D Suneetha, who is a teacher in a government school in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. She informed us of the trouble she and her colleagues were facing. She told us that her students lag behind in speaking English, and many of them have no smartphones, ipads, laptops or other devices. She and her fellow teachers were working extra hard to prepare lessons, but many students are still excluded from the ambit of learning.
Unfortunately, the lockdown caught us all unawares, and not one of us had enough time to prepare for all that was yet to come. Many of us were lucky enough to have at least one device to connect from, but as I said before, not all of us. Looking at the data available on education so far, things don't look rosy - less than 25% of students complete school. We see and worse, less than 10% make it to college. For a majority of poor children including children of migrants, schools provide more than just an education - schools also mean much needed midday meals, and for many, an escape from conditions of abuse at home. Many experts predict that a large chunk of first generation learners will never be able to return to school. With rising unemployment figures, many children of school going age have started working on farms and shops. This is the grim reality we face. We seek s and worse, less than 10% make it to college. For a majority of poor children including children of migrants, schools provide more than just an education - schools also mean much needed midday meals, and for many, an escape from conditions of abuse at home. Many experts predict that a large chunk of first generation learners will never be able to return to school. With rising unemployment figures, many children of school going age have started working on farms and shops. This is the grim reality we face.
But not all hope is lost. So what can we do about it? One of the many things is being done by many organizations, like the Shiv Nadar School, and parents’ associations of schools including the Shri Ram School Aravali, and that is collecting old devices to provide to people who need them, but the FULL responsibility cannot fall on public shoulders (YES, Government, I am pointing at YOU). Governments in every State must invest in hardware like tablets for every single student. Maybe it’s also time to look at a community radio based learning. If the right to education has to mean something, now is the time for governments to prove their commitment.
We seek suggestions from our readers for bringing technology to every child, so that no one gets left behind.
Corona, Us Humans do not stop there
By Mihir Rao
Even though coronavirus is making us stay at home, our collective force is not diminished, even by a bit.
An example of this and the main topic for this week’s cover story is the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This movement was started in 2013 after the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin, started as a Facebook post titled “Black Lives Matter”. This post resonated with millions of people all around the world and a simple hashtag went on to become one of the largest social movements in the USA and found support all over the world. In simple terms, BLM advocated for anti -racism, and non-violent protest against police brutality and racially motivated violence.
You can read more about the co-founders here: https://blacklivesmatter.com/our-co-founders/
But for now, I am going to talk about the spread of the movement. BLM has suddenly picked up since the lockdown started and has affected a lot of people’s lives positively and has spread through all of America, and even the other countries of the world, resonating in entire continents, like America, Europe, and even Asia, among others.
The BLM began with the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin, and like I said before, this movement aims to have equality for all races and all colours, with no discrimination.
The BLM movement gained traction by organizing rallies and protests, but it really became popular through the use of Social Media. This medium proved to be extremely effective and caught the attention of the Internet, as it spread quickly.
Some major protests involved the Cleveland State University Protest, where people gathered to protest against the detention of an African American teenager who was supposedly intoxicated. To try and control the strength of the crowd, a police officer used a burst of pepper spray which invoked many people’s criticism towards the police and support towards the BLM movement.
It invoked the support of celebrities such as Adam Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Beyoncé among others. But, this movement did not stop right there. It went to the hub of the Internet, where anyone could become popular, YouTube. From there, it gained a huge following and many youtubers, such as Liza Koshy, DanTDM, Logan Paul, among others.
The BLM movement has gone from being ‘any other organization’ to being an international voice for the people who have been discriminated against. This organization is not just a voice, not just an organization, it is a symbol, for all the injustice that has happened to people, just because their skin pigmentation was different..
Black Lives activists released “Campaign Zero,” provides ten policy solutions that were finalised by a group of activists, protestors and researchers across the USA. This document brings together demands from the African American community, suggestions made by research organizations and the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
In conclusion, This Black Lives Matter movement proves the fact that the lockdown hasn’t diminished our ability to make a change, it has
HAPPINESS QUOTIENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD
-London Natural History Museum is preparing to open!
-Two newly discovered species of flies were named after comic book legends-Deadpool, Stan Lee, Loki, Thor, and Black Widow.
-A woman was reunited with her teddy bear which had a recording of her late mother’s voice. The bear was stolen while they were shifting houses. Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds gave a 15,000 dollar reward to anyone who found the bear, and it worked. Thank You, Ryan Reynolds!
Did You Know?
By Agastya Rao
- You may have seen lots of black and white photos being posted on social media by women in your family, using the hashtag #challengeaccepted, as a mark of solidarity. More than 3 million people have come out in support of this movement by posting black and white photos. This has also been supported by many celebrities like- Cindy Crawford, Khloe Kardashian.They are also nominating others to post a photo. This campaign is really picking up speed.
But do you know the actual origin of the hashtag? #Challengeaccepted the hashtag originally used to spread cancer awareness is now being used to support women of Turkey who are being killed because of Domestic Abuse. although many critics of the cause, especially cancer survivors found it to be patronising and silly.
More recently, Turkish feminists and activists have been using black-and-white photos to highlight Turkey’s growing rate of femicide (killings of women) and the shocking violence Turkish women face every day. The reason for using black and white photos was a reference to how the media features black-and-white photos of women who were found dead. Please talk to your parents and tell them about the origin of the hashtag, so that the real intent is better known.
Changemakers among us -Mihir Vardhan
Written by Agastya Rao
As interviewed by Team Paperless Press
“Knowledge is power” - we’ve been hearing this for years. Knowledge absolutely has the power to make a change. Presenting to you, a young changemaker among us who used knowledge for the betterment of society even during the pandemic - Mr.Mihir Vardhan.
This week we interviewed him. Now for a little context. Mihir (Not to be confused with our Co-Editor Mihir Rao!) has just completed High School from the Shri Ram School Aravali and has loved science from a young age. He used his knowledge and love for Robotics and science and put them together to create some fun and useful items, such as
1) 3D print face shields using plastic folders, and
2) 14 disinfectant machines- to disinfect packages that are delivered. He even gave some of these to the Indian Army and The Government Of India.
3) A robotic fetch toy for his dog Scotch :); and many, many more.
It seemed only fitting that we interviewed him. Here are some highlights of the interview we had with him (Over Zoom) - it was such a fun interview! Mihir gave us so many fun insights that we ended up chatting for over an hour. Presenting Part 1 today, and we shall present Part 2 in next week’s edition.
Q1- We are curious to know, were you as interested in science as a child? Were you constantly taking apart toys to see what was inside?
Ans- “:Definitely, in fact I took that to another level. Both my parents were electrical engineers, my dad introduced us to bulbs/circuits etc. My brother lost interest but I kept it. My parents really supported me through this and I am very glad that they did.”
Q. Please tell us more about the Terminator and the face shields.
Ans. The face shields weren’t my idea alone. I had built a 3 D printer towards the end of 11th grade and had even bought one, so I had those lying around. I used them a lot for my robotics projects. One of the Board members of our apartment complex, Mr James Abraham, reached out for face shields for staff who were going to disinfect the complex. I went online and realised there were two companies that had designed shields that could be 3 D printed. Within half an hour of my conversation, I downloaded the file, and had two shields ready within two hours. I started offering those to our neighbours who are doctors, and gradually I realised there was a huge demand for these. I just filled that 2-3 week void during Lockdown 1 until proper production could begin.
After I made the face shields, I realised that right now in this pandemic, engineers can really come up with a lot of solutions. Being an aspiring engineer myself, I figured there must be something else I could do. I started researching 3D printing valves that would allow one ventilator to support two patients. I spoke to a few medical experts and hospitals and they said it would help. That’s when I stumbled upon ultraviolet light, which was used for decades in hospitals, to sanitise things. If you see ROs at home, they use UV too. I found that no one had published a paper saying UV light could kill the coronavirus, although it was done successfully with the previous virus, Sars CoV1. So the first Terminator Mega placed at our apartment complex, I worked with the carpenters and electricians and had the machine ready in a week.
So far, I think no one else is making UVC chambers at such an affordable price, because honestly this is not a business. The two things I love are - One, it is guaranteed to give you the irradiation needed to kill viruses; and secondly, the entire machine is built by carpenters, and not in a factory. During the pandemic, a lot of these guys have had their jobs impacted - and I made the machines with the help of carpenters in South City. Thirdly, because of the way we produce it, we can make it quite affordable. We made 14 of these machines and we gave 7 of these to the Government and the Army; two for my apartment complex and a smaller one for my home (The Terminator Mini) with the same interface and simple to use. The amazing thing about UVC light is that it is very safe to sanitise packages, including milk and vegetables, if used properly.
Q. If you could build anything you wanted to, and had the resources and time, what would you build?
Ans. These are insanely good questions! I would definitely get into studying solar energy storage systems. Solar energy technology is progressing so far and so fast, except politically the biggest bottleneck is how we store the energy. Batteries are expensive and inefficient. I realised how expensive they were when I used them for my projects. The second we improve the way we store solar energy, it is going to become cheaper to store and use. I am very interested in this field, and hopefully once I graduate, this is the field I want to work in.
Q. What is the next invention you are thinking of working on?
Ans- Right now, I am working on a few solutions to help during Covid times. I can talk about other projects once they are ready.
Another fun project I am working on, just for fun, is making an internet controlled rover with a camera, to do a bit of image recognition. If you’ve seen my YouTube channel, a long time ago I made this robot
That takes a nerf gun and shoots you in the face (Edit- we have, and it’s a hilarious video). A lot of people think science is all about books and is boring, so that video was just to show science isn’t just boring. So with this robot, it can help me with tasks - maybe when I play tennis, it can pick up tennis balls; when I play with Scotch, it can help along.
Visit him at - mihirvardhan.com
(To be continued next week)
-The Terminator Mini
“The Light in the darkness, you are finally found!” Eid Mubarak!
Photo Credit-Abhimanyu Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
A.Amazon Prime Video:
C. Apple Tv+
-Snoopy In Space
All hail the mighty Tardigrade: Ever wanted to meet an indestructible teddy Bear?
By Agastya Rao
Doesn’t this animal look cute, like a little Teddy Bear? This is the virtually indestructible Tardigrade. Vibranium meets its top competitor!! Tardigrades have become A-List celebrities in the science world now. Think of them as the Science Avengers. The Tardigrades can survive the harshest conditions on the planet. When science sent them up to the moon; they survived. When scientists found them in the Himalayas,they survived. When scientists found them in the Mariana Trench; they survived. So how did they survive in places where we can’t? Let me explain…
These tiny creatures were first discovered by a German Zoologist named Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773- He called them ‘Water Bears’. They are microscopic and only 0.5mm long! They are said to be aquatic creatures because they need a thin layer of water around them to survive. Here are some amazing facts about The ‘Indestructible’ Tardigrade-
1.They can live for upto 30 Years without food and water
2.They can withstand more than 6 times pressure of some of the deepest ocean trenches.
3.They can survive in space,being boiled and absolute zero temperature!
4. Personally, I would like to call them super powered
Wake up Superman, You're Not the strongest now!
From The Literary World:
Looking for Books? See how we rank this week’s top book-
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson:
By Agastya and Abhimanyu Rao
This Beautiful book is the perfect display of poetry as a coping mechanism for loss. As Lonnie Collins Motion AKA. LoCoMotion, with the help of a very kind teacher, begins to cope with the loss of his parents, his home, and his separation from his sister. He is angry and in pain, and his teacher and his poetry help him express his emotions. His poetry is raw and powerful, and helps narrate the story of loss and hope, and future. Don’t let the size of this book deceive you, for it may be small, but to quote the most powerful jedi master, “Size Matters Not. Judge me by my size do you? Hmm…(Trigger warnings - death of parents, separation from a sibling, extreme sadness. It might be helpful to chat with your parents about the poems)11+
More from the past two weeks:
On 26th July, Kargil Vijay Divas, we saluted the sacrifice of the armed forces and commemorated the victory in the Kargil war.
On 1st August, Eid-al-Adha was celebrated across the country. As we wished our friends and family, everyone prayed for the world to helm so that this festival of togetherness would never again have to be celebrated away from loved ones.
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
Before You go-
Please tell us what else you would like us to write about.
A Note To Our Readers:
We thank our readers for helping us in our endeavours. Our mission is to spread awareness of what is going on around the world from a child’s perspective. Our aim is to bring happiness and hope to people when they have none, the lockdown has broken us, torn us apart and has exacted a mental and physical toll on us. We hope that you stay safe and sound in these uncertain times. We welcome as much feedback as you can give to help improve our articles. We hope you enjoyed this issue! Keep smiling and please spread the word.
-Team Paperless Press
We hope this issue brightened up your day!
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