Weekly Digest #77
Updated: Feb 14, 2022
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In this digest-
1. Cover Story- Speedy Space Travel: Are we light years away?
2. TV Show Review- The Book of Boba Fett
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
Speedy Space Travel: Are we light years away?
By: Mihir Rao
Humans always challenge themselves to push boundaries in different arenas. Making tools, discovering fire, creating civilisation, building cities, and now, the natural next step: Going outside of our comfort zone, quite literally. As of now, almost everyone is talking about space, and discovering new planets, stars, and other things. However, there is a potential problem with this, but first, I’ll talk about light.
The natural limit: Light is the fastest thing in the universe, and nothing can surpass it, without breaking the laws of physics. However, the speed of light is finite (specifically 299,792,458 m/s). That may seem like an extremely fast speed, but when compared to the absolutely humongous distances in space, we have to create units other than metres and kilometres: Light years.
Light years, true to their name, are the distance that light travels in one Earth year. One light year is approximately 9 TRILLION metres. Now, this may seem like a little too much, but the closest star system to us, Proxima Centauri, is 4 light years away. That means that whenever we look at the stars and planets in that system, we see how they looked 4 YEARS AGO!
What does this mean for us?
As of now, our rockets’ speeds are roughly 4500 m/s, which means to get to Proxima Centauri, it would take us around 266,000 YEARS! By the way, the past 100 years have included all the things that we all know and love: devices, cars, the internet, etc. The earliest human civilisations didn’t even start until around 6000 years ago, and here, we’re talking about more than 40 times that time frame.
However, one of the fastest man made devices that we have sent out: Voyager 1, has reached an unbelievable speed of 17000 m/s, which means that it would only take a little more than a third of that time to reach Proxima Centauri, which is.. Still 70,000 years. Because of this ‘limit’ set by light, one of the sad things is that we will probably not be able to explore the entirety of our universe. However, scientists have theorised ways to move around in the universe extremely quickly without breaking any rules!
1 . Wormholes
Yes, wormholes. These are actually a feasible method of travelling through space, and if string theory is proven correct, they’re all over the universe! All we need to do to travel around, is to drag one near our planet and put the other somewhere far away in the universe. That’s it, we have a two way gateway to wherever we want!
2. Black Hole Drive
Okay, this may sound a bit crazy, but this is another possible method of attaining near-light speeds. Black holes live for a long time, but they do not live forever, due to a thing called Hawking Radiation. This makes them slowly radiate out their mass over their lives, which means a possible energy source for us! If we somehow are able to transport a small black hole to our ship and harness its radiated energy (without it somehow tearing our ship apart) we can actually travel much faster than before.
3. Warp Speed
Looks like all the science fiction TV shows haven’t got everything wrong after all! Again, this will sound crazy, but bear with me: Travelling faster than the speed of light is impossible - Only if you’re trying to overtake it in the same medium. However, if you bend spacetime in front of you and bend space time behind you, you can essentially make long distances into short distances for yourself, while light travels the long way around. This doesn’t break any rules either, since you’re travelling at the same speed, just travelling a shorter distance.
Hopefully in the future, we’ll be able to travel much faster and farther, and explore worlds unknown, and I hope that we all get to explore space in our lifetimes, and see the amazing world beyond our own for the first time.
Review- The Book of Boba Fett: “Baby Yoda can’t save a stretched out storyline”
By: Agastya and Abhimanyu Rao
Photo Credit - Disney+ Hotstar
Being giant Star Wars fans, we were really excited for the Book of Boba Fett TV Show, mainly because of the mystery Boba had been shrouded in for most of his existence. The show came with an experienced cast and director ( Robert Rodriguez, Spy Kids and Sin City’s director). However, as hyped as the show was following the epic partnership between Boba Fett and master assassin Fennec Shand in their appearances in the critically acclaimed show, “The Mandalorian”, the show failed to live up to the hype, and in our opinion was quite disappointing. The epic “space western” lived up to its role of Space Western, but stretched on for far too long.
While the show had 3 key problems, there were a few things done right with the show.
The Light Side- What they did well with the show:-
Photo Credit - CNET
1. Baby Yoda X The Mandalorian- One great addition to the show was the addition of Grogu (Baby Yoda) and The Mandalorian (Din Djarin). The duo had great chemistry in their own TV show- The Mandalorian.
Their appearances in the latter part of the show helped boost viewerships and ratings a bit and made the viewing experience slightly better with their addition to the storyline , but seemed like a gimmick. The show went from one about Boba Fett, to what seemed like an episode out of The Mandalorian.
Episodes 5 and 6 were the saving grace of the show, directed by famed actor-director Bryce Dallas Howard who directed a few episodes of The Mandalorian, and Star Wars LEGEND Dave Filoni who directed the long running show Star Wars: The Clone Wars and was and still is involved with many other Star Wars TV Shows. Ep 5 and 6 once again focused almost completely on Mando and Grogu, but added interesting elements to the show and made it slightly more interesting to watch for fans of The Mandalorian. The addition of a CGI Luke Skywalker was a big moment of nostalgia for Star Wars fans, and offered an insight into the upcoming third season of The Mandalorian. The addition of Asoka Tano offered a glimpse into the upcoming Tv Show based on her as well.
While we knew that TBOBF (The Book of Boba Fett) was bound to link up to the Mandalorian Season 3 somewhere, the addition and increased spotlight on the Mandalorian and Grogu by showrunners, really took away from the potential the show had.
2. The Addition of the bionic people “Mods”- One thing that piqued our interest in the show was the addition of ‘Mods’, or people who enhance themselves with droid/robot parts. We hadn’t seen them having any major role in a previous Star Wars show or movie and they were interesting characters and were a major part of the story line. Kudos to whoever thought of including them in the show 👏
Photo Credit - Forbes
3. The Mayor’s Majordomo- The addition of the side character who played the Mayor’s Majordomo was a great addition of a character who was more of a Yes Man and added a great line of humour to the show. While the character building was slightly slow, by the last few episodes we were rooting for him!
The Dark Side- Where it all went wrong:-
According to us, the creators really messed up the show. The show was really stagnant with the constant flashbacks of Boba’s life after getting out of the Sarlacc, which was an interesting addition but took away from the great opportunity of going for a great storyline. The storyline was really at a standstill up until roughly the 4th Episode. A great way to have prevented this would have been to leave Boba’s story incomplete, adding to the air of mystery that originally made the character a pop-culture icon.
The constant flashbacks kept holding the story back, with no real progression. The constant back and forth also led to a sense of randomness in the episodes. In our opinion, the show could have gone to further lengths other than just a battle with the Pyke Syndicate over “spice”.
Photo Credit - ComicBook.com
The show made it look like a war on drugs, while it seems like they were going for an all-out inter mafia war.
We asked one of our readers, Rohan Jagadeesan, an avid Star Wars fan, about his thoughts on the show-
- the flashbacks that showed his strong bond to the Tuskens and how his character moved on after return of the Jedi.
- the numerous characters from the animated shows appearing in live action (Cad Bane, the Pykes, etc.)
- fleshing out the characters and factions on Tatooine, and also introducing characters like Krrsantan.
- Danny Trejo as a rancor trainer (that was a nice cameo that I liked lol)
- and the Rancor itself of course
- Boba seemed very naive and out of touch. Fennec had to keep telling him what he should or shouldn’t do, and even his protocol droid had to tell him a lot. He was in charge in the flashbacks, but in the actual show he didn’t even seem like the main character. He should have been tough and in control most of the time, but instead it seemed like everyone else somehow knew more than him despite the fact that he was the best bounty Hunter in the galaxy.
- the action scenes in the first three episodes were quite bad. It got better later but it was REALLY bad in the first three (I think the best example of this is the chase scene with the mod’s rainbow scooters going at like 5 km/h).
- the Mods. They had potential but they never used their modifications for anything or talked about them with the exception of when they went to the mod parlour to fix Fennec. when introduced, the water seller talked about them as if they were dangerous cyborgs but half of them were just goth teenagers with accessories.
- the Mandalorian episodes. They were really great but again it contributed to the feeling that Boba wasn’t even the main character.
The show also strayed into far too many plotlines going from Marshall Cobb Vanth, to flashbacks about Tusken Raiders and random run-ins with the local mayor, and making almost an entire episode about The Mandalorian. While this was obviously to improve the show and also tease episodes of the upcoming shows The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, it ended up looking like a gimmick to keep viewers on the show until the final episode. The show went to great lengths to keep the interest of the viewers up, and the return of characters from The Mandalorian just left us confused as to who the show really is about. This worsened the already sinking condition of the show.
What The Book of Boba Fett could have done better, was have the first episode as a full flashback, and left the rest of the episodes for the actual storyline. And if showrunners really didn’t have enough material to make the show a 7 episode long one, then they should have kept it as a miniseries and ended it.
The Finale- The finale tried its best to redeem the show and had an interesting old time western duel between Cad Bane and Boba Fett, which had a poetic ending. It still seemed to us that even this episode focused mainly on the Mandalorian and Grogu.
To sum it all up, The Book of Boba Fett was more of a wave of nostalgia, filled with a string of flashbacks and a fairly weak storyline. The addition of The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda (Grogu), Asoka Tano, Luke Skywalker and a Rancor tried their best to help keep viewers entertained, but to us, The Book of Boba Fett seems like a wasted opportunity. Either way, we remain hopeful for the upcoming shows- Kenobi, Ahsoka and The Mandalorian Season 3!
By: Abhimanyu Rao
1. Several people believe animals are unfeeling, unthinking, and just completely dumb creatures. This is an awful sentiment to have, and it ends up becoming a sort of sick, twisted justification for instances of animal cruelty. Well, I hope this message reaches everyone, especially such people! Chimpanzees were recently observed applying insects on each others’ bodies, as a form of medicine. In previous observations, chimpanzees were observed performing the insect application only on themselves, however, they have now been observed trying to help other chimpanzees that they have no relation to. This shows that they feel for other chimpanzees who are hurt, and to help ease the pain, they try to help!
2. The President of North Macedonia, Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, made headlines, as well as a powerful statement, when he walked 11 year old Embla Ademi to school. Embla has Down Syndrome, which has led to people bullying her. The President heard of this, and decided to walk her to school, in order to raise awareness about the issue. President Pendarovski said that prejudices are the main obstacle to equality, which is why he wants to eradicate them. It’s great to see such influential people fighting for a better world!
3. In Weekly Digests #62 and #63, I wrote about Whale Hunting and various issues about it. It seems that the ‘modernity’ part of my article is gaining the upper hand. Iceland is planning to ban whaling entirely! They have decided that it isn’t really essential, or even a major part of their economy anymore. The demand for whale meat is steadily decreasing, and the government feels that continuing to kill whales, even when there is no more clear benefit, is not the right step, so they are planning on banning whaling by 2024. While the reasons aren’t entirely great, the step is a good step to preserving the wondrous world we live in.
By: Mihir Rao
1 . NASA has recently announced two new missions to take place, related to our Sun! The missions aim at measuring the magnetic field of its solar wind, and studying its corona. Hopefully, these new missions give us more insight into the mysteries that may occur beneath the surface.
2 . Seems as if misbehaving in class has gone on for millenia; and it has! Just recently, new information has been found on dug up pottery fragments in Ancient Egypt - things like trade information and school texts. However, lines that misbehaving students in Ancient Egypt wrote were also discovered at the same site! This is a truly hilarious discovery, and it shows that life 18,000 years ago wasn’t that different from ours.
3 . Proxima Centauri, the star system that is the closest to our own, has something new for us! Scientists have discovered a THIRD potential planet in the star system, which is a very interesting discovery, since this star system is a mere four light years away from us (Still, that’s a giant 37 trillion kilometres away). This discovery is good for us, since it can help in getting more information about our stellar (🤣) neighbours.
4. The discovery of a child’s molar in a French cave is now a big deal, as it has made two important revelations – One, it is the earliest evidence of humans (Homo sapiens) having lived in Western Europe. Two, since this particular homo sapiens child’s molar was found sandwiched between layers of Neanderthal remains, this shows that these two groups existed in Western France at the same time. This has effectively raised questions on the currently accepted theory that the arrival of the homo sapiens in Europe led to the extinction of the Neanderthals.
5 . Dolly was a dinosaur who lived about 150 million years ago, and mysteriously fell ill, coughing and having a fever. After further examination of the fossil of the dinosaur, scientists have narrowed the illness down to a respiratory infection, which could have been caused by a fungal infection. This discovery is not all bad, since it gives us more information on dinosaurs’ immune systems, and gives us more insight on the prehistoric inhabitants of this planet.
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