Weekly Interlude #3
Updated: Feb 16, 2021
By Agastya Rao
When I flipped on the radio that night, I couldn’t believe the voice I heard coming through the speakers.
(Radio crackles) “The allies have marched into France.They were triumphant in the Normandy Landings, and they are now marching straight to Paris.”
“Wait a minute, this can’t be right”, I thought. I checked my phone - it showed the year 2017. I switched the channels “this year in 2030 and Hugo Walker has been nominated for a Pulitzer.” “Cool”, I told myself, “ What is this? The stupid thing must be broken.” “2020- Coronavirus wreaks havoc throughout the world, a million dead, and counting.”
I asked myself, “Is this like a time machine that tells me about the past and the future?” I can do wonders with this, imagine the advancements that can be made, I can predict things before they happen, like that virus that will kill more than a million people in 2020, and wars, terror attacks. I decided to keep this a secret. In the wrong hands, it could be used to destroy humanity. As the days went on, I decided to prepare for the future, slowly saving the world, one disaster at a time.
As I started figuring out all the secrets of the world, I realised the government locked onto my radio frequencies and was planning to capture the radio. I realised I could not let corrupt politicians get their hands on it. I took out my journal, wrote down my final messages as a ‘disaster prevention diary’ which gave steps to prevent future disasters, and a journal of my deep dive through the future.
With a heavy heart I took a rock and split my radio in half. I was surrounded by waves of light, and disappeared, leaving only ashes behind. I could still see the Feds storming in, my parents weeping. 3 years later, I was nominated for a Nobel Prize for Peace and Literature. My Deep Dive in history was used to teach school students around the newly safe and peaceful world.
The broken radio lay on the floor in pieces, with its final breath it quietly said, “Time travel successful”. From a different time zone, I look on, peacefully.
- Cover Story-
The Broken Family- A Short Story
By Mihir Rao
I was on my way to buy some essential items at the grocery store when an injured policeman stopped me… “STOP THAT MAN!” he exclaimed, immediately coughing and sputtering blood. I was very confused and scared, but I wanted to help that man. “STOP HIM! HE’S GETTING AWAY!”. I frantically looked around and saw a boy who was a little older than me running away with supplies and what looked like a bloody knife.
I felt the droplets of rain slowly cascade down on my body, getting more and more frequent by the second. I saw the sky turn into a cold, dark grey as the looming shades of the clouds hovered over the city.
My family was broken. Ever since my mother fell ill, my father lost his job, everything went downhill. I had to go out and collect money for the family, and become the person that was keeping my family alive.
But after all these mistakes, I was going to do something correct. I ran after the person, the only sounds entering my ears were the pitter-patter of the rain and the squelching of our shoes against the wet pavement.
He halted. As he turned around, the loud, deafening strike of the lightning illuminated his face. “Hello there, brother”.
A Colourful Adventure- A short story
By Abhimanyu Rao
Katya’s eyes widened in realisation. “I have made a huge mistake!” she thought. She had just released the most monstrous thing ever to exist, the item of dreams - no, of nightmares. She had ruptured THE BOX, and released THE CRAYONS…
The Crayons had been kept away from humanity for a reason, after the Great Purge, when all colours absconded from the world, all their power now stored in THE BOX was too much for anyone to contain. It had been two centuries since the colours became too delicate for brash human hands, and much too complex for their puny minds. They Left the surface of the world, away from human reach to protect both themselves and humanity. For humans would destroy their beauty in attempts to collect them, and their complexity would drive humans mad. The lust for control over colour, the power that will redefine reality, the power to create worlds, and humanity would unravel.
The power stored in THE BOX would soon spread across the world, and people would know the crayons were out there now, and people would search for them, Katya, the world's most infamous thief, who had wanted THE CRAYONS and THE BOX both for herself, to parade, and to use it as the perfect bargaining chip for ANYTHING. Alas For the first time in her life, she FAILED! Dejected, she returned to the surface, only to find the most astonishing of instances. She saw purple bicycles driving on humans, and dogs in conferences, arguing about stocks, and humans walking on all fours, with leashes on them, being walked by lampposts. Then she looked up, and she was surprised, there was no lust for power, no battles for supremacy, but reality had been destroyed!
The purple bicycles started a rebellion, and dogs took over the corporate world. In one final moment, all the colours in the world went at an astonishing speed into Katya, who had been cowering in fear in a bunker somewhere beside the Thames. Imbued with the most painful curse of all, immortality and everlasting agony, she hurtled out of the Earth’s atmosphere just in time to see the Earth slowly explode. Katya’s eyes widened in realisation. “I have made a huge mistake!” she thought.
1. Dogs have been our best friends forever. Now they give us one more reason to be thankful. The Indian Army has trained dogs from the native breed Chippaparai and cocker spaniels to sniff out the presence of coronavirus in humans. They do so by identifying metabolic markers in sweat and urine samples provided to them.
2. Coca Cola is launching new bottles made out of 100% recycled plastic material. These will be launched in the USA and we hope they inspire other companies to follow suit.
3. Hawaii became the first State in the USA to ban the sale of sunscreens containing chemicals that harm coral reefs. Scientists say that the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate cause bleaching of corals. A much-needed step towards the protection of corals. Last year Palau became the first country to initiate such a ban. We hope the rest of the world also steps up to save endangered corals.
4. Prominent economist Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is soon to become the first African and first ever woman to hold the post of Director General of the World Trade Organization.
5. 2020 added a positive feather to its cap. This was the first year since1999 when not a single rhino in Kenya lost its life or even a horn.
6. The iconic Empire State Building in New York is now fully powered by wind energy. Good news for the environment!
1. Archaeologists in England were delighted with their latest find in Wittenham Clumps, Oxfordshire. They have unearthed remains of an extended Iron Age settlement. They have uncovered roundhouses as old as 400 BC as well as an enormous Roman villa.
2. The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars, named Hope Probe, successfully entered the red planet’s orbit. This makes the UAE only the fifth country in the world to do so. Hope Probe will collect data from the planet’s atmosphere to create the first complete portrait of Mars’ atmosphere. Continuing from the Mars centred theme of our Did You Know section in the previous Weekly Interlude, we would like to add that NASA's Perseverance rover and China's Tianwen-1 mission were also launched in July 2020. Hope will orbit Mars, Tianwen-1 will orbit the planet and land on it, and Perseverance will land on Mars.
3. Scientists have found that they can study whale songs to create an “ultrasound” of the ocean floor without physically disturbing the ocean floor. This can help reveal information about the earth’s crust and earthquakes without causing any disturbance to marine life.
4. NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a concentration of black holes. The globular cluster named NGC 6397 is 7800 light years away from us and is almost as old as the universe itself. Because of its very dense nucleus, it is known as a core-collapsed cluster.
By Agastya Rao
Tennis (Australian Open)
The Australian Open has Begun! With intense competition the first Grand Slam of the year is action packed [Seriously, Nick Kyrgios Smashed his tennis racquet into the stands!(Don’t worry no one was in the stands :)]
World Number 3 Dominic Thiem suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Aslan Karatsev beat 20th seed Felix Auger Aliassime, and shall challenge Grigor Dimitrov in the Quarter Finals.
Defending champion and World Number 1 Novak Djokovic shall take on 6th seed Alexander Zverev in the Quarter Finals. Novak Djokovic has an apparent injury as we saw in his match against 14th seed Milos Raonic. Will Zverev defeat the defending champion, or will the World Number 1 prevail? According to the ATP Head2Head stats, In their previous meetings, Djokovic has won 5 times and Zverev has won twice. But then again, who said statistics matter?
Currently in full form, World Number 4 Daniil Medvedev shall take on fellow countryman and 7th seed Andrey Rublev. Let us see who wins?
Finally, the last but not the least in the Quarter Finals draws are-
Second seed Rafael Nadal who shall take on fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
ATP Biella Challenger Tournament Italy-
Former World Number 1 Sir Andy Murray signaled a comeback after reaching the finals of the ATP Biella Challenger Tournament this weekend. However, he lost to the world number 212 Illya Marchenko.
He shall continue to the next challenger tournament Biella 2 on the 16th.
Former World Number 1 Serena Williams has also made a comeback and shall be taking on World Number 2 Simona Halep on the 16th in the Quarter Finals. Hmmm... This shall be a truly tough one, who shall win?
3rd Seed Naomi Osaka shall be playing against the 71st WTA ranked Hsieh Su-wei from Taiwan in the Quarter Finals.
World Number 1 and First seed Ashleigh Barty will take on the 27th ranked Karolina Muchova in the Quarter Finals.
It is the Good O’l US of A going up against itself. Jennifer Brady shall go against Jessica Pegula in the Quarter Finals.
The Philadelphia 76ers stay atop the Easter Conference table with an 18 wins- 9 losses ratio. The Utah Jazz have had an amazing pace and are the kings of the Western Conference at the current number one spot with a 22 wins- 5 losses ratio.
England won the First test match against India. The second test match is currently underway.
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