ElderFox Documentaries remastered publicly available photos sent back by three Mars rovers in 4K, and ingeniously stitched them together. The result: This stunning which is the closest any of us will get to visiting the red planet. Full-screen laptop viewing recommended.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN JIO Once Mukesh Ambani’s fierce rival in the e-commerce space, Jeff Bezos has decided to join forces with his nemesis instead. Amazon is reportedly planning to buy in JioMart. There is no news on how many more millions of dollars Mukesh-bhai will make out of this latest deal. He has already raised over $20 billion from the likes of Google, Facebook etc for his digital arm, Jio Platforms (More on that in ). In related ‘going local’ news: Flipkart has wholly Walmart India—and its 28 Best Price cash-and-carry stores. The plan: to launch a new digital marketplace called Flipkart Wholesale in August. In related Amazon news: Hackers are using Amazon’s brand-new ‘Pay Later’ option to pay their own paani and bijli bills. Customers are very unhappy. explains how this scam works. In related hacking news: The young men who hacked Twitter last week of up to 36 handles. The silver lining: the only elected official is someone from the Netherlands. Translation: No one peeked into Barack Obama’s DMs. CHINA IS REFUSING TO STAND DOWN More news reports confirm that Beijing is the agreement to create buffer zones—specifically, at Lake Pangong and Gogra in Ladakh. Coming up: Yet another military/diplomatic meeting to resolve the impasse. Already here: new foreign investment rules that for bordering countries—read: China—to bid on government contracts. Nope, TikTok ain’t coming back anytime soon. In other China news: A new report reveals that the 38 leading apparel brands—including Gap, Adidas, H&M, Zara and Victoria's Secret—are sourcing their cotton from detention camps in China. The shocking data point: “Roughly one in five cotton products sold around the world comes from the Uighur heartland.” has more. A QUICK PANDEMIC UPDATE Can you get Covid again? The answer: most likely not. Although there have been stray reports of people falling ill again, these are unlikely to be reinfections. explains why. Also read: longer reported piece. A far less noisy world: The worldwide lockdowns have caused the longest and most pronounced drop in human-created noise in recorded history. As explains: > “Human activity causes vibrations that travel through the ground as high-frequency seismic waves. These waves have increased > worldwide over the past decades, driven by industrial, economic and human population growth, and are most prominent near areas > with large populations.” This “seismic ambient noise” dropped by a jaw-dropping 50% between March and May. A new way to drive: Jaguar Land Rover is developing a new “contactless touchscreen technology” called Predictive Touch. It uses artificial intelligence to reduce the need to actually touch a screen by 50%. explains. An antigen passport for Goa: The local government rapid antibody tests mandatory for travellers. Asymptomatic arrivals who test positive can opt for a home quarantine. A Bangalore travesty: When a domestic worker at a flat tested positive, local authorities decided to seal the apartment doors with metal sheets—effectively sealing in its residents. led to a much-needed U-turn. See insane photo below. has the story. A PLANE TO NOWHERE Asiana Airlines has flown its biggest planes—the A380—twenty times since the pandemic. The flights, which last a few hours, are entirely empty. The reason for this bizarre practice: trainee pilots need to log in flight hours to remain certified. Bloomberg News (via ) has more. In crew-related news: British Airways settled a bitter dispute with its pilot union by the number of job cuts—from 1,255 to a mere 270. But staying on the job can be hazardous too. Point in case: 60 Air India pilots who operated repatriation flights have . In passenger-related news: Emirates is offering worth Rs 13 million to all its passengers—for free! It also includes quarantine costs for up to Rs 8,192/day for 14 days. Also: if you want to fly to the US, you may have to fly SpiceJet—which has been picked as from India. SEXISM THRIVES ON ZOOM WFH has not saved women from the routine sexism of the workplace. New research found that women in the UK has been asked to wear more makeup or dress provocatively for work video meetings—leaving them feeling “objectified, demoralised and self-conscious.” > “The most common ways bosses justified lurid comments about dress included saying it would ‘help to win new business’, it is > important to ‘look nicer for the team’, and ‘it would be more pleasing to a client’, according to the study.” THAT GOLDEN TIGRESS ISN’T CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION In recent days, Twitterati have been cheering a gorgeous photo of a golden tigress—taken at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. But the photographer, Mayuresh Hendre, explains why this sighting is a : > “Golden tigers were only known to be in zoos and breeding centres; finding them in the wild is quite rare. That’s why this > sighting, and the study done by the Kaziranga Forest Department is important. This sighting is not a sign of joy, it’s a sign of > utmost concern. This occurrence is believed to be caused due to recessive genes in individuals, as a result of inbreeding in the > wild, because of habitat destruction and loss of connectivity of Kaziranga with other tiger areas.” That said, a genetic disaster has never been :
Sometimes, all you need is a very pretty, relaxing gif. Also: Here is an to keep you company this weekend.
A LIST OF CURIOUS FACTS One: We all look back and think, ‘what if’—i.e. what if we did or did not make a certain choice or take a certain action. But did you know that there are two types of counterfactual thinking—and only one of them is very good for you? explains. Two: Vegetarians . Reminder: shooting messengers is rarely helpful. Three: Did you know that phrases like ‘tipping point’ and ‘long time, no see’ have highly racist origins? Here are that have an equally shady past. (h/t subscriber Protima Tiwary) Four: ‘’ is a fashion trend and designer Supriya Lele’s iteration is “rooted” in her Indian heritage: “I’m always looking at my culture from a skeletal perspective.” Aren’t we all? See said ‘skeletal perspective’ below. Five: Did you know the famous Amul baby is a Tharoor—as in a member of Shashi Tharoor’s family? There’s more in this delightful essay in on his family’s long history with the brand.
SO YOU HATE-WATCHED ‘INDIAN MATCHMAKING’... Here are two alternatives on the same subject that you may love-watch instead! One: ‘’—an older Netflix documentary directed by Smriti Mundhra. Yes, this is the same person who produced ‘Indian Matchmaking’ but this eye-opening, thoughtful doc is nothing like its OTT successor. Added bonus: Seeing Sima Auntie long before her globe-trotting ritzy ways. (h/t subscriber Aparna Jain) Two: ‘’. This reality dating series is also on Netflix and is earning . The reason: “Netflix’s latest ‘will they, won’t they’ gem follows a cast of autistic singles and couples as they navigate the unpredictable world of adult dating. There are no gimmicks, no stunts, no promises of drama or attempts to instigate it. Just a handful of people looking for love, like everyone else.” SO YOU LOVE LISTENING TO POETRY… Subscriber Akanksha Sharma highly recommends ‘’—which delivers exactly what the title promises in English, Hindi and Urdu. Akanksha says, “[T]his is an eclectic collection of poems we may not otherwise hear. Each episode is under 5 mins, and a good reminder that poetry is meant to be recited.”
. We have no words for this. sign language interpreter in action. And she’s doing an awesome job. to reducing data usage. : A lovely story about a village that decided to go without streetlights to save a nest of baby robins.
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