This is titled ‘Prisencolinensinainciusol’—composed by a legendary Italian entertainer back in 1972. It sounds like English but is, in fact, complete and utter rubbish. And it is guaranteed to make you instantly laugh. Plus: if you really need it, here’s a very of why this very funny song matters.
OXFORD VACCINE SHOWS GREAT PROMISE * AstraZeneca the official results of early human trials—and they are promising. It triggers the production of both T cells—white blood cells that detect and kill infected cells—and antibodies. But it is too early to say how long these effects will last—though T cells can remain in the body for years. * Pune-based Serum Institute has a deal to produce a billion doses of the vaccine if successful. It plans to seek permission for , and to start manufacturing “large volumes” of the vaccine. * Also promising: that showed similar results. * In other happy news: Singapore researchers have of T cells in recovering Covid patients—which in turn means that they may have long-term immunity to the virus. * Scores of super-rich Russians of an experimental vaccine as early as April—as some kind of perk offered to the business and political elite. * Also read: on how the Oxford and other leading vaccines work. THE COLD WAR WITH CHINA HEATS UP * London its extradition treaty “immediately and indefinitely” with Beijing citing a new national security law that bans political dissent in Hong Kong. * The UK’s embargo on sales of armaments to China will also extend to the city now. * In related news: The US has on 11 more Chinese companies citing their involvement in human rights violations. * China in turn is on Nokia and Ericsson if the EU bans Huawei. * A very important related read: A investigation reveals that Chinese companies are using forced Uighur labour in detention camps to make masks and other Covid-protection gear. THE GREAT PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * First, the India numbers. Total cases: 1,154,917 Total deaths: 28,099. Total recoveries: 700,086. Number of daily cases hit an all-time high of 40,425. * Another grim statistic: have died due to the disease. * Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have witnessed the in July. However, Karnataka insists it will not extend the 7-day lockdown which ends on July 22—and has transferred the BBMP commissioner for suggesting otherwise. * Bengal—which is adding 2,278 cases a day—has declared a lockdown. * Delhi, OTOH, may have finally as the number of daily cases continue to decline significantly. * IndiGo will cut —which is 10% of its workforce. It is the largest such layoff given the airline’s sheer size. * Also : Guards at the Tower of London—i.e. the famous Beefeaters. * Uber is offering and drivers to governments to help with contact tracing. FLOODS KILL ASSAM’S RARE RHINOS Eleven one-horned rhinos are among the 100-plus wild animals that have died at the Kaziranga national park—which is 85% under water. But officials are optimistic that this year’s monsoons—the sixth heaviest in the park’s history—will do less damage. The reason: 33 new artificial highlands created in 2017-18 and better animal corridors. Twenty rhinos died in the floods last year. () CRICKET POSTPONED The T-20 World Cup—which was to be played in Australia in October—has been pushed to 2022. The ODI World Cup in India will move from February-March to October-November of 2023. All of which clears the decks for plans to kick off IPL in September in the United Arab Emirates. () PORTLAND PROTESTS TAKE A UNIQUE TURN The city is in the midst of an increasingly violent face-off between Black Lives Matter protesters and the local police—made worse by reports that US government agents in plainclothes have been picking up protesters off the streets. Yesterday, the confrontation on the streets was interrupted by . has the story. THE TAXMAN EMAIL-ETH… The government is no longer going to wait for you to declare all your financial transactions. It will instead gather all the relevant data—via bank and credit card transactions, share purchases or property registrations—and send you an itemized list that basically says: I know what you did this financial year. : > “Starting Monday, the department will organize an ‘e-campaign’—shooting emails and text messages to people who have either not > filed tax returns or have not offered the right amount for taxation for FY19, going by their high-value transactions that > agencies have reported to the department. Assessees have the option to confirm, deny or modify these transactions and file or > revise their returns.” A 3-D MAP OF THE UNIVERSE Astronomers have published the largest and most comprehensive map—which includes more than four million individual galaxies. Data was collected over six years from an optical telescope in New Mexico. See the below: In related news: The United Arab Emirates has its Mars-bound Hope Probe, marking the Arab world's first interplanetary mission—and the first of three international missions to the Red Planet this summer. Reading list: on the mission, and this profile of 33-year-old Sarah Al-Amiri who runs UAE’s space mission. ALSO IN 3D: ‘PRINTED’ KFC NUGGETS Yup, your chicken nuggets may soon come not from a murgi but a 3D printer. The company is partnering with a Russian research lab which is “developing additive bioprinting technology using chicken cells and plant material, allowing it to reproduce the taste and texture of chicken meat." Sounds delicious? Maybe not, but it's certainly kinder to the environment and chickens. ()
is accompanied by the following caption: “A world-weary yet passionate cat chanteuse sings from the heart (in French, of course.) A soulful cello offers exquisite support. Semi-helpful subtitles are included. Song written, animated, and performed by Sandra Boynton, cello played by Yo-Yo Ma, piano played by Michael Ford. Plus the obligatory accordion cameo by "Weird Al" Yankovic.” Really? You need more? (h/t Founding member Ameya Nagarajan)
A SHORT LIST OF SEX/LOVE READS * offers a fascinating look at how the porn industry is adapting to the reality of Covid. For starters: zero group sex scenes. * Here are two excellent first-person accounts of the not-so-ideal love life. Shani Silver in reflects on “a 12-year dating history that resembles cold porridge”—and why she has always hated going on a date. Giaae Kwon in writes about being a virgin in her thirties. * Do opposites attract or is compatibility the key? Yes, but also, no. explains. A LIST OF INTRIGUING THINGS was rescued in Odisha, and is mystifying wildlife officers who have never seen anything like it. is the hottest wellness trend, and it is spreading around the world!—at a time when we can’t cuddle many other humans. looks exactly like, er, a suit—just in case you need to head for cocktails right after your diving lesson. But it will cost you an eye-glazing $3,900!
… especially when it's movin’ and shakin’ like so! (h/t Founding member Dipika Kalra) … but this is, er, something else. … especially when you discover that you own a pair.
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