If you don’t know Gonzo illustrator Ralph Steadman, you can start with his surreal illustrations for George Orwell’s (click photos to enlarge) or . If your taste runs a little edgier, check this gallery of his finest and darkest work.
THE HIGH PRICE OF AIR POLLUTION The latest data shows that air pollution shortens a person’s life by two years on average around the world. Indians, OTOH, lose five years to dirty air. In some parts of the country that number is even higher: > “Roughly 248 million residents in northern India are particularly at risk and stand to lose more than eight years of life > expectancy if 2018 pollution levels persist. ‘The levels of air pollution we see in these regions through new satellite data is > unprecedented,’ said Anant Sudharshan, executive director, South Asia at EPIC.” The most polluted in India: Lucknow whose residents will lose 10.3 years in life expectancy. () RAJPUT’S FAMILY ACCUSES RHEA CHAKRABORTY Sushant Singh Rajput's father KK Singh has in Patna against the actor's girlfriend. The variety of charges include abetment of suicide, mental harassment and financial exploitation. > "Rhea, who was living with Sushant, left his home. She took some cash, jewellery, laptop, credit card, and Sushant's medical > prescriptions along with her. Rhea blocked his number, after that, Sushant called his sister and said that Rhea might cause harm > to him. He informed his sister that Rhea threatened him with revealing his medical prescriptions to the media, after which no > one was going to give him work." MUMBAI SEROLOGICAL SURVEY REVEALS INCOME DIVIDE The survey—which tests for the presence of antibodies— on 6,936 people in three wards. It found that 57% of residents in slums had been exposed to the virus, compared to 16% in residential buildings and societies. These surveys test for antibodies which reveal if the person was infected at some time in the past two weeks. The good news: a low number of fatalities in these areas. The surprising bit: More women than men showed up positive. Also this: > “The results have shown that asymptomatic population of Covid-19 is higher than we expected, which is good news. People have > been exposed to the coronavirus and most have not even developed symptoms.” For more on serological surveys, read on the Delhi survey and its results. Also in Maharashtra: A Pune hospital reported India's of "vertical transmission"—where the virus is passed from a mother to her child through the placenta. The baby girl developed fever and other serious symptoms after birth, but has since recovered. A related survey of pets: Scientists in Italy in a small number of cats (3.9%) and dogs (3.4%)—but there is no evidence that they spread it to humans. In related news: Dogs within a week to sniff out the disease in 94% of cases. A new treatment? A new study found that outperformed Remdesivir—the most widely used drug in serious cases. The good news: "Because only a small concentration is needed, and the compound is found in edible seaweed, a treatment could get FDA approval fairly quickly because the substance is considered GRAS, or generally recognized as safe." A related must read: This candid of a person who lost his father. It shows how many well-educated Indians are in denial of the disease—and how Covid deaths are covered up to avoid social shame. THE BOOKER LONGLIST IS OUT Nine of the 13 longlisted authors in the race for UK’s most prestigious literary prize —including Hilary Mantel who is up for “The Mirror and the Light” and Anne Tyler (‘Redhead by the Side of the Road’). Also heartening news: Eight are debut novels—among them Avni Doshi’s ‘Girl in White Cotton’. Don’t know who that is? Check out a review of Doshi’s book in or read her interview in . INDIA DOMINATES APP DOWNLOADS Numbers for June show that Indians accounted for the highest percentage (29.5%) of Amazon Prime Video downloads. We came in #2 in YouTube’s numbers and are the third-biggest market for Netflix after the United States and Brazil. Also: ZEE5 is the only Indian app among the top 10 downloaded streaming apps. () DUNZO’S GOT COMPETITION Flipkart Quick is the new kid in town in the local delivery business—and guarantees all orders will be completed within 90 minutes. The minimum delivery fee: Rs 29. The new biz has currently been rolled out only in Bangalore. () #CHALLENGEACCEPTED TO DO WHAT EXACTLY? An asks women to post pretty black-and-white photos of themselves, and tag friends so they can do the same. While it's spreading like wildfire—and there’s lots of talk of women’s empowerment—no one knows exactly what this activity achieves. : > “Though the portraits have spread widely, the posts themselves say very little. Like the black square, which became a symbol of > solidarity with Black people but asked very little of those who shared it, the black-and-white selfie allows users to feel as if > they’re taking a stand while saying almost nothing. Influencers and celebrities love these types of ‘challenges’ because they > don’t require actual advocacy, which might alienate certain factions of their fan base.” In related Insta news: Doctors are to clapback at a study that called out “unprofessional social media content” among vascular surgeons. For example: “provocative posing in bikinis/swimwear.” Translation: the medical journal version of slut-shaming. And the fact that most of the authors were men didn’t help either. Hence, #MedBikini. SHARKS ARE NOW ‘FUNCTIONALLY EXTINCT’ The latest research shows that nearly 20% of the world’s sharks have vanished from coral reefs. And they are ‘functionally extinct’, as in they are so rare in certain areas that they cannot perform their assigned role in the food chain. The big reasons for these dwindling numbers: poaching and pollution. Alarming fact: No sharks were detected on any of the reefs in the Dominican Republic, the French West Indies, Kenya, Vietnam and Qatar. has more details.
We discovered from the British show ‘Would I Lie to You?’ thanks to a tweet by founding member Rajyasree Sen. It is [add suitable superlative] funny—perfect for a ‘hump day’ pick-me-up.
A LIST OF CURIOUS FACTS * Thanks to global warming, New York city now has . * Kodak dismissed black parents who said their colour film did not capture dark skin tones properly. They only fixed their product—creating Kodak Gold—when furniture and chocolate companies (makers of all things brown) . * Surprisingly, nothing bad happens to your body —because “the body actually copes remarkably well when faced with a massive and sudden calorie excess.” One tiny downside: food coma. * Male seahorses not only carry their mate’s eggs to conception—but via placenta-like mechanism. We approve! * Last but not least, the sun is of our solar system. It instead orbits the actual centre slightly due to the gravitational pull of Jupiter (what?) and moves around like so:
: Music may not soothe the savage breast beast, but it certainly makes him a whole lot funnier.. : Sometimes, obstacles in life are entirely in your mind—and therefore a whole lot more fun. : Everything's better with an adoring audience of cows.
READING HABIT WORDS WITH ROSHAN ALI Each month, will bring a short, snappy and fun interview with an author to give you a quick peek into their reading and writing habits. This week, Roshan Ali, author of , tells us the word he’d like to stop using. Which fictional character would you like to switch lives with? Richie Rich. An author you are envious of. All those authors who have written numerous books. A line that made you cry. "I will show you fear in a handful of dust" from by T.S. Eliot. It gets me every time, and I have no idea why. Another line that gets me is from by Philip Larkin—"All the unhurried day/ Your mind lay open like a drawer of knives." The poem needs to be read to understand why. A book you wish you’d written. A better version of the one I’ve already written. What is the one word you’d like to erase from your vocabulary? Woke. BOOKS RELEASING THIS WEEK * : Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix) and Erin Meyer bring us the secrets behind the success of Netflix and show us how the company’s new-age strategies helped it become a streaming superpower. (August 1, 2020) * : Imagine a world where Hillary did not accept Bill Clinton’s proposal of marriage. What would that have looked like? Curtis Sittenfeld’s profound and witty novel shows us such a world as she explores how women navigate the male-centric world of politics, and the trials they have to undergo to achieve their ambitions. (August 1, 2020) * : In Eva Nour’s novel, Sami, a young boy in Syria, wants nothing more than his home and his beloved pets. Unfortunately, a war-torn Syria has no use for a child’s dreams. Forced to join the army, Sami realises that no cost is too high to keep his dream of a safe home alive. (August 1, 2020) * : Olivier Barde-Cabuçon’s novel begins when a body is found in Paris in 1759, and the Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths is called to investigate. As the bodies begin to pile up, the Inspector is forced to race against time to uncover deceit that has its roots in the court of King Louis XV. (August 1, 2020) * : There’s very little information available about India’s covert ops wing, RAW, and its agents in the public domain. This makes investigative journalist Yatish Yadav’s book an important one as he follows these real-life heroes to uncover the story of RAW, and the way it functions. (August 3, 2020) It’s raining new releases this week, which made this shortlist a difficult (but highly fulfilling) one. We’re also looking forward to reading , , and . Brought to you by A LIST OF CURIOUS FACTS * Thanks to global warming, New York city now has . * Kodak dismissed black parents who said their colour film did not capture dark skin tones properly. They only fixed their product—creating Kodak Gold—when furniture and chocolate companies (makers of all things brown) . * Surprisingly, nothing bad happens to your body —because “the body actually copes remarkably well when faced with a massive and sudden calorie excess.” One tiny downside: food coma. * Male seahorses not only carry their mate’s eggs to conception—but via placenta-like mechanism. We approve! * Last but not least, the sun is of our solar system. It instead orbits the actual centre slightly due to the gravitational pull of Jupiter (what?) and moves around like so: : Music may not soothe the savage breast beast, but it certainly makes him a whole lot funnier.. : Sometimes, obstacles in life are entirely in your mind—and therefore a whole lot more fun. : Everything's better with an adoring audience of cows.
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