A big shout out to Lokesh Vishwakarma who flagged this for Rio sanitary pads—starring Radhika Apte. We missed this ad when it was released in March, and are very glad to have discovered it. Also searing: Their here.
ANOTHER COVID SURVEY IN DELHI According to Delhi’s latest —which detects past infections not active cases—29% of the populationhave been exposed to the virus. That’s up from 23% last month. Want to know what these results mean? Read on that last survey. Also testing positive: who helped rescue Air India passengers from the crash site in Kozhikode. An Apollo-sized scam: As per Twitter, the Apollo Hospital charges visitors Rs 300 for a temperature scan—each time they enter the lobby. Damning evidence and . GREENLAND'S LOSING ITS ICE… MAYBE FOREVER The country lost of ice in 2019—a melt large enough to cover California in more than four feet (1.25 meters) of water. The usual yearly average: 259 billion tons. According to the latest study: “Not only is the Greenland ice sheet melting, but it’s melting at a faster and faster pace.” And that momentum may : > "The ice sheet is now in this new dynamic state, where even if we went back to a climate that was more like what we had 20 or 30 > years ago, we would still be pretty quickly losing mass." Why this matters: ice melt in Greenland is the greatest single contributor to global sea level rise. TALKS WITH BEIJING FAIL, AGAIN The fourth round of border talks ended once again in a stalemate. The reason: China is refusing to step back in Pangong Tso and the Gogra-Hot Springs area. But this time around, the External Affairs Ministry didn’t try to airbrush the failure. As notes, there was no reference to “progress” or “disengagement process”or—unlike previous statements—any mention of “early and complete disengagement.” GOOGLE HAD A MINI MELTDOWN Gmail and nine other Google apps went down yesterday across the world—and were disrupted for more than seven hours. Main pain point: not being able to send or attach a file to emails. Everything is now back to normal, but the company has so far not offered any explanation for what happened. has details of the disruption. has the latest details. FLORIDA’S BIG MOSQUITO EXPERIMENT The state will release 750 million genetically engineered mosquitoes as part of a campaign to decimate machhars entirely. These male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—which carry Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever—are designed to produce female offspring that will die at the larval stage. And since only the females bite humans, their population will soon be wiped out over successive generations. The plus side: This is way more ecologically friendly and effective than toxic sprays. The possible downside: “a risk that the engineered mosquitoes could cross-breed with native species, creating hybrids that might be more resistant to insecticides.” () INDIAN MATCHMAKING: THE PRADHYUMAN COMPLAINT The commitment-phobic jewellery maker—and designer of puja room couture—is upset at folks for questioning his sexuality. In a ‘Humans of Bombay’ profile, : > “Unsolicited comments assumed I was gay or bisexual, and urged me to come out of the closet. I felt anger and resentment, but > gradually I gained my composure and began to question their reasoning. I tried to understand the mind-set of a ‘hater’, only to > realize that they had based their assumptions on my interests in things like fashion, cooking, and the societal pressure of > taking time to choose a life-partner… I’m straight, but I am being stereotyped due to a deep seeded mindset of Indian society.” His parting shot: “I just have one question, ‘Can men not be beautiful?’” Translation: don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. In equally silly news: A Punjab organisation is suing Ekta Kapoor and Balaji films for their TV series ‘XXX’ because: > “The scene in the web series shows uniformed Indian Army personnel in an objectionable manner and also shows disrespect to the > National Emblem…Defendant no.2 Ekta Kapoor, founder of ALT Balaji Telefilms which are showed by her production house Balaji > Telefilms not only shows the lady tearing off the uniform but has also created a wrong myth in the society that Army men or > wives of Army men do not possess good moral character in Indian society.” Having checked out , the only crime we can detect is excruciatingly bad taste. In surprising entertainment news: The American Civil Liberties Union has offered to help Britney Spears free herself from the control of her father—who has been her legal conservator for 12 years due to her mental health issues. Why this matters: “People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights.” has more on Spears’ lawsuit and the #FreeBritney movement that’s gathering steam. WOMEN’S BODIES CAN SABOTAGE SPERM We’ve always been told that the fastest and strongest wigglers get the egg. But new research shows that women’s cervixes produce chemicals that can either help or hurt their chances of winning that race: "The whole reproductive tract of the female seems to have evolved to filter out 'unwanted' spermatozoa." Our bodies reward sperm that is most genetically dissimilar to ours, and punish those that are not. This—'gamete-level incompatibility’—may also explain why perfectly healthy couples have problems conceiving a baby. ()
We enjoyed of director Martin Scorcese talking about one of his favourite scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ with quiet intelligence and humour. Like all good teachers, he offers a different way to look at something familiar and seemingly ordinary. (h/t Amit Varma)
TWO CURIOUS FACTS One: Back in the early 90s, a crane operator in San Francisco dumped a four-foot stone at Golden Gate Park. It was a parking barrier with a ‘bullet’ shape. Soon enough, Hindus came from far and wide to worship the stone as lingam—forcing authorities to . See of its glory days in the CNN report below. Two: If the Andromeda galaxy were a bit brighter, we could actually see it in our night sky. And is what it would look like. Why this is amazing: Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away, but the moon is next door at 400,000 kilometers. Also: we did our research to make sure this isn’t just some social media photoshop, and have a story to show for it. A LIST OF GOOD WEEKEND READS * Everyone from Adele to Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell is motivational speaker Glennon Doyle's memoir ‘Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living’. an excerpt. * explains why Zoom may be the world’s worst business idea ever. * There are plenty of personal essays on how babies ruin your sex life. This one in explains how having a baby helped a father learn to enjoy sex. * reports on the debate within the Indian American community over Kamala Harris’ biracial heritage. * Of the many odes to Mahi, we love this one best: explains how Dhoni inspired a small town boy like him to become a lawyer. * To the great amusement of all Indians, Amreekis now have a dating app that matches you based on your birth chart. has all the details.
SO YOU WANNA WATCH SOMETHING… : We watched the first episode of ‘Lovecraft Country’ and loved it! Jordan Peele (of ‘Get Out’ fame) and JJ Abrams (‘Fringe’ plus the best flicks in both the rebooted Star Trek and Star Wars franchise) are executive producers. And that explains why it is sooo good. Think a cooler and more interesting sci-fi iteration of the ‘Get Out’ premise with time travel thrown in for good measure. Here’s a of the reviews. Also: you can pick up the series is based on. : ‘Lootcase’. We haven’t watched this one but the cast includes all our favourite people: Vijay Raaz (who we’ve loved since ‘Delhi Belly’), Rasika Dugal, Ranvir Shorey and Kunal Kemmu. Warning: the reviews but we think it’s still perfect weekend viewing—with a phone in hand for the boring bits. : ‘Run’. This is the latest offering from the ‘Fleabag’ team: producer Vick Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who is a guest star and exec producer here). And it promises to bring the same dark humour to a traditional rom-com genre. deploy all the right adjectives—what’s not to like about a ‘New Smart, Spiky, Sexy Comedy/Thriller’—so we may end up staying in bed with this one all day. Note: All of the above are on Disney+ Hotstar.
: Always know your good (gangster) name. Ours are Disco Lungi, Yedi Razor, Halkat Baingan, Chaloo Aloo, Electric Patakha, Thakeli Baingan. : Sometimes, you just gotta ride it out… wheee! : Sometimes, it’s lovely NOT to squash something like a bug. Though we do draw the line at cockroaches…
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