Wednesday March 24 2021

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Sanity Break #1

‘’ is a four-part documentary profiling an unflinchingly honest Demi Lovato who speaks about her life as a child star, sexual assault, and the horrific effects of her drug addiction. And yes, sanity also requires courage to heal and face your past. Part 1 will become available for viewing on YouTube, today. To learn more: lists the biggest revelations, while offers a four-star review.

Sanity Break #1

Headlines that matter

ANOTHER GUN SHOOTING IN AMERICA In less than a week after the spa killings in Atlanta, the country is reeling again from a mass shooting—this time in Colorado. A gunman—now identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa—walked into a grocery store and opened fire. Ten people were killed, including a police officer. The suspect is now in custody, but the police have not shared any motive. All we know is that he is 21-years old, and has "lived most of his life in the United States." His family says that he suffers from mental illness. has more on Alissa. has eyewitness accounts while the reports on Colorado’s long history of mass shootings. You can see Alissa by cops below.   SHOCKING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IN AUSTRALIA The Scott Morrison government has a serious problem. First, a former political adviser alleged she had been raped by a colleague inside Parliament—in a minister’s office. This in turn triggered a flood of —including a rape allegation against the current Attorney General Christian Porter. When Porter refused to resign, women in protest.    The latest shocker: Evidence of male government staff performing lewd acts inside Parliament—including a clip of a man masturbating on the desk of a female MP:   > “The videos and photos were leaked by a whistleblower, who… [claimed] legislators often used a Parliament House prayer room to > have sex, and alleged that sex workers had been brought into the building ‘for the pleasure of coalition MPs.’ He also said a > group of staffers routinely swapped explicit photos of themselves and he received so many he had ‘become immune to it’. He said > there was a ‘culture of men thinking that they can do whatever they want’ and while he did not think the staffers had broken any > laws, ‘morally, they are bankrupt’.”   has this story.   Also as shocking: This revelation in an interview with Shiv Kumar—the trade union activist who was held in custody by the Haryana police for 31 days:   > “With my feet and hand tied down, they flogged me with a leather strap or belt… They kept hitting my feet and hands with a > wooden stick. Then they asked me to lie down. They placed a metal pipe over my legs and then two well-built, six-feet-plus hefty > policemen stood on either side of it and began rolling it over my legs. This torture started at close to 5.30 pm and continued > with the policemen taking turns. My feet had swollen immensely.”   And yet four different doctors examined Kumar five times between January 24 and February 2, and found no injuries. He was not released until another set of doctors released a report concluding that “Kumar suffered from multiple fractures, broken nail beds, several injuries and psychiatric symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.” has Kumar’s account of his arrest and torture. We explained the factory dispute behind the arrests of Kumar and Nodeep Kaur .   Speaking of injustice: A village in Bastar painted a memorial covered with murals to honour a 16-year old who died of suicide after she was allegedly raped by security forces. Women had planned a commemoration meeting, and a protest. But the local police swooped in to arrest local activists. And in a move surely designed to win hearts and minds, they covered the murals with blue paint. has the story and more photos of the paintings. THE GREAT PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * Starting April 1, everyone above the will be eligible for a vaccination.  * Not so good news: Odisha will its vaccination drive for four days as it is running out of doses—which will only arrive on April 2. * Even worse news: 81% of the 401 samples sent by the Punjab government for genome sequencing have tested positive . * Maharashtra 2.10 lakh Covid-19 cases of which 85% are asymptomatic. BMC has that there will be no private or public Holi celebrations. Delhi has the public variety. * Indian scientists have a as to why we have such a low fatality rate: previous exposure to coronaviruses that cause the common cold. They don’t prevent infection, but limit the severity of the disease. * are now available for a minimum of $250 on the dark web: "AstraZeneca’s vaccines are being offered at $500, while Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik are being offered at $600 each." * China has greenlit clinical trials for of the vaccine, while Pfizer has kicked off early stage trials for . * When US trial data indicated that the Oxford vaccine is 79% effective, it came as a reprieve to AstraZeneca—which has been under pressure in Europe for a suspected connection to blood clots. But now US officials say that the data shared by the company The result: AstraZeneca has promised to put out the updated data in 48 hours. All in all, not a good look. * A shows that a low daily dose of aspirin can help stave off more serious complications in infected patients. The reason: it prevents blood clots which in turn protects the lungs. * Three people in Hawaii who were have been infected with Covid. The good news: they only displayed mild symptoms, which proves that vaccines work. * Americans an average of 0.27 kg every 10 days after stay-at-home orders were issued during the lockdown last year. * of ‘Laddu Maar Holi’ at a Mathura temple looked more like ‘Social Distancing Maar Goli’. Watch the madness . * Doctors from the 1978 batch of Madurai Medical College have put out a charming ‘’ in English and Tamil—set to the tune of that famous ‘Aradhana’ song, ‘Roop Tera Mastana’:   PRINCE HARRY HAS A JOB He is going to be the chief impact officer at a Silicon Valley startup called BetterUp—which offers mental wellness coaching. No, he won’t be managing employees or directly reporting to anyone. But hey, he will attend all-hands meetings and special company events. (   A MAP TO DISCOVER NEW SPECIES Yale biologists have created a map that shows where we are most likely to uncover new species of animals and plants. The hottest spots: Southeast Asia and Northwestern South America. Why this matters: Mapping “discovery potential” allows researchers to focus their efforts in these areas so they can detect new species before they become extinct. has the story. You can check out the map . As you can see, the Western Ghats have great potential for discovering new kinds of amphibians.   Speaking of animals in India: In June, the government announced a new scheme that allowed citizens to voluntarily ‘confess’ to owning exotic animals or plants—without the fear of penalty. The result: 32,645 Indians came forward and fessed up to owning kangaroos, lemurs, rhinoceros, iguanas. Worryingly, many of these are on the endangered list. Example: Beisa, an antelope from East Africa. The worst of the lot: West Bengal with 9,764 or 30%, of all disclosures, followed by Kerala (26%) and Tamil Nadu (13%). explains why this is not good news. Speaking of animals in Italy: Remember back to the early days, when people were reporting ‘sightings’ of dolphins in the canals of Venice? All of them turned out to be fake. But now we finally have an authentic case of a dolphin and her calf—sighted near the iconic St Mark’s Square. Authorities are doing their best to safely escort them back out to sea. has the story. See below.    VIAGRA IS GOOD FOR YOU! A new study reveals that taking the magic erection pill may lengthen the lives of men who have survived a heart attack. And the protection increased with more frequent use—but scientists don’t know exactly why. Why this matters: Since erection-stimulating pills decrease blood pressure, they were previously not recommended for men with coronary artery disease due to the risk of heart attack. So this offers great news for the sex lives of men recovering from heart disease. ()   MORE NFT MADNESS Can the latest rage to buy get any sillier? The answer: yes. A ‘digital home’ called Mars House (because it is set in a Martian landscape) just :    > “Kim described her creation as a ‘light sculpture’. Every room has clear walls—who needs privacy on an uninhabited planet? > Outside, there are several translucent sunbathing chairs for catching rays under the toxic-looking red sky, presumably while > wearing some sort of breathing apparatus.”   Get a without paying a cent below:   Wait, there’s more: We now have a piece of ‘digital art’ produced by a robot named Sophia:   > “Called ‘Sophia Instantiation’, the digital work is a 12-second MP4 file showing the evolution of Bonaceto's portrait into > Sophia's digital painting, and is accompanied by a physical artwork, painted by Sophia on a printout of her self-portrait. After > the auction, Sophia will interact with the successful bidder, to study his or her face, and add a final inspired brushstroke to > the artwork.” has the details. Meet Sophia :   KANGANA CHANNELS JAYALALITHAA The trailer has finally dropped. Check out Ranaut in this highly anticipated biopic of the legendary Tamil Nadu politician. Watch for a very odd-looking Indira Gandhi who pops in a scene in Parliament.   A VERY GOOD SURVEY TO TAKE Splainer subscriber Sonal Jain is the co-founder of —a wonderful NGO dedicated to help build more healthy and sustainable menstrual practices, and raising awareness around it. The folks at Boondh are working on a legal toolkit to address menstrual discrimination at workplaces, public spaces and within the home. And they need you to take this to help them do it. This is part of their campaign. So pretty please, make the time to help the cause and Boondh.   DINE WITH DATA: ALL ABOUT MYGLAMM 💄 Editor’s Note: Here is DWD’s weekly installment of one cool, innovative or just plain quirky startup from around the world.   Company: MyGlamm 💄   About: Founded in 2017, Mumbai-based MyGlamm offers a range of over 600 cruelty-free and vegan products across makeup, skincare, and personal care.    Last year, the company acquired POPxo, a community that had produced and sold millions of beauty products to over 50 million women in Asia. The platform claims to have more than 45,000 influencers which were transferred over to MyGlamm after the acquisition.    In fact, MyGlamm's Series A was funded by none other than France-based natural beauty chain L'Occitane. The $6M round in 2017 propelled the company into the big leagues.    Food For Thought: Last week, the company announced a ₹175 Crore Series C, taking its valuation beyond $100M. This also marks one of the first direct investments made by Amazon in an Indian brand 🤯   DWD Take: MyGlamm's cap table and acquisition strategy has been top-notch, and is a large contributor to their monetary success. The company leaves a lot to be learned about the Hows of hiring and fundraising!    URL:   About DWD: sends you a short summary on one new startup every day, delivered straight to your Whatsapp inbox!  

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Sanity Break #2

Erica Génécé’s series ‘Marble’ features portraits of nude dancers—and challenging and complicating the historic forms of ‘beauty’ represented by traditional sculptures. The quote that sums up her vision: “I think I've always strived to see people who look like me in high places. In places of inspiration. In places of strength, of beauty. To see those who look like me in those places is to see myself and everyone I know in those places." has a profile and an exclusive peek at the collection. Our fave is the lead image which is NSFW. Bonus: For a Vogue-meets-Bridgerton vibe, check out her ‘’ series.

Sanity Break #2

Smart & Curious

A LIST OF CURIOUS FACTS One: Did you know Paul Rusebagina—made famous by the Oscar-winning movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’—is now facing charges as a terrorist in his home country? has this astonishing story.   Two: Ok, this is more alarming than curious… According to environmental and reproductive epidemiologist Shanna Swan, sperm counts in the West have dropped 60% since 1973. And that problem will soon become a global crisis—with sperm counts approaching zero in 2045. The reason: hormone-disrupting chemicals found in everything from plastic containers to soaps and electronics. has more on the findings of her new book.   Three: This is humanity’s first ‘computer’—a 2,000-year-old Greek device called the Antikythera Mechanism. It predicted the movement of the five known planets, moon phases and solar and lunar eclipses. Now, scientists may have figured out just how it works. has more on that breakthrough. Below is a computer-generated model of the device.   Four: A Japanese AI-driven system—developed to distinguish different kinds of pastries—can now detect cancer cells. The reason: cancer cells bear a striking resemblance to bread. has a long read on this amazing breakthrough.   Five: Are you Alonely? Yup, you read that right. That’s the new word for the opposite of ‘lonely’—when you crave time to yourself and just don’t get it. Also: What mothers everywhere feel a great deal of the time. explains.   Six: Did you know that airlifting rhinos upside down—like below—is actually very safe and keeps them alive—and is better than transporting them on stretchers? has an excellent story that explains why.  

Smart & Curious

Feel Good Place

When you’re feeling a little Irish...   When you’re feeling sorta Spanish…   When you’re just in the mood…  

Feel good place

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