Splainer

Tuesday, January 11 2022


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Subtle cock champion of the world... Thank God we have protectors of India. Folded hands. Shame on you Rihanna.

 

That’s what actor Siddharth tweeted while quoting a comment by Saina Nehwal, which said: “No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised. I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists.” He was immediately condemned for what read as a sexual innuendo. But Sidharth insists the reference was to ‘cock and bull’—as a false story. Nehwal sorta gave him the benefit of doubt: “Yeah, I'm not sure what he meant. I used to like him as an actor but this was not nice.” But the National Commission for Women has asked the Mumbai police to file an FIR against Siddharth.

 
Big Story

Decoding the great Djokovic drama

The TLDR: Novak Djokovic spent most of the past week holed up in an immigrant shelter in Melbourne—waiting for permission to enter Australia. The controversy centres over the fact that one of tennis' greatest players refuses to get vaccinated. But he claims he has the right to play in the upcoming Australian Open on January 17. A federal judge now says ‘yes, he can’, but can the Oz government afford the political price of letting him in?

 

Researched by: Sara Varghese & Ankita Ghosh 

 

Remind me about Djokovic…

The Serbian has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles—and is #1 in the world rankings. But unlike his fellow tennis greats—Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer—Djoko has never come close to winning a popularity contest. And he’s been described as “the least loved GOAT in sports history.” Why is that?

 

One: People aren’t overly fond of Djokovic’s tendency to celebrate his victories on the court with displays like this.

 

Two: Djokovic has had terrible tantrums on court—ranting at umpires and ball kids over the years. Then there’s the time he got himself tossed out of the US Open for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball struck in anger, like so.

 

Three: Since the beginning of the pandemic, he has also firmly established a reputation as a total kook—sharing theories about emotions purifying toxic food and polluted water.

 

Four: Last but not least, he has not won any new fans—other than fervent anti-vaxxers—for his resistance to Covid safety rules, and of course, the vaccine. 

 

  • Back in April, 2020, he declared: “Personally, I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.”
  • Then in June, 2020, he organised an exhibition tournament in Serbia—flouting all Covid advisories. The result: Djokovic, his wife Jelena, three other players, three coaches and one player's pregnant wife tested positive.
  • But that didn’t slow Djoko down. In January, 2021, he wrote a letter to Australian Open organisers with a set of “suggestions”—asking for reduced isolation periods and for players to be moved to “private houses with tennis courts.” And he was promptly called a “tool” by his fellow players for acting entitled.
  • Djoko later insisted, "My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful.” FYI: He won the Open that year.

 

Ok, so what happened now?

 

 
Headlines that matter

The very first pig heart transplant

Doctors at Maryland hospital have transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a last-ditch effort to save his life. He’s doing well after three days but long-term prognosis remains uncertain. But prior attempts at “xenotransplantations” have failed—except for Baby Fae, a dying infant who lived 21 days with a baboon heart back in 1984. The difference this time; They used a gene-edited heart of a pig—which doesn’t have a sugar in its cells that’s responsible for that hyper-fast organ rejection. (Associated Press)


KFC’s kinda vegan chicken

The company added plant-based meat to its menu starting this week—‘Kentucky Fried Miracle’—which comes in six- or 12-piece options. But vegetarians and vegans may not want to take a bite. The reason: the “chicken” is cooked in shared fryers in KFC kitchens. Hmm, all of which confirms our argument that ‘fake meat’ is actually meant for real meat eaters. (Lexington Herald)

 

Norwegian army’s underwear problem

Each year, the government calls up about 8,000 young men and women for military service. And it allows them to walk away with the underwear they were issued once they are done. But thanks to global supply chain disruptions, they now have to give it all back—bras and socks included: “The decision to reuse this part of the kit will help us have more volume in circulation and increase the delivery capacity of the equipment. We have too little in stock.”

 
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In today’s edition

Sanity Break

  • Visual artist Christy Lee Rogers' underwater photography 

 

A list of intriguing things

  • ‘Gateway to Hell’: a fire that has been burning for decades in Turkmenistan
  • Change the colour of your BMW with the touch of a button!
  • An Armenian restaurant that serves ‘Sunny Meals’
  • Say hello to ‘mushroom music’
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