Absolutely Brilliant Times
By: Paula Gonzalez, Manuela Camarero & Yosra Kok
Are Legos the Answer to Saving Coral Reefs?
Singapore is host to the third-largest coral reef in the world, and their scientific community has now returned to their childhood to come up with an unconventional and unsophisticated method for saving their reefs. They have donated their childhood toys for the creation of habitats for the reproduction of coral reefs.
Coral reefs are home to many species of marine life and play an essential role in reducing global warming. Given how delicate they are, they have strongly suffered because of pollution and climate change. Lego bricks are made of plastic, a material that generally lasts for years, moreover, they give a flat surface, sturdy enough, to host the growing coral. Singaporean marine biologists will be harvesting fragments of coral from the ocean and ‘gardening’ them until they are mature enough to be planted in the sea again. After the replanting, the used bricks return to the lab and are reused.
France Protects Bookstores from Amazon
One of the most important questions of the past years: paper books versus e-books? The sales of traditional books in local bookstores have been declining since Amazon came along. Bookstores have seen themselves closing their doors as they cannot make ends meet. People are turning to internet giants such as Amazon because of their fast delivery, easy access and lower prices.
Nevertheless, there has been a resurgence of indie bookstores in the UK and Ireland, offering hope to the book publishing industry and bookstores. France might have come up with a solution to help level the playing field for bookstores. The French government is looking at setting a minimum price for book deliveries, a law that has been agreed upon and is expected to come into effect next year. Hopefully, this will help bookstores stay in business and avoid the monopoly that internet giants are close to creating within book sales.
COP 26 – a Step in the Right Direction
This past week COP 26 was held in Glasgow; COP 26 is the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference where representatives from over a hundred countries came together in order to look at the Global Climate situation, and, one could say, we are slowly moving towards the right direction.
It is hard enough to get two countries to agree on something, but over 100 representatives, from different cultures, backgrounds and ideologies agreeing on the same thing? Well, that is pretty remarkable. During the Conference, countries agreed on several topics such as deforestation, or the pledge to cut investment oil, agreements which are all steps in the right direction to help improve the current climate situation. These agreements have been signed by countries that host 85% of the planet’s forests and thus provide some hope for the green groups who have been fighting to be heard for many years now.
Changing the Perspective on Disabilities
Down syndrome and disability, in general, have not been traditionally associated with world politics. Nevertheless, French minister Éléanore Laloux has arrived to change this. In 2020, she was appointed municipal councillor of Arras the Northern French town where she lives. With this, she has become the first French minister with down syndrome.
Since being in that position, she has insatiably fought to get inclusion and helped the French society change their perspective and the way they look at disability. Laloux is quite a remarkable individual, she does not just hold her councillor position, but also works part-time at a hospital and holds a board position on Down Up a non-profit which her father founded, quite frankly, how she finds enough hours in one day to do all this is impressive. Éléanor Laloux is definitely a name we should keep in mind when thinking about disabilities and we should all join her in her fight for inclusion.
UK Approves ‘Gamechanger’ New Drug
Who still remembers anxiously waiting for the vaccine in order for life to go back to normal? Nearly two years ago, COVID hit worldwide changing everyone’s perception of what normal meant, and slowly, it seems as if we are getting back to what we once knew to be normal. However, despite close, the finish line is not quite there yet. Well, this is a friendly reminder that we are closer than we might think. One word: Molnupiravir.
It may sound like the name of a science fiction character, but it isn’t. According to British Health Secretary, Molnupiravir is “a gamechanger”; it is the first pill designated to treat symptomatic Covid patients that has been approved by the UK medicine regulator. Although still in clinical trials, it has now been authorised to be distributed to vulnerable COVID patients. The medicine was developed by US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The UK who recently faced a rise in COVID cases has purchased thousands of deliveries of this “gamechanger” drug which helps us feel a little closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.
-, A. C., By, & -. (2021, October 27). France’s First Public Official with Down Syndrome Helps Everyone See Disability Differently. Good News Network. Retrieved from https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/eleonore-laloux-frances-first-public-official-with-downs-syndrome/.
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Guardian News and Media. (2021, November 1). Bookshops thrive as France moves to protect sellers from Amazon. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/01/bookshops-thrive-as-france-moves-to-protect-sellers-from-amazon.
BBC. (n.d.). Can Lego help save Singapore’s coral reefs? BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-58784313.
Reed, J. (2021, November 4). Molnupiravir: First pill to treat Covid gets approval in UK. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59163899.