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June 17, 2020
Vol 57, Page 1

Get Smarter at Home

Get Smarter at Home

What They Say?

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
- Buddha

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


XKCD Comic Courtesy: XKCD.COM

This Day for You - June 17

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought :

Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Two years later, in 1994, the UN General Assembly established the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)and also marked June 17 as the day!

1973 – Leander Paes, Indian tennis player

1837 - Charles Goodyear

The chemist who invented vulcanize rubber, obtains his 1st rubber patent.

1631 – Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, died while giving birth to the 14th child. Taj Mahal was built in her memory.

1858 – Rani Lakshmibai died on this day, follow her story in Must Watch!

1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York. To commemorate the American Revolution and the friendship between the U.S. and France, the statue, designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the dismantled Statue of Liberty, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The sculptor had modelled the statue after his own mother and taken help from engineer Gustave Eiffel, the man behind Eiffel tower.

1961 – India's first jet aircraft, HAL HF-24 Marut took its first flight. It was a fighter-bomber aircraft.

1944 – Iceland was declared independent and became a republic.

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix is an Academy Award-winning actor known for such films as Gladiator, Walk the Line, and Joker. At the start of his early achievements, he starred in Gladiator and Walk the Line, through which he received a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Following a hiatus, Phoenix returned to the big screen with The Master. He went for a first Oscar win for his performance in Joker.

Read more to find out the story…

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In 1993, Phoenix was with his well-known brother, River, partying at the Viper Room nightclub in West Hollywood, when River fainted outside and started having seizures. Joaquin called for guidance, and paramedics arrived to revive River. Their attempts failed, however, River was carried to the hospital where he was declared dead. Later, Joaquin's 911 call was played many times by the media, only increasing his pain.

Outside his acting career, Phoenix holds various matters. He serves help to The Lunchbox Fund, which provides healthy meals to children in need. A permanent vegan, Phoenix also served as a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Additionally, he is engaged in the Peace Alliance, which seeks to create A cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace.

Born up in a financially unstable household, Phoenix took to singing and dancing as an attached source of profit for the family. Nevertheless, he was soon detected by a Hollywood children’s attorney who produced this young star bringing him a wider exposure. Film after film, Phoenix smoothed his acting talents to become a great actor of his age. While he starred in several films since his debut in 1986, his big break came with the ancient epic, ‘Gladiator’ which won him tremendous popularity and recognition as an actor.

He soon became the top-rated actor of the industry with blockbuster flicks, like, ‘Ladder 49’, ‘Walk the Line’, ‘The Master’, and the recently released ‘Her’.

Credits: Tarini Kaushik
Reach me at: 705tk@theschoolsocial.in for any questions, advice or feedback.

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Inspiration 101, 4 Mins
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June 17, 2020
Page 2
Five genres of music that was originated by the African Slaves in America

Did you know that music helped the African Slaves in America, gradually get liberated? We may not realise it, but many times in history, music has proven to be a strong weapon against injustice. Like in India, before independence, music makers composed patriotic songs to arouse the feeling of nationalism in its people. Similarly, before the African Slaves were considered to be humans, their music became the heartbeat of America.
Far from their motherland and families, the slaves would cling to their music as a remedy to their misfortunes. Later, the same music would engulf the entire world. Here is a list of five genres of music gifted to the world by the Africans:
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1) Spirituals

As the African people were brought to America, the slave owners would forcefully convert them to Christianity. The genre of spirituals came from such a blend of Christianity and African tradition of music. The songs of this genre provide an expression of sorrow. But if you pay attention you will notice, these songs were codes for arranging rebellion and escape. This genre was most popular during the Civil War.
2) Blues

It was a genre explored as ‘work songs’. African slaves would work on the plantations owned by their masters and sing these songs to avoid the harsh reality of violent racism. It is a genre of music that did not follow any strict doctrine. It could be sung or performed on any instruments available. This was the reason, Blues became so popular in America and the rest of the world. Some renowned Blues artists are Leadbelly, Jimi Hendrix, B.B King, etc.

3) Jazz

Jazz was born in New Orleans, where African people, White Europeans and French-Speaking Creoles lived together. Hence, a cross-cultural fusion occurred between the dark skin-coloured Creoles musicians and the English-speaking black population. Then it was brought to Missouri and Kansas by the African Workers. It is a dynamic genre that is based on improvisation and experimentation. Famous Jazz artists are Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, etc.

4) Rock ‘N’ Roll

Due to the bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. Rock music is considered to have come from the white musicians. But its origin lies in the genre of Rhythm and Blues music. Rhythm and Blues was categorized as “Race Music” by the record industry of the 1940’s and 50’s. It was mainly composed for the Black audiences of America. It soon caught the interest of young white teenagers and became popular.

5) Hip-Hop

Today we understand Hip-Hop to be Rap music. But the truth is, Hip-Hop originated as a movement that included expressions in the mode of rhythmic vocal addresses, deejaying, graffiti and breakdancing. Hip-Hop widely represents the Black Culture, their struggle and revolution. In the past, it has served as a vital element of Black Empowerment and Social Commentary on the injustices practised in the act of Slavery.

The influence of many of these genres can be detected in today’s Indian Music. Can you detect them the next time you listen to them? Let me know.

Credits: Lovely
Let me know what you think.
Write to me at paparis705@theschoolsocial.in for more information, opinion or queries.

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Manikarnika aka Lakshmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi

Curiosity, 4 Mins
Obesity: Some myths and facts

Obesity rates have been on the up and up all over the world. In India, the percentage of obese rose from 3% in 2012 to 3.8% in 2016. The lack of proper knowledge and the misinformation surrounding obesity has only led to a rise in the number of obese cases. In this article, I will try to address some of the myths surrounding obesity.

1) “Obesity is a result of laziness.”
This is partly correct for poor lifestyle choices, lack of proper exercise, and binge eating do contribute to obesity. However, obesity can be, and often is, a result of multiple factors. These include underlying chronic issues, external stress, adverse drug reactions, genetics, etc.

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2) “Weight loss will fix all of your health afflictions”

Although it is true that weight loss does indeed reduce the risks of fatal heart diseases and diabetes, unsupervised weight loss can also lead to some health issues like hormone imbalances, psychological stresses, disruption of sleep-wake cycle, and gallstones.

3) “Weight loss simply involves burning more calories than you intake.”

Though, calorie consumption and regulation plays a huge role in one's weight loss regime, a lot of other factors come into play when it comes to metabolism of macromolecules in our body. For example, a lot of the time, the foods we consume can affect the hormone balances in our body which might even lead to weight gain. Hence, the focus shouldn’t be to consume food that can result in weight loss but on a healthy, well-balanced diet.

4) “The more and quicker you lose weight, the more successful is your weight loss regime.”

As mentioned before, obesity is a complex, multifactorial disease. Research suggests that measuring weight loss simply against kilograms shed is uneffective, unhealthy, as well as psychologically damaging. Losing too much weight too quickly can lead to mental stresses, fatigue, and other health ailments. Hence, dietitians and doctors always measure the efficacy of a weight loss regime by virtue of health instead of weight lost.

Credits - Arko De.
Source - Excerpt from Jacquelyn Cafasso’s article on Healthline.

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Curiosity, 4 Mins

June 17, 2020
Page 3


Read with Bernadette

Bernadette, a 6th grader, will read picture books from our family library to any kid who will listen

About this Event

Wednesdays at 11:30am for 15-20 minutes.

Bernadette, a 6th grader at JHS 278 Marine Park, Brooklyn, will read picture books from our family library to any child who can sit still. She is interested in learning class members' favorites and will add those to the repertoire as we go! For kids 3-6.

The event needs you to register through eventbrite, but is free for all.



Do you think people are discriminating Covid-19 patients?


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June 17, 2020
Page 4
Your Official School NEWS Repo-s-ter

ICSE, ISC students can now choose not to appear for board exams, opt for internal assessment
ICSE and ISC students can now choose to not appear for the CISCE class 10 and class 12 board exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic still raging in India.
Students can instead opt to be evaluated on the basis of internal assessments.
The last date to send in choices is June 22.

Astronomers spot a unique green glow around Mars
The European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter has spotted an emerald glow in Mars' atmosphere.
The glow comes from oxygen atoms when they are excited by the Sun's light. Although this is the first time the phenomenon has been detected on a planet beyond Earth.
This emission has been predicted to exist at Mars for around 40 years.

The UN Social: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
The UN Social: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Click to see more.
THE Happy Pill

New Website “Pandemic of Love” Connects 132,000 People in Need of Aid With Those Who Can Help. In times of crisis, we often don’t hear about the many quiet, compassionate responses made in those moments. Quietly in South Florida, a woman started an online grassroots effort originally meant to make a modest impact in her community. Now, it has raised millions of dollars for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Credits :@goodnewsnetwork

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June 17, 2020
Page 5

Despair and Hope - Reminiscing Kedarnath

There was no way left. How could there have been? There was no way ever! It's a valley after all. Whatever comes, she welcomes it with open arms. Be it blessings or floods.

Ice capped mountains all around. A sight of sheer beauty. Early in the morning, when the sun has not even risen and the moon is yet to fade, sounds of Har Har Mahadev fill the air. The sky would be clear now, and just then it would start to rain. The sun makes its way through thick clouds to shine over the highest peak. The early morning silver lined clouds and mountains are just not to be missed. And above all the ravines, where you would now see only stones, pebbles and debris accumulated, but four years back they must have only been the way for the floods and the avalanche that swamped the entire valley, a range of villages and many more faithful beings except the centre of faith.

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It has been seven long years, but once you visit the Valley of Kedar, you will, even unwillingly, imagine what it must have been like then. Massive mountains surrounding Kedar, all sloped towards Kedar, making way for all the water to flow towards Kedar and what Kedar does, it embraces it all. Everything living, everything dead, just everything.

One of the survivors, now running a small Dhaba there (though it is the largest in the valley) , tells us, "The way to the temple was different then. People used to take half a round of the mountain to reach the entrance of the temple. It was early morning, we were all sleeping and suddenly it all happened." His eyes started to blink quickly, as if he was trying to avoid something. It was a dreadful thing to remember and to go back to. We stopped our enquiries. He just said, "We went to our terrace to save ourselves." As it was difficult enough for us to raise our queries to the locals, we could understand how hard it would have been for them to answer our questions.

As one goes into the temple premises, given the smallness of it, one can immediately think of what would have happened to the ones who were inside then. Giving way to the minutest imagination, one can see the temple full of water and devotees panicking to find a way out. As there are only two gates on the adjacent sides of the first section of the temple, the devotees in this section might have found some way. But the ones in the middle and the last section, which is the sanctum sanctorum, must have given up all on their faith.

On an average 5000 people visit the shrine per day during the Yatra period. After having trekked 17 KM on foot, and outdone rains, hails and the uneven way, one can only try their best to acclimatize to the lack of oxygen at 3,553 m. There is not enough strength left to fight a disaster as it had happened then.

Seven years down the line, what will please you is to see how things are back on track. Transport working, basic necessities provided, construction work in progress and over the top, faith served well. The number of pilgrims is ever increasing, and the government is trying its best to serve the tourists with the best of facilities.

The Valley of Kedar has become an epitome of true faith. Despite all the disruptions caused by the vagaries of nature, pilgrims made their way to pay reverence to their centre of faith. And now, it has come even closer to the spirit of compassion as every being who comes to worship, worships not only for their own self, but for all the departed souls who may still be wandering in the Valley in search of a closure.

- A story by Radhika Sharma, Editor, TSSO

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Travel Diaries, 5 Mins

June 17, 2020 Credits

1) Lovely Sarkar - papris705@theschoolsocial.in
2) Ipsita - ipsita@theschoolsocial.in
3) Arko De - iisharpp@theschoolsocial.in
4) Tarini - 705tk@theschoolsocial.in

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