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You may call me a Luddite, but I think “the cloud” is a hoax. No, seriously: How does cloud computing offer seemingly endless space for data when millions like me struggle to buy a physical room? Today’s Thursday mix brings you the latest innovations in data storage. And if you’re still skeptical, you can let your guard down with the world’s best up-and-coming dancers, bizarre beard traditions, must-see Nigerian cinema — and a fun new “spot the difference” game!
Joshua Eferighe, Reporter
News in a Minute
1. No Stopping GameStop
Just a few months ago, it seemed like it was “game over” for GameStop, the brick-and-mortar video game company. But a dramatic 500 percent surge in its stock price since Jan. 11, led by an army of Reddit day traders, has left short sellers — those who bet on GameStop stocks plummeting further — with more than $23 billion in losses, pointing to shifting dynamics on a stunned Wall Street. Are Reddit, Discord and similar platforms the future of Wall Street trading? Vote on Twitter or here. (Business Insider, WSJ)
2. Climate of Change
President Joe Biden has banned new oil and gas leases on public lands, one of a series of executive orders targeting climate change. A week into his term, Biden has already rejoined the Paris climate agreement, stopped the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and made the battle against global warming a priority for all government departments. (Sources: BBC, WaPo)
3. Vaccine War
The European Union is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with British vaccine maker AstraZeneca over delays in its delivery of COVID-19 shots. Meanwhile, Vietnam registered its first locally transmitted cases in nearly two months and Mexico recorded a record daily high of almost 28,000 new infections. On the brighter side, researchers have found the Pfizer vaccine mostly effective against the new South African strain of the virus. (Sources: Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg, Reuters, AP, Nikkei)
4. Emboldened Extremists
Two decades ago, 9/11 awakened America to the threat of Islamist radicalism; 1/6 could do the same for far-right domestic extremists and white supremacists. Encouraged by their successful attack on the Capitol, they now pose a growing threat, the Department of Homeland Security has warned. (Source: Al Jazeera, NYT)
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She was born to break dance. Just watch as Konatsu whips her feet and contorts her body with ease. Five years ago she moved from Japan to Canada and worked at a smoothie shop while learning Toronto-thread breaking from the SuperNaturalz crew. Today she’s married to her former coach, and when she’s not teaching Japanese, she dances with two crews in local and national battles.
2. Jalaiah Harmon
Her Renegade dance looks like it can dislocate your shoulder — and it did break the internet. Kindled by TikTok, the routine really peaked when it became clear that Harmon wasn’t getting credit for her choreography. The NBA, Michelle Obama and others got involved and made sure the Georgia teen got her due.
3. Zlatan Ibile
Arch your upper body forward, then make a rhythm by rapidly stomping on the ground. If you feel silly, it’s only because you’ve yet to hear the sounds of Nigerian rapper Zlatan Ibile, the originator of Zanku — Nigeria’s newest dance craze. If you want to master the steps, this video is what you need.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Hollywood legend James Brolin joins Carlos to drop wisdom on living life to the fullest at 80. Find out why the Amityville Horror star might have been a shampoo salesman in another life — and why he nearly stood up Barbra Streisand on the blind date that ultimately led to their long and happy marriage. Watch later today.
Future of Data Storage
Data centers consume the energy of 50 power plants and spew out more greenhouse gases than 140 countries. With data increasingly the most precious commodity we own, these new storage solutions could hold the key to a sustainable world.
1. Space Bounce
This is no pie in the sky. Using a technology called photonics, a growing number of startups are looking to store data in outer space by bouncing it back and forth between satellites. It would mean zero carbon emissions and lower security risks since satellites are harder to hack than terrestrial systems. Read more on OZY.
2. 3D NAND Storage
We’ve all used flash drives. Their strength lies in their ability to store data without being connected to a power source, a property rooted in what’s known as NAND technology. But until now, NAND chips have stored data in a two-dimensional space. New technology is allowing the stacking of chips, enabling more data storage in the same space.
They’re about style and statement — but through history and even today, beards are about so much more.
Beards were seen as a sign of wisdom in ancient Greece as men looked to emulate gods like Zeus. It wasn’t until Alexander the Great (who apparently couldn’t grow a full beard himself) ordered his troops to remain clean-shaven that the culture shifted. Nowadays you’ll find many Greek men with a clean look.
In the Land of the Rising Sun,facial hair is considered unsanitary and unprofessional. The term for it, hige, usually carries negative connotations — and it could cost you a chance at getting hired. But it wasn’t always so. Back in the medieval period, samurai wore mustaches — and those who couldn’t grow them would wear fake ones.
Be sure to check who’s in power. The pharaohs wore them — even female leaders like Hatshepsut. But they were banned in public under dictator Hosni Mubarak, who saw them as a symbol of political Islam. Allowed under former President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the regime of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is now targeting them again.
Spot the Difference
Can you find the four things that are different in the two images above?
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Check some of the finest recent films from one of the world’s largest movie industries.
1. The Milkmaid
Two Fulani sisters are displaced when insurgents attack their village. When one goes missing, her sister must confront a religious extremist for answers. The potential Oscar nominee saw 24 minutes — including anything referencing Islamic extremism — cut by Nigeria’s film censor board. What has survived is still so powerful you’ll be thinking about the film days after you’ve watched it. Read more on OZY.
This 2018 Oscar hopeful didn’t qualify for the best international film category because it’s predominantly in English — a controversial decision by the Academy that left many, including Ava DuVernay, upset. The powerful film tells the story of a woman and her fight to regain control of her father’s transportation company in a country where women are expected to take a back seat.
This Netflix original is about a Nigerian student who bravely takes on her university after a well-liked professor tries to rape her. The social drama confronts how power is abused to obtain sex and the lengths institutions will go to protect their own. Said to be based on true events, Citation confronts West Africa's rape culture.
Charu Sudan Kasturi and Ned Colin added their spice to today's mix.