Summary of “Amar Chitra Katha: The Dark Side of the Comics That Redefined Hinduism”

ACK was the first major indigenous comic-book series to sell within India, and its success also heralded the development of a broader domestic comics industry.
ACK’s first successors were primarily Western-inspired action and adventure series, but by the 1990s Indian institutions like Diamond Comics and Raj Comics were publishing mysteries, funnies, and science-fiction works.
ACK’s writing and illustrative team constructed a legendary past for India by tying masculinity, Hinduism, fair skin, and high caste to authority, excellence, and virtue.
At their most shocking, some ACK comics venerate women’s suicide as a means to inspire or defy men.
Rather than offering a more neutral take on Hinduism, ACK excluded subversive viewpoints from many stories.
To ACK’s credit, many of its comic issues occasionally complicated the norms it establishes.
Originally christened “The great Mughal” in Issue #200, ACK’s newer Issue #603 praises Akbar as “a visionary monarch.” The series positively profiles the Dalit leader Bhimrao Ambedkar although that issue sanitizes his anti-Hindu politics to better align with the comics’ platform.
More substantively, the ACK executive editor Reena Puri acknowledged in 2016, “It is so easy to fall into the trap of stereotyping. We are changing some of that.” Though several issues have been pulled from circulation entirely, many regressive comics from the old canon are still published.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The year we wanted the internet to be smaller”

2016 couldn’t possibly be the worst year in history, Tolentino decided, but it was the year that convinced her the promise of the social media had been false, and that “The internet would only ever induce the sense of powerlessness that comes when the sphere of what a person can influence remains static, while the sphere of what can influence us seems to expand without limit, allowing no respite at all.”
The old promise of the internet – niche communities, human connection, people exchanging ideas, maybe even paying each other for the work they’d made – never really lost its appeal, but this year it came back with a miniature vengeance.
As part of a May 2017 New Yorker survey of the death of the public personal essay and the return of email newsletters, Awl alum Carrie Frye speculated that writers, and female writers in particular, have declared to themselves, “I’m going to make an Internet on which my essays go out in pneumatic tubes to just who I want them to go to, and no one else.” Newsletters are an easy a way to build that tiny, private audience away from the ugliness of the internet at large.
One of the more fascinating internet projects of this year, the briefly-lived platform Double Bounce married the subscriber-based structure of Patreon and the personalized distribution model of TinyLetter.
Advocates of a weird, niche internet took other hits in 2017, the first full year without Vine and a crisis period for SoundCloud.
At The Verge, we used to argue amongst ourselves about whether internet culture was “Internet culture” or just “Culture.” It now seems useful to debate whether the internet itself is “The internet” or simply the world.
Every banal, stupid thing you hate about living in the world is also something you can hate about the internet, and every good, vital thing that keeps you walking around without your face in your armpit is also on the internet.
“Loneliness is collective; it is a city.” The vast digital metropolis of the internet – that place that was supposed to make us feel never alone – failed us this year; we built what we needed on its outskirts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The dark side of your $5 Footlong: Business owners say it could bite them”

A Subway sandwich is far more than the sum of its fillings, franchisee Keith Miller says.
In late November, franchisees began circulating a petition that asked Subway to withdraw the foot-long deal, which they said would hurt their businesses.
“Franchisees have repeatedly voiced concerns about frequent and deep discounting,” the petition reads.
The closest precedent is a 2009 lawsuit filed by Burger King franchisees who claimed they were losing money on every sale of the chain’s $1 double cheeseburger.
In a statement, Subway said that the petition does not represent the views of the majority its franchisees and that the promotion is optional.
In a separate presentation to franchisees, Subway said the promotion was intended to help them stanch several years of falling traffic.
The idea behind these promotions is that franchisees sacrifice some profit per item in the hope that increased traffic will make up for those losses or that customers will also spring for a side or drink.
Ideally, the deals benefit both big-name chains and franchisees.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Science of Loneliness ยท The Walrus”

In 2017, the American Psychological Association’s annual convention focused on data that reveals loneliness and social isolation pose an equal, if not greater, danger to public health than other, more commonly discussed risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and substance abuse-all factors that, by comparison, take up large amounts of public resources and attention.
Researchers have only begun to understand the phenomena and its role in the human experience-even as more people now are living alone and experiencing loneliness than at any other time in recorded history.
While it’s true that not every person who lives alone will feel lonely, researchers have also found that, when it comes to health effects, there is little difference between isolation and the perception of loneliness.
Researchers such as Rokach prefer to classify loneliness into two categories, dubbed “Transitional loneliness” and “Chronic loneliness.” Transitional loneliness can be experienced during a move across the country, a breakup, the passing of a loved one.
“Not to straighten your head. But to help you understand why you feel lonely.” The irony is that talking about loneliness is one of the best tools for managing it and understanding how it manifests in a person’s life, whether it’s through depression, poor eating habits, or something they cannot even name.
In the few short months the website has been up, the Loneliness Project founder has archived at least 900 stories of lonely people worldwide.
Korda has posted stories of loneliness from people as young as four years old to as old as eighty.
In her research for the Loneliness Project, Korda says she was most surprised by how unprepared people seemed for their social retirement.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stop reading what Facebook tells you to read”

It’s why Facebook is filled, mostly, with the things you agree with, or are seemingly helpless against clicking on.
It’s to say that Facebook’s outsmarted you, and outsmarted the idea that you have some choice about what you are and aren’t reading when you’re getting it from Facebook.
So! Facebook created the newsfeed, and then turned to publishers/media outlets, and said: Guess what? Everyone’s on Facebook.
You’ll participate in our Facebook Instant Articles program.
You hate video on the internet? Tell that to Facebook, which realized it could charge advertisers more money for running video ads.
It was because that’s what Facebook wanted: A way to make more money, for Facebook.
If you want them to keep existing, let alone keep acting as an independent voice that isn’t a machine built just to write things to get you to click on or share on Facebook?
You’ll be taking more control, and opting less for the control Facebook takes from you, and everyone else.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cracking the Brain’s Enigma Code”

Now researchers are expanding their tool chest by borrowing from the world of cryptography to decode neural signals into movements.
Many human movements, such as walking or reaching, follow predictable patterns, too.
‘ These algorithms rely on detailed moment-by-moment movement information such as limb position and speed, which is collected simultaneously with recorded neural activity.
At the same time, the researchers used implanted electrode arrays to record the activity of about 100 neurons in each monkey’s motor cortex, a key brain region that controls movement.
Over the course of many experimental trials, researchers gathered statistics about each animal’s movements, such as the horizontal and vertical speed.
A good decoder, Dyer says, should find corresponding patterns buried in the neural activity that map onto patterns seen in the movements.
Because Dyer’s decoder only required general statistics about movements, which tend to be similar across animals or across people, the researchers were also able to use movement patterns from one monkey to decipher reaches from the neural data of another monkey-something that is not feasible with traditional supervised decoders.
The algorithm could potentially be strengthened by feeding it signals from even more neurons, or providing additional known features of movements, such as the tendency of animals to produce smooth motions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What do men and women want in a partner? How gender equality is changing our mating preferences”

Wouldn’t we expect these changing relationship mores to make a dent in the mating preferences of straight men and women? Or are we still at the mercy of our biological destiny, as evolutionary psychologists claim?
Are we still at the mercy of our biological destiny, as evolutionary psychologists claim? The results from the research are clear: mating preferences among men and women look increasingly similar.
The trend is directly tied to increasing gender equality, as women gain greater access to resources and opportunities in business, politics and education.
In more gender-unequal nations, such as Turkey, women rate the earning potential of partners as twice as important compared with women in the most gender-equal nations, such as Finland.
The more gender-unequal men’s personal attitudes, the more they prefer qualities in women such as youth and attractiveness; and the more gender-unequal women’s attitudes, the more they prefer qualities in men such as money and status.
The results from the research are clear: mating preferences among men and women look increasingly similar.
Gender equality isn’t considered to be one of these factors, since even in relatively gender-equal societies, the gap between men and women’s preferences is only reduced, not eliminated.
What if a society actually did achieve perfect gender equality? Would women and men hold essentially identical partner preferences? My hunch is that women’s and men’s choices might never completely converge.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Diverging Paths of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal”

As effusive as Van Damme might be in his praise of both Trump and Putin, he’s got nothing on his old action-movie counterpart, Steven Seagal.
In a 1991 interview with Arsenio Hall, Seagal, staring coldly at a stammering Arsenio, said this of Van Damme: “I think that that’s a matter of opinion, that he was a champion anywhere. There are an awful lot of people who say that that’s not true.” Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone has told a story about Van Damme challenging Seagal to a fight, multiple times, on the night of a 1997 party at Stallone’s house.
Van Damme began to redefine himself with 2008’s JCVD, playing a washed-up movie star named Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Van Damme is the star of a new Amazon show called Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and it might be the most goofily meta Van Damme project in a decade full of them.
As in JCVD, the show features Van Damme as a faded movie star named Jean-Claude Van Damme.
There’s an endless bit where Van Damme plays a dual role, also embodying a whining Bulgarian mob underling who adores Van Damme movies and who looks just like Van Damme.
One thing Seagal has in common with Van Damme: He’s played himself on TV. But in Seagal’s case, it was on Steven Seagal: Lawman, an A&E reality show that followed Seagal in his secondary career as an occasional deputy sheriff in Louisiana and Arizona.
Seagal almost never appears alongside recognizable actors, although 2016’s Sniper: Special Ops does feature Rob Van Dam, the pro wrestler who got his name because of his ability to perform extraordinary splits and a resemblance to Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Structural Challenges for Space Architecture”

Several decades after the first space age, there is renewed interest in space exploration and specifically in future human habitation far beyond the Earth’s surface.
Much like their Earth-based counterparts, the requirements of future space habitat structures are defined by their ability to protect their occupants and provide usable space to live and work.
Structural systems for space habitats must be designed for four main loading types: internal pressure, reduced gravity, thermo-elastic loads, and micrometeoroid impact.
The structure can be used for protection on overnight missions while the astronauts remain in their space suits.
A project underway by MIT’s Digital Structures research group is investigating this potential, developing a new sphere packing form-finding approach for conceptual space habitat design.
The obtained functional diagram is also considered as a pressurized architectural space, made of spherical components, and evaluated, in terms of its structural performance, through finite element analysis tools.
Designing a structure on an extraterrestrial surface includes numerous challenges, including the internal pressure, the dead loads/live loads under reduced gravity, the consideration of new failure modes such as those due to high-velocity micrometeoroid impacts, and the relationships between severe Lunar/Martian temperature cycles and structural and material fatigue.
Even if the challenges in space exploration are very peculiar, the colonization of satellites and planets could teach us to be wiser in our consumption of natural resources, pushing us to pursue efficiency and sustainability here on Earth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Find Meaning in Your Work, Change How You Think About It”

Emily Lloyd, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, said of the work the competitors do, “It’s tough work. It’s frequently unpleasant work. And they’re terrific at it.” And as you read the article, you note the pride the competitors have in their work and the purpose they find in doing it well.
One man, George Mossos, noting how anonymous their work can be, is quoted saying, “It’s enough to serve the public.”
Having observed friends and colleagues working with and without purpose for years, I’d offer the following advice on how to consciously endow your work with purpose regardless of your profession.
Wrzesniewski uncovered a practice among the happiest and most effective custodians she termed “Job crafting.” These custodial workers, focused intensely on serving patients, would “[create] the work they wanted to do out of the work they’d been assigned-work they found meaningful and worthwhile.
Wrzesniewski and her colleagues have even begun to think more deeply about exercises that can help anyone focus on crafting their work into something that gives them purpose while still getting the core of their job done.
In another sense of the term, this crafting was also a demonstration of treating work as craft – focusing on the skill needed to complete one’s work and dedicating oneself to perfecting those skills.
Whatever your approach, efforts to enhance the positive relationships you have with others at work – often investing in serving them – can give work greater meaning.
It’s rare to find someone working with only their personal needs in mind.

The orginal article.