Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sci-Tech Wrap Up

While most of science and technology has been dominated, and rightfully so, by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, science never stops expanding. As such, many new technologies have been developed this year, and they have been largely geared towards ensuring a more sustainable, ethical, and equitable future.

Belarus Forces Down Airliner to Arrest Dissident-Grace Hwang

International outrage has been mounting ever since what is being called a “state-sponsored hijacking” that occurred on Sunday, May 23. A Ryanair flight carrying about 120 passengers headed to Vilnius, Lithuania from Athens, Greece, was intercepted by a Belarusian fighter jet mid-flight and ordered to land in Belarus’ capital, Minsk, due to “a potential security threat on board”.

Drug Crisis in Africa

As the opioid epidemic continues in North America, the same crisis has slowly grown in Africa over the last decade. Tramadol - an opioid used to treat pain - has spread throughout the continent in alarming amounts. In 2013, 300kg of the substance was seized in Africa. By 2017, it had gone up to three tons. Currently, 87% of opioid seizures globally occur in Africa, and the future does not look promising for the already struggling continent.

Ronald Greene’s Death

Ronald Greene was a black barber of 49 years old who had just gone into remission after battling cancer for two years. He was on his way to Florida to meet his wife, but he never made it to “The Sunshine State”. In May 2019, Greene’s family was informed that he had sadly passed away. Police said that he committed a traffic violation and would not pull over. Greene then began to race away, and in the chase after him, he crashed into a tree and did not survive. For two years, the Greene family mourned over his death, but they were never told the truth about what happened that day.

Anti-Asian Hate Crime Bill Signed by Biden

On May 20th, President Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The act was passed through the Senate and Congress with a near-unanimous vote, a rare instance of cooperation between the two parties.

How the Electoral Map Changed Since Trump

By Ryan Chou Both the 2016 and 2020 elections saw significant swings in certain states. Some states moved towards the Democrats, while others shifted to...

U.S. Reaches 200 million vaccines

Within the first 92 days of Biden’s presidency 200 million vaccines were administered. This completely surpasses his original goal of 100 million vaccines within the first 100 days. Already, we can see that America is changing as covid rates are going down across the country. As vaccines continue to be administered, albeit, at a slower rate, we should continue to see progress in the months to come.

Project Starline

As it’s been impossible to engage in good old fashioned conversation for the past year, platforms like Zoom and Skype have stepped up to fill the gap. Google, however, seems to have something bigger in mind. The company’s latest mischief feels like it comes straight from the pages of a Neal Stephenson novel: a way of communicating through hyper-realistic 3D projections. By using an array of shiny new software and hardware, they’ve created what is essentially a hologram.

Colonial Pipeline Shuts Down Amid Cyber Attack

Many have criticized the national infrastructure in the United States in the past, arguing that it was vulnerable to cyber attacks. This vulnerability was exposed last week, as the Colonial Pipeline, a massive pipeline that transports millions of gallons of gasoline and other fuel from Houston to New York, shut down over a ransomware attack.

Facebook Oversight Ruling

After the January 6th riot, the social media company Facebook made the decision to suspend then-President Donald Trump’s Facebook account until at least January 20 - the end of Trump’s term. The decision, along with Twitter’s decision to permanently ban Trump, has drawn ire and concerns from many. Republican lawmakers have been especially vocal about Trump’s bans from social media. In order to reach a permanent decision on whether or not to keep Trump suspended has been left up to Facebook’s Oversight Board.

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