IN A NUTSHELL 10/2019

IN A NUTSHELL 10/2019

TESLA SHUTS DOWN STORES AND SELLS CARS ONLY ONLINE

It has always been Elon Musk’s dream to produce a vehicle which would become the Ford T of electric cars. Models S and X sell well but they are way too expensive even for an average American to afford. The hope lies in the new Model 3 which was supposed to cost roughly half of the money customers pay for model S. To further reduce the starting price of $42,900 Tesla wants to close most of its stores and persuade clients to buy their cars online. They hope such a move will allow them to offer Model 3 for $35,000, which will lead to it being both ”financially sustainable” for the company and attractive for buyers. Musk hopes to sell 500,000 Models 3 a year. At the moment the company has 378 stores and wants to keep some of them as information centres or galleries. If you decide to buy a Tesla online it will be delivered to your doorstep and if you don’t like it you will get a full refund within 7 days or 1,000 miles. It remains unclear what will happen to the workers of stores or whether a client will be able to test drive his or her new car.

DISABLED PEOPLE ARE HOT

Over the last decades the situation of disabled people has changed for the better in a number of ways – take widely appreciated and admired Paralympic Games, work opportunities, facilities. What was recently most discussed online was #DisabledPeopleAreHot hashtag invented by a Canadian, Andrew Gurza. He encouraged people to tweet pictures that show them feeling sexy, good about themselves, happy and disabled. The effects came soon. Some posted selfies which hid their disability, others included wheelchairs or crutches. Many only said they appreciated the initiative which made them feel strong, confident, not ashamed. The author of the hashtag suffers from cerebral palsy himself. He said posting such material was a message that disabled people should not be afraid to feel sexy. After he read many tweets Mr Gurza admitted there still is a lot of ABLEISM (discrimination that favours able-bodied people) in our society. BBC points out such hashtag wasn’t first of its kind. Similar examples included #DisabledPeopleAreCute and #HotInAWheelchair. 

THE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB

There is at least one more Oscar-winning movie this year which deserves mentioning – Free Solo. The film is a documentary that tells the story of Alex Honnold, an American climber who climbed El Capitan back in 2017. El Capitan is located in Yosemite National Park, USA and for many years had been considered impossible to climb. It is a monolith rock, a vertical climb of about 900 metres. Honnold wasn’t the first person to climb it. Worse. He was the first to do so without any ropes! There was literally no margin for error, if he had slipped, he would have fallen and died. The discipline (art?) of climbing like this is called free soloing. The secret of it is careful planning. Honnold planned every move months in advance, knew exactly what would be the next foot hold or thumb grip. He admits it was a bigger mental challenge than a physical one, he had to be 100% confident and leave nothing to chance. The conditions turned out to be favourable and he accomplished the climb within 3 hours and 56 minutes, leaving little doubt that he is the greatest rock climber in the world.

A CAGED LION KILLS HIS OWNER

In 2016 Michal Prasek of the Czech Republic bought a six-year-old lion and two years later he added (for breeding purposes) a lioness. Both big cats made local residents of his village Zdechov understandably concerned. Last summer, for instance, a cyclist collided with the lioness as Michal was walking her out on a leash in front of their house. The incident was classified – for more or less obvious reasons – as traffic accident by the police. The lions were nevertheless difficult to remove from Mr. Prasek by force because of „lack of alternative facilities or any evidence of animal cruelty”. On March 4 2019 the now 9-year-old lion mauled his owner to death inside his cage, which Michal’s father claims was locked from the inside. Although the story is indeed beyond tragic, any Polish reader of this bbc.com news item will shake their head in disbelief to find that the Mayor of Zdechov, who commented on the story for BBC, is a man named Tomas Kocourek. 

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