IN A NUTSHELL 15/2019-20

MUSIC TO HELP REHABILITATE INMATES

When you think about a prison you usually have in mind an institution where people are sent as a form of punishment. All too often we concentrate on this aspect of prison, punishing, and forget that that their main role is to help people correct their lives and return to society. What happens in a maximum security prison in South Carolina concentrates exactly on this second, more important aspect. Every year musicians from a chamber orchestra from New York come here for a week to write and practice music with inmates. For both groups, musicians and prisoners, it must be a very strong experience. Inmates are chosen to take part by merit, they do not have to have any musical experience. Comments of participants (quoted by CNN 10) are remarkable. They say on every day basis they have to act hard, put on sort of a facade, but when they practice music together they can take off this armor and just breathe. Truly, music has charms to soothe the savage beast.

Source: CNN 10, material from December 2, 2019 about music rehabilitating prisoners

UBER LOSES LICENSE IN LONDON

Over the last years Uber has become a real alternative to taxis and managed to attract millions of clients to use their services. At the same time, however, the company had to deal with many serious problems such as protests of taxi corporations or death of a pedestrian killed by a car in self-driving mode. Now they face another problem because London authorities decided to take away Uber’s license. The city explains Uber puts passengers at risk because there have been thousands of trips given by unauthorized drivers. Some of them had been fired but continue to fake authorized ones. Similar accusations appeared in 2017 but they the license was only suspended and Uber could continue operating. Now if they lose the appeal they will have to stop their cervices in the capital of Great Britain, which will mean great losses for the company and 45,000 people getting fired.

Source: CNN 10, material from November 26, 2019 about Uber losing its license in London

POLISH HERO STOPS ATTACKER AT LONDON BRIDGE

On December 29, 2019 Usman Khan armed with two knives and a fake suicide vest attacked a few people at the London Bridge. As a result of the terrorist act two people – Jack Merrit, 25 and Sashkia Jones, 23 – were killed and a few more were wounded. When the attack was taking place Łukasz Koczocik grabbed a pole a tried to stop the attacker. A few more people joined. The weapons used by the incidental heroes were very unusual ones – among others fire extinguishers and a narwal tusk. The attacker wounded Mr Koczocik several times but luckily he already went out of the hospital. The whole capital is positively shocked with the act of heroism, but Koczocik says he just acted instinctively. A few moments later police forces joined and neutralized Usman Khan.

THE DECADE THAT CHANGED CINEMA

In his December 6 BBC Culture article, Nicholas Barber makes a strong case that 2010’s transformed the cinema as we know (or knew) it. Forever. Firstly, let’s remember that Netflix only launched its service in 2010 and didn’t produce a film until 2015. Since then both Netflix and Amazon may have gone „quantity over quality”, but they were also responsible for this decade’s finest releases: the former produced „Roma” and the latter „Cold War and „Manchester by the sea”. Secondly, in the past 10 years the use of computer-generated imagery has become a standard rather than novelty. We’ve already seen a de-aged Samuel L Jackson in „Captain Marvel”, a de-aged Arnold Schwarzenegger in „Terminator: Dark Fate”, a de-aged Will Smith in „Gemini Man”, and a de-aged Robert De Niro in „The Irishman”. Thirdly, 2010’s marked a glorious return of superhero movies. Finally, we can safely say that it was a Disney decade. The company bought intellectual property rights to Marvel and Star Wars and as a result 8 out of 10 highest grossing films of the decade belonged to them. In his piece Nicholas Barber also makes one eye-opening prediction: „…there is a good chance that, by 2030, a digital avatar of Marlon Brando [we’ll understand if you have to google this pre-historic name] will have starred as Spider-Man in an interactive virtual-reality adventure beamed directly into a corner of your brain owned by Netflix.” In all cases, soon it may require enormous willpower and mental-strength to get up from your sofa and actually go to the/a cinema. That’s assuming the cinema still exists, of course.

DISCUSSION:

  1. Prisons should concentrate on punishment.
  2. Uber offers partly illegal and unsafe services compared to taxis.
  3. It is unwise to try to stop an armed attacker on your own.
  4. People will eventually stop going to the cinema.

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