MOTHER MEETS HER DEAD DAUGHTER THANKS TO VR

After Jang Ji-sung’s daughter, Na-yeon, died from a blood-related disease three years ago she found it very difficult to cope with the loss. Recently, thanks to VR technology the mother could meet her child once again. To make the meeting possible producers made a digital avatar of Na-yeon using an actual seven-year old child as a model. They also prepared a suitable digital scenery which was a nearby park. The mother put VR glasses on and was able to see her daughter come to life again, exchange a few words and touch her. The reunion was aired in a documentary titled ”Meeting you.” Authors of the project say we often see technology as something cold, a danger perhaps, and they wanted to show its different face by comforting a mother’s heart.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/a-mother-daughter-reunion-beyond-the-gra-idOVC0LC3FR

STUDENT THREATENS A TEACHER WITH A FAKE GUN

Just before the winter break an unusual incident took place in Głogów, Lower Silesia. During a lesson one of the students came up to a teacher, put a gun to the teacher’s head and said: ”It was supposed to be an A.” Later he pointed the gun at a ceiling and fired. The gun, luckily, was fake. Since the teacher knew nothing about it, it must have been a horror. The whole situation was recorded and published online. As a reaction the school’s headmaster reprehended the student and contacted his parents. The student explained it was intended to be a silly joke presenting a scene from a movie. Unfortunately, the joke may have very unpleasant consequences as the case has also been reported to the police.

Source: wiadomosci.gazeta.pl, an article from January 31, 2020 about an incident in Głogów

BREAK UP BAR: A PLACE FOR THOSE WHO HATE VALENTINE’S DAY

While Valentine’s Day is a happy holiday for many, some would rather forget about it. Or ”celebrate” it in a different way. The other group can find their needs satisfied in a Break up Bar in California, a place for ”single people and people in relationships who want to get over all the pressure and stress of the Valentine’s Day holiday,” as owner Evan Charest puts it. There are more things than just the name which make the place a remedy for the pain. Classic movies about splits are played on a projector, customers can order drinks titled ”Tears of My Ex” or ”I Dealt with Your Parents Por Years” or hug an enormous break up bear. Perhaps most interestingly they can also write their own thoughts and pin them on a ”Wall of Broken Relationships”. What is written there makes for a quite inspiring reading: ”My grandma still hates you, too”, ”She took the dog!” being only two modest examples.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/bitter-on-valentines-day-visit-the-break-idOVC0LC86F

CHRISTIANA FIGUERES REMAINS UPBEAT

Mid-February without below-zero daytime temperatures in nearly all of Europe – you would think that no sane human being who’s even mildly concerned about our future on Earth would have anything optimistic to say about it. Enter Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat who became United Nations’ top climate official in 2010, right after the Copenhagen climate summit had failed a year earlier. She is widely considered the one who made the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement happen – this was when world’s strongest economies agreed to the 20/20/20 policy, namely the reduction of CO2 emissions by 20%, the increase of renewable energy’s market share to 20%, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency – all by 2020 [side note: the US have withdrawn from the agreement in 2017].

The following three quotes from Figueres’ February 19th CNN interview are a breath of fresh air to everyone who is feeling depressed about Earth’s changing climate. One: “This is not about subjecting ourselves to huge sacrifices that lead us to feeling that we’re having a worse life, it’s actually exactly the opposite – this is about moving toward a much better life, a life that has better health conditions, that has better urban conditions, that has better transport conditions, that has safer investment conditions.” Two: „We are in a different world than we were two years ago, the level of civil disobedience that has emerged all around the world, we haven’t seen for a generation, it’s incredibly positive.” And finally:

„Historically, social change comes about when 3.5% of the population is pressing for it, and that’s amazing because we always think you need 100% of people and you don’t,” Figueres said. „We’re almost there, at the 3.5%.” Let’s pray she’s right.

Source: cnn.com, material from February 19, 2020 about optimism in climate change

DISCUSSION:

  1. Meeting avatars of your late family members or friends would be a great experience.
  2. Stupid jokes should be punished, even if they are not really dangerous.
  3. Celebrating occasions like Valentine’s Day, Women’s Days or anniversaries is key in a relationship.
  4. It is good that 3.5% of society can generate a big change.
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