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THE HIGH EDITION 71 | FEBRUARY 09, 2018

#OUTRAGE

Illlustration by Joseph Nobs

LO BLOW

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF

FREE THE GIRLS

ARE WOMEN AFRAID?

Edward Fraser

Bras for refugees

Logan Paul sparks controversy

Are men fearful?

Amara Sarao


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LETTER FROM THE EDITORS

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utrage. Something that we all encounter. Sometimes justified, and many times not. 2017 hit us with a brick of all the harsh realities to which we were previously blind. It allowed the number of reasons to be outraged to increase by the second. But the question is: when is it justified to feel outraged? Celia’s article about the refugee crisis and the Free The Girls campaign only provides us with more and more reasons to be outraged about all the human rights violations occurring worldwide. How can we deny people the right to free movement? How could we possibly oppress people by virtue of their gender? As Malala once said, “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” With the rise of social media, we have a broader platform on which to express our outrage. Amelia’s article concerns Logan Paul, one of the most popular faces of social media, and how social outrage about the depiction of mental health has recently been shifted toward him. Raquel’s piece explores our outrage towards the divide between men and women that continues to manifest itself even today. She expresses her concern towards the fact that women have to hide behind the clothes they wear to protect themselves from predatory behaviour. However, in this month’s cover story, Hannah challenges our occasionally excessive commitment to social change. She encourages us to question our priorities as a society. We must always fight for social justice. But the articles in Edition 71 show us that we mustn’t let comparatively smaller issues take away our focus from the issues that truly need our attention in order to create a better and safer world not only for future generations but for the millions that are struggling right now.

AMARA SARAO & EDWARD FRASER Editors-in-Chief

EDITORS Hannah Besson Leonardo Morosini Celia Lette Salim Markabi

Fredrik Falk Ipek Özkazanç Nick Jennings Amelia Lumme

TABLE OF CONTENTS Outrage Me Too Cartons du Coeur Free The Girls Freedom of Speech Being a Woman Cosmetic Surgery

03 04 04 05 06 07 08

Logan Paul New Doors Poland Trip Exams Plastic Bottles Science Fire & Fury

09 10 11 12 13 14 15


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OUTRAGE AND OVERKILL

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as the H&M advert racist? Is ‘being persistent’ a sexual offense? Is a homophobic slur grounds for arrest?

I’m not going to give you the answer to any of these questions, simply because I can’t. I can’t define racism, sexism, or homophobia for you. But most importantly, I can’t tell you what to get mad about. No one can. No one can tell you what you can or cannot be outraged by. Offense is subjective; it is a tool crafted from the human condition of emotionality. We feel outrage when we witness something that we truly believe to be wrong, and so, it is legitimate to each person who feels it, and no one can take that from you. For that reason, I won’t be telling you if any of the preceding questions merit outrage. I will, however, be telling you that being outraged about everything all the time doesn’t make our generation woke. Here’s why. In the latter half of the 20th century, the world took a dramatic turn towards political correctness. This should be great, but then again, so should communism. This arguably excessive zeitgeist of political correctness has bred a generation of permanently outraged politicians, critics, and with the social media boom, the rest of us as well. Our indignation has become monochrome; there is no scale on which we distinguish between the severity of offensive events. Grievances about the H&M scandal appeared on my timeline just as much as the slavery crisis in Libya. I am not arguing that the H&M advert did not make reference to a derogatory term used to oppress black people, nor am I arguing that such insensitive publicity should go without a firm and heavy-handed reaction from all of us to prevent it from being normalized or acceptable. What I am arguing is that if the selling of millions of vulnerable people as slaves right now receives the same amount of media attention as H&M’s “clumsy marketing techniques,” we have a problem. We are a generation of educated “boys crying wolf”. How is anyone supposed to know which issues warrant action if the same amount of outrage is expressed for all of them? As Ashly Charles said in her recent article in The Guardian, “by shouting about everything, we are creating a deafening silence where outrage is without consequence.” And you don’t have to look far to see even the small-scale negative effects of excessive outrage and political correctness. These days hurt feelings are getting in the way of discussing issues and resolving them. Instead of having civil and educated discussions or ignoring those whose opinions we cannot change, the hurt-feelings card is used in order to ‘win’ arguments. A professor wrote an article for Vox explaining this: “No one can rebut feelings, and so the only thing left to do is shut down the things that cause distress — no argument, no discussion, just hit the mute button and pre-

Hannah Besson is the coolest monkey in the jungle tend eliminating discomfort is the same as effecting actual change.” Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of a learning institution wherein young people should be encouraged to discuss issues and challenge their peers’ opinions? When we add social media to this equation, we see that our outrage spreads and escalates even more quickly. When something outrageous happens, we all take to Twitter and Instagram to stamp the latest hashtag or flag on our profiles — ignorantly professing our undying commitment to a cause we know nothing about. Why? Ashly Charles has our answer. She says that our generation equates taking offense with being principled; “people are so intent on projecting a self-serving image of morality that they now piggyback any prominent cause that might help position themselves as ethical and compassionate”. You’ll remember #StopKony in 2012. Then we saw #BringBackOurGirls in 2014. And in 2016, the #BlackLivesMatter campaign peaked. Hashtags are great, they reach people worldwide and raise awareness for campaigns that deserve attention, but do any of us know if our girls were brought back? Do any of us know the history of the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Do any of us know if we stopped Kony? Well, if you do, congratulations! You’re in a minority of people who have an “outrage-span” of more than seven days. Our interest is sparked when we are handed an enemy like Boko Haram, and we feel responsible to stop them. Yet, when we learn more about the complexity of the problem and realize that the issue won’t, after all, be resolved by our tweet condemning the kidnapping of young girls, we lose interest. Our compassion only lasts 24 hours. That’s why the majority of the girls are yet to be found and that’s why people like Darren Wilson can be exonerated of criminal wrongdoings time and time again. People who cause offense and outrage can now find comfort in the knowledge that everything will blow over in 24 hours. Most of us are so caught up in appearing informed and politically correct that our outrage is pompous, empty, and has no lasting effect. So, what have we gained from this evaluation? What I hope that you have not learned is that outrage is bad or that you don’t have the right to be offended. There was a time when acute outrage was an efficient means of creating political and social change, and it worked. It worked, in some measure, for Winnie Mandela, for Malala Yousafzai, and for Ellen Degeneres. However, we are no longer selective in our outrage; it has become our default setting, rendering it less and less effective with every empty, angry tweet. So, the next time you go to support a campaign or react to an event on social media, do some research; connect with the cause before you support it. Then, place it on your list of priorities. And finally, consider if anger is the best approach to solving that particular issue. Remember, just because you’re angry doesn’t mean you’re woke.


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TIME’S UP

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e are not even a full month into 2018, and we are already seeing the world attempting to take leaps in becoming a better place. You may have heard about the #MeToo movement and the waves it is creating in the world. This year’s Golden Globes hosted a sea of black gowns and tuxedos, opposed to the typically colorful red carpet. Many celebrities consciously opted for the noir gowns to show their solidarity and willingness to boycott malpractices that have been occurring in this world for many years. What were these celebrities protesting? They were protesting the sexual harassment that has infiltrated our world to such a deep extent, that unfortunately has become a normality. Through #MeToo, the discussion about sexual harassment and assault has taken center stage in the media. People are openly having conversations about a potent issue that has remained behind closed doors for so long.

However, the discussion and the movement itself is not enough, and we need to remember that. These stories have exposed many assaulters in the industry and have put them in difficult positions. In cases like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, etc. their entire careers appear to be ruined. But what happens to these perpetrators at a grass root level? The whole movement is being propelled by the Hollywood industry as it affects the people within it. For commoners like you and me, simply saying “#MeToo” does not necessarily result in any guaranteed action. We need to start creating consequences in the real world for crimes like these; take legal action against the people who commit these crimes. Another big part of the #MeToo movement is TIME’s Person of the Year 2017 Silence Breaker article. The articles tell the story of why each victim of assault decided to take action against their assaulter. What struck me throughout these articles was how long it took

Khwaish Vohra most victims to report the crime or speak out against it. Sexual assault is one of the most underreported and devastating crimes. Many victims suffer from PTSD, depression and suicidal thoughts post-assault. Perhaps victims do not know how to act after they have been assaulted. And this is not okay. We need to create an awareness of this crime. People should know how to report their assault, and who to talk to in order to help them cope with what they experienced. We need to educate young girls and boys in school about what constitutes as sexual assault and how to react to it. The #MeToo movement is starting a discussion, but that is not enough for us to make a real change, we need to foster an environment where assault is frowned upon and there are serious consequences that follow it. We need to educate people on how to treat each other with respect and equality, because without it, we will be stuck with our current mindset forever.

CARTONS DU COEUR

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ervice work has always been a quintessential aspect of the ISL community. And yes, some students only partake because they are “forced” to by the binding restrictions of the International Baccalaureate, but that doesn’t take away from the majority of people who invest their time in projects that really do mean something. For this semester, two of those projects have been the Cartons du Coeur food drive and concert. Before we begin, a brief background of the organization Cartons du Coeur: Since 1993, CdC has been distributing food, hygiene products, and household essentials to residents of Switzerland who have a lack of means, or those who are unemployed, have small loans, are elderly, are the working poor, or are part of single-parent families. The people that sign up for the organization are then able to collect boxes of food and other necessities three times a year. Donations of food and money are extremely beneficial to the organization, and this year’s food drive and

concert have allowed the ISL community to contribute in both of these forms. The food drive, which took place during the final week of school before winter break, aimed to gather food donations from the students and families of ISL. The food that was collected would then be given out to the citizens of Lausanne who were in need of support. Overall, after a week of hard work from two Year 12 students, they were able to collect roughly 20 boxes full of food to be donated! This was enough to sustain more than 20 people and families who were in need of some extra support that month. They were also able to experience the Cartons du Coeur organization hands-on when they delivered the food to the CdC headquarters. Here, they assisted in distributing the boxes of the food they collected to a group of around 15 people! Aside from the highly successful food drive, ISL further supported Cartons du Coeur by planning and hosting a concert raising money for the organization just last week! The concert was run by

Maddie Johns

Anais Casella in Year 13 and her team of student volunteers. They were able to produce a beautiful event, highlighting the immense musical talent that our school has to offer! With both emotional ballads and up-beat performances, the audience was surely kept entertained. And as an added bonus, the concert raised an astounding 615 CHF that will all be donated to Cartons du Coeur! From Anais herself, she says that, “overall, the concert was a huge success” and that the talent was “showcased perfectly!” I would have to agree. As a wealthy international school, it can be difficult to remove ourselves from the bubble we live in and truly take a look at what is going on around us. There are people everywhere that are living lives we could never imagine — full of pain and suffering, and it is easy to think that we can play no role in improving that. But we can. Each and every one of us is fully equipped with the resources and abilities to make a difference in someone’s life, we just need to get out there and do it.


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RACK CITY Celia Lette wants you to avert your gaze

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he rate at which people are fleeing war and persecution has soared from 6 per minute in 2005 to 24 per minute in 2015”, according to UNHCR figures, and this number is constantly increasing. The refugee crisis is becoming increasingly significant, but its validity is diminishing in the minds of many. It is easy to lose sight of the magnitude of an issue when it is constantly surrounding us. Like the “Me Too” campaign, we are quick to be overwhelmed by a social conflict of interest after being drowned in information for long periods of time. However, it is important not to lose sight of the issue at hand through an unconscious mental process which dehumanizes its victims. For many, legal immigration into a country is no longer an option as stigmas have started to surround migrants and border regulations have tightened. And even if immigrants are granted visas, life is never easy. As stated by my own grandfather, an orthopedic surgeon who emigrated from Egypt to the USA in search of a safer and happier life for his family, “To succeed in the working world as an American, you have to be good at your job. To succeed as an immigrant, you have to be at least five times better.” Unfortunately, in countries such as the USA, refugees’ chances to succeed have become all the more slim due to the regression of society, forming unethical stigmas surrounding those who seek happiness. In a world where major world leader, Donald Trump calls himself ‘the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country’, hope is difficult to grasp, but we as future voters can be the change that makes America, and the world, Compassionate Again. Illustration by Minnie Lowin

voice. Some from the ISL student body have made an impact by bonding with those from EVAM, doing what they can to brighten someone’s day in any way possible. However, we, as a community, still have a long way to go. Thankfully, I’ve found a way in which ISL as a whole can do their part and make women’s lives that much easier in developing countries through a project called “Free The Girls”. With roughly 80% of refugees currently being male, Free The Girls is an organization which empowers the women left behind. These include women who have been trafficked, enslaved, and discriminated against for a lifetime. “By supplying bras to women who are trafficked into the sex trade, Free The Girls offers an opportunity for gainful employment as the women work to restore their lives as they move towards rehabilitation and reintegration as entrepreneurs.” By donating your new or gently used bras, you’re giving economic opportunity that these women use to change their lives. Your financial donation helps survivors of human trafficking start their own businesses selling bras in their local second-hand clothing markets while they recover and build their new life. They accept accept both new and gently used bras of all sizes and styles, including sports bras, nursing bras, and camisoles. Women in conflict-stricken countries are currently fighting a difficult war. This war pertains to the still-present male role of superiority in many developing countries. A strong example of this is on the Free The Girls website, where Fatima, a Somalian woman, tells her story. She depicts the ways in which she coped with her son and husband illegally immigrating to Europe as she stayed back with her two daughters due to a lacking of money. The story includes tales of Fatima and her girls being subjected to unhygienic female circumcision, sexual assault and human trafficking for three years before escaping to Mozambique on one lucky night. Fatima, upon her arrival, was introduced to Free The Girls and immediately began to sell bras in a handmade stall which she assembled, along with her daughters, on the side of a busy road. Due to her hard-work as well as Free The Girls’ dedication towards rehabilitating and empowering Fatima and her daughters, she has been able to now re-establish herself. In her words, “I found Free The Girls and began to sell. Today I have bought my land for about $1000. I have bought cement blocks, a roof, and my children are going to school. Everything is by the grace of God and this project.”

Many of us, myself included, are currently spending more time reading snapchat news articles on Kylie’s baby, Kim’s surrogate and Khloe’s pregnancy rather than reading significant world news events and doing what we can as the “generation of change” to act and stand up for those with little to no

So please, help us by giving in second-hand bras and contributing towards this effective cause. Help us to give women like Fatima and her daughters a voice. Help us to rehabilitate them and give them a second chance at life, in a world where to be a woman is no longer a weakness but rather a strength.


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WORDS CAN’T BRING ME DOWN

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reedom of speech is often championed as a cornerstone of a healthy democracy, and is seen as necessary in order to keep authoritarian groups at bay. By allowing people to voice their own views and criticize freely, the general public can stay informed on important topics that the government would otherwise have prefered to keep quiet. When we think of places that lack free speech we think of countries like China, North Korea, Russia, and Nazi Germany: all basically dictatorships and awful to live in. However, free speech is a double edged sword: on the one hand it allows the spread of unflattering criticism which fields debate and change; however, it can also lead to the spread of alternative facts which in turn can give rise to extremism. The importance of freedom of speech is undeniable, but what do we do when this human right is being used to spread messages of aggression and hate?

Free speech is a doubleedged sword Many of you are likely starting to think about Donald Trump and point to him as the cause of this. However, he is only a symptom of a much larger, overarching problem. Trump had been spouting lies long before he ran for president, and while we might think that the president of the United States should not be a chronic liar, he isn’t breaking any laws. He is allowed to say whatever he wants, because just like everyone else, he also has the right to freedom of speech. This is a problem, because if no one can stop him from saying what he likes, it is up to the people listening to decide what they want to believe. This has always been an issue in society: people lie and it is up to the listener

to decide what is true and what isn’t. Nor is this the first time a president has lied. But what is different about Trump is how people continue to defend and believe him, and more importantly point to him as an excuse when they say something racist. The public have always been able to voice their distasteful views before, so long as they were willing to face social humiliation in return. Now, however, extremists are taking to the streets chanting “fuck political correctness” and openly sharing their views. It isn’t only the US that is having this problem through. Europe is also struggling with similar issues. The UK leaving the EU is perhaps the clearest example, but it is far from the only one. Parties and groups praying on voters’ fear and anger are creating hate and distrust, not only towards migrants and to the EU, but to globalism in general, something which was once hailed as a surefire way to ensure widespread economic growth and prevent wars. A lot of these campaigns utilise alternative facts - and sometimes even blatant lies - and due to the sheer amount of information we are exposed to on a daily basis, fact checking everything simply isn’t a feasible solution. So how do we stifle the spread of lies and hate, without hindering free speech? Well one way is to impose laws against certain groups or views. Germany is already doing this by making it illegal to be a Nazi. However, other countries have a hard time following suit. For example terrorism is of course illegal, but where do you draw the line between extremism and terrorism? Some say that to combat extremist islamic views we should simply ban all muslims. The problem with this (aside from the obvious racism) is that who gets to decide what gets banned, and where do we draw the line for extremism? Banning groups and concepts like this is a slippery slope which most countries should avoid interfering with.

Fredrik Falk is not speechless Another solution is to educate the public and teach them critical thinking. This is the best, and in many cases the only, way to stop people abusing freedom of speech. Not only will this help stop people spreading extremist views, but it will also stop listeners from believing it. However, this of course also comes with its own set of issues. Who decides what gets taught, and how will people keep learning once they leave school. Critical thinking is a useful skill throughout life if learned properly, but other, more concrete facts constantly need updating. The migrant crisis for example wasn’t a problem 20 years ago, so unless people do research in their own time they might have a difficult time separating the lies from the truth.

So how do we stifle the spread of lies and hate, without hindering free speech? Freedom of speech is an undeniable human right, and must remain so if we want to avoid slipping back into dictatorships. With this being said, there is no single solution to the consequences of a free speech society. Now, more than ever, it is our responsibility to remain educated and vigilant to stop the spread of extremism before it’s too late.


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KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS

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he problem isn’t what clothes we wear on a night out, or that we want to walk alone from the pub to our house, or that we wear red lipstick. The problem doesn’t lie in how we look at someone in a bar or how we dance or move around certain people.

mediately her fault because she “asked for it”. It will always be her fault for wearing such a tight dress, or such a short skirt, but it will never be a man’s fault for harassing her. It is something that women know will happen if they wear a provocative dress or skirt.

The problem is that certain men feel that they have complete superiority over women, and that they can tell us what to do, when and how to do it, without any type of consent on our behalf.

“Don’t wear such a short top or something bad will happen to you”, is something that we hear repeatedly before we go out at night, especially from our moms. Society’s view on this has gotten to the point where mothers tell their daughters not to wear clothes, even if they feel comfortable and themselves in these clothes, in order to avoid them getting assaulted. Instead of telling sons to respect women and treat them as individuals and not as objects, mothers advise their daughters on how to avoid getting harassed by - hopefully a minority - of sick men.

Recently, social media has been overflowing with comments about how women dress. We see comments making reference to how “inappropriate” or “revealing” or “attention seeking” their clothes are. This is an issue. But the bigger problem lies in the fact that certain men have the idea embedded in their heads that they are superior. Superior solely because they are men. This toxic mindset is allowing some men to feel like they have the right to judge how “inappropriate” or “revealing” a woman’s clothing is, just because it makes them feel “uncomfortable”. As girls, one of the things that scares us most is watching the thousands of cases of women that are sexually assaulted. Raped, abused, beaten. Too scared to speak out. The horrific images trapped in their mind. It scares us that one day, we could be that girl. We could be walking alone at night and get called up by a man. He approaches us. Forces us into his car. And in that moment, we could lose the most valuable things in our lives... because of him. It almost feels as though society has become incredibly male chauvinistic of course this may be because we are more openly talking about the issues - and inappropriate comments and actions have been seem normalized to the extent that if a woman walks alone in Lausanne at night and gets stopped by a few men who harass her, it’s im-

Certain men feel that they have complete superiority over women These twisted men feel they have the right to scream “hey sexy, where are you going?” when women walk past them at night. If society continues to accept this behaviour, it will only be a small step for these men to see women as sex objects and commit even more serious assaults. It may sound outrageous for us that certain men have the “need” to say these things to women. We would think that everyone around us would feel uncomfortable listening to these exclamations, because of course we don’t scream these

Raquel Muzquiz is done with dressing to impress things to every guy/girl that we like. It is disturbing that people would actually put women in these uncomfortable positions, and yet it is something else which is worryingly common in society. Often, if a man objectifies a woman and calls her sexy, they are encouraged to take it as a compliment. People tell us that if these things are said to us that we should be grateful, and thank them for their compliment. This is a deeply worrying direction for our society to be heading. So, why do we have to be scared to walk home alone from the pub to our house, even if we live two hundred meters away? Why do we have to walk in the fastest pace possible, avoiding eye contact to any unknown men around us? Why do we have to walk with our phone unlocked in case we see any silhouettes? Why do we, for being women, have to be incredibly careful about our clothing and makeup to avoid anything bad happening? The answer is in our education, or more specifically, the lack of education. The ideal solution is for parents to teach their children from a young age that women and men are valued the same; that a woman can wear what she wants without implying anything to a man; that a woman should be able to fearlessly walk around her own town during the night, without having to constantly send “I’m ok” texts. Parents should teach their children that it is not okay for men to refer to women as “sexy” or “naughty”, because women shouldn’t be put in that uncomfortable position. Mothers should teach their daughters that they should feel free to wear what they want, without the imposition of any societal restrictions. Women should tell other women that they should not feel like they have to “accept” inappropriate comments from these men, and that they should stand up for themselves. The solution is education.


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NO JOB LIKE A NOSE JOB

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s you know, following months of speculation from the Daily Mail, the Hollywood Reporter and TMZ about Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy, it has finally been confirmed that she actually was pregnant and gave birth to her baby daughter on the first of February. You will probably want to know things like what her name is, and most importantly (because no matter what you say, we all care about the Kardashians/Jenners), what she will look like. All I can say is that Kylie’s child will most definitely not have big lips. Is that a problem though? Kylie’s daughter will probably just get lip fillers at the age of sixteen, when being sexy starts to matter. Her mother will probably agree to her daughter’s procedures as she also went under the needle at such a young age. Lip fillers are not permanent and in some cases, depending on the filler, can be reversed - so what’s the big deal?

also tied with success. I mean, it makes sense: how do all those Instagram celebrities get famous and rich? Maybe it’s because they are creative, funny, or have interesting things to share, which is true for some. But, what seems to make successful, creative, and funny Instagram celebrities are their looks. Almost all Instagram influencers have one thing in common: being what we call beautiful. They get more likes and sponsors, which translates to fame and wealth, all because of what they look like. Additionally, many celebrities get cosmetic procedures, which indicates that getting work done is the way to go if you want to be successful.

Leonardo Morosini implants his ideas about beauty least, not yet). However, even though most of us are still underage, we are wealthy children from a privileged community. In other words, the perfect clients for cosmetic practitioners as we can afford things like nose jobs, fillers, and lasers. Therefore, there is a high chance that ten years from now some of us will have had work done. Depending on who you ask, cosmetic procedures might be a good thing. Some say they are good ways of solving insecurities like a crooked nose, wrinkles, or thin lips. Which in turn might lead to more confidence, allowing people to fully live their lives. On the other Photograph by Leonardo Morosini Artwork by Amélie Gouget

Whether you like it or not, you cannot deny the fact that cosmetic procedures are becoming more normalized than ever: since 2000, cosmetic procedures have risen by 115 percent. While we still care about whether or not someone has had it, it is no longer as vilified as it used to be. Celebrities like Iggy Azalea and Cardi B have proudly admitted to getting cosmetic procedures, in this case, breast implants. Nowadays, the worst reaction you will get from someone would be that you looked fine before or that it was a waste of money. But there is no longer the stigma that if you get some work done you are automatically considered as someone who has weak values or is lacking confidence. Of course, some people will still heavily criticize those who have gotten cosmetic procedures and some people going under the knife will have some of these stereotyped characteristics, but it’s much rarer.

However, beauty equating to success is not only confined to the internet; according to the Los Angeles Times, in South Korea oemo jisang juui, meaning “looks are supreme” is a practice where individuals are not only hired based on their skills but also depending on their looks. This might also explain why South Korea has the highest number of plastic surgeries per capita; people there want double eyelids, a heart shaped face if they are women, and an elongated nose to be what is considered attractive so they can fairly compete against other job-seekers (who probably also have had work done).

Also, because of adverts, TV shows and Instagram celebrities, being “beautiful” has not only become a norm but is

So how does this affect the ISL community? We are most certainly not in South Korea and none of us are celebrities (at

hand, others might tell you that cosmetic procedures like plastic surgery have high risks of infection. They might warn you about the risks of getting botched, and the fact that you might get addicted to cosmetic procedures and look like a clown. Despite varied opinions on this topic, this article is not about telling you whether or not cosmetic procedures are bad for you, nor is it to judge what you want to do in your life, if you want something done, have looked at the risk and have thought about it carefully, and still want it done, then do it! But please, don’t do something like getting lip fillers JUST BECAUSE Kylie Jenner or some other celebrity has done it; do it because you want to do it for yourself.


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LOGAN TAKES A LOW BLOW (Warning: This article talks about suicide)

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he year 2018 started out quite terribly for a lot of people when a YouTuber uploaded potentially the most distasteful vlog I (for one) have ever seen, titled, “We Found A Dead Body in the Japanese Suicide Forest”. This YouTuber is of course none other than the infamous Logan Paul. After starting his career out on the popular social media app Vine (RIP 20132017), Logan Paul, along with many other Viners, hopped right onto the YouTube bandwagon when Vine shut down and began making vlogs for his rapidly increasing number of subscribers. Today, his subscriber count stands at around 16.6 million pre-pubescent teens, coined the “Logang”. He’s made an obscene amount of money off his YouTube content, but most of his revenue comes from his line of merchandise, “Maverick”. The vlog that was uploaded onto Logan Paul’s YouTube channel was one in which he was planning to spend a night camping in Aokigahara, a forest in Japan often referred to as the “Japanese Suicide Forest”, when he stumbled across the dead body of a man hanging from a tree. Being a vlogger, Logan Paul felt it was only appropriate to keep the cameras rolling as his team filmed the victim of suicide, who had apparently only been dead for no longer than a day. But don’t worry, the body was slightly blurred out, so that’s fine. It made for really good clickbait, though. Logan Paul and his team laughed at the victim. They cracked jokes. People have argued that this was merely a natural coping mechanism in response to the shock of seeing the body, but surely they wouldn’t upload that footage? You would think that a 22-year-old man, who happened to be sporting a toy story hat, would have the common sense to stop filming. You would think

he wouldn’t proceed to send the morbid footage to his editor, to whom he then gave the thumbs up on posting the complete, edited video to his millions of naive subscribers to profit off. There is clearly a lack of common sense and a lack of respect for the victim and his family through the whole process of filming, editing, and posting this footage on a public platform. This would all be slightly less terrible if it weren’t for Logan Paul’s audience. I can confidently say that the majority of his viewers are below the age of 15. At that age, you’re not ready to be exposed to suicide in such a candid way. Making jokes about the body and somehow simultaneously dehumanising and dramatising the suicide is the last thing children need to see. His viewers look up to him (for some reason). Many of them simply won’t have understood the gravity of the situation, potentially even going on to make jokes about suicide, too. YouTube decided to remove Logan Paul from their Google Preferred programme, which essentially advertises certain videos on the Trending page to increase revenues, but they haven’t banned him completely from the website itself. Keep in mind that the Aokigahara vlog was suspiciously on the Trending page when it was first released. After uploading the vlog and consequently having it removed, Logan Paul released a pathetically narcissistic apology written in Notes on his phone to twitter, followed by a robotic and scripted video titled, “So Sorry” on his YouTube channel, in which he blinks about 5 times in total. The internet was furious, to say the least. About a month later, Logan Paul has now returned to YouTube, after taking a short break. During this time, he pledged to donate $1 million to suicide prevention groups, and uploaded a video about suicide awareness and prevention which I cannot get angry at him

Amelia Lumme is not in the gang for, because it is a positive video. But what I can get angry at him for is claiming that’s why he decided to upload the Aokigahara vlog in the first place, which is a blatant lie. Logan Paul is notorious for his desperation for power through YouTube views, for people to buy his merchandise, and to be more successful than his younger brother, Jake Paul (I’ll save him for another article). The video was monetised clickbait, with a preface featuring Logan talking about how a vlog like this one had “never been done before”.

Logan Paul is notorious for his desperation for power I would love to say that this experience changed Logan Paul, but who am I fooling. His first daily vlog after his break glamorises his return to YouTube, and less than 5 minutes into it, he’s already bragging, saying “what other YouTuber do you know that can take a 3 week break, and still gain a million subscribers”. At this point, I had to close YouTube, and walk away from my laptop before the temptation to throw it across the room got the better of me. Logan Paul jumped straight back into his overly-animated, loud, and overall immature YouTube persona (which I don’t think is actually that far away from his actual personality) without hesitation, plugging his merchandise and talking about “savagery” whilst showing off his new haircut. In a recent vlog, he shifts from disrespecting dead humans to disrespecting dead rats by tasering them. It’s clear he hasn’t really learnt a thing.


10

ALOHOMORA! Pia Tiwari and Heloise Coubat

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he South Campus’ hefty doors could have been described as nightmarish by many. High schoolers were notorious for letting the door hit smaller, younger students as they rushed to their lessons. You could also find yourself having to push them open while holding a mountain of books and folders — a new and exciting form of torture for clumsy people. But on one glorious day the doors disappeared and beautiful sliding doors stood in their place. These wonders of technology open automatically when they sense someone walking towards them, eliminating the bodybuilding that is having to push doors to open them. Smiles blessed the faces of innocent high schoolers — the great evil had been defeated. But is it all really as good as it seems? With the doors’ reluctance to open for those on the shorter end of the spectrum, they make for excellent entertainment when a flock of primary schoolers finds itself in front of an unyielding wall of glass. Schadenfreude aside, this may be a veritable problem in the functionality of these doors. And it seems this isn’t the only one. Eyebrows have been raised over the fact that only the South Campus doors were replaced, with people asking why we have “four sets of doors on the South Campus and none on the other.” This is a reasonable question to ask considering the doors in the North Campus are also quite heavy, especially considering the building houses younger students. There is also the fact that 90 of the 154 secondary school students surveyed could not fathom why

the IB students don’t seem to be able to get into the campus when the doors are locked during lesson time. And to top that, these sliding doors seem to open with the resolve of a sleep-deprived teenager heaving themselves out of bed on a school day. For a crowd of impatient students, they can be a source of great annoyance, as almost half of our secondary school survey respondents can testify. Consequently, people of all ages have been spotted walking headfirst into the glass doors as they could not possibly slow down to match the speed of the doors. Perhaps this is a lesson to all of us who take the sliding doors as a free pass to walk while on our phones. Maybe these doors will prompt us to actually look up and take in the awe-inspiring beauty that is the South Campus building. As a matter of fact, there are many who find these problems to be trivial and insignificant with someone going as far as to proclaim anyone incapable of using these sliding doors “an incompetent buffoon”. So what if the school brought new doors? They aren’t too bothersome – a majority actually found them to be an improvement – and there are many other things to worry about such as Donald Trump’s latest tweet and our impending doom as a species. However, this does not mean there isn’t a vocal minority who found that the doors should not have been bought. It is also true that many people are unsure why exactly these doors were changed: was it to make it easier for the students? The truth is that any convenience derived from these doors is coincidental. An interview with Mr. Foley, our Sec-

ondary School Principal revealed that the previous doors had numerous issues: firstly, they constantly needed fixing which made them very costly in the long run; secondly, they were heavy and quick to shut raising concerns for possible injuries; and lastly, they sometimes failed to lock properly which made them a liability for the school’s security. The doors were cheap when the South Campus was being built, but the costs gradually built up. These problems are what prompted the school Operational Leadership Team to invest in the lighter, more functional, sliding doors. Although they are expensive - priced at 50,000 francs - they were purchased with the future in mind. In our survey, many students preferred the sliding doors to their predecessors, citing ease of access and overall practicality in their favour. In fact, the main complaints over than slowness are that there aren’t enough sliding doors! This interview also resolved why only the South Campus acquired sliding doors: the North Campus doors have no such issues, and there are no future plans to alter them. As for the IB students who had trouble getting into the South Campus during lesson time, the problem seems to lie with your cards rather than the doors. Overall, the new doors have been a welcome addition to our school for both practical and financial reasons. It is also reassuring to know that these doors do not run the danger of breaking under their own weight and falling on our heads. Illustration by Leah Parsons


11

OUR DARKEST PAST Suhasini Mehra and Tom Secheyron

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ew year, new experiences. By now, many Year 10s have heard about the Year 11 Poland trip from their older friends. So now the question is: will you go? It can be difficult to predict the value of a school trip from the information our teachers provide, so we hope to give you a clearer view what you will experience on the Poland trip through this article. First, of course, we have to mention the largest part of the trip, and the primary reason for going. The death camp. It’s not an easy experience, this tour. It isn’t something you can slouch through, dreaming of the free time to come, and forget immediately after. We saw mountains of belongings at the Auschwitz death camp - entire rooms piled with only the smallest fraction of all that was brought by the prisoners. We saw suitcases and mugs with names painted onto them in neat handwriting; party shoes that were once someone’s favourite pair; combs and shoe polish and everything necessary to look presentable in a new life. We saw prison cells, as well, and the shooting wall, the guillotine, the gallows just outside the kitchen. We saw the gas chamber, walked inside the cement walls into a tiny room where hundreds of people were killed, before they started taking them to the more efficient Birkenau. There were bigger chambers there, so big that prisoners had to be kept aside and accumulated until there were enough to fill them. There is a house in Auschwitz. You won’t see more than a glimpse of it, just beyond the guillotine, but it’s a pretty villa that once housed Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz and developer of its successors, along with his wife and his five children. Seeing that house, a lot of us on the trip, myself included, found ourselves wondering - how? It’s commonly known that the Nazis lied to their new prisoners, telling them that the chambers were simply showers - something warm and comforting, and direly welcome after the long rides in the animal cars of trains that they’d endured to reach the camps. Looking at the pictures displayed in the Auschwitz Museum, it’s easy to imagine the oldest children smiling with relief, reassuring their younger siblings that it was going to be alright now - after all, if they were to die here, why would the soldiers tell them to remember where they had hung their clothes? It isn’t so easy to imagine how the soldiers bore those smiles, how they smiled back and guided their prisoners - from tired old grandparents, to young adults just starting their own lives, to little children scarcely understanding what was going on - to their deaths, how they burned the bodies and collected the belongings and then returned home to their own families, their own parents and children, believing that what they were doing was right. Reading from a textbook, it’s difficult to understand the scope of what happened at Auschwitz, and how the people involved

might have felt. Although this trip answered many questions, it left us with many more. These questions are the ones that we should be asking ourselves if we’re to keep history from repeating itself any further than it already has. It wasn’t all historical and emotional however, as the Year 11 group also took the time to visit other Krakow landmarks. Amidst many different tours of the city and the Old Town, one afternoon really stood out for most students: the salt mines. Located not far away from Krakow’s downtown, the salt mines were absolutely stunning. After receiving a headset system and splitting off into two different groups, the ISL students started the march down to the main attraction. All were impressed with the height and time it took to get down to the mines: many students were heard saying “When is this going to end?” After a good five to seven minutes of going step-after-step, the purpose of the stairs finally came into view: a huge underground cave, with ceilings as high as some of the world’s tallest buildings. Slowly but surely, the students made their way through their respective tours, following a guide that seemed to know the place like the palm of her hand. But shortly, as most were starting to get comfortable with their surroundings and the darkness of the mines, someone had the guts to ask the long-awaited question: “Would it be possible to lick the walls?” Yes, LICK the walls. Realizing that the walls and floor of the immense mine were all made of salt, this question was a very pertinent one. The guide grinned, not surprised that such an energetic group of undisciplined teenagers would raise such a question. “Of course, honey. Everything is made of salt after all.” A wave of bizzare energy passed through the crowd, and students glanced at each other, not sure whether to start licking the walls. But as the tour continued, more and more tried this strange trend and noticed the undeniable bitterness of the walls. Throughout the rest of the tour, many were more focused on the tasty walls than on the actual sightseeing. One of the most memorable parts of the second part of the tour had to be the huge corridor that the ISL students got to explore. Scattered throughout this gigantic amount of space were chandeliers completely made of salted decorations. Another very spectacular scene for the all of the students involved. After the trip, we both agreed on one thought: all Year 11s should have been involved in this excursion. When considering both the culture and knowledge that the students gained, the Poland trip was a huge success, and one that more people should be involved in. And, well, if you’re still not convinced: consider it an invaluable opportunity to watch Mr Anderson dance with the beautiful Krakowian dancers that performed for us on the last night. It really makes the trip worth it.


12

A TEST OF OUR PATIENCE

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e all know the feeling, the feeling of having an exam or test in a few hours, and yet, regardless of the time you’ve had, you haven’t studied. I remember asking a good friend in Year 12 if they wanted to hang out one weekend, and she gave me a very short reply: “Can’t. Exams.” Fair enough, some people are actually organized enough to review their material beforehand. But let’s be honest, most people don’t. Now, for both those who procrastinate and those who don’t, there is a three step cycle to exams: before, during, and after. While this article is a tad bit late for the diploma students who had their exams two weeks ago, this might be helpful to the Year 11 student who’ll be having their first exams in spring. Without further ado, welcome to the cycle of exams. Step one: Panic. Much like in my Personal Project presentation, the first step to exams is panic. Panic because you have to review everything you’ve learnt over the past year, and you can’t even remember the first name of the character in Othello, or what 1 to the power of 2 is (Hint: it’s 1). I heard from a friend of mine, that the week before exams is just full of practice in most classes. But let’s be honest, those of us in Year 11, much like what we did during Personal Project week, would probably spend the whole week on YouTube or on Netflix watching the newest episode of whatever we’re interested in. Now, this step also has its own parts. For those who actually do practice, they’d still panic because these grades count. If they mess up during their exams, it may put their futures in jeopardy. That alone is enough to keep many awake at night, which doesn’t help considering sleep deprivation does not help in stressful test situations. On the other hand, there’s the procrastinators who panic for the same reason in addition to the added stress of memorizing days worth of information in the several hours before the test. Stay classy, because the next step is probably worse. Step two: the five stages of grief. I’m not joking, much like falling in love with a fictional character, exams come with their own five stages of grief. Step two often occurs during the exam, but depending on the person, can also happen before and after. The first stage, denial. You did study enough, you are ready. You lie to yourself to feel less stressed. Who cares that you have no idea what the powerhouse of the cell is, if you can’t remember it, it’s not your fault! It’s your teachers who didn’t tell you what you needed to know. No way in hell is it your fault. And these thoughts lead us into stage two. Anger. You don’t want to go to your next exam. They’re stupid, you don’t need a grade to tell you how good you are! People shouldn’t have to go through with this. So you sulk, send an angry message to your friends complaining about how pointless life is, then you reluctantly trudge to your next exam. stage three could hit you at any point in time, or not at all depending on who you are. Bargaining with yourself,

Manon Libine examines her future saying that if you cram all the knowledge right before the exam. I mean — you should be able to remember everything!... Right? Perfect, you’re such a genius. However, stage four hits you hard soon after stage three (or two if you’re one of those people who skipped stage three). Depression. You’ll never be good enough. You should have studied, and even if you did, you should have studied more. It doesn’t matter anymore, you’re just going to fail your exams anyways, so why bother? Why study anymore? Why even show up at all? But even through all those thoughts, you know you still have to go, which just makes you sadder. This stage may last the shortest or the longest, but in the end, you’d always finish step two with the fifth stage. Acceptance. Even if you don’t think you studied enough, and even if you didn’t, you’re probably not going to fail. You’ll accept that you should have studied more, and you’ll accept that you probably deserved that grade, even if it’s not what you wanted. You might not get to this stage until after the exams, but getting to it earlier makes the last few exams a lot calmer than the first ones. Who knows, maybe the exams will be easy and you’ll simply skip from stage one straight to stage two. In the end, it all depends on your mindset during exam week.

The first step to exams is panic Finally, the third step to exams, also has two different stages. The first one: celebrate! I know quite a few people who hosted parties after exams to celebrate the end of suffering. The last stage of the cycle ladies and gentlemen, is dread. Exam results are coming in, and, looking back, you can’t remember anything. Did you do alright? Did you mess everything up? Who knows. Waiting for the results, you might stay up at night in anticipation, or sleep like a baby if you don’t care. But when opening up the document, there are three reactions you could have. YES! Meaning that you got a great grade and you’ll be sleeping easy tonight. Oh ok. You got the grade you expected (unless you expected a 7), or one below. It’s not a bad grade, but you would have preferred a higher one on this subject. And finally, the last reaction. Silence. It’s horrible, you never want to look at it again. This grade probably makes your parents lecture you for a while, and results in a mess of a student eating ice cream and crying themselves to sleep. Now that you know the three steps of exams you’re ready. Go, and remember that your entire future relies on this. Good luck and remember: eating tide pods is a bad idea. Have fun!


13

NOT FANTASTIC, MADE OF PLASTIC

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n January 9th, a high school assembly was called. When going through the doors to the South Campus, there were bottles laying in front of the door that people had to be careful not to step on. There were confused whispers of “What’s this?” and “What is this for?”. The answer came to us during the assembly when the Ecological Society explained to us that the bottles we had seen at the entrance were the number of bottles that the school consumed in three days. The number totaled up to almost 1,000 bottles. The Ecological Society said this number was much too high and that we should work on reducing the number of plastic bottles we use to zero. They think it possible, but is this just a dream, or could it be a reality? To begin with, let’s get an idea of the number of bottles that we, as a school, consume. Remember all those bottles on the floor the day of the assembly? As the Ecological Society told us, that was the number of bottles used by the school in a mere three days. Upon further digging, however, I uncovered an even more shocking number. “Over a week, the school consumes around 1,200 plastic bottles.” says Mr. Printer, the facilitator for the students of the Ecological Society. “This number doesn’t include the plastic containers and plastic wrap that sandwiches some in.” This is a huge number, way more than necessary, especially considering the numerous drink fountains around the school. So what does the Ecological Society intend to do about the bottles at our school? I interviewed Ecological Society members Renske van Ingen, Isabella Malkani, and Clara Janbon Poligné for answers. A few steps have already been taken. “After the assembly, we sent out a petition asking people if they agreed to ban plastic water bottles at school, and the majority said yes,” the group told me. “We’re trying to see if we can get

the petition sent to the board for further action. The assembly was meant to shock people into not buying water bottles. We’ve also been thinking about trying to sell re-usable water bottles. The school tried this last year and it didn’t go so well, but we think it could be a future idea-maybe if we redesigned them.” When asked if they planned to take away Gatorade and other products sold in plastic bottles besides water, they said “No, we don’t want to inconvenience any students by taking away things they like. Instead, we’d just like to remove unnecessary things. We’re focusing on water bottles for now, but afterwards we were also thinking of looking at the plastic cutlery that comes in plastic wraps. The cutlery itself isn’t really necessary because we already get washable, metal ones, and the plastic cutlery comes wrapped in plastic, wasting more.” There’s also some waste happening that is even easier to prevent. Out of the 1,200 bottles collected, 100 of those were found in main trash cans. If we call that the average amount thrown in the trash a week, that’s about 400 bottles wasted per month. This is an easy fix-all we have to do is make sure we are throwing the bottles away in the correct place.

Over a week, the school consumes around 1,200 plastic bottles If we ever manage to get the plastic bottle banned at ISL, it would come with several benefits. Firstly, it could get the

Salim Markabi wants to reduce, reuse, recycle school good publicity and really put it on the map. Secondly, it would help to cut back on a really shocking amount of waste. Yearly, it takes about 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles, which is enough to fuel 1 million cars for a year. Doing some calculations shows just how much we could save. A study showed that of the 26 billion plastic bottles thrown away a year, only about 15 percent are recycled. As I said before, we use about 1,200 a week, equating to about 62,400 plastic water bottles used in a year. If we assume again that 100 is the amount of bottles thrown in the mainstream bins, this means we throw away about 5,200 bottles a year into the mainstream bins, which is tons of plastic that could be recycled going to waste. This becomes a real problem when you see how long it takes for plastic bottles to degrade-they can take up to 450 years to fully decompose. I cannot imagine that anyone at ISL feels that reducing our plastic waste is anything but a positive thing. While it may seem like an inconvenience to always have to keep a reusable water bottle on us if we want a drink, it would significantly reduce our impact on the Earth without doing very much, and would leave the planet a much cleaner place for us and our children. This year, the Ecological Society has changed the cups that are being used for drinks at tonight’s Valentine’s disco. Instead of the usual plastic cups, they will be using the hard, colored cups that are usually given at lunch, because in previous years, too many people were getting a drink, throwing away the cup, then getting another drink later and using another cup. They’re also going to spend their Friday night at the disco so they can wash cups so that people can reuse them. If they can give up their evening to wash cups so that the amount of waste we produce is reduced, surely we can start bringing our own bottles.


14

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

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ne of the privileges of being young is that we still have plenty of years ahead of us. That future is being created right now thanks to incredible advances in science and technology. We decided to start this column to offer a peek into the future and inspire you about the possibilities that science and technology can provide. In this first column, we look back to the last 12 months and explaining breakthroughs that have been made in Medicine, Space Exploration, and Computing. In future columns, we will continue to bring you the best stories about science, technology, and how they influence our lives.

MEDICINE

Programming our cells to fight cancer There are 15 million people that are suffering from cancer right now. The common treatment for cancer has been chemotherapy, which kills cancer but also healthy cells. And even though the treatment is effective, the cancer almost always regrows in the future. For decades, scientists have been exploring the possibility of developing treatments that distinguish between cancer and healthy cells. These efforts finally succeeded in 2017. A drug called Kymriah completed the required clinical trials and was approved by the FDA. What is the breakthrough? The drug kills only cancer cells, and it kills them forever. Compared to chemotherapy, the advantage of Kymriah is mind-blowing. In clinical trials, Kymriah cured 52 out of 63 children, while chemotherapy would only cure 13 out of the 63 children. How does it work? Through genetic engineering, or, in other words, recoding of DNA in selected white blood cells, Kymriah programs the immune system to detect and kill cancer. Although immunotherapies today only work with a select number of cancers, multiple studies are in progress to make them work for more types of cancers and even other diseases.

Achilleas Martinis wears a lab coat

COMPUTING

SPACE

The Onion, a satirical news site, published a headline that read “Jeff Bezos Spent Entire Conversation Thinking About How To Automate Person Talking To Him”. Despite the deliberate exaggeration, we might not be so far away from substituting human activity with robots. But that’s also not as bad as the headline might imply. 2017 was a breakthrough year for smart home technologies, driverless cars, and personal robot assistants. Today, Smart Home Technologies like intelligent locks and lighting control many people’s houses; and Uber and Lyft signed a contract to use about 20,000 driverless cars. This might not seem that exciting, but let’s remember that five years ago, the breakthroughs of the year were phones with contactless credit cards and flexible TV screens. What makes 2017 technologies different? They all use Artificial Intelligence, or AI. AI gathers information from its environment, intelligently processes it, and controls the voice or body of the device, whether it is Alexa or a driverless car. A report by Gartner, a research firm, says that devices that use AI might take away 1.8 million jobs by 2020. But that is smaller than the 2.3 million jobs that AI will create. So what are the scientific and technological developments that are helping us make new robots? First, machines like driverless cars can gather more information to process through their sensors. Second, these robots are fitted with amazingly high processing power. If you want to understand their scale, you can compare them to your computer. The newest MacBook is able to do 4 billion calculations per second, but a driverless car is able to do 320 trillion calculations per second. Hopefully, this allows you to trust your next driverless Uber ride a bit more.

On February 6, Elon Musk’s space exploration company SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space. It was prime time news both because of the scientific achievement and because of the audacity of the effort. The synchronized landings of the boosters and Elon Musk’s Tesla sending a live feed while orbiting in space were awe-inspiring. Still, this launch is just a test in preparation for future missions in commercial space travel. What is up next? Elon Musk wants to use his Falcon Heavy rocket to send tourists to the moon by the end of this year. Only a handful of tourists have been to space in the past 20 years and that was only to the International Space Station (the distance to the ISS is only about one thousandth of the distance to the moon). But, SpaceX’s rocket reusability opens doors to low cost commercial travel. With a $15 million ticket per person it is not your next trip to the mountains, but it is an improvement from the $530 million of what such a trip used to cost in the past. How will the mission work? The rocket booster will launch the tourists inside the space module to orbit and then return to earth. The space module will travel to the moon, make a loop around, and bring the tourists safely back to earth. Two exciting elements make this mission possible: the low cost per trip of the rocket and the use of Artificial Intelligence to steer the rocket without need for human intervention. You might not be able to go sailing in lake Lausanne without a skipper, but you can go to the moon without an astronaut on board.

Welcoming the robots

Sending tourists to the Moon

Curious to learn more? Keen to share your knowledge? Want to belong to an active science and technology community at ISL? We have exciting plans ahead. Write me and be part of this initiative from the start.


15

FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE

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ast month saw a book hold the spot as the number one bestseller for two weeks while at the same time being called a “trashy tabloid fiction” by the leader of the free world. Whether you think anything in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury is even true, from the alleged affair with a US diplomat, to Melania crying when her husband won the election, to the infamous ‘gorilla channel’, you can’t deny how much attention the book has gotten. So why does this matter? For starters, this thing sold a million copies in four days. The United States’ Commander-in-Chief has attacked the book and its author directly over Twitter and through press conferences, even threatening legal action against Wolff. We are witnessing yet another unprecedented set of events for a US politician addressing criticism. The reason this matters is through the sheer amount of attention it has gotten, and arguably having a more important impact than other recent events such as the Golden Globes speeches. Whether or not any of Fire and Fury contains any truth, its level of success should say more than enough about how many people want it to. For you to become so unpopular that the vast majority of people are willing to believe that you are mentally unstable with the apparent mental capacity of a child is a nightmare for someone who has the world’s attention at all times. But what is probably most alarming about what the book claims is how everybody in the White House hate each other. All in all, it isn’t too different from a tightly-knit friend group here at ISL turning out to be actively trying to ruin each other’s lives and only sticking together because of all the blackmail they have on each other. According to an interview, Wolff said that these people “would be each other’s assassins if they could.” And much like how his book shows a divided White House, the public reaction to the book is deeply divided. There are people on all sides that hate him, notably the MSNBC hosts who cut their interview with Wolff on live TV and the programs of Fox that have done their best to discredit him. What’s astounding is how much attention it has received without creating much beyond new joke material for late night comedians. While Fire and Fury made some serious accusations, is hasn’t done much to discredit the people mentioned in it. It seems that in today’s world, ever since truth has been tossed out the window, no matter what anybody says on camera or publishes for the the world to see, all people do is talk instead of act. Well, except for Steve Bannon. His career’s pretty much over. So how do you get people to actually care in today’s world? In a post-truth world, where people get their news based on what they agree with instead of based on facts, it’s not easy to grab the attention of those who aren’t looking to be told something that validates their opinions. A lot of news net-

Nick Jennings makes reading great again works, blogs, and Youtube channels capitalize off of that, but only a few seem to care about getting views from all sides. Enter Fire and Fury. It’s an interesting read with positive reviews and plenty of ludicrous parts to laugh at while you stock up your fallout shelter for the inevitable nuclear holocaust, and that’s about it. It achieved its purpose of telling the world what a disaster the US has fallen into, but that’s not exactly news. For obvious reasons, it’s difficult for conservatives to get behind this book, but it exactly hasn’t been treated like gospel to liberals either. Wolff has a reputation for not citing the topics he writes about, and that seriously damaged the way he was welcomed by a good portion of the media. It’s a shame, because Fire and Fury had some great potential, but divulged otherwise quality material in a tabloid-like style meant to grab attention rather than read like something more professional. So if you’re after a set of scandals to laugh at while you distress over humanity’s infinite capacity for stupidity, boy have I got a tell-all book for you. If you are more concerned with finding someone who will actually stand a chance at grabbing the attention of the whole world and incentivize change for the better, then I’d like to introduce you to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.


16

WORD SEARCH: INTERNATIONAL DAY FIND ALL THE NATIONALITIES IN THE NEWSROOM

The High 71  

What to get outraged about - and what not. Plus science, a book, and some new sliding doors.

The High 71  

What to get outraged about - and what not. Plus science, a book, and some new sliding doors.

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