Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Feb 9, 2021 in Stuff You Should Know

Women Dominate 2020 Best Director Golden Globes

It’s no secret that women directors aren’t recognized as often as men for their accomplishments in the entertainment industry. In fact, in all 77 years that the Golden Globes have been awarded, only five women–total–have ever been nominated for the Best Director award. But it seems that this trend may be changing. This year, three women have all been nominated for the best director Golden Globe award: Regina King, Chloe Zhao, and Emerald Fennell. Never before has more than one woman been nominated for this award in a single year.

Regina King has directed television shows and music videos in the past, but the movie for which she has been nominated, One Night in Miami, marks her film directorial debut. She is also only the second African American woman to be nominated for a Best Director award in Golden Globe history.

Chloe Zhao is a Chinese American filmmaker who has been nominated for her film Nomadland, which received widespread attention for winning the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Emerald Fennell is an English director who has also acted in several movies and television shows, such as the popular drama television series Call the Midwife and The Crown. She has received the Best Director nomination for her film Promising Young Women, which she not only directed, but also wrote and produced.

What Do You Think? In your own words, why is it important for more women (and people of color) to receive awards and recognitions for their achievements in the film industry? Write a short paragraph explaining your thoughts on the subject.

What’s Up with GameStop?

Have you heard all the buzz lately surrounding video game store GameStop? What’s it all about? If you’re feeling confused, you’re not alone. Here are the basics. A company’s stock is divided into shares. Investors buy and sell these shares in the stock market. One way to evaluate a company’s success is through a rising stock price. And when a company is struggling to be profitable, its stock price often falls.

Recently, for lots of very complicated financial reason, the traditional video game store company GameStop saw its stock rise very rapidly. And we mean REALLY rapidly! The  company’s stock value rose by 1600 percent. It started at $17 per share and then rapidly rose to almost $500 per share.

A fifth-grader from Texas learned about all of this personally. Two years ago, his mother gave him ten shares of stock in GameStop, one of his favorite stores. At the time, she paid $60 for the shares. Jadyn decided to sell his shares when they reached $320 each, making him a total of $3,200. He plans to put $2000 in savings and use the rest to play the stock market again. This time, he plans to buy shares in Microsoft and Roblox.

Dig Deeper After reading this story, does it make you want to put some of your own money in savings? Would you consider investing some money in a company? Think about what company might be a good place to invest some money and write a pros and cons list for that company. Compare your notes with a classmate and discuss why you chose the companies you did.

From Oil Rig to Coral Reef

What happens to an oil rig when it reaches the end of its useful life? There are more than 12,000 of these offshore oil and gas platforms in the world. Eventually, they will all need to be retired as they grow older. But you can’t simply haul a massive oil rig out of the water without major expense and leaving it there to rust is a huge environmental hazard. So, what’s to be done about them?

Offshore Industry oil and gas production petroleum pipeline.
Old, retired oil rigs can be a source of good in the ocean. Credit; Shutterstock/noomcpk

How about turning them into artificial reefs? The idea has been around since 1984, when Congress signed the National Fishing Enhancement Act that encouraged states to turn retired oil rigs into artificial reefs. This conversion is done by removing the top part of the rig’s structure and leaving the sub-structure (the part below the ocean’s surface that you can’t see). So far, more than five hundred oil and gas rigs have already been converted. The advantages of this arrangement are already clear. These artificial reefs provide shelter for marine life, as well as a safe place for animal breeding. This is helping to boost some struggling fish populations. Aside from the ecological benefits, these artificial reef skeletons also save the oil companies a ton of money (which they then use on marine conservation and education) and create wonderful spots for diving and snorkeling.

Dig Deeper Visit to learn more about Blue Latitudes, a nonprofit group that works to persuade companies and governments to turn decommissioned rigs into permanent reefs. Then write a paragraph about what you learn.

Myanmar Faces Military Coup

On February 1, the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (also known as Burma), experienced a military coup. The nation’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and several members of her party were taken prisoner. The military declared a year-long state of emergency.

In Myanmar’s most recent election, Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won by a landslide. But the opposing party, which had the support of the military, claimed voter fraud and demanded a recount. The election commission refused, saying that there was no evidence of fraud. As a result, the military took over the government by force. They placed Suu Kyi under house arrest and power was seized by Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the military. All of the leading government officials were replaced by Min Aung Hlaing. New elections will be held after the year of emergency has ended.

The United Nations (UN) and many individual countries–including the United States–have condemned the coup. President Joe Biden has threatened to place economic sanctions against Myanmar. Meanwhile, nationwide protests are taking place across Myanmar, despite the military’s ban on social media.

Dig Deeper How are citizens in Myanmar reacting to the coup? Do some research to find out and write a paragraph about what you learn.