Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Apr 15, 2021 in Stuff You Should Know

Delivery Companies Go Electric

More Americans are purchasing electric passenger vehicles. But they still only accounted for two percent of new vehicle sales in 2020. Major delivery companies are putting greater emphasis on electric vehicles in their delivery fleet. UPS has purchased 10,000 electric vehicles; Amazon has purchased 100,000; DHL plans to replace one-fifth of its fleet with electric vehicles; and FedEx has pledged to go entirely electric by 2040.

Will it even be possible to purchase such huge quantities of electric trucks? Car companies say yes. Some of them have even formed new arms of their businesses devoted solely to electric vehicle production. And it’s likely a worthwhile investment. A recent analysis shows that within the next decade, electric commercial vehicles could become a $60 billion market. Why the surge? The convenience of online shopping and home delivery requires an increased number of pickup and delivery vehicles on the streets.

Dig Deeper Electric vehicles come with a higher sticker price but save their buyers money over time. Why? Use Internet resources to learn more, then write a short paragraph about what you find.

Meet the “Grandfather” of the Hawaiian Language

Hawaii has a rich history and culture but the Hawaiian language was very nearly lost. In the 1980s, a man named Larry Kimura led a movement to bring the language back. Larry Kimura is an associate professor of Hawaiian language and Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

How does someone revitalize a dying language? In addition to having taught the Hawaiian language for the past fifty years, Kimura helped found a nonprofit that established the first Hawaiian-language preschools. He also spent decades recording the last indigenous, or native, Hawaiian language speakers. His recordings total about 525 hours and are the world’s largest collection of the Hawaiian spoken word. Kimura also helped establish the University of Hawaii’s Hawaiian Language Center, which supports Hawaiian immersion teachers and creates curriculum. And if you are ever on a Hawaiian Airlines flight and hear employees speaking Hawaiian, you can thank Professor Kimura, who was one of the consultants in creating a Hawaiian language certification program for the airline.

Kimura has served as secretary general of the Polynesian Languages Forum, which is focused on preserving each native Polynesian language. He was co-chair of the 2014 Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium. And now, he is the chair of the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee, which creates new Hawaiian words. Currently, the committee has created a list of about 1,200 new words. Kimura is also working to digitize his many decades of audio recordings.

In recognition of his many years of work, Professor Kimura was named a Living Treasure of Hawaii in 2020.

What Do You Think? Why do you think it’s important to preserve native languages?

Egypt’s “Mummy Parade”

Gilded sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen
Famous Egyptian mummies were recently relocated in Cairo with lots of ceremony. Credit: Images

Twenty-two ancient mummies, which had been kept in the Egyptian Museum for more than a century, were moved on April 3rd to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo. Because this new museum had finished construction, the mummies needed to be moved to their new permanent display location. The Egyptian government turned the event into a parade. Each mummy was placed in an oxygen-free nitrogen capsule and secured on top of a specially made gold and blue vehicle. These vehicles resembled a boat once used to carry pharaohs to their tombs, with the name of the ancient king or queen written on a plaque on the vehicle’s side. As the procession moved along its three-mile path through the streets of downtown Cairo, dramatic music played, lights flashed, performers marched in ancient costumes, and there was even a 21-gun salute. In addition to constructing the special capsules, the vehicles that carried them had to be built with unique shock absorbency, and the roads along the route had to be repaved for maximum smoothness.

The parade was an effort to encourage tourism to return to Egypt after the pandemic.

The neighborhoods along the route were hidden from view by large flags, banners, and barricades before the parade even started, so unfortunately. the people living in those neighborhoods couldn’t view the parade. They were told to view the procession on a screen.

What Do You Think? Think of ways that the United States celebrates its national past through tourism and public events. Discuss as a class some examples that you come up with.