, week of
Oct. 23, 2023
1. CLONE WARS
If you have a pet, you probably know what it’s like to love an animal like family. Javier Milei, who’s running for president in Argentina, loved his dog Conan so much, he had him cloned—not once, but five times. His five “fur children,” Conan (a second one named for the original dog), Murray, Milton, Robert, and Lucas, are genetic copies of the original Conan, created in a laboratory in New York. Since Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned in 1997, several other animals including horses, goats, wolves, and cats have been cloned by scientists for research or companies like the one Javier used. While a cloned animal might have the same genes as its original, it doesn’t necessarily have the same personality traits. With so many animals in shelters that need good homes, do you think it’s necessary or ethical to have companies that can clone pets? Why or why not? Write a paragraph explaining what you think about the issue.
2. HALLOWEEN DRAMA
Hollywood actors are still on strike while their union, the Screen Actors Guild, negotiates their contracts with movie studios. With Halloween approaching, the union released guidelines for its members about what costumes they should avoid in order to avoid promoting work, which is a big part of the strike. Members of the union were told to avoid dressing as specific characters and instead should stick to generic costumes like ghosts or zombies. Many actors spoke out against the guidelines, saying they were unnecessary and that Halloween costumes aren’t important to the strike against movie studios or considered promotion for movies and TV shows. Do you think celebrities’ Halloween costumes are important? Does the fact that they’re seen by so many people mean they have to be more thoughtful on what they dress up as? Think about what it would mean to be a celebrity choosing a Halloween costume—write down your thoughts and share them with your classmates.
3. BOARDING GROUPS
United Airlines has come out with a new policy to make boarding an airplane faster for passengers. Their new idea: letting people in aisle seats board first, before those in middle or aisle seats. (Families traveling together will still board together.) The new process will help reduce the time people are waiting in the aisle for people who were already seated to move out of the way for window seat passengers to get into the row. They say the new method would save about two minutes of boarding time for each flight. Have you flown in an airplane before? If so, what do you remember about the boarding process? If not, Do you think two minutes per flight is worth it for United to change their process?
4. PAINTING RETURNS HOME
A 300-year-old painting has been returned to a German museum after it was missing for almost 100 years. The painting, by an artist named Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer, was stolen during World War II and brought to the United States. It was discovered by Art Recovery International, a company that looks for art that was looted or stolen, particularly during World War II, and brings the works back to their original homelands. This painting will now be displayed in Germany for the first time since 1945. Write a summary of this story, including where the artwork ended up and where it rightfully belonged.
5. TOP FOODS OF 2023
Food delivery company Uber Eats recently released its fifth annual “Cravings Report” that shares the popular and unusual requests customers made on the app. Among the food trends they noticed were more people ordering food without onions and asking for hot sauce more than any other condiments. The most ordered item was French fries, while the most popular delivery combination was a burrito bowl and cheese. With Halloween approaching, they also listed the most popular candies: Reese’s, Twix, Snickers, Peanut M&Ms, and Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Cream. Ask five classmates what foods they ate the most this year. Then, create your own top foods report from the answers you get.