, week of
June 12, 2023
1. LET’S MAKE A DEAL
People who work on television shows and movies, like directors and stage managers, have been on strike while the guild that represents them has been negotiating with Hollywood studios. They were fighting for better pay, including adjustments to how they’re paid from their work going on streaming services, and job security as artificial intelligence technology is on the rise. The deal the guild put together with the Hollywood studios specifically says that AI is not a person and can’t replace the jobs of guild members. Look up the different types of jobs on a television or movie set. Think about how artificial intelligence could be used to help make that work easier without replacing the jobs of paid workers. Write down your ideas and discuss with your classmates.
2. ON THIN ICE
We think of the North Pole as being frozen all the time. During the summer, temperatures do warm up even in the Arctic, but the sea is still full of ice. However, that might not be true for much longer. A new study shows that because of global warming, the Arctic sea ice could all melt during the summer as early as the 2030s—which is ten years earlier than scientists previously thought. Look up the animals that live in the Arctic. Then, write an article about how they could be affected by the sea ice melting during the summer.
3. HEROES OR VILLAINS?
A vigilante is someone who is not part of law enforcement but stops crime and punishes criminals without the legal authority to do so. We think of comic book heroes like Batman, who is a vigilante, saving people when the police can’t be there to do the job. However, real-life vigilantes can be dangerous and cause more harm when trying to help their communities. In Haiti, a group of people have violently attacked more than 160 gang members who were terrorizing the island nation. Kidnappings and gang violence have dropped dramatically, but people are worried that the mob may turn their attention to people who have nothing to do with gangs, or spark a war with the remaining gang members. Write down the major differences you can think of between vigilantes in comic books and real life, and why they might not be a good thing in real life like they are in fiction.
4. DAM DAMAGE
Several cities and towns along a river in Ukraine were flooded after a dam holding water from the country’s largest reservoir was damaged. The Ukrainian and Russian governments, who both control opposite sides of the riverbanks, blame each other for the damage to the dam. The dam creates hydroelectric power that supplies electricity and drinking water to much of southern Ukraine. Tens of thousands of people along the riverbank are affected by flooding from the dam and hundreds of thousands are without normal access to drinking water. Using your newspaper or online, find a first-hand account of the flooding from the dam. Write down the details you learned from that account and the differences in focus from a secondhand account like this.
5. WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
A large part of the northern United States saw hazy skies last week because of wildfires in Canada. More than 400 fires were actively burning in the country as of Tuesday, with more than half of them considered out-of-control. Parts of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont were under an air quality health advisory because of the smoke, which could be seen throughout most of the eastern United States. Using your newspaper or online, look up photos of the smoke in New York City or other areas that were highly affected. Then, write a short article describing the events and draw your own picture to go along with it.