November 9, 2014 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. A year after: Pain, loss, survival, and hope

    A year has passed since Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) tore through the very center of the Philippines. Thousands of people were killed, millions more left to pick up the pieces, after the strongest tropical cyclone on record ripped through the Visayas and Mimaropa. Despite the outpouring of aid, many of the areas devastated are still in need of help in rebuilding their communities.

    On this somber anniversary, survivors tell their tales of pain, loss, survival, and hope: the stories of the women of Tolosa, Leyte; the schoolchildren in General McArthur, Eastern Samar; and Edgardo Almazan of Village 89, Payapay, Tacloban City.

    For more stories #AfterYolanda, go to Rappler’s Yolanda page. Also see before and after photos of some of the places and people affected by the typhoon.

  2. Berlin Wall, 25 years after

    Twenty-five years ago on this day, November 9, the Berlin Wall started to crumble – and with it, the symbolic end of the Cold War. The fall of the wall, which divided the city from 1961 to 1989, was marked by jubilant Germans who, finally, were able to roam their united city – and country – after decades of separation. As Germany commemorates this historic event, many people from around the world now look back and reflect on what it has done to the global geopolitical landscape. See photos from Berlin’s past and present, in this interactive presentation by The Guardian, and this gallery from The Atlantic. Meanwhile, The Washington Post clarifies some myths associated with the historic event.

    More on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on Rappler’s World section.

  3. Lessons from the midterm polls

    It was a bloodbath everyone was sort of expecting, and then some: Republicans, capitalizing on an unpopular Barack Obama, finally took majority control of the US Senate, and turning many House seats and governors mansions red. Now that the US Congress is firmly under the GOP’s control, the American public – and the world – now asks: what’s next?

    Politico lists some takeaways from the midterm polls. The Washington Post profiles some members of the US Senate’s freshman class. The Chicago Tribune, meanwhile, reports that despite their 2014 victory, the GOP shouldn’t be confident of a 2016 win.

  4. ‘Tinglehead’ videos tickle your fancy

    There’s a new trend going viral online – and it’s the least you would expect. Proponents call it the autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR – but it is basically some “artist” doing some task and while whispering into a camera. The aim? To make the viewer feel tingly in the head and neck area. The tasks could be crinkling a packet of gel, or folding towels, or “scratching” the viewer’s scalp. Is there a science behind it? Or is it just another one of the web’s weird offerings? 

    Read more on The Sydney Morning Herald.

  5. Travis Kalanick: Uber’s main man

    Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch/AFP

    App-based car service Uber has won both critics and supporters, as it continues to disrupt the business of public transportation in many cities across the world. It is the brainchild of two men, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, two tech entrepreneurs who are upending the current system of how people go around their cities. Kalanick, who is the company’s CEO, is the public face of the tech company – now valued at around $18 billion – and, as Vanity Fair puts it, always on the warpath.

    Read Vanity Fair’s story on how Kalanick and Uber are confronting the controversies that come their way.

  6. Latin America’s traffic nightmare

    Latin America has a deadly dilemma – and it kills more people than crime. Welcome to the streets of the region, where where crosswalk lights are more decorative than functional, speed limits are ignored, right of way to pedestrians is a myth and traffic lights are disdained. Governments, citizens, and even global health officials are concerned by the high death rates caused by traffic accidents across Latin America, from Mexico down to Argentina. Causes for the high rates are many: non-compliance with rules, a proliferation of motorcycles… and general bad habits.

    Read Agence France-Presse’s story on this region-wide problem, on Rappler.


  7. Spanish Ebola survivor: ‘I’m not blaming anyone’

    Gerard Julien/AFP

    The first person to contract the Ebola virus outside the current epidemic zone in west Africa has finally been discharged from the hospital. Teresa Romero has survived the virus after more than a month in treatment in a Spanish hospital. Romero, a nursing assistant, worked with a team who treated two Spanish missionaries repatriated from the Ebola zone, and it is believed that it was during that time that she contracted the virus. As authorities and experts try to trace how she got infected, she says she is “not bitter,” and is “not blaming anyone” for her ordeal. All she wants now is to be “left in peace.”

    Read more in El Pais.


  8. The physicist behind ‘Interstellar’

    It’s one of the most talked about science fiction movies in recent years: Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a space epic years in the making. But it is a sci-fi movie that sticks close to science, thanks to theoretical physicist Kip Thorne. Thorne, one of the world’s top guns in the field of astrophysical predictions of general relativity, is credited for inspiring the creation of Interstellar; he then went on board as one of the executive producers. In an interview with Science, Thorne talks about how he got involved, and how he learned something new from the film, thanks to its visual effects.

    Also read The Guardian’s profile of Nolan, the man whom they say has “rebooted the blockbuster.”

  9. Tourist’s ordeal with rogue retailer hits headlines

    Singapore’s retail industry, known world over as world class, also has its share of bad eggs. This was highlighted in recent days by the story of Vietnamese tourist who was seen begging for a refund from an errant shop owner, after being allegedly scammed. Pham Van Thoai bought an iPhone 6 from the Mobile Air store in the tech haven Sim Lim Square mall, paid S$950 (around US$760), but unwittingly signed to pay the shop another S$1,500 for warranty. A viral video showed him begging on his knees for a full refund. This incident irked a lot of Singaporeans, and has led to probes by the government into similar incidents in the said mall. It also spawned campaigns to help the wronged tourist, with a fundraising project raising nearly US$ 12,000.

    Read more about the story of the Vietnamese tourist and furor over Singapore’s Sim Lim Square, on The Straits Times.

  10. Shift work can lead to loss of brain power?

    Loss of memory and brain power may be caused by shift work, which disrupts the body’s internal clock and had been previously linked to ulcers, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Researchers who tested current or retired workers who did night work or shifts that alternated between morning, afternoon and night, found an association between shift work and “chronic cognitive impairment.” The association was stronger for those who did shift work that exceeded 10 years – equivalent to 6.5 years of age-related decline. A reversal of effects on the brain after leaving shift work could take at least 5 years.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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