Reading Suggestion-1

The Scientific Reason You Don’t Like LED Bulbs—and the Simple Way to Fix Them

Author name: Arnold J Wilkins
Source: Scientific American
Category: Science

Summary for this article:

The article starts by talking about a jerking movement namely saccade – For example while reading station signs in a moving train, when you change your gaze by looking at one side of the window and then immediately at the other side, your eyes will automatically make a rapid jerking movement namely saccade. If the direction of the saccade is the same as that of the train, then the station name is visible for a split second. The speed of the saccade depends on the size of the size of the movement; the large saccades can move the eyes at the same rate as that of the moving train.

The author taking the saccade concept forward, then talks about the health concerns related to the LED lights due to its more pronounced flickering, which could be detected during saccade. Such flickering in LED lights is known to cause headaches

The author then gives two solutions to avoid such flickering; one, operate the lamps with a DC but this involves expensive and shorter-lived components; two, design the lights such that the flicker cannot be detected.

The author concludes the article by saying that, when someone purchases LED bulbs he/she must ensure that the LED standards are met such that it limits the flicker to acceptable levels.

Words to learn from this article:

Flicker – to shine (of a light or a source of light) in an unsteady manner

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Reading Suggestion-2

Article Name: Why Are Illiberal Democrats Popular?

Author name: Daniel Gros
Source: Project Syndicate
Category: Economy

Summary for this article :

The article talks about the authoritarian rule, seen rampantly in Russia, Turkey and Hungary under Putin, Erdogan and Orban. Such an authoritarian rule, according to the author, is very damaging. The author points out to the rise of the illiberal democracy in such countries; how these countries have ignored the institution set standards and checks and yet these regimes are able to retain popular support

The key reason for these regimes to be popular is that they have been following the Washington consensus, which prescribes prudent macroeconomic policies and open markets that have led the political debt in the three countries to be either low or declining

This approach contrasts with the one taken by Venezuela’s late leader Hugo Chavez who at the time of long oil-price boom had maintained support from the public for 14yeas by spending the oil boom profits on social programs. The Venezuela economy collapsed with Nicolas Maduro now taking the burden.

The longer-term challenge for the strong men is to keep their illiberal political regimes economically liberal. Over time this results in corruption as the temptation of sharing the profit of the nation’s economy with close ones never recedes. And when this happens, growth is about to decline which is now quite evident in Russia while Turkey almost reaching a similar point.

Hence, as these regimes become more and more authoritarian their ability to keep their voters happy seems doubtful

Words to learn from this article :

Baneful – damaging
Illiberal – not liberal
Catastrophic – disastrous
Prudent – wise
Botch – to mismanage a task

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Reading Suggestion-3

Article Name: IS’ strategic management of death
Author name: Azzam Al-Kassir and Sinan Al-Hawat
Source: The Hindu
Category: Economy

Summary for this article :

This article talks about the ISIS strategy of using the concepts of life and death as powerful strategic weapons to achieve their objectives. The author(s) and his team reviewed around 60 ISIS videos released by the group since October 2016 and many religious songs produced and used in these releases, in order to understand their propaganda and the group’s appeal. The article looks at the religious concepts in the Holy book of Qur’an and how they have been interpreted by these radical groups

The author(s) says how ideology matters to these extremist groups, as they are central to their processes. These groups use ideals and dogmatic convictions to win people’s support. Groups like ISIS and AL-Qaeda, mobilise people based on the psychosocial vulnerabilities.

The article talks about the love of martyrdom for a Jihadi, as for a Jihadi giving up his life for the sake of the “installation of the law of God” is a moment of pride and the path to eternity

The author(s) in their concluding remarks say that it has become very vital to limit the ISIS propaganda of using online tools to reach young recruits. On the other hand, we must also be prepared for a phase of increased security challenges related to these extremist groups.

Words to learn from this article :

Apostate – a traitor
Propensity – an inclination to behave in a particular way
Juxtapose – place things side by side to produce a contrasting effect
Aberrance – deviating from the normal type
Pacifist – someone who holds the belief that a war or violence is not right and is unjustifiable
Emancipation – liberation, being set free from the control of something

Reading Suggestion-3: Click to read full article

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