2019-10

Toni Morrison, Author And Nobel Laureate, Dies Aged 88

Summary

Toni Morrison was born in an Ohio steel town in the depths of the Great Depression. She won Pulitzer prize, Nobel prize, the Legion d'Honneur and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her works are in high school syllabus.

Main Works

  • The Bluest Eye

  • Song of Solomon

  • Beloved

She graduated from Howard University and Cornell. Worked at Random House for a while.

Background

  • Howard University is a private, federally chartered historically black university in Washington, D.C.

  • Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world.

How Rude Service Inspired A Multi-Million Euro Firm

Summary

Heikki, a Finnish programmer and entrepreneur, sold his video game business and founded Happy Or Not, a company that helps firms to monitor -- and then improve -- the level of customer service they provide, in 2009.

He was unhappy with local floppy disk store's customer service when he was young.

Words

  • cross: angry

    • If you have ever been really angered by rude customer service, you'll understand why Heikki Vaananen was still cross more than a decade later.

Background

  • Boots UK, trading as Boots, is a health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom and other countries and territories including Ireland and Thailand. The parent company, The Boots Company plc, merged with Alliance UniChem in 2006 to form Alliance Boots.

Financial Services: Can The City Survive Brexit?

Summary

  • A revival began in the 1960s when the offshore market for dollar leading boomed. Another lift came with the stockmarket deregulation of Big Bang in 1986 and again in 2000 when Lodon became a centre for trading the euro and emerging markets.

  • London's success relies on stable politics and regulation, close ties to America and seamless ones to Europe. Brexit and Mr Corbyn threaten this formula in three ways.

Background

  • The phrase Big Bang, used in reference to the sudden deregulation of financial markets, was coined to describe measures, including abolition of fixed commission charges and of the distinction between stockjobbers and stockbrokers on the London Stock Exchange and change from open-outcry to electronic, screen-based trading, effected by Margaret Thatcher in 1986.

Extreme Weather: Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Are Increasing The Frequency Of Heatwaves

Summary

  • When, in 2003, tens of thousands of people in Europe died prematurely as a result of a two-week heatwave, it was deemed to be a once-in-1000-years event.

  • For years, the semi-official line was that no single weather event could be blamed on climate change, only trends. That began to change in 2004, with the publication of the first "attribution" study.

  • Attribution work does not concern itself only with heat. Floods, storms and cold spells also carry a climatic fingerprint.

  • Attribution science is also playing a role in courtooms and human-rights hearings.

  • Some have sought to pin companies down more specifically.

Backgroud

  • Met Office The Meteorological Office, abbreviated as the Met Office is the United Kingdom's national weather service.

The Unique Culture Of Japanese Convenice Stores

Summary

  • A convenience store is not merely a place where customers come to buy practical necessities. It has to be somewhere they can enjoy and take pleasure in discovering things they like.

  • In an attempt to appeal to locals, who often treat stores like a hub with multiple trips per week to pick up both food and household goods, new items are constantly introduced.

  • But while you can find global favorites like ice cream, biscuits and chocolate bars, much of the convenience store food is often more in line with traditional Japanese flavours.

  • Before the rise of the 1970's feminist movement in Japan, traditional family units meant more home-cooked meals. Now, with additional women entering the workforce, more people are opting for easy-to-eat options.

Shanghai Begins New Waste Sorting Era, As China Eyes Cleaner Image

Summary

  • Household waste in the city is now required to be sorted into four categories: wet garbage, dry garbage, recyclable waste and hazardous waste.

  • Waste classification is not only about environmental impact or business opportunities. Garbage sorting is an important part of a country's soft power.

  • The key to waste classification, going by international experience, is making polluters pay.

  • There is plenty of experience for Shanghai to learn from in California, where unrecyclable waste is charged for at twice the price of recyclables.

Words

  • refuse: garbage

    • Shanghai's refuse treatment plants deal with 19,300 tonnes of residual waste and 5,050 tonnes of kitchen waste every day,