Best of the Web

Olympics in Rio, Leonard Cohen and what augmented reality means for the imagination of future generations; these are the stories that caught our eye this week.

BBC: Volleyball in a hijab: Does this picture show a culture clash?


An interesting debate ensued after Doaa Elghobashy – Olympic volleyball player for Egypt – sported a hijab while playing against Germany on Copacabana Beach on Monday. Heated debates on comment’s sections, Twitter and other social platforms commenced and news outlets chimed in on whether it was a culture clash to see a covered beach volleyball player competing against her bikini-clad rivals. The Daily Mail called it ‘a massive cultural divide’ while others said it was unifying. This comment from Lissa Pelzer sums up a huge part of the argument: “I think it shows how much a female athlete’s body is understood as a public possession. Either it must be seen, or it must not be seen, but either way, their sporting committees, countries and cultures get to decide rather than the individuals.” What do you think?

Read the full story HERE


THE GUARDIAN: Leonard Cohen managed that rare thing: to talk with clarity about death


There’s absolutely no denying that Leonard Cohen is a gracious and poetic writer. After the death of his muse and former lover, Marianne Ihlen, Cohen penned a simple and beautiful letter to her. He writes: “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.” For some of us it’s a difficult part of life to confront and it’s often confronted unwillingly. Suzanne Moore writes about how Cohen quite simply, unpretentiously and eloquently accepts death.

Read the full story HERE


THE ATLANTIC: Imagination in the augmented-reality age

A man poses with his mobile phone displaying the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in front of a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo

A man poses with his mobile phone displaying the augmented reality mobile game “Pokemon Go” by Nintendo in front of a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan, July 22, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai – RTSJ5OT

Since Pokémon Go was released on July 6 some 21 million users have downloaded the app and ventured beyond four interior walls. People over 50 mostly spent their childhood playing outside, 20-40 year olds grew up watching television, but still played outside, however most youths today tell a different story. One of playing inside looking at a screen. Augmented-reality games in the future could revitalise the role of children’s imaginations in learning and development according to Georgia Perry. Though it’s a long read, the article sets out to explain the importance imaginative play has on developing a child’s skillset including their capacity to problem-solve and be inventive.

Read the full story HERE




Not an article, but an educational video about the conflict that has so often taken over news bulletins. Gaza in Context explains how Israel has steadily attempted to expel Palestinians from their land. Gaza, a mostly Palestinian territory, has become a conflict hotspot and through government policy of isolation, retrogression and power it is on the verge of collapse. The film, made by the Arab Studies Institute attempts to contextualise the long-running hostility.

Read the full story HERE

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