Sea ice breaking up
Image: © Jonathan Hayward The Canadian Press/PA Images

Sea ice shrinks, LinkedIn locked out, Greens demand a recount. 18 – 25 November: What just happened?

Sea ice hits record lows, the UK braces for a Brexit-slowdown, Russia bans LinkedIn and the Green Party wants a second look. Here's our review of the news over the past seven days

Sea ice hits lowest levels in basically forever.

Graph showing decline of sea ice this year

A graph showing global sea ice levels are seriously low went viral this week as people speculated what this says about how sustainable our economies are. The Arctic is freezing too slowly and the Antarctic is melting too fast, which means there’s far less sea ice than usual. Scientists say this just couldn’t have happened in pre-industrial times – i.e. before global warming kicked in. They’re also linking this to record cold weather in Russia and Central Asia. Extreme colds can be pretty expensive; the ‘polar vortex’ that hit North America two years ago cost around $5 billion from things like lost working days, canceled flights, and burst water pipes. New Scientist for more details.

UK prepares for Brexit slump


This week the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, told us that the government expects much slower over the next few years, mostly because of Brexit. He’s going to have to borrow £122bn to fill in the gap and invest into things like roads, houses, and fast internet. Reactions have been mixed: some say it was a ‘solid package that will reassure businesses’ about the state of Britain’s economy, while others say the continued cuts to benefits and public services will bring the country backwards. Here’s our quickfire summary, and a series of reactions from the BBC.

No, Vladimir Putin would not like to join you on LinkedIn

Meme of Putin showing how little he cares

The Russian government blocked access to the professional networking website LinkedIn this week on the grounds that companies with personal information about Russian citizens have to store the data on Russian soil. LinkedIn didn’t do that, so they got shut down. But Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other big websites aren’t following the rules either, so the LinkedIn shutdown has caused a lot of uncertainty for the bigger fish in the digital market. The Moscow Times has the story.

Ensuring your elections aren’t hacked by the Russians? Priceless.

Graphic showing how much the Green party has raised for a recount

The US Green Party is raising funds to demand a recount of the results of the 2016 election. They’re saying it’s not 100% impossible that someone (the Russians) hacked the vote-counting process. But counting votes ain't cheap; they think they’ll need at least $7 million by next week to get recounts in three states. Luckily for the Greens, the internet has made it pretty easy to raise a few million dollars in a weekend. The Washington Post has more.

In other news…

Amazon Friday. It’s Black Friday! In the next 24 hours we’ll likely be treated to a slew of riot-like photos of deal-crazed shoppers, but that’s only half the story. This year online sales are expected to pass in-person sales for the first time.

Mr. Roboto? In the long list of human jobs taken by robots, we can now add ‘cemetery guard’. A cemetery in China has created a creepy-looking robot to ‘provide company’ to the human guards that work the night shift.


Creepy chinese robot
via People's Daily Online

Money for nothing?

What’s more punk-rock than owning a bunch of old Sex Pistols’ gear? Setting a whole bunch of old Sex Pistols’ gear on fire. Tomorrow, Joe Corré—son of legendary punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren—will burn over £5 million worth of punk memorabilia in a protest against the way punk has been commercialized in the past 40 years. People don’t quite know what to make of the stunt; some are outraged about the loss of history, but many others are upset that Corré isn’t selling the gear and giving the money to charity. Either way, you can live stream the burn tomorrow (if it actually happens).

Tweet criticizing burning punk gear

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