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Vox Sentences: One step closer to an Ebola cure

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Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Scientists are one step closer to an Ebola cure; a Swedish court finds A$AP Rocky guilty of assault, but he won’t serve prison time.


New Ebola drugs give scientists hope for a cure


Kitsa Musayi/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • Two Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been effectively cured with drugs, scientists say, a feat against the disease that was long thought incurable. [AP / Saleh Mwanamilongo]
  • Scientists had been testing four treatments since November, and two of them — REGN-EB3 and mAb114 — proved to be more effective. If treated early, mortality rates drastically dropped, to 6 percent with REGN-EB3 and 11 percent with mAb114. [CNN / Jen Christensen and Jessie Yeung]
  • WHO will now begin a trial comparing the two drugs, which will also be distributed throughout outbreak zones. [Wired / Megan Molteni]
  • This could have huge implications for the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC, which has been declared a public health emergency. There are about 2,800 known patients, and more than 1,800 people have died of the virus since the outbreak began. [NYT / Donald G. McNeil Jr.]
  • Ebola was previously thought of as an incurable disease. While a vaccine had been developed and administered around the DRC and surrounding countries, there had been no effective treatment until now. [USA Today / Morgan Hines]
  • Doctors are hoping that the new success cases will help combat mistrust in communities, as fear and suspicion from locals has led to violence against doctors in the past. As the drugs save more lives, locals may become more willing to seek treatment. [CNN / Jen Christensen and Jessie Yeung]
  • This also supports the idea of researching and testing different drugs amid an outbreak, which was once controversial due to scientific and ethical concerns. Future mid-outbreak studies could help scientists respond to diseases more quickly. [Time / Jamie Ducharme]
  • This is just the beginning of making Ebola a treatable and preventable disease — and ultimately save countless lives. [BBC]

A$AP Rocky’s case in Sweden comes to an end

  • A$AP Rocky’s assault case in Sweden — which somehow ended up involving President Donald Trump — has finally come to an end with a guilty verdict. [CNN / Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Per Nyberg]
  • A brief timeline: Rocky and two associates were arrested on July 3 and charged with assaulting 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30. The rapper was released on August 2 and returned to the US, and the judges released their verdict on Wednesday. [BBC]
  • Judges ultimately decided that Rocky could not claim self-defense, but ruled that his crime was not of such a “serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen.” He will instead have to pay a $1,310 fine. [LA Times / Christie D’Zurilla]
  • Rocky’s case had gained international attention because of Trump, who became involved after requests from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (Kardashian has worked with Trump in the past to pass the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice bill). Several celebrities and even some lawmakers had also spoken out for his release after he had been held for weeks without any charges. [Washington Post / Rick Noack]
  • Trump’s involvement caused brief tension between the two countries as he pressured Sweden to release Rocky and the prime minister had to explain to Trump that the government could not intervene. [NYT / Christina Anderson and Alex Marshall]
  • Trump even sent his top hostage negotiator, who later threatened Swedish prosecutors that there could be “negative consequences” for the US-Sweden relationship if the case wasn’t resolved. [NBC News / Phil Helsel and Linda Givetash]
  • The hostage negotiator’s involvement was seen as especially bizarre given that Sweden already has a robust democratic legal system. There are currently plenty of US citizens being held in other countries who do not have the same access to fair legal rights. [Vox / Jen Kirby]

Miscellaneous

  • New York’s Child Victims Act, which goes into effect today, allows victims of child abuse to bring civil lawsuits for a one-year period against their alleged abusers in cases that are past the statute of limitations. [NPR / Mara Silvers]
  • ”Racism is a national security threat”: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said the recent El Paso shooting displays the dangers of ignoring racist and white supremacist beliefs. [The Hill / John Bowden]
  • Skip and Ping, a gay penguin couple in Germany, finally have a shot at fatherhood after adopting an egg. [NYT / Liam Stack]
  • Did you know that Ohio State University’s formal name is The Ohio State University? Probably not, which is why the school wants to trademark the word… “THE.” It probably won’t happen. [NBC News / Alex Johnson]
  • The South African company Gourmet Grubb makes ice cream with a dairy alternative derived from insects. The creators are now opening a restaurant featuring insect-based gourmet dishes in an attempt to popularize the idea of eating bugs. [CNN / Marnie Hunter]

Verbatim

“I’m a little sentimental. I had this idea a long time ago, and I’ve waited patiently for it. I’m very happy, and I can’t believe it.” [Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe on the possibility of an Ebola cure, which he has been searching for since the ‘70s. His initial research helped develop the successful trial drugs.]


Listen to this: (Don’t) give me your poor

The Trump administration is about to make it a lot harder for low-income people to get a green card. [Spotify]


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7 Hidden Messages in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” That Weren’t Meant for Kids

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Lewis Carroll’s tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland had an amazing influence on cinema, literature, and even psychology: movies and ballets were based on it, sequels and remakes were written. There is even a psychological disorder named after the main character: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS). This seemingly innocent children’s story was the subject of heated discussions by scientists of the 20th century and even Freud talked about it. The point of the discussions was simple: was the tale written for children or for adults?

Bright Side has read the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded” and tried to figure out which parts of the story can only be understood by adults.

1. Alice’s shrinking and growing is a sign of puberty.

When Alice ate a cake or drank a certain mixture, Alice would shrink or grow, and she was scared that she would disappear completely. While there were no actual reasons for the changes in her body in the text, scientists have 3 versions of what could have been the hidden meaning behind that episode:

  • Alice’s body changes in a similar way to how it would change as a teenager during puberty. Many people think that Carroll showed the puberty of the character. But why this idea may also be wrong is because Alice is only 7 years old and it is too young to be a teenager.
  • Astronomers link the character with the expanding Universe. According to one of the theories, the amount of matter in the Universe is constantly decreasing which will ultimately lead to its disappearance. Obviously, this is why the character was worried about shrinking so much that she would vanish.
  • Other people see an indication of hallucinogenic substances, which make people completely disoriented, just like Alice.

2. The pig the character has is an English King.

It is believed that the tale is an allusion to the War of the Roses that took place in England in the 15th century. This time period was full of scheming, betrayal, and there were a lot of chopped heads — just like in the tale.

Assuming the guess is correct, then baby that turned into the pig is a member of the White Rose. And more specifically, it was Richard III who had a sigil with a white boar. Shakespeare even wrote a play about it where he presented Richard in a very bad light.

3. The smell of pepper in the house of the Duchess hides the smell of bad food.

The tale casually mentions that the house of the Duchess smells a lot like pepper because the scullery was adding pepper to the soup. But it may have been a hint at the problem that the food at the time was peppered a lot, to kill the smell of rotten ingredients.

4. Alice is Eve, who becomes a sinner.

The adventures of Alice starts in a quiet garden. It was an idyllic place, green and quiet, and that’s why it reminds many people the Garden of Eden. But Alice doesn’t take an apple, she goes down the rabbit hole and goes into a world that gives rise to incredible changes in her. This theory seems to be pretty logical: children are innocent but when Alice went into the hole (took the apple), she entered the world of puberty, adult life, and became a sinner.

5. Keys, doors, and caterpillars are Freudian symbols.

When Freudian theories became very popular around the world, the tale of Alice turned out to be full of gynecological symbols. The fans of Freud managed to see the symbols in the doors that were hidden behind the curtains, and keys that open these doors. Of course, they couldn’t have missed Absolem — the giant caterpillar that looks like a you know what.

Even though this theory has life, it is not very believable, because people can see these symbols everywhere if they really want to.

6. Walrus and Carpenter are actually Buddha and Jesus.

This is the name of the poem that the twin brothers Tweedledee and Tweedledum read to Alice. The poem tells the story about Walrus and Carpenter, that walk on the beach and call out for oysters to walk with them. The oysters go to the shore and Walrus and Carpenter eat them. Walrus then cries at the end.

There are several interpretations:

  • Walrus is a caricature of Buddha, and Carpenter is Jesus. For example, the character Loki from Dogma believes this. The logic is simple: Walrus is fat and happy, so he is Buddha or elephant Ganesha, and Carpenter is the direct reference to the profession of the father of Jesus.
  • J. Priestly is convinced that the poem is the story of England’s (Walrus) colonization of America (Carpenter).
  • There is a more violent interpretation. Some people believe that Walrus and Carpenter are politicians that kill the masses — the oysters.

7. The poem about the White Rabbit in chapter 12 uncovers the love mystery of Carroll himself.

Some researchers see the reference to the unusual connection between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell that was the prototype of the main character. Here are the lines we are talking about:

He sent them word I had not gone

(We know it to be true):

If she should push the matter on,

What would become of you?

This is one of the most sensitive moments in the interpretation of the tale. Some people think that when the girl was supposed to come of age, the writer was going to marry her, but for some reason he had an argument with Mrs. Liddell and he never saw the members of the family since.

Do you want to read the tale now that you have some new knowledge about it in order to find some new hidden meaning? If yes, you can read the original manuscript written by Carroll himself here.

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What 20 Celebs Looked Like at the Start of Their Career

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Celebrities are usually known for their biggest successful works, but most of them stepped into the entertainment world with smaller roles. A lot of them have been in the industry for so long that we’ve forgotten what they looked like when they first started. Taking a look at some of their earliest works is indeed a blast from the past.

Bright Side looks into some of the earliest works from certain actors and is amazed at how much they have grown within the industry.

1. George Clooney

2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

3. Keanu Reeves

4. Brie Larson

5. Betty White

6. Leonardo DiCaprio

7. Drew Barrymore

8. Tom Hanks

9. Scarlett Johannson

10. Halle Berry

11. Harrison Ford

12. Denzel Washington

13. Reese Witherspoon

14. Angelina Jolie

15. Johnny Depp

16. Jennifer Garner

17. Robert Downey Jr.

18. Will Smith

19. Nicole Kidman

20. Sandra Bullock

Have you seen the early works of these celebrities before? Do you know what any other famous entertainers looked like when they first began their career?

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14 Examples of How Perfect Photos on Social Media Can Mislead Us

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Most Internet users tend to sugarcoat their lives, belongings, body shapes, etc. And Instagram is the perfect place to post these kinds of photos. It’s a world of successful, happy people who take colorful trips, make expensive purchases, and boast perfect bodies.

Bright Side found some “behind-the-scenes” photos of gorgeous shots from social media. Turns out, believing everything you see on the Internet is never a good idea.

1. A 3-minute smartphone photo session + 3 magic filters

2. The king of the road

3. It’s all about the right angle…

4. A popular festival on Instagram vs a popular festival in reality

5. Support is the real hero.

6. A dog can never spoil a shot.

7. Slightly added brightness

8. When summer starts, we see it on every other Instagram account.

9. The process of making up always finishes the same way.

10. Unicorns can be insidious.

11. Everyone wants a photo in a lavender field.

12. Bright cities in photos might not be as bright in real life.

13. Aboard a private jet

14. A fashionable breakfast

Do you edit your photos on social media to try to look better? We’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!

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