WORD LISTS

This Week In Culture: Current Events Vocab for October10–16, 2020

October 14, 2020
Stories about a couple of major sports victories, some upcoming TV shows, and bee B.O. all contributed words to this week's like of vocabulary from the sports, science, and culture worlds.
concierge
The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship, and although they seemed invincible on the court they were not the favorites to win for most of the season. This piece dives into the many decisions the team — and its players, especially its most famous, LeBron James — made throughout the season that helped propel them to the title.
In the bubble, James was part superstar, part concierge.
Sports Illustrated (Oct 12, 2020)
deprive
Bees recognize each other by scent, and new research shows that it's actually chemical signals from secretions on the insects' skin that identify them as being part of the hive. These chemical compounds relate directly to the bees' diet, and to the bacteria and other microbes in their digestive tracts. Because all the bees in a hive share food, they all have the same mix of microbes in their guts, so they all smell the same. Intruders looking to steal food are thus easy to identify.
Robbing deprives both the host bees and their associated bacteria with important resources—which may have been the original drive to form this special bacteria-animal partnership, the researchers said.
Phys.org (Oct 14, 2020)
ersatz
As restaurants look for ways to reopen safely, New York City represents a particular challenge. The city has thousands of eateries, and its size and population density mean that the risks of a second wave might be severe. And it's unclear how many people will be willing to risk their own health, and that of restaurant workers, to be able to sit and eat on the premises rather than just get takeout. Ersatz is German for "replacement."
The city loosened its famously rigid outdoor dining permitting, allowing virtually all restaurants to set up ersatz dining rooms on sidewalks and in parking lanes, and last month the City Council voted to allow restaurants to add a ten-per-cent surcharge to customers’ bills...
New Yorker (Oct 12, 2020)
moot
Stevie Wonder released two new tracks, his first in four years, and floated the possibility of a new record coming out soon. His last full-length album came out in 2005. The new songs are political, and Wonder says they're a response to "systemic racism." The song Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate is about the upcoming election. moot is Old English, from Germanic roots, originally meaning "a meeting" or "a discussion."
He also mooted a new EP featuring the songs, ahead of a “new project” called Through the Eyes of Wonder, with “lots of songs” already written for the latter.
Guardian (Oct 13, 2020)
myriad
The biggest Arctic exploration mission of all time concluded when the research ship Polarstern returned home to Germany. Its year-long voyage took it all over the Arctic, collecting huge amounts of data on the changing climate and ecosystem in the sky, on land and ice, and underwater. The mission took place during a year of high temperatures and low sea ice, and the returning scientists said that they hope their work helps to save the fragile region before it's changed beyond recognition.
As it floated across the central Arctic, scientists on board collected myriad data on the Arctic climate system—its clouds, atmosphere, ocean physics and biology, to name a few.
Scientific American (Oct 14, 2020)
nascent
A TV series prequel to the hit film and stage musical Grease has jumped from HBO Max to Paramount+, the new streaming service that will be replacing CBS All Access next year. Titled Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, the show will chronicle how the cast came together and changed their high school.
The show, set at the beloved musical's Rydell High, has landed at ViacomCBS' nascent streaming platform Paramount+ after originally being ordered for WarnerMedia's HBO Max.
Hollywood Reporter (Oct 14, 2020)
resilient
Netflix is developing an animated series created by the rapper Ludacris that's inspired by his eldest daughter, Karma Bridges. The show, titled Karma's World, will tell the story of a ten-year-old Karma Grant, who hopes to become a famous singer and rapper. Ludacris announced the deal via his Instagram.
The series follows 10-year-old Karma Grant, a smart, resilient, and “deeply empathetic” aspiring singer and rapper with “big talent and an even bigger heart.”
Vibe (Oct 13, 2020)
superlative
Rafael Nadal won the French Open, beating Novak Djokovic in three sets. The victory gave Nadal his 20th Grand Slam title, tying Roger Federer's all-time record. It was Nadal's 13th French Open win, making his record in the finals there a perfect 13-0. Nadal, 34, is known as the "King of Clay" for his dominance on the type of court surface used at the French Open; Wimbledon is played on grass, and the U.S. and Australian Opens are played on hard courts.
"He keeps going," Djokovic said. "No holding him back it seems like. It's amazing. All the superlatives you can use, he deserves them."
ESPN (Oct 11, 2020)
taciturn
In the next few months, Pedro Pascal will be appearing in both season two of The Mandalorian and Wonder Woman: 1984. He gave an interview where he talks about both roles, his breakout part on Game of Thrones, and the unlikely path that brought him to international fame. Taciturn comes from the Latin tacitus, meaning "silent. " It's also the root of tacit, meaning "unspoken."
After his breakout on “Game of Thrones,” he became an instant get-me-that-guy sensation, mostly as headstrong, taciturn men of action — from chasing drug traffickers in Colombia for three seasons on Netflix’s “Narcos” to squaring off against Denzel Washington in “The Equalizer 2.”
Variety (Oct 14, 2020)
utilitarian
Simone Leigh, a 52-year-old sculptor based in Brooklyn, will represent the United States at the next Venice Biennale. She will be the first Black woman to do so. Her works, often made of ceramic or cast in bronze, often combine women with the forms of vessels or traditional African dwellings. The next Biennale has been postponed from 2021 to 2022, by which time the organizers hope it can open normally.
She has fused representations of their bodies with vernacular architectural forms from Africa or utilitarian vessels such as jugs and pitchers, made and used throughout the African diaspora.
New York Times (Oct 14, 2020)

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