WORD LISTS

This Week In Culture: Current Events Vocab for October 24–30, 2020

October 28, 2020
Stories about water on the moon, a massive underwater mystery, and the pandemic crashing the World Series victory all contributed words to this week's list of timely vocabulary from the tech, culture, and sports worlds.
cede
The Japanese government announced that the country should be carbon-neutral by the year 2050. Japan is currently the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that this new commitment will transform the economy and ensure the country's prosperity into the future. China, the world's biggest carbon polluter, announced last month that it will also aim for net-zero emissions by the middle of the century, and the European Union has made a similar pledge.
Mr. Suga probably also felt it was important not to cede leadership on the issue to China, he added.
New York Times (Oct 26, 2020)
conglomerate
Most of the large entertainment companies are now, due in large part to the pandemic, heavily invested in streaming content. Disney, Warner, Viacom, and NBC are all making big moves as the market for releasing new films and shows has shifted from cinemas to direct-to-consumer streaming platforms that views can enjoy at home. Conglomerare is a Latin verb meaning "to roll, pile, or push together." Glomer means "ball," so a snowball is a conglomeration of snow.
Over the last year, if an entertainment conglomerate hasn’t announced a shift to focus on streaming, does it really count as an entertainment conglomerate?
The Verge (Oct 28, 2020)
designate
Scientists have found a coral reef that's taller than the Empire State Building off the northern tip of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. A research ship was using a remote submarine to make a 3-D map of the ocean floor when the discovery was made. The tower of coral, over 500m (1650 feet) tall, and shaped like a wide, flat blade, reaches to within 40m (130 feet) of the surface.
Stretching over 2,300km (1,400 miles), the reef was designated a World Heritage site in 1981 for its "enormous scientific and intrinsic importance".
BBC (Oct 28, 2020)
happenstance
Cecilia Chiang, who brought the full variety and quality of northern Chinese food to America, died at the age of 100. She came to San Francisco in 1960, and in 1962 she opened the Mandarin restaurant, which served food from different regions like she had eaten in China as the daughter of a wealthy Beijing family. This cooking had little in common with what Americans knew of the cuisine back then, which had been modified heavily for Western tastes.
Once in San Francisco, she proceeded, largely by happenstance and almost single-handedly, to bring Chinese cuisine from the chop suey and chow mein era into the more refined one of today, enticing diners with the dishes she ate growing up in her family’s converted Ming-era palace in Beijing.
New York Times (Oct 28, 2020)
homage
The 2020 BET Hip-Hop Awards took place, doubling as a get-out-the-vote drive. The show, which was heavy on video performances, honored the late Pop Smoke and Fred Da Godson. Acts who performed included Li'l Wayne, 2 Chainz, Brandy, Erykah Badu, H.E.R., Big Sean, and many more. An homage is a tribute, a way of honoring another artist and their influence in one's own work.
YBN Cordae paid homage to Juice Wrld, and Quavo performed a tribute medley to Pop Smoke.
Vibe (Oct 28, 2020)
implication
Scientists have confirmed that there's water on the Moon, and a lot more of it than was previously thought. Infrared observations showed that a large area near the south pole has a high percentage of ice mixed with the dust and rock on the surface. The presence of water in sunlit areas means that future missions may have an ample supply for human settlements and even for manufacturing rocket fuel — which, like water, is made from hydrogen and oxygen.
The discovery has implications for future missions to the moon and deeper space exploration.
Guardian (Oct 26, 2020)
opulent
Bugatti's newest concept car, the Bolide, is taking the brand's over-the-top engineering to new heights. An announcement stated that the car, which has not yet been officially unveiled, makes 1,825 horsepower and has a top speed over 300 miles per hour. If the car gets manufactured, it would not be legal to drive on the street. No price was given, nor was its gas mileage.
But Bugatti made its name not just on opulent GT cars, but lightweight race cars.
Road and Track (Oct 28, 2020)
percolate
Netflix released a preview of The Midnight Sky, a film directed by and starring George Clooney. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, and some of the scenes seem eerily like things that are happening in the news. Clooney's character believes himself to be alone, possibly the only survivor of a catastrophe, until he finds a child, who he has to take care of as he tries to warn a spaceship not to return to Earth.
“The sickness of hate and the elements that come from that, battles and wars — that has been percolating for quite some time.”
Variety (Oct 27, 2020)
trope
This list of ten horror movies made between 1932 and 2009 have two things in common: they're all worth watching, and none of them feature gory violence. Each film explores frightening and dangerous subjects without subjecting viewers to the sort of bloodbath that much recent horror indulges in, and some of them are downright terrifying. Tropos means "figure of speech" in Greek.
Some of these movies start with classic stories; others graft well-worn tropes onto sharply observed realities and, in the process, transform both.
New Yorker (Oct 28, 2020)
yoke
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays four games to two. It was the Dodgers' first championship in 32 years. Just prior to the victory, the manager pulled Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner in the eighth inning. It was revealed just after the game ended that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was ordered to isolate, but he walked out onto the field to celebrate with his teammates.
To see him smile after World Series Game 6 was to see a yoke thrown off his neck, not to mention that of the entire Los Angeles organization.
Sports Illustrated (Oct 28, 2020)

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