Russian Meddling, Comic-Con, and a Cuppa Joe—In The News 7/23/18

The context, history, and facts about current events and controversial headlines

In a fast-moving, ever-shifting world, news is continuously breaking. The Great Courses is here to help you understand full story behind the soundbites. Here are a handful of stories from the week of July 23, 2018, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

image of the word NEWS for the Great Courses in the news posts

Spies Like Us
Hacking and online espionage are no longer just the wave of the future, as evidenced by the recent revelation of Russia tampering with the 2016 presidential election. Investigate the techniques by which governments digitally infiltrate each other and consider the ethics of these actions by considering all sides of this issue.

A Century of Change
Nelson Mandela would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 18. While he is no longer with us, his legacy remains. Dig into his story as you discover why the Rivonia Trial is considered “the trial that changed South Africa” and learn how it not only shaped the future of South Africa, but also led to Mandela’s election as the country’s first black president.

Don’t Believe No Double Negatives
The would/wouldn’t issue has everyone talking about the importance of clarity in speech. Consider the role of logic in language and why double negatives are the default in French, Russian, and many other languages, including every dialect of English except the standard form.

The High Cost of Uranium
Tariffs on uranium are being investigated, but what does that mean? Uncover which hidden costs can affect the economics of supply and demand, how governments can incentivize and disincentivize energy industries, and the complexities of international agreements (and trade wars).

The Mysterious World of Underwater Caves
For three days, the whole world watched and hoped as the Thai soccer players and their coach were rescued from the depths of an underwater cave. Join cave diver Jill Heinerth to explore the hidden underground waterways coursing through our planet.

Can’t Make Comic-Con?
Neither could we, but we got our geek on with an in-depth look at different ideas concerning truth, knowledge, and reality through the film The Matrix.

Cuppa Joe
Coffee drinkers rejoice! New research is showing a number of health benefits to drinking coffee every day. Good news, since over 500 billion cups of coffee are served every year. Explore the ways coffee is harvested and learn how caffeine works on your body and mind.

The Dangers of Drinking Young
Recent studies have confirmed that liver-related illnesses are becoming increasingly prevalent. Further, the problems are occurring in individuals in their 20s and 30s as people are drinking more frequently and at–younger–ages than ever before. Take a close look at your brain on alcohol to explore dependence, withdrawal, and genetic susceptibility.

We will be diligently monitoring current events and sharing updates on a regular basis, linking the latest headlines to our courses, so you can get the context, history, background, deeper meaning, and—especially—the facts. Our goal is to help our lifelong learners apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to the real world and become better-informed citizen about the present-day issues that concern us all.