Climate of positivity

15 May,2022 09:03 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Team SMD

Kennedy is a clean energy entrepreneur and CEO of the non-profit New Energy Nexus; he also runs the California Clean Energy Fund

Cate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy

Curated by Heena Khandelwal, Nidhi Lodaya, Nimisha Patil, Kasturi Gadge

Climate anxiety is real, and the past two years have only made this clearer. Thus, the new podcast, Climate of Change, by actor Cate Blanchett and long-time friend Danny Kennedy comes as a balm of optimism. Kennedy is a clean energy entrepreneur and CEO of the non-profit New Energy Nexus; he also runs the California Clean Energy Fund. Over six episodes, the two Australians speak to climate activists and change-makers to find real solutions to this very real problem. Kennedy*s infectious positivity and Blanchett*s restless spirit reflect the two ways of dealing with the issue - relentless problem-solving. While it*s a good listen and no doubt, there are guaranteed takeaways, sometimes the breezy conversation swerves towards their personal stories. And the optimism, while necessary, overshadows the urgency of the problem.

A course for everyone

Vanshika Goenka

If you keep turning to millennials to teach you the intricacies of social media presence, head to Kool Kanya. This site offers such online courses as How to grow your YouTube subscribers (Rs 499), Smartphone photography (Rs 750), How to become a mobile video content creator (Rs 999) and Make an impactful PowerPoint presentation (Rs 499). A budding entrepreneur could use skills such as creating reels, videos, digital marketing, and much more to push her expertise or business. "Social media strategy, making a PowerPoint presentation and operating Excel are the most popular courses," says founder Vanshika Goenka. These are conducted by industry experts such as fashion photographer Dhruv Prakash, performance marketing specialist Harshith Bangera and Instagram coach and consultant Tanisha Bhansali. Their blogs cover issues such as how to tackle harassment at the workplace and how to invest wisely.

Room for thought

Ashwin Prabhu

Authored by Ashwin Prabhu and edited by V Geetha, Classroom with a View: Notes from the Krishnamurti Schools (R800) revolves around the central question - What are schools for? Its answer is that it should be a place where learning takes place in an expansive sense. Taking inspiration from the educational institutions based on the teachings of philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, it emphasises that the students learn equally from workers, artisans, poets and performers. They are encouraged to think about existential questions and ask questions.

Classroom... makes deep philosophies, relatable. It braids together allegory and abstract concepts, research and real-world applications. For instance, it talks about ‘Area Study* in which a class can examine their neighbourhood historically, geographically, sociologically, economically and culturally over a few weeks. It successfully drives home the point that if we want a just, equitable and humane society, we need to start thinking about these questions in schools. We ardently hope this book lands in the hands of policymakers who influence mainstream, rote-based education.

Your hair walks into a bar...

Already fans of shampoo and conditioner bars, when we heard about a hair mask in the same form, we had to give it a shot in the shower. The Switch Fix specialises in vegan, plant-based hair and skin care products. They are sulphate and paraben-free, thus friends of curls. Their new Acai of Relief (R948) root strengthening hair mask bars for dry and fragile hair arrested our attention, and we gave it a shot in the shower. How exactly does one apply a hair mask bar? The box holds four small bars, each good for one-time use for hair that reaches down to the mid-back. We placed a bar in a bowl, added 50 ml of hot water and stirred for a while. Within a couple of minutes, it dissolved into a thick mask. Application was easy, however the instructions did not mention how long to keep it on. This curly-haired writer kept it on for half-an-hour and found her hair to be less brittle and softer.

Coffee gets the stick

This limited edition Chocolate Coffee Fudgsicle could wake up coffee and ice cream lovers. Sleepy Owl Coffee and NOTO have come together for a cool collaboration: A blend of the former*s signature instant coffee with the latter*s trademark low-calorie ice cream. It has only 98 calories, says the wrapping. This writer appreciates the fact that it wasn*t too sweet (it contains no added sugar). The top half is dipped in crunchy chocolate that has a hint of sweetness. A full encasing (à la chocobar) would have been more satisfying. While the prominent taste is that of coffee, it might disappoint connoisseurs as it more massy than classy. Think of it as cold coffee on a stick; a treat in Mumbai*s summers. Priced at Rs 105, it is cheaper than anything made by a barista, but ice-cream and chocolate lovers have plenty of alternatives to choose from in the same price range.

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