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Toxicity Among Formula 1 Fanbases: Impact of Social Media


UNITED KINGDOM: Formula 1 holds a massive fanbase. When the Australian GP was canceled in the aftermath of Covid-19, and the global lockdown ensued, the fans of “the pinnacle of motorsport” took to various online platforms to quench their thirst for Formula 1.

Countless esports gamers and even real-life racing drivers took to online streaming platforms to create Formula 1 content as the world began to embrace life indoors. Online shows and videos of the popular Formula 1 games quickly captured the minds of thousands of netizens and attracted them to the world of racing.

When Formula 1 finally resumed in mid-2020, the sport witnessed unprecedented numbers of new viewers. This massive rise in the popularity of F1 was seen by many pundits as a positive trend for the sport. The community took to social media platforms to share as well as spread their views and opinions. 

Along with the new fans, a horde of ill-mannered people found the guts to freely voice their racist and homophobic thoughts under the pretence of being a fan of a driver or team. Ironically, all this happened as Formula 1 management embraced a new era of social diversity, inclusivity, and abolishment of racist abuse within the sport under the ”We Race as ‘One initiative”.

Lewis Hamilton, the only person of colour in a white-dominated sport, was often the centre of racist abuse. In the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, Lewis had spearheaded the awareness for fighting racism inside the sport. He, along with a handful of drivers, including Sebastian Vettel, “took a knee” before the start of races to spread the initiative.

In the high-octane 2021 Formula 1 season, the racist abuses aimed at Lewis Hamilton and his fans reached an all-time high on Twitter after Max Verstappen crashed out of the Silverstone Grand Prix after making contact with Lewis Hamilton at the Copse corner. The abusers stooped to another low after reports of a few fans burning Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes merchandise came to the fore during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. 

The toxicity of some Formula 1 fans on social media continue to grow without bounds

Certain others project their insecurity by name-calling other well-mannered fans. Twitter user @LastLapLucy made an innocuous comment regarding Max Verstappen’s latest hairstyle, asking her fans if they too felt that Max’s hairstyle reminded them of an actor from the famous pop culture movie, Back to The Future. A certain Twitter user felt that her tweet was inciting hate toward his driver, and in the exchange of comments that followed, the said Twitter user called Lucy an inappropriate word.

Homophobic tweets became common during June when Pride Month was observed. Multiple hate tweets were posted underneath the tweets by various F1 teams in which they supported the raising of awareness for the LGBTQ+ community. When the official Twitter handle of the Mercedes F1 Team announced their logo coloured with the pride rainbow, some of the comments made under the tweet were outright disgusting, to say the least.

 The Austrian Grand Prix weekend witnessed a lot of complaints from the visitors, especially women and the members of the LGBTQ+ community who were the target of sexual and homophobic abuse.

A video surfaced in June showing an interview with ex-Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet, in which he used racial and homophobic slurs against Lewis Hamilton. He received wide backlash from the F1 paddock, which resulted in a ban from attending all Formula 1 events in the future. The Majority of the Formula One teams condemned the comments made by the 3-time World Champion.

Photo Credit: Twitter/F1

Interestingly, Red Bull refrained from making any comment on the situation. When the team officials regarded the teams’ silence, they responded by saying they had already put out a statement condemning racist abuse in any form, referring to the incident where Red Bull junior driver Jury Vips used a racial slur during a live stream.

Nelson Piquet is the father of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s partner, Kelly Piquet. Nelson later apologized for his remarks and said that his words were misconstrued and that the word he used is common in the Brazilian vocabulary.

Formula 1, along with the FIA, launched the #DriveItOut campaign to address the rising toxicity in the online F1 community, which has seemed fruitless so far.

Also Read: FIA Releases 2021 Financial Regulation Review: Redbull Guilty of ‘Minor’ Breach

Liz Truss’ Resignation Triggers a Political Contest for the Prime Ministerial Role


UNITED KINGDOM: Liz Truss became the shortest-serving Prime Minister in history after the Conservatives openly revolted against her and demanded her departure.

While addressing the media in Downing Street, Liz Truss said that she had informed the King that she was resigning as the leader of the Conservative Party after the realisation that she “cannot deliver the mandate,” which Tory members had given her six weeks prior.

The chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives, Sir Graham Brady, held talks with Liz Truss and the duo agreed to a fresh election for the leadership to be completed in the coming week.

Responding to the turn of events, Sir Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party since 2020, called for a general election so that the public could make up their minds over the chaos which has descended on the UK political scene.

He described the situation as a mess and said the UK has a “stable” alternative in the form of a Labour government.

Liz Truss succeeded the former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, on September 6 after winning the election against former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Soon after taking charge of the office, her position became untenable as her policies came under immense questioning from the same members who had backed her during the elections. The public’s opinion regarding Truss’ capabilities turned against her.

Truss also made a U-turn on the historic tax cuts which threatened to empty the public coffers and sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor after 38 tumultuous days and apologised to the British public and the Conservative party. Jeremy Hunt was appointed to take over Kwarteng’s role.

A cloud of uncertainty has been hanging over Liz Truss’ government over the past 24 hours after Home Secretary Suella Braverman was sacked by Truss, stating an “accidental national security leak” after Suella had inadvertently shared an official document with a colleague from her personal email.

Also Read: Liz Truss’ Government is on the Brink after Suella Braverman’s Resignation

Curiosity Rover Reaches Mars’ Astonishing Salty Region

UNITED STATES: NASA’s Curiosity rover trekked through the narrow and sandy Paraitepuy Pass on Mars to reach the long-sought-after region of Mount Sharp. The region is enriched with salty minerals and is also known as the “sulfate-bearing unit.”

According to scientists’ hypotheses, the region was created as the streams and ponds on the Martian surface dried up billions of years ago, leaving behind the minerals. If true, the minerals offer enticing clues as to how and why the red planet’s climate changed from Earth-like to the barren desert it is today.

The arrival of the Curiosity rover at the region has been long-awaited since NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the minerals many years before Curiosity touched down on Mars. This was the first time that the scientists were able to see the terrain up close.

The rover discovered a vast range of types of rocks and found signs of the existence of water at some point in time on Martian soil. Salty minerals like Magnesium sulfate, Calcium sulfate (including gypsum), and sodium chloride were present in the rocks found on the surface.

In the mission’s 36th drill sample, a rock termed “Canaima” was selected. Curiosity’s new project manager, Kathya Zamora-Garcia of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said that the lack of scratch marks and indentations on Canaima when its top surface was poked by the drill indicated that the drilling operation might be difficult.

Curiosity uses a percussive-rotary drill at the end of its 7-foot arm to crush rock samples for analysis. Kathya adds that the team took their time to decide if the drilling operation posed any risk for the old, worn-down rover, which has been operational for over a decade.

In the end, the team was confident enough to proceed with the operation, and as it turned out, the percussive drill was not required.

Also Read: New Evidence Suggests Presence of Water on Mars

Max O’Dowd’s Effort Goes in Vain as Sri Lanka Defeats the Netherlands


AUSTRALIA: Sri Lanka beat the Netherlands by 16 runs as Kusal Mendis, aided by a handful of cameos by Asalanka and Rajapaksa, propped up their nation to the Super-12 at the Geelong stadium.

Sri Lanka’s Innings

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Sri Lanka was off to a slow start as openers Kusal Mendis (79 off 44 balls) and Pathum Nissanka (14 off 21 balls) took their time to get their eye in.

Nissanka, who got a reprieve in the 5th over as Paul van Meekeren (25/2) couldn’t latch onto a difficult catch off his own bowling, was the first wicket to fall as he was caught by a fuller ball from Meekeren in his next over.

Meekeren sent back Dhananjaya de Silva (0 off 1 ball) by trapping him LBW on the very next ball.

Photo Credit: Twitter/ICC

Meekeren missed out on his first hat trick and the tournament’s second in two days as the new man, Charith Asalanka (31 off 30 balls), edged the ball away for a single.

Sri Lanka scampered along to 60/2 after 10 overs as the batsmen couldn’t get the momentum going.

The 12th over by Timm van der Gugten (31/1) injected some life into the Sri Lankan innings as 12 runs came from it by virtue of Kusal Mendis’ six over the long leg boundary and quick running between the wickets by the batsmen.

The fruitful 60-run partnership for the third wicket came to an end after Asalanka edged a slow off-cutter from Bas de Leede (31/2) only to be caught behind by the wicketkeeper. Kusal Mendis soon brought up his ninth half-century in T20Is with a six off the lanky pacer and followed it up with a boundary through the off-side.

Bhanuka Rajapakse (19 off 13 balls) got a start but couldn’t convert it into a bigger score as he holed out at mid-wicket off de Leede in an attempt to clear the fence.

The Sri Lankan skipper, Dasun Shanaka (8 off 5 balls), made his intentions clear with a huge six over backward square leg off just the 3rd delivery he faced.

Kusal Mendis took Fred Klaasen (34/1) to the cleaners in the penultimate over of the Sri Lankan innings as he smashed consecutive sixes off the pacer.

Shanaka was caught off the bowling of Klaasen as he tried to up the scoring rate. In the last over, Mendis followed suit off the bowling of Timm van der Gugten after he had hit the pacer for a boundary in the previous delivery.

At one point, Wanindu Hasaranga (5 off 4 balls) and Chamika Karunaratne (2 off 2 balls) saw off the remaining deliveries to take Sri Lanka to 162/6, which at one point seemed improbable early in the Sri Lankan innings.

Netherland’s Innings

The Netherlands lost the plot early in their chase of the 163-run target. Openers Max O’Dowd (71* off 53 balls) and Vikram Singh (7 off 14 balls) couldn’t deliver the big scoring shots early on in the innings.

Vikram Singh looked out of sorts throughout his stay at the crease before handing an easy catch to Shanaka at mid-on.

Bas de Leede (14 off 10 balls) showed intent but threw away his wicket when he nicked an away going to the wicketkeeper off Lahiru Kumara (28/1).

Number four batsman Colin Ackermann (0 off 1 ball) was out for a golden duck as he lobbed one back to Wanindu Hasaranga (28/3).

Photo Credit: Twitter/KNCBcricket

At the end of the 10th over, the Dutch were 63/3, 100 runs in arrears. With the required run rate of above 10 per over, runs were needed from both ends, but it wasn’t to be as Tom Cooper (16 off 10 balls) was castled by Maheesh Theekshana (32/2) in the 12th over.

Max O’Dowd kept rotating the strike with some good running between the wickets, but with the required run rate well above 11 runs per over, big shots were needed.

The Netherlands’ skipper, Scott Edwards, took charge of Wanindu Hasaranga as he smashed the spinner for consecutive boundaries in the 14th over, which yielded 14 runs for the Dutch. He became Binura Fernando’s (33/1) first victim soon after he hit the pacer for a boundary in the 15th over.

Edwards tried to sweep a slower delivery, only for the ball to crash into the leg stump. Tim Pringle’s (1 off 2 balls) brief stay ended in the 16th over after he fell short of his crease in an attempt to steal a risky second run.

Wanindu Hasaranga tightened the noose around the Netherlands by having Timm van der Gugten bowled for a duck off the first ball he faced, leaving the Dutch side staring down the barrel at 107/7.

Hasaranga ended his spell with the wicket of Fred Klaasen (3 off 3 balls), who came running down the pitch but was beaten by the ball which stayed low and went on to disturb the stumps.

Max O’Dowd hit Fernando for a six and consecutive fours in the 18th over to bring up a fighting half-century.

Theekshana, bowling his last over and the 19th overall of the innings, was hit for two sixes by Max O’Dowd to bring the equation down to 23 off the last over.

Lahiru Kumara gave away only 6 runs, giving Sri Lanka a 16-run win which saw them qualify for the super-12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

An injured Roelof van der Merwe (0 off 1 ball) came in at 11, braving an injury and showed a lion-hearted performance as he ran swiftly between the wickets to give the strike to Max O’Dowd despite being in excruciating pain.

Also Read: Virat Kohli’s Exceptional Fielding and Shami’s Brilliant Last over Lead India to Victory

Rock Climber Fends Off Wild Bear, Escapes Unharmed


JAPAN: The rock climber’s GoPro captured the hair-raising encounter between him and a wild bear. The video was shared on YouTube, which soon went viral as netizens hailed the bravery of the rock climber. The video has racked up over 2 million views on the video streaming platform.

The rock climber dodged the bear’s charge with agility and grabbed a solid footing as the bear slipped and fell down the face. The ability of the climber to evade the bear is seemingly what ultimately saved his life. The climber latched onto the high ground and lashed out at the bear with kicks and punches as the wild animal tried to climb up to him.

The bear eventually gave up and scampered away. The internet accoladed the climber’s quick thinking and guts, which helped him survive the ordeal relatively unscathed. The climber could be heard screaming at the bear throughout the encounter.

The unnamed rock climber, in the video’s description, said that he was attacked by the bear from behind while descending the rocky ridge of Mount Futago in Chichibu City of Saitama Prefecture in Japan. He added that when the bear charged at him, he had no choice but to face it.

He went on to explain the aggressive behaviour of the bear as he felt it was merely attacking him in order to protect the cubs. He said that he inadvertently trespassed into the bear’s territory, which incited the attack.

The US National Parks Service advises hikers to ‘fight back with everything you have’ in case of a bear attack and to try and deal kicks and punches at the bear’s face or to use bear spray or nearby objects like rocks and branches as a weapon to defend themselves.

Japan is home to two bear species, the Asiatic black bear and the brown bear. The bear in the video is probably the Asiatic black bear since brown bears are exclusively found on the island of Hokkaido.

The Asiatic black bears, which can weigh up to 200 kilograms, are known for being particularly aggressive toward humans.

Also Read: Iranian Rock Climber Goes Missing after Competing in Seoul without a Hijab

Medical Miracle: Surgeons Perform World’s First Intestine Transplant on Toddler

SPAIN: 13-month-old Emma became the recipient of the world’s first successful intestine transplant. Emma was suffering from intestinal failure, as a result of which the intestines couldn’t absorb nutrients from the food.

The child had undergone several operations prior to the intestine transplant. The transplant was even more challenging due to her young age. Organ transplants among infants are particularly difficult since the recipients vastly outnumber the donors.

In cases of lack of donors for the organs, Asystolic donation or donation after a cardio-vascular arrest is often used as a solution. According to statistics, 30% of the candidates die on the waiting list due to a lack of donors.

The intestine transplant carried an exceptionally higher risk of rejection and infection. A research team at La Paz hospital carried out three years of research and trials to substantiate that an intestine transplant is feasible.

The organ used for Emma’s operation was harvested from an asystole donor. Beatriz Dominguez Gil, the Director of the Spanish National Transplant Organisation, emphasised what the transplant represents for Emma and many children afflicted with the same condition in Spain and other countries. The milestone achievement is being widely seen as a medical miracle.

Emma also received a new liver, stomach, spleen, and pancreas as a part of the transplant. She was discharged from the hospital and now recovers at home under the watchful eyes of her parents. Emma’s father, Daniel, thanked the researchers involved in the surgery, which saved the life of their precocious child.

He said, “Emotionally, they also help our family a lot. We have had very hard times; it has been a rocky road, and the truth is that they have helped us to keep our feet on the ground, and we have moved forward, and the truth is that here you have a little girl who is beautiful and eager to fight.”

Also Read: All You Need to Know about Spain’s Menstrual Leave Policy

Can Beat Lewis Hamilton in the Same Car, Says Lando Norris


UNITED KINGDOM: Young McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris while answering questions from British GQ, said he would beat Lewis Hamilton in the same car. When asked whether we would beat the Mercedes driver, who is arguably the greatest driver of all time in Formula 1 history, he said, “There’s a tough question. I’ve got to say yes.”

He felt that it wouldn’t be easy as he believes Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest. “Lewis is one of the greatest ever, but if you want to do well, you’ve got to believe you’re better than the rest,” he added. 

The two British drivers have had mutual respect over the years. Lewis Hamilton, in particular, had called Lando Norris “a great driver” over the radio as the duo battled away in the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton had also supported young Lando over social media last year after the youngster’s lap time in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which had propped him up to the 4th position, was deleted. Lando Norris started from 9th in the race.

Lewis Hamilton had to cope with a tumultuous 2022 season after the Mercedes car for the season; the notorious W13 has been way off the pace of the leading teams. The draggy nature of the car combined with the uncomfortable bouncing gave a hard time to the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

The experienced campaigner drove with experimental setups and a multitude of sensors in the early stages of the season to find the solutions for the various problems of the car, as a result of which he often ended up getting outscored by George Russell, who is currently on track to beat him in the driver’s standings. The 37-year-old has been beaten by his team-mate only twice so far in his illustrious career.

Lando Norris had infamously lost out on his maiden Formula 1 victory in Sochi last year as he stayed out on dry weather tyres even as everyone else pitted for the intermediates after the heavens opened up towards the ending stages of the race. Lewis Hamilton passed the sliding McLaren of Lando Norris as he notched up a historic 100th Formula 1 career victory.

Also Read: Formula One Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton Receives Knighthood

Orionid Meteor Shower: The Earth’s Encounter with Halley’s Comet


CANADA: Each year, for a few days around the 21st of October, the Earth interacts with the swarm of meteoroids known as the Orionids. A stream of meteoroids which is actually the scattered bits and pieces left behind by the most famous comet of all, Halley’s comet encircles the solar system.

It is the second such interaction of the Earth this year with the Orionids after we had passed through the stream early in May. When the Earth passes through it in May, the meteoroids come from a different part of the sky and are called Eta Aquarids. These meteoroids are left behind by Halley’s Comet as it flies away from the Sun into the outer bounds of the solar system.

But in October, the Earth crosses Halley’s comet’s inbound path i.e., its path on the way to the Sun. Even though the orbit of the comet is parted by several million miles from the Earth, the dusty residue remains in space long enough to create the Eta Aquarid and Orionid meteor showers in May and October, respectively.

Meteors are commonly referred to as ‘shooting stars’ due to their brief streaky appearance in the night sky. But in reality, these are grains of dust that were suspended in space for years, which get drawn to the Earth by its gravity as we pass close to it.

As the speed of these particles increases up to over 72km per second on their way to the earth’s surface, it generates heat as a result of friction with the atmosphere. This friction releases energy in the form of a short-lived streak of light that we see. A small meteoroid, the size of a pea pod, can form a flash in the sky which can be compared to the brightness of Venus.

Historically, the best time to look for meteors is just before dawn. The chances of catching sight of meteors are higher as they tend to be brighter than the ones visible in the evening due to the light from the Sun reflected by them.

This year is no exception as according to the 2022 edition of Observer’s Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, predawn hours of October 21 is the ideal time to watch for Orionid meteors. The shower will appear from the club of the Orion constellation.

Also Read: Scientists Explain the Origins of the Green Meteors Seen in New Zealand

Jack Miller Devastated after the Australian MotoGP Crash


AUSTRALIA: Home favourite Jack Miller seemed settled comfortably in the lead group in the Australian MotoGP before he was taken out on lap nine by Alex Marquez.

Miller was making his first appearance on home soil as a factory Ducati rider. Marquez out-braked himself into the hairpin at turn 4, the very corner that was renamed in Jack Miller’s honour on Saturday.

Alex Marquez lost control of his bike and crashed into Miller’s Ducati, sending himself and the Australian tumbling off their bikes and out of the race.

Looking back, Miller said he was oblivious to Marquez coming in hot. He was just about to get on the accelerator in the middle of the hairpin when the impact happened.

He felt there wasn’t anything he could have done. “One minute I was looking at the back of (Marco) Bezzecchi’s bike, the next minute I was seeing stars,” quipped the Australian rider.

Although he was initially miffed with Marquez, he doesn’t have hard feelings about the incident, which he feels was purely a mistake. But Miller feels devastated as he didn’t finish his race.

He visited his family and friends, who were based near the Phillip Island circuit for the Australian MotoGP weekend, to apologise for the non-finish in his first home Grand Prix in 3 years.

Alex Marquez accepted full blame for the incident, and he said he understood Miller’s anger at the time.

In an interview with the media after the race, Marquez apologised to Jack and his team, saying he had all the reasons to be angry.

He admitted that he had made a mistake when he was trying to attack a little bit more after he kept getting overtaken.

He was handed a long lap penalty for the crash, which he will serve during the Malaysian MotoGP next weekend.

Marquez was trying to get past Luca Marini when he braked late in an attempted dive bomb, which backfired spectacularly.

Also Read: Motorola Officially Unveils the Moto G72


BCCI Presidency Election: Roger Binny Appointed as the 36th President


INDIA: Roger Binny, a member of the historic 1983 World Cup winning squad, was elected as the 36th President of BCCI unopposed at its Annual General Meeting (AGM). Jay Shah was re-elected as the secretary for the second time. Rajeev Shukla, Ashish Shelar, and Devjit Saikia were elected unopposed as the vice president, treasurer, and joint secretary, respectively.

The 67-year-old Roger Binny played 27 Test matches and 72 One Day Internationals (ODIs) for India. He took charge of BCCI ahead of the ODI World Cup to be held in India next year. No discussion happened on the chairmanship of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The board meeting in Melbourne next month is supposedly where the next ICC chairman will be elected. It seems unlikely that BCCI will nominate its own candidate for the chairman’s position ahead of the 20th October deadline.

An official who attended the meeting said that India’s representative to the ICC will be decided by the office-bearers and that there was no discussion on the ICC chairmanship. He added that only the matters on the agenda of the meeting were discussed.

Outgoing treasurer Arun Dhumal was appointed as the new IPL chairman. He replaces Brijesh Patel. MKJ Majumdar was elected into the BCCI Apex Council as the new representative of the General Body. BCCI released a statement appreciating the efforts of the outgoing office bearers, IPL governing council chairman and members, and councillors.

Women’s IPL was approved by the General Body in the meeting. The inaugural edition of the marquee tournament for women will consist of five teams and will take place in March. The decision on how the teams were to be sold and how to conduct the tournament will be shortly made by the General Committee.

Also Read: Sourav Ganguly Shuts All Speculations Floating around His BCCI Exit