Beyond the Turban: Bringing Diversity to Emojis. Apple has announced plans to roll out more “diverse” emojis (current options are limited to an Asian man with a baseball cap and a brown man with a turban). It took many online petitions and celebrity push backs for Apple to even acknowledge the need for this, which is pretty sad. But one can only hope they’ve got a panel of people on the project who have a good sense of what other icons need to be added — think tacos and saris. (Call me anytime, Tim Cook, I’ve got a million more suggestions.) Apple already won me over by adding an emoji of same-sex couples holding hands over a year ago, so I have high hopes that they can rise to the occasion of accurately representing a more diverse population. There is no rollout date set as of yet. [Time, BuzzFeed]
Microsoft and Apple CEOs Acknowledge Each Other’s Existence in Public. Speaking of Apple, Microsoft finally released a version of its Office programs for iOS devices, prompting a friendly (aka awkward) exchange of tweets between Apple CEO Time Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (who is awesome to follow on Twitter, btw).
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2014
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) March 27, 2014
Brr. It’s cold in here.
Karachi Breathes Hope Through Music. The world’s seventh largest city is also one of the world’s most violent. Yet, the resiliency of its people is coming to light in one of the most heartwarming ways — through music. The Pakistani city has seen a large uptick in indie music, bands, and collaboratives, especially in the booming age of social media and improving electronica technologies. The Huffington Post rounds up some of the most promising artists and songs currently in the scene and even highlights the unique offerings of the popular Pakistan-based Coke Studio (one featured above). Interested in amazing songs from similar indie artists? Check out the full story! [Huffington Post]
From Mumbai Slum to the London Stage: Katherine Boo’s best-selling book Behind the Beautiful Forevers is being adapted into a play set to debut in London later this year. Based on the true story of the lives, jobs, and politics of Mumbai’s Annawadi slum and its residents, the book won the 2012 National Book Award and has been critically acclaimed for its authenticity and vivid (and at times uncomfortable) imagery. It is being adapted for the stage by David Hare for the National Theater’s Olivier auditorium this fall. (I highly recommend the book if you haven’t read it already, by the way. It’s no Slumdog Millionaire-esque , “Bollywood-ized” slum tale.) [London Broadway]
Twitter Death Hoax Reaches India’s Singing Queen. After the sudden passing away of legendary Bollywood actress Nanda this week, rumors began to spread that Lata Mangeshkar had died of a sudden heart attack. Several friends took to Twitter to deny the rumors, followed by what can only be described as the most adorable slash subtly flawless tweet from the Singing Queen herself:
Namaskar. Meri tabiyat ke baare mein afwaayein phail rahi hai. Par aap sab ka pyar aur duaaien hain ke meri tabiyat bilkul thik hai.
— latamangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) March 25, 2014
Official translation: “Hello. There are rumors spreading about my health. But it is with your love and prayers that my health is absolutely fine.” Better Translation: “Give it up folks, I’m immortal. You’re welcome.” [Times of India]
Mindy Kaling on Dressing With Confidence. Mindy Kaling is featured in April’s issue of Vogue, and spends a part of it talking about her sense of style, alongside body image/confidence.
Petite and a fluctuating size 10, Kaling spins a lot of her own body-image issues into The Mindy Project, and much of the humor on the show stems from her awareness that she isn’t a size 2 blonde. Her character seesaws between insecurity and an almost delusional self-confidence, and says things like “I don’t want coffee cake—I’m still full from that chia seed I had last night.”
Nepal Wants to Help You Climb Everest. Nepal is considering a new policy that would require all foreign climbers to have a local guide to accompany them to the highest of the Himalayan peaks. Hoping for a boost in local jobs, Nepal is also trying to control the flow of climbers and the amount of trash on the mountains. It is also recommending the policy to neighbors India, Pakistan, and China. [New York Times]
Successful Women in India = Targets for Domestic Violence? A new study published this month by Abigail Weitzman revealed that women in India who show gains in social/economic status are more at risk for domestic violence. According to Weitzman,
[C]ompared with women who do not work, women who are the only employed members of their households face more than twice the risk of frequent domestic violence and 1.51 times the risk of severe domestic violence, which includes beating, choking, burning or attack with a weapon.
This heightened risk also extends to women who are more educated than their husbands. This study is so disturbing… Money + power + entitled males in India seems to be the most common and most dangerous mix. [New York Times]
Corrupting India’s Favorite Sport. More scandals are hitting India’s cricket body (BCCI), specifically the president, N. Srinivasan. He faces charges of betting and match-fixing, while not only holding the highest position in the sport’s governing body but also owning the Indian Premiere League team Chennai Superkings. The IPL faced a slew of allegations of match fixing last year, which led to a lifetime ban from the league for popular player Sreesanth as well as 38 others. The Supreme Court issued harsh comments on the latest allegations and is likely to hear Srinivasan’s case. [BBC]
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Priya Arora is a graduate student at New York University studying human development and social intervention with a research focus on mental health in LGBTQ youths. Born and raised in California, Priya has found a home in New York and will be attending Columbia University this fall to become a licensed mental health counselor. Follow her on Twitter at @thepriyaarora.