1. Which 2020 Democratic president hopeful recently criticized tech giant corporations for sponsoring the LibertyCon conference in Washington because the conference included a session denying climate change?
a. Kamala Harris
b. Bernie Sanders
c. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
2. In Chicago over this past week, it had been particularly risky to wear a certain item. During the past eight days, citizens reported at least six gunpoint robberies in the street, where thieves were taking the item right off of passerby. What was the item?
a. The victim’s coat
b. The victim’s shoes
c. The victim’s watch
3. The longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended on Jan. 25 after President Trump backed down on demands for funding for the border wall in order to avert federal workers missing their second paycheck in a row. The new, three-week deal keeps the government open until mid-February; however, analytics of the shutdown already show that it was particularly damaging to the U.S. economy, with cost in the billions. Approximately how much did the 35-day shutdown cost?
a. Under $5 billion
b. Between $5 billion and $9 billion
c. Over $10 billion
4. Climate researchers have long argued that climate change leads to extreme weather events, which then have a myriad of effects on humans and the environment. In a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last October, scientists predicted a global increase in temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius, enough to cause devastating weather conditions. Researchers in Japan have recently discovered climate change may also affect what in humans?
a. Mental health, particularly contributing to suicide rates
b. The gender ratio in newborn children
c. Cancer rates in young adults
5. The Screen Actors Guild Awards concluded Jan. 27, in what many have considered a strange awards season. However, fans often use the SAG Awards as a litmus test for the Oscars, as winners in certain SAG Awards categories tend to have a high likelihood of matching Oscars winners. What movie won SAG’s film ensemble award this year?
a. “Black Panther”
b. “Bohemian Rhapsody”
c. “A Star is Born”
1. c. Ocasio-Cortez criticized Google, Facebook and Microsoft for sponsoring the conference, writing in a letter that the corporations’ strides for sustainability was “compromised” by their support of the conference, according to Bloomberg News. Ocasio-Cortez viewed the support of the conference as tantamount to support of climate denial. Ocasio-Cortez also recently took aim at Facebook, when, in response to layoffs at BuzzFeed and other news organizations, she called tech monopolies the biggest threat to journalism.
2. a. According to The Kansas City Star, people were getting their coats robbed at gunpoint. Of course, the coats weren’t just ordinary coats: they were luxury Canada Goose coats, which sell from anywhere between $500 to over $1,500. Police are looking for suspects in the robberies after footage was caught of two men threatening another man wearing a coat. The robbers pulled a gun on the man, pulled the coat off him and then punched him in the face.
3. b. According to analysis by S&P Global Ratings, the shutdown clocked in at approximately $6 billion in cost to the U.S. economy, New York Daily News reported. The financial firm estimates the cost at $300 million more than the $5.7 billion Trump called for in taxpayer funds in order to pay for the border wall.
4. b. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Japanese scientists have posited that climate change may affect the gender ratio in newborns. While researches believe that anatomical sex is equal at conception, females have a higher mortality rate in gestation, leading to the global ratio at birth being slightly favored toward males: approximately 102 boys to 100 girls, according to 2017 CIA population data. However, the new research comes from precedent in Japan that extreme weather conditions and external stress causes males to have a higher mortality rate during gestation.
5. a. “Black Panther” took the SAG’s film ensemble award this year, but, as the Los Angeles Times notes, film ensemble is the least predictive award of the SAG Awards. Only 11 out of the past 23 winners of the film ensemble award have gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars whereas lead and supporting actress have matched 18 and 17 times respectively, including the past six and nine years.