SWC’s Fast Five

Beirut’s suffering unfolds as the name and blame game emerges following its huge port explosion, colleges make plans to close as they open, more good news on the vaccine front which you might be reading about on Instagram now and, here’s one thing that won’t kill us. Apparently.

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 Scope of devastation continues to be revealed in Beirut blast.

Residents call out to France President Emmanuel Macron, the first world leader to visit Lebanon since the explosion, “Help us, you are our only hope,” one resident called out. “Please don’t give money to our corrupt government,” said another, before adding: “We can’t take this anymore.”

2 More promise in another vaccine

Though not as far along in clinical trials, this Novavax coronavirus vaccine has produced high levels of antibodies in volunteers without dangerous side effects and stands out as it is protein-based, the same, proven technology used for current vaccines against infections like shingles.

3 As colleges reopen for fall, they’re thinking about closing.

Colleges spent the first part of the summer deliberating how to reopen campuses and classrooms. Now, they are spending what remains of the summer thinking through what kind of dangers it would take to close them.

4 Not just for pretty pictures anymore, Instagram morphs into an information powerhouse.

Instagram is in the midst of a transformation. What was once the place to share photos of food and social outings is quickly becoming a hub for information and advocacy.

5 Well here’s one extinction-level disaster that apparently isn’t going to happen.

A recent geological analysis conducted surrounding the super-volcano’s past eruptions demonstrate a slowing down and a weakening of the volcanic force that draws millions of tourists to Yellowstone National Park every year. So much for the promised scary caldera show.