Sound Is No Barrier
Tennis player Lee Duck-hee
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Tennis player Lee Duck-hee was born deaf.

CREDIT: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/

Lee Duck-hee, 18, is among the best tennis players on the planet, but that’s not the only reason he’s exceptional. The South Korean, currently ranked 136th in the world, is also deaf. In pro tennis, where the speed of a serve can reach 150 miles per hour, hearing the ball enables faster reactions. A delay of even the tiniest fraction of a second could decide a match, which makes Lee’s success even more remarkable. Although most studies suggest Duck-hee’s condition leaves him at a distinct disadvantage in tennis, others think his disability could actually help explain his success. “When one sense is compromised, other senses are heightened to compensate,” says Paige Stringer, a former member of the U.S. Deaf Olympics tennis team. “People who are deaf or hard of hearing may have an advantage in tennis because they can [better] pick up visual cues.”

Ready-to-Print Body Parts
silicone facial prosthetics
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3-D printers are already producing silicone facial prosthetics like these; the technology to print living tissue for humans is in its early stages.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Fripp Design

Every year, about 22,000 transplants are performed in the U.S. But supply of organs is limited, and thousands die waiting for a transplant. A possible solution: bioprinting, which builds on 3-D printing technology that’s already used in many industries. How does it work? Bioprinters use multiple print heads to spray out a person’s own cells, along with chemical binding agents that help hold the cells together. Layers of cells then grow into living, functional tissue that can be implanted. The technology has already been used on animals to implant printed ears, bones, and muscles. Experts hope the first printable tissue for humans will be ready to transplant in a few years. One advocate, Dr. Frank Rybicki in Ottawa, Canada, predicts the technology will be a huge medical leap. “When bioprinting actually hits,” he says, “it will change everything.”


    • $99,900

      PRICE that a single  Cheeto recently sold for on eBay. It resembles the gorilla  Harambe, who was killed in 2016 at the Cincinnati Zoo.

      SOURCE: The Huffington Post
    • 300 years

      AGE of a priceless statue recently knocked over by a selfie-taking tourist at the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon, Portugal.

      SOURCE: United Press International
    • 3,100

      MILES run last fall by ultramarathoner Pete Kostelnick, from San Francisco to New York City. He made the cross-country trek in a record 42 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes.

      SOURCE: Lincoln Journal-Star
    • 49

      AGE of Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch, the youngest person to be nominated to the high court in 26 years (see p. 14

      SOURCE: The New York Times
CREDIT: Ebay (Harambe Cheeto)
teen survey
High School Students’ Top Concerns
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This graph shows the results of a national survey of high school students who were asked to pick two issues they’re most concerned about in American society from a list of nine. Does anything about the results surprise you? What issues are most important to you?

SOURCE: The Horatio Alger Association.

CREDITS: (teen boy); iStock/Getty images (teen girl)

1984 Meets 2017
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Orwell’s novel was originally published in 1949. 

CREDIT: CBW/Alamy Stock Photo

George Orwell’s novel 1984 has long been required reading in many high schools, but last month it shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. Why the surge of interest in a 68-year-old book? Some pundits, like Ron Charles of The Washington Post, point to anxieties about the current political climate. He sees parallels between White House adviser Kellyanne Conway’s phrase “alternative facts” and “newspeak”—the language the all-seeing government in 1984 uses to brainwash citizens into accepting lies as truth. Orwell, a British author, originally published his novel in 1949, just as the Soviet Union was becoming a repressive force across Eastern Europe. Penguin USA, the book’s American publisher, recently had to print an extra 500,000 copies to meet the new demand. But Gerry Canavan, an English professor at Marquette University in Wisconsin, says it’s safe to assume that the 63 million people who voted for President Trump aren’t the ones rushing out to get their copy: “I think it’s definitely driven by people on the left’s distrust of Trump. It isn’t people who are happy about recent events that are fueling this increase.”

Ethical Dilemma
An Offensive Facebook Chat
teen on phone
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CREDIT: Ben Gingell/Alamy Stock Photo

I’m a high school senior. In Facebook chats, my friends make sexist comments and use slurs to be funny. It pains me to see these comments. Do I have a moral imperative to act?  —Name Withheld

ANSWER You’re right to object to the conversations. At some point, try talking to them one-on-one and in person. You’d be doing your friends, and the people they’ll interact with in the years ahead, a favor if you let them know that what they’re doing is wrong.

—Adapted from ‘The Ethicist’ in The New York Times Magazine

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