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global issues

The Internet was meant to be this great contest of ideas. But instead of expanding our perspectives, the Internet shows us what it thinks we want to see. Is it also dividing us?
Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah's life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein's government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now she puts pen to paper, writing letters on behalf of people unfairly imprisoned around the world.
Kids connect with characters who look like them, even if those characters are sidelined. But during playtime, your kid is the casting director. A toy they can identify with makes them the hero of their own story, and could overcome what we call 'activist's block,' the self-diminishing excuse we hear often: "I'm just one person. What can I do?"
Professor Jeremy Bailenson has been researching the neurological and psychological impact of virtual reality for 15 years at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Visual, auditory and dynamic spatial cues mimic real-life responses in the brain; he's found that the immersive quality of this technology leaves an indelible mark on users in a way that still images don't.
Food demands on our planet will double by 2050, when the population is set to reach 9.7 billion. With the global dinner table getting crowded, and the planet running out of arable land, it's going to take some extreme gardening to keep everyone fed. These breakthroughs could herald the future of food production.
The Rio Olympics have now come to a close, but here's a satirical spectator sport for those of us who were frustrated by the nightly highlight reels belittling female athletes. It's called "Olympic media sexism bingo." Comedian Megan Ford posted the game card on her Twitter account.
From Asia to South America, insects have long appeared on the menu in many cultures. But what's truly epic about the edible bug trend is its potential to not only provide a healthy source of food, but also boost incomes among people in developing countries who could never afford chicken or beef from a grocery store.
International law has decreed that denying civilians access to the basic necessities of life is a war crime. Yet according to experts we spoke with, there is still too little global awareness and action to protect vital water resources in war zones.
It's hard to match the image of wanton recklessness with the soft-spoken, thoughtful 18-year-old Lucas we talked to recently. He has transformed, thanks to a service learning program that's teaching young convicts -- including hardened gang members -- about global issues, social justice and community activism.
The conflict in Syria remains the deadliest in the world today, with almost 70,000 killed since the start of 2015. However, it's not the only war costing thousands of lives. Entering its second year, Yemen's civil war has seen more than 8,000 civilian casualties.