Wikipedia became unavailable in the Middle Kingdom

China blocks access to all language editions of the Internet Encyclopedia

Reading time 4 minutes

Now China blocks access to Wikipedia, although previously only Chinese-language online encyclopedia publications were censored. The blocking began last month, according to an online monitoring service that runs under the Tor project. Attempting to access any Wikipedia page from a country, regardless of language, produces a connection error.

In April, Wikipedia joined to thousands of websites blocked in China

A separate group on the control of censorship reported that China has blocked access to Wikipedia since April 22. Local users of Chinese network platforms also confirm limited access to the site.

It is not clear why the Chinese government blocked sites. But observers suggest the restriction may be due to the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre (June 4, 1989). The government has banned all discussions on this event. The block may be temporary. A similar situation: in January, China, without informing, blocked, and then unlocked the Microsoft Bing search engine.

Over the years, the country selectively blocked some Wikipedia pages that criticized its communist government. However, in 2015, China began blocking access to Mandarin-language Wikipedia pages after the encyclopedia website switched to HTTPS encryption to protect users from unauthorized monitoring.

Attempting to access a Wikipedia page from a country, regardless of language, causes a connection error

Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation confirmed the blocking and reported that Wikipedia is not available in China. In addition, Wikimedia added that it did not receive notification of government plans. Previously, only the Chinese version of the site was banned in the country.

In a statement, the foundation said: “In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China. After closely analysing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is currently blocked across all language versions.”

“With the expansion of this block, millions of readers and volunteer editors, writers, academics, and researchers within China cannot access this resource or share their knowledge and achievements with the world. When one country, region, or culture cannot join the global conversation on Wikipedia, the entire world is poorer, ” the group added.

Wikipedia has been censored in other countries, including repression in Turkey and Venezuela (Photo: TWITTER / BALKANS123)

The encyclopedia edited by the community is periodically blocked by authorities around the world.

In 2017, the site was blocked in Turkey, and this year it was periodically blocked in Venezuela.


Mastering «the new alphabet»

A selection of sites that will teach you how to program

Reading time 4 minutes

In today’s world, programming becomes something like a new alphabet: if people learn to encode information it will be the same progress as after the development of writing and reading skills. It is not necessary to be an IT- specialist to understand that knowledge of programming languages will be useful in any field: for data processing, information optimization, etc. Therefore, even people far from programming begin to master this new alphabet. If you also want to understand the endless stream of symbols and create algorithms, we offer several sites that will help you with this.

Codecademy – learn to code interactively for free

This is one of the most popular online programming platforms. The user only needs to register to get free access to the course materials. In total, the site presents 12 programming languages, so both beginners and advanced specialists will have something to work with. The site has a separate chat, where users can consult with each other and with experienced web developers. Codecademy teaches programming in an accessible game form, so the site is suitable for those who have long justified themselves with the phrase: «I really want to learn to code, but I’m afraid».


Among the other sites on programming, Udacity is characterized by the free of charge issues a digital certificate to users that successfully completed a particular course. This diploma is appreciated by many IT companies, so if you are serious and want to connect your career with programming, Udacity will be the most suitable option. The platform also provides courses related to blogging and start-up creation, they teach only the basics of programming necessary to perform specific tasks.

Udacity – get nano diploma, which is recognized by IT companies
Free Code Camp

The platform can be described as a site created for beginners with big ambitions: the service is provided for training from scratch, so each task is explained in detail. However, the site gives you the opportunity to participate in the development of large projects created by other users. Therefore, here you can get both knowledge and experience. To get a certificate confirming the completion of the course, you will have to make a lot of effort: the final task must not just pass, but put on the git-repository.

Free Code Camp – learn to code and participate in projects

Important reminder: don’t be afraid of errors in programming. Phrase: «I pushed something , and everything broke», perhaps, the most common among newcomers. But all of the platforms listed above have «sandboxes» – that is, fields for testing the created programs – and, if something goes wrong, the site will indicate an error in the code.

How to recognize «date rape drug»

Nail рolish allows you to determine the content of a dangerous substance in the drink

Reading time 5 minutes

Going on a date with a stranger, the girls need to be very careful: a glass of wine or even a сup of coffee can be fatal if they are mixed with drugs or sleeping pills.

Date rape drug

Drugs that rapists add to the drink to the victim, are dangerous because they do not have taste, color and smell, so  is almost impossible to feel them. Such substances are referred to drug rape, these include:

  • Rohypnol is the most common drug in the United States that has become associated with date rape. When used with alcohol causes muscle relaxation and memory lapses. Thus, the victim can not resist, and after the rape does not remember the details of what happened.
  • Ketamine – used for anesthesia, but it provokes confusion, causing hallucinations and nightmares, so the victim suffers both physically and mentally.
  • Xanax is a tranquilizer several times weaker than ketamine, but at excessive doses it has the same strong effect.
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) – acts in the same way as rohypnol, but is a more dangerous drug. It is rarely found in its pure form. Overdoses in most cases lead to death, since it is impossible to neutralize the action of GHB.

The company Drink safe Technologies has created a nail polish that reacts to the above substances: if something is mixed in the drink, the color of the nail polish will change from pink to black. To conduct such a rapid test, it is enough to dip your finger in a drink or drop a little liquid on the nail.

Reaction to drugs

The creators of nail polish – are the students of the faculty of materials science and engineering at the University of North Carolina (USA). They  decided ti launch thus project, because each of them was personally acquainted with the victims of rape on a date, they reported in an interview. According to them, such cases are not uncommon in the United States, especially often it happens in dormitories, so the students decided to take up the problem.

The creators of the nail polish: Tyler Confry-Maloney, Stephen Gray, Ankes Maidan and Tasso von Windheim

Mass production of the nail polish detector has not yet been launched, but the inventors regularly notify all those interested in how the work is progressing. Last year, the project was among the semi-finalists of the startup competition K50, this year it took first place in the State competition of private entrepreneurs.

The project is called «Undercover colors»,  users can donate funds for the research on the official website. Students themselves believe that their invention will help girls feel more protected, and in case of danger – to take action. They write about it on the project page in Facebook.

The logo of the project

Previously, Drink Safe Technologies was engaged in the development of stands for glasses, which also contained a reagent that reacts to the drug. However, this method of checking the drink is too obvious and can provoke a rapist. Therefore, drug detector stands were not in demand.

Balenciaga and Farfetch collaborated to save animals

The brands will donate a part of their profit from a new collection to The International Union for Conservation of Nature

Reading time 4 minutes

Balenciaga fashion house released a new collection for e-tailer Farfetch dedicated to rare animal species. The main goal of this collaboration between the famous French brand and the biggest online platform is to demonstrate endangered species.

New collection from Balenciaga

This exclusive capsule collection consists of clothes, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children. The clothes are illustrated with Large Pandas, Asian Elephants, North White Rhinoceros and Blue Whales — these species are threatened with extinction right now. While creating this limited edition, the brand did not use leather, fur and down materials. The collection is also complimented by popular models presented in new colors and materials.

A North White Rhinoceros on a shirt from Balenciaga

A presentation of the new clothing line played a big role for Balenciaga fashion house. For the lookbook, two leading luxury companies decided to hold a creative photoshoot. The models were photographed with natural landscapes on the background — this way the designers wanted to stress the acute problem of preserving the environment. To make the album for the collection, the brand blurred the background on all photos in order to emphasise the fragility of nature. While the rare representatives of fauna are depicted clearly.

The lookbook of the exclusive collection from Balenciaga

The fashion house expresses its concern with the current ecological situation. CEO of the label, Cédric Charbit, encourages all fashion connoisseurs to support organizations aiming to save rare animal species. A part of a profit from sales of the limited collection will be donated to The International Union for Conservation of Nature — the Swiss charity organization. Moreover, Cédric Charbit mentioned that Balenciaga shares with the organization the same values.

The lookbook of the exclusive collection from Balenciaga

According to José Neves, the founder of Farfetch, the brand Balenciaga is very popular among users of the online platform. He considers this partnership pretty advantageous, because it will bring new clients. The e-tailer represented exclusive wear which can be purchased only through the company’s web site.

DNA discoverer is exposed in racism again

Nobel laureate James Watson was deprived of all titles after the film

Reading time 4 minutes

The American laboratory of Cold Spring Harbor has recalled all the honorary titles of DNA discoverer of Nobel Prize winner James Watson. In early January, the non-profit organization PBS released a documentary film in which the researcher spoke about the intellectual inferiority of blacks. He stated that science lacks a theory that proves the genetic difference in the IQ index of whites and blacks.

Because of the lack of political correctness, the scientist was deprived of the title of honorary trustee, honored professor named after Oliver Grace and honored leader. Employees of the CSHL noted the reprehensibility of what was said to scientists and the inconsistency of these words with scientific data. They also stressed the incompatibility of the statements of the former chairman with the values ​​of the laboratory.

Джеймс Уотсон занимал должность директора и президента CSHL на протяжении 35 лет
James Watson served as director and president of the CSHL for 35 years

Recall that it was racist remarks that led to the removal of James Watson from a laboratory leadership position. In 2007, James Watson, in an interview with the Sunday Times, condemned social policy towards Africa, noting the intellectual inequality of blacks and whites.

With such statements, the biologist has repeatedly undermined his authority in the scientific community. Thus, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the researcher spoke about the homosexual orientation. He said that it would be fair to give a choice to a pregnant woman: to give birth to a homosexual child or not. However, scientists have not yet found the gene responsible for sexual orientation, and it is impossible to determine. In another interview, Watson made it clear that he would not have recruited an obese person.

The scandals associated with the convictions of a scientist, largely spoiled his reputation in the scientific field. In 2014, the biologist declared that the scientific community does not want to recognize its existence. Therefore, Watson decided to put the Nobel Medal up for auction. The money went to charity. For the first time in history, an honorary award was sold during the life of a laureth. The medal was bought by businessman Alisher Usmanov, and in 2015, a lecture by James Watson was held at the Russian Academy of Sciences, at which he was returned the award.

Президент РАН Владимир Фортов возвращает медаль Джеймсу Уотсону, 2015 год
RAS President Vladimir Fortov returns the medal to James Watson on behalf of Alisher Usmanov

Multitasking is pure evil

Doing multiple things at a time means hurting yourself and your work

Reading time 4 minutes

Everybody is used to listening to music, texting friends or colleagues, eating, doing some mechanical work all at once. As a rule, we feel more productive and proud of ourselves for that as well. However, it is not so simple.

There is a reason to believe that multitasking reduces our productivity by almost 40%. The thing is doing numerous tasks at the same time on regular basis can affect psychological, mental, and physical states. The human organism is simply not adapted to working in Julius Caesar mode.

During a research, conducted by Stanford University scientists, was established that multitasking can cause stress, lack of motivation, and mood swings. «Your brain may be in trouble,» is researchers’ message. The also proved the lack of concentration skills  in people who do several things simultaneously. As a result, we get tiredness and apathy.

Moreover, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) discovered that multitasking is directly related to memory operation. Constant stress and lack of focus make the human brain indiscriminately filter information and forget it pretty fast. Although it happens gradually, it is significant to start fighting against the problem before it’s too late. After a conversation, try recalling some details, numbers, or characteristics of people in a crowded room. In case of failure, don’t rush into countless memory training apps, but try to listen to your body and rationally evaluate how much you overloaded the nervous system.



By doing a lot of assignments at the same time, you significantly degrade the quality of work and increase the number of errors. The brain cannot work on all fronts equally perfect. Defocusing attention forces us to perform tasks on the principle of: «Good enough.» Do you really want to be a mediocre worker?

Obviously, modern life does not allow us to function without multitasking sometimes. Yet, it is important to fight against its overabundance. There are a couple of simple, but effective tips:

  • Do no more than two tasks at a time;
  • Use the rule of 20 minutes: do not switch the task if you have been doing it for less than 20 minutes;
  • Do not hesitate to ask friends and colleagues to wait if you are busy. Just point out the problem in time and rationalize your arguments;
  • Do not use social media during work – it adds an extra load on the brain. In case it is complicated for you, use blocking apps;
  • Диалог с коллегами
    Do not try to do everything at once


“As a trickle of blood running down my leg”

Что чувствует участница #тихогопикета под прицелом тысячи глаз

Reading time 8 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

This release with a poster against the decriminalization of domestic violence was not planned. I got to the meeting — so did a poster for #tehohoito. It was not terrible, it was a thrill and a sense of responsibility to society.

My poster against the decriminalization of domestic violence.

In the bus, people looked furtive, but I’m still nervous. I felt like I merged with the poster itself became a political statement. In the subway people were staring at me already open. There went the excitement, there was only interest — “hear” whether a poster?

the end of the day on the escalator, I caught up with a young man who offered to deal with domestic tyrants without involving the police. I disagreed with him, but I was pleased with his support.

I gathered laudatory comments from friends and relatives and encouraged colleagues to take part in #technicite. The day the poster was an inspiring experience.

Report about the day in the official group #tihovolya.
a Report about the day in the official group #tehohoito.

Silent scream

unlike conventional picket #thepike is an invitation to dialogue about social issues, politics, art. Anyone can participate — you need to come up with a poster, attach it in a conspicuous place and be ready to talk.

Participant #tehohoito Sasha AlexeevAlexander Alekseev

20 years

One of the first participants #of tehohoito, teacher gender club HSE, activist.

Many people need time to understand and accept some things. You never know what will end the conversation with a stranger. Someone is just too lazy to argue, and someone will take your position only a few months. So I don’t know, it turns out or not. First, hard, then quickly get used to. In my case, the negative contacts were very few. I wanted to give up only after the Internet reaction to the poster about menstruation.

a Poster about menstruation
Poster Sasha about menstruation

I Usually feel the support of others, and frustration passes quickly. Sometimes, I want to go into isolation for a suspended Mars. Activism is for me a way to productively use the negative feelings that I kindly supplying the world around us. Thanks to the activism I have become more open to people from the “outside”. Previously, it seemed that the dialogue outside the circle of my communication is impossible, and now I got rid of self-censorship.

Sasha's response to abuse in connection with the poster about menstruation
Sasha’s Post in response to insults in connection with the poster about menstruation.

a New beginning

Now #thepike is not the Union of three activists and a large community that continues to speak to people even without the Creator of the action. “My personal shares is possible,” commented Daria your care.

Poetry poster of the founder shares Darya Serenko
Poetical poster the founder shares Darya Serenko
Daria about leaving #tehohoito
Daria about leaving #tehohoito

the Most popular topics among the participants — discrimination and criticism of the government.

the Alexander lighthouse, the participant

Alexander's lighthouse member“I have long been inspired as #thepike and actionism in General. Thanks to credible sources of information I started to discover the horrifying facts. I was scared for others. The most memorable interaction with people. During, before and after the action. Someone thinks mad that someone supports, someone also decides to come up with a poster”.


Poster Alexandra
Poster Alexandra

Anna Babinska participant

“Doubt was, but I wasn’t. I know my district, we have people not too curious. To consider — Yes, to be exact, and to come and talk… No. So I’m not worried”.


Poster of Anna
Poster Anna

the Daria Bitter, party

Daria Bitter, party“there Were a lot of emotions, but they disappeared in a very strong sense of unease and discomfort. A man with a poster in a residential area was inappropriate. You look like you was without an important piece of clothing. Somehow, in the vicinity of his home was the worst, and on the way to the subway had to hide the poster from people.”


Poster Daria
Poster Daria

Hope, member

“a Couple of months I watched the action, was valued, struggled with internal barriers. The poster is still forced out of the cosy comfort zone. In August I took a marker and wrote his first poster. It was a thrill, but it was gone when I heard people discussing my picket. The outcome of the review early — don’t think for me the campaign will ever end.”


Posters of Hope
Posters of Hope

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