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Taliban Bans Women From College

Quote of the Week:

“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” –Norman Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Fact of the Week:

The game of Scrabble involves more than just having a great vocabulary. It also requires strategy and math skills, a knowledge of predicting which letters you might draw, and the understanding of how to limit an opponent’s scoring opportunities.

New Zealand native Nigel Richards is one of the best at combining these skills and has become one of the great Scrabble players of all time, having won several competitions. But in 2015, Richards ensured his name would go down in Scrabble lore when he won the French competition without ever learning how to speak the French language.

According to NPR, “‘Nigel Richards is the best Scrabble player all-time, hands down,’ says Scrabble expert Stefan Fatsis, who has written a book about the game… ‘Richards is like Tiger Woods at his peak – and then Tiger saying, “I think I'll also take up tennis,” and then winning Wimbledon the next year.'"

While North American Scrabble has 187,000 acceptable words, French Scrabble has 386,000, and Richards memorized all of them in just nine weeks. If he hears words, they don’t stick, but when Richards looks at a page, the words cement in his brain. He doesn’t know how to pronounce the French words or what they mean, but his method worked nonetheless.

In the championship game, Richards won 565-434. He beat Gabon's Schélick Ilagou Rekawe, correctly challenging incorrect words and playing with astonishing speed.

NPR contributed to this article.

News Update:

Via NPR. Ahmad Jamshid/AP

This week, the Afghan government banned women from attending both private and public universities. Controlled by the Taliban, the government has made this their latest step in repealing women’s rights, an ongoing revocation since the western-backed government fell last summer.

According to The New York Times, already in that span, “Girls were banned from high schools, and women from public spaces like parks. The morality police appeared on the streets chastising women who were not covered from head to toe in all-concealing burqas and headpieces in public.”

The New York Times interviewed 22-year-old Sakina Sama, a second-year student studying journalism. “The university was the only window of hope for me, but today we are stuck in such a black hole,” she said. “I have no more hope or motivation left.”

Public tortures and executions have resumed, furthering the descent into archaic rule. These changes are “likely to threaten the influx of badly needed international aid that has kept Afghanistan from the brink of famine as it grapples with a devastating economic collapse,” reported The Times.

The New York Times contributed to this article.

Sports Update:

Since our latest post, several teams have cemented their place as the best in the country. In Men’s Soccer, Syracuse claimed their first ever national championship, winning in the eigth round of penalty kicks after tying 2-2 against Indiana through 110 minutes of play. Syracuse was projected to finish in the bottom half of the ACC, but instead won the conference and nineteen games en route to the title.

The Women’s NCAA title game offered just as much drama. Number-one seed UCLA trailed UNC 2-0 with ten minutes remaining. They got one goal back in the 80th minute and then, with under thirty seconds remaining, scored on a corner kick to send the game to overtime. They finally completed the comeback with just over three minutes remaining in overtime, slotting home a rebound to defeat the Tar Heels 3-2.

Via New York Times Ben McKeown/Associated Press

In Women’s Volleyball, the Texas Longhorns swept Louisville to claim the championship, winning 25-22, 25-14, 26-24. Texas (28-1) dropped just one match all year, and were led by the AVCA Player of the Year, Logan Eggleston, who recorded 19 kills during the final.

The UNC Women’s Field Hockey program was able to do what the soccer program could not: win the championship game. The Tar Heels defeated Northwestern 2-1, completing their undefeated season with a 21-0 record. Northwestern scored a penalty with two minutes remaining to tie the score at 1-1, but just 39 seconds later North Carolina scored to win the title.

Want to win 50% off Last Cup Scaries’ Fire Island t-shirt? DM the correct answer of this riddle to lastcupclothing on Instagram, and if you’re the first person to respond correctly, we’ll send you a code! Previous winners are excluded.

Which fish costs the most?

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