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How My Role In A Disney Movie Showed Me The True Power Of Representation

Growing up in Colombia, I never saw people who looked like me in books, on TV or even represented in the toys I played with. But working as a consultant on a new Disney movie gave me the chance to rewrite my history — and my country's — by showing the true beauty and diversity of Colombia.

Screenshot of Disney's Encanto, set in Colombia

Disney's Encanto is set in Colombia

Edna Liliana Valencia Murillo

BOGOTA — I was born in 1986 in Colombia. At that time, some families had a machine in our homes that most of us no longer remember or simply never knew about. The rewinder was used to put movies back to the beginning, first in Betamax format and then, from the mid-1990s on, in VHS.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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