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Bright Idea, Reflective Bricks Help Light Up Buenos Aires

A young designer from Paris is applying his knowledge about natural light to the narrow streets of the Argentine capital.

Reflecting bricks at Buenos Aires' Villa 21
Reflecting bricks at Buenos Aires' Villa 21
Yamila Garab

BUENOS AIRES — Nathanaël Abeille had long been interested in natural light, perhaps because of how little of it reached the sun-starved street he used to call home in Paris, France. But then, about five years ago, the designer and graduate of the prestigious Arts et Métiers ParisTech stumbled upon an idea — one that came, quite literally, in a flash.

Neighbors from across the way had opened their window. The glass caught the sun and, through an accident of angles, reflected the light directly into Abeille's apartment. Ding! That got his mind buzzing as he considered different ways to reflect sunlight from one surface to another.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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