Do children ever hit you with questions that leave you somewhat struggling? Well, help is at hand. Conversation editors around the world run a series called Curious Kids. And the answers can prove fascinating for adults. I felt well briefed after reading these two that went live this week, following questions from children in India and Australia.

How are galaxies formed?

How do birds make their nests?

Perhaps you have a class of curious kids? You can check out the full back catalogue here. Kids with questions can route them to the relevant editor via the regional staff pages. The series also runs in French, as The Conversation Junior.

Of course, from across The Conversation network this week, we bring you the usual diet of thoughtul analysis from the finest research minds on news, culture and discoveries. We carry this assessment of the apparent disappearance (and managed reappearance) of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. And we look at the long-awaited Peter Jackson series documenting the build up to The Beatles’ legendary final live performance. Scroll down or click through for lots more.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International

Forced into the darkness? Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

What the Peng Shuai saga tells us about Beijing’s grip on power and desire to crush a #MeToo moment

Yan Bennett, Princeton University; John Garrick, Charles Darwin University

What happens when a Chinese #MeToo moment meets authoritarian legality?

Waiting for SCOTUS: pro-choice activists outside the US Supreme Court on November 1. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

US abortion bans back before the Supreme Court – but globally more countries are liberalising access than restricting it. Podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

Plus, a forensic scientist explains how he uncovered the mysteries behind deadly lightning strikes. Listen to The Conversation Weekly.

Hulu’s ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 envisions escapes to Canada that draw on 19th century abolitionist narratives, yet the show doesn’t acknowledge race. (Hulu/YouTube)

Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ casts Canada as a racial utopia

Miranda Green-Barteet, Western University; Alyssa MacLean, Western University

Myths of Canada’s moral superiority in contrast to the United States can be a barrier to acknowledging and addressing racism in Canada.

Photo courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd

The Beatles: Get Back review – Peter Jackson’s TV series is a thrilling, funny (and long) treat for fans

David McCooey, Deakin University

An extraordinary technological feat, Get Back looks and sounds astonishingly good.

They call her The Wife of Willesden. Marc Brenner

Zadie Smith: how the Wife of Willesden brings to life Chaucer’s tale of sex and power

Natalie Hanna, University of Liverpool

Zadie Smith’s first play delivers on what women want.

AAP Image/Peter Hince

It’s 30 years since Freddie Mercury died. His music is still the soundtrack of our lives

Leigh Carriage, Southern Cross University

He fearlessly pushed at artistic boundaries, and believed in the spontaneity of live performance; Freddie Mercury’s legend continues.

The Conversation in Spanish and French

Mercadillo de ropa de segunda mano en El Raval (Barcelona). Shutterstock / csp

¿Usar ropa de segunda mano es “de pobres”?

Carmen Valor Martínez, Universidad Pontificia Comillas

No se trata solo de apostar por el reciclaje de las fibras, sino también de utilizar las prendas más tiempo y fomentar el mercado de segunda mano.

Joséphine Baker, Jo Bouillon et leurs enfants, Les Milandes, 1959. Herbert Behrens / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Joséphine Baker et sa « tribu arc-en-ciel », au nom de la fraternité universelle

Yves Denéchère, Université d'Angers

De tous les engagements de Joséphine Baker celui qui concerne la cause des enfants n’est pas le plus rappelé en ce moment. Il a pourtant contribué à populariser l’adoption internationale.