Why you should care

From living spaceships to smart tampons, here is the best of OZY this week.

As the partial government shutdown rumbles on, this week saw President Trump deliver his first prime-time address from the Oval Office in an appeal for border-wall funding, and also saw him storm out of shutdown talks.

While some things seem like they’re at a standstill, life moves on in other ways. This week on OZY we’ve had some delightfully forward-thinking, provocative and feel-good stories — and one personal tale that is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. So settle in and enjoy some of our favorite reads this week.

No. 1: Far Out: Think Living Spaceships Are Science Fiction? Think Again

Why You Should Care: Missions heading toward distant stars will need to get it right the first time. So scientists are borrowing lessons from nature on how to adapt to unforeseen challenges.

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No. 2: Future of Femtech: Wish You Could Predict Your Fertility? Meet the Smart Tampon

Why You Should Care: NextGenJane wants to empower you with the ability to test and evaluate your ability to conceive.

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No. 3: Back to Basics: To Avoid Trump’s Sanctions, Countries Turn to Stone Age Bartering

Why You Should Care: The sanctions are forcing American friends and foes alike to bend their trade policies to ancient practices.

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No. 4: Pachyderm Paradise: Where Abused Elephants Go to Heal

Why You Should Care: The first elephant hospital in India not only gives new life to injured elephants, but it also retrains their abusers.

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No. 5: Flashback: How Football’s Fastest Man Won Olympic Gold

Why You Should Care: Olympic runner turned Dallas Cowboy Bullet Bob Hayes is the only Super Bowl–winning gold medalist in history.

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No. 6: Moving Medicine: Suffered a Trauma? This Shaman Says You Should Make a Move

Why You Should Care: Ya’Acov Darling Khan wants patients to get in touch with their bodies through dance, rather than retreat inside their heads.

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No. 7: By the Numbers: Why Foreign Students Are Flocking to Russia

Why You Should Care: Higher education is a valuable tool in Russia’s soft power arsenal.

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No. 8: Clearing Traffic: World’s Most Congested City Finally Shifts Gears

Why You Should Care: Jakarta, Indonesia, is betting on a combination of mass transit systems and ride-sharing apps to ease traffic.

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No. 9: True Story: Bullets, Grenades and Grade School in Kashmir

Why You Should Care: Growing up and going to school in Kashmir was not without its challenges. First among them: the possibility of sudden death.

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No. 10: Poop Predicament: How My Dog and I Started a Dog Park Riot

Why You Should Care: One summer day, the dog park — ground zero for line-stepping human behaviors — devolved into a full-blown riot on account of, yes, poop.

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OZYGood Sh*t

If you’d want to drink it, eat it, wear it, ride it, drive it; if it’d be cool to see, listen to or do, we’re writing about it.