Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning!! Wednesdays can be tough — memories of last weekend are fading and Saturday seems far away. But there’s a reason this newsletter is called what it is. Sip the world’s punchiest traditional booze today as you meet Africa’s makeup queen, Russia’s unlikeliest mayor and a ballerina remaking home exercise. Read to the end for answers to Monday’s question. We’ll get you over this hump with a smile.
It was the most indelible rallying cry of Trump’s 2016 campaign: Build the wall, and crack down on illegal immigration. Now? The issue is largely absent from Trump’s campaign speeches, after the message flopped during the midterms and the pandemic has crowded out much else.
France is emerging as Europe’s latest COVID-19 epicenter. President Emmanuel Macron will address the country today amid spiking case numbers, with speculation that he might announce a month-long lockdown. Meanwhile, China has registered 42 new cases, the highest daily count in more than two months. Should the U.S. reenter lockdown too? Vote on Twitter.
That’s what rich Argentines are now plotting, as their country’s Peronist government increases taxes on the wealthy. Back in the U.S., Microsoft’s also on the move … up. Its Q3 earnings of $37.2 billion beat market expectations thanks to growing demand for cloud services and video games.
Anti-poverty nonprofit Comic Relief, best known for its Red Nose Day fundraisers, will stop sending western celebrities to Africa for promotional films used to pull at your heartstrings, amid growing backlash that such initiatives represent a “white savior” mindset.
OK, this is definitely funny — just not for one man.
When Nikolai Loktev, the mayor of the small Russian town of Povalikhino, couldn’t find any opponent to run against, he convinced the cleaning lady at city hall to enter the mayoral race. It was meant as a notional show of democracy, nothing more. Except that the cleaning lady won. Now she’s going to clean up the mess Loktev left.
We love the ones from Cariuma because they’re not just stylish, but crazy-comfy and ethically made. Get ahead of the curve and buy your pair now! And as a gift, we got you a discount that is exclusive for our readers — use code OZY to get $15 off when you buy them today.
Picking stocks is hard — data shows only 1 percent of day traders actually turn a profit. So we’re here to tell you about one of the best investments you’ve probably never considered: art. Featured in NYT, CNN, and Forbes, Masterworks is an exclusive platform for blue-chip art, an asset class that has outperformed the S&P by 180 percent from 2000–2018 according to benchmarks. Don’t have millions lying around? No problem: They make it possible to buy and sell investments in works by the likes of Banksy and KAWS, at a starting point everyone can afford. Their offerings can sell out quickly, so be sure to sign up today using this special link to skip the 25,000-person waitlist.
Catching a Unicorn
China’s Ant Group is poised for what could be the biggest IPO in history. Check out the next potential unicorns — startups that reach a $1 billion valuation — to watch out for in the future.
You know a startup’s going to be nimble when it’s run by a former ballerina. Brynn Putnam has turned years of practicing in front of a mirror into a $300 million home exercise business. Mirror’s devices look like regular … mirrors ... until you turn them on, and an exercise instructor teaches a class, while your reflection lets you correct your moves. Peloton, I’ve got a question for you: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the brightest of them all?”
OZY is partnering with Danai Gurira, Stephen Daldry, Lynn Nottage and other top theater heavyweights presentingAct Out: Vote 2020, a special hour-long video event featuring monologues, songs and more to encourage voting in these elections. Stream from Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m. ET.Subscribe here — and stay tuned for Friday's special episode of The Carlos Watson Show featuring Gurira and Heidi Schreck.
Speaking of transformation, if you’re getting ready to look like someone else on Halloween, you might want to take tips from some of the world’s greatest makeup artists.
Which face do you want to see? Makeup artist? Entrepreneur? Lawyer? She can do them all (and much more). Fela-Durotoye wears all these hats herself, with eyes that smile yet also reveal steely ambition. She launched her brand — House of Tara — from her living room before turning it into a phenomenon that’s now spread across Nigeria with ambitious expansion plans for the rest of Africa. She could have been Nigeria’s first lady had her husband Fela Durotoye, a business coach and consultant, won 2019’s presidential election. Never mind. She’s already Africa’s makeup queen.
2. Kazu Hiro
WhenGary Oldman landed the role of Winston Churchill in 2017’s Darkest Hour, he knew there was only one man who could pull off that look: Kazu Hiro. It would win Hiro his first Oscar. The Kyoto-born Hiro is stick thin but his resume of successes is fat: from Brad Pitt’s silicone head in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell — for which Hiro won his second Oscar last year.
It's corny. Literally. This Andean drink is at least 7,000 years old, and is fun — and slightly gross — to make. Chew on corn, then spit it out. The enzymes from your saliva turn the starch in the maize into maltose (sugar). Then boil the chewed corn and strain it — and you have your drink! Versions of chicha are common across South America, and you can also use cassava, cacti or potatoes instead of corn.
India's best-known traditional liquor is made from flowers and carries a cautionary legend as intoxicating as the drink itself. Animals in the jungles of central and eastern India, the story goes, once had to pick a king between a peacock and an owl. They chose the peacock. The thrilled bird danced in the rain all night, getting so high on mahua in the process that he missed his coronation and the owl was crowned instead. What you don’t want to miss is the drink. Read more.
While we’re on alcohol, how about a little drinking game? This drink is believed to have mellowed U.S.-China diplomatic talks in the 1970s. Which is it?