Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning! For the past several days, my curry plant has been withering away, spurning my best efforts to get it to grow. Then yesterday, I suddenly discovered four new stems. Somehow it had found a way to survive, just like the superhero beetle you’ll read about today. Meet Nigeria’s Colin Kaepernick and Pakistan’s cross-dressing squash champion, get awed by stunning new animal species and dream of unlikely fall getaways. Like my plant, hope lives — even in 2020.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has blamed Iran for sending fabricated, threatening emails in the name of far-right group Proud Boys to Democratic voters. Iran and Russia have illegally obtained U.S. voter data, officials said. Tehran, Ratcliffe asserted, was trying to “damage President Trump.” Iran has denied the charge. No one, it seems, wants to proudly claim those emails.
Pope Francis has called for civil unions for same-sex couples to be legalized, breaking with the Vatican’s past teachings, in a documentary released Wednesday. While serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the current pontiff had advocated for same-sex civil unions as the way around the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to same-sex marriages. Is the pope ahead of his times or in tune with them? Vote on Twitter.
Large parts of Africa’s most populous nation were placed under a curfew Wednesday after army soldiers shot at peaceful protesters, sparking violent demonstrations in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos. The army had denied the incident, but Amnesty International has corroborated multiple eyewitness accounts and says at least 12 protesters were killed. Demonstrators are seeking deep-seated police reforms. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is among multiple world leaders who’ve condemned the shootings.
A Brazilian volunteer in a clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, but it’s unclear whether he took the actual dose or a placebo. The trial will continue. Purdue Pharma has agreed to an $8 billion settlement related to its alleged role in exacerbating America’s opioid crisis. But money can’t always save you. Streaming service Quibi, which raised $1.75 billion from investors, is closing shop six months after it started, unable to build the audience it had hoped for.
Don’t go by its villainous name. The diabolical ironclad beetle has superhero qualities that allow it to survive being run over by a car, scientists have found. The bug can take 39,000 times its body weight. Its unique exoskeleton could offer clues to new pressure-resistant materials. Marvel, I just gave you your next character.
Asking the right questions has the power to dissolve the barriers to creative thinking, and channel the pursuit of solutions into new, accelerated pathways. A great question can ignite innovative thinking that is essential in our globalized, digitized, and disruptive world. The six-week Inquiry-Driven Leadership online short course from the MIT Sloan School of Management teaches you to adopt a questioning approach to effectively identify and solve organizational problems.
Are you ready to unlock the power of catalytic questioning? Find out more about the program here.
Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the actor from 3rd Rock From the Sun and (500) Days of Summer, talk to Carlos about his latest film, The Trial of the Chicago 7; why the '60s feel relevant today; and how true patriotism is pointing out a country's flaws and working to improve them. Don’t miss it.
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Make Election Debates Great Again
How about we MEDGA before we MAGA? Whoever you support, you’ll likely agree that President Trump and Biden can do a better job in their final presidential debate tonight than they did in the first one, in September. We’ve got some fun tips for future debates.
OZY suggested this in 2016, and it seems prescient now. The audience in this year’s debates are severely limited because of the pandemic, but it might be best to get rid of them altogether so candidates respond to the questions — rather than playing to the audience. Read more.
Richard Nixon played the piano on TV, Bill Clinton the saxophone. Instead of having Trump and Biden outshout each other, wouldn’t it be more fun to have them show off their talents? Biden played football in high school — surely he can do a cheerleading routine. And I’d love to learn from Trump how to make billions while paying only $750 in federal taxes. Read more.
In Thursday’s debate, the mics of the candidates will be muted during their opponent’s initial two-minute responses. But the moderator should also be able to mute any candidate caught in a lie (or better yet, give them a little shock with an electric dog collar). Read more.
Staying mute won’t fix systemic violence and discrimination. That requires people to speak up. Meet some of the global sports stars sticking their necks out to fight what’s wrong — starting with Nigeria’s police shootings.
His team Manchester United had just won a key game, but the Nigerian striker’s post-match videos were somber, not celebratory, on Tuesday. Hours earlier, Nigerian troops had opened fire on peaceful protesters in Lagos. He called the Nigerian government “a shame to the world for killing your own citizens.” Previously apolitical, Ighalo said he’s had enough. “We can't take this anymore."
Rhonda Morris, chief human resources officer at Chevron, and Adam Bryant, a former New York Times writer, interview leading Black entrepreneurs in this LinkedIn series — including OZY CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson, Mellody Hobson, president and CEO of Ariel Investments, and Robert L. Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television.
Falling for Fall
What’s the most beautiful fall foliage you’ve seen? America’s national parks offer some of the world’s best. But these dreamy locales are just as unique and special.
Pair up with a dog and go truffle hunting in this picturesque Croatian peninsula. Autumn is the peak season, and truffles are used for everything from omelettes to cheeses. But unlike OZY Senior Editor Daniel Malloy, don’t stuff yourself on breakfast before the hunt. It’s worth the wait.
You’re guaranteed a whale of a time in this coastal South African town. One of the world’s best whale-watching spots, every September it hosts a one-of-a-kind festival marking the return of the southern right whales.