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Phew … Friday’s here. With everything from the grand jury verdict on Breonna Taylor’s killing to the president refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, this week has been a doozy. But you’ve made it here and deserve something special. Meet a scientist decoding the musical tastes of sharks — they do not like Mozart — and read about why tiny Costa Rica might be the future of economics. Watch the coolest Korean drama around and read on for a brand-new OZY + BBC offering!
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution Thursday committing to a peaceful transition of power even as President Donald Trump doubled down on his assertion that he would leave only if he loses after an “honest” election, yet again questioning the legitimacy of mail ballots. Will the Senate stick to its word? Vote on Twitter.
3. Germany’s Far-Right Ghosts
They just don’t go away. Auto giant Volkswagen will pay $6.4 million to former employees in Brazil who were persecuted by the South American nation’s military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985 while Volkswagen worked with that regime. Germany has also sacked its military intelligence chief over growing links between the military and far-right groups.
4. Oily Lake
Chad wants to withdraw its application for world heritage status for Lake Chad to instead mine for oil near a body of water that’s a lifeline for Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad in Africa’s Sahel region. Meanwhile, other funding worth $152 million is coming to the region from USAID, which also announced $108 million for South Sudan and $720 million for Syria.
In a special four-part podcast series, Exchanges: The Battle for Our Screens, Goldman Sachs experts analyze how the pandemic has shifted our lives digitally and what we can expect from the future of entertainment, work and social media.
Struggling to comprehend all that’s going on in America? Tune in to our special new podcast series.
‘When Katty Met Carlos’
The BBC’s Katty Kay and OZY’s Carlos Watson give listeners across the world unique and fresh insight into these 50 states, dissecting American identity, racial bias, politics, recession and public health in a groundbreaking new podcast from OZY and the BBC: When Katty Met Carlos. Listen now onApple Podcasts,Spotify, iHeart Radio’s app, orwherever you get your podcasts.
We know the pandemic has been a boon for tech and food delivery apps. But what are some of the deeper social and economic changes that’ll remain with us for years once the crisis passes?
The New World
1. Lost Generation
With universities switching to some variation of remote learning without reducing tuition, low-income students are dropping out of school at twice the rate of peers from families with incomes over $75,000. Experts worry the pandemic will wipe away years of gains in one year, creating a lost generation of students.
2. New Gig Economy
Move over Uber and Lift — the gig economy has new gateways. Amid record layoffs and an overall shift toward freelance working, more and more Americans are seeking self-employment through platforms like Patreon and Twitch that let them build their own brands, charge consumers and send them content directly. Read more.
3. Is Wellness the New GDP?
Costa Rica, New Zealand, Iceland, Scotland and Finland — admittedly with small populations — have all shown greater economic resilience than other nations amid the pandemic. Could it be because they focus on well-being as an economic indicator instead of just GDP? That’s a question some economists are now exploring as they study what future economic models might work.
If economies have focused too much on GDP, most of us have — understandably — been obsessed with COVID-19 vaccines. But there’s cool science happening elsewhere too. Meet the brains behind it.
If you’re in the middle of the ocean with a shark chasing you, start singing Mozart. It turns out that classical music confuses sharks. What they love is jazz. And Vila Pouca, a Portuguese scientist who’s one of the world’s leading shark researchers, is the one who’s helping us understand their musical tastes. Her fascination with these brainy creatures isn’t new — while most of us were wondering in school whether to pursue math or literature, she knew she wanted to study sharks.
2. Omolulu Akin-Oju
For most people in the West, Rwanda conjures up images of a brutal genocide. Akin-Oju is on a mission to give the East African country a new identity: as a hub for quantum physics. As a student in Nigeria in the 1990s, he didn’t have a computer and needed to write code by hand. Now he’s leading the UNESCO-backed East African Institute of Fundamental Research in Kigali. The institute’s campus was once a military academy. Now it’s a home for hope.
3. Jingmei Li
If you don’t find this cancer-chasing geneticist in her Singapore lab, you’ll find the diving enthusiast seeking inspiration underwater. She’s leading a rare approach to predicting breast cancer by combining genetic markers, lifestyle factors such as obesity, and mammogram scans.
Halloween’s just a month away and we’re getting you prepped early with some classic global campfire folklore.
The Portuguese, British and Omanis all ruled the Indian Ocean island at different points, but to many locals, it’s Zanzibar’s shetanis, or spirits, that are the most powerful. None more so than the fearsome Popobawa bat demon that, legend has it, enters the homes of skeptics, attacks them and even rapes men. Scientists believe it’s a case of “waking dreams” — a hallucinatory state.
2. Mexico’s Wailing Woman
It’s a tale of love and loss, pain and pathos — but it’s also a super scary legend that Mexican children have grown up with for centuries. The story of La Lloronainvolves a woman who drowned her kids in anger after discovering that her husband was cheating on her, and has since roamed the streets weeping. Unsurprisingly, the tale has inspired horror movies in both the U.S. and Latin America.
3. Mysterious Mosquitos
Why do mosquitoes buzz in our ears? According to this West African folktale, it started with a mosquito that said something stupid to an iguana that put sticks in its ears to block out any more rubbish. That scared other animals, who in turn neglected their duties, leaving everyone angry with the mosquito. When it buzzes in your ear, it’s actually checking in to see if you’re still peeved.
Grab yourself a glass of soju and settle down to binge watch this brilliant Korean drama about three middle-aged brothers, their super cute bar friends and a lonely, strong-willed young woman as they laugh, cry, steal and love their way through crisis after crisis.
Nostalgia is Netflix’s M.O. and they’ve really hit it on the head this time with the return of the ‘90’s classic Moesha. When it was announced in early August that it was hitting the streaming site the internet basically imploded for the day. It’s a wholesome, lighthearted watch.
This Senegalese film follows construction workers desperate to change their lives. They voyage from Senegal to Europe in this beautifully told story of love and illegal immigration.
What's the best new TV soap or film you've seen recently?