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Good morning and happy Thursday. The pandemic has kept many of us away from our loved ones for months. The whiskey in today’s brew helps you feel their love, wherever you are, and introduces you to the Mexican painter who might have been better than Frida Kahlo. Our coffee, meanwhile, will catch you up on the latest news — from Kenosha to the Kremlin — and vault you ahead with a peek into the future of flying. Check the end of the email for the answer to yesterday’s quiz.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is expected to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, today, two days after President Donald Trump’s “law and order” themed trip to the city that’s still seething from the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23. The swing state’s 10 electoral votes could prove critical in a tightening contest. Meanwhile Trump, it appears, is putting taxpayers’ money where his mouth is: The White House is considering cutting federal funding for Democratic-run cities it has described as “anarchist jurisdictions.” Will Trump win Wisconsin? Tell us on Twitter.
2. Old Poison in New Cup
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Tuesday that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent, after tests confirmed an assassination attempt with the Soviet-era chemical Novichok, which Moscow has used to target opponents and ex-spies in the past. Navalny, who became ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow last month after sipping tea, is in an induced coma in a Berlin hospital.
3. Sanction the Court
That’s what the U.S. is now doing. The Trump administration has sanctioned Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court — which the U.S. is not a signatory to — and other court officials for investigating possible war crimes by American soldiers in Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch called it a "stunning perversion of U.S. sanctions.”
4. Netflix Royalty
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have inked a multi-million dollar deal — the exact amount is undisclosed — with Netflix. The streaming giant announced the news Wednesday, saying the couple will be making children’s programming, scripted shows, feature films, documentaries and more, all under their own yet-to-be-named production company.
5. Rock Recovery
He’s smashed giant monsters on the big screen. Now he’s beaten a tiny virus in real life. Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has confirmed that he and his family tested positive for COVID-19, but added that they’ve all recovered. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has recommended two affordable anti-inflammatory steroids as drugs that can help cut the virus’s fatality rate.
While Johnson’s recovering, we’re on the lookout for leading men.
the science of dating
Wanted: Single men. OZY’s groundbreaking new show, The Science of Dating, will use scientific methods and experiments to help match compatible couples. We are currently looking for people in the Chicago area who’re ready to get serious about settling down and finding their perfect match. Interested? Fill out the application here.
Life doesn't allow us to always get our way. Good thing there’s art, which lets us take creative control. Meet some of history’s greatest painters you don’t know about.
Think of great female Mexican painters and your mind probably stops at Frida Kahlo. But Izquierdo was no less bold or brilliant. Married off at the age of 14 to an army colonel, she left him a decade later to pursue her passion for art. Mentored by the great Diego Rivera, she was the first Mexican woman to have a solo exhibition in the U.S. in 1929, and was thought of as one of the finest painters of that legendary generation of Mexican artists that included Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo and Rosario Cabrera among others.
2. Guan Daosheng
The 13th-century artist is widely considered the greatest female painter and calligrapher in Chinese history — and that’s a really long history. But Guan was also a prominent poet and bamboo painter. She and her husband would communicate about some of their most intimate decisions — like when he wanted to bring a concubine into the house and she protested — through poems.
3. Seif Wanly
Archiving documents for the customs department was never going to interest him. So the homeschooled Wanly left the security of a government job to become one of Egypt’s greatest modern artists. Wanly’s paintings captured street life and the performing arts — that’s when he wasn’t caricaturing himself. He died in Stockholm in 1979 while preparing for an exhibition there.
This new series from our friends at CuriosityStream, narrated by Nick Offerman, explores the history of homes. From the treetop nests of our 2 million-year-old ancestors to 3D-printed houses on Mars, get insider access to some of the world’s most iconic locations.
It’s time to take a leap from the past to the future. The pandemic has grounded thousands of flights and broken the backs of many travel companies. But the aviation industry is also innovating in ways that’ll fundamentally change the way you fly in the months, years and decades to come.
future of flight
1. It’s Electric
It’ll take time but it’ll be worth the wait. The largest commercial plane ever to fly completely on electricity successfully stayed in the air for 30 minutes in late May. It was only a nine-seater, and experts think it might take decades for this technology to be commercially viable. But the benefits are already clear: The flight would have cost $300 using aviation fuel. Instead, the electricity cost just $6.
2. Flying Ghost
You know about drones used by the military, scientists and — if you read yesterday’s newsletter — farmers. Soon, passenger planes might be flying on their own too. Xwing, an automated flight startup launched in 2016, introduced a fully autonomous flight system in August. The question that’s still up in the air: Will the Federal Aviation Administration approve such flights?
3. Stretch Out
With the coronavirus pandemic upending business travel — many business meetings are likely to take place via Zoom permanently — economy-class seats are more crucial than ever for airlines. And they’re innovating to make them more comfortable as a result, from sleeper pods and flexi-seats that let you stretch when the seat in front of you is unoccupied to family-size beds and rotating seats so you can socially distance even in economy class. Read more.
It’s one thing to fly with legit airlines — quite another to try a midair stunt with balloons.
That’s how comedian Chris Rock once referred to illusionist David Blaine. In which case, how do you explain this video of him floating five miles over the Arizona desert holding onto 50 helium balloons and his dear life. Trick? No trick? What say you? Tell us on Twitter or below.
Love can be tricky too. The best songs make it worth it.
tunes for your feels
1. “I Want You Around (Remix)”
After Drake sampled her song “Time” everyone fell in tune with 32-year-old Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra. Her remix version of “I Want You Around” featuring Atlanta singer 6lack is better than the original — also hers — and reminds you of what it feels like to have a crush on someone for the first time.
2. “Dangerous Love”
Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress Tiwa Savage’s music offers some of the absolute best Afrobeat fusion ever. One song in particular, “Dangerous Love,” encapsulates that quicksand-like feeling when you know you’ve come across someone you couldn’t escape even if you tried.
3. “Later Flight”
It’s the song you play when someone departs just a tad bit too soon. It’s one of the finest from the repertoire of Jack River, a rising alt-pop singer and concert festival promoter with a focus on sustainability. Read more.
Yesterday we asked you how much we depend on wheat, rice, corn and soybeans for our plant-based calories. Carter H., Jacqueline P., Mayra M., Megan S., Christie B., Eliza M. and Linda F., you all got it right! It’s 60 percent.