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Good morning! My sister’s getting married this month. Right after her wedding, she’s got to visit the home of her in-laws and kick a bowl of rice to symbolize good fortune. Indian marriage traditions can be intense but they’re not a patch on what some Malaysian couples have to do. Read about that and other unique wedding rituals today as well as meet the Ugandan founder whom Jeff Bezos is betting on, look back at past scientific breakthroughs and take a dip in a remote Chilean hot spring.
Thiscontroversy isn’t about a cover-up. It’s about unearthing what doesn’t exist. President Donald Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find 11,780 votes” that would help him overturn the state’s election result, in a Saturday call laced with legal threats. Congress is expected to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Wednesday despite challenges from some GOP senators. (Sources: WaPo, WSJ)
2. Vaccine Scramble
India has approved two COVID-19 vaccines for a massive inoculation campaign, but one of the green-lit candidates faces questions over whether it’s been through rigorous checks. Meanwhile, Brazil is importing 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine — even though its regulators haven’t cleared it yet. (Sources: FT, Reuters)
3. Next Target: Chinese Crude
Oil can be slippery. China’s crude oil giants are at risk of being delisted in the U.S. after the New Year Stock Exchange removed three Chinese telecommunications majors last week over links between them and the Chinese military. Should the U.S. make its stock markets off-limits for all Chinese firms? Vote on Twitter. (Source: Bloomberg)
4. Terror on Wheels
Terrorists riding motorbikes massacred at least 100 people in two western Niger villages Sunday ahead of results for the first round of presidential elections in the West African nation that’s struggling against militancy. Bikes are the vehicles of choice for the region’s terrorists — so much so that traveling by motorcycle is banned for civilians. (Source: Guardian)
Duck Risotto to Go
Sorry America, it’s not just tech where you’re losing ground to others. The ancient Roman city of Pompeii has knocked the U.S. off its perch as the “home” of fast-food. Archeologists have found the remains of a takeout joint with frescoed walls that served chicken, duck and drinks, among other things. It’s a whopper of a discovery.
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A chain around his neck and a punk rock group’s t-shirt on his back, Kobayashi looks more like a wannabe music star than the face of Japan’s startup culture. Kicked out of home at age 17 after he dropped out of high school, Kobayashi would sleep on the streets of Tokyo in cardboard boxes. Today, the 37-year-old’s Sun * Inc. is emerging as the country’s most inspirational startup. The developer of bespoke user interface technologies has tripled its shares since going public in July and is now valued at more than $1 billion.
2. Cristina Junqueira
The Brazilian entrepreneur was signing agreements with investors from a hospital bed as she was about to go into labor. And she’s nurtured Nubank like a child — one that’s rapidly shot up to become a $10 billion giant, the world’s largest fintech firm outside China. Nubank’s now expanding to other nations beyond Brazil and launched a fee-free credit card in Mexico last year. But Junqueira is also proud of how she’s built this powerhouse since its 2013 launch: 40 percent of the staff is women and 30 percent identify as LGBTQ.
3. Ham Serunjogi
Jeff Bezos doesn’t part with money easily. But he’s invested in Serunjogi’s Chipper Cash. It’s an African version of PayPal’s Venmo, only more sophisticated, and allows peer-to-peer money transfers across seven nations: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya. It also lets you trade in U.S. stocks from Africa. Born and raised in Uganda, Serunjogi went to college in the U.S. and then worked with Facebook in Ireland. But Africa drew him back. Now he’s attracting the world.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Glynn Turman, the legendary star of Cooley High, The Wire and Fargo, is brought to tears when talking about costarring with the late Chadwick Boseman, shares insights into his regrets and life lessons, and gives us a sneak peek of his new movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Watch today.
Modern scientific achievements can make us cocky, so start the year with some humility. Take a look back at a few of the major innovations and discoveries from 100, 200 and 300 years ago that we still rely on.
Whether you’re reading this on your phone or laptop, the devices you can’t do without today are built on a scientific phenomenon first observed in 1821 by German scientist Thomas Seebeck. The Seebeck Effect, which explains the flow of electricity between different conductors and semiconductors, is what allows every modern electronic device to work.
3. 1721: Pay for Ideas
This was collaborative governance of a kind never seen before. Japanese shogun Yoshimune Tokugawa launched the first known suggestion box in 1721, asking the public for ideas and rewarding those that were accepted.
The coolest new streaming platform is finally here. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in something else? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.
Best of all, for a limited time OZY readers can spark their curiosity and get a full year of access for only $1.25/month with an annual plan using the code OZY.
If you’re planning to get married like the Tidong community in Malaysia and Indonesia, be sure to visit the toilet first — because for three days after your wedding, you and your partner are barred from leaving your hut, even to visit the bathroom. You had better hold your sh*t together.
It’s not enough to doll yourself up for your wedding. In Puerto Rico, you’ve got to dress a doll up in clothes matching the bride’s, then place it at the head of the reception table. The doll’s covered in charms that are handed out to guests.
Here’s a quiz. In which community does the father of the bride spit on his daughter before the wedding, and why?
If you like infinity pools, imagine 17 of them, all natural and tiered so you can step from one into the other. White limestone borders hold turquoise water at 94 F. Oh, and you get a landscape view of the city of Denizli below.