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Good morning! As I get older, I’ve often found myself frustrated by the small screen size of my phone, though I know a larger display wouldn’t fit in my pocket. It turns out there might be a fix for my problem soon. Check out stunning gizmos from the world’s largest tech fair, meet the stars of the coolest new social media club, figure out why novels are the best crystal balls and get warm this winter with some special drinks. Start your day with OZY’s specially crafted Hump Day playlist.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, with Nick Fouriezos and Joshua Eferighe
Multiple Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to vote alongside Democrats today to impeach President Donald Trump for egging on the mob of supporters that stormed the Capitol last week. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly believes Trump might deserve impeachment. Will the impeachment proceedings hurt Trump with his base? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: WaPo, NYT)
2. Millionaire After Merkel?
For two decades, controversial millionaire lawyer Friedrich Merz opposed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership of Germany’s biggest political party. Now he might replace her. Merz, who wants financial rules simple enough that tax returns can fit on a coaster, is the favorite to take over from Merkel when the Christian Democratic Union picks its next leader later this week. (Source: Guardian)
3. Corona Whack
Chinese COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac suffered a blow to its credibility after Brazilian trials showed only 50 percent efficacy. Meanwhile, Africa has secured 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the continent’s biggest such procurement yet. It’s unclear if the Chinese vaccine is one of the suppliers. (Sources: WSJ, Fox)
4. Farm Furore
India’s Supreme Court has suspended controversial agriculture laws that have sparked the country’s biggest protest by farmers in decades, pushing for the protesters to negotiate with the government. But the farmers, who accuse the government of being hand-in-glove with mega agribusinesses, want the laws repealed. (Source: Economic Times)
Miss the good old days? We do too. Luckily, our friends at Cariuma have captured the nostalgic, effortlessly cool style we all crave with their brand-new Catiba Pro. Beyond its attractive vintage style, the Catiba Pro is built for an active lifestyle and has maximum durability without sacrificing comfort.
It’s the latest social media app taking our digital-first conversations by storm — allowing people around the world to join conversations and speak directly with experts, celebrities or just friends … if you’re invited. Meet the early stars of Clubhouse, a game-changing platform.
With each major app update, Clubhouse changes its icon to spotlight a member of the community making waves on the platform. Currently, that’s Bomani X, a Black guitarist, singer and celebrity digital strategist who’s worked with artists from Jill Scott to Lil Wayne. He’s also the founder of Lit.Spins — a service that pairs albums to books in the first vinyl-plus-book subscription box. On Clubhouse, where he now has 450,000 followers, he has gained notoriety by playing his guitar in the background of conversations in the virtual rooms he joins. He’s now the creator of The Cotton Club, a Clubhouse group dedicated to instrumental music.
2. Kat Cole
She’s on the board of directors of a tech platform focused on pizzerias and has previously been a senior executive in the food sector. Kat Cole may not have a blue check on other platforms, but on Clubhouse the 42-year-old is a wildly popular business guru, as the host of a called Office Hours where you can listen in on valuable conversations about entrepreneurship for free.
3. Catherine Connors
If you do get that coveted invitation to Clubhouse, make sure you check out Catherine Connors. She’s a co-founder of Maverick, former editor-in-chief of Babble and was once head of content at Disney Interactive. Now she’s a parenting blogger who hosts two regular talk shows on the platform: Feminism Reframed and the Philosophy Club.
Fiction or Fact?
Some conservatives have called the social media ban on Trump’s accounts “Orwellian.” But while both the left and the right frequently cite George Orwell’s 1984 to describe perceived authoritarianism (when it suits them), these other classics have turned out to be pretty accurate too.
Written in 1968, John Brunner’s epic predicted a world dominated by ravenous computer corporations that earn more than entire African nations. Ultimately, the world is so overpopulated and beset by crises that the only way to survive is for everyone to stand, shoulder-to-shoulder on an area the size of the island of Zanzibar. There’s even a popular politician called President Obomi!
A coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout the world. Borders shut down and we turn wary of each other. But none of that helps. The death toll keeps rising. Sound familiar? That’s the plotline of South African author Deon Meyer’s 2016 post-apocalyptic novelthat could have been written for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh is swamped by floods because of global warming as the Bay of Bengal rises. Further to the east, a meltdown at a Japanese nuclear reactor sparks a different crisis. After writer David Brin published the book in 1990, he said he thought he was being too pessimistic about the future he had predicted for 2038. Turns out we didn’t need to wait that long.
Join the coolest new streaming platform. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in other topics? 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 code OZY.
Meet the world’s top banker. Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein opens up about his journey from public housing to leading one of the world’s largest companies, as well as hot takes on bitcoin, capitalism, Trump and AOC you might not expect. Watch later today.
Cool Tech From CES
The Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s best tech expo, has gone online this year (what hasn’t?) but its ability to awe remains unchanged. Check out the coolest innovations on display this year.
To think we used to be impressed by flip phones. This year, smart tech companies rolled out (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) a slew of devices with flexible screens that slide in and out so you can change the size of your display. And that doesn’t even cover other kinds of extendo wizardry that would make Inspector Gadget proud.
2. The Keurig of Ice Cream
Nobody really knew how much those pricey coffee pods would change their lives when they debuted in the mid-2000s, but now they are pretty much inescapable. The next iteration? ColdSnap, which makes single-serve ice cream (plus margaritas, smoothies and other frozen delights) in under two minutes. Goodbye, diet plans. Hello, new hole in my wallet.
3. Air Taxi, Jetsons Style
Other competitors abound, but General Motors has jumped headfirst into the sky transportation biz with this flying car. Powered by an electric battery that can propel it as fast as 56 miles per hour, it could soon have the landbound declaring, “It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane!” only to finally figure out the truth: This is the Cadillac of flying cars.
Great Winter Drinks
We could all use some warmth — and hugging anyone except those we live with isn’t a safe option. These drinks are what you need.
It has all the ingredients of your normal hot chocolate — the cocoa; the milk; the steam. But when done Mexican-style, it’s much richer. Using heated condensed milk, cinnamon, chocolate and topped with sweetened whipped cream,this winter treat is the guilty sugar rush you never knew you needed.
2. Maghrebi Mint Tea
You’ll find packaged mint teas in supermarkets. But do it like the Moroccans do, for a whiff of the Maghreb region with your tea. Place a sprig of fresh mint leaves directly in your glass with your tea of choice — or you can even swap out the mint with another herb.
3. Pimm’s Cup
Often called Britain’s most popular beverage after tea, Pimm’s Cup is as classic as cocktails come. The gin-based drink is popular at Wimbledon and has been long considered a summer beverage. But we think the lemon, ginger, spices and tonic in it actually make Pimm’s Cup perfect for winter. Read more on OZY.