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Happy Friday! Remember those relaxing childhood days at the beach, playing with sand? Today you’ll meet women and men who go one step further — they sculpt magic out of that sand. Introduce yourself to a drone that could keep kids safe and healthy at school, read hope-filled OZY features curated by our in-house rock star/journalist, and allow yourself to dream of road trips along the world’s most spectacular highways.
America might finally get the strong dose it needs. President-elect Joe Biden Thursday unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that includes $1,400 top-ups to the $600 checks most Americans received in December. But it won’t be easy for Biden to secure support for his plan from a divided Congress. (Sources: CNBC, NYT)
2. Rioters With Records
And no ordinary records either. Many members of the violent mob that attacked the Capitol last week were white supremacists on the FBI’s watchlist of domestic terror threats. One man, who threatened to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the head, had been flagged as a concern by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. (Sources: WaPo, WSJ)
3. Mining for Solutions
One of South Africa’s biggest mining firms has offered to help COVID-19 vaccination efforts by inoculating tens of thousands of its employees every day. It’s not the only one digging deep for ideas. Greece wants the European Union to consider “vaccine passports” that will allow those who’ve been inoculated to travel — and encourage people to get the shots. But Germany and others are worried that might be discriminatory. Are vaccine passports a good idea? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: Bloomberg, Guardian)
4. Cost of China Clash
The Trump administration’s trade war with China led to the loss of 245,000 American jobs, a trade group of U.S. companies doing business in China has said. Meanwhile, Nigeria has launched its largest-ever state-run jobs program to guarantee employment for 750,000 people amid the economic crisis. (Sources: Reuters, Guardian)
It looks like a noodle, tastes like a peanut and could save humanity. The European Union’s food regulator has cleared the yellow mealworm as safe for eating. That means it could soon be the environmentally friendly protein in your pastas and pizzas, biscuits and burgers. Ready for a bite?
Dive into the wild world of spies, warriors and heroes with CuriosityStream’s Military History Collection. The coolest new streaming service brings you the best of nonfiction. 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 code OZY.
As the Consumer Electronics Show demonstrated this week, there’s more to edtech than smart tutorials and classroom aides.
1. Drone Guards
As students approach school, they’re greeted by a drone that tells them in an instant if they are symptom-free and safe to proceed to class. If their vital statistics suggest otherwise, they’re directed to the health center. Sci-fi? No, it could be reality very soon.
2. Harvard to Hollywood
Future schools won't just be expected to teach important knowledge, they’ll need to package education with the bells and whistles of a high-end television show so the learner enjoys the experience. Want to try this, OZY-style? Watch an episode of The Carlos Watson Show on YouTube. It's a mini masterclass. Tell us here about your experience. You just might win something.
3. Written in the Stars
In many ancient cultures, the sky and the stars are seen as pointers to the past and as foreshadowing the future. Magma Learningdoesn’t go quite there, but the artificial intelligence-based app helps you track your educational progress with stars as your report card, creating a Milky Way of learning. If you see lots of bright stars, it means your progress is good, but if there are some dim ones, Magma Learning will help you master the material giving you the most difficulty.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
One of the nation’s preeminent public intellectuals, Fareed Zakaria joins Carlos to share hot takes on capitalism, inequality and the most interesting leaders on the planet. Find out how 9/11 helped make his name, why he fears humanity is at risk of extinction and what Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama have in common. Watch later today.
He doesn’t have awards to his name but he has something better — a home he built himself, free of cost. The Brazilian has lived in an actual sandcastle on a Rio de Janeiro beach for the past 24 years, watering the walls regularly to keep them from crumbling. Storms have destroyed his home, but he rebuilds it. When he’s not lounging outside his castle, he’s golfing, fishing or reading. “People pay exorbitant rents to live in front of the sea, I do not have bills and here I have a good life,” he says.
2. Helena Bangert
The Latvian artist isthe queen of avante garde sand sculpting today. But it might have all slipped through her fingers had she not accepted an invitation to build a sculpture for retired seamen. That’s when she tried sand — and fell in love. “We clicked,” she says of the material. Just like sand, she’s always on the move: She now also sculpts ice.
3. Sudarsan Pattnaik
In a country obsessed with cricket and Bollywood, the Indian sand sculptor is an unlikely celebrity. You’ll frequently find his stunning creations pictured on the front pages of newspapers. Pattnaik couldn’t afford colors or sketchbooks growing up, so he turned sand in the coastal state of Odisha into his tool, and beaches into his canvas. He holds the Guinness Record for the tallest sandcastle at 48 feet and 8 inches.
In times like these, no one wants to spend time picking an outfit for a 30-minute Zoom meeting or deciding if grocery stores require “real pants.” Our friends at Outerknown found a solution that solves all these problems: the Station Jumpsuit. This best-selling jumpsuit has long sleeves to keep you warm through fall and winter, and with just one zip you’ll have a complete, fashionable look. An effortless, go-to outfit so comfortable that you’ll never want to take it off. Could it get any better? With code OKOZY, you can get Outerknown’s Station Jumpsuit with an extra 20 percent off!
If you were depressed about the breakup of your marriage and you found yourself working in a prison, you might conclude that life had very little left in store for you. But surprises spring eternal, and so it was that a prisoner and a divorcée found love — in jail. Read more on OZY.
2. Mental Illness Cure: Mushrooms + Mirth
If you've ever tripped on psychoactive mushrooms, imagine doing that while pursuing a career in stand-up comedy. And while the stand-up comic in question, Adam Strauss, didn't do his routine while high, his therapeutic use of mushrooms did something that’s no laughing matter: It helped him manage his obsessive-compulsive behavior to a point where he could at least leave the house. Read more on OZY.
3. Here, Birdie, Birdie
To many of us, pigeons are little more than public nuisances. Poop-dropping air rats. But for one teenager near Marrakech in Morocco, pigeons have been life-savers, in ways you can’t imagine. Read more on OZY.
Great road trips need great views. And they don’t get better than these. Sit back and let your mind transport you to Patagonia and Pakistan.
One of the world’s longest roads at 3,195 miles, it traverses almost the entire length of Argentina, from its southernmost point at Cabo Vírgenes through the plains of Patagonia, flanked to the west by the Andes. If one road trip could show you all of Argentina’s wonders, this is it.