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Good morning. In a few hours, the Donald Trump roller coaster ride that’s shaken America and the world for four years will be over. But don’t expect only the predictable from Joe Biden. America’s next president might throw a few curveballs too, as you’ll read today. Watch OZY’s live post-inauguration show at 6 p.m. ET, meet a Bolivian teacher who dons superhero suits to keep kids engaged, dream of traveling on a living spaceship and marvel at some of the world’s most stunning chairs.
Charu Sudan Kasturi and Daniel Malloy, Senior Editors
News in a Minute
1. His Way
On his final full day in office, President Donald Trump delivered his farewell speech as only the social media president could: via YouTube. “We did what we came to do, and so much more,” he said. “More” might have meant a flurry of last-minute pardons, including clemency for far-right ex-adviser Steve Bannon. (Sources: NYT, Politico)
2. Another Way
On the eve of their inauguration at noon today, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris led the first national memorial observance for the 400,000 Americans who’ve died from COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has pulled 12 National Guard members from providing security for today’s inauguration, including two for making threatening comments regarding lawmakers. (Sources: CNN, NBC)
3. Gasping for Air
Thieves are stealing oxygen cylinders from Mexico’s already overstretched hospitals, leaving them struggling against a surge in COVID-19 cases. Over in Brazil, the state of Amazonas, which is also battling an oxygen shortage, has begun administering coronavirus vaccines. (Sources: ABC, Al Jazeera)
4. Jack’s Back
China’s best-known billionaire, Jack Ma, has resurfaced in public three months after a speech he gave criticizing the country’s financial regulators upset President Xi Jinping. Beijing had then launched a crackdown on fintech firms including Ant, a Ma-led giant whose much-anticipated IPO was blocked. (Source: WSJ)
Of course we mean Cariuma— the crazy comfy, stylish sneakers that sell out in the snap of a finger. But specially for our readers, Cariuma’s IBI shoes are available again in their awaited new colors (navy, stone black, stone grey and mineral blue).
Make this the Cariuma conversation that gets you in a pair of IBIs, because if history tells us anything, their 16,000-person waitlist will be back.
Biden isn’t exactly the image of a crypto bro, but digital currencies are set to get a boost in the new administration. Gary Gensler, a former Wall Street banker who teaches blockchain technology and digital currencies at MIT, is the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, sparking rejoicing among Bitcoin-heads. Biden is also expected to be more open to the idea of a digital U.S. dollar, which would make transactions much easier.
3. Trump Card
Contrary to expectations, Biden might not look to simply erase the past four years of U.S. foreign policy. It’s not that simple and there was some benefit to No. 45’s bluster. Biden will likely seek concessions from China and Europe in exchange for a return to more normal diplomatic relations. Still, don’t expect any love letters to Kim Jong Un. Read more on OZY.
Tired of CNN?
As eyes across the globe turn to Washington, D.C., today for the Biden inauguration — and the end of the Trump era — OZY gives you a break from the stale talking heads on cable news. Tune in to The Carlos Watson Show YouTube channelat 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT for a live inauguration aftershow, featuring fresh insights and hot takes from politicians, celebrities and most importantly, you, the American public.Subscribe now and set your YouTube notifications to “on.”
And for breaking news updates earlier in the day,tune in to our partners at Cheddar for special all-day inauguration coverage from the National Mall starting at 7 a.m. ET.
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 to 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!
They’re redefining what education could look like.
1. Sal Khan
He discovered edtech before that was a word. It started with math tutorials for his cousin. Before he knew it, more than a dozen family members wanted to join the class. And in 2009, the son of Bengali immigrants left his job as a hedge fund analyst to found a pioneering YouTube education platform, Khan Academy, that included Bill Gates among its earliest users. More than 20 million students use his online classes every month. Read and watch him on The Carlos Watson Show.
2. Jorge Manolo Villaroel
Great online tutorials are one way to attract students — dressing up like their favorite superheroes is another. That's been Villaroel's strategy for online classes during the pandemic, and the Bolivian teacher seems to have hit the mark. Siblings jostle for the laptop to attend his classes while other teachers have grappled with missing students. He could be Spider-Man one day, Green Lantern another, but he's always fun.
3. Anh Phuong Ha
How do you teach English in a remote part of Vietnam where children have no one to practice with? Anh Phuong Ha has built what's effectively a borderless classroom, connecting schools in different countries so students can learn and practice languages with each other. Kids across the world join her classes, which have helped Vietnamese students improve their English grades.
Tesla’s cars aren’t the only major innovations taking wing in the transportation sector.
1. Solar Roads
What if the highway could charge your phone? From the Netherlands to America to China, governments, researchers and companies are developing roads that double up as solar-power generators, transforming what the future could look like for both the global energy and transportation markets. Read more on OZY.
2. Living Satellites
How do you stock enough fuel on a spaceship to sustain long-distance travel beyond our solar system? You don’t. Instead, architects, artists and designers are now building spaceships that, like organisms, will evolve with their surroundings, feed on minerals from asteroids they pass, and develop defense strategies against alien radiation on the fly. Read more on OZY.
3. Uber for Buses
For millions of working-class people around the world, taxi-sharing apps like Uber are too pricey. Nigerian bus-hailing app Plentywaka connects you with the nearest bus traveling on your route. Plentywaka was launched in September 2019, just months before the pandemic forced the world indoors. But it has managed to click with more than 40,000 riders, offering a template for the rest of the developing world.
Travel’s great — but while you work from home, waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine shot, treat yourself to these fantastic chairs that come with a bonus: great stories.
1. Hiroshima Chair
Unpolished, unvarnished … and unparalleled. This simple and sleek Japanese chair by designer Naoto Fukasawa counts Apple among its proud buyers. The tech firm that’s synonymous with elegant design has bought thousands of pieces for the terrace dining center and visiting area of its $5 billion headquarters.
2. Bamileke Stools
Hand made from one continuous piece of wood, these classy stools with carved motifs were once used by kings of Cameroon’s Bamileke tribes during religious ceremonies. The stump is dipped in river water to make it soft before it’s carved. Ready to feel royal?