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Good morning! It’s a new day in America, with a new president and change in the air. Get to know one of those breaths of fresh talent, OZY’s own genius scholar and now U.S. youth poet laureate who was inspired by recent turmoil. And let us introduce you to the next revolutionaries of rock music, a drive along a 5G-enabled highway and a saffron-based facial product that contains the secrets of ancient Indian wisdom.
At 11 minutes before the constitutionally appointed time yesterday, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th U.S. president, along with Kamala Harris, who became America's first female and non-white VP, in the most peaceful transition one could expect two weeks after the deadly Capitol assault intended to prevent it. Protected by thousands of troops, Biden denounced the “uncivil war,” appealed for unity and declared that “democracy has prevailed.” (Sources: NYT, NPR)
2. Exit, Stage Right
Four hours earlier, then-President Donald Trumpleft the White House and spoke in Maryland before flying to Florida on Air Force One, touting accomplishments including seating three Supreme Court justices and rapidly developing COVID-19 vaccines. He wished the “new administration great luck and great success” — enabled by his good work — and promised, “We will be back in some form.” (Sources: WaPo, Al Jazeera)
3. New Business
Arriving at the White House, Biden began undoing Trump’s legacy, signing orders and memos that included rejoining the Paris climate agreement, mandating that masks must be worn on federal property, stopping the country’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization and halting construction of Trump’s border wall. In his desk, Biden found what he termed a “very generous” letter from Trump, but called it “private” and didn’t disclose its contents. (Sources: Reuters, CBS, Fox News)
4. Nasty Business
Brexit may not actually be over: The EU is upset because U.K. officials aren’t affording its envoy, João Vale de Almeida, full diplomatic privileges and immunities. Meanwhile, hauling firms are rejecting U.K. business over high import taxes, and musicians including Elton John and Ed Sheeran are protesting London’s refusal to negotiate visa-free travel on the Continent. (Sources: BBC, The Guardian, AP)
Snake Pole Dance
Guam’s killer brown snakes, which have eaten up most native birds on the island, also have killer moves. Scientists have discovered that the snakes use a previously unknown technique — lassoing themselves up cylindrical structures — to slither up and down trees.
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.
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She’s trying to mold Nigeria’s musical tastes. In a nation dominated by Afrobeats, the 26-year-old with a black cross on her cheek is emerging as an unlikely alternative rock icon. Her songs switch seamlessly from English to local languages, and marry pop-rock, melodic hard rock and Afrocentric sounds. Clay’s real name is Bianca Okorocha, though she has a better title for herself: “Nigerian Rock Goddess.”
3. Mercury Circle
Their “new doom” sound is in bloom. Led by Jaani Peuhu, this is a Finnish death metal band to watch in 2021 as they build on the momentum of their last EP, The Dawn of Vitriol. Their sound, which could be described as subdued and ominous, might be an acquired taste, but it’s evidence that rock in all its forms is very much alive — even when it’s about death.
Not sure what to make of this moment in history? Catch up now on the 2021 Inauguration Aftershow, brought to you by OZY and The Carlos Watson Show. Dive into important questions about the country's future: Is national unity possible or a pipe dream? Would four parties be better than two? Join Carlos and special guests Megyn Kelly, Patti Solis Doyle, Joy Villa, Jon Fortt and more — plus panels of the general public on all sides of the aisle for a frank and honest discussion you won't find anywhere else. Watch now.
And do you know how much OZY keeps you ahead of the curve? We profiled Amanda Gorman, the young poet laureate who was the star of Biden's inauguration ceremony, back in 2017, when she spoke to us about her craft ... and building empathy. Read more on OZY.
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Super-fast speeds aren’t the only benefits of 5G. Get ready for a range of fascinating changes — from shopping to the streets and more.
1. Selling by the Slice
With 5G, operators will finally be able to work like pizzerias, offering customers slices of network based on the specific characteristics they’re looking for. At the moment, you buy data on a per-gigabyte basis. 5G will allow you to buy low latency (if robots need to use the network), a dedicated bandwidth (for a hospital, for instance), or other targeted features that you might need.
2. AR Shopping
In some ways, 5G couldn’t have timed its arrival better. Amid a pandemic when people are wary of visiting stores and touching things others might have tried just before them, 5G-enabled augmented reality shopping is poised to take off as an engaging, interactive alternative. Want to check out how a sofa will look in your living room? You can, without even budging from your existing sofa.
3. 5G Highways
Imagine you’re cruising along the highway in an autonomous, connected car of the future, which can communicate with networks and systems outside the vehicle. When the car ahead of you stops suddenly, your car should too. But what about when you’re traveling in Europe, crossing a border and losing your signal, causing you to crash? A series of 5G-enabled highways that Europe is testing in Luxembourg and at the Austria-Italy, Greece-Turkey and Spain-Portugal borders could save your life. Read more on OZY.
Climate’s Changing Diets
Global warming will mean more than warmer summers, unpredictable weather and water scarcity. It’s also threatening to forever transform your dinner table, as this OZY series reveals.
1. Ancient Grains
Just four crops — wheat, rice, corn and soybean — contribute 60 percent of our plant-based calorie consumption. The problem? Their yields are dwindling because of climate change. That’s why scientists are now turning to ancient climate-resistant grains like Ethiopian teff, West African fonio and Indian millets as the food sources that could save us from mass hunger in the future. Read more on OZY.
2. Hazelnut Havoc
As if the stakes aren’t high enough, hazelnuts are on the line too. Erratic storms and rising temperatures have disrupted the natural order of Turkey’s Black Sea coast, which produces 70 percent of the world’s hazelnut crop. And it’s deeper than just the crunch in your granola: Ferrero, Lindt and other confectionery giants all depend on Turkey’s hazelnuts for chocolate products. Your Nutella spread and M&M’s could soon be history. Read more on OZY.
3. Vanishing Potatoes
Bolivia’s food supply has long been supplemented by chuño, a potato product made practically indestructible by an ancient freeze-drying process. But climate change is killing it, locals say. The weather has become too unpredictable to freeze and preserve the potato matter, which could make it harder for rural populations to make it through the lean times. Read more on OZY.
Nature’s Facial Fixes
These natural ingredients will make your face look younger and healthier like no chemical-laced product can.
1. Japanese Honey
From soap to face oils, Japanese brand HACCI uses honey sourced from one of the country’s oldest apiaries (established in 1912) as a beautifying agent and antioxidant. Also on offer are natural cosmetic combinations — honey with collagen, for instance — catering to specific skin types.
2. Coffee Scrub
If you’re a coffee lover (of course you are, reader!), this exfoliation rub is calling out to you. Caffeine naturally stimulates blood flow and circulation. Our recommendation, Frank’s Original Coffee Scrub from Australia, couples those properties with the moisture of ground coffee beans to help eliminate stretch marks, breakouts and flaky skin.
3. Kumkumadi Tailam
This ancient remedy from the Indian traditional medicine system of Ayurveda uses saffron (kumkum in Sanskrit), sandalwood, licorice root and other natural ingredients and herbs that many homes in the country keep in their kitchen cabinet. Apply it on your face before sleeping. By morning, you’ll feel — and look — younger.
What natural facial product have you found to be most effective?