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Good morning. Ever since I broke a wrist in fifth grade, hospital operating rooms have always filled me with terror. But it doesn't have to be that way. Meet the Mexican surgeon who lets you travel to Machu Picchu while he's operating on you, find out what the CIA and Burger King have in common, learn how to breakdance for an Olympic medal and visit the world's most stunning glaciers before they melt. Start with OZY's Hump Day playlist and read to the end for the answer to Monday’s quiz!
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
News in a Minute
1. Pressing Putin
The chumminess between the White House and the Kremlin is over. President Joe Biden confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin on a range of concerns, from Moscow’s interference in U.S. elections to the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, in their first phone conversation since the transition in Washington. Can Biden change Putin’s ways? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: BBC, WaPo)
2. Trump Trial Tremors
The Senate has rejected efforts by several GOP legislators to block the trial of former President Donald Trump after he was impeached for encouraging the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. But Democrats will likely struggle to muster the numbers needed to convict Trump in the Senate. (Sources: CBS, NYT)
3. Health for the Wealthy
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has slammed rich nations for “hoarding” COVID-19 vaccines even as new estimates suggest it’ll be 2024 before developing countries can immunize enough people. Meanwhile, the U.S. — which has reported its first case of the new Brazilian variant of the virus — is stepping up its vaccine rollout, with Biden promising to inoculate 300 million Americans by summer’s end. (Sources: Politico, Guardian, CNBC, AP)
4. Microsoft on Cloud Nine
The software behemoth has posted record sales amid a pandemic-era surge in demand for its cloud services and video games. CEO Satya Nadella called it the “dawn of a second wave of digital transformation.” (Source: WSJ)
Scientists have found that Bali’s Uluwatu temple monkeys aren’t good at just stealing your mobile phone, bag or wallet while you’re distracted. They’re as adept at figuring out what’s more valuable and then demanding a higher ransom, typically more food, in exchange.
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What if having complex surgery didn’t require that you take strong painkillers? What if it could be performed with local anesthesia — and smart distraction? Meet the specialists pioneering a bold new approach to surgery.
1. José Luis Mosso-Vázquez
When the 54-year-old Mexican surgeon is in charge, you’ll forget you’re on the operating table. Instead, you might be at Machu Picchu, exploring the famed Inca ruins through the virtual reality headset that he straps on you, as doctors open you up, fix whatever’s wrong and stitch you back up. All before you’ve finished your travels. It’s a revolutionary approach that Vázquez has shown can cut costs for financially strained hospitals and reduce patient recovery times.
2. Roberto Trignani
What do you love doing the most? This Italian doctor will turn the operating theater into your arena. Like playing the violin? Go for it. Want to stuff olives while a tumor is being removed from your brain? Easy as pie. And if you really want, one of the medics on Trignani’s team will even play the piano for you in the operating room — all to help keep your anxiety levels down without sedating you too much.
3. Fatemeh Salmani
The removal of the chest tube after an open heart surgery can be painful and scary. Salmani, an Iranian medical researcher at the Birjand University of Medical Sciences — a city otherwise known for its carpets and saffron — has found a unique way to reduce that pain. Play the voice of someone the patient loves, and the agony becomes far more bearable, scientists led by Salmani have found.
Like This Logo?
Some of America’s best known corporate and government institutions have chosen to try and rebrand their identities this January — dividing public opinion in the process.
Will the logo change at the firm behind the sticky notes stick with the public? In keeping with the times, Post-it has chosen a simpler new design, with just two yellow notes instead of the four cartoon-like ones it had earlier. But is it too clean, too flat?
I spy confusion. The aim behind the change at America’s external intelligence agency is positive: the country’s spooks are predominantly white, so the CIA believes that a more inclusive logo will help recruit more diverse candidates. But on Twitter, folks have compared the black-and-white wavy lines to the branding a techno festival might choose. Intelligence? Yes. Design sense? I’m not so sure.
3. Burger King
The fast-food giant has gone in the opposite direction — adopting a new logo that mimics the one it had until 1999. The burger buns are erect, the blue curve is gone and the minimalist retro logo still reminds you of the brand we all know.
Since August, we've welcomed more than 100 public figures, thought leaders and celebrities on our record-breaking YouTube show for open and bold conversations on everything from Black Lives Matter to the complexities of love. Today, we celebrate our 100th episode with some of the best moments with everyone from Gabrielle Union to Lloyd Blankfein. Watch later today ... and have a slice of cake on us!
Next Olympic Sports
We don’t know if the Tokyo Olympics will be held later this year. But the future of Olympic sports is bright — and could get brighter with the induction of these new games.
Its bid to join the Paris Games failed in 2019. That, however, was before TheQueen’s Gambitturned chess into a game everyone suddenly wanted to play. When the sports for 2028 are decided, chess will look to checkmate those organizers still hesitant about its inclusion.
Host countries are allowed to push for additional sports in the Olympics. And Australia and India, the two superpowers of world cricket, are both lobbying to bid for the 2032 games, giving cricket its best shot to return to the Olympics for the first time since 1900.
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The shoes sell out quickly, so be sure to buy them now and get $15 off when you use the code OZY. But save some for us too!
They’re the definition of cool. But will they survive another generation?
1. Northern Ice Field, Tanzania
The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro are disappearing — literally. The majestic Northern Ice Field is the largest remaining glacier near the summit of Africa’s highest mountain. Alas, it might not make it beyond the 2040s. But for now, it still has enough ice to fill all of New York’s Central Park to a depth of 13 feet.
2. Perito Moreno, Argentina
The Patagonian region is full of stunning natural features — but nothing comes close to the Perito Moreno Glacier and its brilliant blue hues. If you wait a bit, you’ll see chunks crashing down. But here’s the twist: It’s a rare major glacier that’s actually growing. The blocks break when one part becomes too heavy.
3. Jostedal, Norway
Continental Europe’s largest glacier has seen its best days — it’s shrinking. But its magic remains undimmed, especially if you slip into the cave below the glacier. There, you’ll find yourself on the icy banks of a pool in otherworldly shades of blue.
On Monday, I asked you which ancient language was used only by women. The answer: Nushu, in China. Ellen M., Joyce W., Thomas R., Herbert G., Denelle P., Paula K., Marisa C., Patricia G., Brad P., Jon T., Jaci C. and Barbara J. — you got it right!