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Happy Wednesday! We tend to worship decisiveness. But life — as the last year has shown us so clearly — is a journey of maybes. Today you'll meet a poet whose entire language lives in ifs and buts, check out how nanoscience can combat killer viruses, test drive China's answer to Tesla and sip on a milky alcoholic drink.
Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon CEO, 26 years after he founded the tech giant in a garage. Andy Jassy, the head of the firm’s cloud computing division, will take over. Bezos will become executive chairman — making the move at a time when Amazon is witnessing record profits and revenue. (Sources: WSJ, Bloomberg)
2. ‘Singularly Responsible’
House Democrats leading impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump have called him “singularly responsible” for the Jan. 6 mob attack at the Capitol. Trump’s defense argued that the Senate does not have the authority to prosecute him. (Sources: CBS, NYT)
3. Rhino Reprieve
COVID-19 lockdowns have helped save lives … of humans and rhinos. In South Africa, poaching of the endangered animal dropped by 33 percent in 2020. Meanwhile, Russia's Sputnik vaccine, which it approved before full tests, has shown 92 percent efficacy in phase 3 trials. Mexico has approved the vaccine and Germany is considering doing so. Would you take the Sputnik shot? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: Yahoo News, Reuters, Deutsche Welle)
4. Poison or Prison
If poison doesn't work to get rid of an opponent, prison will. Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was sentenced to more than two years in jail for breaking parole while he was in Germany, recovering from a poisoning he blames on President Vladimir Putin. Navalny's arrest has sparked protests across Russia. (Sources: CNN)
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President Joe Biden's inauguration propelled Amanda Gorman (whom OZY introduced you to three years ago) to national attention. Now meet other poetry stars from beyond America's borders who are using their words to seek change.
By day, Didier Lalaye is a do-gooder building a mobile health service for Chadian children. By night, he transforms into Croquemort, an alter ego based off a French colloquialism that in this landlocked African nation means “waking up the dead.” It’s a fitting description for the stirring power of the slam poetry practiced by Lalaye and other silver-tongued millennials in Chad who are using their art form to challenge an authoritarian regime. Read more on OZY.
2. Annie Zaidi
Most performers have heard the phrase “break a leg,” but Zaidi can credit her big break to actually doing so. Bedridden for months after her injury as a preteen, she devoured 200 books … a childhood experience the Indian writer, now in her forties, has ridden to acclaim. Her poems and novels, unlike most modern South Asian fiction, focus on rural India rather than sweaty hubs like Mumbai or Delhi. Read more on OZY.
3. Susy Delgado
The Paraguayan poet used her groundbreaking bilingual tome Yvytu yma to exemplify the cultural reclamation of Guarani, an Indigenous language almost entirely wiped out because of Spanish colonialism. Traversing a language of maybes — the Guarani word for “tomorrow”is translated as “if the sun rises,” for example — the septuagenarian has shown that transcendent art isn’t just a young person’s game. Read more on OZY.
Future of Nanoscience
Because the route to big breakthroughs might come through small science.
China has traditionally prided itself on the size of its ambition: Everything has to be bigger than in the West. Yet its greatest asset may be its ability to get really small — as in a billionth of a meter small. The country is leading groundbreaking nanoscience research in everything from cloning capacity to curing cancer. One tiny leap for nanoscience, one giant leap for Chinese dominance? Read more on OZY.
2. Planet Saver
Fossil fuels contribute 65 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and their use has long been viewed as fundamentally destructive for the planet. But scientists are now discovering that nanoparticles can convert carbon dioxide back into fuel, potentially paving the way for fossil fuels to become sustainable sources of energy. Read more on OZY.
3. Vaccine King
Many of the best COVID-19 vaccines require two doses delivered separately over time, creating headaches for public health experts trying to inoculate nearly 8 billion people worldwide. Nanoscience could soon deliver a vaccine that requires only a single teensy dose — in fact, it’s already doing so in mice.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Real Housewife Cynthia Bailey opens up to Carlos about the overnight fame that she earned on reality TV, and about her journey from being her school’s first Black homecoming queen to becoming one of Atlanta’s most recognizable faces. Watch later today.
The 2021 Early Birds Getting That Worm
GameStop’s meteoric stock rise late last month was never going to last — but these market gainers are marking the start of 2021 with success that could stay.
The Israeli gaming company, which boasted nine games in the 100 top-grossing game apps last year, raised around $2 billion in its IPO last month. Given its track record of buying up smart gaming studios, Playtika might well use that cash influx to expand its portfolio further.
Has the Oracle of Omaha unearthed another gem? Backed by Warren Buffet, this Chinese electric vehicle company boasts an embarrassment of riches after its nearly $4 billion secondary stock sale in Hong Kong. It’s trading at $34 a share. That’s up 30 percent since the start of the year, but you might be buying Tesla value — without paying that shocking $873-per-share sticker price.
In the craze about Bitcoin, it’s easy to forget the largest U.S. crypto exchange, which includes over 35 million investors across more than 100 countries trading in digital currencies … including Bitcoin! Coinbase reportedly began selling shares privately Jan. 25, with a broader public offering on the horizon that some experts believe could earn it a $75 billion valuation.
Going to the store and blindly choosing a wine because you’re charmed by the label feels antiquated now, thanks to our friends at Bright Cellars. These MIT grads created a custom algorithm that finds the perfect wine for you. Take their palate quiz and you’ll get wine selected just for you delivered to your doorstep. Sign up now to get $45 off your first order of six wines.
A mildly alcoholic drink fermented from raw mare’s milk, this ancient Mongolian medicinal treat is sipped slowly from small cups throughout Central Asia. Be wary though: Mare’s milk, if not properly cured, has known (and sometimes severe) laxative properties.
Where drink meets dessert and a fruit cup meets a slushie, the possible taste combinations are limited only by your imagination. This tantalizing Colombian favorite mixes condensed milk, passion fruit syrup, blackberry syrup, crushed ice and your choice of fresh fruit — topped with shredded coconut and a cherry.
Baked milk sounds bizarre. But that’s precisely how this sweet drink is made, simmering at a low temperature for hours to create a thick, creamy final product. Popular in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, its name comes from an Old Slavic word meaning “to fry.”
Got it Right?
Here are 35 more of you who got last Thursday's “Spot the Difference” puzzle right! You still have a chance to take that quiz: We'll reveal the correct answers tomorrow … and bring you a fresh “Spot the Difference.”
Bishop R., Elizabeth C., Jess A., Howard K., Susannah, Lynne Y., Dave H., Jennifer S.V., Ed T., David W., Joseph P., Jameson W., Peter G.H., Tatiana G.R., Rosharon S., Jeffrey L., Ken A., Hanan H., Vance R., Hal H., Daniel C., Mary B., James R., Francine B., Nathan R., Dale B., Mike O., Harriet R., Fran J., Carole L., Jane L., Jen L., Lisa W., Dean G. and Marcela E. — congratulations!
Charu Sudan Kasturi added some flavor to this Whiskey in Your Coffee.