Bold news. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Hi-de-ho! Cruising into the weekend, this “young” editor's fancies turn to an invention that will make it less of an ecological crime to script your favorite newsletter from my “luxurious” hot tub and to a martial art inspired by a controversial guru. And while you may or may not know me, Jack Black does, baby! Read about that and discover the cool places we're all going to hang to hear music when the specter of COVID-19 finally fades. Rock on!
U.S. President Joe Biden used his first major foreign policy speech to end American military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen — though not defensive support or intelligence-sharing with Riyadh — and increase aid to refugee and LGBTQ communities worldwide, an attempt to restore “moral leadership” on the global stage. (Sources: The Guardian, Politico)
2. One Shot
Johnson & Johnson petitioned U.S. regulators Thursday for approval of the world’s first effective single-dose COVID vaccine. While possibly not as strong as the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, its ease of use — one shot, requiring only basic refrigeration — could quicken pivotal inoculation efforts, particularly in poorer nations with scarce supplies. (Sources: AP, Fox Business)
3. Take a Bow
“Why aren’t we talking about this?!” read the Rihanna tweet heard ’round the billion-plus Indian population, drawing attention to farmer protests that have led to violent clashes and internet crackdowns. Some simply criticized the Barbados-born singer as misguided, but others resorted to mudslinging: calling her a porn star, praising her abusive ex-boyfriend via memes and mistaking her for Beyoncé. (Sources: CNN, WSJ)
4. Ready for Kick-Off
Freshman U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee assignments by House Democrats — an action they argued was necessary given past incendiary comments, but which Republicans warned would set a precedent that Democrats “may regret” if the GOP takes back legislative control. Did they do the right thing? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: Reuters, NPR)
Who’s Winning This Game?
The race is on — to mint money off the GameStop saga. Netflix and MGM are already working on competing films on the stunning rebellion by Reddit day traders that led to the surge in share prices for the video game company, defying Wall Street expectations. And newcomer Pinky Promise is developing a separate TV series on the subject.
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Formal education isn’t for everyone. The Kenyan school dropouts are serial innovators behind some of the developing world’s most mind-boggling recent inventions. They’ve previously designed a machine that plucks oxygen from the air and turns it into electricity. Now they’ve showcased robotic prosthetic arms, made partly of wood, that can be controlled by brain signals.
2. Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling
My great aunt used to say that poor people have but few pleasures and eating is one of them. But given all the bad press about eating shrimp, which makes their continued consumption distinctly uncomfortable, Shiok Meats is rescuing our ethical dinner tables with a tasty innovation: lab-grown shrimp and lobster meat. What does it taste like? Not at all like chicken. Regardless, these inventors — Sriram, the CEO, and Ling, the CTO — are making a tasty entrée into the cell-fish industry.
3. María Isabel Amorín Cabrera
She’sstill a graduate student, but the Guatemalan is already shaking up the world of polymer science. While some of us were busy eating shrimp, the multiple-award-winning Amorín Cabrera has synthesized polymers out of shrimp shells that can be used to filter water polluted with chemical dyes and other dangerous filth. At a time when water is in short supply globally, her invention could prove a savior — and yes, make my hot tub a less guilty experience.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Carlos laughs harder than he has in 20 years. Don’t miss this hilarious episode with stand-up comedian Jo Koy. Hear him talk about his breakthrough on The Tonight Show, how his mom’s struggles as an immigrant helped make him funny, and the impressive class of comedians he came up with. Fall in love with Jo Koy just like Carlos does. Click here to watch now.
New Martial Arts
Being able to defend ourselves seems like the most basic obligation we have to the people who love us. Ready to learn how?
Martial arts are all about focusing your mind. But combining the tenets of taekwondo, yoga, meditation and the spiritual teachings of a controversial guru? That’s what OZYMA or Oshi Zen Yoga Martial Art does. Inspired by the work of Osho — who ran a large commune in Oregon and was the subject of the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, OZYMA is now taking off in northern India. Is it a hodgepodge of ideas or a smart new recipe to win fights? There’s only one way to know: Face off against an OZYMA fighter. Ready? Read more on OZY.
2. New Twist to MMA
Laamb, the Senegalese form of wrestling, is hardly new — it’s been around since pre-colonial times. But now it’s poised to kick its way into mixed martial arts, led by laamb champion Oumar "Reug Reug" Kane, a 6-foot-5, 256-pound undefeated fighter from the West African nation. Kane is among a growing set of African fighters taking MMA by storm. And while in some ways MMA is more complex than laamb, Kane is keeping it simple: by destroying his opponents.
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Encounters of the Famous Kind
The very rich are different from you and me, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Add fame in there, and I’ll say this: They’re crazier too. Trust me. I’ve met them.
1. Reasons for Slapping Jack Black: Many
I know, I know ... he's that irrepressible cutup, that laugh riot on legs, the cuddly kung fu panda. But I found a way to have a beef with him, mostly on account of the fact that — in my experience — Jack is nothing like that in real life. So did I slap him off his chair? Read to find out.
2. Bill Cosby, We Hardly Knew Ye
It was strange from beginning to end. I got cast in Bill Cosby's Leonard Part 6 and watched and worked with the now-disgraced filmmaker on what was unofficially the worst film of 1987. Then I followed his fall from grace all the way to the weird sex stuff for which he is serving a prison sentence. And no one believed me at the time when I said, “There's something wrong with Cosby.” Read more on OZY.
3. Samuel L. Jackson: Is It Him? Or Is It Me?
Mr. Jackson — and I'm taking no more chances here — is one of the hardest working actors in show business. A cat who made it big only at 46, later in life. He’s also generally well-liked. If you met Samuel L. Jackson, you'd be excited like I was. That was before I insulted him. Some skill, right? Read more on OZY.
Awesome Music Arenas
When COVID-19 passes, the pent-up demand for live music will need to find expression. The coolest places to watch it? Right here!
Only the first edition was held at Mount Fuji. But nestled at the base of nearby mountains, the Fuji Rock Festival continues to draw over 100,000 people in normal times to see 200 bands. Want a break from the music? How about hot springs and nature walks? About 90 minutes out of Tokyo by bullet train, it’s perfect for camping out too.
3. Wieliczka Salt Mine
South of Poland's Krakow there’s a big hole in the ground that — from the 13th century to around 2007 — was used to mine salt. Now the mines with underground lakes aplenty are ideal for jazz or chamber music. The venue only holds about 700 people, so this one’s not for your more raucous moods. But if you’re looking for a unique experience, there’s nothing better than a performance at the Wieliczka Salt Mine.