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Good morning! I can still picture the orange-colored pencil box where I carefully kept all my fallen milk teeth like trophies from a battle. I was never intrigued by the tooth fairy, but later discovered far more fascinating equivalents in other cultures. Check them out today, meet the 28-year-old poker champion revolutionizing card games in India, try Robinhood-like apps that are democratizing trading around the world and get awed by giant monoliths that — unlike some recent ones (or those teeth under your pillow, for that matter) — aren’t about to disappear.
Tens of thousands have filled the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, to protest last Monday’s military coup. Demonstrators waved three-fingered salutes popularized by The Hunger Games film series as an indication of dissent. In one promising sign, protesters reported that their internet was suddenly and surprisingly restored, allowing video of authorities’ less encouraging water cannon blasts to get out. (Sources: NPR, AP, France 24)
2. Ice Disaster
As many as 170 people were missing, with dozens potentially dead, after a breaking Himalayan glacier caused waters to rise, sweeping away a hydroelectric dam in a deadly torrent that flooded downstream villages in northern India. As terrifying videos of the sudden deluge hit social media, environmental experts argued that the Indian government should halt hydroelectric projects in the volatile ecosystem. (Sources: Guardian, AAP, CNN)
3. Troubling Transition
Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse says he’s “not a dictator.” Yet he’s remaining in office despite his five-year term ostensibly ending Sunday. After gunfire rang out near the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince yesterday, he announced the arrest of 20 people, including a Supreme Court judge, who he says plotted a coup. Moïse argues that he can serve until 2022 because his first year, heading an interim government, doesn’t count. (Sources: NYT, VOA)
4. A League of One
Crushing youthful Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 last night, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, 43, won his seventh Super Bowl ring. He proved he didn’t need his old team, the New England Patriots, while securing more NFL championships than any player … or franchise. Brady surpassed titles won by other sporting legends, including hockey’s Wayne Gretzky and basketball’s Michael Jordan. (Sources: ESPN, Fox News, Boston.com)
DIY is indeed in the DNA of the Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture firm. The Ingka Group, which operates most IKEA stores, has bought nearly 11,000 acres of depleted forestland in the U.S. state of Georgia, which it has promised to restore to health as compensation for the company’s carbon footprint.
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Like its American counterpart, Futu halted trading in GameStop stocks during their frenzied rise. But nothing’s stopping its own surge. Backed by tech giant Tencent, the zero-commission Shenzhen-based digital financial services company saw its stock prices grow almost 150 percent in January — indicating how the GameStop incident might only be the first act of financial rebellion we’ll see in 2021.
2. Trade by Text
Large parts of Africa, especially rural areas, don’t have reliable internet or 4G networks. Enter C-Trade, which allows trading through text messages, and not just from the usual desktop and app-based facilities. It could revolutionize access to the stock market in Zimbabwe, where it’s been launched, and other southern African countries. Read more on OZY.
3. Crypto Savior
How do you make money off small cryptocurrency deals if you have to pay a commission each time? You don’t. Adam Todd’s Digitex Futures lets emerging crypto-buffs make a quick buck by offering commission-free trading. Through the launch of DGTX, an in-house cryptocurrency, Todd believes he can make commission-free crypto trading sustainable.
Unlikely Card Aces
Card games — like so many other sectors — have long been dominated by white men. But these stunning stars are gambling against that tradition — and winning.
In a game that’s all about taking smart bets, the odds were stacked against this dimpled math nerd when she faced off against poker players from 88 countries at the World Series of Poker in 2018. But 28-year-old Luther knows how to triumph with the cards she’s been dealt, and became the only woman to win a gold bracelet — akin to an Olympic gold medal in the game — at that event. Today she’s leading a poker revolution in India, where card games, and especially female players, have traditionally been frowned upon. Read more on OZY.
2. Phil Ivey
The 44-year-old Californian is to the world of card games what Tiger Woods is to golf, breaking racial barriers to emerge as possibly the greatest poker player of all time. He has won 10 WSOP titles and appeared to have passed his prime after a series of losses and an expensive divorce from his childhood sweetheart. But in 2019, Ivey returned to form, showing he’s not done just yet.
3. Maria Lampropulos
A former human resources executive at IBM, the 40-year-old Argentine of Greek lineage swam and played volleyball and field hockey as a child. Then a boyfriend introduced her to poker. Today, she’s one of the game’s highest female earners and, like Luther, evidence that the queen can be the real ace.
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How about switching up the traditional myth and introducing your kids to new ones?
1. For a Sunny Smile
In Egypt and several other countries in the Arab world, children wrap fallen teeth in tissue paper and throw it up toward the sun. The sun, it is believed, returns a new tooth.
2. Strong Like a Dog
Mongolian children wrap fallen teeth in animal fat and feed it to dogs. The idea? Children will get new teeth as strong as a dog’s.
He’s called El Ratón, and — like the tooth fairy — this friendly rat is believed to come for children’s fallen teeth in Spain, Mexico, Peru and Chile. In Argentina, kids keep their teeth in a glass of water overnight so their tooth-collecting friend can quench his thirst on his journey.
Giant Monoliths (That Aren’t Going Anywhere)
Like our milk teeth, multiple mysterious monoliths appeared and then vanished in different parts of the world late last year. Unlike them, these mammoth natural rocks aren’t disappearing any time soon.
Ride on one of the world’s oldest cable cars to get to the top — then look down at the sprawling city of Rio de Janeiro and the Atlantic Ocean below, for a high that’ll appropriately feel like a sugar rush.
2. Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka
Some call it the eighth wonder of the world, others, the “Lion Fortress.” This giant rock in central Sri Lanka was the base for a fortress built by a 5th century king to protect himself from his brother. Today it’s a top tourist draw, with beautiful landscaped gardens leading to its rock face.
3. Zuma Rock, Nigeria
Whenyou’re in front of this majestic 2,379-foot tall monolith, you’re literally face to face with it. With natural contours in the shape of eyes and a nose, Zuma Rock is the source of multiple myths — even though the reality itself is stunning enough.