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Good morning! If society evolves, so too must the books through which we introduce it to our children. As America grapples with the controversy over racist depictions in Dr. Seuss’ books, meet the author introducing Ghanaian grandmoms to U.S. schools, read about the latest skillset medical professionals are picking up, get stunned by bizarre laws and upgrade your wardrobe with the latest work-from-home fashion.
That’s what the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in an emotional moment at a White House briefing, amid a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases even as America ramps up vaccinations. (Source: NBC)
2. America On Trial
A prosecutor accused police officer Derek Chauvin of violating his oath of office in ignoring desperate pleas from 46-year-old-George Floyd, in the opening salvos of a watershed trial that the Rev. Al Sharpton argued represents a test of America’s commitment to racial justice. Floyd died in Minneapolis last May, his neck trapped under Chauvin’s unrelenting knee. Is America on trial in Minneapolis? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: WaPo, Time)
3. Dial M For Murder
Militants and the military … the lines can get blurred. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an ongoing massacre in northern Mozambique. Meanwhile, air strikes by Myanmar security forces against their own citizens have forced thousands to flee to neighboring Thailand amid protests against February’s coup. (Sources: France 24, Guardian)
4. Where Protest Pressure Works
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison demoted two cabinet ministers in the eye of a storm over sexual harassment allegations that have sparked mass agitations. And in Brazil, two of President Jair Bolsonaro’s ministers quit, following growing criticism of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. (Sources: The Australian, Bloomberg)
Amateur Reddit investors who hit the jackpot from a surge in GameStop stocks are spending that money on saving gorillas in the Congo, elephants in Kenya, orangutans in Australia and other endangered animals. They’re giving Wall Street’s famed animal instinct a new meaning.
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Her librarian mother taught her that “children’s books could solve the world’s problems.” But growing up in Boston, the attorney-turned-author struggled to square that with the lack of diversity she saw in books. She’s fixing that problem. In her award-winning debut children’s book Nana Akua Goes to School, the protagonist takes her Ghanaian grandmother — who wears tribal markings on her face — to school with her. It’s a master class in teaching children to take pride in their culture and overcome social inhibitions.
2. Fawzia Gilani-Williams
That they don’t integrate enough with the “majority,” is a constant barb thrown at Muslim immigrants in many parts of the world. But what if Western fairy tales simply don’t speak to cultural mores immigrants grow up with? The United Arab Emirates-based Gilani-Willams, formerly a teacher in Britain, is rewriting popular fairy tales with Muslim characters, so they appeal to children who read them while still introducing them to the same storylines their non-Muslim classmates are familiar with. Read more on OZY.
3. Jessica Love
The former theater actress took five years to bring Julián Is a Mermaidfrom idea to reality. It was worth the wait. Julián, a young Black boy in New York, is enchanted by the sight of three mermaids he sees in the subway and wants to become one himself. His grandmother helps him on a journey of self-discovery that shatters gender boundaries for children in the most sensitive way possible.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Actress Leah Remini lifts the veil on her 35 years as a member of what she calls the “cult” of Scientology. Find out why The King of Queens star asked her husband about marriage the first time they met. Watch later today.
Next Science Fields
Science is always evolving — and these new fields might be what future students apply for when they go to college.
In a 2018 study, researchers at Stanford University found that the projected temperature increases by 2050 will likely result in 21,000 additional suicides in the U.S. and Mexico. Yet until now, medical professionals have never been trained in dealing with climate-induced anxiety or depression. That’s finally changing, with many schools — from the University of California, San Francisco, to Johns Hopkins — including the subject in their programs. About time. Read more on OZY.
I Need Space
Long in the realm of science fiction, manned Mars missions are edging closer to reality, with the U.S., Europe, Russia and China all plotting journeys. That means space science academic programs will need to cater to that growing demand from the industry.
Fake News Fight
Scientists and researchers are calling for the creation of a new interdisciplinary field of study dedicated to fighting fake news and its dangerous evolution. The new field — proposed by 16 college professors in the journal Science — would be the epic crossover of social science, psychology, technology and computer science.
Whether it’s science, the arts or any other field, if you’ve got a million-dollar idea, we'll help you get started! Apply to win an OZY Genius Award cash grant of up to $10,000 or nominate the brilliant college student in your life.
Science evolves … laws should evolve. And some really need to go.
Don’t get caught chewing gum in Singapore (unless it is prescribed by doctors for therapy or to curb nicotine addiction). The law was passed in the 1990s after vandals started defacing the then new public transport system by sticking gum on seats, forcing the city government to spend $150,000 a year cleaning it up.
3. Bear With Us
It’s illegal in South Africa to hold bear wrestling contests or to bring bears with you to the beach. That’s great from an animal rights perspective. The one wrinkle? South Africa doesn’t have any bears to start with, so it’s unclear who the law is targeting.
Whiskey in Your Clubhouse
Join OZY editors and writers on Thursday, at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET for insights on the big news of the week, a chat about your favorite sections of the Whiskey in Your Coffee and more. Write to OZY reporter Joshua Eferighe below so we can pull you into the room, and follow him @Eferighe.
What’s the logical thing to do when people stop buying suits? Turn those suits into pj’s, of course! The only requirement is that you look as professional as you possibly can from the top of the Zoom screen up, while from mid-chest down it’s all about leisure. Japanese firm Whatever Inc has designed a pj set where the top starts as a collared shirt and turns into cozy sweats, right where the Zoom screen cuts off.
2. Beanie Butt
What do you get when you mix a bean bag with a snuggie and a onesie? You get a “Bean Bag Onesie,” which features a conveniently placed bean bag for you to park your butt. Seems like a pretty sweet solution for an uncomfortable desk chair. Best of all, if you unzip it to your waist, no one has to know during your meeting.
3. You’re Never Fully Dressed Without
When orphaned Annie sang about finishing off your outfit with a smile, she probably didn’t anticipate all the high-tech ways to whiten your teeth that are on the market today. And now, with working from home, your smile is especially important in the tiny little grid of your video call window. Blow your co-workers away with your whiter smile; you’ve got more time than ever to sit with white strips in.
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