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Happy Thursday! Street protests, songs, books, hard-nosed politics — there are myriad ways to take on authoritarianism. Today you’ll meet a Zimbabwean artist who’s in exile because of his political paintings, visit the unlikely next economic tigers, decode the science of happiness and go nuts … about nuts. Yes, there’s a spot the difference quiz at the end, but there’s also a second teaser in today’s mix: one sentence in today’s newsletter is a hoax. Foundour ode to April Fools’ Day? Tell us below.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, and Joshua Eferighe, Reporter
News in a Minute
1. Guilt and Helplessness
The two emotions yesterday dominated witness testimonies in the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of 46-year-old George Floyd’s murder last May. A cashier who told his manager about a fake $20 bill that Floyd handed him said he felt guilty, while a bystander who tried to counsel Floyd against resisting the officer sobbed in court. “I feel helpless,” he said. What emotion have you felt the most thinking about the trial? Share here or on Twitter. (Sources: NPR, WaPo)
2. Perfect Jab?
Pfizer has reported that its COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent efficacious in children of 12 to 15 years old. Meanwhile, Brazil has found yet another new strain of the virus, believed to be related to the potent South African variant. All as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces an intensifying political crisis with growing calls for his impeachment. (Sources: WSJ, Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg)
3. 40-Year High
The year’s first three months have seen mergers and acquisitions worth $1.3 trillion, the highest amount in four decades. The surge is fueled by so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (read more about them on OZY) that have emerged as a popular investment mechanism amid the pandemic. (Source: FT)
4. Convicted for Democracy
AHong Hong court has convicted several senior pro-democracy activists for participating in a 1.7 million-strong peaceful rally in 2019 that was held in violation of police orders. They could face up to a decade in jail. (Source: Guardian)
Say goodbye to the powdered meat meals, cheap fillers and processed junk in kibbles. Spot & Tango is rewriting the rules of dry dog food, with a taste, texture and smell even the pickiest pups can’t resist.
Having your work noticed by your country's president might sound like a dream scenario. But the 40-year-old Zimbabwean artist had to seek exile in 2009 after he drew a portrait of former dictator Robert Mugabe with horns. Now in Johannesburg,Chiurai is among Africa's most prominent contemporary artists and uses painting, photography, printing andfilm to bust the myth of invincibility that several African leaders have tried to build for themselves.
2. Joiri Minaya
Ripping apart cultural stereotypes is what thisNew York-based Dominican American artist does best too. Like when she searched the term “Dominican women” on Google, took the images that came up, but then covered them in tropical prints. The idea? Plants in floral prints are often portrayed in the same exotic, "foreign" manner in which immigrant women are.
3. Sony Thokchom
The artist from the northeast Indian state of Manipur felt invisible in a city of 20 million people when he first came to New Delhi, an experience shared by millions who are often victims of racism in their own nation. Thokchom is changing that one sketch at a time, introducing the national "mainstream" to his homeland — so that the next generation of Manipuris doesn't feel as lonely as he once did.Read more on OZY.
The Coming Economic Tigers
In a world of economic uncertainty, they’re rising as unlikely powerhouses.
The South American nation has struck gold … black gold. Once a Dutch and British colony where laborers were shipped from Asia to work on sugar plantations, the country is now emerging as a future capital of the global oil industry afterExxonMobil discovered massive offshore reserves in 2015. Last year, while the world suffered from a devastating recession, Guyana’s economy grew by43.5 percent.
Ripped apart by a brutal civil war in the 1990s, the East African nation is today an engine of rapid — and steady — growth, shooting up the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index rankings from139 in 2010 to38 in 2020. Only tax haven Mauritius ranks higher in Africa. Rwanda has an online business registration system that allows entrepreneurs to start businesses inless than half the time it takes in rich Western countries. And after a brief blip because of the pandemic, its GDP is projected to grow by5.7 percent this year again.
It’s in OZY’s DNA to identify talent before anyone else does. Take Amanda Gorman, who was an OZY Genius Award winner before you witnessed her onstage at the 2021 presidential inauguration. Now it's your turn!Apply today for a chance to win a grant of up to $10,000 — ortune into our free webinar on April 5 for tips on how to perfect your application.
Science of Happiness
If the pursuit of happiness is what matters most to you, decoding the latest science behind that emotion is the first step.
1. Fear of Joy
New research published Tuesday shows that while humans are good at distinguishing between screams of anger and frustration or pain and surprise, that skill fails when it comes to yelps of joy. Scientists have found that in most cases, people mistake screams of happiness for fear unless they know better.
2. Work Day = Work Week
So we finally know the secret to optimal happiness: working only one or two days a week. Cambridge University researchers had expected the happy mean to be around three or four days of work. That’s too much, it turns out.
3. Feed Your Feelings
Sure, a tub of ice cream isn’t always a great idea, but black beans are if you’re feeling low. They’re packed with magnesium that stimulates the production of serotonin, the happiness hormone. Before you know it, you’ll literally be full of beans.
Whiskey in Your Clubhouse
Join OZY editors and writers today 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.
Nutty About Nuts
These exotic nuts offer much more than a crunch. Ready to munch?
A mesmerizing pumpkin-orange pod covers these Australian seeds, making them almost too pretty to crack open. While technically not a nut, they have a similar texture and nutritional profile as their botanical brethren and can also be eaten raw. The tree that produces them is even referred to as a peanut tree. But don’t worry, they’re aesthetically impossible to mix up.
2. Kola Nuts
You’ve likely never tested these, but you’ve almost certainly tasted a famous brand that gets its name from these West African nuts: Coca-Cola. Packed with caffeine (each nut has enough for two cups of coffee), these nuts that smell like nutmeg are guaranteed to give you a healthy high.
3. Brazil Nuts
Their name gives away their origin, but these Amazonian nuts that are also common in Bolivia and Peru contain secrets you’ll only understand by having a bite. Buttery and smooth, they’re known to help with regulating the thyroid gland and in reducing swellings. So healthy are these nuts that they even swim across the Atlantic Ocean all the way up to Ireland.
Spot the Difference
Can you identify the four differences between the two images above?
Last Week’s Answers + Winners
Answers: A watch on the instructor, a blue sock, an extra ballerina and a peeping sheep.