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Good morning! What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done with your hair? A bizarre cut? Shaved it off? Check out the brilliant new trends shaping the hair industry today, and meet the global far-right’s surprising new stars who might, depending on your politics, make your hair stand on end. Then read about forgotten science feats from ancient societies that beat the West by a lot more than a hair’s breadth, and let your hair down with great comedies.
Pallabi Munsi, Reporter, and Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
The officer who shot dead Daunte Wright, an unarmed 20-year-old Black man near Minneapolis, during a traffic stop on Sunday thought she was firing a Taser, the local police chief said, as protests continue against the killing. The incident has added to tensions as Minneapolis waits for the outcome of the trial of another officer, Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering 46-year-old George Floyd last year. Should the officer who shot Wright be fired? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: WaPo, NBC)
2. Front-line Fears
Nations across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to get COVID-19 vaccines to their medical workers. Just 2 percent of the world’s shots have been made available to Africa so far, though the continent is home to more than 15 percent of the planet’s population. Meanwhile, India has approved Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine for use amid a stunning surge in infections. (Sources: Guardian, Reuters)
3. Friendly Fire
So just who is Taiwan’s friend again? The U.S. is planning to slap the label of “currency manipulator” on Taiwan, sending the self-governing region’s currency crashing even as Chinese jets encroached into its airspace Monday in the biggest such incursion to date. China claims Taiwan as its own, while the U.S. is committed to defending the region. Or so we thought. (Sources: FT, Al Jazeera)
4. Nuclear Ocean
Japan’s making risky moves too, planning to dump radioactive water from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster into the ocean after treating it, sparking concerns from locals and neighboring nations South Korea and China. (Source: Deutsche Welle)
A pizzeria owner and a graphic design entrepreneur, both Italian, found their small businesses blacklisted after they were mistakenly targeted by U.S. authorities for ties with Venezuela’s regime. Now at least one of them is suing the U.S. government for the erroneous sanctions — imposed because of names that matched the real targets.
Carlos gets real with actress, filmmaker and model extraordinaire Priyanka Chopra. Hear about the surprising push that started her career — and the musician she has a crush on. Hint: it's not Nick Jonas.
From art and politics to medical science, hair is at the heart of fascinating innovations changing our lives.
1. Floral Motifs
Floral designs have always been a hit — on your clothes and your shoes. Now Barcelona-based stylist Alexis Ferrer has taken flower power a step further, developing a pioneering new technology where you emboss colorful printed floral motifs on blunt bobs and Marcel waves. His motifs are inspired by the “best fabrics for the French bourgeoisie during the XVIII century.” Ready to turn your hair into fashionable fabric?
2. Reclaiming Black Hair
Black stylists and artists are increasingly turning to sculpted hair art to speak about racism and social justice. Ivory Coast–based artist Laetitia Ky has stormed Instagram with loc sculptures that speak to abortion rights — for instance, a towering hair uterus with middle fingers extending out from fallopian tubes. And right before the U.S. presidential election, musician Lizzo sculpted “40%” on her hair. Her question? “How can this country be 100 percent that b***h if we’re missing 40 percent of our eligible voters?!?”
3. Loss No More
Nearly 10 million people undergo chemotherapy each year. Many among them lose some or all of their hair. Aaron Hannon, 22, might have found a revolutionary fix: a device that looks like a cap, fits into a normal beanie or scarf and blocks chemotherapy from being delivered to the hair follicle.
Forgotten Science Feats
You wouldn’t know it looking at our school textbooks, but much of the science we rely on today has roots beyond the Western world. Get ready to be surprised.
Sir Isaac Newton, Pierre de Fermat and Gottfried Leibniz are widely credited with the development of calculus. But long before them, Jyesthadeva, a 16th century astronomer and mathematician, had written down the infinite series expansion of trigonometric functions and complex calculations on palm leaves in southern India’s Kerala. He was the unacknowledged father of calculus. Read more on OZY.
2. Nabta Playa
Stonehenge in England — believed to be around 5,000 years old — might be the best-known of ancient astronomical sites. But it’s not the oldest … not by two millennia. That status belongs to Nabta Playa, located some 700 miles south of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Constructed by a nomadic cattle-worshipping community, this observatory helped track the summer solstice and onset of rains.
3. Saving Water
Well before Spanish colonizers reached the Andes, Indigenous communities in Peru had built an elaborate scientific network of canals that helped distribute water to parched regions. Now as climate change dries up our water supplies, the capital Lima is reviving those dilapidated canals to secure its future. Read more on OZY.
OZY Genius Awards
Bringing you the next big talent is in OZY’s DNA. Before you witnessed Amanda Gorman's genius onstage at the 2021 presidential inauguration, she was an OZY Genius Award winner. Apply today for your chance to win a grant of up to $10,000 or nominate someone.
These hilarious gems will help you get through the rest of the week.
As Avatar was sweeping global film awards in 2009, a wacky comedy was trumping it in Iceland. Mr. Bjarnfreðarson follows the life of Georg — a communist megalomaniac — who dons several other hats: that of a son, a father and a person who likes to control the environment around him compulsively — yet fails to control his own life. The result? Laugh-out-loud chaos.
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