Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
If music be the food of love then we promise you’ll feel hungry for the up-and-coming stars of jazz you’ll meet today. Which is helpful because you’ll need something soothing before reading about the next big environmental disasters. It’s May Day tomorrow, so we bring you some of the best and craziest labor laws in the world. And as bosses mull a return to the office, pick up some post-COVID etiquette tips (and tricks). Read to the end for this week’s caption contest!
South America is emerging as the epicenter of a surge in COVID-19 deaths, with even nations like Uruguay that were previously successful in curbing the spread of the pandemic registering rocketing death rates, joining Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Peru as countries in crisis. Latin America, home to 8 percent of the world’s population, accounted for 35 percent of total deaths last week. Meanwhile, India’s record-breaking caseload continues to mount, sparking anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Sources: NYT, Hindustan Times, WaPo)
2. Faith Turns Fatal
At least 44 people were killed and more than 150 were injured in a stampede at an ultra-Orthodox religious gathering in northern Israel late Thursday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “heavy disaster.” (Sources: Jerusalem Post, BBC)
3. Amazing Amazon, Alienated Alibaba
They’re competitors for the world’s burgeoning e-commerce market. But their current state of affairs couldn’t be more different. Amazon shares reached a record high amid soaring profits in the year’s first quarter. Meanwhile, China on Thursday ordered Alibaba and 12 other top digital firms to adhere to tough new regulations that could rob them of the cutting-edge advantages that made them world leaders. (Sources: FT, WSJ)
4. Moscow Message
The FBI warned Rudy Giuliani in 2019 that Russia planned to use him to spread misinformation about the Biden campaign, but the former New York City mayor and lawyer for then-President Donald Trump appears to have ignored those concerns. (Source: WaPo)
Pasta by Any Other Name
Food podcaster Dan Pashman has unveiled a new pasta shape, which he’s calling cascatelli, or little waterfalls. It’s a three-year labor of love, and he argues the shape will allow the sauce to stick better to the pasta. But will his idea stick?
Next Jazz Geniuses
It’s International Jazz Day. How could we not introduce you to the next set of jazz greats?
Santos is indubitably OZY. A Brazilian Norwegian musician who lives in Berlin, the 31-year-old kicks up a melange of Latin American-infused jazz and neo-soul while heavily flirting with both R&B and flamenco. Would you expect anything else from a Berklee grad? Not in the slightest. Don’t take our word on how great she is. Hear for yourself.
2. Mishka Adams
Adams does what all top jazz players do either by design or instinctively: they change the format and adapt it for both the future and future listeners. A saxophonist and pianist, Adams made her bones as a singer-songwriter. The British-Filipina musician now shuttles between London and Buenos Aires, her music a delicious melody of samba, folk, jazz and just … her. Listen.
3. Nduduzo Makhathini
The South African pianist is building on the storied pedigree that’s made jazz in his country a thing of beauty — from the trumpet stylings of Hugh Maskela to the vocal dexterity of Miriam Makeba. He is the first South African player to sign on to the legendary Blue Note label. Growing up in Umgungundlovu, the traditional home of the Zulu Kingdom, Makhathini’s take on jazz is long and deep and delightful to listen to. Hear him.
Did you know contemporary art prices outperformed S&P 500 returns by 155 percent from 1995 to 2020? With the global art market expected to balloon to $2.6 trillion by 2026, now’s the time to get in the art game. Don’t have $10,000,000 to buy a Monet yourself? Masterworks lets you invest in paintings by artists like Basquiat and Warhol at a fraction of the price. And now OZY readers can skip their waitlist of 25,000!
What if we told you we found a pair of jeans so good you’d never need another pair for the rest of your life? Outerknown’s S.E.A. JEANS are unbelievably comfy and made with unmatched quality, perfect for everything from lounging around in quarantine to seizing new adventures. S.E.A. JEANS have a lifelong guarantee. OZY readers get to use code OKOZY for 20 percent off. Check out Outerknown now!
Like we don’t have enough to worry about, volcanologists are now positing that shallow magma pools in Iceland, small enough to escape detection, could result in dangerous eruptions. No one wants a repeat of what happened in 2010, when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, disrupting air traffic worldwide.
2. Undiscovered Deadly Fault Lines
The Seismological Society of America has uncovered a significant and previously unrecognized fault beneath Datong City in northern China’s Shanxi province. The fault likely hasn’t been active for 20,000 years — which means it could be due for an earthquake.
3. Earthquakes and Tsunamis, Colombian Style
And again from those nattering nabobs of negativity at the SSA, information gleaned from a GPS network shows that the northwest region of Colombia is at risk of an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that would also generate a deadly tsunami. Unlike the fault line in Datong City, this one’s been active as recently as 1979.
Webby in Your Coffee
Whiskey in Your Coffee has been nominated for a Webby Award, the world’s top prize for digital content. Vote here for your favorite newsletter and spread the word!
‘The Carlos Watson Show’
It’s been a long week. Need a good laugh this weekend? Check out these comedy legends on The Carlos Watson Show. Our latest episode features SNL and Curb Your Enthusiasm great J.B. Smoove. Hear his behind-the-scenes secrets on working with Larry David. And don’t miss our episodes with Kathy Griffin, who shares why she’s the comedy zombie, and Billy Crystal’s touching Muhammad Ali story.
Labor Laws: Strange and Stranger
On May Day eve — when the world (if not the U.S.) celebrates workers' rights — we take a look at some weird and wonderful labor laws.
1. Because Scary Is the Night
Women in Madagascar, as of 2004, are forbidden from doing any sort of work at nightexcept in a “family” establishment.Though there’s not much that you could do at night that you also couldn’t do during the day, the law still stands.
2. That’s Funny. Now Here’s a Pay Cut
Wearing a “funny” hat is a big no-no at the workplace in New Zealand. It can actually get your pay docked by up to 10 percent. And not a minute too soon, if you ask me.
3. So Sensible
France has made it illegal for managers to demand that employees reply to emails outside of business hours. If you’re an American worker let that sink in for a second. Called the right to disconnect, it is designed to prevent burnout.
OZY Genius Awards
It’s the last day to apply for 10 summer grants that will be awarded to students anywhere in the U.S., with the aim of backing genius ideas. What’s your big idea? Apply today to win an OZY Genius Award. #OZYGenius
Post-COVID Etiquette Tips
For a year, we've gotten used to no hugs and handshakes. What's in store when we start stepping out and meeting people again?
Even if most people around you are vaccinated, you can’t take a chance. Tara Kirk-Sell, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, suggests we should continue to meet outside where possible. “Keep it outside, wear masks and don’t play with kids who are sick.”
2. Volunteer Vaccination Status
If you want a physical date and you have been vaccinated, tell people on your profile on dating apps. And if you’re meeting people, especially if they’re not wearing masks, it’s OK to ask them bluntly if they’ve been vaccinated.
3. No Elevator Rush
If you’re running late to a meeting, don’t try and squeeze into a packed elevator. That’s a no-no. At lunch in the office, don’t sit opposite a co-worker since you’ll need to remove your mask. And no handshakes. Elbow touches work just fine and are way cooler.
Send us your most creative caption for the above image.