Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Happy Thursday! By now you know we’re major foodies. But we’re also adventurous foodies. Meet stunning new independent chefs who’ll leave you salivating even if you’ve just finished breakfast. Visit a nation that’s traditionally been among South America’s most closed countries, decode why people are buying model train sets, stay hydrated with a southern African oil and try our weekly spot-the-difference game.
Joshua Eferighe, Reporter, and Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
Israel’s cities have erupted into some of the worst clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens in several years. Rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel and the country’s airstrikes in Gaza have killed at least seven Israelis and 83 Palestinians — including 17 children. The U.S. and other nations have called for peace, while Israeli leaders have condemned the attempted lynching of a motorcyclist by far-right Jewish activists in a Tel Aviv suburb. Israel is now preparing for a possible ground invasion of Gaza. (Sources: NYT, Haaretz, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post)
2. COVID Communism?
The CEO of pharma giant Roche has compared proposals to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents to East Germany’s nationalization of industries. Meanwhile, Hong Kong — largely a success story against the virus — is now battling vaccine skepticism. (Sources: FT, South China Morning Post)
3. Fly and Flow Again
U.S. federal air regulators have approved fixes made by Boeing to its 737 MAX jet, more than 100 of which were grounded following two fatal plane crashes. And Colonial Pipeline has restarted operations after shutting down following a cyberattack last weekend — though panic buying of gasoline continues. Are you ready to fly on a Boeing 737 MAX yet? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: WSJ, WaPo)
4. Settling Accounts with El Chapo
The U.S. has lifted sanctions on the convicted drug lord's longtime accountant Jesús Zambada after he testified against El Chapo, strengthening the prosecution’s case. Fittingly for his profession, Zambada knew how to clear his debt to the law. (Source: Guardian)
It shares the pumpkin’s orange color, but if you get too close to it your horror might be far more real than on Halloween. Scientists have found a tiny-but-deadly new frog species in Brazil’s Amazon forests that they’re calling the “pumpkin toadlet.”
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Shrutika and Stuti Bhardwaj are champions at “procrasti-baking” — which they describe as the “art of baking instead of doing something else you should be doing.” That suits the rest of us just fine. The sisters are leading a home-baking revolution in Bangalore, India, offering a city already brimming with options its richest and most authentic take on cinnamon rolls, cookies and made-to-order cakes, fare that’s so good that you’ll want to “procrasti-eat.”
3. Fork in Nigeria
Egusi, goat shank, jollof rice and fufu: that’s just a sampling of what’s on offer at Detroit-based Prej Iroegbu’sfood truck. The former General Motors employee debuted his venture last summer with a mission to introduce Motown to the diverse cuisine of Nigeria’s different ethnicities. His dishes have been a hit, attracting long lines and cateringinvites from local businesses even amid the pandemic.
OZY Fest Is Back!
TED or Coachella? Why not both?! This May 15-16, join us for a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas at OZY Fest. Spend the weekend with game-changers from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Condoleezza Rice to Sevyn Streeter and Mark Cuban. Register now.
If you have a question for Dr. Fauci, a pitch for Mark Cuban or a joke for Tig Notaro, record it here!
Sneak Peak Into ... Paraguay
The landlocked South American nation has historically kept itself largely isolated, so much so that it’s often called the continent’s “empty quarter.” It’s starting to open up. We’re opening it up further for you.
1. Miguel Almirón
Off the field, the wiry, 5-foot-9 soccer midfielder is shy. On it, opposing defenders wish he were shy. Raised in capital Asunción’s largest neighborhood, the 27-year-old played on dirt pitches with little infrastructure. Yet that hasn’t stopped him from turning the global soccer spotlight on Paraguay, a nation otherwise in the shadows of giants like Brazil and Argentina. He played a star act for Atlanta United in Major League Soccer before top British club Newcastle United picked him in a record deal. Read more on OZY.
2. Wonder Words
Across the Americas, the languages of former European colonizers are pushingnative tongues toward extinction. Not in Paraguay. In fact, Paraguayan Guaraní is currently spoken by 7 out of 10 people in the country, including overwhelmingly by non-Indigenous people. Isolation has some advantages.
3. Nazi Past
One set of folks who did penetrate Paraguay’s isolation were Nazis. Bernhard Förster, whom Hitler credited with the ideas behind Nazism, lived and died there. After World War II, many fleeing Nazis made Paraguay their home — including, according to some accounts, the infamous “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele. Read more on OZY.
Bizarre COVID Collectibles
If the past year’s been crazy, the collectibles that are ruling the world amid the pandemic are even crazier.
It’s been a pandemic for some but a“bandemic” for others as Lamborghini had itsmost profitable year ever, delivering a reported 7,430 luxury cars worldwide. Our favorite is the beautiful $3.3 millionSian, which also managed to sell out. Not that we would have been able to afford it.
2. Hornby Trains
We don’t know if these collectors are on the right track, but the British model railway brand saw a96 percent monthly spike in demand at the start of the pandemic. With real travel out of the question for months amid lockdowns, perhaps the replica allowed people to dream.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique, one-of-one digital collectibles that have seen demand skyrocket these past few months. From NBA rookie sensationLaMelo Ball to rapperPost Malone and singer Grimes, all are cashing in. And NFTs of art and tweets alike are selling like hotcakes. Read more on OZY.
Whiskey in Your Clubhouse
Join OZY editors and writers today at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET for insights into the week’s top news and a sneak peek of this weekend’sOZY Fest. Write to OZY reporter Joshua Eferighe below so we can pull you into the room, and follow him @Eferighe.
Southern Africa’s baobab tree carries the nickname “tree of life.” Luckily it delivers. The tree absorbs water when it rains and produces fruit during the dry season, while its oil increases hydration and reduces water loss, keeping your skin moist.
3. Arnica Oil
Originally from Siberia and Eastern Europe, the Arnica herb is a favorite among homeopaths. Research confirms that its oil helps treat inflammation and pain though it’s also commonly used to treat hair loss.
Spot the Difference
Identify the four differences between the images above. And check here for last week’s answers and winners.
We're pleased to congratulate the 25 finalists for this year’s OZY Genius Awards! Ten winners will each receive a grant of $10,000. Meet the finalists and vote for your favorite OZY Genius until Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 6 p.m. EST. A jury will select the awardees, but we’ll separately unveil the People’s Vote winners — your voice counts!
While travel may be on pause for now, Bright Cellars wines will take you on an international tour of flavors. Get wines from around the world delivered straight to your door. Start your wine-tasting experience with $45 off your first order.