Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.


Good morning. Just how much of ourselves can we give to make our societies fairer? How about pointedly selling major companies to minority founders? Join us today for bold new ideas that could significantly reduce inequality in just a decade, after meeting the college basketball stars who could dominate this month’s March Madness. Ahead of Sunday’s Grammys, get familiar with some of the award night’s biggest past surprises and bake some phallic bread. 

Isabelle Lee, Nick Fouriezos and Joshua Eferighe


1. A More Perfect Union

The Democrat-led House of Representatives has passed a historic labor rights law that could strengthen the ability of workers to unionize, but it’s unlikely to clear a divided Senate. What is poised to clear all hurdles is President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package, including checks of up to $1,400, with a final vote in the House expected today. (Sources: NYTCNN)

2. Private Investigations

Queen Elizabeth II has responded to Sunday’s dramatic interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, saying the royal family was “saddened” to hear of the challenges the young couple had faced while in Britain. She called Markle’s racism allegations — that a family member had been concerned about the skin color of the couple’s son — “concerning” and promised to address them “privately.” (Source: Guardian)

3. Fly Me to the Moon

And set up a base among the stars. That’s what China and Russia plan to do, announcing a joint lunar research station that could set off a fresh race to take control of the moon and its resources. Should the U.S. set up a permanent base on the moon? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: DWArs Technica)

4. Local Olympics?

Japan might bar all foreign spectators from the Tokyo Olympics later this year to safeguard the games from a fresh COVID-19 outbreak, especially as new research shows that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are less effective against the South African strain of the virus than previously thought. (Sources: BloombergBusiness InsiderNature)


Scientists are studying relationships among Madagascar’s lemurs— which are genetically close to humans — to decode one of humankind’s great mysteries: the roots of monogamy. Scientists though are yet to find a definite answer: Love’s complicated, even for lemurs.   


Going to the store and blindly choosing a wine because you’re charmed by the label feels antiquated now, thanks to our friends at Bright Cellars. These MIT grads created a custom algorithm that finds the perfect wine for you. Just take their palate quiz and you’ll get wine selected just for you delivered to your doorstep. Sign up now to get $45 off your first order of six wines.


March Madness starts next week — but why wait? Get to know the names that could shape the future of college basketball. 

1. Hometown Hero

“Ayo” means “go forward with joy” in the Yoruba language. And joy’s exactly what Ayo Dosunmu brings to Illinois basketball fans, as they relish their best season since the Deron Williams era. In February the son of Nigerian immigrants became the first Fighting Illini player in two decades to register a triple-double … then notched a second one days later. Now he’s driving Illinois toward its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 2005. But what makes Dosunmu even more exciting to Illini fans is that he’s born and bred in Chicago, so he’s one of them.

2. The Next Cheryl Miller

The highlights tell the tale: Kentucky Wildcats junior guard Rhyne Howard has a talent that jumps off the screen. The 6-foot-2 guard, who puts up 20 points a game, shows off a crisp jumper, stops on a dime and can finish in traffic. Some say she’s the best player in women's college basketball, and her trophy case — she was 2019’s national freshman of the year and is SEC Player of the Year two years in a row — backs it up. Now she’s hoping to lead Kentucky to its first-ever women’s Final Four.

3. Fundamental 2.0

If Tim Duncan is the Big Fundamental, Iowa senior center Luka Garza is the second coming. The 6-foot-11 nearly 300-pounder is the rare four-year starter in an era of one-and-done, and he has powered Iowa into national contention with his strong post play. The Washington, D.C., native is putting up 24 points and eight rebounds per game and shooting above 55 percent from the field, The grandson of a Bosnian soccer star, Garza may not be flashy but the big man knows how to go to work.


We're highlighting pioneers who’re changing their field and are blazing their own path. Shunned by both the left and the right, Megyn Kelly joins Carlos to discuss her decision to speak out against Roger Ailes and why she thinks the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements are ineffective. Is a political run in her future?


No meaningful change has ever come without provocative, bold debates. 

Succession Plan

Business owners often struggle to find suitable heirs for profitable firms . Governments should create programs to exclusively pair proven, entrepreneurial members from disadvantaged communities with owners looking to exit. That organic form of reparations could redistribute wealth, and is a model that has already seen success in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Get Violent About It

Much as we despise it, what if violence is the only fix for inequality? That’s the conclusion from Austrian historian Walter Scheidel, who argues that painful actions are critical to any meaningful form of resource redistribution while outlining four avenues: war, revolution, state collapse and deadly pandemics.

Gender Quotas

The U.N. should require that the political leadership of all participating members actually reflects their citizenry. Only three countries — Rwanda, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates — have women in more than 50 percent of the seats of their directly elected legislature. And only Rwanda among them has a multiparty democracy. The lack of equal representation is also hurting the world economically: research has proven that gender equality leads to greater economic growth.

Got any bold ideas to significantly cut economic inequality in the next decade? Do tell us.


It’s the biggest night of the year for the music industry. But while everyone has their favorites, know this: there’s a history of surprise in the ceremony that Sunday’s Grammys could add to.  

1. Jazz Over Buzz

The year was 2011, and a certain, swishy-haired teen heartthrob was poised to win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Then, out of nowhere, Esperanza Spalding won the award. Though less well-known than Justin Bieber, the remarkably talented musician was headlining sold-out shows and breathing new life into jazz. It was a reminder that the Grammys can reward craftsmanship as much as popularity.

2. Kanye Again

It was years after the infamous 2009 Kanye West-Taylor Swift incident. Beyoncé was nominated again, this time losing to Beck. Kanye took to the stage again. This time he didn't say anything, smirking at the incredulous audience and walking back to his seat. A heavy-handed way of displaying the Grammys’ tendency to ignore black women's accomplishments in the music industry, it was effective nonetheless.

3. The Nixon Tapes

Long before former President Barack Obama won his two Grammys, his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon was nominated for one in 1979 for his television interviews with David Frost where he admitted his role in Watergate and issued a personal apology to the American people. While he didn't win the Best Spoken Word Album award, he definitely delivered quite the performance.


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From bread that gets you baked to bread baked under the desert sun, this world has plenty of breads you can't forget. But these take the cake … or the bread rather.

1. Dead Bread

The pan de muerto or “bread of the dead” isn’t just food: it’s a sacred ritual in Mexico. Now one baker is making cupcake versions of the sweetened bread. And though not to everyone’s taste, the treat is taking off.Read more on OZY.

2. Ballsy Bread

Try baguette balls in your coffee instead of whiskey today. At Legay Choc boulangerie pâtisserie, in the heart of Paris’ Marais district, windows filled with penis-shaped confections might catch your eye. Read more on OZY.

3. Saharan Bake

You don’t need fancy ovens to bake great bread. The nomadic Tuareg community of Tunisia cooks its bread — called taguella — in the sand, spiced with sesame and fennel. And all of this near the Matmata caves where Star Wars was filmed. Read more on OZY.

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