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.

The Chamber celebrates Women's History Month with initiatives focusing on gender equality and inclusivity, highlighting the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women.
  • Our March 4th "Women’s Initiative Series kickoff event, Challenges to Workplace Gender Equality and Advancement," spotlighted female business executives resetting norms and creating inclusive, equitable cultures that empower women to succeed. To view the event recording, please click on the video to the right.
  • We congratulate Erica Butow (2012 Person of the Year Fellow and President and Co-Founder of Ensina Brasil), winner of the Women Who Transform Award (Prêmio Mulheres que Transformam) in the Social Entrepreneur of the Year category.

  • Our Person of the Year honorees Luiza Helena Trajano (Magazine Luiza) and Virginia Rometty (IBM) continue their great work as female business leaders, promoting equal rights, healthcare, and education for all.
Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month with initiatives dedicated to the achievements of women!
Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. | 485 Madison Avenue, Suite 401, New York, NY 10022 | (212) 751-4691

Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce  485 Madison Avenue, Suite 401, New York, New York 10022, United States  2127514691

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

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Is it just us or do the rays of sunshine at the start of spring feel unusually welcoming this year? Maybe it’s because we’re slowly starting to step outside more. In today’s brew, we tease your wanderlust with places that have opened up, introduce you to the world’s bravest dissidents, offer an inside look at countries betting on oil for their future and excite the amateur magician in you. And no, there’s no sleight of hand in the spot the difference game you’ll try. 

Joshua Eferighe, Reporter, and Nick Fouriezos, Senior Reporter


1. Alaskan Thaw?

SeniorU.S. and Chinese officials will meet next week for the first time since President Joe Biden took office. Their summit in appropriately chilly Anchorage, Alaska, could set the tone for the world’s most vital diplomatic relationship. Will U.S. ties with Beijing improve under Biden? Vote on Twitter or here. (Source: SCMP)

2. Economic Jump-Start

Economists believe the $1.9 trillion stimulus that’s set for a rollout this weekend could push America’s GDP up by nearly 6 percent this year, the highest annual growth in four decades. The package includes checks of up to $1,400 for most Americans and child tax credits among other measures. (Source: WSJ)

3. Mexi-juana

The lower house of Mexico’s Parliament has passed a historic law legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, moving the country a step closer to creating one of the world’s largest markets for recreational pot. (Sources: BBCReuters)

4. COVID Clot

Five European nations — Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia — have suspended the use of a batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines pending a probe after cases of expected blood clotting in some recipients of the doses. Meanwhile, Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who has underplayed the threat of the virus, has been missing in action for two weeks, sparking speculation that he might be suffering from COVID-19. (Sources: Yahoo NewsGuardian)


The dancers can’t see their audience, and the audience can only catch the performance through tiny letter box-sized slits. It’s the latest Japanese innovation to revive theater performances while keeping everyone safe amid the pandemic.  


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You’ve heard of Alexei Navalny, but the jailed Kremlin critic isn’t the only dissident battling for their nation’s future against the odds — and often against authoritarian regimes.

1. Ilham Tohti

Few have given up as much. The Uyghur economics professor has served a life sentence in a Chinese prison since 2014 for “fomenting separatism” after repeatedly calling attention to Chinese human rights abuses against the Muslim ethnic minority community. But from behind bars, the global focus he sought has finally resulted in the U.S. declaring China’s treatment of Uyghurs as “genocide.”

2. Sônia Guajajara

“In the flames, they see money.” That’s what the Brazilian Indigenous activist said in October while accepting an award for speaking truth to power. Conservative President Jair Bolsonaro has blamed the burning of the Amazon rainforest on Indigenous groups, even as Guajajara and others have fought deforestation spurred by the congressional ruralistaagribusiness bloc. “The whole world is looking for ways to protect the environment … we’re here dealing with a government who is doing the exact opposite,” she warned recently.

3. Stella Nyanzi

Earlier this month, the 46-year-old fled from Uganda to Kenya to seek asylum, alleging that her partner was abducted and tortured after Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni returned to power following controversial January elections. Among Museveni’s most vocal critics, she has called the president “another pair of buttocks” and has waxed eloquent about wishing that his mother’s vagina had drowned him. Read more on OZY.  

And don’t miss former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin’s column on Navalny’s staying power in Russia, only on OZY today.


Join the coolest new streaming platform. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in other topics? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.

Best of all, for a limited time OZY readers can spark their curiosity and get a full year of access for only $1.25/month with an annual plan using code OZY.


Globally, countries are trying to cut their oil addiction — even the Middle East is trying to diversify its economy. But some are breaking with that trend, doubling down on crude.

1. Guyanese Glut

When crude oil helps your GDP leapfrog more than 43 percent in a year when most economies shrank, it becomes an irresistible poison. Guyana has emerged as a future capital of the global crude industry since ExxonMobil discovered oil off the country’s shore in 2015. The government’s revenues are expected to balloon 30-fold over the next decade.

2. Russian Risk

Russia’s expanding oil and gas exploration into the ecologically vulnerable Arctic, ironically relying on climate change to improve access to the region. And it’s offering up Arctic oil and gas to others: from western multinationals to energy-guzzlers like India. Read more on OZY.

3.  Namibian Novelty

Southern Africa could be the next frontier. Angola is already one of Africa’s largest oil producers. But experts and explorers are eyeing Namibia and South Africa as new playgrounds — even COVID-19 has failed to dim their enthusiasm.


After suffering bankruptcy and imprisonment in his early 20s, young entrepreneur Henry J. Heinz made his version of a popular sauce that would change Americans’ tastes. Based on the HISTORY channel documentary series, OZY and HISTORY bring you The Food That Built America, your latest podcast fix about the bold visionaries behind some of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Listen now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts.


As U.S. states lift COVID-19 restrictions, here’s a look at countries that are almost entirely open again — and the lessons, good and bad, to be learned.

1. New Zealand

Last fall, as many of us craved live sports and had to settle for the television and empty stadiums instead, New Zealand opened up its arenas for fans to devour rugby games in the flesh. Like other countries, New Zealand has had ups and downs while combating the virus. But for the most part, it’s an example of the best way to stay open: by actually defeating COVID-19.

2. Tanzania

It’s home to Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti. And it was one of the first African nations to open up to international travelers. But unlike New Zealand, it’s low case count is based on COVID-19 denialism, with President Magufuli insisting the country is free of the virus — never mind the evidence to the contrary.

3. Antigua

This island destination is among a growing set of nations wooing visitors with long-term work-from-home visas. If you’re going to be working remotely, why not do so from the beach, sipping a Caribbean cocktail? Read more on OZY.


Join OZY editors and writers today, March 11 at 6 p.m. PT/8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. ET for insights on the week’s hot news and sections that’ve tickled your fancy. Sign up for Clubhouse and follow OZY’s Tracy Moran (@tmoran), Joshua Eferighe (@Eferighe) and Nick Fouriezos (@nick4iezos). Email us below so we can ping you into the room. See you soon!


A little bit of illusion, a dose of skill, and tons of practice … mix the three and you might just be able to add some magic to the lives of those around you.

1. Betcha Can't Crack an Egg

Hold an egg before your audience and insist it’s unbreakable. They smirk but you know better. If the peaks of the egg are in the dead of your hands, no matter the pressure, the egg won’t break. Nor will the spell you’re casting on your audience.

2. Levitate

Appearing to defy gravity is always fun. Try the Balducci levitation technique. Position yourself away some distance from the audience. Then with your feet close together, lift off on the balls of one foot, taking both your heels off the ground. They shouldn’t be able to see the part of the foot on the ground.

3. Cup Through the Table

All you need is a cup, a ball and a sheet of paper. Promise to make the ball go through a hard table but instead use that as a distraction to deftly drop the cup into your lap, with help from the paper. The deception helps you fool them into thinking you’ve actually passed the cup through a rigid surface. 


There’s no magic here. Can you see the four differences in the two images above? Write in below.


The answers to last week’s spot the difference: Empty booth number 5, different numbers on the booths to the right, a flying saucer poster and a trumpet. 

Check here to see if you got it right!!