SANITY BREAK We all know that our NRI kids have been killing it at spelling bees—especially the most prestigious contest of them all: The Scripps National Spelling Bee in the United States. The new Netflix doc, ‘’, takes a feel-good look at the Indian-American kids—and their families—who compete. Perfect time-pass when you’re tired of watching bizarre films about insane tiger collectors. reviews this slice of “lighthearted but smart escapism.”
HEADLINES THAT MATTER A GLOBAL PANDEMIC ROUNDUP * The virus is back! In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel a new uptick in cases. It is in previously virus-free regions like Africa. * Around 220 million women across the world work in sectors threatened by the virus, and of them may lose their jobs. Loss to the global GDP: $1 trillion. Point to note: This doesn't include China, so the numbers may be higher. * Spanish night clubs . According to the latest head-scratching order, clubs and discos can reopen but they have to replace their dance floors with socially distanced chairs and tables. * Tata Sky has lost 15 lakh subscribers—making it the only entertainment platform to fare poorly during the lockdown. The result: It is slashing prices, but . * Geoffrey Boycott is as a cricket commentator. The reason: the 79-year old doesn’t want to take the risk of becoming infected. VIDS FROM THE ANTI-RACISM PROTESTS This Madonna: The empress of pop at a London protest—jammed in the midst of the crowd. No security posse or face mask. This is anti-racism macarena: This is the Georgia National Guard ‘ hearts and minds’. This is #InfluencerFail. The clip below went viral with : “Stop treating the protests like Coachella pt 17.” At least our made-in-India influencers know how to behave during a protest: stay home and stay entirely mum. More deets on this PR debacle . TWO GLOBAL CEOS TAKE A STANCE Ren Zhengfe is literally on the warpath. He told his employees that he has now “entered a state of war,” and urged his employees: “Surge forward, killing as you go, to blaze us a trail of blood.” And he’s taking his cue from Beijing. See: on China’s super-aggressive ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomacy. Alexis Ohanian has resigned from the company's board in a show of support for the anti-racism protests. He wants the board to replace him with a black candidate. He also pledged to use future profits on his Reddit stock to "serve the black community." Side note: He’s married to Serena Williams. Watch his . FORBES LIST OF SUPER-RICH CELEBS Kylie Jenner is #1 (surprise!), followed by Kanye West and then Roger Federer. The next highest-paid athlete at #4: Cristiano Ronaldo—who became the first team player to make $1 billion over the course of his career. As for the India angle: Virat Kohli comes in at #66 with $26 million, and Akshay Kumar is #52 with $33.5 million. () KANGANA IS MAKING A RAM MANDIR MOVIE Bollywood’s #1 sh**-stirrer plans to direct and produce ‘Aparajitha Ayodhya’—which deals with the Babri Masjid/Ram Mandir dispute. She describes it as a story of “love, faith and unity, and above everything, it’s a story of divinity.” () THE DEATH OF AN ELEPHANT: AN UPDATE A worker at a rubber plantation has . He and his employers—both rubber barons—are suspected of laying out coconuts filled with explosives to discourage elephants. In related news: An FIR has against BJP MP Maneka Gandhi who wrongly identified Malappuram—a Muslim-majority district in Kerala—as the location of the killing, and called it the “most violent district.”
SANITY BREAK was uploaded in March this year. We don’t know how we missed this priceless gem: Life Accordion to Trump. It is very, very ROFL good.
SMART & CURIOUS LIVESTREAM SHOPPING IS BIG IN CHINA Viya is China’s biggest influencer, and she’s sold everything from cosmetics to clothes to a rocket launch for $5.6 million. And she isn’t on Instagram, but on Alibaba’s live streaming platform TaoBao. And Viya draws record audiences (37 million), way more than the finale of GoT or the Oscars. has her story of success. But this older story highlights her key tactics—which may be useful for all of us in the business of selling. A LIST OF GOOD READS * There is the average movie star profile. Then there is this cracker of a story on Abhay Deol. * makes an excellent argument as to why TV adaptations should just stick to the damn book. Damning evidence: GoT, 13 Reasons Why, Killing Eve etc. * The founder of Zoho Sridhar Vembu moved from San Francisco to a little village outside Chennai. has his real-life Swades story. * has a must-read on the grim working conditions Indian nurses—self-described “slaves in a white dress”—endure in the Middle East. * Thanks to the lockdown, a young football player from Ghana spent 72 days at Mumbai Airport—kinda like Tom Hanks in ‘The Terminal’. has his story. * Also in : This must-read essay by historian Ranjit Hoskote on the “great city” that is also a “terrible place.” * This of a young Kerala man who tried very hard to kill himself—even hiring a contract killer to do the job. He is now a Covid hero. THIS SECOND-HAND CAR COSTS $3.7 MILLION And there are only 20 such Lamborghinis in the world. The rare and highly prized 2017 Centenario Roadster is up for sale in Toronto. Did we mention is second-hand? Photo below. For car nerds: A test drive video from . THIS SUPER-SMART SHERPA IS MADE IN BENGALURU Say hello to Sherpa: a very intelligent self-driving vehicle that can transport cargo inside factory floors, warehouses and even construction sites. And its cousin——will likely find a host of new uses thanks to lockdowns and social distancing. It’s the invention of Ati Motors, whose founders include Saad Nasser—a teenage prodigy who dropped out of school at the age of eight! OMG, OMG, ROTARY PHONES ARE BACK! And they’re being repackaged as the ‘distraction-free cellphone’. We can’t believe it! Photo below. story here.
LIFE ADVISORY SO YOU WANNA HUG SOMEONE… Here’s the good news: It’s far safer than you think. But you still have to take precautions. has a lot more detail and an illustrated guide, but here’s the gist: * Don’t hug face-to-face. * Don’t press your cheeks together * Let kids hug you around your waist. * Kiss the back of someone’s head—instead of their cheek. * Look away from one another when you hug. SO YOU WANNA DELETE YOUR FB PAST… We all have embarrassing posts from way back when, but deleting them one at a time is tedious. Facebook is rolling out a new feature that lets you get rid of them en masse. explains how. SO YOU WANNA BE MORE RESILIENT… Here are three small tips that make you better at enduring hardship—lord knows, we all need some help right now. And this is not the usual advice about practising gratitude etc. () SO YOU WANNA QUIT SMOKING… Or get a loved one to just stop. Well, new research offers an excellent motivator: smokers are more likely to develop brain cancer. The culprit: nicotine which is not a carcinogen in itself—and had been let off the hook so far. Scientists have now found that it triggers tumours in the brain among lung cancer patients. This also has implications for the use of nicotine-replacement therapies like gum, patches etc. ()
THE FEEL GOOD PLACE ? Let’s go to Eden Gardens? We have no clue WTF is going on in this Tamil movie clip, but it’s sooo bad it is awesome! is on a roll! The Warners performed ‘family bhangra’—or something they call ‘family bhangra’... but, cute! feeding a Covid-19 patient with tenderness and care… this is what we all need to see right now. at the Denver Zoo conquering his fear of heights—what a good boy! Maharashtra plans to procure 10,000 vials of Remdesivir—the only drug that has proven effective so far—to make it available for poor patients.
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