Saturday, December 24, 2022

Riley - Saturday Night Live


ALMADA reports that Salma Hayek says she doesn't have time to compete with every newcomer because she's got four kids, thirty animals and just has time to focus on that and do her thing.  Salma's latest film just opened PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH and she'll be seen next year in MAGIC MIKE'S LAST DANCE.  We opened with Salma because I know her and like her but also because I'm always interested in which US performers are of interest in other areas of the world.  

Also at ALMADA, Firas Adnan reports that a growing number of observers are saying Iraq is facing a difficult water situation due to a winter that's not expected to bring many, if any, rain storms and how this follows a dry summer and severe drought.  There are calls for talks with Turkey and Iran (both of whom are utilizing dams to keep shared waters within their countries and not flowing through Iraq).  People are leaving Iraq as a result of these conditions.  One rainstorm this week, ALSUMARIA notes, has replenished some marshes in southern Iraq.

It's Christmas Eve.  ALSUMARIA reports Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Wisdom Party, has issued congratulations and greetings to Christians in Iraq.  Others ae also noting the holiday.


Celebrate the Holidays Today and Tomorrow with Carol Burnett!

How The Syrian Conflict Fractured The Left With Vijay Prashad


Talk World Radio: Niamh Ni Bhriain on Weapons Business Booming

Talk World Radio: Niamh Ni Bhriain on Weapons Business Booming


Talk World Radio is recorded as audio and video on — except when it can’t be and then it’s Zoom. Here is this week’s video and all the videos on Youtube.


This week on Talk World Radio we’re discussing how the weapons business is making dramatic use of the war in Ukraine. Our guest, Niamh Ni Bhriain, is the War and Pacification Programme Coordinator at the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Transnational Institute and Stop Wapenhandel have a new report out called “Smoke Screen: How States Are Using the War in Ukraine to Drive a New Arms Race.”

The report is available here:

Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music: Brush Strokes by texasradiofish (c) copyright 2022 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: billraydrums

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David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and U.S. Peace Prize Recipient.

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Bri vs Robby INTENSE Drag Show Debate on The Hill Rising / Joe Rogan HILARIOUS Clip

Matteo Lane & Christi Chiello Christmas Show featuring Eric Gersen & Tituss Burgess

The JTrain Podcast: Wedding Attendance Isn't Mandatory w/ Matteo Lane

Diana Ross - All Is Well

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Freedom Side Year-End Wrap-Up — Ukraine, China & the Big Stories Coming in 2023

Diana Ross - If The World Just Danced

Hit myself doing the TikTok dance. 😂 #shorts #madeyoulook #dancing

Are You Garbage Comedy Podcast: Matteo Lane!

Mrs. Wiggins: The Boss & His Secretary on Christmas Eve | The Carol Burnett Show


Cringey + Funny True Stories of Christmas: OZY's 100

OZY    A Modern Media CompanyShare This Sh*t          December 20, 2022
The drop


We revisit some of OZY’s most entertaining holiday tales, from outlandish true stories to provocative opinions.


True Stories That Will Make You Laugh and Cringe

Great Christmas Expectations

Sometimes the holidays are as hard as marriage, and your first Christmas as a married couple can be an ordeal of its own. First Married Christmas isn’t really any sort of benchmark, but it carries a certain weight. So what happens when your eager-to-please husband buys you a big surprise gift that requires an unveiling … and it’s a giant disappointment?

Christmas Haggling in Thailand

More than 60 million Chinese live in the global diaspora, having fled bandits, floods and famine to find a better life abroad. And their influence is pervasive. But if you are Chinese American and finishing your holiday shopping in Thailand, don’t expect the Chinese vendors to cut you any true deals because of your heritage — they are wily negotiators even during the holidays.

How Was Your Day, Mall Santa?

In this occasional series, OZY takes to streets and neighborhoods across the globe to ask a simple question: “How was your day?” In this edition, meet Kriss Kringle aka Santa Claus aka Tom Ryan, a mall Santa at an outdoor shopping mall in Duluth, Georgia, who describes what a day in his life is really like, from the endless photographs and children to the dressing room to the 119-year-old authentic sleigh at his disposal.

Holiday Perspectives


Ditching the Christmas Shame

What happens if you are an urban sophisticate, a feminist who thinks capitalism sucks. But each winter, when the air turns cold, the urge hits: You want a Christmas tree, and kitschy yet clever ornaments to dangle from its branches, and lots of holiday crafts involving red and green pipe cleaners and old paper-towel rolls. These urges feel shameful, but sometimes you have to give up the cynical, if principled, cool and give in to the gooey sentimentality. ’Tis the season!

The ‘Thought’ Doesn’t Count One Bit

“It’s the thought that counts” gives cover to all sorts of lousy presents. Even when intentions are good, we’re often pretty far off the mark. The flaw: People focus way too much on what gifts they would like, rather than what gifts the recipients would like. And whatever they get, recipients are guilt-tripped into expressing gratitude. So what to do? It starts by putting your money where your mouth is.

How the Corporate Rules Grinch Stole Christmas

Christmas may be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but when it comes to corporate gifts, it is not the season it once was. Anti-bribery regulations and strained corporate budgets mean that employers now advise much more caution with sending Christmas gifts to clients and suppliers.


In Mubarak Idoko's village in Nigeria, there was no electricity and no schools. Today, the Dartmouth College senior is deeply aware of the contrasts between his educational experiences in the U.S. and those of Nigerian students, who have little access to the kinds of technology that made education possible during the pandemic and in other adverse circumstances. So Mubarak and some friends set to work on designing a management platform to give Nigerian schools a mobile infrastructure with SMS integration to manage the learning process in and out of school via a texting app. Mubarak hopes his design will advance technology “to make the learning experience more accessible and engaging.”

Christmas Comic Relief


How Many Crimes Is Santa Guilty of Committing?

In the 1947 holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street, Kriss Kringle gets hauled before a judge to determine whether he is insane or, in fact, the real Santa Claus. But have you ever wondered how many crimes and other offenses Santa would be guilty of if he were indeed everything he’s cracked up to be? Let’s build the prosecution’s actual case against Kriss Kringle …

‘The Devil’s Guide’ to the Holidays

In his irreverent 1911 masterpiece The Devil’s Dictionary, American writer Ambrose Bierce took aim at all manner of human hypocrisies, sins and shortcomings by penning a lexicon of cynical word definitions for a cynical age. In this holiday installment of The Devil’s Guide, we channel Bierce’s sardonic spirit to spread some more realistic seasonal cheer.

That Time a Jewish Woman Went Caroling

Christmas caroling could be fun — right? But then comes a fashion dilemma: What do you wear to a Christmas caroling party? And what do you do when everyone else is adorned in Christmas sweaters — colorful woolen garments that seem straight out of Christmas cards and stock photos of idealized American families? And then what do you do when the actual singing breaks out?



Have you had a funny or cringey holiday experience? Tell us your story.

OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives, and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.

#OZYMedia, #TheDrop

OZY Media, 800 West El Camino Mountain View, California 94040

No More Wakanda!


Pack Your Bags

Your World.
Bold & Bright

Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.

Dec 23, 2022


The Jan. 6 committee handed down its final report into the insurrection and found “one man” to blame. North American travelers are bracing for a dangerous cold snap. Vladimir Putin called the Ukraine invasion a “war” for the first time. And the Taliban stand by their decision to deny women an education. All this and more in today’s PDB.


While working at a neuropsychology clinic, Fordham University junior Avery Carty was alarmed at the astronomical rate of people being diagnosed with mental health disorders. She was particularly concerned over ADHD diagnoses, and how negatively worded assessment questionnaires could skew test results, leading to over-diagnosis and the over-consumption of powerful drugs. For her genius project, Avery seeks to develop new diagnostic questionnaires, with the involvement of health care professionals, and thereby reduce the consumption of unnecessary drugs that can lead to addiction. Avery hopes to help break this chain effect in young people, so they can avoid severe harm to their future health and job prospects.


Trump Card

Committee's Full Report Finds ‘One Man’ Was Behind Jan. 6 Riot

And that man should never be allowed to hold public office again, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection recommended. Its 814-page report, released Thursday night, describes the “multipart plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election” and clearly states: “The central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump.” Over 18 months, the committee reviewed more than 1 million pages of documents and interviewed over 1,000 witnesses. The committee’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, concluded, “No man who would behave that way at that moment in time can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again.” (Sources: NYTThe Hill)

Cold Snap

North America Dreaming of a Not-So-White Christmas

“This is not like a snow day when you were a kid. This is serious stuff,” President Joe Biden warned Americans after the National Weather Service issued alerts across the country. Expect “record-breaking cold and life-threatening wind chills” from the Great Plains across the East, the agency warned. Thousands of flights have already been canceled as millions of North Americans travel for Christmas. WestJet stopped flights in and out of Toronto Friday in anticipation of terrible conditions. “The prolonged and extreme weather events that continue to impact multiple regions across Canada are unlike anything we’ve experienced,” WestJet exec Diederik Pen said. (Sources: NPRGlobal News)

What Is It Good For?

‘Special Military Operation’ No More as Putin Declares It ‘War’

“Our goal is not to spin this flywheel of a military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address Thursday. It’s the first time since the February invasion of Ukraine that he’s referred to the conflict so bluntly, previously opting for euphemistic references. For Russians who have protested against the invasion, the change in language is a slap: Activists have been prosecuted for calling it a “war.” Putin’s comments come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the U.S. and addressed Congress before receiving fresh financial commitments to the war effort. (Sources: WaPoAl Jazeera)

Class Act

Taliban Stand By Their Ban on Women in Universities

The decree, announced earlier this week, triggered protests at home and abroad. Minister of Higher Education Nida Mohammad Nadim said during a televised interview Thursday that the ban is necessary to prevent mixing between men and women, adding that some female students had attended classes dressed inappropriately. He hit back at the criticism — which has come from both the West and Muslim-majority countries — and demanded the world stay out of Afghanistan’s domestic affairs. “Education is our right, universities should be opened,” chanted about 50 mainly female protesters at Kabul University, suggesting Nadim’s comments may not be the final word. (Sources: APReuters)


Here are some things you should know about today: 

Homecoming. Russia’s space agency is considering sending an empty spacecraft to the International Space Station in a rescue mission after a coolant leak was identified in the Soyuz capsule, the home away from home for three cosmonauts. (Source: France24) Friendly. North Korea sold arms to Russian mercenary group Wagner as part of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. said. Both Wagner and the North Korean government have denied the claims. (Source: BBCProgress. Spain’s lower house of Congress voted to allow those over the age of 16 to change their legal gender without the input of medical practitioners. It is expected to shortly pass the Senate and become law early next year. (Source: Al Jazeera)



Frozen Future

65% of Antarctica’s Plants and Animals Will Disappear This Century

That’s the prognosis from researchers studying the impact of climate change on the continent. Isolation and the local ecosystem have helped Antarctica dodge many climate change-caused disasters we’ve seen elsewhere in the world, like massive fires and devastating flooding, but that good fortune is running out. Sea ice is now disappearing faster than previously seen and for the continent’s iconic penguin populations — the emperor and Adélie — this wreaks havoc on nesting cycles. “There’s not a large-scale number of people living there, so the greatest threat to the continent is coming from outside the continent,” lead researcher Jasmine Lee said. (Source: CNN)


Hacking Is the Answer to North Korea’s Empty Pockets

Around $1.2 billion in digital assets have been stolen by North Korean hackers in the last five years, according to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service. The agency estimates more than half of that was stolen in 2022 alone, and around $78 million of it was swiped from South Korea. Pyongyang has focused much of its computing capacity on cybercrime after economic sanctions blocked traditional revenue sources — an issue exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S., Japan and South Korea identified North Korean cybercrime as a serious issue at trilateral meetings earlier this year and vowed to step up monitoring. (Source: AP)


Taylor Swift Fans Come for Ticketmaster in the Courtroom — Again

Swifties filed a federal class-action lawsuit after November’s disastrous presale for her 2023 Eras tour. Fans who were shut out of buying tickets said, “Ticketmaster intentionally and purposefully misled millions of fans into believing it would prevent bots and scalpers from participating in the presales.” The 26 plaintiffs want fines of $2,500 per violation after “14 million unverified Ticketmaster users and a ‘staggering’ number of bots” descended on the site and inflated resale prices. Meanwhile, another suit this month alleged “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations,” and the ticketing giant’s tactics have earned the attention of federal investigators and antitrust advocates in Congress. (Source: Pitchfork)


Beard-Decorating Enthusiast Snags Hairy Holiday World Record

An Idaho man with lots of facial hair and even more free time has bested his own Guinness World Record for the most Christmas baubles in his beard. Joel Strasser’s bedecked chin supported 710 ornaments this year — a marked improvement over last year’s 686, 2020’s 542 and 2019’s barely-even-festive effort with a mere 302 beard baubles. Strasser, who has really found his niche, also holds records for the most forks in a beard (126), most golf tees in a beard (607), most toothpicks in a beard (3,500), most clothespins on a beard (359) and — obviously — most chopsticks put into a beard in one minute (86). (Source: UPI)


How Did Salt Bae End Up on the World Cup Pitch?

It’s a question many asked after seeing photos of Turkish restaurateur and influencer Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, joining Argentinian players and cradling the winner’s trophy Sunday. Soccer governing body FIFA vowed to investigate, saying, “The appropriate internal action will be taken.” Just a few select individuals are authorized to touch the trophy, including the winning players and FIFA officials. Gökçe was seen earlier in the tournament with soccer celebrities including Brazilian players Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Cafu. He was also spotted with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino, a professed fan of Salt Bae’s chain of Nusr-Et restaurants. (Source: The Guardian)



What else are you curious about?

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OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives, and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment. / #OZY

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