OZY welcomes former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina as this weekend’s guest curator. He pulled the levers of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, and now, as his former candidate enters the homestretch — and faces the fray of a GOP-controlled Congress — the one-time community organizer has his eye on a few things: Will we keep witnessing an economic bounce back? What should we expect of this year’s fickle flirtations with technology? What of the future of space — and, especially, how far can Peyton Manning take Messina’s beloved Broncos?
The Presidential Daily Brief
As a Montanan, watching the effects of climate change in places like Glacier National Park hits very close to home. The data is clear: Climate change is one of the most pressing issues our planet faces today. Last year’s average temperature — to get geeky about it — was the warmest since 1891, when we started keeping track. But it’s really since 1998 that we’ve seen a steep, undeniable climb in global temperatures. Countering the encroaching beast will require a concerted worldwide effort. A substantial new obstacle in the way is our newly formed 114th Congress. Over half of GOP members deny or question the science behind human-caused climate change. It’s data, people!
When President Obama was first elected, he inherited an America plagued by unemployment. Since then, the economy has grown stronger and unemployment has dropped — to the tune of 260,000 new jobs a month between April and November. But many Americans have yet to feel the benefits of the recovery. That’s the next phase our country must address, and the president has a plan to do just that by investing in infrastructure and making two years of community college free.
There is nothing I am prouder of in my professional career than playing a part in the passage of health-care reform. Before Obamacare, a whopping 18 percent of Americans had no health coverage, according to Gallup numbers. Today, that figure has dropped below 13 percent. So once you get past all the overinflated rhetoric and partisan bickering, the numbers are clear: Health-care reform is helping millions of people. Period.
World leaders join throngs in Paris unity march. (BBC)
Divers find AirAsia QZ8501’s black box. (DW)
Sydney siege victim hit by police bullet. (SMH)
Hamburg newspaper that printed ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoons firebombed. (SCMP)
Boko Haram uses girl in suicide blast that killed 20 in Nigeria. (NYT)
Bus crashes into oil tanker in Pakistan, killing 57. (USA Today)
Say good-bye to the traditional classification of workers. Today they don’t have to belong to a single socioeconomic class because assets and skill sets are increasingly fluid. And for that, we have the sharing economy to thank. The industry that includes Airbnb, Lyft and Uber is about to be worth $10 billion, and it’s changed the nature of mobility in the labor force. While it’ll require some work to make the jump from one incarnation of the working world to another, it’s an undeniably exciting time.
Elon Musk is not only a friend, but also a true visionary. You’ve probably heard about his organization SpaceX — but you may not have heard of his bold plans to show the world the potential of outer-space technology. This weekend he hoped to show us all that rockets can be reusable … using a 14-story rocket and a barge in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Despite yesterday’s setback, this technology — if successful — could entirely shift the economics of space travel.
To be as precise as Peyton: He’s the best. As a huge Broncos fan, it is a big comfort to know that Manning is suiting up for the Orange and Blue. The Sheriff threw a whopping 597 passes this year, and there is simply no better quarterback in the league. I can’t wait for him to hit the field this weekend against the Colts. Yet despite holding the league record in MVP titles (five), Peyton doesn’t have the best Super Bowl record. Can he take Denver to the Promised Land?
Who are you saying Ello to? We’re all hooked on social media, so it’s only natural that we should love social apps — at least until we don’t. In 2014, one allowed us to shout “Yo!” to our friends, while another helped us share things anonymously, but we tired of both. Tech geeks flocked to Ello, a new, ad-free Facebook, but then didn’t stay. The takeaway? What’s cool today might not be cool tomorrow. So never stop innovating.
They’ll never run out of ideas. It’s amazing how much 6 minutes can tantalize us. For 16 years, the only thing separating top runners from the dream of a two-hour marathon was 6 minutes. But we might have just discovered a geeky way to break the barrier. As a runner and a data-head, realizing that reducing my body’s oxygen demand would allow for more endurance during long runs opened my eyes to the evolution of health and fitness. So who will be the Roger Bannister of the marathon? Only time will tell.