Euphoric Beverages, America's Weirdest Holiday and Teaching Asian Kids To Be "Proud of their Eyes" | Non-Obvious Insights #276

Dear karl,

I had some full pulling together some very unusual stories for you this week, from the new concept of "euphoric beverages" to an amazing animated introduction from the BBC to the Olympics. Also this week you'll see stories of Sesame Street's latest initiative to help reduce bullying of Asian kids at school, the truth about America's weirdest holday (hint - it's not July 4th), a great new book about how to be a man (whatever that means) and a few interesting bonus stories -- including a very cool experience opening in Atlanta called the Imaginarium. Read on and enjoy the stories this week! 

Tokyo 2020 Olympic - Non-Obvious Story Spotlight:
The International Storytelling Styles of Olympic Media Are Starting

I realized this week that for the last 20 years, I haven't really watched American TV coverage of the Summer Olympics. I have watched local coverage in Beijing, Sydney and Rio ... and the biggest difference is the lack of professionally produced melodrama. The Americans are just so good at it. And those stories have already started here on NBC - but this week an animated trailer from BBC celebrating Tokyo was an interesting reminder that even though I won't be in Tokyo, the world's coverage of the Games will be available on-demand and sometimes live online.

I know you're probably not planning your schedule for Olympic watching like me, but consider this a reminder that when the Games do start, you'll have the beautiful chance to experience coverage from many different places alongside what NBC produces in the US. And if you're outside the US, vice versa. The Americans are definitely great at telling backstories of athletes in an emotional way. Sometimes, it's brilliant and brings you to tears. Other times it's like American chocolate ... way too sweet. Either way, the best way to watch the Games will be to find some balance. I'm planning to do that by binge watching a little of everything.

Skip the Hangover and Try a Non-Alcoholic "Euphoric Beverage" Instead

What do you get when you combine adaptogens, botanics and nootropics? Confusion? No, actually - you get Kin Lightwave, a new type of "euphoric beverage" that promises to use mysterious natural ingredients like Reishi Mushroom, and Gentian Root to offer a sense of "grounding calm." If this all sounds like a product scripted for gullible hipsters ... well, you're probably right. But I have to admit I'm curious.

Unfortunately, it's out of stock online and their other product is "grounded in an herbaceous palate." I'm not sure my palate appreciates herbaceousness, so I guess I'll just wait for Lightwave. After reading this story, I'm just suffering from a craving for a little reishi mushroom and gentian root. We all know how that feels, right?

Sesame Street wants Asian American children to be 'Proud of Your Eyes' 

Here's a sad statistic for you: "86% of children believe that people of different races are not treated fairly in the US. Nearly half of the children surveyed reported experiencing some kind of discrimination, with one-third encountering discrimination directly tied to their race or ethnicity." This was from a study conducted by Sesame Workshop, and now the organization is aiming to tackle some of these issues head on with an ambitious initiative. Topics explored so far help Asian kids to deal with people making comments about their "slanty" eyes or being made fun for for bringing ethnic food to school. This it the content that every Asian adult wishes they had when they were kids to help make sense of the world and to help them embrace their own identity. I suspect, this live-changing content from Sesame Workshop has the potential to do the same thing. 

The Man Who Talks To Racists Like They Are Fellow Humans

Several years ago I watched a fascinating TED Talk from Daryl Davis, a black musician who made it his life's mission to talk to racists, attend KKK rallies and try to convert them by talking to them. This week, he is profiled in a new piece in the New York Times that looks at his unique work and explores what it takes for someone like him to engage face to face with people who say they hate anyone who looks like him. Despite the hatred, Davis says he has convinced more than 200 KKK members to give up their robes. The patience and empathy to do what he does is almost unimaginable. Yet it's a lesson we should all learn from. In a time where it's too easy to dismiss someone who sees the world differently, what if you could have a face to face conversation without exploding with anger? Here's an even better question: are you even brave enough to try?

The Only Twitter Account You Should Follow: James Breakwell

Most tweets are a waste of time. I could probably find some research to back this up, but scrolling through Twitter for five minutes is proof enough. So finding something worth sharing on the platform is cause for a mini-celebration. @XplodingUnicorn from writer James Breakwell is that kind of account. Not surprisingly, writers have the best Twitter feeds - and this one is dedicated to sharing funny moments with his kids. I don't think you have to be a parent to appreciate their truth/wisdom -- but it probably helps. And if you like his writing, he has a new book out that I'm enjoying right now called How To Be A Man (Whatever That Means). It's even better than his tweets. 

The Truth About America's Weirdest Holiday: Bobby Bonilla Day

Today is the tenth anniversary of the most meaningless holiday in America: Bobby Bonilla day. I admit, before a few months ago, I never heard of Bobby Bonilla. I'm not a fan of baseball. But back in 2011, the New York Mets agreed to start paying just over $1M per year for 25 years to retired player Bobby Bonilla. That means every July 1st until 2035, the team will cut a check to a long-retired player until he turns 72 years old. Fans hate it. But the truth it, what seems like the dumbest contract deal ever might have actually been a brilliant move the team and an undeniable win for the player. An actual win-win. Here's the full analysis of why this supposedly bone-headed deal might be better than anyone realizes. 

Even More Non-Obvious Stories ...

Every week I always curate more stories than I'm able to explore in detail. In case you're looking for some more reading this week, here are a few other stories that captured my attention ...
How are these stories curated?
Every week I spend hours going through hundreds of stories in order to curate this email. Want to discuss how I could bring this thinking to your next event as a virtual speaker? Visit my speaking page to watch my new 2021 sizzle reel >>
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