RocaNews - 🌊 She Was... How Old?!

April 28, 2022

3 notable April 28 tidbits from pop culture history...

  • 1973: Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd's iconic prism cover album, hit #1
  • 1994: The Simpsons' 100th episode, "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song," aired
  • 2012: "Somebody That I Used to Know" climbed to #1 (haven't heard from Gotye since)

We aren't conspiracy theorists but... moon? 100? Disappearing artist? It is all too obvious now: Tupac is still out there. 

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Key Stories

Adderall Gets Blocked

  • Walmart and CVS have been delaying telehealth prescriptions for Adderall, the ADD drug, over concerns that too many pills are being prescribed
  • Before the pandemic, habit-forming stimulants like Adderall couldn’t be prescribed via telemedicine (online) in the US. That policy was lifted during the pandemic, and various telehealth companies began prescribing Adderall and other drugs
  • Pharmacies are concerned that these telehealth companies are overprescribing the drugs
  • Studies suggest up to 20% of US university students take Adderall for academic or recreational purposes
The telehealth companies – including Cerebral, which we did a Wrap on 2 weeks ago – market cheap and easy Adderall prescriptions on Instagram, TikTok, and other social platforms. Critics say the companies are creating drug addicts; supporters say they're making mental health treatment accessible.

Russia Cuts Gas

  • Russia cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, 2 NATO and EU countries
  • The move came a day after the US, Germany, UK, and others announced more policies against Russia
  • EU countries said the move was blackmail to divide Europe. Its impact is expected to be limited, because the countries are heading into summer and had been weaning themselves off Russian gas
  • In other Russia/Ukraine news, a large fire broke out at a Russian oil facility near Ukraine. Ukraine didn't directly take responsibility, but said it was “karma for the murder of children”
Also Wednesday, Vladimir Putin reiterated that Russia will respond "lightning fast" to any country that tries to “interfere...and create strategic threats for Russia that are unacceptable to us.”

CAR Makes Bitcoin Official Currency

  • The Central African Republic (CAR) became the second country to make bitcoin an official currency
  • The World Bank ranks CAR the world’s 4th poorest country. As of 2019, only 4% of its people had regular internet access. CAR has been at war for years
  • The country’s president said CAR is now “on the map of the world’s… most visionary countries,” and said bitcoin will help its economy grow
  • Some say the move is meant to ease the growing difficulty of paying sanctioned Russian mercenaries who are helping the CAR government stay in power
The only other country to have made bitcoin official currency is El Salvador, which did so in September 2021. It seems unlikely that bitcoin will gain widespread adoption in a country like CAR, where the average annual income is $477.

World's Oldest Person Dies

  • The confirmed world’s oldest person, Kane Tanaka, died in Japan, aged 119
  • Born in 1903, Tanaka spent her entire life in the city of Fukuoka, Japan. 9 days before dying, she became the 2nd-oldest person ever. The confirmed oldest person to have ever lived died in 1997, aged 122
  • In an interview, Tanaka said, “I think the secret to long life is to do the things that you like.” For her, that was eating, learning, calligraphy, and math
  • After Tanaka's death, the confirmed oldest-living person in the world is a 118-yo French nun
Would you want to live to be 119? Let us know in today's poll of the day!

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Would you want to live to be 119?


Today's Question:
Who's a musical artist, dead or inactive, you wish you could've seen live?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports
  • In love with an emo Bruce: DC Comics and Warner Bros have approved a sequel to The Batman, which has grossed $759M worldwide
  • Holding on the Austrian: Bernhard Raimann, a potential 1st-round pick in tonight's NFL draft, learned how to play football in Austria at age 13
  • Nerd prom is back: The White House Correspondents Dinner, aka "Nerd Prom," is back this weekendTrevor Noah as host

  • Bull days are over: The NASDAQ, a tech-heavy stock index, is now 23% below its high. The S&P 500 is more than 14% off its record
  • Not feeling lucky: Google parent company Alphabet recorded $1B less in profits in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2021
  • Florida man buys house: Florida real estate continues to boom, with rents skyrocketing in Miami, Tampa, Naples, and elsewhere

  • Santa Claus is running for Alaska's lone seat in Congress, competing against Sarah Palin for the spot. Yes, "Santa Claus" is his legal name
  • An overdue promotion: Fans of President Ulysses Grant are petitioning for his promotion to "General of the Armies," a title only 2 have
  • An armed robbery took place right outside... the FBI's headquarters in Washington, DC. 2 victims were held up in a 6-minute robbery
  • Michael Linguine Tiramisu: A court in Italy ruled that children should receive the surnames of both parents, unless they choose just one

Roca Wrap

A Newsletter Exclusive

We have a special Wrap edition today: An interview with Peter Santenello, a good friend of Roca.
Peter is a YouTuber whose mission is to “show a world that the media fails to capture, with zero BS polarization or political angle.” 

Sound familiar?

That mission has taken Peter to 85+ countries, from Tajikistan to Saudi Arabia to Ukraine, as well as across the US to visit its many subcultures, from the Amish to a Sikh motorcycle club and Skid Row. He creates videos of his interactions with locals in the places he visits and posts them to his YouTube channel, which has over 1M subscribers.
Over the years, Peter says he’s realized something about the world: Most of it is wide open and friendly. His videos seek to cut through the fearmongering and negativity legacy media relies on for clicks. 
Your journey began in 2002, at age 24, when you left the US for the first time with $20k in savings. That trip took you to 50 different countries. How did it influence your worldview?

It changed everything. I grew up in a family that didn’t travel but it was always my dream  to go to Europe. It took me 2 years to save the $20K and it went a long way (it was in 2002). I was planning to last 7 months in Europe, buy a motorcycle in Italy, rip it through the Alps, come back to the US and get my “career” going, which I had no idea what that would be. That trip lasted 2 years and brought me around the world. I did many things after that trip before creating YouTube videos full-time roughly 3 years ago. 

Traveling for an extended period abroad lets you see your own nation as a spectator for the first time. You’re no longer on the field playing but instead in the stands looking down at the game. I learned so much about myself and the US by being away from it. That clarity only comes – in my opinion – once you’ve been off the field for long enough, metaphorically speaking.  

The goal of your content is to show the world that the media fails to capture. What does the media fail to capture, and why?

Our attention naturally is attracted to conflict. We’re wired that way to survive, at least our ancestors were. The media wants to polarize, traumatize, and more than ever these days, divide us. It’s a business model. This strategy doesn’t apply to your audience but the major networks have audiences that want to hear a certain perspective of a story and they now expect that from their media of choice. Where many journalistic outlets used to at least try to aim for truth and objectivity, I find that to be less and less the case today.  

You speak a lot about the authenticity behind your content. How do you maintain authenticity in your videos?

I don’t like fake people, fake smiles, or pretension. I try to avoid those people at all costs. Living in Ukraine definitely added to this way of thinking. So my aim is to find people who aren’t afraid to be who they are on camera, aren’t worried about what others will think, and are true to themselves. A lot of it is luck, a lot of it is what you put out into the world.  

How do you meet people when you’re traveling?

I’m curious so I ask a lot of questions. I’ve learned a lot about the world from doing this. Even asking the same questions to different people can give a good pulse on a place, if people answer similarly, or much differently from one another, it tells you a lot about a local culture. Most people are happy if you take interest in them. I’m lucky that I don’t have to force this, it’s what I’m actually interested in.  

You have said in past videos that you’ve been labeled on every side of the political aisle, and that means you’re doing your job right. Why do you say that?

Yeah, I guess so. I did a series at the US/Mexico border last year and some people, not many but some, consider that a right-wing thing to do. I looked at it as, hey we’ve got a seriously messed up situation going on at our border and even though the border has been politicized by both parties in the past, isn’t it something we want to know more about? 

I also did a series on Muslims in the USA and some people called me woke for that. So I’ve been labeled everything from a Trumper to a Wokester, and I really don’t care. Most of my audience–like yours–has moved beyond this emotionally-charged immaturity and is more interested in the quest for truth, which can be very hard to find.  

Your YouTube channel had huge growth over 2021, going from 348k at the start of the year to over 1M today. The engagement on your content is outperforming sizable networks with way more resources. What do you think is the reason for that?

I think there is a large population that’s finding that much of what the mainstream offers doesn’t connect with them. Don’t get me wrong though, I want to have excellent mainstream journalism, and solid institutions with the resources to go deep into stories and issues, where the north star is objectivity and the betterment of the country. We need this. What many people are tired of is the constant negativity and obvious angle of a story. I think people want stories and content that might not give a black and white answer to an issue but will teach something and make someone think about a person or topic in a different way or, at least ask new questions about them.   

What is your vision for the future of the news media industry?

What you guys are doing is fantastic. There are others doing excellent journalism too. I hope our big legacy institutions can go back to the drawing board and either reinvent themselves, or new media organizations can be born. Small operations can do something big operations can’t and vica versa. We do need large institutions with resources and time to go in depth on stories that a small creator just won’t have the resources or time to do. 

Where can we find you next?

With the cowboys! My next series will be about cowboys in the West. I know nothing about cowboy culture and I’m excited to learn more. 

Every one of these series is like a hero's journey mission where I go in green behind the ears, learn something from people living a much different lifestyle than me, and then return home with new knowledge and understanding. My goal is to deliver this experience to my audience in the best way I can through video.  

Thanks Roca! Keep doing what you’re doing.

If you have thoughts, let us know at!
Future Wrap ideas or requests? Let us know!

Refer 2 friends to The Current to reveal the secret section of The Current each Thursday!

Today we featured the inaugural Roca Hinge Chronicles, starring one of the Maxes and his Zoom date escapades... Make sure to refer 2 friends to catch up next time on Roca's Weekly Hinge Recap.

wave Roca Clubhouse
Yesterday's Poll:

Are you worried the conflict in Ukraine could spiral into a broader NATO-Russia war? 
Yes: 76.6%
No: 23.4%

Yesterday's Question:

What's a genre of news that doesn't get enough coverage? Elaborate. 

Evan from Chicago: "I feel that wildlife isn’t covered enough, I want to know the big things that are happening in nature (besides climate change) that are interesting or could affect us"

Marc from Pennsylvania: "The traditional news covers police and fire for most of the 30 minutes then hits weather and sports at the end.  We NEED more stories of humanitarian, Good Samaritan, and other feel good stories.  People helping other people"

Sofia from Texas: "Science news. When we look back on this era, our scientific breakthroughs (tech, medical, etc.) may define us"

Spread the Wave!

Share The Current with friends, and win free swag! Some are secrets, some are awesome Roca gear.

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Final Thoughts 

Happy Thursday, everyone. We hope you enjoyed that interview with Peter. We're big fans of his. A few videos we liked in particular were when he met the Amish/Mennonites, when he went to Saudi Arabia, and when he visited the US-Mexico border.

Check those out, and have a great Thursday! 

- Max and Max
Thanks for reading! 
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