A Sultry, Fishy Infantry Affair & The Cheapy Award 🐬

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A Modern Barrier to STD

The most common features people expect from their clothing fabrics are: sweat-wicking, breathable, high stretch, and/or anti-bacterial. 

Now there’s a new entrant in the list - keeping well in-line with modern times. Protection against STDs. That’s right, people want their clothes (read undergarments) to act as a  legit “medical barrier” to STDs

Underwear made by startup brand Lorals is the first of its kind - protection against sexual diseases panty - to be approved by the FDA.

The single-use stretchy panties are made of latex and provide a physical protective barrier for users. One Lorals wearer told The New York Times that the texture did indeed mimic skin and the product’s vanilla-flavoring tasted “like you’re eating a cookie”. A pack of four comes in bikini and boy shorts styles and retails for $25

The innovation in underwear doesn’t stop here. The lingerie space is enjoying a surge in investment and innovation. According to Crunchbase, VC-backed underwear startups raised $457 million in the last year, the highest in five years. Most of these startups are dethroning Victoria’s “sexy panties” trend to make way for comfortable, sustainable and inclusive underwear. 

The largest funding rounds for VC-backed underwear startups in 2021 went to: 

  • SKIMS: $154 million
  • Savage X Fenty: $115 million
  • NEIWAI: $100 million
  • Knix Wear: $53 million
  • Parade: $20 million

The Underwear Innovation
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen inclusively innovative undergarments targeting different sections of the populations. 

For example, Thinx, famous for its reusable period panties, has helped to normalize what were once taboo topics with clever marketing campaigns.

Meanwhile, Savage by Fenty, owned by Rihanna, provides shoppers with a large range in sizing. 

The label Slick Chicks is making underwear with side fastening to better suit people with mobility issues. 

Even industry giants like Adidas have revamped their approach: introducing a new collection of scientifically designed bras to properly support women’s breasts.



The Cheapest EV State

In 48 US states, it’s now cheaper to own an electric vehicle (EV) than a gas-powered car, according to an analysis by climate policy think tank Energy Innovation.

And the Garden State is leading the country in the cheapest EVs category. New Jersey is offering generous incentives to “green” drivers including a $5,000 rebate for anyone who buys or leases an EV. It also waived its 6.6% sales tax on car purchases. All of this is in addition to the the $7,500 tax credit for EV purchases offered by the US federal government.

Some Stats: 

  • Between January and March, U.S. consumers registered 158,689 EVs. 
  • Venture-backed EV startups raised over $20 billion in 2021, more than double the number in 2020. 
  • According to Crunchbase data, 37 companies in the EV space were acquired last year, up from 21 in 2020.

Dolphin Infantry

Last week, the US Naval Institute (USNI) spotted something fishy in the Black Sea, - two dolphin pens located just inside the sea wall. They had been moved there around the time of Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine. 

What are they doing there? They’re defending Russian warships against enemy divers. You can call them Russia’s dolphin infantry division

Marine mammals protecting military bases is a long-trend started by a US military program in 1960, employing bottlenose dolphins and sea lions to accomplish a variety of underwater tasks. That could include anything from locating mines to retrieving lost objects to intelligence gathering.

During the Iraq War in 2003, dolphins were tasked with clearing a pathway for ships carrying humanitarian aid through extremely murky water. 

How did it work: 

Dolphins’ sonar skills (echolocation) allow them to identify objects better than any human-made sonar machine. They identified mines, went back to their human handlers to retrieve a floatable marker, and returned to the mines to tag the explosive devices, according to Hakai Magazine.

According to information leaked about the 1960 military program, both US and the Soviet Union were reportedly building up a marine mammal fleet during the Cold War.



New Roads To Mortgage 

The next step for crypto believers could be real estate. 

Over a billion dollars of funding has already been poured into startups offering crypto-backed mortgages. 

  • Ledn - the world’s first bitcoin mortgage 
  • Figure Technologies - offering 30 year fixed-rate mortgages using both bitcoin and ether
  • Milo - the first US crypto mortgage provider.

Milo has already issued over $10 million worth of loans in crypto mortgages. A recent report from Redfin found that 12% of first-time homebuyers in Q4 of 2021 sold crypto to contribute to their down payment.

Ledn, Figure, and Milo all allow customers to take out mortgages using cryptocurrency as collateral without cashing it out, unlike a standard mortgage where down payments are made in cash.

Reasons: 

First, crypto believers don’t want to liquidate their portfolio, just in case the price of crypto continues to rise. Second, converting crypto into cash is taxable. Leveraging crypto to buy a house avoids such tax.

In order for crypto mortgages to be widely adopted a lot of users need to have digital assets that have significantly appreciated in value.



Shorts ⏳
First Time For The Dollar - The US dollar could reach parity with the Euro this year.

Inflation is an Italian Crime - A Florence coffee bar customer called the police over high expresso price

Leaky Umbrella - Gucci and Adidas are selling an umbrella for $1400 which apparently isn't even waterproof. 

One Less Debt - Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr offered to pay off Otis College's newest graduates' student loans in the largest single gift in the school's history.

Hungry - 47 million people in the world are on the edge of famine, according to the World Economic Forum.


Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
👩‍💻Percona ServerA full-featured database management system providing end-to-end solutions to SMEs and large corporation.

💨 AirbrakeAn effective tool that provides frictionless error monitoring and performance management for an entire application stack.

🐛 BugsnagA WordPress plugin that automatically detects errors and crashes on your WordPress site and notifies you by email, chat, or ticket system.

☑️QuickReviewer: A cloud-based design collaboration program that allows you to create numerous reviews, comments, and feedback in one place.


 
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