RocaNews - 🌊 Peak Inflation?

June 8, 2022

2 events on this day in history changed the course of civilization. The first was a volcanic eruption in 1783 that killed 1/5 of Iceland's population and caused a worldwide freeze and famine. The other? Kanye West's birth.

Unlock tomorrow's secret clue with 2 referrals. Use your unique link here

In today's edition:

  • Why do giraffes have long necks?
  • Forced monkey labor
  • Guinness part 3 or 4
Sign up for the Roca Current →

 Lunch on Roca

Everyday this week, we are giving a $15 giftcard to one person who refers someone to this newsletter by 1 PM ET. Just share your unique link, and when someone signs up, you'll automatically be entered to win lunch on Roca!

Yesterday's winner, Marion from New Orleans, had a Mediterranean feast at local spot 1000 Figs.

 Key Stories

Goodbye Passwords + Unsend Texts?

Apple is planning to eliminate passwords and allow users to edit and unsend text messages in its update, iOS 16, which is expected this fall

  • Apple announced the update on Monday, saying that it “will change the way you experience iPhone”
  • The update will let iPhone users edit or unsend messages within 15 minutes of sending them, and restore deleted messages for up to 30 days
  • Apple is also replacing passwords with a “Passkey,” which lets users prove their identities with biometrics, such as FaceID or the touchpad. These are considered far more secure than passwords
Dig Deeper
  • Should people be able to unsend and edit text messages? Let us know in today's poll of the day!

Experts Disagree on Inflation

There are mixed signals on inflation, which is at multi-decade highs in many countries

  • On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expects inflation “to remain high,” and that the Biden admin will up its inflation projection from 4.7%
  • Meanwhile, the World Bank released a report warning of “stagflation,” an economic situation in which growth falls while prices continue to rise
  • Yet some new data suggest good news: 3 key metrics — the prices of fertilizer, computer chips, and shipping — are in decline, suggesting that inflation may have already peaked
Dig Deeper
  • Fertilizer prices, which indicate where food prices are headed, are 24% below the record high set in March, while container shipping rates are down 26% since an all-time high, set in September. There is generally a lag between input prices dropping and lower prices in stores.

Barcelona: Let Priests Marry

Members of Barcelona’s Catholic leadership are asking the Pope to allow women to become priests and let priests get married

  • The proposals, which will be debated by Spanish church leadership this weekend and presented to the Vatican in October, would be major reforms
  • Sex and corruption scandals and gender equality concerns have led some Catholic leaders to propose major overhauls of Catholic traditions
  • A Barcelona cardinal said that they are needed because the church “is perceived as hierarchical, authoritarian, sexist, and anti-democratic”
Dig Deeper
  • It continues: "The demand for the lack of equality between men and women in the church has appeared repeatedly and forcefully....Women occupy a secondary place although they are the majority in number and presence."

The Evolution of Giraffe Necks

A new study suggests giraffes evolved long necks for competition over mates

  • A team of researchers compared the anatomy of modern giraffes with that of ancient giraffe relatives. They concluded that giraffes evolved longer necks because they were an advantage in courtship fights
  • Giraffes fight each other by swinging their necks into opponents, a method known as “necking”
  • Biologists have debated giraffe necks since Darwin, and most have believed the necks developed to help giraffes eat elevated foods. According to this study, accessing food was at most a “compatible benefit”
 Roca Treasure Hunt
Today's Clue (Day 2 of 4):

How do you make a jam in the summer without any berries?
Day 1: Divided, but known for equality

Each newsletter this week contains a clue about a landmark in the United States. Thursday's newsletter will contain a bonus clue, which is automatically unlocked by referring 2 people to this newsletter. In total there will be 5 clues about 1 landmark.

You get one guess, which you submit by replying to a newsletter with a Google street view screenshot.

See rules at the bottom of the email. 
popcorn Popcorn
  • Tiger earns his stripes: Tiger Woods turned down nearly $1B to join the Saudi-backed golf tour, according to its CEO Greg Norman
  • Powered by crime? 11 members of a mafia family in Italy are facing trial for allegedly stealing $64,000 worth of electricity from their neighbors
  • No monkeying around: Walmart pulled coconut milk brand Chaokoh from its stores due to allegations of forced monkey labor

  • Baskin case: Tiger King star "Doc" Antle is charged with laundering $505k in a scheme to smuggle people across the US-Mexico border
  • Mega-promotion: Johnny Depp's breakout star lawyer Camille Vasquez was promoted to partner at her law firm 
  • You've got mail? A Spanish postman is under investigation after 20,000 undelivered letters from 2012 and 2013 were found in his home

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Should people be able to unsend and edit text messages?


Today's Question:

What's the best puchase you've made in the last year? Let's hear about it.

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

 Roca Wrap

Today's Wrap takes us to Dublin, Ireland, circa 1900, where Guinness is using math to create the perfect stout. This is part 3 of a 4-part series.

In 1899, a mathematician named William Sealy Gosset graduated from Oxford University. He took his first post-grad job at Guinness, the world’s largest brewer.

Guinness had launched in 1759 as an ale brewer in a small Irish town. From there it moved to Dublin, where it took over the market for stout – the beer style that was sweeping the UK at the time – before shipping its beers around the world. By the late 1800s, Guinness was the biggest brewer in the world.

Once established globally, Guinness sought to innovate on the beer-making process, which is why it hired scientists and mathematicians like Gosset.

Gosset created new statistical methods to perfect the farming of barley, which gave Guinness Stout its distinct flavor and color, as well as the production of the beer. He spent his entire career at Guinness, rising to become the company’s head brewer – as well as one of the world’s most influential statisticians. Writing under the pen name “Student,” his work at Guinness produced a number of models that are essential to statistics today (the Student t-distribution and t-test). 

In 1901, 2 years after hiring Gossett, Guinness launched its own laboratory, where it employed scientists to improve the beer and its production. The company was soon producing more than twice as much beer as its nearest competitor, Bass. 

Guinness innovated elsewhere, too. In 1929 it launched its first marketing campaign – Guinness for Strength – which showed cartoon men conducting superhuman feats, such as lifting iron beams with one hand. Then in 1935, it launched an ad campaign featuring Guinness-drinking animals: Ostriches, pelicans, polar bears, kangaroos. The most popular of these was the toucan, which became the worldwide Guinness mascot. 

Yet the growth didn’t let Guinness escape the turmoil that engulfed Europe in the early 20th century. 

More than 800 Guinness employees fought in World War 1, of whom at least 103 died. While the soldiers were at war, Guinness provided salaries to their families and guaranteed jobs upon return. 

Around the same time, Guinness found itself caught in the Irish War of Independence, which Irish separatists were fighting against the UK. Guinness – whose controlling family strongly opposed Irish independence – reportedly fired pro-Irish employees and provided the British with men and supplies. One Guinness family member personally donated the equivalent of over $1M to anti-Irish causes, and in 1932, Guinness moved its headquarters to London. The company also reportedly discriminated against Catholics until at least 1939.

Then came World War 2 – another tough time for Guinness. Most of its beer was still produced in Ireland, which was neutral in the war. To compel it to join the British side, the UK government dramatically cut exports of wheat, coal, fertilizer, and other agricultural products to Ireland. 

To preserve dwindling supplies, in 1942 the Irish government limited beer production and blocked beer exports, causing beer shortages in the UK. Fearing unrest, the UK agreed to export agricultural supplies to Ireland in exchange for Guinness. These transfers helped keep Ireland’s economy afloat during the war.

When the war ended, it was time to get back to business. And more importantly for Guinness, that meant learning how to do the impossible: Get their beer in a can.

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

 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you think you would be more or less productive with a 4-day work week?
More productive: 82.7%
Less productive: 17.3%

Yesterday's Question:

If you were an alien, what would you find most interesting about human society? Elaborate. 

Anthony from Brooklyn: "If I were an alien it would blow my mind how humans poison themselves in the name of socializing. Alcohol and other social drugs affect so many of our bodies normal processes. The fact we intentionally do them, and normalize hangovers, drunk behaviors, etc is so strange."

Jayson from Calgary: "How many languages there are. Being humans are all the same species, it is so interesting that despite being the same, we can't understand everybody due to language barriers. Our race, religion and sexuality don't matter as we are still human no matter what, but our languages really do make us unique as usually animals will understand each other if they're the same species but we have established thousands of languages."

Scott from Michigan: "If I were an alien, I'd be amazed how sophisticated humans are - the things we've built, the ways we communicate, and so forth."

Spread the Wave!

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

Let's make this wave a tsunami, and share away!

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PS - You've brought 53 friends to The Current so far.

 Final Thoughts

It's never too late to get a free lunch...unless it's after 1 PM ET. All you gotta do is send this unique link to your friends and family, and if they sign up by 1 PM ET, you'll be entered to win a $15 gift card to a restaurant of your choice.

Don't go hungry. Share Roca!

- Max and Max
Rules for the Roca Treasure Hunt

1.     Each newsletter this week – Tuesday through Friday – contains one clue. Thursday's newsletter will contain a bonus clue, which is automatically unlocked by referring 2 people to this newsletter

2.    Use the clues to guess the location. The location is visible on Google Maps and within the USA
3.     Each reader can submit ONLY ONE response, which must be a reply to one of our newsletters, which goes out weekdays at 11 AM ET

4.     Submissions must be a screenshot of the location on Google Street View. We will not accept in-person photos; this is entirely virtual

5.     The winners will be determined by (1) a screenshot of the correct location (as determined by RocaNews) and (2) timestamp of when RocaNews receives the email. If winning responses are submitted at the same time (by the minute), prizes will be split evenly
4.     The first person to send a Google Street View screenshot of the correct place wins a MacBook pro, second wins Airpods, third wins a Denny's Giftcard (or McDonald's if you don't have a Denny's)

5.     By competing, you agree to the terms & conditions at bottom of this email
6.     May the most skilled detective win!
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