RocaNews - 🌊 End of an IEra

June 15, 2022

Let's address the elephant in the... zoo. Happy the Elephant, it turns out, isn't a person. A court ruled that Happy, who has lived in the Bronx Zoo for more than 40 years, is not being illegally detained. Animal activists say she deserves similar treatment to humans, given her smarts. But to the court, she's a Dumbo.

In today's edition:

  • Unleash the drones
  • Murder story beyond parody
  • Treasure Hunt winners
Sign up for the Roca Current →

 Key Stories

IE Swims with the Fishes

Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft’s pioneer web browser, is shutting down after 27 years

  • IE was first launched in 1995 and had a 95% browser usage share by 2003. However, competition by rival browsers soon made IE one of the least-used
  • Microsoft’s last major update of IE was in 2013. As of Wednesday, IE will become inoperable, Microsoft announced
  • The tech giant will focus its browser capabilities on Microsoft Edge, its newer search engine. “[Edge] is a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience,” company officials said
Dig Deeper
  • Users took to Twitter on Monday to mourn the "death" of the search engine, which is synonymous to many people with the early days of online browsing and shopping

Biden to Visit the Middle East

US officials confirmed President Biden’s first trip to the Middle East as president this July

  • Biden will travel to Israel and the West Bank before heading to Saudi Arabia, where he plans to discuss oil prices and “security concerns” with Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the country’s ruler
  • The meeting signals a potential change in stance towards Saudi Arabia, which Biden had formerly tried to isolate
  • In 2019, Biden had called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” because of the country’s killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Relations appear to be improving
Dig Deeper
  • Some analysts suggest that Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia represents an attempt by the US to restore relations, at least in part due to oil prices. Biden previously took a hard stance against Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.

US Lawmakers Agree on China Bill

A bill that would limit US investment in China has bipartisan support among US lawmakers

  • The bill would let the president block investments and tech transfers to “foreign adversaries,” including China. It also allots $52B in funding for US semiconductor manufacturing — semiconductors are a key component in many electronics
  • The bill would require US companies to notify the federal government of foreign investments in “critical and emerging” industries, such as tech or pharma
  • The bill will likely face a House vote later this month
Dig Deeper
  • One opponent of the bill, Senator Pat Toomey, stated: "I’m concerned this proposal grants the federal bureaucracy sweeping new authorities to dramatically disrupt and halt the free flow of trade and investment, risking slower economic growth and higher prices for consumers"

Amazon to Begin Drone Deliveries 

Amazon announced that its drone delivery service will begin later this year once it receives final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • Prime Air, first announced by founder Jeff Bezos in 2013, will begin deliveries by drone to Lockeford, California, as part of an initial pilot program
  • The delivery service will transport packages of up to 5 lbs (2.3 kg) directly to customers’ backyards
  • “It took years of inventing, testing, and improving to develop these breakthrough technologies,” Amazon announced
popcorn Popcorn
  • To infinity and... not Egypt: Disney's Lightyear will not play in at least 14 countries, including Egypt, due to a same-sex kissing scene
  • Still cruisin': Top Gun: Maverick passed up Doctor Strange 2 as the highest-grossing movie in the US in 2022
  • Break it up like dynamite: K-pop teen sensation group BTS announced a hiatus so that its members can pursue individual projects

  • Poetic justice: The author of the essay "How to Murder Your Husband" has just been sentenced to life in prison for murdering her husband
  • Charge on the driver: NBA guard Montrezl Harrell could face felony drug charges after being pulled over with 3 lbs of marijuana in his car
  • ¡Silencio! Barcelona is installing sound monitors to identify "acoustically stressed" areas of the city in an effort to combat sound pollution

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Should super loud motorcycles be illegal? 

Today's Question:

As Internet Explorer dies, which website will you most closely associate it with?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

 Roca Wrap

Today's Wrap takes us to the Andes in 1972, where a flight gone wrong left 33 survivors stranded in the mountains. A seemingly unthinkable decision would save some of their lives...

On October 13, 1972, an Uruguayan rugby team was flying on an air force jet from Uruguay to Chile. 45 people were on board.
The plane should never have been where it was: The day before, a storm had forced it to make an emergency landing. The stop meant there were possible new routes: One that was quicker and higher, and one that was longer and lower. The pilot opted for the higher one, over the Andes.
While above the mountains, the co-pilot – who was inexperienced and flying the plane – misread the plane’s instruments. That caused a miscommunication with air traffic control that led the pilot to descend and turn too far. The plane dropped rapidly before the pilot yanked it back up, causing the plane to stall. It then crashed repeatedly into the nearby mountains, causing its rear to snap off. The plane came to a stop in a snowbank high in the mountains.
33 of the 45 people on board were still alive, however many were seriously injured and 5 more would die the first night. The survivors were stuck at an altitude of about 15,000 feet (4,572 meters), with temperatures well below freezing. They had no water; they salvaged 8 chocolate bars, a tin of mussels, 3 jars of jam, a tin of almonds, some dates, candy, dried plums, and bottles of wine from the wreck.
A Chilean team was sent on a search and rescue mission within an hour, and within a day, more than 11 planes would be combing the region – including the exact spot where they were. Despite the survivors seeing 3 planes overhead and making a massive cross out of luggage in the snow, the search teams never spotted them, though. After 8 days, the rescuers called off the search, expecting to find the bodies when the snow melted.
The group rationed their food as they waited for a rescue mission to reach them, but when no one came, they got desperate.
The airplane food ran out within a week. After that, the survivors tried to eat the cotton and leather from the plane seats. That made them sick, though, and left them with one option. 
One of the survivors remembered the choice to eat the dead like this: “We had long since run out of the meager pickings we'd found on the plane, and there was no vegetation or animal life to be found. After just a few days, we were feeling the sensation of our own bodies consuming themselves just to remain alive. Before long, we would become too weak to recover from starvation.”
“We knew the answer, but it was too terrible to contemplate.”
All the survivors were Catholic, and some worried that cannibalism would secure the survivors’ places in hell. Others, though, pointed to a Biblical verse: “No man hath greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” In the end, they decided to eat the bodies.
It was the decision that would save their lives.

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

 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Can computers be sentient? 
Yes: 32.0%
No: 68.0%

Yesterday's Question:

In what year of your life did culture peak? What movies, music, TV shows, etc. made it special?

Spencer from Naples: "2016. The memes, the sports, the general state of cultural confusion. It was pure chaos and I loved it!"

Ian from South Africa: "Grease, Saturday night fever. The 70's in Africa would blow any body's hair back."

Shelley from Sacramento: "2004. Disney Channel: Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, Aly and AJ, Disney Channel Games, I could go on."

 RocaNews Shoutout: 

Thanks to Roca Rider Daniel from Valencia, Spain who referred 10+ friends to The Current! As a thank you, we're shouting out a small business important to Daniel: The EA Statement, his wife's jewelry design brand.

Daniel shared with us: "She recently started her jewelry design brand and she is so talented and committed to it. Even though we are based in Europe, orders from all over the world are welcome!"
Today's Clue (Day 2 of 4):

Need a lot of postage for a secret marriage
Day 1: Even stands tall in enemy garb

Each newsletter this week contains a clue about a sports-related 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.

And congratulations to last week's winners! Aaron from Las Cruces, New Mexico is the lucky winner of a brand new MacBook Pro; Mary from Cheyenne, Wyoming has a brand new set of Air Pods on the way; and Carson from Richmond, VA will soon enjoy a meal from Denny's with his $100 gift card.

 Final Thoughts

Thank you all for another day of reading our news.

Stay tuned here in the coming weeks for a new edition of the Roca Roadtrip. One of the Maxes (Frost) is about to head down to South America for a trip across the Amazon. He'll be writing about it here and posting about it on our Instagram. Stay tuned for that. And if any of you are in Peru, Brazil, or Guyana, let us know!

- Max and Max

PS - Roca is looking for great brands to partner with! If you're interested, let us know here. 

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

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