RocaNews - 🌊 It's Union Time

June 21, 2022

Today is the first official day of summer. Yep, those 110-degree days you were experiencing last week were just balmy spring weather. Today is also the birthday of Rebecca Black, singer of iconic bop "Friday." With the 4-day work week gaining momentum, we look forward to the eventual remix... "Thursday." 

In today's edition:

  • The rules, they are a-changin'
  • $19M steak lunch
  • Story of Rasputin, Pt. 1
Sign up for the Roca Current →

 Key Stories

Apple Store Votes to Unionize

Workers at a Maryland Apple Store voted to unionize on Saturday

  • Employees of the store, located near Baltimore, voted 65-to-33 to join a large US trade union. It will be the only unionized Apple Store in the US
  • Apple has attempted to prevent unionization by raising its entry-level hourly wage to $22 and issuing a statement warning against the costs of unionizing
  • The outcome follows a string of similar votes by workers at Starbucks, Google, and Amazon in recent months. Worker demands have included higher wages and more benefits

US Observes Juneteenth

The US government formally observed Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, for the 2nd time on Monday

  • Juneteenth commemorates the arrival of a Union general to Texas on June 19, 1865 to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom
  • While the Emancipation Proclamation officially freed all slaves in the US South in 1863, Federal troops could not enforce it due to the ongoing Civil War. The 13th Amendment later outlawed slavery in the US in 1865
  • Though celebrated since 1866, Juneteenth was first observed as a federal holiday on June 21, 2021
Dig Deeper
  • Despite being a federal holiday, 26 states – 7 formerly Confederate states – have failed to adopt legislation to make it a paid public holiday. As of June 2021, 60%+ of Americans knew "a little bit" or "nothing at all" about the holiday

FINA Restricts Transgender Swimmers

FINA, swimming’s international governing body, voted to restrict transgender women from competing in top women’s events, including the Olympics

  • The ruling bars transgender women from competing in women’s races if they have undergone male puberty or transitioned after age 12. FINA will launch a new “open” race category for these athletes
  • FINA’s president stated that the ruling “protect[s] competitive fairness at our events”
  • One LGBTQ+ organization denounced the decision as an “attack on transgender athletes who have worked to comply with longstanding policies”
Dig Deeper
  • The issue of transgender participation in women's swimming has received lots of attention since Lia Thomas, a transgender woman for the University of Pennsylvania, had a record-breaking Division 1 season

Trust in US Media Drops to 26%

Per a new Reuters study, trust in media dropped to 26% in the US, the lowest of any country studied

  • The US also has the highest level of detachment, with ~15% of respondents stating that they consume no news at all and ~42% saying they try to avoid it
  • This year, more consumers turned to online news and social media, while traditional platforms such as TV and newspapers continued a decade-long decline
  • “People see the media as subject to undue political influence, and only a small percentage believe most news organizations put what's best for society ahead of their own commercial interests,” said one Reuters researcher

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popcorn Popcorn
  • Tip included? Someone paid $19M to have a steak lunch with Warren Buffett in the Berkshire Hathaway billionaire's final auction lunch
  • Filming of Netflix show The Chosen One is on pause after 2 actors died and 6 were injured in a car crash on the way to the airport in Mexico
  • Post flood clarity: After severe flooding, Yellowstone National Park will partially reopen to limited visitors starting Wednesday

  • Venti spending spree: Drinking caffeine before going shopping makes you spend more, per a new study from the University of South Florida
  • Peyton who? Ole Miss trolled Peyton Manning by dubbing him "Eli Manning's brother" on its College World Series broadcast this weekend
  • S**t is bananas: $83M worth of cocaine was found inside boxes of bananas by supermarket employees in the Czech Republic

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
At a restaurant, are you a booth or no booth person?

No booth

Today's Question:

Do you believe in ghosts?  

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

 Roca Wrap

Today's Wrap is Part 1 of a 3 part series that begins in 19th century Siberia, one of the most remote places in the world. It was there in 1869 that a baby boy was born into a peasant family. But he wouldn't stay a peasant for long... 

In January 1869, a baby boy was born into a poor, peasant family in one of the world’s most remote places: Siberia, the northeastern edge of the Russian empire.
Siberia was long a dumping ground for those exiled by Imperial Russia, from convicts to political and religious prisoners. One of the coldest and most unforgiving places on Earth, survival was a daily struggle – especially for a peasant family.
The baby boy – the family’s eighth child – was the first to survive infancy. They named him Grigori Rasputin.
From an early age, Rasputin seemed destined for the same life as his parents. He received little schooling and was illiterate. He worked on his family’s farm and married a local woman at age 19.
But there was nothing ordinary about Rasputin’s destiny.
In 1897, after 10 years of marriage and with 3 surviving children, Rasputin decided to change his life. He abandoned his family in favor of religious vocation. 
The reason for his departure is not clear. Some sources say Rasputin left his village to flee punishment for violence, theft, and rape; others say he experienced some sort of religious epiphany that led him to believe he could heal the sick and predict the future.
Whatever his reasons, one thing was certain: Rasputin embarked on a journey that would change his life.
After leaving his village in 1897, Rasputin wandered around Siberia and often sheltered in monasteries. He became fervently religious, and over time, his wanderings transformed into pilgrimages that took him as far as Greece and Jerusalem.
It is widely believed that Rasputin was either a member of or influenced by the Khlyst religious sect, a renegade sect within the Russian Orthodox faith who believed God could only be reached through sinful actions, especially self-flagellation and sexual exhaustion.
So sin he did.
Rasputin resisted bathing or changing clothes; he wore iron shackles to increase his suffering. He allegedly hosted secret prayer meetings for members of the Khlyst sect, in which participants would strip naked, choke each other until the brink of death, and then participate in massive orgies.
As he traveled, Rasputin built a large following as a holy man. He cast his peasant life behind him and became one of the most influential figures in Russia. Yet that same fame would ultimately bring his downfall and death.

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

 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

More iconic 70s song: Bohemian Rhapsody or Dancing Queen?
Bohemian Rhapsody: 75.2%
Dancing Queen: 24.8%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Questions! 
New Treasure Hunt begins tomorrow. Stay tuned and good luck.
Last Week's Treasure Hunt

Last week’s location was the statue of Paul "Bear" Bryant, former University of Alabama football player (1933-1935) and head coach (1958-1982), located next to Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Bryant was born in Arkansas in 1913. It was clear from an early age that football was his gift. By 13, he already stood at 6-foot-1, weighed 180 pounds, and demonstrated a fearless spirit after wrestling a bear at a traveling circus for $1-a-minute. This feat earned him his famous nickname.
Bear was a star player on his high school team. As offensive lineman and defensive end, he led his team to a perfect season and a state championship during his senior year. Next, he accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Alabama, a decision which would forever change the legacy of Crimson Tide football.
In 1933 - the first year of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) - Bryant helped Alabama take home the first SEC Championship. He was a well-respected college player, although he called himself “ the other end" playing alongside famed player Don Hutson.
After graduating, Bear took several coaching jobs, moving from assistant to head coach at different colleges, and building a reputation as a winning coach. In 1958, his alma mater came calling, and Bear returned to Alabama as head coach, setting into motion a 25-year tenure that would cement his influence on Crimson Tide legacy.
Bryant amassed 6 national championships and 13 conference championships as Alabama’s head coach. When he retired from Alabama in 1982, he was not only the winningest coach in the school’s history, but the most successful head football coach in collegiate football history with a record 323 wins across all of his head coaching positions.
After officially stepping down as Alabama’s head coach, Bryant died 37 days later.
Today, his legacy is honored by the statue next to the stadium – which also bears his name where he spent so many years of his life as a player and then coach, shaping the program that remains one of the most dominant forces in collegiate football today. 

Clue 1: Even stands tall in enemy garb
To the dismay of Alabama nation, an Auburn fan famously placed a Cam Newton (star Auburn QB) jersey on the Bear Bryant statue in 2011(Auburn and Alabama are mortal rivals).
Clue 2: Need a lot of postage for a secret marriage
Bryant was honored with a US postage stamp in 1996, and as a college senior, he secretly married his wife since Alabama did not allow active players to be married.
Clue 3: Minerva stands before a sea of mud
Minerva is the goddess on the Alabama seal. A sea of (red) mud references the 1907 Alabama-Auburn game that led to the origin of Alabama’s nickname, the “Crimson Tide.”
(Bonus) Clue 4: $1
As a teenager, Bryant wrestled a bear (and earned his nickname) from a traveling circus for $1 a minute.
Clue 5: Rollin' down the backwoods, Tennessee by-way, one arm on the Paddington
"Rollin' down the backwoods, Tennessee by-way" are lyrics from "Dixieland Delight," a song that Alabama fans sing at every home game. The next line goes "One arm on the wheel," but we tipped our cap to Bear Bryant by replacing "wheel" with the name of another famous bear.

Congratulations to last week's winner: Ben from St. Louis (below) who took home last week's prize of NFL tickets to opening day!

 Final Thoughts

Can't wait to read your answers to today's question about ghosts. If you have any personal ghost stories, we would love to hear them. The only ghost stories we have involve the question to a girl, "Do you want to do drinks this week?" Not even a read receipt...

Hope you had a great 3-day weekend. Happy Father's Day to all dads in the Roca community!

- Max and Max

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