RocaNews - 🌊 Drinking the Kool-Aid

June 28, 2022

Alec Baldwin's PR team will really need a raise after today. The 30 Rock star announced, as you'll see in Popcorn, that he will be interviewing embattled director Woody Allen on Instagram Live today. Other than 35+ minutes of Zoom technical difficulties, we have absolutely no clue what to expect.

In today's edition:

  • US/Iran nuke talks back on
  • Story of Jonestown, Pt. 1
  • New Treasure Hunt
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 Key Stories

Finland to Bury Nuclear Waste

Finland finished constructing an underground nuclear waste repository, the first facility of its kind

  • Nuclear waste takes ~100,000 years to become safe. A leading international nuclear agency predicts that approximately 260,000 tons of nuclear waste are currently in storage
  • Finland’s new Onkalo waste facility has 31 miles (50 km) of tunnels 1,300 ft (396 m) below ground. At peak capacity, it can hold ~6,500 tons of nuclear waste for 100+ years at a total cost of $3.9B (€3.5B)
  • Other nations — most notably, the US — have tried and failed to create similar facilities, often due to fears associated with human proximity to the waste
Dig Deeper
  • In 2002, the US approved the planning of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. However, due to intense pushback from state and local authorities, the project was canceled in 2011, leaving the US with no long-term nuclear storage

Russia Defaults on Loan?

Russia defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time since 1918 on Sunday, the US and EU say

  • A default occurs when a borrower fails to pay its creditors within an agreed-upon timeframe. Russia’s default of ~$100M (~€94.5M) came after it failed to pay bondholders within 30 days of the due date
  • The reported default was caused by Russia’s near-total cutoff from the global financial market due to sanctions, not from a lack of cash
  • Russian officials claimed that the crisis was fabricated by the West to “hang the label ‘default’” over Russia and claim their sanctions are working
Dig Deeper
  • The last time that Russia defaulted on a foreign loan was in 1918, when communist leader Vladimir Lenin repudiated Czarist Russia's debts. A financial crisis in 1998 caused Russia to default on domestic debt, but international financial assistance prevented it from defaulting on its foreign debts

Deepest Shipwreck Discovered 

The wreck of a US Navy destroyer was found 23,000 ft (7,000 m) below sea level, making it the deepest shipwreck ever found
  • The vessel, the USS Samuel B. Roberts, was sunk by enemy fire during the 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf, which is considered the largest naval battle in history. It was found off the coast of the Philippines
  • The researchers who found the vessel held the previous record for deepest discovery, locating the USS Johnston at a depth of 21k ft (6k m) in 2021
  • The USS Roberts is often called “the destroyer that fought like a battleship” due to its valor in the battle

US, Iran to Resume Nuclear Talks

Iran and the US have agreed to resume indirect negotiations over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal

  • The nuclear deal traded significant restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program for billions of dollars of sanctions relief from the West. Pres. Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and began a “maximum pressure” sanction campaign against Iran
  • Talks to restore the deal have stalled since March, when both parties reached an impasse over the US’ designation of an Iranian military unit as terrorists
  • “The ball is in Washington’s court” an Iranian official said, expressing his hopes for “positive results”

The Dog Food Dilemma 

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Dig Deeper
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popcorn Popcorn
  • Turn off the lights! Japan urged residents of Tokyo, the world's largest city, to conserve electricity (but keep AC on) during the heatwave
  • Glengarry Glenn Rust: Alec Baldwin announced that he will interview scandal-ridden director Woody Allen on Instagram Live today 
  • Brooklyn One-One: Kyrie Irving will stay in Brooklyn after rumors swirled that the All-Star point guard was aiming to play for the LA Lakers

  • Chardo-no way: An Australian mayor is facing heat for her drunk driving crash just hours after meeting with the families of drunk driving victims
  • Good Will bumping: Star actor Ben Affleck's 10-year-old son backed a yellow Lamborghini into a white BMW at a luxury car dealership
  • Not on my pox: New York and DC ran out of Monkeypox vaxxes after just one day. The vax was only available to select sexual groups

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Which city would you rather visit for a weekend? 

Today's Question:

What's the most useful invention of the last 100 years? Why?

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 on the story of Jonestown, the US-based cult that gave rise to mass suicide in a remote South American jungle.

Deep in the jungles of South America, on November 17, 1978, a man named Jim Jones told his followers to “die with a degree of dignity.”
“If you knew what was ahead of you - if you knew what was ahead of you, you’d be glad to be stepping over tonight.”
Nearby, 900+ people were drinking the “Kool-Aid”…
Jones had been born in a small Indiana town nearly 48 years before, on May 13, 1931. He was a troubled child, and his friends said he was a control freak with violent tendencies. One friend said Jones once locked him in a barn for hours; another said he saw Jones kill a cat. He was also said to be fascinated with Adolf Hitler – and the leader’s decision to commit suicide in particular.
Another interest of Jones was religion. After the wife of a nearby pastor gave Jones a Bible, he carried it with him at all times, including at school. He would often openly criticize his peers for drinking, smoking, and having sex.
This behavior made Jones an outcast and a social pariah. Later in his life, Jones stated that he “was ready to kill by the end of the third grade … Nobody gave me love, any understanding.”
As a young adult, Jones filtered between universities while working odd jobs and dating a nurse-in-training, who later became his wife. He developed a passion for socialism after listening to a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt about the plight of African Americans, and his views became increasingly radical. In 1951 – age 20 – he joined the Communist Party USA in Indianapolis.
A year later, Jones declared that he would become a Methodist minister, saying he wanted to “put real socialism into practice.” His first church became known for its racial inclusivity, and Jones became a well-known progressive and humanitarian, eventually receiving an appointment to run Indianapolis’s Human Rights Commission.
Several years later, Jones became associated with the Latter Rain movement, a Pentecostal Christian organization that emphasized magical abilities and prophetic revelations. By the late-1950s, Jones was claiming the ability to cure cancer and read minds, among other supernatural talents. His preaching also became more cataclysmic: In 1965, he relocated his congregation and growing group of followers to California out of fear of nuclear war.
Jones’s fame continued to grow in California. His church, known as the People’s Temple, gained a devoted following of several thousand parishioners, 60%+ of whom were African American. Jones interacted with high-profile politicians, such as First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and San Francisco’s mayor appointed Jones to the San Francisco Housing Authority in 1976. Followers began calling him “the Prophet” as word of his supposed healing abilities spread.
However, reports began to emerge about a darker side to the church. Worshippers weren’t allowed to leave, and if they did, they were labeled as “deserters” and harassed, intimidated, or pursued. The church also encouraged worshipers to donate all of their worldly possessions to the group. And there was Jones’ continual doomsday prophesying…
Increasingly, the group was perceived as a cult. With suspicion rising and scrutiny growing, Jones hatched a plan: Relocate the church once more, this time to somewhere far away …

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

 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Should you ask to pet a person's dog?
Yes: 94.7%
No: 5.3%

Yesterday's Question:

What's your biggest driving pet peeve? Let it all out here...   

Cass from Pennsylvania: "The passing lane being used as a driving lane...ugh"

Emily from Idaho: "When you’re at a 4-way stop and the person who is supposed to go just stares at you. So you start to go and then they go. Then everybody stops. So awkward!"

Chris from Scotland: "When the other driver isn’t me. I am the only good driver."
Today's Clue (Day 1 of 4):

Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in morning...
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.

This week, first place takes home $250; second and third place take home $100 each. 

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


 Final Thoughts

We're so glad that our inbox could serve as a therapeutic outlet for all of your driving pet peeves. Just remember, though, that the person driving slowly in the left lane might be a Roca reader. Ehh, on second thought, a Roca reader would never...

Hope your week is off to a terrific start. At least better than that of the Jonestown settlement!

- Max and Max

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