RocaNews - 🌊 Hide and Gogh Seek

July 15, 2022

Twitter celebrates its 16th birthday today. The social media platform probably didn't intend to spend its Sweet Sixteen in court arguing about a Mars-loving billionaire's use of the poop emoji... but fate had other plans. So HBD, Twitter, and sorry this bday message exceed 140 characters. 

In today's edition:

  • Arrivederci, prime minister!
  • Armie Hammer's new gig
  • 20 Questions!
Sign up for the Roca Current →

 Key Stories

Hidden Van Gogh Painting Found

A hidden Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait was found on the back of a painting in a Scottish museum

  • Van Gogh died in 1890. Widely considered one of the greatest painters ever, he struggled financially and suffered from mental illness. At age 35, he famously cut off part of his ear amid a mental breakdown
  • Museum officials found the painting while scanning artworks with an X-ray machine. It is not the first painting of his to be found this way — he often painted on both sides to save money
  • The painting has been covered in cardboard and glue for 100+ years. It may never be fully restored
Dig Deeper
  • Van Gogh, who was born in the Netherlands but spent most of his career in France, epitomized the "post-impressionist" style. The painting that the self-portrait was found on is called the "Head of a Peasant Woman"

Trump Implies He Will Run Again

Former President Donald Trump implied he will run again for president and may formally announce his 2024 campaign as early as September

  • Trump told New York magazine, “I feel very confident that, if I decide to run, I’ll win.” When pressed, he told the interviewer, “In my own mind, I’ve already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore”
  • Trump then said “my big decision” is whether to formally announce the candidacy before or after November’s midterm elections, which will decide which party controls Congress until 2024
Dig Deeper
  • In other Trump-related news, his first wife, Ivana Trump, died on Thursday at age 73. She is the mother of 3 of Trump's children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric

Political Turmoil in Italy

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned on Thursday, only to have the country’s president reject his resignation

  • Draghi has served as PM since Feb. 2021, when he was invited to form a government to respond to Covid-19. Initially, he enjoyed broad support from across Italy’s divided political landscape
  • The impacts of inflation, droughts, and the war in Ukraine have since undermined his popularity. On Thursday, a right-wing party defected from Draghi’s coalition, prompting him to submit his resignation
  • The president rejected it, though, and asked Draghi to try to form another majority gov’t
Dig Deeper
  • Draghi's government collapsed when members of a prominent populist party withdrew their support from the ruling coalition. The main points of debate were whether Italy should send more weapons to Ukraine, and how the government should help families deal with inflation

Griner's Teammates Vouch for Her

Several of Brittney Griner’s Russian coaches and teammates testified on her behalf in a Russian court

  • Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February after officials found a cannabis vape in her luggage. She faces up to 10 years in prison. The US has classified her as “wrongfully detained”
  • Griner pleaded guilty, although that was likely to enable a prisoner swap between Russia and the US
  • The manager, head doctor, and captain of her Russian basketball club testified in her defense, vouching for her as a player and leader in an attempt to get her a lighter sentence

Discover Wine You Love

Together With Bright Cellars

Bright Cellars is a monthly wine club that matches you with wines you’ll love

  • Founded by 2 MIT grads who were intimidated by the vast and complex world of wine, Bright Cellars was created to help wine drinkers discover and learn about wine in a fun, interactive way
  • Bright Cellars creates a wine experience tailored just for you. Based on the Bright Points algorithm, wine selections are calculated to match your specific taste preferences
  • As you try the wines, you’re encouraged to rate them on the website to fine-tune your taste profile even further
Dig Deeper
popcorn Popcorn
  • Ronald'oh! Saudi Arabia's attempt to lure Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to join a Saudi club for $275M fell short
  • Call me by your zip code: Disgraced actor Armie Hammer is now reportedly working as a timeshare salesman after going broke
  • Man of his... Word: Bill Gates vows to fall off the world's wealthiest list through his philanthropy. He just pledged a new $20B gift to his fund

  • Sign of the times: A baby in West Virginia was born on 7/11 in a 7/11 parking lot. No word yet on whether the kid's name will be Slurpee
  • Emoji under oath: Twitter has submitted Elon Musk's use of the turd emoji as evidence of disparaging behavior in its lawsuit against him
  • Color me shocked: Many of Switzerland's prison cells have been painted pink because of research on how color can impact behavior

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Which word looks more misspelled?

Today's Question:

Just 20 Qs!

Reply to this email with your answers!

 20 Questions

Every Friday, we ask the Roca readers 20 questions, then feature our favorite answers the following week. 

"I got 21 questions, and they all about us" - 21 Questions by 50 Cent

Unlike Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, we don't have 21 questions. We do have 20 though, and they are listed below. This week is "would you rather" edition: We give you 2 options; you tell us which you would prefer. 

For those who are unfamiliar, we ask 20 questions weekly and include the answers each Friday. Send replies to, and have a great weekend!

Would you rather...

1. Permanently give up coffee, or permanently give up breakfast?
2. Retire tomorrow, or work 30 more years?
3. Sit alone in silence for a year, or lose 2 fingers?
4. Get mugged, or spill boiling water on yourself?
5. Lose the ability to laugh, or constantly laugh uncontrollably?
6. Never use a microwave again, or have to cook every meal in a microwave?
7. Get any car you want, or run twice as fast?
8. Have a million bucks, or a million ducks that follow your orders?
9. Be president, or CEO of a trillion-dollar company?
10. Add 10 inches to your vertical jump, or run 25% faster?
11. Eat British food every day, or run 1 mile every day?
12. No Netflix for the next year, or no juice for the next 2 years?
13. Buy a phone whose battery never goes above 10%, or buy a razor that's never sharp enough?
14. Free drinks at every restaurant, or control the music at every restaurant?
15. Take a pill that makes you immune to colds, or have a key that lets you into any room?
16. Be able to dunk a basketball, or run a 5-minute mile?
17. See 10 minutes in the future, or see 150 years in the future?
18. Chew gum that tastes like scallions, or wear a damp shirt in a cold room?
19. Never take out the trash again, or have $5,000?
20. Have your coworkers hear a playlist of you singing in the shower, or have them read your 10 worst texts of the month?

Send answers to!

Last Week's Responses

1. Who is a good, realistic presidential candidate? 
"I wish I knew, but I’m looking"
"The Rock"
"None of the above"

2. Is there a rockstar today under 30? 
"Greta VanFleet"
"Post Malone"
"Miley Cyrus"

3. The country you'd most like to visit? 
"New Zealand" 

4. A country you wouldn't like to visit?

5. Coolest celebrity sighting? 
"Mike Tyson getting out of prison"
"I was working at a hospital in Stevie Nicks was a patient and I got to meet her and got two free tickets to her concert which I couldn’t go to because I couldn’t find anybody to cover me. I was a nurse at the time"
"Ben Stiller running in Central Park and giving a shout-out to my running class- he said we lapped him, ha ha!"

6. Are you pro or anti energy drink? 
 "Anti.  The world does not need to experience me on that much caffeine"
"*Cracks open Red Bull*" 

7. Favorite fast casual restaurant? 
"Olive Garden"
"Raising Cane's Chicken" 

8. Do you still take Covid precautions? 
"D, Zinc, and others every day"
"Kind of, I try to social distance in stores, lots of hand washing and using sanitizers"
"I take the subway to work, so absolutely!"

9. You rocking with Applebee's?! 
"No, not since college"
"We call it "Dinner Denny's" it's okay when you have no other choice"
"It's a family shrine"

10. Why do people smoke cigarettes? 
"Because they’re drunk"
"The Peaky F'n Blinders!!! When I watch it I crave a smoke but of course never do"
"It's an addictive drug"
11. Do you like bumper stickers? 

"Take or leave em"
"Only magnetic ones!"
"On other cars"

12. Favorite all-time bumper sticker? 
"My kid beat up your honor student"
“If you can read this, you’re too close.” 
“If you’re gonna’ ride my ass, you could at least pull my hair” 

13. Word that people think you mispronounce? 
"Panino. It's not panini. Panini is more than one panino"
"Worcestershire- who knows how to pronounce this anyway?"

14. Funniest animated Disney movie?
"The original Ice Age"
"The Emperor's New Groove"

15. Most heartwarming Disney movie? 
"None, heartbreaking: Bambi tied with Dumbo, tied with Old Yeller"
"The Lion King"

16. Drink 1 oz of hand sanitizer or walk across a floor of Legos? 
"Legos. I've stepped on worse"
"Legos. If you have kids you’ve already mastered that trick!"
"How long is the floor?"

17. Thoughts on summer camps? 
"One and done. Family time is more important"
"I want adult ones"
"They are good if you don’t have to stay all summer"

18. Animal you're terrified of seeing in the wild? 
"Polar Bear - they kill more humans annually than any other mammal  (except other humans)" [We fact-checked this and it was actually incorrect. Hippos kill 500+ people yearly – more than any other mammal. There is ~1 polar bear attack annually]
"Anything that can spit venom at me"
"Grizzly bear"

19. Person you're terrified of seeing in the wild?
"Ex girlfriends"
"Rev Jim Jones"
"Will Smith"

20. Describe your weekend plans in one word

 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you think NFTs will make a comeback or will we look back on it as a weird phase?
Comeback: 10.6%
Weird phase: 89.4%

Yesterday's Question:

What is your take on meditation? Do you do it?

Damien from Brooklyn: "Can't live without it. My son is learning it in school and we do it together. It needs to be taught to all children if we want the next generation to survive this insane world."

Marc from Iowa: "I personally view meditation the same way I view broadway musicals in that I don't prioritize them in my life but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy the experience.  Meditation is something I enjoy doing but rarely am I disciplined enough to make the time for it.  When I do, I find myself calmer and better prepared to tackle the daily grind.  If you have access to Apple Fitness or Peloton then make a concerted effort to try it - I mean do it.  We all know Yoda said "Do or do not, there is no try.""

Don from Mississippi: "I meditated long and hard on the question.  In the end I decided to not post an answer."
Today's Clue (Day 4 of 4):

A Miles Davis recording and a parting thought
Day 1: A melodrama, no where near the empire state
Day 2: From Romania, without love. -snitch
Day 3: American Psycho   Pirates

Prizes include $250 for 1st place and $100 for 2nd and 3rd place!

Each newsletter this week contains a clue about a landmark in the United States. Thursday's newsletter contained a bonus clue, which was automatically unlocked by 2 referrals to this newsletter. In total there are 5 clues about 1 landmark.

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

 Final Thoughts

Thank you all for the advice re: the potential podcast we mentioned here yesterday. We received a huge amount of support and advice. Can't wait to get started!

We hope you all have great summer weekends. To our Australian, South African, and other southern hemisphere readers, we are sending summer vibes your way. 

-Max & Max

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