RocaNews - 🌊 The End of $1 Slices?


December 27, 2021

Business Insider put out a piece on Christmas that seemed to call for the cancellation of "Elf." It dubbed the Will Ferrell movie "offensive" for its depiction of Buddy. We figured the piece was written by Miles Finch or a South Pole elf, but a better guess might be.... an attention-jealous Kevin McCallister.

Last week, we asked you to send in your favorite picture you took in 2021. You all did that, and the results were amazing. We'll feature 2 per day this week.

Sign up for the Roca Current →

Key Stories

Don't Game and Drive

  • Tesla is ending a feature that allows people to use vehicle touch screens to play arcade games while the car is in motion
  • Tesla launched the "Passenger Play" function last December. It said it is developing an update that will allow the feature only while the car is parked
  • The screen warns that "playing while the car is in motion is only for passengers," however drivers can easily ignore the warning 
  • Earlier this month, the US government began questioning the company over the feature

Tesla has had games in its cars for years, however most could only be played while the cars were in park. That began changing a year ago, but now it's back to the start. 

Ukraine Prepares Resistance

  • The Ukrainian military is training civilians to form a volunteer resistance against a Russian occupation
  • Up to 100,000 Russian troops are positioned near Ukraine, sparking fears of a pending invasion. Ukrainian generals say Ukraine won't be able to stop the Russian military outright
  • In the event of an invasion, though, the Ukrainians are planning an extended military resistance
  • This fall, a Ukrainian pollster found that 24% of Ukrainians – and 39% of Ukrainian men – would resist "weapon in hand" if Russia invades

“The more coffins we send back, the more the Russian people will start thinking twice,” one marketing executive training for the resistance told the New York Times.

Spidey The Billionaire


  • Spider-Man: No Way Home became the first movie since December 2019 to earn $1B+ globally
  • No Way Home hit the $1B mark in just 12 days, tying Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the 3rd-fastest film to do so
  • The last movie to earn $1B was Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in 2019. Only 48 movies have earned that much
  • Before this, a Chinese film, The Battle at Lake Changjin, was the highest-earning film of the pandemic, with a $902M haul. The highest-grossing Hollywood film of the pandemic was James Bond's No Time to Die ($774M)

Fun fact: 5 films have passed the $2B mark. In order, they are: Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Avengers: Infinity War.

Flight Cancellations Go Crazy

  • Globally, airlines canceled 6,000+ flights over Christmas weekend as omicron pushed millions of people into quarantine 
  • In the US, Christmas Eve – one of the year's biggest travel days – was the worst day of the weekend for cancellations. Airlines canceled up to 10% of total flights
  • The hundreds of thousands of workers who entered quarantines last week exacerbated the existing labor shortage, which has forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights since summer
  • To fight the shortages, airlines want quarantine periods reduced from 10 days to 5 for the fully vaccinated 

The New York state government cut the quarantine period from 10 to 5 days for "critical workers," including those in transportation, who test positive. Other governments are taking similar steps.

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Did you watch more sports or movies this weekend?

Today's Question:
When, in your lifetime, has your country seemed most unified?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's answers below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • Cable news had a rocky 2021, seeing notable departures (Chris Cuomo, Brian Williams, etc.) and a drop in viewership. Tucker Carlson ended #1
  • Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, unlike Spider-Man, has proven a box office stinker, grossing just $36.6M despite a $100M production budget
  • Desmond Tutu, Anglican archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner, died at 90. Tutu (nicknamed "the Arch") helped lead the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa
  • 'Tis the season to be spending! US retail sales soared 8.5% from last year between November 1 and Christmas Eve
  • Ireland was GoFundMe's most generous country per capita this year, beating out the US, Canada, UK, and Australia
  • Former SpaceX engineers have created a robot pizza restaurant that can crank out a pie every 45 sec. Stellar Pizza will launch next spring

  • Secret Earth tunnels? Scientists just discovered an underground passageway running beneath Panama to below the Galapagos Islands
  • Rapper J. Cole claims he told Dr. Dre to sign Kendrick Lamar back in the day, saying, "Yo, you gotta sign this kid from Compton"
  • Holy gaffe: A British news anchor accidentally pronounced that the Pope was dead on Christmas Day but quickly corrected herself
  • The end of $1 slices? NYC pizza shops are wrestling with upping the price of their famous 99¢ or $1 slices as inflation rises

Roca Wrap

Roca Pics of 2021

We asked you all to submit the best pics you took in 2021, and you delivered. We will feature a couple of our favorites each day this week!
Elephants chilling in Tanzania. Danielle took this in August!
Ready for the dog park! Peter from San Jose with a legendary gaiter.

think Games

Rank the below states by their alcohol consumption per capita (from least to most).
  1. Kentucky
  2. Wisconsin
  3. California
  4. Nevada
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you like eggnog? 

Yes: 53.5%
No: 46.5%

Yesterday's Question:

Best memory of 2021?

Remi from Montreal: "Nightclubs reopening in the fall"

Truett from Maryland: My wife and I are both military. For the last three years I was stationed in California and she was in Colorado. This year we finally got station together, live together for the first time in our marriage, and have bought our first house together." 

from Denver: "Getting married next to a fjord about 2 miles from the Arctic Ocean in Iceland, at night, at a brewery, with 30 of our closest friends, dancing outside in the snow at night."

General Feedback:

Most of the emails we received on Thursday and Friday started with "Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office..." but we also received a bunch of "Merry Christmas" and "hope you relax" emails. We absolutely did and hope you did even more!

20 Questions

Every Friday, we ask the Roca Riders 20 questions and feature a few of our favorite answers. This past week, however, we did not do a 20 Questions.
Games Answer(s):
Least to most: Kentucky, California, Wisconsin, Nevada 

Final Thoughts 

Including today, there are 4 newsletters remaining in 2022. Given that there are 4 of us on the Roca team, each day this week, 1 Roca team member will give a highlight of their year.

Today, we've got Jen Flanagan, our first employee who joined the company in September:

"One of the top Roca moments was when a stranger referenced a Roca Wrap at a party without knowing I worked there." 


Team Roca

wave Today's Instagram Wrap is a list of the top Roca covers of 2021. It's a good one!
Thanks for reading! See you again soon!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to
Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney

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