RocaNews - 🌊 Babies Take Parliament


December 29, 2021

"Here's a guy who when he runs, he moves faster." John Madden, who gifted us with golden quotes like that over the years, died yesterday morning at 85. To one generation, he was a Hall of Fame coach; to another he was a legendary broadcaster; and to a third he was a video game icon. RIP, Coach.

We've got a packed newsletter today, but scroll to the end to see Max Frost's Roca highlight of the year. Make sure your Uber drivers follow Roca, too.

Sign up for the Roca Current →

Key Stories


Boris's Babies?

  • The speaker of the UK parliament has called for babies to be allowed to attend parliamentary debates
  • As it stands, parents can bring babies for parliamentary votes, but not debates. Last month, a member of parliament (MP) was barred from entering with her 3-month-old, sparking a debate about the policy
  • The speaker said,  “I saw that baby come into the chamber when I was in the chair. And did it affect the debate? No. Was it a quiet and peaceful baby? Absolutely. Did it disrupt? Not in the slightest. So did it matter to me? Absolutely not"
  • A committee will make the final decision

The blocked parliamentarian said the current system doesn't work “for anyone who isn’t a man of a certain age from a certain background.” PM Boris Johnson has called for parliament to become “more family friendly,” but there is some opposition.

Companies Raise Record Cash

  • Companies raised a record $12.1T in cash this year, 17% more than the record set in 2020
  • The companies raised the money through selling bonds (issuing debt), taking out loans, and selling stock 
  • The year was also a record breaking one for IPOs, the largest of which was Tesla rival Rivian
  • The pandemic economy has been a boon for many large companies and banks. Government policy has pushed interest rates to record lows and injected huge amounts of cash into the financial system

With free-flowing cash and valuations at record highs, some are worried the economy is in a bubble. Others think the good times will keep rolling. We'll see what 2022 brings...

Morgan Wallen Wins 2021


  • Morgan Wallen, the US country singer who was "canceled" earlier this year, had 2021's best-selling album
  • After video leaked in February that showed Wallen saying the N-word, SiriusXM, Country Music Television, and hundreds of radio stations stopped airing his music
  • Wallen said he was drunk, then checked himself into rehab. His 2021 album Dangerous went on to become the year's only album to top 3M sales (3.1M)
  • The 2nd best-selling album was Olivia Rodrigo's Sour (2.7M). 3rd was Drake's Certified Lover Boy (1.9M)

The top songs of the year? Dua Lipa's Levitating, followed by Olivia Rodrigo's Drivers License and Good 4 U.

Taliban Escape on Charity Flights

  • Rescue flights out of Afghanistan are on hold after it was revealed that the Taliban has been using the flights for fundraising purposes
  • The US has been sponsoring Qatar Airways flights from Afghanistan to Qatar since August. 1-2 flights continue to depart weekly
  • US government sources say the Taliban have been sending workers on each flight, either Taliban or sympathizers, to fundraise and work overseas then return the money to Afghanistan 
  • The Afghan economy has been in crisis since August, when it was cut off from international funds after the Taliban takeover

Afghanistan faces one of the world's most dire economic crises, with aid groups warning that millions are going hungry. The country was dependent on foreign aid dollars, but those have vanished since August. 

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Do you believe that extra-terrestrial life visited Earth in 2021?

Today's Question:
How would you compare 2021 with 2020? Which did you like better?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's answers below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • Former US Senate majority leader Harry Reid died at 82. Reid was the longest-serving Senator in Nevada history, at 30 years
  • Tale of 2 pop stars: Sales for Adele's "30" plummeted 82% compared to her prior release in 2015. T-Swift topped all artists in total album sales with 4M+
  • Cactus Jack is still in the penalty box... Dior announced that it is indefinitely suspending its Travis Scott collab in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy
  • Holy seller's market! US home prices were 18.4% higher this October than last year. Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami were the hottest markets
  • Riot Games, the maker of "League of Legends," will pay $100M to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit with California and ex-employees
  • If you invested $1,000 in bitcoin on 1/1/21, you'd have $1,632 today. If you invested $1,000 into dogecoin, you'd have $32,142 today

  • An Australian man living in Israel is banned from leaving the country for 8,000 years due to $2.4M of unpaid child support
  • A 3,500-yo mummy of an Egyptian king was "digitally unwrapped" using CT scans, marking the first time the king has been "seen"
  • Pandemic in the Hamptons: A doctor in the Hamptons is charging up to $500 for a single Covid test, the New York Post reports
  • Chief Justice John Roberts tops all other US government leaders in approval ratings, according to a new Gallup survey. Mitch McConnell is last

Roca Wrap

Roca Pics of 2021

Day 3 of highlights from our favorite pictures you submitted for 2021. We could do this for weeks!
Jennifer took this beauty in March at Fort Funston in San Francisco.
Chicago vibes return: Brandon took this picture of Chicago when he moved there this summer amid loosening restrictions.

think Games

Where is each company headquartered? All in the US, all real places...
  1. Nike
  2. General Electric
  3. Delta
  4. Google
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you generally have a positive or negative attitude toward robots? 

Positive: 52.3%
Negative: 47.7%

Yesterday's Question:

Where do you find the most inspiration?

Erin from Cleveland: "While running when endorphins are high!"

Zak from New York: "High in the mountains, far removed from society and civilization."

Jerry from Chesapeake, VA: "Three places - the Bible for spiritual inspiration, the gym for physical inspiration and ROCA News for mental inspiration."

General Feedback:

Tina from Germany: "A note on yesterday’s question: It‘s so weird: When reading your question about when my country seemed to be the most unified, my first thought was, "After winning the FIFA World Cup in 2014!“ But I didn’t dare to write such a "silly" answer… And then I read exactly those words in today’s ROCA news…"

Brady from New Jersey: "The year in review pics are great! Love seeing the community content"

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):
1. Beaverton, OR (~Portland) 2. Boston, MA 3. Atlanta, GA 4. Mountain View, CA (~San Francisco)

Final Thoughts 

Today is the second-to-last newsletter of the year, as we will not publish on Friday (New Year's Eve). Continuing this week's trend, find Roca co-founder Max Frost's Roca highlight of the year below.

"There were too many to count, but the most unforgettable moment must have been when I landed in Guatemala City, late on a Friday night this October. It's a foreign place, smoggy, crowded, disorienting. My AirBnB host picks me up and asks what I do for work. I say I run a social media news company – 'Which one?' – 'It's called Roca,' I said. 'This Roca?' He pulled our Instagram up on his phone and he had been following for months." 

We'll be bringing Roca to the world in a big way in 2022. Stay tuned!
-Team Roca

wave Today's Instagram Wrap is the story of the ball's drop. Check it out on our IG!
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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