RocaNews - 🌊 America Loses its Dad

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January 10, 2022


The not-so Golden Globes took place last night. Yep, hit the snooze button. This year, the show wasn't even available on TV or streaming, marking a new low for awards shows. Maybe Roca could host it next year, although giving every trophy to Nicolas Cage might not seem entirely appropriate...

Hope you had a great weekend! Check out today's Wrap on an old experiment about the collapse of a mice utopia from overpopulation. It didn't end well...

Sign up for the Roca Current →

Key Stories

cover

YoungBoy Never Work Again

Overview

  • The Reddit "antiwork" community is becoming a center of mass resignations
  • People are quitting their jobs in record numbers. In November, 4.5M Americans quit, equivalent to 3% of all workers and the highest rate on record
  • Since 2020, the "antiwork" subreddit has grown from 100k to 1.5M members. The forum's slogan is “Unemployment for all, not just the rich!”; it's a place where people discuss capitalism and quitting their jobs
  • Its popularity has exploded as people upload their resignation letters and stories about quitting their jobs, prompting comparison to WallStreetBets, the subreddit responsible for last year’s meme stock craze

 DIG DEEPER 
Antiwork traces its roots to Karl Marx's idea that people could transcend working for a living. The page describes itself as such: "A subreddit for those who want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want more information on anti-work ideas and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles."

NATO Prepares for War


Overview
  • The leader of NATO said the US-led military organization is ready for “a new armed conflict in Europe” as Russia positions 100k+ troops on its border with Ukraine
  • On Sunday, talks began between Russia and the US to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine
  • Russia has demanded concessions from NATO, including a promise that Ukraine won't join the alliance. NATO includes the US, Canada, and most of Europe
  • NATO's leader says those demands are non-starters but hopes Russia will negotiate: "We have to hope and work hard for the best, but be prepared for the worst”

 DIG DEEPER 
Talks will take place this week with the goal of averting a major European war. Analysts say a possible Russian invasion could spark the largest European war since World War 2.

Chicago School Fight


Overview
  • A dispute between the Chicago teacher's union and school administrators may mean a second week of closed schools in the US' 3rd largest city
  • Chicago schools have been closed since Wednesday, when teachers voted to strike over Covid-19 protocols
  • The teacher's union wants remote learning followed by either mandatory testing for students or 10% of each school tested at random weekly. Schools would go remote depending on those metrics
  • Chicago's mayor has called the strike "an illegal walkout," and vowed not to "relent." She rejects remote learning, says schools are safe, and wants teachers to resume in-person teaching immediately

 DIG DEEPER 
Fights over in-person vs. remote learning are sticking around in 2022. Many universities are beginning their spring 2022 semesters online this month as well.

Bob Saget Dead at 65


Overview
  • Bob Saget died in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Orlando, FL. He was 65
  • Saget became a pop culture icon during an 8-year stint as Danny Tanner on Full House. He was also a stand-up comic and host of America's Funniest Home Videos
  • Saget had performed a stand-up set on Saturday night near Jacksonville, Florida. He was found unresponsive in a hotel room the following afternoon
  • Detectives found no signs of foul play or drug use

 DIG DEEPER 
The county sheriff confirmed the news. We'll update if there is any related news of note.

finger What do you think?


Today's Poll:
Better breakfast meal: blueberry pancakes or eggs & bacon?

Blueberry pancakes
Eggs & bacon


Today's Question:
What do you see as the biggest problem for the economy today? Why?


Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • A judge allowed Novak Djokovic, the world tennis #1 being detained in an Australian hotel, to enter Australia and compete in the Australian Open. Djokovic is "pleased and grateful
  • Antbusters: Bill Murray told Eli Manning that he will play a villain in the upcoming Marvel film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
  • The NFL's wild, wild West: The Raiders eliminated the Chargers with a game-winning field goal in OT as time expired, sending the Steelers to the playoffs. A tie would've put both the Raiders and Chargers in
 
Business
  • Taco Bell is offering a $10 monthly taco subscription called the Taco Lover's Pass. Customers can get 1 taco a day for 30 days
  • Vroom vroom: Car auction site Bring a Trailer sold a record-shattering $829M worth of cars in 2021, including a $1.9M Porsche
  • Backseat miner: A Tesla owner claims he mines up to $800 a month of cryptocurrency using his Tesla's electric battery

Wildcard
  • An art historian has learned that a ~$90 painting on his wall is likely the work of Flemish master Sir Anthony van Dyck
  • Michael Lang, a co-creator of the Woodstock music festival, passed away at 77. He billed the iconic event as "3 days of peace and music"
  • A farmer gave his cows VR headsets to boost their happiness and therefore milk output. He claims that production has risen by over 20%

Roca Wrap

A Newsletter Exclusive

wrap
What happens when a mouse utopia collapses? What are the implications for the human race? 

Those are the questions scientist John Calhoun set out to answer in 1972. To do so, Calhoun created Universe 25: A 9-by-9 ft (2.7m x 2.7m) room with ample food, water, and areas to play and rest. Without any predators, all there was for mice to do was eat, play, sleep… and reproduce. 

Setting the ideal environment for reproduction was key. Calhoun wanted to know what would happen as the mice population grew larger and the room felt smaller: Would the mice change their behavior?   

From 8 original pairs of mice, the population skyrocketed to thousands. Chaos ensued. Mice formed groups that competed to dominate each other. Some became “dropouts,” withdrawing from society. Mothers abandoned their young. At one point, nearly every mouse had an injured tail from being bitten. 

There were too many mice and too little living space. The social order broke down, the mice stopped reproducing, and their population collapsed. 

As overpopulation turned mouse utopia into a doomsday scenario, Calhoun dutifully watched. The experiment took place during the same time US cities’ populations were booming in the 1960s, and he drew an implication that stirred fear in the US public: Universe 25 was a metaphor for the human population. 

The experiment, and prior mice and rat “cities” Calhoun built to study overpopulation, led to the concept of “behavioral sink,” a collapse in social behavior from overcrowding. He suggested animals, and now perhaps humans, would self-destruct to prevent their species from overpopulating their habitat. 

Calhoun’s experiments took on a new life in popular culture, inspiring dystopian books, comics, and movies. Well-known psychology papers widely cited them. “The significance of Calhoun’s work for social thought was unquestionable,” a science historian wrote in 2011. 

Today, most interpretations say Universe 25 was more a problem of fair distribution than overpopulation – in other words, it wasn’t a lack of resources that destroyed the group but a failure to share them.  

Yet even so, many people remain concerned about overpopulation, and for those who do, Calhoun’s rodent cities live on in infamy.                                                                              
If you have thoughts, let us know at Max@RocaNews.com and don't forget to share this Wrap with family and friends by using this link here!
 
Future Wrap ideas or requests? Let us know!

think Games

Welcome to the first-ever 2-Riddle Monday! This is where we give you 2 riddles, and you have to solve them.
  1. David’s parents have three sons: Snap, Crackle, and what’s the name of the third son?
  2. A man looks at a painting in a museum and says, “Brothers and sisters I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the painting?
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Would you rather sleep on a waterbed or an air mattress? 

Waterbed: 43.3%
Air mattress: 56.7%
 

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Questions!
 

General Feedback:

Jodi from Los Angeles, on 20 Questions responses: "These always remind me of MySpace days, posting survey questions for people to read in the thread on the side."

Nicole: "You should add a pic of the day segment to your newsletter. I really enjoyed the 2021 end of year ones that you did and would like to see more of that. On that note, love what you guys are doing - Roca is the only news I follow anymore. Keep up the great work!"

Jessi from Ohio: "Thanks for your newsletter! I love it and look forward to reading it every day!"

20 Questions: 1-5

Every Friday, we ask the Roca Riders 20 questions and feature a few of our favorite answers.

1. What's something crazy that's happened to you that people have trouble believing is true?
"I scored all of my team's points during the second half of a middle school basketball game."
"I physically ran into Shaq as he and I were both walking into the Houston Galleria Apple store in 2012."
"In 5th grade some kid at my school won a radio contest and Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens came to my school to preform during an assembly. I lost that year’s yearbook and I couldn’t find any evidence of it on google since it was from around 2006. it’s like it never happened but I promise it did!"

2. What's something funny to say to the person next to you waiting in line for the bathroom?
"Wish me luck"
"My friend’s in there"
"Let’s do this"

3. How do you feel about people who bite their nails?
"Don’t judge me…"
"Sympathy. They’re probably anxious over thinkers."
"Honestly, I feel more weird about people with weirdly long nails - so much dirt must get stuck under them."

4. What's one feature you would want in a RocaNews app?
"Being able to leave comments and discuss the topic"
"Subsections for the smaller categories like “wildcard”. Like a tab that would pull up all of the wildcard points from the week"
"Probably more interactivity - most news apps are actually websites. You could add your polls and 20 questions… perhaps a crossword puzzle that’s based on the daily news wrap?  You could have a Snopes section…"

5. What app do you enjoy the most?
"Spotify"
"Unfortunately.... TikTok"
"DuoLingo"
Games Answer(s):
1) David 2) The man's son

Final Thoughts 


Roca Riders, we hope your weekends drastically exceeded your expectations. Ours certainly did...because of you... 

You know the phrase "Christmas came early"? Well for us, Christmas came late – and it came in the form of your 20 Questions, countless submissions of which we received over the weekend. Our response to those can be summarized in another phrase: "Distance makes the heart grow fonder." We missed many of your names in our inbox and were overjoyed to see them appear again. We promise not to go 3 weeks in a row without 20 Questions again...at least until next Christmas.

Have a great Monday!

-Max & Max

wave Today's Instagram Wrap is on Jake from State Farm – one of the most iconic and controversial company mascots of modern times. 
 
Thanks for reading! See you again tomorrow!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to Max@Rocanews.com
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Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney






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