RocaNews - 🌊 Pig-Heart Man


January 12, 2022

It may shock you to hear that Americans are reading fewer books *opens TikTok* than they did in the past, but a new study found that US adults read an average of 12.6 books in 2021 (including audiobooks), compared to 15.6 books in 2016. Well, counting your 20 Questions responses, we've read 600 this year.

The quest to electrify the sky is underway. Rolls-Royce recently made history with the fastest all-electric plane ever. Read today's Wrap to see what's next.

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Key Stories

Mr. Worldwide Onions

  • Onions that are bred to not burn human eyes are hitting British supermarkets, 4 years after going live in the US
  • The so-called Sunions have been available in the US since 2018, but researchers have been working on how to grow them in various countries, particularly France and Italy
  • Geneticists began pursuing tearless onions in the 1980s. Onions make people cry because they release methionine and cysteine, chemicals that irritate the eyes, when sliced
  • In Britain, a tearless onion costs about $.27 more than a regular. For now, they're on sale only at 100 Waitrose supermarkets

It was BASF, a German chemical company, that pioneered the tearless onion, which they innovated naturally over decades rather than simply genetically modifying it.

France to Ban Incest

  • France's government announced its intent to fully ban incest for the first time
  • Under current law the practice is outlawed if children are involved. The government now plans to ban incest even if both parties are adults
  • “Whatever the age, you don’t have...relations with your father, your son or your daughter,” the child protection secretary said. “It is not a question of age"
  • The legality of incest in France dates to 1791, when revolutionaries struck down the law as outdated and Christian. Incest with children wasn't outlawed until April 2021

“Incest is socially forbidden but not legally forbidden and it is important to make the two coincide,” said the head of a child protection charity. The government will have to pass the law it is planning.

Canada's Vax Tax

  • The Canadian province of Quebec will charge a tax on un-vaxxed residents
  • Quebec's leader said that those who hadn't received a single dose will have to pay a "significant" "contribution." The exact amount is unclear
  • "It's a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices," the premier said. 15% of residents are un-vaxxed
  • Elsewhere in the world, un-vaxxed Greeks over age 60 will have to pay a €100 ($113) fine for each month they are un-vaxxed beginning this month. In Singapore, the un-vaxxed have had to pay for their own medical bills

In other Covid news, one of the Maxes has exited Covid isolation after a duel with Omicron. And the US recorded a record 1.4M cases on Monday, but deaths remain far below past levels.

Surgeons Transplant Pig Heart to Human


  • Doctors conducted the first transplant of a pig heart into a human
  • The recipient appears to be doing well after 3 days. Animal-to-human transplants typically fail because the body rejects the organ. This organ had been gene edited, though, to avoid organ rejection
  • “It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” the recipient had said
  • A scientist involved called it a "watershed event." “If this works, there will be an endless supply of these organs for patients who are suffering," said another

The next few months are critical for the recipient. If his body accepts the organ, it could be a major step in using animal organs to address the longstanding organ shortage.

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
What's the better comfort meal: Pizza or Chinese food?

Chinese food

Today's Question:
What's a health problem today that we'll one day look back on like smoking cigarettes?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • You can now find poet and activist Maya Angelou on the quarter, the first of the US Mint's American Women Quarters Program
  • And the host goes to... somebody! The Oscars will have a host for the first time in 3 years. Hollywood's big night hit a ratings low in 2021
  • Oil Driller: Kanye West, whoops *Ye, is reportedly heading to Russia to meet with Putin and perform his first shows in the country
  • $treaming War$: The 9 biggest tech and media companies are expected to spend $140B (!) on content in 2022, with Disney leading the pack
  • The founder of crypto exchange platform Binance Changpeng Zhao is now worth ~$96B, making him one of the world's top billionaires
  • Prices for a single box of Girl Scout Cookies will vary from $4 to $7 across the country this year. Each Girl Scout council sets its own prices

  • Priorities, priorities: 2 Los Angeles police officers were fired for ignoring a robbery call so they could try to catch a Pokémon Go character
  • Gronk excluded his longtime buddy and QB Tom Brady from a dinner party this weekend even though Brady had just gifted him a $1M bonus
  • A new study found that Covid loses 90% of its ability to infect us within 20 min. of becoming airborne, with most of the loss coming within 5 min.
  • An undersea cable that connects Norway with an Arctic station has been mysteriously severed. It runs on a slope that goes 8,800 ft. underwater

Roca Wrap

A Newsletter Exclusive

In November, Rolls-Royce made aviation history after exhibiting the world's fastest all-electric aircraft, “The Spirit of Innovation.” The 1-passenger electric plane is the latest milestone in the race to build zero-emissions airplanes, but the success of electric planes is by no means guaranteed. 

Electric planes have existed since the 1970s, although batteries have limited their flying range and passenger capacity. While lithium-ion batteries, which were created in the 1980s and now power cell phones, laptops, and electric cars, store more power than older batteries, their efficiency pales in comparison to a jet engine.  

1.2M pounds of today's batteries would be needed to generate the same power as a modern jumbo jet engine. For that reason, longer flights need a major breakthrough in battery technology. Shorter flights with fewer passengers are much closer to going electric, though. 

Doing so is a priority for the airline industry, the main lobby group which has set a goal of net-zero aviation emissions by 2050. Doing so will require commercially viable electric planes. As it stands, jets contribute 915M tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year (about 12% of transport-related emissions). 

Just as Tesla pioneered electric vehicles on the mass market, companies and governments are vying to usher in the widespread use of electric planes. Some companies are retrofitting old planes; others are building new ones from scratch. 

Many expect smaller all-electric regional planes to become available over the next few years, starting with air taxis. Boeing has already released an electric passenger air taxi with a range of up to 50 miles. Uber plans to begin using the vehicle for its flying taxi service, Uber Air, as soon as 2023. 

Regional all-electric flights could come over the next decade. US startup Wright Electric plans to release a 100-seat electric plane by 2027. Larger aerospace firms such as Airbus SE are targeting 2035. International aircraft will take longer, most likely evolving into hybrid models first, with a jet engine and an electric motor. 

The benefit of electric planes would be more than environmental: They could reduce fuel costs by up to 90%, maintenance by up to 50%, and noise by nearly 70%. In other words, electric jets may make flying a lot cheaper, quieter, and cleaner. 
If you have thoughts, let us know at 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

In honor of the start of the NFL Playoffs, unscramble the below star QB names (all in the postseason).
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you view the Space Force as a joke? 

Yes: 55.4%
No: 44.6%

Yesterday's Question:

Do you prefer local news or national news? Why?

Courtney from Dallas: "National all the way. Local is so cringey with its humor, mostly irrelevant to me despite being local, fear-mongery with all the reporting on deaths or fires. Not that many national outlets don’t share these and other attributes but I can find interesting reporting at those levels."

Ektaa from California: "I prefer local, national, and international. It is important to cover all three in some capacity. There is always so much happening around us."

Lindsay from Tennessee: "ROCA NEWS is the only news I want in my life. National news is way too biased and political. They all clearly have an agenda and can’t be trusted. My local Nashville news stations are ok but it’s mostly bad news and honestly I just don’t want all that negativity. I really am so glad that y’all came along."

General Feedback:

Kathryn from San Francisco: "As a San Francisco Bay Area native, the Millennium Tower leaning more after stabilization work defines the past decade of retrofit activity within the area…including the Bay Bridge [degraded bolts anyone?]"

Charl from South Africa: "Love what you guys have been doing. As a someone who is young (19 years old) and doesn't really like news I can say that you guys have 100% captured me with everything you do. Keep it up"

20 Questions: 11-15

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

11. What is the most quintessentially American retail chain?
"Bass Pro Shops"

12. What should the voting age be?
"Idiots shouldn't be allowed to vote is the only rule I'd add"

13. What should the drinking age be?
"18. If you can fight you can drink!"
"I want beer"

14. What should the speed limit be on an empty, 4-lane highway?
"Autobahn, no limit"
"80 like it is in here in Montana"
"It doesn't matter cause people will drive however fast they want"

15. What's your best coping tool?
"Making nachos"
Games Answer(s):
1) Josh Allen 2) Joe Burrow 3) Patrick Mahomes 4) Kyler Murray

Final Thoughts 

Yesterday was the first day the entire Roca founding team worked together in our first office. We learned something new about the team: None of us inherited the interior design gene. 

We need to figure out how to decorate cement floors and white walls in an L-shape around a conference room. It's an interior designer's dream canvas, but the most perplexing problem we have encountered yet on our start-up journey. 

So please, send us your interior design recommendations. We need them. If we use them, we will frame a picture of you on our inspiration wall.

Happy Wednesday!

-Max & Max

wave Today's Instagram Wrap is on the blue people of Kentucky. You don't want to miss it!
Thanks for reading! See you again tomorrow!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to
Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney

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