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January 13, 2022


You gotta love Florida. Two men were arrested for setting a Christmas tree on fire atop a Key West monument. Initially, police couldn't identify them, but a bartender recognized one of them because he didn't tip that night. Never, ever forget to tip... if you plan to light the Southernmost Point in the US on fire.

You may hear the phrase "we're hiring" a lot these days. But today's Wrap is on a very interesting job that's available right now: the King of Piel.

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Key Stories

Ferris Bueller 2022: Every Day Off


Overview
  • Schools are seeing substantial drops in attendance, as teachers and students stay home to avoid catching or spreading Covid-19
  • Boston, Chicago, and New York City, which has the US' largest school district, have each recorded attendance rates around 70% this month, compared to averages near 90%. Today, schools reopened in Chicago after a 5-day closure
  • Many schools are short-staffed and unable to find enough non-isolated teachers to lead classes
  • Few schools have gone remote, meaning that those who are absent are missing school without an alternative way to learn

 DIG DEEPER 
The situation is forcing teachers to decide whether to press forward with lesson plans or wait for their students to make it back to class.

Boris Johnson In Hot Water


Overview
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to resign, following his admission that he attended a party during the May 2020 lockdown
  • A series of leaks have shown Johnson appears to have ignored various lockdown protocols. The latest, an email leaked Monday, showed Johnson's personal secretary inviting 100+ people to "make the most of the lovely weather" 
  • "I believed implicitly that this was a work event," said Johnson
  • Johnson was a major pro-Brexit figure and has been PM since July 2019. Members of both his Conservative party and the opposition have told him to quit

 DIG DEEPER 
Johnson says he attended the event for 25 minutes to thank staff for their work. The opposition leader said, "His defense that he didn't realize he was at a party is so ridiculous that it is actually offensive to the public."

Condom Sales Pop


Overview
  • Karex, a Malaysian company that is the world's biggest condom maker, has seen sales fall 40% amid the pandemic 
  • The drop has forced the company to launch medical glove production. Karex produces its own condoms as well as those for other brands, including Durex
  • The company's CEO said fewer people are taking holidays and meeting new partners, while couples are facing more stress and less romance. That's led to less need for condoms
  • Reduced government services have also hurt business: As many health clinics have shut down, governments, which are major condom buyers, have cut back

 DIG DEEPER 
It's now all bad news for Karex, though: Sales of medical probe covers have increased, and the company's CEO believes a worldwide surge in condom buying will make for a good 2022.

Inflate Like It's 1982

Overview

  • US inflation for 2021 ended at 7%, the highest rate since 1982
  • The number means that a representative cost of living was 7% higher on January 1 of 2022 than on January 1 of 2021 
  • In the late 1970s and early 80s, inflation was often well above 5% and peaked at 15%. From then until 2021, though, inflation typically stayed below 5%
  • Average hourly wages were up 4.7% over the year. Subtracting the 7% rise in prices, that means that despite raises, the average hourly worker could afford 2.3% less than a year before

 DIG DEEPER 
Over the year, the cost of dining out rose 6%, rents went up 4.1%, and used vehicle prices jumped 40%. The Fed (US central bank) is expected to try limiting inflation in 2022.

finger What do you think?


Today's Poll:
Would you rather be Instagram famous or infomercial famous?

Instagram famous
Infomercial famous


Today's Question:
If at all, where have you noticed inflation the most?


Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • Another royal wedding? Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox are now engaged. The celebrity couple met in March 2020
  • In 2021, Sunday Night Football on NBC was the most-watched show on TV for the 11th consecutive year, drawing an average of 18.5M viewers
  • Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West (*Ye) will headline Coachella, North America's largest music festival, this spring
 
Business
  • Sports betting continues to rise and is poised to break the single-month record due to the NFL Playoffs and New York's recent legalization
  • Fox News has outdrawn CNN and MSNBC combined for 21 straight weeks in TV ratings. It even beat NFL-heavy ESPN in ratings
  • End of an era: Bank of America announced that it's cutting overdraft fees and getting rid of non-sufficient funds fees

Wildcard
  • All-time first date: A Chinese woman says she was stuck in the house of her blind date during a recent Covid lockdown in Zhengzhou
  • Oreo is celebrating 110 years by releasing a new cookie flavor: Chocolate Confetti Cake. It will be available starting Jan. 31
  • A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing military supplies from Cambodian fields has died
  • Blimey, a flat-earther! A BBC official told UK's House of Lords that the network would feature flat-Earthers and rejects "cancel culture"

Roca Wrap

A Newsletter Exclusive

wrap
The landlord who runs Ship Inn does more than collect rent: They are the King of Piel; the ruler of Piel Island. And the job is currently vacant.  

Piel Island is just 20 hectares in size, located half a mile off England’s western coast. Access is limited, reachable by ferry most summer days or a guided walk across sands at low tide. Its population is estimated at 10 people.  

Some visitors come to Piel for the history: The island is home to 14th century castle ruins that once sheltered a Celtic army who unsuccessfully tried to overtake the English throne. Others come for the island’s only pub, the 300-yo Ship Inn. 

Whoever runs the Ship Inn must also manage and maintain the island itself. Since closing during the pandemic, Ship Inn has been without a leader. The local government council that manages it is seeking new applicants in time for tourist season in April. 

The ideal applicant can handle unpredictable weather, patchy power supply, and isolation. “Any operator needs to appreciate the constraints offered by power, weather, access and its location,” the council wrote. 

The job has benefits, though, including its unofficial title: “King of Piel.” Each new King is crowned by sitting in an ancient chair, wearing a helmet and holding a sword, and having buckets of beer poured over their head. The ceremony dates at least to the 1800s, but its origins remain a mystery. 

The beer is poured by the “Knights of Piel,” whose roots are also unclear, but possibly stem from shipwrecked sailors. Despite the tradition’s murky background, one thread remains common, “The king and knights of Piel were always expected to be a free drinker and smoker and lover of the female sex,” says the Island’s official website. 

The beer-loving doesn’t stop with them. Many visit the island for a few drinks before camping overnight, one tour guide told The Guardian. “Even if you’re pissed out of your head the views from Piel are pretty amazing,” he said. “I must have slept on every blade of grass on that island, drunk or sober, and I just love it.” 

As droves of workers quit their standard desk jobs amidst “The Great Resignation,” the Ship Inn may be where one lucky quitter lands.
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

Name the one....
  1. NFL team whose name starts with a "V"
  2. US President born in California
  3. Bikini Bottom land creature (SpongeBob)
  4. Country with 3 capitals
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

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

Pizza: 72.9%
Chinese Food: 27.1%
 

Yesterday's Question:

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

Austin from Birmingham: "Vaping. As an ECMO Specialist I’ve seen more young people die from vaping complications than I’ve seen old people die from smoking complications"

Marissa from Toronto: "Without a doubt, social media. It's rotting our brains from the inside out."


General Feedback:


Ian from Pittsburgh: "Regarding the pig heart transplant story, you missed a golden opportunity to use a picture of Kramer in the bris episode looking for the pig man!"

Louis from Hawaii: "Why don’t you guys graffiti the walls? There are some amazing artists in NYC, and you could great whatever background you wanted to that way, and can always add or change the design."

Krissy from Ontario: "Really look forward to your daily news! Keep up the amazing work!"

Andrew: "Mahomes has two “M”s (your scramble only has 1). Put some respect on the man’s scrambled name!"

20 Questions: 16-20

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

16. Most underrated pizza topping?
"Eggplant"
"Pineapple, don't come at me"
"Arugula"


17. What will the 4 most popular sports be in the US in 2050?
"Quidditch, hopscotch, jump rope, and tag"
"Meta football, Meta basketball, Meta deathmatches, IRL socially distant tennis"
"Football, quidditch, rollerball and Formula 1"


18. Are you a spender or a saver?
"Spender :( Send help"
"Saver if buying bitcoin counts as that"
"I'm a save-until-there's-a-good-enough-sale-and-then-spend-it-all-there type of person"


19. Favorite team uniform in sports?
"Real Madrid. Nice colors"
"The purple Toronto Raptors jerseys from 1995-96 season"
"I love how the Oregon Ducks always have new flashy football uniforms"


20. Your general attitude towards snow?
"Like it at Christmas, after that I want it gone"
"LOVE the cozy moments being indoors in a big flurry blizzard, hate the slush and cold grossness and everything that comes afterwards"
"I'm from Florida"
Games Answer(s):
1) Vikings 2) Richard Nixon 3) Sandy Cheeks 4) South Africa

Final Thoughts 


We're bummed that the condom industry is in trouble, because we're looking for a pun business offshoot and "RocaRubbers" is now off the list. That still leaves us with "RocaRootbeer," "RocaRodeos," and "RocaRingworms."  

Ok, ignore all that.

Happy almost Friday!

-Max & Max

wave Today's Instagram Wrap is on eDNA. It's like the metaverse, but in your genes!
 
Thanks for reading! See you again tomorrow!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to Max@Rocanews.com
Link
Website
LinkedIn
Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney






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