Stellar Recap | Feb 5-11
👋 Hello there,
Welcome to another edition of the Stellar Recap, a weekly newsletter where I share interesting content you may have missed over the week. This issue features 68 bullets.
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📊 Business, Economics & Personal Finance
During 2022 earnings calls, company executives mentioned headcount more than 11K times (🔒Bloomberg), almost as often as they did during the financial crisis. Tech firms had the most mentions, followed by industrials.
Due to labor shortages at chicken hatcheries, combined with rising demand for chicks, the cost of retail chicks are expected to rise 15% - 18% (🔒NYT) this year.
There were 58K fewer child care workers (🔒WSJ) in the US last month compared with Feb. 2020.
Global demand for gold jumped nearly 20% to a decade high.
Data from Natixis Invement Managers showed that 58% of high net worth Americans ($1M+ in investable assets) said they will have to keep working longer and 36% worried that retirement may not be an option.
A new analysis estimated that Brexit is costing the UK economy £100B/yr. (1.5 min. video).
In-N-Out averaged 700K visits per store in 2022, compared with an average 121K visits at quick-service restaurants in general, like Chick-Fil-A, Shake Shack, and Whataburger.
Tens of thousands of UK nurses and nearly 12K ambulance workers went on strike last Mon. over pay and working conditions, in the biggest walkout in the 75-yr. history of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
A Harris Poll found that 18% of Gen Z adults in the US (🔒 Bloomberg) said they would feel happy if they were laid off.
In Jan., 50% of Americans said they’re financially worse off now than last year - the highest share since the Great Recession. 61% of Republicans said they were financially worse off this year compared to 37% of Democrats. The numbers also skew along income lines: 61% of lower-income Americans said they’re worse off, compared to 49% of folks in the middle and 43% of high-income earners.
2022 marks the first time that US consumers bought more liquor than beer (42.1% v. 41.9%). Last year’s growth was boosted by rising sales for tequila/mezcal and canned cocktails.
A new study suggests 1 quality conversation with a friend can increase happiness and lower stress by day’s end.
More than 400 food products sold in the US under dozens of brand names made by Fresh Creative Cuisine (dated Jan. 31, 2023 - Feb. 6, 2023) were recalled due to possible Listeria contamination.
New findings suggest that flailing and kicking during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase is linked to conditions in which the protein α-synuclein forms toxic clumps in the brain and may be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Almost 1 in 5 US adults use some type of sleep medication to help them snooze (🔒WP). More women take sleep medication than men and usage overall increases with age.
“There are at least 50 chemicals, probably many more, that literally make us fatter,” including fungicides, flame retardants, and chemicals that are used to make the packaging for processed foods.
More than 2 in 3 US health care providers are still using pandemic waivers and flexibilities that are due to expire in May when the public health emergency ends. More than half said they need more time to revert back to pre-Covid operations.
The scientific community is grappling with the language used to describe autism. Some have decried ableist language whereas others have defended traditional terminology. Both sides say they have the best interests of autistic people in mind.
UnitedHealthcare is expanding an initiative designed to reward plan members (up to $1K annually) for embracing healthy behaviors (e.g., at least 5K steps a day; sleep tracking for 2+ weeks) that are monitored with activity trackers (e.g., FitBit; Apple Watch).
Colgate-Palmolive recalled 4.9M bottles of a multipurpose cleaner called Fabuloso due to bacteria risk. The company advised consumers to stop using the recalled cleaners and not to empty the bottles before throwing them away.
🎓 Lifelong Learning
A searchable chart that shows the industries that people work in, given a specific job.
Hundreds of millions of birds die in the US from flying into glass. One way to prevent some of these deaths include placing films and decals that create a pattern (e.g., consistently spaced lines or dots) on the part of the glass that is outside (🔒NYT). Placing decals on the interior side of the window is not as affective.
🌴 Lifestyle & Travel
For the 5th consecutive year, NJ was the #1 state Americans chose to leave in 2022. The top cited reasons were for retirement and to be closer to family.
Acqualina Resort & Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, FL, is the #1 best hotel in the US, according to US News & World Report. See their full list of best hotels around the world.
Sapori Di 786 Degrees in Pasadena, CA, is the #1 pizza restaurant in N. America, according to Yelp.
The NYT’s most popular recipe is Old Fashioned Beef Stew, which was first published in the paper in 1994. It has 19K reviews, a 5-star average, 24M views since 2019 - 6.7M reviews are from last year alone.
🗳️ Politics, Security & International Affairs
Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro applied to extend his US tourist visa to stay in FL another 6 months (🔒FT). He’s probably not too eager to go back to a country where he’s facing multiple investigations.
More than 25K people died Turkey and Syria after two magnitude 7.5+ earthquakes struck in southern Turkey last Mon.
US officials said China’s military is likely behind an aerial spy program that has targeted 40+ countries with high-altitude surveillance balloons similar to one the US shot down over the Atlantic Ocean coast last weekend. The balloon that flew over the US was 200 ft. tall, which is about equivalent to the wingspan of a Boeing 747.
The US shot down another “high altitude object” off the coast of AK last Fri. It was smaller than the Chinese surveillance balloon. It also wasn’t a balloon and posed a potential threat to civilian aircrafts.
At the request of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the US military shot down an unidentified object in Canada’s airspace yesterday.
A secret Russian satellite (Kosmos 2499) broke apart in orbit, creating a hazardous cloud of debris that is threatening other satellites. The debris could stay in the atmosphere for a century or longer.
The State of the Union presidential address last Tue. drew an estimated 27.3M viewers, marking a 29% drop from 2022 and the lowest turnout in 30+ yrs.
The SEC is investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (🔒WSJ) after it was revealed that the church’s investment arm had amassed $100B and failed to disclose and comply with regulations associated with such large holdings. Somewhat related to this, I just learned the LDS church owns 1.7M+ acres of land in the US (🔒Bloomberg). As of early 2022, they were the biggest landowner in FL and the 5th largest landowner in the US.
Only 38% of American adults think that Congress should raise the debt ceiling.
⏩ Pop Culture, Art, Sports & Entertainment
Between Dec. 31 and Jan. 20, the number of active players on Chess.com rose from 7M to 10M. The company apologized and told its users to expect some slowness around peak hours (12PM - 4PM EST) until it can address server issues.
After 88 career nominations, the R&B singer and pop superstar Beyoncé won her 32nd Grammy last Sun. for best dance/electronic music album, breaking the record for the most wins in the award’s history.
Viola Davis won a Grammy for best spoken-word album for her audiobook of her memoir, Finding Me, which made her the 19th person to ever win the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. View all the Grammy winners here.
The average length of a chart-topping song has fallen (🔒The Economist) from 249 sec. in the 1980s to about 207 sec. in the 2020s.
Among #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, the number of songwriters rose from 1.8 in the 1970s to 5.3 in the 2010s. The rise could be due to preemptively granting credit to avoid lawsuits, but it’s more likely because more producers are being given writing credits.
In his 20th season, LeBron James broke the NBA career scoring record with his 38,388th point. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared his reaction to LeBron breaking his scoring record.
Analysts estimated that 50M Americans will collectively bet $16B on the Super Bowl game today, double last year’s amount. As of Fri., the price of a ticket to the game was hovering around $9K (🔒WSJ). The price of a short-term rental in the Glendale area was around $740/night. Travelers who booked before last weekend could land a short-term rental closer to about $225/night.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” was the most pirated movie of 2022. Marvel and DC films were among the most pirated of the year, accounting for 70% of the most illegally streamed and downloaded movies.
🏡 Real Estate
In Jan., the median price of a home in Sydney, Australia, fell below 1M Australian dollars (~US $705K) for the first time since Mar. 2021.
Foreclosure filings in the US were up 36% year over year in Jan. and 2% from the prior month. States with the highest foreclosure rates were DE, IL, MI, NJ, and MD.
Charles Dickens’ former summer home in London is for sale for $27M.
Black, Hispanic, and Native American households have lower homeownership rates than white households in every state in the US. Asian households were less likely to be homeowners in all states but HI.
Only about 8.7% of Americans moved within the US between Mar. 2021 and Mar. 2022, a slight uptick from the year before but still a record low. Moves within the same county of residence accounted for at least 60% of all moves.
A new report from the National Association of Realtors showed that, in 2022, major metro areas like Seattle, NYC, San Francisco, and Chicago saw more people moving out than moving in. Houston experienced the highest move-in rate in 2022.
A new survey found that about 51% of women of color in Australia, Canada, South Africa, the UK, and the US said they’ve experienced racism or discrimination at their current workplace.
David Balogun of Bucks County, PA, became the 2nd youngest person to have graduated from a US high school.
1 in 10 US couples met their partner though a dating site or app. Among those who were unpaired, 44% were looking to meet a long-term partner while 40% wanted to date casually. Tinder was the most popular dating app.
🧪 Science, Climate, Environment & Technology
A judge in Colombia used ChatGPT to make a court ruling, in what may be the first time a legal decision has been made with the help of an AI text generator.
The International Astronomical Union recognized the discovery of 12 additional moons around Jupiter, bringing the official count up to 92 moons - the most in our solar system.
Between 1990 and 2022, China has reported 182 earthquakes, the most of any country tracked by NOAA.
Last weekend, temperatures on the summit of Mount Washington in NH fell to -114F, marking a new record for the lowest wind chill ever recorded in the US (excluding AK).
Google will release its own conversational AI assistant called Bard AI, in response to ChatGPT, in the coming weeks. Shares fell 7% after the company held an event to show off its tech last Wed., wiping out $100B+ of its market value.
About 3.4M US adults evacuated their homes due to a natural disaster last year, compared with an average 800K for the years between 2008 and 2021. About 40% were displaced for less than a week, while 12% were displaced for over 6 mo. and 16% never returned home.
A new study in mice showed that acquired traits like obesity or high cholesterol can be passed down from one generation to the next without DNA changes - in other words, through epigentics. These metabolic effects were observed for at least 3-6 subsequent generations.
New findings estimated that 15M people around the world live under the threat of a sudden and deadly flood due to glacial melting.
Getty Images filed a second lawsuit against Stability AI, alleging that their Stable Diffusion model used and duplicated 12M photographs and their metadata, including Getty’s watermark on some images.
Emerging reports suggest that the sustainable textile market is full of fake claims. In 2016, Cotton Egypt Association estimated that 90% of products labeled Egyption cotton were fake. In 2020, the Global Organic Textile Standardard estimated that 20K tonnes of organic Indian cotton wasn’t organic. In 2022, Waste2Wear found that 60% of fabric claiming to be from recycled plastic bottles were likely made from virgin plastic.
Data viz of near Earth objects. The graphic starts at Earth’s surface and you get farther away as you scroll down. Speed is plotted on the horizontal, symbols are scaled by the object’s minimum diameter, and yellow indicates objects on the way.
The H1N1 bird flu has jumped across other species in CO (🔒Denver Post), including mountain lion, bear, and skunk. All of which have died.
Female orcas spend so much time feeding and caring for sons that they produce fewer babies overall than their counterparts raising daughters.
Sports Illustrated and Men’s Journal are the latest in a growing list of publications trying to replace human writers with AI systems. Experts who reviewed the output, found “it contained persistent factual mistakes and mischaracterizations of medical science.”
Sir Patrick Stewart is the oldest mouse under human care in the world. He’s 9 yrs. old and lives in San Diego Zoo Safari Park in CA.
American cars are increasingly becoming too big for parking spaces, especially in parking garages and other paid parking lots where developers pay close attention to space size.
Wishing you a productive week
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