Your Daily Brief

November 9th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Did you know that there are apparently enough people out there who lick toads, that the National Park Service had to issue a warning against it? The NPS specifically warned parkgoers against licking the Sonoran desert toad, which excretes a toxin that can make humans sick if they touch the toad or put one in their mouth. Seriously. If we’re going to lick something, we’d prefer a popsicle or some good old-fashioned ice cream, but hey…to each their own.

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In Today’s Brief

  • Italy: Ancient bronze statues discovered
  • Midterms: Results are in
  • Disney: Reviving Indiana Jones
  • Salesforce: Cuts hundreds of jobs
  • Geneva: Pink diamond sells at auction
  • Top Tips: Binance agrees to buy FTX, Powerball jackpot ticket sold in California, plans made to rebuild world’s largest airplane

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance agrees to buy competitor FTX

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced yesterday that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase rival exchange FTX.

The deal comes as FTX–led by 30-year-old CEO Sam Bankman-Fried–appeared to enter a “liquidity crunch,” meaning it lacked the funds to fulfill demand for withdrawals. According to the cryptocurrency research firm The Block, FTX stopped processing withdrawals altogether at one point yesterday. In a tweet posted yesterday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (also known as “CZ”) said, “This afternoon, FTX asked for our help. There is a significant liquidity crunch. To protect users, we signed a non-binding [letter of intent], intending to fully acquire and help cover the liquidity crunch.”

FTX’s Bankman-Fried said yesterday in a series of tweets that Binance would be’s “first, and last” investor. Binance’s purchase of FTX is pending due diligence, according to the CEOs of both exchanges.

Lone winning ticket for record Powerball prize sold in California

One winning ticket for the record $2.04B Powerball lottery jackpot was sold at a Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, according to lottery officials.

The winning numbers drawn Tuesday morning at the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee were 10, 33, 41, 47, and 56 for the white balls, and the red Powerball was 10. The numbers were selected nearly 10 hours after the scheduled Monday night drawing due to problems processing sales data at one of Powerball’s participating lotteries. Yesterday’s drawing marks the largest lottery jackpot ever won, surpassing the then-record $1.586B prize split by three Powerball ticket holders in 2016.

Though the jackpot prize reached $2.04B, the grand prize has an estimated cash value of $997.6M. While the IRS will take 24%–or $239.4M–off the top for federal taxes, California does not tax lottery winnings, according to the state’s lottery winner’s handbook.

Antonov announces plans to rebuild the world’s largest airplane

Ukrainian airline Antonov has announced plans to rebuild the world’s largest plane, an Antonov AN-225, that was damaged by Russian forces earlier this year in the city of Hostomel.

The aircraft–known as “Mriya”–was nearly destroyed in February at Antonov’s base of operations. However, Antonov published a Facebook post with an update on plans to restore the plane, in which it said: “Currently, construction work in this direction has begun. According to the available expert estimate, there are currently about 30% of the components that can be used for the second model aircraft.” The airline added that the cost of rebuilding Mriya is estimated to be at least $500M, and that “more detailed information” will come “after Ukraine's victory in the war.”

Mriya (which translates to “dream” in Ukrainian) entered commercial service in 2001. The aircraft could carry a maximum payload of 250 tons and had a wingspan of 88 meters.

Around the Globe

  • Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered more than two dozen bronze statues from the Etruscan-Roman era in thermal baths in Tuscany, along with almost 6,000 bronze, silver, and gold coins; the statues and coins were discovered in the town of San Casciano dei Bagni in the Siena province about 100 miles north of Rome, according to local sources
  • Tropical Storm Nicole is moving toward the northwestern Bahamas and Florida’s Atlantic coastline and is expected to develop into a hurricane over the next two days, according to forecasters
  • Norway’s Princess Martha Louise has withdrawn from her royal duties to focus on her alternative medicine business with her fiancé Durek Verrett, according to a statement from the Royal House of Norway - see the statement here

On the Homefront

  • Midterm elections took place yesterday for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 Senate seats - follow along with the results here
  • American woman Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Prince Andrew of sex trafficking, dropped her lawsuit against attorney Alan Dershowitz on Tuesday, saying she may have been mistaken when she accused Dershowitz of sexually assaulting her in Florida when she was a teenager
  • Former President Donald Trump delivered a speech at an event in Ohio ahead of yesterday’s midterm elections in which he said, “I'm going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, November 15th at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” though failed to specify what the announcement would entail

Glitz & Games

  • Disney is reportedly looking to develop an Indiana Jones television show for its streaming service Disney+, according to sources familiar with the matter; the company also added 12.1M subscribers to Disney+ and 14.6M total direct-to-consumer customers in its fiscal fourth quarter
  • Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was granted $1M bail Tuesday after eight months in custody; Velasquez is being charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges in Santa Clara County, California
  • British actor Leslie Phillips, known for his roles in the Harry Potter and Carry On franchises, passed away at age 98, according to his agent

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market closed higher for a third consecutive day ahead of midterm election results (Dow +1.02%, Nasdaq +0.49%, S&P 500 +0.56%)
  • Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) laid off hundreds of workers from sales teams in an effort to reduce costs and improve profitability, according to a statement from a company spokesperson
  • Electric-vehicle maker Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) reported that it lost $530M in Q3 and revealed plans to raise $1.5B from investors, including a new investment from Saudi Arabia’s public wealth fund which currently owns about 60% of the company; shares fell by as much as 13% in after-hours trading

Mushrooms don't have to taste like mud

Adaptogenic mushrooms have been used for centuries, prized for their ability to help the body respond to external stressors and address both mild and serious health complications. Today, you can find more and more mushroom-based drinks and snacks hitting the store shelves.

The problem? They all taste like... mud.

But they don't have to. The Brothers Apothecary has developed two insanely delicious mushroom-packed superfoods: the decadent Chocodelic Trip dark hot cocoa mix, and Magickal Mushroom, a plant-based & protein-dense meal replacement. Each includes the mycelium and fruiting bodies of 10 powerful mushrooms, like reishi, lion's mane, chaga, all rich in polysaccharides, glycoproteins, triterpenes, essential sugars & antioxidants (plus CBD!).

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Tip & Tricks

  • Bump This: Everyone’s favorite animated band Gorillaz is back with the new synth-heavy track “Baby Queen” off their upcoming album Cracker Island - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: With 16 days until Thanksgiving, you’ve got plenty of time to master this recipe for a restaurant-quality, perfectly-browned turkey that you can get through dry-brining, spatchcocking, and using a mayonnaise marinade (there’s a scientific explanation for the mayonnaise, we promise)
  • Cash Grab: An 18-carat pink diamond sold to an “unidentified Asian buyer” for $28.8M including fees and taxes at Christie’s in Geneva, Switzerland, according to the auction house
  • Nerd Out: Read about how researchers from UCSF have created a type of brain-computer interface that analyzes the brain activity of a user and then translates their brain signals into sentences spelled out onto a screen, effectively allowing people with speech paralysis to speak using just their thoughts (science, baby...yeah!)
  • Say What: “The two of us, we lost each other and found each other. Not to discredit anything in between that happened, because all those things were real too. All we’ve ever wanted was to kind of come to a place of peace in our lives where we really felt that type of love that you feel when you’re very young and wonder if you can have that again,” Jennifer Lopez said about her relationship with now-husband Ben Affleck in a cover interview for Vogue
  • Hot Goss: Actress Julia Fox–known for her role in the 2019 film Uncut Gems–revealed that she isn’t receiving as many acting offers as she was before her relationship with rapper and fashion entrepreneur Kanye West was publicized earlier this year
  • Life Hack: Distractions are everywhere, from our phones to our computers to everyday household items, and staying productive when you need to buckle down can be difficult - check out these 11 tips on how to prevent distraction and sharpen your focus

Looking Back…

On November 9th: Albert Einstein is named the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect (1921); Cambodia gains independence from France (1953); Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is released in American theaters (1984); British writer Dylan Thomas dies in New York City (1953).

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