Your Daily Brief

December 14th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Did you know that the ideal nap length is between 10-20 minutes? Apparently, NASA scientists found that napping longer than this may actually make you more groggy than before you shut your eyes. Based on the data we’ve collected, we think the best naps last between two to three hours...but that's just us. Let us know your ideal nap length!

In Today’s Brief

  • New Zealand: Starting cigarette ban
  • Sam Bankman-Fried: Denied bail
  • World Cup: Argentina goes to finals
  • Spider-Man: New trailer drops

...and more

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Top Tips

Bipartisan TikTok ban

Senator Marco Rubio yesterday announced bipartisan legislation to ban the social media app TikTok in the United States.

Per a press release, the Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party (or ANTI-SOCIAL CCP) Act would require President Biden to block all U.S. transactions with TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. The release also states that Representatives Mike Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi–of Wisconsin and Illinois, respectively–have “introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

TikTok has said that its U.S. user data is stored outside of China, which it claims should keep it out of reach of Chinese government officials. Meanwhile, the U.S. military, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have already restricted TikTok from devices under their control.

November inflation report

Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 7.1% in November compared to last year and 0.1% from the month prior, per a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the Labor Bureau’s report, energy prices rose 13.1% year-over-year, and the index for food rose 10.6% from November 2021 levels. Other categories that saw price increases in the 30 days between October and November include ticket admissions (+3.5%), rent (+0.8%), and alcoholic beverages (+0.7%). “Core” inflation–which removes the food and energy components of the report–increased by 6.0% compared to the same period last year, and rose 0.2% in November after rising 0.3% in October.

November’s 7.1% annualized rise in the CPI reflects the smallest year-over-year increase since December 2021. Price categories that decreased in November are used cars and trucks (-2.9%), airline fares (-3.0%), and gasoline (-2.0%).

Ten years after Sandy Hook

Today marks ten years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut which left 20 schoolchildren and six staff members dead.

In terms of fatalities, statistics show the incident to be the worst grade school shooting in U.S. history. Since Sandy Hook in 2012, there have been 189 shootings at schools around the country that have resulted in at least one fatality, according to research compiled by the independent K-12 School Shooting Database research group. Per the research, a total of 279 individuals have lost their lives from being shot on school property during, before, or after school hours, including weekends.

The ten-year mark comes months after radio host Alex Jones was ordered by juries in Connecticut and Texas to pay over $1.4B in damages to the families of victims for claiming that the incident was staged, and for labeling it a hoax. Jones has since acknowledged the shooting occurred.

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Around the Globe

  • Eight individuals were found guilty over their ties to Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, an attacker who drove a truck into crowds in the French city of Nice in 2016, leaving 86 people dead and 450 injured (More)
  • New Zealand’s parliament passed legislation that will prevent anyone born after 2008 from being able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in the country starting next year (More)
  • FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces several counts of fraud in U.S. federal court, was denied bail by a magistrate judge in the Bahamas who cited heightened flight risk and said Bankman-Fried should be sent back into Bahamian custody until February 8th, 2023 (More)

On the Homefront

  • Energy Department officials and researchers from the National Ignition Facility at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory confirmed they achieved a nuclear fusion reaction that resulted in a “net energy gain,” meaning it produced more energy than it took to create (More)
  • President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law yesterday, codifying federal recognition of same-sex and interracial marriage (More)
  • Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirmed in a statement that the active volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa on Hawaii’s Big Island are both no longer erupting (More)

Glitz & Games

  • The Argentinian men’s national soccer team defeated Croatia with a final score of 3-0 and will advance to the World Cup finals; it marks Argentina’s sixth appearance in a World Cup final (More)
  • Comedian and actor Adam Sandler has been selected to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor next year; previous recipients include Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, David Letterman, Dave Chappelle, and more (More)
  • Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach passed away at age 61 after complications related to a heart condition, according to an announcement from the university (More)

Business & Markets

  • Stocks closed higher following yesterday’s inflation report, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the gains (Dow +0.30%, Nasdaq +1.01%, S&P 500 +0.73%)
  • The market value of electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) slipped below $500B for the first time since November 2020 during yesterday’s trading session, with the stock closing down -4.09% (More)
  • Apple is reportedly planning to let users install alternative app stores on its iOS platform for the first time in response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which is meant to enact “rules for digital gatekeepers to ensure open markets” when it takes effect in 2024 (More)

Tip & Tricks

  • Sneak Peek: Feast your eyes on the official trailer for the upcoming film Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse that’s at once emotional and jam-packed with animated action sequences
  • Bump This: Pop-punk elder statesmen Weezer are back with a new single “I Want A Dog” that masks some pretty strange lyrics with a haunting melody - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Look Up: Check out this image of a supernova resembling a fireworks display 160,000 light years away from Earth that NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured
  • Go Deep: Read up on how Netflix’s Addams Family-inspired Wednesday has surpassed Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story to become the second most popular English-language series of all time on the platform (More)
  • Say What: “They used QuickBooks,” FTX’s new CEO John Ray said while providing testimony during a hearing of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on the exchange’s November collapse (nothing against QuickBooks, but…it’s better than an abacus, we suppose)
  • Hot Goss: Pop singer Dua Lipa is reportedly dating rapper Jack Harlow after meeting him in-person at the Variety Hitmakers Brunch in Los Angeles last month (finally, someone other than Pete Davidson)
  • Life Hack: Don’t be afraid to exercise outside when there’s snow on the ground - running in cold weather has been proven to burn more calories, helps with appetite regulation, and even boost overall brain function

Looking Back…

On December 14th: NASCAR is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida (1947); George Washington, the first president of the United States, dies at age 67 (1799); British punk band the Clash releases the album London Calling (1979); American writer Shirley Jackson is born (1916).

Question of the day

Who do you think played a better Spider-Man?

Tom Holland

Toby Maguire

Yesterday's results

Do you think Elon Musk will turn Twitter around?

Yes, it's just going to take time  (56%)

The company is clearly doomed (44%)

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