Your Daily Brief

February 1st, 2023

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Human ambition never ceases to amaze us, and somewhere in Texas, a company led by a Harvard geneticist is on a mission to resurrect extinct species like the dodo bird, the Tasmanian tiger, and the woolly mammoth and reintroduce them into the wild. We’re not scientists by any means, but…hasn’t this guy ever seen Jurassic Park?

In Today’s Brief

  • Pakistan: Death toll from mosque blast rises
  • Memphis: More officers disciplined
  • UFC: Partners with Logan Paul
  • Spotify: Stock pops on user growth

...and more

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Green comet approaches Earth

A green-hued comet is expected to be the most visible to observers today as it shoots past Earth and the sun for the first time in roughly 50K years.

Named C/2022 E3 (ZTF), the comet was discovered on March 2nd, 2022, and has an orbit around the sun that passes through the outer reaches of our solar system. The comet will reportedly reach its closest point to Earth–known as perigee–between today and tomorrow, around 26M miles to 27M miles away. Observers will be able to spot it as a faint green glow near the North Star, Polaris.

The comet’s greenish hue is the result of a clash between sunlight and carbon-based molecules in its coma, or the cloud around a comet’s nucleus that makes it appear fuzzy in the sky. For those unable to see it, the Virtual Telescope Project is hosting a live stream of the comet at perigee beginning tonight at 11:00 PM ET.

DC Studios announces revamp

DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiled the first part of the rebooted DC Universe yesterday at a press conference on the Warner Bros. studio lot.

Gunn and Safran presented Chapter 1 of the DC Universe (DCU), a collection of five films and five series called “Gods and Monsters.” The projects will include a 2025 feature film titled Superman: Legacy, a Batman & Robin movie, a Wonder Woman prequel series, a Green Lantern mystery series, and more. Gunn also posted a video message to Twitter in which he called recent DC projects “disconnected” and offered additional details on the tone and direction of the studio’s planned projects.

Per Gunn, Superman: Legacy will introduce a new Superman not played by Henry Cavill. The DC films slated for release this year are Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17th), The Flash (June 16th), Blue Beetle (August 18th), and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 25th).

German doppelganger murder

Prosecutors in Germany have accused a woman of seeking out a lookalike on Instagram and murdering her in an attempt to fake her own death.

A German-Iraqi woman identified as Shahraban K, now 24, allegedly created fake Instagram accounts and tried to orchestrate meetings with women who resembled her. Eventually, she found an Algerian citizen identified as Khadidja O, a 23-year-old cosmetics blogger in the city of Ingolstadt. Shahraban K and her boyfriend allegedly then made an offer about beauty products and picked her up. Per prosecutors, the pair stopped in a forest after connecting with the victim and stabbed her over 50 times.

Shahraban K allegedly told her parents that she was traveling to Ingolstadt to see her ex-husband. Prosecutors claim the pair placed the victim in the backseat of their car and drove to Ingolstadt, where the vehicle and body were discovered by Shahraban K’s parents. If convicted, the pair face life sentences in prison.

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Quick Tips

Around the Globe

  • Death toll in Pakistan mosque blast from a suicide bombing that took place in Peshawar on Monday rises to 100 (More)
  • British Columbia decriminalizes small amounts of hard drugs as part of a first-in-the-nation experiment in Canada; individuals over 18 can now possess up to 2.5 grams of substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and morphine (More)
  • An Iranian couple reportedly received jail sentences totaling 10 years after posting a video of themselves dancing in the street by Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Tower; Astiyazh Haqiqi, 21, and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22, were reportedly convicted for promoting corruption, prostitution, and propaganda (More)

On the Homefront

  • Two additional Memphis police officers have been disciplined and three emergency responders involved in the initial patient care of Tyre Nichols have been “relieved of duty,” according to officials (More)
  • Representative George Santos of New York will reportedly recuse himself from the House of Representatives Small Business and Science Committees (More)
  • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify at a Congressional hearing set to take place on March 23rd, per a press release from the House Energy and Commerce Committee (More)

Glitz & Games

  • Logan Paul and KSI’s energy drink brand Prime will become the official sports drink of the mixed martial arts organization UFC as part of a multi-year global marketing partnership (More)
  • Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were formally charged yesterday with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the fatal 2021 shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust (More)
  • Daytime TV show ‘Dr. Phil’ will end its run of original episodes after 21 seasons; Dr. Phil McGraw, 72, reportedly made the decision to stop producing new episodes at the close of the current 2022-23 season (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market closed higher yesterday, with the Nasdaq capping its best-performing January since 2001 (Dow +1.09%, Nasdaq +1.67%, S&P 500 +1.46%)
  • Shares of music streaming service Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) rose by as much as 12% during yesterday’s trading session after the company reported 489M monthly active users for Q4, up 20% year-over-year (More)
  • General Motors will invest $650M into Lithium Americas to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada for harvesting raw materials for electric batteries; the mine is the largest known source of lithium in the U.S. and the third largest in the world, per a joint announcement from the two companies (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Read up on how Linda Ronstadt’s song “Long Long Time” has surged in popularity after being featured in the most recent episode of HBO’s zombie apocalypse series The Last of Us (if you haven’t watched the show yet, what are you waiting for?)
  • Sneak Peek: Hollywood is adapting yet another Stephen King novel, featuring a small child and the creepy monster under the bed - check out the official trailer for The Boogeyman, due in theaters on June 2nd
  • Bump This: Sister pop duo-turned-indie outfit Aly & AJ just dropped a super-catchy alternative rock single titled “Baby Lay Your Head Down” - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: If you think tater tots can’t be gourmet, this recipe for tater tots and five artisanal sauces as seen in an episode of Breaking Bad will make you think again (plus, if you’ve got kids, they’ll love it!)
  • Go Deep: Speaking of The Last Of Us…see what scientists have to say about whether or not a fungal pandemic is actually possible
  • Hot Goss: Priscilla Presley is reportedly challenging the validity of her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley’s will, according to a filing she made in Los Angeles Superior Court last week
  • Life Hack: Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or “NEAT” for short, describes the energy you expend to do everything that isn’t sleeping, eating, or purposeful exercise, and being aware of it can help you stay active - here are over a dozen ways to increase your NEAT and boost your fitness levels


See a woman narrowly dodge a boulder rolling through her house.

The world’s most beautiful train routes.

From easy to ultra-complicated, five ways to explain infinity.

Video footage of a midnight gorilla heist.

A picture of purple honey that bees produce in North Carolina.

…and a majestic photo of Telluride’s Mystic Falls.

The double-edged sword of reducing your screen time.

An image of a crater on Mars that looks just like a bear.

Looking Back…

On February 1st: Seven crew members perish when the space shuttle Columbia breaks up during reentry to Earth’s atmosphere (2003); Aung San Suu Kyi is ousted when the military seizes power in Myanmar (2021); Janet Jackson experiences a “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show (2004); Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is born (1962).

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Question of the Day

Who played a better Superman?

Christopher Reeve

Henry Cavill

Yesterday's Results

If you had to live without one of your senses, which would it be?

Hearing (73%)

Vision (27%)

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