Your Daily Brief

February 23rd, 2022

Good morning, and happy Thursday! You know that AI is the talk of the town in Silicon Valley…but it’s quickly spreading beyond tech to other industries, including the arts. Apparently, sci-fi publishers and magazines have had to halt submissions after receiving too much AI-generated fiction. Maybe now they’ll get around to picking our dystopian fantasy manuscript from the bottom of the slush pile!

In Today’s Brief

  • West Bank: Israel raids Nablus
  • Tennessee: Uranium fire breaks out
  • Novak Djokovic: Seeks entry into U.S.
  • Mercedes: Partners with Google

...and more

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Top Tips

Winter storms across the US

About 75M people are under winter weather alerts from a storm that is expected to bring between 15-20 inches of snow across parts of California, the Midwest, and the northern U.S. through Saturday.

Over 20 inches of snow was expected from yesterday to this morning in Minneapolis, which is forecast to see more than 2 feet over the week–the city’s most in 30 years. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard to help people stuck in blizzard conditions, and the Minneapolis school system moved to remote classes for the rest of the week. Dozens of other school districts also canceled classes in the Dakotas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

According to flight tracking site FlightAware, more than 3.5K flights within the U.S. were delayed or canceled yesterday. Over 140K homes were without power in California, where several feet of snow is expected in the mountains with a few inches possible in lower elevations, per the National Weather Service.

Seattle bans caste discrimination

Seattle became the first U.S. city to outlaw caste discrimination after its local council voted to add caste to the city’s anti-discrimination laws.

The ordinance amends the city’s municipal code to include caste as a protected class, alongside categories such as race, religion, and gender identity. The amendment, titled “Caste as a Protected Class,” bans caste discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other arenas, and allows people to file complaints based on caste discrimination. While caste discrimination has been prohibited in India since 1948, the move makes Seattle the first city in the world outside South Asia to pass such a law.

India’s caste system divides Hindus into hierarchical groups based on one’s occupation and birth, with the four categories being Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and the Shudras. It can be traced back 3K years and still exists today. The U.S. is the second-most popular destination for Indians living abroad, per the Migration Policy Institute, which estimated about 2.7M in the U.S. diaspora as recently as 2021.

Mystery sphere in Japan

A metal sphere with unknown origins washed up on a beach in the Japanese coastal city of Hamamatsu and was removed by authorities yesterday.

The sphere, about 4.9 feet in diameter, was reportedly discovered on Enshuhama Beach by a runner who reported it to the police. Its appearance prompted the police to scramble the bomb squad, and X-rays confirmed that the sphere appeared to be hollow and held no danger of explosion. Masaki Matsukawa, head of the Shizuoka Prefectural Hamamatsu Civil Engineering Office’s coastal maintenance division, told local news outlets that it remains unclear what the metal object is but said “we will dispose of it in the same way as normal floating debris.”

The sphere’s appearance comes amid increased awareness of unidentified objects since the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon earlier this month, followed by multiple high-altitude objects that the U.S. military also downed.

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Quick Tips

Around the Globe

  • Israeli forces raided Nablus in the occupied West Bank, leaving ten Palestinians dead and at least 100 wounded, according to local sources (More)
  • A coal mine collapsed in northern China in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, reportedly leaving at least two people dead and more than 50 trapped (More)
  • France is preparing to enact water restrictions in certain territories starting in March after recording 32 days without rain and the country’s driest winter in 64 years, according to environment minister Christophe Bechu (More)

On the Homefront

  • A uranium fire broke out at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, yesterday, according to a spokesperson for the National Nuclear Security Administration; no injuries were reported as of last night (More)
  • The man convicted of gunning down rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle was given a sentence of 60 years to life in prison by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke II (More)
  • Daughter of assassinated civil rights activist Malcolm X announced that she intends to file lawsuits against the FBI, the CIA, NYPD, and others for his death 58 years ago (More)

Glitz & Games

  • Novak Djokovic has asked U.S. authorities for special permission to enter the country despite his Covid vaccination status; the world’s No. 1 ranked men’s tennis player reportedly seeks to compete in March tournaments in Indian Wells, CA, and Miami, FL (More)
  • Writers Guild of America will begin negotiations on a new contract on March 20th, according to an announcement from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers; the guild’s current three-year agreement is set to expire on May 1st (More)
  • PGA Tour and LPGA announce a new mixed-team event that will see men and women compete together in a co-sanctioned tournament to debut this December at Tiburon Golf Club and the Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market ended mixed, with the S&P 500 notching its fourth straight day of losses (Dow -0.26%, Nasdaq +0.13%, S&P 500 -0.16%)
  • Terran Orbital Corporation was granted a $2.4B contract to design, build, and deploy 288 low-earth orbit satellites for Rivada Space Networks through its subsidiary Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems; shares of Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP) rose more than 85% in response (More)
  • Mercedes-Benz and Google have struck a licensing partnership that will allow the automaker to build its own branded navigation powered by Google Maps and offer drivers YouTube as part of updated infotainment systems (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Meet Dianne Gordon, a 65-year-old Michigander who turned in nearly $15K to the police after she found it in a bag at a gas station…and who was rewarded for her selflessness with over four times as much after the community set up a drive in her name
  • Sneak Peek: Watch Russell Crowe fight to ward off evil in the official trailer for The Pope’s Exorcist, inspired by the story of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican
  • Bump This: Indie singer-songwriter Noah Pope weaves George Harrison-like melodies with youthful lyrics of angst and anxiety - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: Okay, this isn’t a recipe, per se, but we thought it’d be worthwhile to share these five things to never do when cooking, according to a seasoned chef 
  • Go Deep: Read up on the slate of new rules introduced by Major League Baseball, set to take effect when spring training begins tomorrow…and how they could change America’s favorite pastime as we know it
  • Hot Goss: Rust is set to finish filming at Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana this spring, while lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin still faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
  • Life Hack: You’ve likely heard of the power of positive self-talk, which can help reprogram our subconscious minds - here are 99 positive affirmations to help inspire, uplift, and bolster feelings of self-love in the moments when you need it


Mapping out the most stressful states to work in.

Five ChatGPT alternatives for AI chatbots.

Meet the teen who cycled from Alaska to Argentina.

See how MIT scientists created a working 3D-printed heart.

Tidepools at sunset on Oregon’s Bandon Beach.

…and a high-res shot of Yosemite’s firefall phenomenon.

Interviewing actor and E Street Band alum Steven Van Zandt.

More strange items that have washed up on beaches.

Looking Back…

On February 23rd: U.S. marines raise the American flag over Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima during WWII (1945); Mississippi is readmitted to the United States following the American Civil War (1870); Wilt Chamberlain becomes the first NBA player to score 25K points (1968); American sociologist and social reformer W.E.B. Du Bois is born (1868).

In partnership with Caraway®

Peace of mind at dinner

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Go outside and play

Stay inside and relax

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