2.24.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, Feb. 24, and in this weekend edition, we're covering the discovery of a dragon-like reptile, an intraday milestone for an AI darling, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share. We listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Chinese 'Dragon' Fossil

An international team of paleontologists from the US, Europe, and China have uncovered the fossils of a 240-million-year-old dragon-like marine animal in southwestern China, according to research published yesterday.

 

The nearly 17-foot-long aquatic reptile, dubbed the "Chinese dragon," belongs to the Dinocephalosaurus orientalis species. The animal features flippers and what paleontologists describe as an unusually long neck that stretches nearly 8 feet, resembling snake-like dragons in Chinese mythology (see overview). The species was first discovered in 2003 when a skull and three cervical vertebrae were uncovered from limestone deposits. More remains were eventually found, allowing paleontologists to piece together the complete skeleton over a 10-year period. 

 

The specimen's remains were found in Guizhou province in China, home to the discovery of several other species from the Triassic period (about 252 million to 201 million years ago) when Earth featured the single supercontinent of Pangea. The Triassic period was the first period of the Mesozoic Era.  

Quick Hits
 

Netanyahu outlines official blueprint for postwar Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a two-page outline of his plans to his security cabinet, mostly reflecting his public statements. The plan includes Israel's military operating in Gaza indefinitely and shuttering the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza and the West Bank, which faces allegations that some of its workers are linked to militants. The US has pushed for the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to play a role in governing Gaza.

 

US announces over 500 sanctions against Russia.

The sanctions target individuals connected to the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died last week, as well as Russia's financial and defense sectors and people and entities believed to be providing support to Russia. The measure is the largest batch of sanctions the US has imposed on Russia since it invaded Ukraine and comes on the war's two-year anniversary.

 

Nvidia briefly surpasses $2T valuation in intraday trading.

The chipmaker eventually closed with a $1.97T valuation. Nvidia has seen its shares skyrocket in the past year as a prominent player in the artificial intelligence boom, adding a record $277B to its market capitalization Thursday alone. In comparison, Coca-Cola as a whole is worth $264B. Nvidia is currently the third largest US company, behind Microsoft ($3.05T) and Apple ($2.82T). 

 

AT&T says cell outage caused by technical error, not cyberattack.

A preliminary review found the hourslong cellphone outage across the US was caused by an error in the application and execution of a software update intended to expand AT&T's network. An estimated 70,000 people (less than 1% of the network's estimated 100 million people serviced) were affected by Thursday's outage.

 

Voters head to polls in South Carolina's GOP primary today.

An average of all South Carolina polls shows former President Donald Trump with about 62% of the vote and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with about 34% of the vote. Trump has so far won Republican races in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Whoever wins South Carolina's statewide vote will receive 29 delegates, while the winner of each of the seven congressional districts will receive three delegates for each district won.

 

Germany moves closer to legalizing cannabis.

German lawmakers approved legislation Friday legalizing limited amounts of cannabis for recreational use. The proposal includes letting adults carry up to 25 grams (nearly an ounce) of cannabis in public and privately owning up to 50 grams. The proposal still requires approval from the country's Federal Council next month and subsequent sign-off from the president. If fully approved, the law will go into effect in April. 

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Humankind
 

A collection of graphics illustrating positive news from around the world. (More)

 

A father and daughter's mirror dance routines go viral on TikTok. (More, w/video) 

 

Good Samaritan accompanies an injured mother to catch a flight after Atlanta airport's train system was disabled. (More)

 

Texas mother at work gets surprise visit from daughter who returns home from duty with the Marines. (More, w/video) 

 

Study finds virtual reality helps enhance emotional well-being of seniors. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Milam B. in South Carolina.

 

"In 1951, after graduating from high school, two friends and I took my 1931 Model A Ford on a trip from Louisville, Kentucky, to New Orleans, Louisiana (over 1,700 miles). There were no interstates in those days, and we couldn't get much over 35 mph with the 4-cylinder engine. We drove both day and night and were very seldom relieved from the heat of travel. Upon returning to Louisville, we had run out of funds and had a car problem in Jackson, Mississippi. The only gasoline station opened at 10 am and was a Phillips 66 station that did not perform any auto repairs. They did tell me of a mechanic living across the street from the station. Since it was so late, we were concerned about contacting him."

 

"With no other answers, we reluctantly knocked on his door and he answered in his PJs. We told him our story and he dressed and took us to his garage, where he spent over an hour repairing the car and bid us farewell. With our limited funds, he would not take a penny and we offered him anything we had in the car as payment (souvenirs, clothes, etc.) and he wouldn't take a thing for his efforts. Three broke boys were able to obtain a loan from a relative in Memphis and carry on to our home in Louisville, with grateful hearts and wonderful experiences with a kind and gentle man."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> Passenger planes hit supersonic speeds of over 800 mph due to strong winds.

> Measles cases rose 79% worldwide last year, according to latest WHO data.

> US casinos won $66.5B from gamblers in 2023, a record for the industry.

 

Browse 

Visualizing the world's richest people (in 2024).

> New anaconda species discovered, believed to be largest ever found.

> Portland is home to the world's smallest park.

> McDonald's is launching a chili "WcDonalds" sauce.

> Artist carves food into detailed edible sculptures.  

> The Cadbury Bunny Tryouts return

 

Listen 

> Can couples learn to argue better?

 

Watch 

> What could happen after a nuclear war.

> How the US military's largest cafeteria feeds 4,500 soldiers in 90 minutes.

Restored footage of Vienna, Austria, in the 1920s.

 

Long Read 

> How the bubonic plague rewired the human immune system

> Inside the life of a professional bridesmaid

 

Most Read of the Week: Ranking US real-estate property taxes by state.

 

Historybook: Marbury v. Madison establishes principle of judicial review in the US (1803); Nike cofounder Phil Knight born (1938); Steve Jobs born (1955); "Hidden Figures" NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson dies (2020); Russia begins full-scale invasion of Ukraine (2022). 

"I wanted what everyone wants. To be me, full-time."

- Phil Knight

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