11.29.2022

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 29, and we're covering the eruption of the world's largest active volcano, a name change for monkeypox, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Mauna Loa Erupts

Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano began erupting Sunday evening for the first time since 1984, following a recent spike of earthquakes in the area. Portions of the island were under an ashfall advisory yesterday, which has since been canceled.

 

The volcano is the biggest of five that make up the Big Island of Hawaii and is the largest active volcano in the world, rising more than 13,000 feet above sea level. Its neighbor, the Kīlauea volcano, erupted in 2018 and destroyed more than 700 homes.

 

As of this writing, the lava had migrated out of the summit area to a rift zone on the volcano’s northeast flank, but is not threatening any downslope communities. If lava were to break out of some rift zones, it could rush down quickly due to the volcano's steep slopes—during a 1950 eruption, the lava traveled 15 miles in less than three hours.

 

The volcano's previous eruption lasted for around three weeks. See a time-lapse video of the eruption here and webcam updates here.

 

WHO Renames Monkeypox

The World Health Organization announced yesterday it would begin referring to the monkeypox virus as "mpox," the result of a six-month effort to find a nondiscriminatory alternative to avoid stigma. The name "monkeypox" will be phased out over the next year. Read the WHO's statement here.

 

The change comes after the world's largest outbreak of mpox earlier this year saw more than 80,000 infections and 55 deaths across 110 countries. The majority of those infected were men in the US and Europe who have sex with men, but critics argue mitigation efforts were hampered by false stereotypes associating the virus with Africa and primates. While it was first identified in monkeys (see history), it is found primarily in rodents. It is endemic—or regularly identified—in 10 African countries.

 

The shift aligns with the WHO's broader 2015 goal of naming diseases without reference to groups of people, animals, or locations. Read the 2015 naming guidelines here

 

BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy 

Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi, last valued at $4.8B, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday, following this month's collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its sister firm Alameda Research. BlockFi has more than 100,000 creditors, with the largest 10 creditors alone owed nearly $1.2B, including $30M owed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to filings.

 

BlockFi's bankruptcy filing attributes its fall to intertwined finances with FTX and bankrupt cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, previously one of BlockFi's largest borrowers. The New Jersey-based lender has an outstanding $275M loan to FTX US, while Alameda has defaulted on $680M of collateralized loan obligations. Meanwhile, Three Arrows Capital's July bankruptcy has led to about $80M in losses for BlockFi. 

 

BlockFi, founded in 2017, is the latest digital asset firm to declare bankruptcy. Its competitors, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital, also went bankrupt in July, citing volatile market conditions that resulted in losses. See how cryptocurrency lending works here.  

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> The US takes on Iran today (2:00 pm ET, Fox) amid Iran government's anger over US Soccer's social media support for Iran protestors (More) | See rest of today's World Cup schedule (More) | ... and latest standings (More)

> Kevin Spacey to appear in first film since winning $40M sexual assault civil trial; Spacey still faces multiple sexual assault charges in the UK (More)

> Prince William and his wife, Kate, to visit the US for first time in eight years Wednesday for Earthshot Prize climate change awards in Boston (More)

 

Science & Technology

> China-directed bots reportedly spam Twitter searches for Chinese cities with explicit content, overwhelming the platform's moderation team and drowning out info about antilockdown protests (More)

> Rolls-Royce makes first successful demonstration of a commercial jet engine powered by hydrogen fuel (More) | Hydrogen is four times more expensive than conventional jet fuel; commercial aviation accounts for 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (More)

> Engineers develop optical devices capable of manipulating beams of light on the order of nanoseconds; potential applications range from vision systems for autonomous vehicles to precise 3D holograms (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -1.5%, Dow -1.5%, Nasdaq -1.6%) on growing fears of China protests (More)

> Elon Musk claims Apple has threatened to remove Twitter from the App Store (More)

> JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and other banks in discussions to reimburse Zelle customers who fell victim to scams (More)

From our partners: Delay credit card interest until mid-2024? Sounds like a deal to us. This card does just that, providing you up to 21 months for the important stuff: travel, education, good food, time with family, or paying off debt. Apply today in minutes.

 

Politics & World Affairs

Gunman pleads guilty to charges of terrorism and murder, in Buffalo, New York, supermarket shooting in May that killed 10 people, all of whom were Black (More) | Houston issues citywide water boil advisory, with schools shut down, after a power outage disrupted a water purification plant (More

> Rep. Donald McEachin (D, VA-4) dies at 61 after a battle with colorectal cancer and three weeks after being reelected to a fourth term on Capitol Hill (More

> Iranian official says more than 300 people killed in mass protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini (More) | Over 80 people injured and 3,000 arrested in Kerala, India, amid protests against a $900M port project by billionaire Gautam Adani (More) | Europol arrests 49 people and seizes 30 tons of cocaine in drug bust (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Dirty Side of Clean Energy

Rest of World | Antonia Timmerman. How the extraction of nickel—a key component of many electronic vehicle batteries—is damaging the biodiverse environment of Indonesia, primarily driven by China’s EV boom. (Read)

 

> Have We Been Getting Toys Wrong?

The Guardian | Alex Blasdel. For decades, toys have been marketed for the purpose of building children into successful, high-achieving adults. But play isn’t always about hitting educational and developmental milestones. (Read)

The New Way Into a $1.2T Market

 

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reAlpha’s platform will allow everyday investors to become part-owners in vacation properties without the time-consuming duties that come with full ownership. To make it a reality, reAlpha closed a historic $200M financing deal and a $40.8M property-equity joint venture to help them acquire top profit-potential vacation properties. But instead of investing in just one property, you can get in on the ground floor of reAlpha’s business as they democratize the $1.2T global short-term real estate industry. Take advantage of the reAlpha investment opportunity before it ends Dec. 8.

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Giving Tuesday

 

Dear readers—Last year, an estimated 35 million Americans participated in Giving Tuesday, donating more than $2.7B to charities across the country. For those struggling to navigate the charity world, we've compiled a (nonexhaustive) set of groups that are highly rated and have a track record of using funds effectively. 

 

> Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has sent over 188 million free books to children under five, and is rated four stars out of four on Charity Navigator, with 98% of donated funds going toward programming expenses. 

 

> Give Kids the World provides children with critical illnesses and their families all-expenses-paid weeklong vacations at the group's Kissimmee, Florida, resort. Rated four stars out of four, the organization has hosted more than 177,000 families since 1986.

 

> A Sense of Home provides furniture and home goods for teenagers who have aged out of the foster care system, aiming to end the homeless crisis for foster children across America. Another four-star organization on Charity Navigator, the group's accountability and financial practices are rated at a perfect 100%. 

 

> Best Friends aims for a No-Kill America by advocating and educating communities and animal shelters to adopt humane practices. The group earned perfect scores on leadership, culture, and adaptability. 

 

> One Simple Wish helps match donors with specific requests for children in need, rather than donations flowing into a single pot. The organization has a 97% rating, and reached more than 20,000 children in 2021.  

 

> The ESCALA initiative provides basic business education and resources to female and minority entrepreneurs living in poverty around the world. More than 92% of donated funds go toward its programs and services. 

 

Giving Tuesday is more than monetary donations—see other ways you can help those in need.

 

Editor's note: 1440 is not affiliated with these charities in any way.

Etcetera
 

Mapping the world's most popular toys.

 

White House unveils its 2022 holiday decorations

 

Merriam-Webster's word of the year: gaslighting.

 

Cigarette smoking among US adults reaches new low

 

Video games for dogs aim to boost canine cognition

 

The best and worst US cities for singles.

 

How to make the perfect butter board for the holidays.

 

See photos from Thailand's annual feast for macaque monkeys.

 

Clickbait: Prepare for Bambi, the killer deer

 

Historybook: "Chronicles of Narnia" author CS Lewis born (1898); UN General Assembly approves plan to partition Palestine (1947); Warren Commission is established to investigate President Kennedy's assassination (1963); Social activist Dorothy Day dies (1980); The Beatles guitarist George Harrison dies (2001).

"All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much."

- George Harrison, from "It's All Too Much"

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