11.3.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Friday, Nov. 3, and we're covering the end of a high-profile crypto trial, a new song from legendary artists brought to you by AI, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Jury Decides SBF's Fate

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now defunct cryptocurrency trading platform FTX, was found guilty yesterday of misappropriating billions in investor funds. The company's collapse last November shocked investors and marked a low point in the so-called "crypto winter."

 

Bankman-Fried, commonly referred to by the acronym SBF, was accused of defrauding customers by using billions of their deposits to cover losses at his investment firm, Alameda Research. The scheme led to the abrupt devaluation of the company's proprietary token (see timeline) and the evaporation of almost $32B in value on the exchange. 

 

The 31-year-old MIT graduate will be sentenced March 28 and faces a maximum of 115 years in jail (though the sentence is likely to be far less). Bankman-Fried took the stand in his own defense—a strategy that experts say may have harmed him after he came off as defensive upon cross-examination. 

 

'Now and Then'

The final song from the iconic English rock band The Beatles was released yesterday, a track that relies on AI-enhanced vocals from former co-frontman John Lennon. Listen to the song, titled "Now and Then," here

 

Regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time, The Beatles are the bestselling artists in music history, having shipped more than 180 million albums. Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and (for most of the time) Ringo Starr, were nominated for 21 Grammys in the span of six years beginning in 1965.

 

The group broke up in 1970, and Lennon was tragically killed by an angry fan in 1980. The new song was originally written by Lennon in 1977 and surfaced in 1994 by McCartney but was shelved due to Lennon's voice being muffled by a piano. New technology reportedly allowed Lennon's vocals to be isolated and enhanced to the point of being usable. 

 

A short film about the song's production was released late Wednesday—watch it here.

 

Ciarán Slams Europe

A powerful bomb cyclone named Ciarán pummeled parts of France and the UK this week, bringing heavy rains and hurricane-force winds to the area. Ciarán's intensity was likened to that of a Category 3 hurricane.

 

The second-highest level alert was issued in the UK for parts of southern England, Scotland, and Wales. Record-breaking winds, exceeding 102 miles per hour in the Channel Island of Jersey, battered the region alongside heavy rainfall and large waves, some up to 50 feet high. In France, the town of Brittany experienced wind gusts of up to 129 mph, resulting in at least six people dead and leaving 1.2 million homes without power.

 

The storm is the UK's third named storm in the winter storm season, which starts in early September. A mass of cold air from the eastern US met warm air in the Atlantic, resulting in an extratropical cyclone (see how here). The cyclone's pressure then dropped 24 millibars in 24 hours—or a bomb cyclone—as it moved over the country, reaching a record low of 953.3 millibars and setting a November record for the lowest atmospheric pressure measured in England.

 

See photos of the damage here

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Six Flags merges with Cedar Point parent company to form $8B theme park giant with 42 amusement and water parks across North America (More)

> NBA's first in-season tournament starts tonight; see tournament format and predictions (More) | CBS sells out of 2024 Super Bowl (Feb. 11) commercial spots at up to $7M per 30-second ad (More)

> Live Nation, which operates Ticketmaster, posts $8.2B in Q3 revenue as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé lead in concert sales (More) | Suspect in rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 murder pleads not guilty in Las Vegas courtroom (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Scientists demonstrate nanoparticles that deliver drugs directly to tumors in the brain by injecting them into the body's cerebrospinal fluid (More)

> Researchers discover 300-mile-wide rotating eddy current off Australia's South Pacific coast; phenomenon is 30% warmer than the average ocean temperatures, may trigger marine heat wave (More)

> Engineered melanin compound shown to actively repair the skin from damage caused by sunlight and other environmental factors (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with Knightscope

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +1.9%, Dow +1.7%, Nasdaq +1.8%) as Treasury yields fall, investors bet on paused interest rate hikes (More) | Average US 30-year fixed mortgage rate falls to 7.76%, the first drop in seven weeks (More

> Uber ($290M) and Lyft ($38M) agree to pay combined $328M to more than 100,000 New York drivers to settle wage theft allegations (More) | National Association of Realtors CEO resigns two days after trade group was found liable for conspiring to inflate home sales commissions (More

> Apple beats Q3 revenue and earnings expectations, records fourth consecutive quarterly sales decline (More) | Starbucks tops Q3 expectations, with sales growth driven by US consumers (More)

From our partners: Make money while you sleep? Everyone could use some extra cash. That’s why Knightscope’s bond offering is such an exciting opportunity. You could earn 10% annual interest for 5 years. For example, you can potentially earn $1,000 a year when you buy $10,000 worth of bonds, totaling $5,000 after 5 years. But you’ll need to move quickly: Only $10M in bonds are available. Learn more and start earning interest today.*

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Israeli ground troops advance on Gaza City; the US pushes to allow pauses in conflict to deliver humanitarian aid (More) | Hundreds more evacuees, including 400 Americans, allowed to leave Gaza (More) | See updates on war here (More)

> New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA-4) holds first conference, lays out priorities; calls for splitting aid packages to Israel and Ukraine, plans to provide government funding ahead of a Nov. 17 deadline yet to be revealed (More)

> Russian President Vladimir Putin signs law that would allow country to exit the 1996 treaty banning nuclear testing (More) | See updates on Russia-Ukraine war here (More)

 

In-Depth

> Why We're Drawn to Horror

Scientific American | Athena Aktipis, Coltan Scrivner. The surprising evolutionary reasons why we paradoxically seek out horror films and haunted houses. (Read)

 

> How Tea Conquered the World

Smithsonian | Charlene Wang de Chen. The millennia-long history of the tea plant Camellia sinensis, from its mythical Chinese origins to its modern-day emojis. (Read)

> Your Brain from Birth to Death

Economist | Staff. Follow the journey of a human brain from its beginnings as a mere neural plate in the embryo to its final flickers minutes after death. (Watch)

 

> The Kids of Rutherford County

Serial/NY Times | Meribah Knight. (Podcast) When 11 children are arrested for watching a fight without intervening, deeper systemic issues within a Tennessee county police department rise to the surface. (Listen)

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Etcetera
 

Editor's note: More than 10 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in October. Enjoy!

 

(10/16/23) The Ring of Fire eclipse, in photos.

 

(10/16/23) The newest way to laugh over text: IJBOL.

 

(10/6/23) Boost your Wi-Fi with aluminum foil.

 

(10/11/23) How often you should wash your jeans.

 

(10/23/23) See America's abandoned megaprojects. (w/video)

 

(10/10/23) California becomes first state to ban four food additives.

 

(10/10/23) Rover captures blue sunset on Mars.

 

(10/10/23) Woman lives on floating island she built with her late husband.

 

(10/28/23) Compare your net worth with different age groups.

 

(10/14/23) How marijuana changes your sleep.

 

Clickbait: The basic life questions whose answer really is 42.

 

Historybook: American sharpshooter Annie Oakley dies (1926); Journalist and fashion icon Dame Anna Wintour born (1949); The Soviet Union launches first animal into space (1957); US arms sale to Iran revealed (1986); One World Trade Center officially opens on former site of Twin Towers (2014).

"The best way to make a dream come true is to wake up."

- Dame Anna Wintour

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*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for Knightscope, Inc.’s Reg A offering. Please read the offering circular at https://bond.knightscope.com/.

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