1.21.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, Jan. 21, and in this weekend edition, we're covering a village fire in Seoul, South Korea, a massive trove of dinosaur eggs, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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

One Big Headline
 

Seoul Village Fire

A fire broke out yesterday in Guryong Village, a densely packed neighborhood in South Korea's capital of Seoul, destroying roughly 60 makeshift homes and forcing approximately 500 people to evacuate. Hundreds of firefighters and several helicopters extinguished the fire in five hours (see photos). The cause of the fire is unknown and no deaths have been reported.

 

Home to 1,000 people, Guryong Village was formed as an informal settlement for people who were pushed out of their original neighborhoods under the city's redevelopment projects for the 1988 Summer Olympics. The village is considered to be Seoul's last remaining slum. It is located across a highway from the capital's affluent Gangnam district, which features high-rise apartments and luxury shopping.

 

Guryong Village, in which many of the homes are made with cardboard and wood, has had at least 16 fires since 2009. Seoul's government, in 2011, had announced plans to redevelop the area, but efforts have stalled due to disagreements between village residents and officials over land compensation and other issues. See video of the village before the fire here.

Quick Hits
 

March for Life demonstration returns to the US Capitol.

Tens of thousands of people attended the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, yesterday. The event is the country's largest pro-life demonstration and comes about seven months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, returning the issue of abortion to state legislatures.

 

Ruben Gallego to challenge Kyrsten Sinema in 2024 Senate run.

Arizona Rep. Gallego (D) is expected to announce his bid for the US Senate by Monday, launching a face-off against Arizona Sen. Sinema, who in December switched her party affiliation from Democrat to independent.

 

Alphabet (Google) to lay off 12,000 people from its workforce.

CEO Sundar Pichai announced the layoffs yesterday in an email to staff, which would account for about 6% of the company. Online retailer Wayfair also announced it is cutting 1,750 roles, or 10% of its workforce. Both are the latest in a series of companies reducing their staff amid the current macroeconomic climate. 

 

Existing home sales fell for 11th consecutive month in December.

Home sales ended 2022 at a seasonally adjusted, annualized pace of 4.02 million units, which was 34% lower than December 2021—the slowest pace since November 2010. Total sales for 2022 were down 17.8% from 2021, due to a number of factors, including higher mortgage rates.

 

Paleontologists find 250 fossilized dinosaur eggs in India.

Scientists from the University of Delhi also discovered 92 dinosaur nesting sites and a rare ovum-in-ovo, in which an egg is found to contain another egg. The discovery was made in Narmada Valley in central India. 

In partnership with organifi

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Humankind
 

Meet a 90-year-old woodcutter who built his own hobbit-inspired house. (More)

 

Navy veteran and Walmart cashier retires after TikTok users raise $100K. (More)

 

Food truck owner helps fund scholarships for students at his alma mater. (More)  

 

High school students create prosthetic for dog who lost its leg to cancer. (More

 

... and elementary school students turn defaced electrical boxes into art. (More)

 

Buffalo Bills legend surprises man who rescued 24 people during Buffalo, New York, storm with Super Bowl tickets. (More)

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Raven K. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

"I studied abroad ... for all of middle and high school, leaving behind my mom and my adoptive little brother, Benjamin. He'll be 4 on Valentine's Day, and would always cry when it was time for me to go back to school ... He missed me so much, in fact, that one time when they went to Panera, he thought he saw me behind the counter and began screaming, 'Raven! Raven!! It's my stister!!' (He can't pronounce 'sister' quite yet.) He ran up to the desk, and the girl who turned around after hearing the noise of course wasn't me. She liked him so much though that every time my mom has gone to that Panera since, months later, she gives a free oatmeal raisin cookie to my little Benjamin."

 

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

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> The percentage of US workers who are members of a union is now at an all-time low of 10.1%, compared to a high of 20.1% in 1983.
> A 1920s diamond cross pendant once worn by Princess Diana sells for $202,492 at auction—to Kim Kardashian.

 

Browse 

> TripAdvisor ranks the world's best food destinations. 

> Meet Australia's toadzilla, a toad six times bigger than the average.

> ... and Spike the chihuahua, the world's oldest living dog

Boy catches an 11-foot-long great white shark (w/photos).

> One way to get out of responding to your family group chat

 

Listen 

> Who's in your inner circle? Exploring the unintended consequences of having friends who are just like us


Watch 

> How to become a great strategic thinker

> The bizarre world of parasitic wasps.

> Why Canada's teachers run an investment firm in Singapore

 

Long Read 

> The coolest rock show in Ann Arbor—almost everyone is over 65.

Getting lost in the world's largest stack of menus.

> How a green burial startup wants to turn people into trees.

 

Best of the Week: Mapping the most filmed locations in every US state.

 

Historybook: Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine (1793); Fashion designer Christian Dior born (1905); Golf great Jack Nicklaus born (1940); Founding father of American cinema Cecil B. DeMille dies (1959); First Women’s March sees large-scale protests in more than 160 countries (2017).

"The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication."

- Cecil B. DeMille

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