2.2.2024

Facts, without motives.
 

In partnership with

Good morning. It's Friday, Feb. 2, and we're covering rising protests in Europe over farm policy, a century-old tradition in Pennsylvania, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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

Need To Know
 

Tractors Tie Up Brussels

Hundreds of farmers protested outside the European Parliament building in Brussels yesterday as lawmakers gathered for a summit. Demonstrators blocked roads with over 1,000 tractors, toppled a statue, set fires, launched fireworks, and threw eggs (see video).

 

The protest joined dozens more across some of Europe's major cities, where thousands of farmers have gathered in recent weeks to protest their economic conditions. Activists are calling for increased wages, tax relief, reductions in environmental rules, and protection from cheap food imports, among others. Nearly 80 protesters were arrested in France after 10,000 farmers gathered, blocking main arteries with tractors. Several major supermarkets called for an end to the protests Thursday to allow disrupted food supply chains to reopen.

 

European Union lawmakers appeared to concede to farmers Wednesday when they agreed to delay a proposed rule requiring farmers not to cultivate 4% of their arable land to allow for soil regeneration. 

 

Apple's Headset Arrives

Apple's Vision Pro headset launches in the US today, the company's first major product release since the Apple Watch debuted in April 2015. Starting at $3,500, the headset boasts compatibility with more than 1 million apps and games, including Disney+, PGA Tour Vision, and Microsoft 365 productivity tools.

 

Dubbed a "spatial computing" device in an effort to distinguish it from competitors, it allows users to switch between full virtual reality and augmented reality while also allowing users to see through to the front of the headset. The device comes equipped with 14 cameras, a lidar sensor, six microphones, an illuminator that can scan faces, and more. The headset is expected to generate $1.4B in revenue this year, a fraction of the almost $400B Apple anticipates in fiscal year 2024.

 

Competitors like Meta have expressed optimism that Apple's launch may reinvigorate interest in their cheaper alternatives. Google and Samsung are reportedly working on a headset for release by 2025. 

 

All Eyes on Punxsutawney

The nation's attention turns to western Pennsylvania this morning to watch the country's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, determine whether 2024 will bring an early spring or a longer winter. The prescient land-beaver will pick one of two scrolls, each containing separate wintery prophecies.

 

As is tradition, the slumberous whistle-pig will join his top-hatted crew to see whether he'll spot his shadow (foretelling six more weeks of winter) or relax a bit with his admiring fans (predicting an early spring). Phil is right about 40% of the time—or an impressive 60% if you flip the somewhat arbitrary rules.

 

The ceremony was originally conceived of by a local newspaper editor in 1886 but has its roots in Eastern European celebrations of the midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox—and also falls on the lesser-known Christian holiday, Candlemas. 

 

Historical accounts suggest farmers used the appearance of hibernating mammals to signal spring. In reality, science suggests the salacious marmot likely appears to check for mates. 

 

Editor's note: Much like Phil, our preview has become a tradition at 1440and after seven years, we've run out of ways to describe the critter. Know a different name for groundhogs? Let us know at [email protected]!

In partnership with EnergyX

The Next Gold Rush

 

The demand for lithium is fueling a modern-day gold rush. Lithium is essential for

batteries in electric cars, storing renewable energy, and even smartphones. Demand

for lithium is projected to soar 20x by 2040, creating a massive opportunity for

investors. Elon Musk didn’t hold back when talking about the potential here: “Do

Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.”

 

Enter EnergyX. Their patented LiTAS™ technology can extract up to 300% more

lithium than traditional methods. They’ve already inked deals with top lithium

producers, secured a partnership and strategic investment from General Motors,

and earned a $5M Department of Energy grant.

 

Now you can invest in EnergyX at their $8/share price before it changes on Feb. 8. Become a ground-floor investor by becoming an EnergyX shareholder here.*

Please support our sponsors!

In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The 65th Grammy Awards to be presented Sunday (8 pm ET, CBS); see nominations and predictions for all categories (More) | See full list of Grammys performers (More)

> Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula One world champion, to depart Mercedes and join Ferrari at end of 2024 season (More) | NFL Pro Bowl Games kick off, continue Sunday (3 pm ET, ESPN) (More) | Mike Martin, all-time winningest college baseball coach, dies at 79 (More)

> Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from 2021 shooting death of "Rust" cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (More)

From our partners: 2024: The year of the one-card wallet. If you’ve been dreaming of a “one-card wallet,” it’s time to wake up and get your hands on this credit card. Not only does it offer 0% APR into 2025, but cardholders can also earn up to an industry-crushing 5% cash back, with no annual fee to boot.

 

Science & Technology

> Scientists pinpoint why women are at much higher risk of autoimmune disorders than men; a process known as X chromosome inactivation, meant to throttle the activity of the second X chromosome, can trigger an immune system response (More)

> AI researchers demonstrate language model trained on film captured by a headcam attached to a single infant; approach may shed light on how children learn to speak and understand language (More)

> Study suggests clownfish may have the ability to count; research finds fish determine who is friendly or a potential threat based on the number of white strips exhibited (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +1.3%, Dow +1.0%, Nasdaq +1.3%), rebounding after sell-off driven by Fed’s decision to keep interest rates steady (More

> Peloton shares drop nearly 25% after reporting mixed results, trims full-year revenue outlook (More) | Meta shares rise 14% in after-hours trading, announces first-ever dividend and authorizes $50B share buyback (More) | Apple's revenue grows for first time in a year (More) | Amazon sees 14% revenue increase in Q4 (More)

> Deutsche Bank to cut 3,500 jobs, or 4% of workforce, in effort to slash costs by $2.7B by 2025 (More) | Zoom to lay off roughly 150 jobs, or nearly 2% of workforce (More) | More than 100 tech companies have laid off over 30,000 people since the start of 2024; see table (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Biden administration issues sanctions against Israeli settlers involved in violence with Palestinians in the West Bank (More) | West Bank 101 (More) | See updates on the Israel-Hamas war (More)

> European Union to launch mission to protect commercial vessels in the Red Sea from Houthi militia attacks within the next three weeks (More) | EU separately agrees to $54B in aid to Ukraine, as Ukrainian government says its military is nearly out of basic military supplies (More)

> First of two atmospheric rivers moves through California, with storms expected to bring threats of flooding across the state and add up to 5 feet of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada (More)

 

In-Depth

> War of Lies

Tangle | Isaac Saul. From claims of crisis actors to misrepresented photos and videos, explore how both sides in the Israel-Hamas war are pushing extreme misinformation on social media. (Watch)

 

> The Diminishing

Sunday Long Read | Sam Toperoff. A 90-year-old former documentarian takes stock of his life among the "very old" and explains why his last decades could be his happiest. (Read)

> The Man in Room 117

New York Times | Ellen Barry. The painful story of a young man suffering from psychotic delusions who rejects medication, offering insights into the revived debate over involuntary treatment. (Read)

 

> The Curious Mr. Feynman

Freakonomics | Stephen Dubner. (Podcast) Explore the life of theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, a participant in the Manhattan Project, a pioneer in quantum computing, and the originator of the concept of nanotechnology. (Listen)

In partnership with EnergyX

How GM Is Securing Its Lithium Supply

 

The world will need to produce 3.8 million tons of lithium per year by 2035 to meet

the demand for electric vehicles. General Motors is turning to one startup to unlock US-based lithium supply: EnergyX. EnergyX’s patented LiTAS™ technology can

extract up to 300% more lithium than traditional methods.

 

GM led a $50 million funding round in EnergyX earlier this year, and you can join them. Invest in EnergyX at the $8/share price before it changes on Feb. 8 by becoming a shareholder here.*

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera—Best of January 2024
 

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

 

(1/23/24) Baby names at risk of going extinct in 2024.

 

(1/11/24) State of Alaska grows in size by nearly a Texas

 

(1/29/24) The most popular dog breeds in each US state

 

(1/8/24) A doctor explains when (and why) to wash your bedsheets. (via Instagram) 

 

(1/18/24) The most expensive states for groceries in the US.

 

(1/11/24) The best (and worst) states to raise a family in 2024

 

(1/18/24) The best and worst states to drive in (in 2024).

 

(1/9/24) Photo captures stealth bomber flying over football stadium

 

(1/29/24) The average age of Americans at first marriage (by state). 

 

Clickbait: Humpback whales create a Fibonacci spiral

 

Historybook: New Amsterdam (present-day New York) becomes a city (1653); First Groundhog Day celebrated (1887); First Groundhog Day celebrated (1887); First Groundhog Day celebrated (1887); Shakira born (1977); Hollywood legend Gene Kelly dies (1996); Philip Seymour Hoffman dies (2014).

"If Fred Astaire is the Cary Grant of dance, I'm the Marlon Brando."

- Gene Kelly

Why 1440? The printing press was invented around the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. More facts: In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. We’re here to make each one count.

 

Send us your feedback at [email protected] and help us stay as unbiased as humanly possible. We’re ready to listen.

 

Interested in reaching smart readers like you? To become a 1440 partner, apply here.

 

*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for EnergyX's Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular at invest.energyx.com/

1440 Media 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212 Chicago, IL 60654

Copyright © 2024, 1440 Media, All rights reserved.

 

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.7 million intellectually curious readers.