9.1.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Friday, Sept. 1, and we're covering the first major advance in the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the end of an annual desert ritual, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

Editor's note: The 1440 team will be taking a much-deserved break for the holiday weekend. We'll see you again Tuesday, bright and early!

Need To Know
 

Possible Ukraine Breakthrough

Ukrainian forces appear to have pierced through sections of Russia's frontline defenses in southeastern Ukraine, according to reports. The development could mark a breakthrough in Ukraine's three-month-long counteroffensive and would be the first instance in which its forces have penetrated Russian defensive lines, riddled with minefields, trenches, artillery, and other obstacles. 

 

Russia has three main defensive lines across southern Ukraine, including what's known as the Surovikin line outside of the village of Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, once an agricultural area and home to roughly 1,000 people. The Surovikin line was constructed under the direction of and named after Russian Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who went missing after the short-lived Wagner rebellion and was later

removed from his role as head of Russia's air force. 

 

Ukraine also appeared to break through a defensive line in the village of Novoprokopivka. Verbove and Novoprokopivka are both near the village of Robotyne, which Ukraine reclaimed Tuesday. See updates on the war here.

 

A Desert Burn

Burning Man 2023 officially started Sunday in the Black Rock Desert—100 miles north of Reno, Nevada—with tens of thousands already in attendance for the nine-day event, despite a small group of environmental activists staging a demonstration on the route to the gate.

 

The annual event, which blends art, self-expression, and communal living, originated in 1986 with the burning of a wooden effigy on a San Francisco beach, evolving into a temporary desert city centered around art installations, music, workshops, and the symbolic burning of a massive wooden sculpture. The “burners,” who build the approximately 7-square-mile temporary city from scratch each year, bring everything they need to survive in the desert. The event will conclude with the burning of the "man" statue tomorrow, the Temple burn Sunday, and a mass exodus Monday.

 

This year's theme is “Animalia,” officially described as celebrating the animal world, both real and imagined, and our place in it. See some of the large-scale art here, including a massive wooden box that revealed a steel phoenix when burned, representing war-torn Ukraine.  

 

Proud Boys Sentencing 

Two former leaders of the Proud Boys group were sentenced to more than a decade in prison yesterday, in two of the longest jail terms handed out related to the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol.  

 

Prosecutors argued 39-year-old Joseph Biggs, who received a 17-year sentence, used his US military experience to organize and coordinate a group of people to enter the Capitol building. Separately, 37-year-old Zachary Rehl was handed down a 15-year sentence. Among other issues, Rehl was accused of firing pepper spray toward a Capitol officer during the crowd surge. The decision followed a jury conviction of the pair and two others in May. 

 

Enrique Tarrio—the group's former chief and reported police informant—is due to be sentenced Tuesday. 

 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Outerknown

> Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concert film will open in theaters Oct. 13; AMC will act as distributor for the film (More)

> Gil Brandt, former NFL executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at 91 (More)

> University of Nebraska women's volleyball team hauls in 92,000 fans for game against Omaha, breaks world attendance record for women's sports (More) | US soccer star Julie Ertz announces her retirement (More)

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Science & Technology

> AI-powered drone beats world champion human competitors in drone racing competition; system made decisions based on a mounted camera providing visual data in real time (More, w/video)

> Archaeologists devise new method for analyzing ancient cremated remains, retrieving information about the method of ritual burials; learnings have historically been gathered from inhumated, or full body, burials (More)

> Study finds the brain circuitry controlling decision-making is similar in both insects and mammals; findings challenge previous notions of how insects react to stimuli (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.5%, Nasdaq +0.1%); all three indexes close lower for the month of August (More)

> UBS posts stronger profits, Swiss banking giant will cut approximately 3,000 Credit Suisse jobs; shares up 6% to highest level since 2008 (More)

> Shopify to integrate Amazon’s Buy with Prime platform into product offering; Shopify shares up 11% (More) | Athleisure giant Lululemon beats expectations and increases guidance (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Early estimates place damage from Hurricane Idalia between $3B and $9B; death toll estimated to be one victim, possibly up to three as of this writing (More) | See photos (More)

> Former President Donald Trump pleads not guilty to state charges he conspired to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results, waives right to attend next week's arraignment (More)

> Greece deploys 100 additional firefighters to battle wildfires that have burned across the country's northeast for the past two weeks (More)

 

In-Depth

> Winning Back Trust

Tangle | Isaac Saul. Bias is one of the top complaints of news readers about the news they consume. See a breakdown of bias in action and five suggestions to address it. (Read)

 

> Paragliding Disaster

Real Survival Stories | John Hopkins. (Podcast) The tale of paraglider Ewa Wiśnierska's harrowing excursion through a storm pushing her higher and higher into the atmosphere. (Listen)

> Shopping Cart Theory 

Ringer | Nate Rogers. A profile of YouTuber Sebastian Davis, the so-called "Cart Narc," sparking debates about courtesy as he calls out shoppers who don't return their shopping carts to the corral. (Read)

 

> Why You Have an Accent in a Foreign Language

Economist | Staff. Differences in syllable stress, pronunciation, and rhythm make even fluent foreign language speakers talk with an accent. (Watch)

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Beyond iPhone: Dawn of a New Smartphone Era

 

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Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

Editor's note: More than 9 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in August. Enjoy!

 

(8/8/23) Thirty-six hidden messages in popular company logos.

 

(8/17/23) The biggest media hoaxes in US history

 

(8/16/23) What is the best position to sleep in

 

(8/22/23) Zoo welcomes rare spotless giraffe

 

(8/15/23) The 20 best small US towns for retirement.

 

(8/31/23) The foods Americans dislike most.

 

(8/21/23) Ranking the 50 worst decisions in TV history

 

(8/5/23) Farmer surprises wife with 80 acres of sunflowers.

 

(8/28/23) Images from an annual gathering of redheads.

 

(8/24/23) NFL quarterback scores mayonnaise deal

 

8/26/23) Slang terms from the 1930s.

 

(8/18/23) The horrifying world of Thailand's railway safety posters.

 

Clickbait: Tennis match interrupted by "Cotton Eye Joe."

 

Historybook: Lewis and Clark explorer William Clark dies (1838); Singer Gloria Estefan born (1957); Bobby Fischer wins “Match of the Century” and becomes first American-born world chess champion (1972); Wreckage of the Titanic found at the bottom of North Atlantic (1985); Actress and singer Zendaya born (1996).

"Never try to be someone else's definition of beautiful. You have to define beautiful for yourself."

- Zendaya

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