🌊 Have a Bad Gut Feeling

A pair of newly published studies show depression is correlated with certain types of gut bacteria...

When you picture Earth, the image that pops into your head is probably this one, which the Apollo 17 astronauts snapped 50 years ago today. It was the same year that Popeyes, The Godfather, and the first calculator hit shelves in the US, but that all seems so insignificant from 18,000 miles away. All we can ask is... how did they not take a selfie?

We restocked the Roca hats and two of the coaster sets! All proceeds support our mission of delivering nonpartisan and enjoyable news every day.

Finally, a member of the Roca community tied for first in Kalshi's $100k election challenge! They are now doing a tiebreaker to determine who takes home the moolah. Love our Riders.

In today's edition:

  • Depression linked to gut

  • Egg thrown at King Charles

  • Interview: Homeless to Champion

🔑 Key Stories

Gut Bacteria Linked to Depression

A pair of newly published studies show depression is correlated with certain types of gut bacteria

  • Trillions of microorganisms, including yeast, fungi, and bacteria, live in humans’ digestive organs. Their presence or absence can be linked to health issues

  • The new studies tested people’s stool samples to analyze the microorganisms in their gut, while monitoring them for depression. Depression symptoms were correlated with 13 bacterial groups

  • Some theorize that certain gut bacteria produce chemicals that can cause or prevent depression; others theorize depression impacts gut bacteria

Dig Deeper

  • “Ten years ago if you’d said there was something linking depression and the microbiome, you’d be carried out with a straitjacket... Now absolutely, it’s very clear there’s a link," an author of both studies said

Morocco Upsets Spain at World Cup

Morocco upset Spain at the World Cup to advance to the country’s first-ever World Cup quarterfinals

  • Betting sites heavily favored Spain to win. The game went 0-0 through 120 minutes (regulation + extra time), then went to penalty kicks; Morocco made 3 of those to Spain’s 0, winning the match

  • Morocco is the first Arab and 4th African country to have ever made the World Cup quarterfinals

  • The World Cup quarterfinal matchups are now set: Croatia vs. Brazil; Netherlands vs. Argentina; England vs. France; and Morocco vs. Portugal. The US exited the Cup last Saturday after losing to the Netherlands

Dig Deeper

Criminal Referrals for January 6 Riot?

The January 6 Committee plans to recommend the Justice Department bring charges in relation to the committee’s findings, its chairman said

Dig Deeper

  • House Republicans' Speaker nominee, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), has already said he will terminate the January 6 Committee and launch a counter-investigation. Republicans will formally take control of the House on January 3

Indonesia to Ban Extramarital Sex

Indonesia's parliament passed a law banning sex outside of marriage

  • Indonesia is ~87% Muslim and the world’s 4th most populous country, after China, India, and the US

  • The ban applies to both locals and foreigners, and is punishable with up to 1 year in jail. It was passed unanimously as part of a set of laws replacing the Dutch colonial-era criminal code

  • Critics say the law will hurt tourism. In Australia, which sends 1M+ tourists to Indonesia each year, local media nicknamed it the "Bali bonk ban.” Many Aussies vacation in Bali like Americans do in Cancún

Dig Deeper

  • A top official said the new criminal code will be “in line with Indonesian values.” Other new laws include bans on insulting the president or state institutions, spreading views against state ideology, and staging unplanned protests

Trade on Everyday

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Last week, we – the Maxes – went out for dinner. The bill for 2 tacos, a soda, and a split side of guacamole came out to $35. Now New York is expensive, but that shocked us. It got us talking about how bad inflation could get

  • One place we use for this kind of data is Kalshi, which has forecasted inflation more accurately than Bloomberg over the last 11 months

  • Kalshi is a platform that lets you forecast trends and make trades based on what you think will happen in current events

  • As an example, if I think inflation will hit 10% and you think it will be 8%, Kalshi lets users buy those predictions. You can then trade them, or hold them until the outcome occurs

  • They are finding news events every month for people to predict: Moon Landings, airport screenings, weather, and inflation are all examples of live markets on Kalshi

Dig Deeper

  • You all read the news everyday. With Kalshi, you can use that knowledge to forecast, make trades, and be the most interesting person at the bar

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Get your beauty Tweep: Elon Musk has reportedly added bedrooms to Twitter HQ. Since taking over the social platform, Musk has accused staff of being lazy

  • Raisin' Arizona! Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that they will soon buy chips from an Arizona factory. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will own the factory

  • Island in the sun: A private island in Palm Beach has hit the market for a measly asking price of... $218M. The man-made island comes with a 21,406-sq. ft. mansion

Wildcard

  • Siri, can cows swim? The cable car that connects Ireland's Dursley island to the mainland is currently broken. Residents will abandon the island if it isn't fixed soon

  • A true egghead: British police arrested a "man in his 20s" for reportedly throwing an egg at King Charles during one of his walkabouts

  • Sweet suit o' mine: Guns N' Roses has filed a lawsuit against a Texas gun store with the same name. The Texas store, staying true to its name, sells firearms and flowers

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Do you trust tap water at hotels?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

Do you enjoy getting or giving presents more at this point in your life? No shame in the former...

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Tani playing chess

Roca recently interviewed chess champion Tanitoluwa Adewumi and his mother. Their family has an incredible story, and today's Wrap is a summary of it.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi — “Tani” — was born in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, in 2010.

“I don’t remember much about Nigeria,” he told Roca. “What I remember most was probably playing soccer with my friends after school.” But Tani’s mother said that one night was unforgettable.

Tani’s family owned a printing press. They are Christians, and during that time, an Islamist terrorist group — Boko Haram — was waging war against Nigeria’s Christians and government.

One day, strangers approached Tani’s father and asked him to print propaganda for Boko Haram. “We were so scared,” Tani’s mother told Roca; if the group found out they were Christians, they could be killed.

Tani’s father lied to the strangers that his machines weren’t working, but the militants saw a Christian cross on the wall and became suspicious. That night, they paid Tani’s home a visit.

“They came very late, at night, when my children were already sleeping,” Tani’s mother told Roca. “I thought, they might kill me, they’re guys, they could rape, but I was just praying that God could just protect me.” They only left after Tani’s mother lied to them that she is Muslim.

After that, a New York City-based pastor helped Tani’s family emigrate to the US as religious refugees. They ended up living in a Manhattan homeless shelter, while Tani’s father worked as a dishwasher and Uber driver and his mother as a cleaner. “We were at a low state,” Tani told Roca.

While at the shelter, Tani and his brother started playing “Scatter,” a game played on a chess board. “We didn’t know the rules [of chess],” Tani said. But that piqued his interest in chess.

Later that year, he joined his school’s chess club and quickly stood out. A high-ranked chess coach who noticed Tani’s potential waived a $330 fee so Tani could improve quicker.

In 2019, Tani competed in a prestigious New York State youth chess tournament. Despite only having played for a year, he won decisively.

“That changed my life,” Tani said. Major news channels picked up on Tani’s story, and a GoFundMe for his family raised $254,000 in 10 days, allowing the family to leave the shelter.

Tani’s mother described how that money helped their family. “My husband is now in real estate, I’m a bank worker, and the children are going to school, doing well,” she said. “[Tani’s] older brother is in college now. We really thank God for everything… people, they were there for us.”

Tani quickly became a globally famous chess prodigy. Despite being unable to play for a year due to the pandemic, he recently achieved chess’s 3rd-highest rank — at age 11. He is on track to become a grandmaster — chess’s highest rank — while still in middle school.

A foundation in Tani’s name now helps other low-income students learn the game of chess.

He told Roca that he practices for hours every day so that he can become the best chess player in the world. He said, “We really thank God for what we have.”

If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Hate to pit two of our coaster features against each other, but who's the more iconic British leader?Queen Elizabeth II: 45.6%Winston Churchill: 54.4%

Yesterday's Question:

Have you been watching the World Cup? Does it deserve the hype?

Dave from Chicago: "It absolutely does deserve the hype. It’s the most important championship of the most popular sport in the world."

Erica from Fort Myers: "Yes, It has all the drama related to upsets, fraud, political unrest, and more. It is the conglomeration of sports, politics, corporate greed, and values. Worth the hype."

Jonathan from Houston (home of the World Series champions): "No and No. Soccer is pretty much cross-country that involves a ball and flopping. The common response to this is “you’ve never given it a try” and I have repeatedly. I’ve watched the WC, UEFA Cup, EPL, etc. -- I’m sorry it’s boring and it sucks."

🧠 Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed Tani's story as much as we did. We had posted it on our Instagram a few weeks ago, but were eager to share it with you all as well.

We hope you have great Wednesdays. And don't forget – the clock is ticking on the holiday store!

-Max and Max