🌊 More Cancer Progress

Apple unveils Vision Pro, Ukraine counteroffensive beginning, and remembering Oflag 64, Part 1

Today is the anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history. In honor of the day, we are sharing an exclusive Roca Wrap on a fascinating prisoner of war (POW) camp story we came across by chance.

It depicts a World War II POW camp that might defy your assumptions. The American officers in the camp, despite a system designed against them, set up newspapers, a glee club, a sports league, and more. We interviewed the daughter of one such officer, whose records, discovered decades after his death, tell it all.

In today's edition:

  • Apple unveils Vision Pro

  • Ukraine counteroffensive beginning

  • Remembering Oflag 64, Part 1

 🔑 Key Stories

Apple Unveils Vision Pro

Apple unveiled “Vision Pro,” its first new major hardware since the Apple Watch in 2014

  • Vision is an augmented reality (AR) headset that blends reality and virtual reality. Apple called it a “spatial computer,” and its CEO said it “seamlessly blends the real world and the virtual world”

  • Vision has an iPhone-like home screen with apps. Users can message, stream, web browse, game, and more. They command it with their eyes, voice, and gestures; it has no controllers

  • Apple said the headset will go on sale in the US by 2024 and cost $3,499

Dig Deeper

  • Apple says the headset can make it appear as though you are watching on a movie theater-sized screen, and can take 3D videos. Users can spin a dial to control how much of their vision is the "real" versus the "fake" world

Brain and Blood Cancers Drugs

2 studies found that drugs were effective at slowing the progression of a brain and a blood cancer

  • ~4k Americans are diagnosed annually with low-grade gliomas, a type of slow-growing brain cancer

  • A study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a drug reduced glioma progression or death by 61%

  • Separately, researchers found that a drug is 74% effective at preventing the progression of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer that affects white blood cells. The drug works by teaching the body’s immune system to fight the cancer itself

Counteroffensive Beginning

Ukraine launched assaults on Russia’s lines, leading to speculation that its counteroffensive has begun

  • The front line between Ukraine and Russia is ~700 miles long and has barely moved since last fall. Ukraine has said it will launch a counteroffensive to regain lost territory, but hasn’t said when

  • On Sunday, Russian war bloggers reported a Ukrainian assault against several small cities in a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine. Ukraine attacked again on Monday with a larger force

  • Ukraine hasn’t said if this is the beginning of its counteroffensive, but its defense minister acknowledged the assaults

Dig Deeper

  • Russian officials said they repulsed that attack, killed 250 Ukrainians, and destroyed 16 tanks

  • Ukraine has said its counteroffensive hinges on the arrival of advanced Western arms, such as heavy battle tanks

RFK Jr. Restored & Endorsed

Instagram reinstated Robert F Kennedy Jr. (RFK)

  • RFK Jr., JFK’s nephew, was a leading environmental lawyer who became a prominent anti-vaxxer. RFK announced in April that he would challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination, and polls show him with ~20% of the Democratic vote versus Biden’s 60%

  • In 2021, Instagram suspended RFK’s account for “repeatedly sharing debunked claims.” On Thursday, RFK tweeted that when his team uses a “TeamKennedy email address to set up @instagram accounts we get an automatic 180-day ban”

  • On Sunday, Meta — Instagram’s owner — called it a mistake and reinstated his account

Dig Deeper

  • Also Sunday, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey endorsed RFK. He tweeted that RFK “can and will” beat Trump and Ron DeSantis. When asked if that was a prediction or an endorsement, Dorsey replied, “Both”

A Father’s Day Gift that Doesn’t Sock

Together with Manscaped

This Father’s Day, let’s spare Dad from the wacky socks and custom mugs… Gift him a new tool that he will actually use! Our friends over at MANSCAPED® are here to help you find the perfect gift for Dad and level-up his grooming game:

  1. The Weed Whacker® 2.0 - This all-new SkinSafe™ ear and nose hair trimmer is the perfect gift that every dad will love. It’s the perfectly painless solution to pesky hairs.

  2. The Buff Bundle - If your dad likes to run, hit the gym, or do work around the house, this power-scrubbing shower kit is perfect for him. It features 2 bottles of UltraPremium body wash and a silicone body scrubber to maximize lather and exfoliate all that sweat and grime.

  3. The Lawn Mower® 4.0 - You can’t go wrong with this one. The Lawn Mower® 4.0 groin and body trimmer is the tried-and-tested Father’s Day gift that will be sure to exceed expectations and get a lot of use.

  4. The Beard Hedger™ Pro Kit - If your father is of the bearded-variety, then this is the perfect gift to spoil him. This luxury beard kit features The Beard Hedger™ cordless beard trimmer, 4 dermatologist-tested beard formulations, and 3 FREE gifts.

And as a Father’s Day special, MANSCAPED® is offering all Roca Riders 20% off sitewide + free shipping on all orders!

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Fatal case of the Mondays: Fatal heart attacks happen most often on Mondays, per a new study out of Ireland. Sundays also saw higher rates of fatal heart attacks

  • Good shark, bad shark: Shark Tank host Daymond John has filed a restraining order against former Shark Tank contestants over their claims that John deceived and took advantage of them

  • Heartbreak (Taylor’s version): Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Matty Healy have reportedly broken up after just 1 month of dating. Healy is the lead singer of the band The 1975

Wildcard

  • God save the paper bills: Over £9B ($11B) worth of paper British bills are still in circulation months after they were replaced with plastic bills. Several paper bills are no longer legal tender

  • Dog got your tongue: A Louisiana dog named Zoey is now the record holder for having the world’s longest dog tongue. The lab-shepherd mix’s tongue is 5 inches long

  • “Oh no, what happened to her?” A Tennessee woman allegedly tried to pay $10k in bitcoin to a hitman to kill the wife of a man she met on Match.com

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

On a given night, are you more likely to cook at home, or order takeout?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

Have you ever learned something new about your parents by discovering one of their old belongings?

Reply to this email with your answers!

🌯 Roca Wrap

Last month, Roca’s Max Towey and Jen Flanagan sat down with Susanna Bolten Connaughton. In 1999, she found an unopened trunk that had belonged to her father, an American prisoner-of-war (POW) during World War II. The trunk’s contents told a remarkable story of life in a place of brutality. This week – the 79th anniversary of D-Day – we’re sharing the story. For today’s Wrap, Jen wrote about our conversation.

Photo courtesy of: Collection Susanna B. Connaughton

It all began with an unopened, drab-green trunk. 

Susanna Bolten Connaughton had always known her father – Seymour Bolten – had served in World War II. But growing up, Susanna said, he shared little with her about that time in his life.

She knew Seymour enlisted in the US Army when he was 20 years old; that he served as a 2nd Lieutenant; and that he was among the 185 first American prisoners-of-war (POW) in a place called Oflag 64, a name he mentioned only a few times.

What she didn’t know was that her father had saved hundreds of letters and documents from his time at Oflag 64 in a trunk.

It wasn’t until decades after her father's death that Susanna discovered a trunk in her parents’ garage, filled with letters, journals, photographs, and more. Overwhelmed by its contents, she put it aside for another time.

In 2015, that time came when Susanna had the opportunity to visit Poland with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

She knew Oflag 64 had been located in Szubin, Poland, a small town about 150 miles northwest of Warsaw. She wondered if the site was worth visiting.

In the 2 weeks before her departure, she poured over the trunk’s contents and began to piece together a part of her father she never knew.

***

The story begins on June 6, 1943 – 80 years ago today and exactly one year before D-Day – when the first 35 American prisoners of war arrived in Szubin. Three days later, 21-year-old Seymour R. Bolten arrived with another group.

In February of that year, Seymour was captured in North Africa during the first major engagement of US and German forces in World War II.

He was sent to Germany, loaded onto a box car packed to capacity with other POWs, and after a 3-day train trip, arrived at Oflag 64, a camp designated only for officers of the American ground force Army.

Seymour’s POW I.D. card from Oflag 64. Photo courtesy of: Collection Susanna B. Connaughton

They headed into the camp, a former boy’s school converted to a prison with wooden towers, barracks, and barbed wire fencing.

The Geneva Conventions – 4 treaties establishing standards for humanitarian treatment during war – forbid officers from doing labor, and allowed aid agencies, such as the YMCA and the Red Cross, to send supplies and food tins to POW camps.

The POWs’ Senior American Officer, Colonel Thomas Drake, immediately ordered the Americans to establish disciplined routines and activities, Susanna said.

With the help of the YMCA supplies, the men established a theater program, a Glee Club, several sports teams, a library, and the “Little College of Szubin,” a makeshift school where they created classes from their hobbies and pre-war professions.

“Colonel Drake, ordered that everyone remain well groomed (as best they could), active, engaged in at least one project, and thus, engaged in the world,” she explained.

Many suffered from exhaustion, depression, and dysentery upon arrival to the camp. Even though they survived off meager rations, they followed Drake’s orders. Decades later, many POWs credit the intimidating colonel with their physical and mental survival.

The activities they set up helped maintain their mental and physical health, she said. But they also had another motive.

The Germans allowed all the activities because they wanted the German POWs to be treated the same, and – perhaps most of all – they assumed an engaged prisoner wouldn't have time for clandestine activities – such as digging tunnels, exchanging information with the Polish underground, or gathering news from secret radios.

But that’s exactly what Seymour and his fellow POWs were doing.

***

If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]. Tomorrow’s Wrap will feature Part 2!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

If you have wi-fi at home, did you re-name the network, or keep the default?

Rename: 66%
Default: 44%

Yesterday's Question:

Thanks to everyone who filled out our Roca Community survey! We can’t wait to hit the road and cover the topics sent to us by our community.

Since we didn’t have a question of the day yesterday, we’re featuring some of our favorite reader responses from yesterday’s Wrap on Taylor Swift and The Eras Tours.

Brent from Clearwater, Florida: “I'm a 32 year old Marine Corp Veteran who grew up on metal and grunge rock. I saw her last tour in 2018 and i had a tour shirt by the time it was over. I wont go out of my way to listen to her music but she put on one of the best concerts i have ever seen. She had the whole stadium in her palm the whole entire show.”

Jack from Milton, Florida: "Taylor Swift is not news to those of us with a real life. As a rule, most "stars" aren't stars at all, simply performers, whether music, acting, or sports....and I really am tired of any newsworthy outlet putting them in front of me.”

Deb: "Taylor Swift???”

🧠 Final Thoughts

We have some thrilling news for you all – and that is that the Apple App Store has approved the Roca app for launch. We're putting on some finishing touches and will have it out in the very near future. We can't wait to start getting you on that.

We hope you all have great Tuesdays.

See you tomorrow!

—Max and Max