🌊 Cult Leader Arrested

Deja vu all over again for TB12, gender reveal pigeon, and hanging with the Rastas

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today. That's right, woodchuck-chuckers — it's Groundhog Day! This morning we found out whether we have an early spring, 6 more weeks of winter, or an excess of trust in a furry rodent that claims to be over 130 years old.

The answer is 6 more weeks of winter. Definitely not the latter...

In today's edition:

  • Deja vu all over again for TB12

  • Gender reveal pigeon?

  • Hanging with the Rastas

🔑 Key Stories

Brady Retires… Again

Tom Brady, 45, said he is officially retiring from the NFL after 23 seasons

  • The New England Patriots drafted Brady #199 overall in 2000. He went on to win them 17 division titles, 9 AFC Championships, and 6 Super Bowls. He then went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and won a Super Bowl during his first season there

  • Brady announced his retirement exactly 1 year ago, only to reverse course after 40 days. He ended up playing the whole 2022 season, but his team went 8-9 and lost in the first round of the playoffs

  • On Wednesday, he said in a video, “I’m retiring, for good”

Dig Deeper

  • Brady will now likely launch a career as a TV broadcaster. After his first retirement, in 2022, he reportedly signed a 10-year, $375M deal with Fox Sports. Brady holds NFL records in completions; passing yards; passing touchdowns; postseason 4th-quarter comebacks; wins; Super Bowl wins; and more

Cult Leader Arrested?

Las Vegas police arrested a former actor they allege sexually assaulted women and girls as a cult leader

  • The man, Nathan Chasing Horse, is a Native American actor who played a key role in the 1990 movie Dances With Wolves. After, he became known as a “medicine man” with spiritual powers

  • Prosecutors say he used his fame among Native Americans to form a cult, through which he sexually abused girls as young as 13. He also had 5 wives, one of whom he reportedly married at 15

  • Police charged him with sex trafficking, sexual assault of a child, child abuse, and other counts

Dig Deeper

  • His arrest is the result of a months-long investigation that began in October 2022. Police believe Horse ran a cult called "the Circle," through which he abused women and girls. A Montana reservation had already banned Horse in 2015 over allegations of sex trafficking

Radioactive Capsule Found

  • The pea-sized radioactive capsule was attached to a mining tool that mining company Rio Tinto had sent from a mine to Perth, an Australian city, on January 10; it was discovered missing ~2 weeks later

  • Much of western Australia was put under a radiation advisory, and officials warned that exposure to the capsule could cause burns or cancer

  • Last week, search teams began scanning for the capsule along a ~900 mile route; Wednesday, a radiation detection vehicle found it 6.5 ft from the road. Officials say they may prosecute those responsible

Dig Deeper

  • Authorities said they'd "quite literally found the needle in the haystack." One official said it was "the best possible outcome," since the capsule was found along a remote stretch of road, hadn't been moved, and likely hadn't had any health effects on any human

Interest Rate Shift

The US Federal Reserve (the Fed) approved a smaller interest rate hike than the previous 6

  • The Fed tries to keep inflation around 2% long-term, and uses interest rates to do so. To fight inflation, the Fed raises the rate, which increases the cost of borrowing, slows growth, and then slows inflation

  • Inflation was at 40-year highs for much of 2022. The question now is whether it has peaked: After a 9.1% peak in June 2022, it fell to 6.5% in December

  • On Wednesday, the Fed raised the rate by .25%, a smaller margin than previous hikes, signifying that it may also raise rates less aggressively in the future

Dig Deeper

  • In a news conference following the announcement, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said "a couple" rate increases may still be needed, but didn't specify how many. Although projections vary, some analysts now say the US could totally avoid a recession

Audo Emerges from Beta Testing!

Together with Audo

Many of us have been told that we need good grades, a 4-year degree, and a job atop the corporate ladder to be successful. Audo is on a mission to change that narrative, and they’ve officially launched Audo+, the subscription-based skill training destination

  • You create an account and complete an AI-powered Audo Guide that analyzes your personality, skills, and expertise

  • Depending on your previous experiences, it recommends career paths from today’s most in- demand careers and the skills you need to fill the gap

  • Once you complete a course and learn a skill, Audo EARN matches you with paying gigs that match your skill level so you can make money as you learn

  • There are over 1,000 career tracks and growing, including software development, graphic design, marketing, project management, cybersecurity, and more

Dig Deeper:

  • TLDR: Audo+ helps you get the skills you need to get the jobs you want, while earning money. Bye student debt. Learn anytime, anywhere with unlimited access or simply just the courses you want

🍿 Popcorn


  • Take that, Winklevoss twins: An average of 2B people used Facebook daily in December, equating to one-quarter of the world's population

  • Madam candidate: Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is expected to announce that she will join the presidential race in 2024

  • Try, Eagles, try: A Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman has been indicted with kidnapping and rape charges just a week before the Super Bowl


  • The Hoosier market: 3 Indiana cities topped the Realtor.com/WSJ index for most attractive housing markets in the country. Lafayette, IN took the top spot

  • Oh no....: A 60-year-old man died after he was involved in a massive brawl that broke out at a middle-school basketball game in Vermont on Tuesday

  • Mom and dad, it's a... pigeon: The pink pigeon found wandering New York City may have been dyed at a gender reveal party, a wildlife group said

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Do you send greeting cards? 📫

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Today's Question:

How long is too long to wait in a drive thru?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Roca co-founder Max Frost and writer Alex Norris spent 2.5 weeks in Ethiopia earlier this month. Frost will be writing about it here in the coming newsletters.

In 1892, Ras Tafari was born in Ethiopia.

In 1930, he became Ethiopia’s emperor under the name Haile Selassie. That decade, some Jamaicans began worshiping him as the second coming of Jesus. Those beliefs and practices became known as Rastafarianism.

In 1948, Selassie announced that he would grant land in Ethiopia to African-descent people abroad. Rastafarians were the first people to take up that offer, and they began moving to Ethiopia in the 1960s. The community would soon grow to several thousand people.

Today, several hundred Rastafarians live in Shashamane, a small city 3 hours’ drive south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. We drove there and visited Action Africa, a Rastafarian organization, to learn about their life in Ethiopia.

3 Rastafarians – Michael, Abiola, and Johannes – greeted us. Michael and Abiola were middle-aged Brits of African descent; Johannes was a white Canadian in his 30s.

3 Rastas

Left to right: Michael, Abiola, Johannes

“From when I was young, I had been hearing about Ethiopia,” Michael said. “We loved Ethiopia, so that’s been the focus of my life – to come here to live.”

Michael said that Rastafarians – be they in Jamaica, England, or elsewhere – are the “same people” as Ethiopians. “We’ve just managed to come back home, we call this home.” He added that Emperor Selassie was the one who “told us [people of African descent around the world] to look to the Bible.”

Abiola said that, “Coming to Ethiopia, for us as a community, is like a calling.” She first arrived 23 years ago and Michael soon after. The 2 married several months ago.

I asked Johannes how he decided to move to Ethiopia.

“There was a calling,” he said. “When I started reading my bible, that’s when the spirit came over me. And that’s when I knew inside that Ethiopia would be my destination.”

I asked what his friends and family in Canada thought.

“There were a few that were supportive of the idea…and there were some that simply didn’t understand,” he said.

“But I had to stay on my path, listen to my heart, listen to the spirit, and just move regardless of what ones were thinking, because it was something that touched my heart, and it was a calling. And I felt that to not answer that and to not take action would have been haunting, haunting.”

Our hosts had prepared a reggae performance for us and introduced us to the band. The lead singer said he had been a banker in New York City before moving to Ethiopia; one drummer was from Manchester, England; the keyboard player was from Los Angeles; the guitar player was from Trinidad; and another drummer was from Jamaica.

The band’s lead singer explained that Reggae is core to the Rasta experience.

“The message of reggae music is international,” he said. “But the root is for the African, and for the development and re-development of Africa.”

“Our imperial majesty [Emperor Selassie], who is our king, said it is the duty of the educated few to see to the legitimate aspirations of the unfortunate many…So that’s what reggae music is really intended to do: Lift the spirits and bring enlightenment to the minds of those who are afflicted.”

Rasta band

The reggae band

The band dedicated their song to Jesus and “his imperial majesty, the emperor, Haile Selassie the first of Ethiopia,” before sending “respect” to the government of Ethiopia and “peace and love from Shashamane.” The song – “Babylon is falling, Ethiopia is calling” – was about Africans from around the world uniting in Ethiopia.

After the performance, the Rastas led us across the street to a school. Beyond bringing people of African descent back to Africa, the Rasta movement in Shashamane calls for those people to use their skills, expertise, and resources to help Africa develop. To that end, they opened and continue to fund this school, which provides for kids up to high-school age.

The school has hundreds of students – the exact number wasn't clear – many of whom likely wouldn’t be in school if it weren’t for the Rastas. The school’s funding comes from Rastafarians around the world, particularly in New York City, and has allowed them to provide subsidized tuition at a cheaper rate than other schools in the area.

With 300 to 600 Rasta currently living in Shashamane, they may not be changing the world. But it seems they’re living a pleasant life and are supporting those in need in Africa’s Rasta capital.

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

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Better February holiday?

Valentine's Day 💌: 63%Presidents Day 🇺🇸: 37%

Yesterday's Question:

What is a widely hated food that you love? 

Zach from New York: "Brussels Sprouts. Delicious little baby cabbage like green golf balls. Grill ‘em, roast ‘em, steam ‘em…however you prepare them, I’m probably eating them. Honorable mention: Insects, but only when in foreign countries where they are part of the menu."

Skylar from Pennsylvania: "Scrapple. I was born, raised and still reside in PA so I grew up eating it and still do (even knowing what's in it.) Fried hard with maple syrup and butter all the way!"

Caroline from DC: "I love cottage cheese. I can’t even buy it because I’ll just eat all of it at once. I’m a dietitian and my patients look so disgusted when I mention low fat cottage cheese as a good source of protein. They get actually so mad sometimes"

🧠 Final Thoughts

It is almost – ALMOST – Friday, and for that we are thankful. We hope you have had great weeks and cruise into better weekends. We'll see you tomorrow for Friday 20 Questions!

Max and Max