🌊 Lionel of Arabia?

Messi departure, star gobbles up a planet, and more

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Roca Nation. The holiday — commonly mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day — has become one of America's 5 biggest drinking days of the year, with beer consumption rivaling that of the Super Bowl. So whether you contribute to those numbers or not, we hope your day is a real 5/5.

In today's edition:

  • Star gobbles up a planet

  • Irises change color after bird flu

  • 20 Questions!

 🔑 Key Stories

Star Ate Planent

For the first time, astronomers witnessed a star consume a planet

  • In 2020, MIT researchers were analyzing images of distant stars when they noticed that one was shining ~100x brighter than normal. The surge lasted for 10 days before it returned to normal

  • On Wednesday, a study published in the journal Nature found that had occurred when a star 10k light-years from Earth consumed a Jupiter-sized planet. It’s the first time that’s ever been observed

  • Researchers believe that billions of years from now, the Sun will do the same thing to the Earth

Dig Deeper

  • “This is the eventual fate of the Earth,” one of the study’s authors said. “We are really seeing what the Earth is going to run into 5 billion years from now”

Regional Banks in Trouble

Regional bank stocks plummeted days after First Republic failed

  • In March, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed. Then this week, First Republic, the US’ 14th-largest bank, failed. The 3 failures were related to higher interest rates

  • The US Federal Reserve raised rates again on Wednesday, causing investors to worry more banks could fail

  • On Thursday, investors sold stocks of regional banks they perceive as having similar vulnerabilities. Some fell as much as 50%, raising fears that more banks could fail

Dig Deeper

  • For the first time in over a year, the Fed said this week that it does not plan to raise interest rates again. While some analysts think this latest rate increase will cause more banks to fail, others think those fears are overblown

Messi to Leave PSG, Move to Saudi?

Lionel Messi is reportedly leaving PSG and may play in Saudi Arabia, where Ronaldo just moved

  • Lionel Messi – widely considered a soccer GOAT – plays for PSG, a soccer team in Paris. Fans aren’t happy with Messi’s current play, though, and the team has been underperforming

  • In April, ESPN reported that Messi was unlikely to sign a new contract with PSG; then on Sunday, PSG suffered a shocking 3-1 defeat to French club Lorient

  • Messi then skipped practice and went to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly considering an up-to-$400M annual contract. PSG suspended Messi in response

Dig Deeper

  • In December, Messi’s longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Saudi Pro League club Al-Nassr in a deal reportedly worth $220M per year, making him the world’s highest-paid athlete. Reports suggest Messi could sign with a rival team, Al-Hilal

  • Messi’s former club Barcelona is also exploring the possibility of re-signing Messi, but he may be too costly under the Spanish league’s payment rules

NYC Subway Strangulation

A coroner ruled that a homeless man who died after being put in a chokehold died by strangulation

  • On Monday, a 30-year-old homeless man was traveling in a subway car in NYC. Passengers said he was “acting erratically”; a 24-yo man – who had served in the Marines – put him in a chokehold while 2 others held the man’s arms. The man passed out and died

  • The homeless man had been arrested 42 times and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. No one has been charged

  • NYC’s mayor said, “We cannot blanketly say what a passenger should or should not do in [such] a situation“

🍿 Popcorn


  • Shape of innocence: A Manhattan jury ruled that Ed Sheeran did not commit copyright infringement of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On" with his 2014 hit "Thinking Out Loud"

  • Farewell, @Max0420: Discord is removing the 4-digit suffixes on usernames and pushing its users to get new handles. It wants to make it "easier [for users] to connect"

  • When you're Darden, you're family: Olive Garden's parent company Darden bought steakhouse chain Ruth's Chris for $715M. It also owns LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille


  • Behind these gannet eyes: If gannets, a seabird, survive bird flu, their blue irises turn black. This discovery comes after bird flu ravaged seabird populations last year

  • Bettor up! Alabama's baseball coach was fired for his alleged ties to bets placed against the Crimson Tide baseball team in a game against LSU. The Tide lost 8-6

  • God save the coins: 2 British men have been sentenced to 5 years in prison for trying to sell coins from the 800s that are now worth ~$1M. The law requires them to hand such coins back to the Crown

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Question:

Today's Poll

Will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo today?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

Every Friday, we ask the Roca readers 20 questions, then feature the answer averages the following week.

What is this week’s theme? Here are your hints:

1) Every cartoon, TV show, movie, and even family has one.

2) We love to hate them.

This week we’re doing…

20 Questions: Antagonist edition!

This week we’ve got “Take it or leave it: Antagonist edition” where we give you a "villain" character and you tell us if you would take them or leave them!

Here's the link. Have an AMAZING WEEKEND!

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

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

I'm more of a fan of...

Star Wars: 71%

Star Trek: 29%

Yesterday's Question:

Have you noticed a change in customer service in the last 5 years?

Nicole from Florida: “I am in customer service and the change is in the entitlement and "give-it-to-me-now" attitude with society. I strive to always make things right, however, this is always within reason. I am not about to go out of my way just because you aren't a fan of the policies”

Dave from NYC: “ More companies have embraced live text chat and in my opinion, it is the best method to get issues resolved. No longer do I need to wait on a phone line to talk to someone. I can start a text thread, write out all my needed responses beforehand, copy/paste when needed, and the customer service agent can help me. Yes, it does take longer but I can do other things while I wait for responses.”

Danny from Maine: “Service for anything these days comes with complacency and apathy. Everyone expects a tip whether earned or not. "Supply chain issues" caused prices to go up, which were passed on to the consumer, and now consumers are expected to also help pay the wages of disgruntled employees, who are upset because they're underpaid? Make it make sense.”

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

  1. Unexpectedly finding money in your pocket: 8.6

  2. Getting a promotion at work: 8.7

  3. Receiving a compliment from a stranger: 8.1

  4. Being given something for free with purchase: 6.8

  5. Seeing an old friend: 8.5

  6. Performing well on a test or exam: 8.4

  7. Falling in love: 9

  8. Going on vacation: 8.8

  9. Mastering a skill or hobby: 8.5

  10. Meeting a new friend with similar interests: 7.8

  11. Being recognized for your talents: 8.1

  12. Purchasing a long-awaited item: 7.7

  13. Discovering a new song/artist you like: 7

  14. Coming across a favorable memory or photo: 7.8

  15. Volunteering: 6.9

  16. Celebrating a Birthday: 6.2

  17. Achieving a goal you set for yourself: 8.1

  18. Witnessing a proposal or wedding: 6

  19. Welcoming a new child into the family: 7.9

  20. Reading RocaNews: 7.8

Yesterday's Trivia:

Yesterday we asked readers two sample questions from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The percentages below show how Roca readers did:

Example History Question

What were European explorers such as Henry Hudson looking for when they sailed the coast and rivers of North America in the 1600s?

  • A water trade route to Asia: 75%

  • A land route to South America: 10%

  • Land to use for sugar plantations: 8%

  • Religious freedom: 7%

Example Civics Question

2 countries both claim that an island in the Pacific Ocean belongs to them. The countries are preparing to go to war with each other over this issue. What is the United Nations able to do to help end the conflict?

  • Send weapons to both sides: 2%

  • Disarm the militaries of both countries: 1%

  • Arrange for diplomatic negotiations between the 2 countries: 94%

  • Force all other countries to stop trading with the 2 countries: 3%

🧠 Final Thoughts

Feliz Cinco de Mayo and happy weekend to all of you. We’re spending ours enjoying the spring weather at a cabin down in the mountains along the Virginia/West Virginia border. Hope yours are as pleasant as that!

—Max and Max