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🌊 Little Housing Complex on the Prairie

Big Tech takes a deep breath, world’s most expensive ice cream, and 20 Questions!

If you woke up this morning thinking “Hmm, Dubai’s skyline could really use a 900-foot moon replica,” then do we have some news for you! A new project, ingeniously dubbed “MOON,” would place a giant moon replica on top of a 100-foot building and cost a grand total of $5B. One small step for man, one giant leap for Despicable Me fans.

In today's edition:

  • Big Tech takes a deep breath

  • World’s most expensive ice cream

  • 20 Questions!

 🔑 Key Stories

SCOTUS Ruling 1

On Thursday, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) allowed existing social media policies to stay in place

  • According to a foundational internet law, Section 230, US tech platforms are not liable for the content their users share on them

  • In this case, the family of an ISIS victim had sued Google, alleging that YouTube, which it owns, should be held liable for sharing ISIS-related content. If SCOTUS sided with the family, it would significantly alter US content moderation policy

  • It did not, though, and instead sent the issue back to a lower court, leaving existing laws in place

Dig Deeper

  • Prior to this ruling, SCOTUS ruled on a related case that the family of an American victim of a terrorist attack could not hold Twitter liable for content it circulated about ISIS. That case did not directly pertain to Section 230, but the principle – that tech companies aren’t liable for user content they spread – is consistent across both cases

SCOTUS Ruling 2

SCOTUS allowed an Illinois ban on many rifles and magazines to stay in place

  • Last year, in response to a July 4th shooting that left 7 dead in the state, Illinois passed a law banning the sale and distribution of large magazines and many semi-automatic "assault-style” weapons

  • That was immediately appealed. While the appeals play out, a firearms organization and gun shop filed to pause the ban’s implementation

  • SCOTUS denied their request, allowing the ban to stay in effect while courts decide the ban’s overall legality

Dig Deeper

  • Gun control advocates celebrated the ruling as a victory; the groups that filed the request said they will still challenge the ban through the normal appeals process

ESPN Preps for Streaming

ESPN is laying the groundwork to shift its flagship channel to a standalone streaming service, the Wall Street Journal reported

  • Disney-owned ESPN is the US’ most-watched sports channel and second most-watched cable TV channel

  • While ESPN has its own streaming service – ESPN+ – ESPN’s premium games and shows are only available on its cable network

  • It emerged Thursday, though, that ESPN is planning to make its flagship content available on streaming. The move would be a blow to cable providers, as millions of Americans pay for cable solely for ESPN. US cable subscriptions are down 24% since a 2011 peak

Dig Deeper

  • Disney is one of several major companies investing in sports streaming. In December, Google acquired exclusive streaming rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket games package for ~$2B annually. A year before, Amazon agreed to pay ~$1B annually to stream Thursday Night Football

Buildings or Parks?

The UK’s leading politicians are battling over whether the government should sacrifice green spaces to build more homes

  • 12% of the UK is the “green belt” – thousands of square miles of undeveloped regions set aside largely for parks and nature conservation

  • But the UK also faces a housing shortage, and some are calling for development of certain green areas

  • This week, the leader of the main opposition party called for green belt construction; the UK’s prime minister responded by saying he wants construction, and to “make sure our green spaces are protected”

Dig Deeper

  • Forecasters predict housing and the green belt will become major issues in the next election, due by January 2025. In that vote, the Labour Party hopes to defeat the Conservatives for the first time since 2005

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • We r klosing: Chick-fil-A’s first location is permanently closing after 56 years in service. The Original Chicken Sandwich cost just $0.59 at launch 

  • Statue of Hyperbole: New York and New Jersey are upping their bid for the 2026 World Cup Final, promising a spectacle of "eight Super Bowls"

  • Bank account split: A Japanese ice cream made out of white truffle costs $6,696 per serving, setting a Guinness World Record for most expensive ice cream

Wildcard

  • Hole-y security: Vatican officers fired at a car that sped past Swiss Guards and rushed one of the Vatican’s entrance gates. The driver had psychiatric problemss

  • Best wishes, Judge: A London court dismissed a lawsuit from an IT worker who accused her boss of sexual harassment for using "xx" and other suggestive abbreviations in emails

  • Bid fruitful and multiply:A 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible sold for $38M at a New York auction on Wednesday. It is the oldest known near-complete Bible 

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Question:

Today's Poll

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See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

Every Friday, we ask the Roca readers 20 questions, then feature our favorite answers the following week.

Yesterday we asked you, “What is an obscure invention you are grateful for?” The replies got us thinking about people like engineer Percy Spencer, who was developing new weapons after World War 2 when he ended up inventing the microwave oven. Thanks to him, we can eat our leftovers with enthusiasm!

This week, we want to know what inventions you like the most. So we’re doing…

20 Questions: Random Inventions Edition

Here's the link. Have an AMAZING WEEKEND!

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

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Would you rather…

Go skydiving: 34%

Go parasailing: 66%

Yesterday's Question:

Julie from Florida: “Copy and Paste. Try to go a day without it! Try to go a day without it! ;)”

Donna from New Jersey: “The squeegee thing that you put on the end of toothpaste!”

Margo from Tennessee: “I have always been extremely grateful for the invention of Kleenex / bathroom tissue. I think it is one of the most wonderful, useful, and comforting products available in the modern world.”

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

  1. Wine? Red 57%, White 43%

  2. Bagel toasting? Slightly toasted 83%, Almost burnt 17%

  3. Gum flavor? Minty 81%, Fruity 19%

  4. Car seat? Driver 67%, Passenger 33%

  5. Vacation? Cruise 52%, Backpacking trip 48%

  6. Soap? Bar 44%, Bottle 56%

  7. Cuisine? Greek 22%, Italian 78%

  8. Frozen treat? Popsicle 10%, Ice Cream 90%

  9. Lighting? Warm 90%, Fluorescent 10%

  10. Nap location? Recliner 32%, Couch 68%

  11. Outdoor adventure? Hiking 72%, Biking 28%

  12. Childhood activity? Coloring 59%, Building blocks 41%

  13. Fast food mascot? Wendy 53%, Ronald McDonald 47%

  14. Water type? Still 75%, Sparkling 25%

  15. Breakfast choice? Pancakes 46%, French Toast 54%

  16. Red fruit? Cherry 32%, Strawberry 68%

  17. Music genre? Smooth Jazz 44%, Classical 56%

  18. Location? City 36%, Country 64%

  19. Candy? Twix 42%, Snickers 58%

  20. Movie? Comedy 56%, Action/Adventure 44%

🧠 Final Thoughts

We hope you all had great weeks. Whether you won the lottery or totaled your car, though, we’re all equal now – because it’s the weekend. We hope you are all able to relax, spend some time with people you like, and, of course, do those 20 questions.

See you on Monday!

–Max and Max