🌊 ‘Messi to ‘Merica

Messi to Miami, Virgin crocodile birth, and Atlantis of the North

The founder of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones, left the band on this day in 1969. He formed the band in 1962 and originally named it the “Rollin’ Stones.” Legend has it that he came up with the name when a music venue manager asked him what his band was called, and his eyes darted to an album lying on the floor which featured a song called “Rollin’ Stone Blues.” In a panic, he blurted out “Rollin’ Stones.”

That’s got nothing to do with today’s news, but we couldn't in good conscience let you begin your day without sharing it.

In today's edition:

  • Messi to Miami

  • Virgin crocodile birth

  • Atlantis of the North

 🔑 Key Stories

Messi to Inter Miami

Lionel Messi told Spanish media on Wednesday he plans to sign with Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Inter Miami

  • Messi – widely considered one of soccer’s GOATs – is approaching the end of a 2-year contract with Paris soccer club PSG. Analysts speculated he could return to FC Barcelona, where he spent 20 years, or play in Saudi Arabia for as much as $429M per year

  • On Wednesday, Messi, 35, announced he will play for the MLS’ Inter Miami

  • Inter Miami joined the MLS in 2020 and is currently in last place in the Eastern Conference standings

Dig Deeper

  • Contract details are unknown, but MLS’ pitch to sign Messi reportedly included revenue-sharing with Apple TV+, profit-sharing with Adidas, and a contract clause for future club ownership

Bad Day to Be a Big News CEO

CNN’s CEO is out at the network days after The Atlantic published an unflattering article about him

  • CNN has faced declining viewership for years and a series of scandals that have gutted its leadership. It also shuttered its streaming service, CNN+, last year

  • CNN hired Chris Licht last May as its new CEO. Licht pledged to revive the network, but several of his initiatives, such as a morning talk show and a town hall with former President Trump, prompted criticism among CNN staff and viewers

  • On Friday, The Atlantic ran a profile on Licht portraying him as incompetent and obnoxious. CNN’s staff reportedly lost faith in him, and he was fired on Wednesday

Dig Deeper

  • The Atlantic article caused a backlash against Licht, who apologized to CNN’s staff on Monday. But company insiders said that was too little too late, and on Wednesday, the CEO of CNN’s parent company announced Licht “will be leaving CNN.” 3 executives will jointly run the company until a replacement is chosen

Blocking “Glory to Hong Kong”?

Hong Kong’s government filed a court order to ban YouTube videos featuring a pro-democracy song

  • Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous region of China. Mass pro-democracy protests broke out there in 2019. A song created that year, “Glory to Hong Kong,” became the anthem of the protesters

  • Since the protests, China has increased its influence in Hong Kong. In 2022, Hong Kong asked YouTube to stop promoting the song – but YouTube refused

  • On Monday, Hong Kong filed a lawsuit to block YouTube videos featuring the song

Dig Deeper

  • US tech companies usually follow local laws in the countries they operate in. The court order would likely force Google to comply or be banned in Hong Kong. Google and other affected tech companies haven’t yet commented on the lawsuit

Merck Sues the US Government

Merck is suing the federal government to stop Medicare from being able to negotiate drug prices

  • Last year, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allowed Medicare – federal health insurance for those aged 65+ – to negotiate drug prices. Drug companies can refuse to accept the prices, but if no deal is reached, they can be subjected to taxes

  • US pharma company Merck sued the government, saying that violated its rights. “This is not ‘negotiation.’ It is tantamount to extortion,” a Merck representative said

  • A White House official said it is confident the law is legal

Dig Deeper

  • “Big Pharma regularly forces Americans to pay many times what they do customers in other countries for the exact same medicines," the White House said in a statement. “There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents Medicare from negotiating [drug prices]”

The Healthy Alternative to Sugary Sports Drinks

Together with LMNT

LMNT is the electrolyte drink mix we recommend Roca Riders hydrate with this summer

  • Since the 1940s, we’ve been told to drink 8 glasses of water per day. However, only hydrating with plain water can dilute your electrolyte levels – which can lead to things like headaches, low energy, brain fog, and more

  • Electrolytes are essential minerals that facilitate vital bodily functions, including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance

  • When people sweat they lose water and electrolytes, but most people only replace the water. LMNT electrolytes contain what you need – the salts – without all the other harmful additives. Just mix it with water and it’s perfect for hydrating, be it after a workout or night out

  • Other popular electrolyte drinks contain as much as 36 grams of sugar. 36 GRAMS! LMNT contains none – NONE!

  • You can try it totally risk-free. If you don’t like it, they’ll give you your money back – no questions asked

Dig Deeper

  • Right now LMNT is offering Roca Riders a free sample pack with any purchase. That’s 8 single servings FREE with any LMNT order. This is a great way to try all 8 flavors or share LMNT with a salty friend

🍿 Popcorn


  • Thanks, Trudeau: New York City’s air quality hit its lowest point since the 1980s. Wildfire smoke has drifted down from Canada and made NYC’s air “very hazardous”

  • “Where is Doug?”: North Dakota’s governor Doug Burgum is the 12th candidate to enter for the Republican nomination, touting his small town values

  • About ducking time: Apple will reportedly no longer autocorrect swear words. This means that the “ducking” autocorrect will cease to exist on iPhones


  • Virgin croc birth: For the first time in crocodile history, a crocodile made herself pregnant at a Costa Rican zoo. The 18-month old reptile’s fetus was fully formed but stillborn and didn’t hatch

  • Let sleeping dogs sell: An undercover journalist claims to have sold a picture of 2 dogs sleeping as an NFT for $20k after infiltrating the crypto and NFT worlds for an investigation 

  • Retirement well spent: A 13-year-old girl in China reportedly found her mom’s debit card and spent $64k on mobile games, wiping out her family’s savings  

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

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Today's Question:

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See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

In the 1300s, there was a town in northern Europe said to be as rich as Rome.

According to accounts from the time, it was called Rungholt.

Rungholt was said to have 500 homes, thousands of residents, and a thriving port. A series of dikes – water-controlling ditches – protected it from the North Sea.

But in January 1362, medieval reports claim, a massive hurricane blew through, overwhelming the dikes and flooding the city. That storm – later called the Great Mandränke – killed as many as 25,000 people.

After it, Rungholt was never seen again.

Rungholt featured prominently in northern European stories over the following centuries. Many likened it to the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah – 2 cities God was said to have destroyed for their wickedness.

One prominent tale of Rungholt that originated in the 1500s spoke of the city as rich and full of drunkards. According to the legend, Rungholt farmers got a pig so drunk it passed out, then called a priest to give it a final blessing.

When the priest tried to leave, the farmers forced him to get drunk. The priest then asked God to punish the sinners, and so he destroyed Rungholt.

For others, it became a new Atlantis, an ancient civilization that the Greek philosopher Plato claimed was swallowed up by the sea. While Atlantis’ existence has often been considered fictional, others believe it was a real place.

In 1921, a farmer in northern Germany was exploring the mud flats off the coast when he began spotting artifacts: He found posts, wells, ditches, and mounds in the mud. After further research, the man concluded that a city existed nearby – and that it was Rungholt.

Decades later, in 1994, a German professor used a map from the 1500s to explore where he believed Rungholt had been located. In a series of expeditions into the North Sea mud flats – different ones than those explored in 1921 – he found ceramics, coins, and gems. That professor concluded that Rungholt existed on the opposite side of an island than the farmer had concluded in 1921.

From the 1990s until now, though, little progress was made. Until last month.

Last month, a group of researchers announced they had discovered a 1.2-mile-long (2-kilometer) series of mounds in waters near the island around which the other discoveries had occurred. The group said it identified 54 mounds in total, including the foundation of a church. The researchers also claimed to have found a harbor with large, wooden tidal gates; 2 smaller churches; a dike; and drainage systems.

The scale of the settlement means it must have been the largest town in the area – Rungholt. The researchers are analyzing artifacts from the area to prove their point.

If they are correct, they will have finally solved the mystery of Atlantis of the North.

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

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do aliens exist?
Yes: 77%
No: 23%

Yesterday's Question:

Would you rather be the worst of the best or the best of the worst on a team?

Judi from Massachusetts: “The worst of the best. You then will have an opportunity to learn from those that are better.”

Daniel, a student at UVA: “Worst player on the best team for sure. The worst player on the 90’s bulls likely has 2-3 championships, maybe more. They might not have seen the court, but they earned their spot on the team, and they have the rings to show it!”

Jazmin from New York, New York: "The worst of the best…I don’t like the spotlight.”

🧠 Final Thoughts

Thank you all for reading Roca. We may have to do a follow-up on that crocodile story: Apparently it was able to clone itself while living in total isolation. It seems like there may be more to that story.

Stay tuned… Have great Thursdays and see you tomorrow.

—Max and Max