Prince of Sales

Meet the Prince of Sales, Minor League pitchers take DNA test, and the roundabout capital of the world

Great White Sharks are by no means on the Roca office pet wish list, but it is hard to believe that just a few thousand remain in the world. Partly thanks to Steven Spielberg, only 3,500 Great Whites swim the oceans today. To put this into context using yesterday's Popcorn, Rolls-Royce delivered almost double the number of cars last year. Is it wrong to want a comeback?

In today's edition:

  • Meet the Prince of Sales

  • Minor League pitchers take DNA test

  • Roundabout capital of the world

🔑 Key Stories

FAA Delays All US Flights

Departing flights across the US were grounded Wednesday morning after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) experienced a system outage

  • The FAA regulates all civil aviation in the US. It uses a computer system — the Notice to Air Missions — to send pilots notifications, such as closed runways or equipment outages, that could affect flights

  • That system went down on Wednesday, and the FAA paused all domestic flights until it could be restored

  • Operations resumed a few hours later, and the FAA lifted the grounding order. The temporary outage resulted in 3700+ flight delays nationwide

Dig Deeper

  • The FAA is still working to determine the root cause of the outage and said there has been no evidence of a cyberattack. A preliminary investigation points to a "damaged database file" as the culprit

Lawyers vs. Social Media

A new federal lawsuit argues social media platforms should be held legally accountable for causing addictive and harmful behaviors in youth

  • The lawsuit is the consolidation of 100+ cases that claim platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube are addictive by design, resulting “in various emotional and physical harms, including death”

  • Lawyers involved with the case are building legal arguments similar to those used in successful legal lawsuits against opioid and tobacco makers

  • Social media companies say they’ve invested in child safety features and are expected to call to dismiss the case

Dig Deeper

  • "We are alleging here that these apps are products, in that they have design features, that are defective insofar as they cause kids to increasingly use the platforms to a greater and greater degree, and that extreme usage causes a variety of mental health problems," said a primary lawyer involved in the case. Product liability theories — which have successfully worked in lawsuits against opioid and tobacco makers — are untested in those against social media companies

Prince of Sales?

Prince Harry’s memoir Spare became the UK’s fastest-selling non-fiction book on its release day

  • Prince Harry is a member of the British royal family who formally ended his royal duties in 2020, citing familial disagreements and abuse by British tabloids

  • On Tuesday, he released a memoir which relayed many unknown details about his childhood, family, marriage to Meghan Markle, and royal exit

  • Interviews and leaked copies built anticipation for the book’s release, and within one day, 400k+ copies were sold, breaking the UK’s record for most nonfiction sales on release day

Dig Deeper

  • The book's publisher said the only fiction books they believe sold faster in the UK are those featuring "the other Harry" — a reference to the Harry Potter series. The royal family has not commented on the book or its record-breaking release

ISS Rescue?

Russia is preparing to launch a rescue mission to bring home 3 astronauts (2 Russian, 1 US) stranded at the International Space Station (ISS)

  • Russia, the US, and other countries jointly own and operate the ISS. It is the largest man-made satellite and has been continuously occupied for 22+ years

  • Last December, a large leak was found in a spacecraft that was supposed to bring the 3 astronauts home in March. An investigation revealed a meteoroid struck the spacecraft, causing irreparable damage

  • On Wednesday, Russia said it will launch a mission to rescue them in February

Big News Ruining Your Sleep?

Sponsored by Apollo Neuro

Looking for a safe, easy way to beat stress and improve your sleep, focus, and mood? Check out the Apollo wearable!

  • Created in a neuroscience lab and backed by clinical trials, this band uses touch therapy to send soothing vibrations that strengthen and rebalance the nervous system

  • It's intended to support your circadian rhythm, helping build resilience to stress

  • Apollo wearers report fewer sleepless nights and deeper sleep; better focus; and improvements to overall mood and energy. They reported experiencing an average 40% less stress, 25% more concentration, and 19% more time in deep sleep

Dig Deeper

  • Apollo can be worn on the wrist, ankle, or clipped to clothing. It’s unobtrusive and easy to use, day or night

🍿 Popcorn


  • Gloomy Globes: The TV ratings fell to an all-time low for the Golden Globes, down 23% from 2021. An average of just 5.3M people tuned in for the ceremony

  • Cracking the Dior: World's richest person Bernard Arnault appointed his eldest daughter to run Dior, his second largest brand, teeing up a succession battle between her and his son

  • Burning Man v. Biden: Burning Man and others are suing the Biden administration over the environmental impact of a geothermal project in Nevada


  • Who hit Ctrl + C? 2 Minor League pitchers with the same name and near-identical looks took DNA tests and learned that they aren't related

  • 29 hours!!! Passengers on an Amtrak train that was stranded in South Carolina for 29 hours called the police for fear that they had been abducted

  • Detroit vs. Animals: A Detroit-area town with a large Muslim population passed a law that allows residents to sacrifice animals at home for religious reasons

👇 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

Carmel, Indiana is famous for its traffic – in a good way.

Carmel, a city of 100,000 located just north of Indianapolis, has 142 roundabouts – more than any other US city. It also has a traffic-death rate 1/5 of the national average.

That’s no coincidence.

Carmel’s relationship with roundabouts began in 1996, when Jim Brainard became the city’s mayor. When Brainard asked people what they wanted from him, he heard a common response: More walkable neighborhoods.

He looked to urban planning research and other walkable cities for inspiration. In Britain, he found a solution.

In 1966, the UK passed a rule that all traffic entering circular intersections had to yield to circulating traffic. Street engineers added slopes at the entry and exit of each intersection to slow down traffic. Thus was born the roundabout, as it’s known today.

By studying roundabouts, Brainard discovered traffic circles could help create a more walkable city for a few reasons.

While roundabouts keep cars flowing, they also slow traffic down, which makes the roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. And because cars don’t get stuck waiting at traffic signals, roundabouts also increase building capacity, because the city can grow without needing to widen its roads.

Carmel has witnessed both benefits.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that Carmel's switch to roundabouts cut the city’s injury crashes by nearly 50%. Busy intersections, like highway exits, saw an 84% drop. With the help of roundabouts, Carmel has expanded its population from ~35k to ~100k, while maintaining walkability.

Roundabouts also helped the city shrink one road that goes through its center from 5 lanes to just 2, leaving more room for restaurants and businesses, and safer crossings for pedestrians.

In effect, since the late 1990’s, Carmel has tried to replace as many signalized intersections as it can with roundabouts. That’s earned it the nickname of “Roundabout Capital of the World” — a title the city emblazons on t-shirts and other souvenirs.

It’s also made Brainard – who has since authored a book on the subject – a roundabout celebrity. Still in office, he’s Carmel’s first 7-term mayor.

Despite what’s happened in Carmel, though, roundabouts remain somewhat less popular across the US. The country is home to ~8,000 traffic circles, compared to tens of thousands in Europe, where roundabouts have become the most common solution to intersection traffic.

Perhaps one day, the US will look more like Europe – or Carmel, Indiana.

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

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Which would you prefer to drink?

Orange Soda 🍊: 28%

Root Beer 🍺: 72%

Yesterday's Question:

What’s a life skill that can’t be taught?

Lucette from NYC: “A sense of humor. It may not necessarily be a life skill but laughter is one of the best human experiences, and if you don’t get the joke and/or nuances, you’re missing out!”

Stephanie from NJ: “Confidence is extremely important, but building it is a largely internal process shaped by your personal experiences. Your support system can give you direction and encouragement to build confidence, but a person must choose to believe and embrace it.”

A.J. from Illinois: “Becoming comfortable with handling failure and moving past it. Failure is a great opportunity to learn.”

🧠 Final Thoughts

How are everyone’s New Years resolutions going? Research shows this week is the drop-off from those salt-free diets and gym memberships we "promised" this would be the year we keep… not naming names, but we can’t say Roca HQ has kept to our 2023 of healthy office snacks. Bring on the Yoo-Hoos and Reese’s Cups.

Have a great week, as always, and see you tomorrow!

Max and Max