🌊 Sunday Night YouTube

Oh, the weather outside is frightful... Italy releases the hunters, and dazzle ships

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony dropped on this day in 1808. You might imagine some perfectly-executed premiere, but it was actually kind of a dud — almost a Mariah Carey-on-New-Year's-Eve-level dud. The orchestra rehearsed only once before the big day and flubbed a few parts. At one point, Beethoven had to stop and restart the music. As if his life wasn't hard enough already...

In today's edition:

  • Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

  • Italy releases the hunters

  • Dazzle ships

🔑 Key Stories

YouTube in Talks for Sunday Ticket

Google’s YouTube is in advanced talks to acquire the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket (ST) package

  • The subscription-only ST offers access to all regular season Sunday NFL games, not just those broadcast locally. Satellite broadcaster DirecTV pays $1.5B per year for it, but that deal is expiring this season

  • Per the WSJ, YouTube is the only company in late-stage talks for rights to ST after Apple dropped out. It is considering paying $2.5B/year

  • YouTube would offer it as an add-on to its streaming service. Several other tech companies, incl. Apple and Amazon, have already invested in sports streaming

Dig Deeper

  • Amazon pays $1B annually for streaming rights to Thursday Night Football, and Apple pays for both Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball on its streaming service. Google is trying to get in on the action

Winter Storm Bearing Down on US

A powerful winter storm put ~200M Americans under weather alerts as of Wednesday

Dig Deeper

  • Per flight tracker FlightAware, 1,445 flights within, into, or out of the US have been canceled so far today, while 1,518 more were delayed

Zelensky Meets With Biden

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with President Biden on Wednesday

  • Ahead of his arrival, President Biden announced a new $2B aid package to Ukraine that includes advanced surface-to-air missiles. Lawmakers are also trying to pass a new $1.7T spending package that includes $45B more in aid to Ukraine and several NATO allies

  • It was Zelensky’s first foreign trip since Russia invaded Ukraine this February

  • The visit comes weeks before Republicans take control of the House, which will divide Congress and may make future aid less certain

Dig Deeper

  • In a speech before a joint session of Congress, Zelensky said, "It gives me great pleasure to share our first joint victory: We defeated Russia in the minds of the world." While the frontlines are somewhat frozen, Russia continues to bomb Ukrainian power plants, interrupting power and heat for much of the country

Taliban Bans Female Education

  • The Taliban, an Islamist group, opposes modern education. It ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, and banned female education during that time, too

  • The US ousted the Taliban in 2001, but it returned to power last year after toppling a US-backed government

  • The Taliban claimed to have moderated its views, but after returning to power, it banned women from secondary (middle/high) school. Tuesday, it banned them from attending university, and Wednesday it banned girls from attending primary (elementary) schools

Dig Deeper

  • On Tuesday, the Taliban released 2 unidentified American detainees held in Afghanistan. A US official said nobody had been traded in exchange, and that it was a "gesture of goodwill"

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🍿 Popcorn


  • RIP, Italian stallion: Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris died at the age of 72. The Pittsburgh Steelers legend made the iconic "Immaculate Reception"

  • Big Rockette is watching: Facial recognition reportedly blocked a lawyer from attending a Rockettes show at NYC's Radio City Music Hall with her daughter. The mom's law firm is involved in a case against Radio City Music Hall's operator

  • Wednesday every day: Wednesday's first week on Netflix narrowly trailed Stranger Things Season 4 for the title of most-streamed show in the US over a single week


  • Going once, going twice, record! 2022 was a record-setting year for auction houses. Sotheby's, Christie's, and Phillips combined for $18B in total sales

  • December showers bring Maye flowers: UNC's star quarterback Drake Maye has reportedly received two $5M offers to transfer schools as NIL deals continue to grow

  • Planet of the boars: Italy will loosen hunting rules amid an "invasion" of wild boars. Boars will be fair game in urban and protected areas; hunters will be able to eat them

  • No turbulence: Going somewhere this holiday season? Protect your trip with Faye travel insurance! *This is a sponsored post

👇 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 1917, German U-Boat attacks looked unstoppable.

U-boats, or German submarines, were one of Germany’s most effective weapons in World War I.

Germany especially relied on them against Britain, which was using a naval blockade around Germany to cut off imports of supplies. In defense, U-boats patrolled the Atlantic looking for British and other enemy ships to attack.

U-boats were near impossible to defend against: They could rise to the surface, launch a torpedo at enemy ships, and then disappear underwater in minutes; a swift and deadly one-shot attack. Surface ships had little means to detect or attack the submarines.

As the war entered its third year, U-boats had sunk 430 ships – most of them British. The British needed a solution to fend off the submarines, ASAP.

One idea was camouflage: Was it possible to hide the ships at sea?

England tapped artists and inventors for ideas on how to do so: Ships covered in mirrors to reflect the ocean; ships disguised as whales; ships draped in canvas to look like clouds. Even famed inventor Thomas Edison contributed an idea: Ships that look like islands.

None of those ideas worked.

That inspired British naval officer Norman Wilkinson to consider another idea: Instead of camouflaging the ships, why not do the opposite?

“Since it was impossible to paint a ship so that she could not be seen by a submarine, the extreme opposite was the answer,” he said. “In other words, to paint her, not for low visibility, but in such a way as to break up her form and thus confuse a submarine officer as the course on which she was heading.”

Wilkinson, an artist before serving in the Navy, wanted to use zig-zag designs as a form of optical illusion – what he called “dazzling” the enemy. The design would make it difficult for U-boat commanders to estimate a ship’s range, speed, and course, and thus cause them to take up a poor firing position for the torpedoes.

In May 1917, Wilkinson received permission to test his idea. The initial ship painted in the style successfully misled the British military officers tasked with guessing its location. Britain’s navy soon commissioned 50 more ships in the style.

From there, “dazzle camouflage” was born.

There’s not enough data to know the true success of dazzle ships, but by the end of the year, they were less likely than those without the art to be struck or sunk by torpedoes.

By the end of World War I, ~4,000 had been commissioned.

Dazzle camouflage was used in World War II, although to a much lesser extent, but eventually fell out of use as defense technology improved.

But Britain and the Allies went on to win World War I in 1918 – perhaps in some part thanks to Wilkinson’s dazzled designs.

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

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Better seasonal flavor?

Gingerbread: 50.63%Peppermint: 49.37%

Yesterday's Question:

What’s the location that feels the most festive to you during the Holidays?

Joep from Netherlands: “Brussels, especially the 'Grote Markt' or the main square. The Christmas markets are really amazing as well!”

Steve from FL: “The place I feel most festive for the holidays is my home.”

Claudia from CA: “I've only visited once, but New York; Manhattan specifically. Macy's windows and Rockefeller Center - tree and skating rink. When I went, there was snow (gently falling). I'm from California, so usually, no white Christmas. It was magical.”

🧠 Final Thoughts

Happy Thursday, all! We wish you safe travels and hope you can avoid the "cyclone bomb." We'll be back tomorrow with one more newsletter before taking a long weekend.

See you then!

Max and Max