🌊 This is a TikTok-Free Zone

4 US states have fully or partially banned TikTok on government-issued devices in the past 8 days....

We probably wouldn’t be where we are today without the device that JT White patented on this day in 1896: The lemon-squeezer. Where it ranks among the wheel, printing press, and combustible engine is up to you. But that it is the Mt. Rushmore of inventions – nobody can disagree.

Today is the last day to order Roca merch if you want it to arrive by Christmas. We can't let the Instagram followers continue to dominate the store orders! So let's stage a comeback today and crank out these coasters, trucker hats, hoodies, and more. All proceeds will go to supporting our mission — zero to an office lemon-squeezer.

In today's edition:

  • Ancient DNA opens window to our past

  • Chicago cop makes a splash on vacation

  • Roca visits lobster fishermen

🔑 Key Stories

Forests Used to Cover the Arctic?

A newly-published study contains an analysis of 2M-year-old DNA — likely the oldest ever discovered

Dig Deeper

  • Researchers say the discovery of mastodon DNA was surprising, since scientists didn't believe they had ever lived in Greenland. Now extinct, mastodons resembled a mix of a woolly mammoth and an elephant and are thought to have lived mostly in the Americas and Asia

States Banning Government Use of TikTok

4 US states have fully or partially banned TikTok on government-issued devices in the past 8 days

  • On Wednesday, Texas’s governor banned the app from state-issued devices. Texas joins 3 other states — Maryland, South Dakota, and South Carolina — in having fully or partially banned the app on government devices in the past 8 days. Nebraska did so in 2020

  • The governors cited the risk of ByteDance — a Chinese company and the owner of TikTok — sharing sensitive data with China’s government, which they say it must do per Chinese law

  • Indiana is also suing it over a raft of related issues

Dig Deeper

  • A group of conservative House representatives from Wisconsin is also pressuring its Democratic governor to follow suit. "Wisconsinites expect their governor to be aware of the dangerous national security threats TikTok poses," one representative said

Democrats Expand Senate Control

Democrat Raphael Warnock won Georgia’s Senate runoff election, giving Democrats 51 Senate seats

  • Warnock, the incumbent, won more votes than Republican challenger Herschel Walker in November's election, but didn’t win 50%+ of the total vote. Per Georgia law, that triggered a head-to-head “runoff” election, which Warnock won on Tuesday with ~51% of the vote

  • Warnock’s victory effectively gives Democrats 51 Senate seats to Republicans’ 49, a gain of 1 in the midterms

  • Congress is now split (Republicans control the House), which means fewer laws will likely be passed

Dig Deeper

China Easing Covid-19 Restrictions

China announced it will ease some Covid-19 restrictions 

  • China’s “zero-Covid” policy requires citizens to test frequently, show “health codes” to enter places, and face mandatory quarantine in government centers. Officials lock down areas wherever cases are reported

  • But recent anti-lockdown protests and economic data showing “zero-Covid” is hurting the economy have pressured China’s government to change the policy

  • China now says it will ease testing and quarantine requirements and limit unnecessary lockdowns. It warned, though, that most changes won’t occur until mid-2023, when more elderly people are vaccinated

Dig Deeper

  • New reports show that the world's top iPhone assembler – Foxconn – had been pressuring Chinese leader Xi Jinping to make the change. Lockdowns have repeatedly forced Foxconn's factories to close, leading to iPhone shortages

Papua's Population Problem

A UN study claims that Papua New Guinea’s population may be almost double official estimates

  • Papua New Guinea is one of Earth’s least developed countries. Roughly 13% of its people live in cities

  • The country officially considers its population to be 9.4M. But a new unpublished UN study claims the true number is closer to 17M. If true, that would nearly halve the country’s per capita GDP, from ~$3,000 to ~$1,700

  • The country’s prime minister said he thinks the true number is closer to 11M, but says the country lacks enough resources regardless of the true figure

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. Start feeling better with 10% off your Apollo wearable now

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Not Liver King? Time Magazine named Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky its "Person of the Year"

  • We'll drive you broke: Carvana founder Ernie Garcia's net worth has plummeted from $6.7B to $119M this year. Only Sam Bankman-Fried is known to have had a worse year

  • Rock bottom: Warner Bros. is poised to lose up to $100M on its latest superhero installment Black Adam. The movie stars Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson

Wildcard

  • Lacking in whizdom: A Chicago police officer was arrested for urinating in an ice machine in Florida. The incident took place in the wee hours of Tuesday morning

  • No-treat list: TSA revealed that a small dog accidentally went through the X-ray machine at a Wisconsin airport after its owner forgot to take it out

  • Thank God it's court day: An Illinois woman is suing TGI Fridays after finding out the mozzarella sticks sold with their branding don't actually contain mozzarella

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Which hit US comedy TV show do you find funnier?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

Who's someone from history who truly inspires you?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Lobster is the most valuable sector of the North American fishing industry. But are its days numbered?

Many worry rising ocean temperatures mean they are, but we visited a more optimistic fisherman in New Hampshire.

Lobsters comfortably live in water temperatures below 68º F. In temperatures above that, lobsters become more active and need more food to survive. That causes more of them to die or be too small to be legally fished.

North America’s lobster hub used to be Long Beach Island, NJ, but rising water temperatures have forced lobsters north. The epicenter is now New England, and, within it, the Gulf of Maine. Home to 250M lobsters, the Gulf is the most densely populated lobster site in the world.

Today, Maine is responsible for 80% of the annual US lobster harvest. However the Gulf is warming faster than most of the world’s oceans, raising doubts about the industry’s long-term viability. We spoke to 3 Maine lobstermen, and all told us the same thing: They are worried about the impact of rising temperatures on the lobster industry.

But then we met Randy Campolini, who is more optimistic.

Randy is a New Hampshire-based commercial lobsterman and the captain of the fishing vessel Lady Ella. He invited us aboard the Lady Ella, which had just returned from an all-day haul in Hampton, New Hampshire.

We asked if he’s been affected by warming waters. “I hear this all the time, especially in Maine, and there’s a lot of scientific data on it, but in the last 5-7 years, our catch has gone up thousands of pounds per year,” he said.

He said the more detrimental change has been increasing regulation on the industry.

Lobster fishermen are used to self-regulating, he said, and they have for years. They toss back any lobster with a carapace (the rear edge of the shell to the eye socket) smaller than 3.25 inches. And if a lobsterman finds a female with eggs, he tosses her back in the water after cutting a v-notch in her flipper – a code to other lobstermen to leave her alone.

Randy says he and most lobstermen usually throw back 2/3 of their catches because of those guidelines.

But new regulations are making fishing tougher, he said. Maine recently passed a law regulating lobster traps to protect whales, although the lobstermen say there have been no recent instances of whales getting caught in lobster trap lines. It’s also become harder to get a lobstering license, and there is talk of increasing the minimum size of a lobster.

“The way regulations are right now…no one is jumping into the lobster industry,” Randy said. “All licenses are closed, and unless you have money or backing, it’s going to cost you too much.”

And it’s hard work. “You have to put the time in,” he told Roca. “Stamina.” “Work ethic.”

Randy’s day starts at 5 AM, when he and his crew head out from New Hampshire’s coastline with 300 traps. If it’s a good day, each trap catches a handful of lobsters; never more than 10. Around noon, Randy returns to shore with the lobsters, which he boxes and takes to a fulfillment center for sale. He does that 4 times a week.

Randy says he loves the work: He’s 18 years in, and hopes for many more. He’s also confident the industry will persevere.

Before leaving, we asked him which lobster is the best to eat.

“If you asked me 5 years ago, I would have said a 1.5lb hard-shell male. But now I’ve switched to the softshell chick lobster. They’re way sweeter.”

But he has 1 golden rule: “I won’t eat a lobster that hasn’t been caught within a couple days.”

Holding up a fresh catch, he added: “You get one like this, and you don’t need butter.”

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

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you trust tap water at hotels?Yes: 38.7%No: 61.3%

Yesterday's Question:

Do you enjoy getting or giving presents more at this point in your life? No shame in the former...

Anthony from San Diego: "I think at this point I enjoy giving more than getting. It gives me a chance to think about others more often than I do, and I want to start being more present with those people. Pun not intended. Still not opposed to getting though."

Carolyn from Tampa: "Neither. I find gift giving to be transactional and a waste of money. I’ve gifted experiences in the past with some success- concerts and such. However, I did gift myself a shirt from your store"

Carl from California: "At this point in my life I’d prefer to give gifts, and as far as getting, I’ve decided I want to spend time with my loved ones instead of getting a gift. Take me out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner and just talk. That’s the best gift!"

🧠 Final Thoughts

We hope today's Wrap helps you enjoy your next lobster roll at least a little bit more. Thank you all for reading, and have a great Thursday!

Max and Max