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Pig organs partially revived in dead animals — researchers are stunned

Nature (08/03/2022)
  • Duke and Yale University researchers were stunned after successfully restoring pigs’ vital organs (heart, brain) one hour after they died.
  • The experiments involved inducing cardiac arrest by shocking the pigs’ hearts until they died, waiting 1 hour, then connecting the pigs to a system (OrganEx) that pumped a blood substitute throughout their bodies.
  • This process slowed down the pigs’ body decomposition and restored vital organ function excluding sentience/consciousness.
  • This process could help resuscitate humans after heart attacks and help preserve organs after death.

College financial aid: It’s a sham that depends on what colleges think families will pay.

Slate (07/25/2022)
  • A deep-dive revealed that most colleges across America set financial aid packages using data-generated estimates of how much each applicant (and their families) are willing to pay.
  • Schools hire “enrollment management” consultants to analyze historical admissions data, determining the amount of financial aid relative to “sticker” tuition prices that will attract enough students to meet enrollment goals.
  • Since poorer, 1st generation college students (and their families) are often more willing to pay, many schools offer them less financial aid than privileged applicants.

How the man behind the Apple Store presided over a Spac catastrophe

Financial Times (FT) (07/04/2022)
  • Former Apple executive Ron Johnson, widely credited with developing Apple’s retail stores, has struggled leading Enjoy Technology.
  • Founded in 2014, Enjoy has 700 mobile stores (2,000 employees) that bring smartphones, computers and other electronics to customers homes to test out and potentially purchase.
  • Johnson envisioned Enjoy’s convenience sparking more electronics sales.
  • Despite raising $450M after going public in March (2021) via Spac merger ($1.1B valuation), costs rapidly outpacing revenues (below $100M) forced Enjoy to file bankruptcy in June (2022) with just $1M left.

Americans are piling up credit card debt as they struggle to keep up with the high cost of living

CNN (08/02/2022)
  • The NY Federal Reserve announced that US household debt reached a record $16.2 trillion in Q2 2022.
  • Rising inflation is increasing American’s reliance on credit card balances, which have increased by $100B (+13%) over the last year and +$46B in Q2 alone.
  • Americans opened 233 million new credit card accounts in Q2 and the personal savings rate hit 5.1% (lowest since 2009).
  • However, the jump in mortgage rates accounted for most of the household debt increase.
  • Total US student loan balances remain $1.6 trillion.

China hits Taiwan with trade restrictions after Pelosi visit

CNN (08/03/2022)
  • China suspended imports of citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, etc) and some fish from Taiwan and exports of natural sand in retaliation for recently hosting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Despite lingering tensions over Taiwan’s self-governace, China remains Taiwan’s biggest trade partner accounting for 37% ($273B) of Taiwan’s total trade.
  • China declined admitting if the trade suspension was retaliatory.
  • While the trade suspension will have little impact, global investors fear escalating tensions disrupting Taiwan’s semiconductor industry which manufactures 90% of the world’s super-advanced chips.

Dems retreat on crime and police reform

Politico (04/13/2022)
  • In a sharp reversal from 2020 post-George Floyd, Democratic politicians including Joe Biden are calling for increasing police funding.
  • This shift is largely driven by increasing murders becoming a major voter concern as mid-terms approach.
  • NY democratic lawmakers agreed to roll back recent bail reforms that were celebrated a few years ago designed to reduce incarceration.
  • DC mayor Muriel Bowser has council members support in hiring hundreds more cops.
  • Los Angeles’ leading mayoral candidates are campaigning on how they’ll do more to fight crime.

Mexico’s Hottest Resort Towns Struggle With Covid Travel Boom

Bloomberg (05/10/2022)
  • Mexico has become the #1 global tourism destination (#7 pre-Covid) as resorts boomed by simply remaining open during the pandemic.
  • Airlines are currently scheduling 20% more seats to Cancún and Tulum than they were in 2019.
  • When poverty started rapidly worsening at the onset of the pandemic, the Mexican government decided it couldn’t afford mass job losses from shutdowns.
  • Mexico’s tourism boom is leading resorts to add more rooms, sparking environmentally damaging construction.
  • Gang turf wars have also started spilling over into resorts.

BMW Wants to Charge for Heated Seats. These Grey Market Hackers Will Fix That.

VICE (07/19/2022)
  • After BMW recently announced that heated seats will become an $18/mo subscription, several hackers claim they’ll help owners.
  • Since BMW seats will still have the heating components, the hacking services are offering to unlock the feature in BMWs software.
  • These hackers already offer BMW software adjustments on eBay and Etsy such as disabling annoying car chimes and advanced smartphone intergration.
  • Bimmer Tech offers an adjustment that extends the BMW i3’s electric range.
  • However, BMW could counter these hacks by resetting the software during servicing.

What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep?

Outside (04/02/2019)
  • Scientists have found that the effects of acute sleep deprivation, or all-nighters, kicks in after being awake for 16-18 hours straight.
  • The first sign is a sluggish mind, with reaction times lagging to the equivalent of being legally drunk by the 24th hour awake.
  • After 24 hours, your brain starts forcing you into 10-20 second periods of “micro-sleep”.
  • After 35 hours, the brain’s emotion-emitting amygdala becomes 60% more reactive and the ability to regulate emotions declines.
  • Hallucinations are common after 48 hours awake.