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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #224

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July 11 · Issue #224 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its fifth year!

my story 🚀
🚢 Boat trip to Michigan!
🚢 Boat trip to Michigan!
  1. Plenty of water in Lake Michigan. The city of Chicago pulls water from two cribs about 2 miles offshore. As we cruised across the lake this week, we noticed distinct color changes in the water. They corresponded to big differences in the water’s depth. Close to shore, boaters have to pay close attention to make sure they don’t run aground. But out there, far from land, Lake Michigan can be as deep as 923 feet! Chicago isn’t at risk of a water shortage any time soon.
  2. Labor shortage provides moments of zen. A couple times this week I encountered issues that I believe stem from the service industry labor shortage. Upon reflection, I want to reinforce how grateful I am for those who show up to work and provide the critical services that we’ve grown accustomed to. The next time I’m waiting a bit extra for my restaurant order or Uber, I’ll take the time to consider just how lucky I am.
fun facts 🙌
How to build a small town in Texas. ““How do you build a town?” We know well how it used to be done, but these last one or two centuries we have forgotten how to do it (with only a handful of notable exceptions during the last century).” | learn more
What were these dodecahedrons for? “The first of many dodecahedrons was unearthed almost three centuries ago, and we still don’t know what they were for.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Phrenology, insurance claims, and digital gaydar. “You read that right: an insurance company in 2021 is defending itself against charges, circulated widely in the AI ethics Twitter dogpile on their original thread, that they’re using the Late Renaissance pseudosciences of phrenology and physiognomy on their customers.” | learn more
How Facebook knows you so well. “Is Facebook listening to your conversations? No, they are not. They are doing something MUCH more effective!” This thread is not the final word on the topic. I don’t think this rules out their use of microphone data obtained indirectly. | learn more
Stripe Atlas: the first five years and 20,000 startups. “In 2016, we launched Stripe Atlas to help founders turn their ideas into startups, and in turn, collectively grow the GDP of the internet. Since then, over 20,000 businesses have started with Atlas and have generated over $3 billion in revenue.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
What if everyone’s nutrition was personalized? The Economist fast forwards 10 years into the future. The story “is fiction, but grounded in historical fact, current speculation and real science.” | learn more
mRNA vaccine technology moves to flu. This is still only the beginning. “Moderna has given out the first doses of an mRNA-based influenza vaccine to participants in an early-phase clinical trial, the company announced Wednesday.” | learn more
Biohackers could drive insulin price down 98 percent. “A team of biohackers is on a David-versus-Goliath mission to make insulin affordable to an increasing number of diabetics.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Why direct-to-consumer brands are bringing celebrities on board. “The proliferation of influencer culture has pulled back the curtain on the world of brand sponsorships and endorsements, leading consumers to become more skeptical of what motivates a celebrity to make a product recommendation.” | learn more
The economics of dollar stores. “A visual explainer of the numbers behind America’s ubiquitous bargain-basement chains.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
5-minute breathing workout matches vascular benefits of exercise. “A new study has provided the strongest evidence yet that a daily practice designed to strengthen breathing muscles can lower blood pressure and improve vascular health, just as effectively or perhaps even more so than aerobic exercise.” | learn more
Stomach fluid of cows found to break down common plastic. “Central to the environmental damage caused by plastics is the length of time they take to break down, but researchers are starting to demonstrate how naturally occurring microbes could lend a helping hand. The latest example of this comes from scientists in Austria, who have discovered a set of enzymes in the stomach fluid of cows that can break down common plastics used in textiles and packaging.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
The Sriracha growth story. “Huy Fong’s Sriracha hit revenue of $150m+ a year…with no sales team, no trademark and $0 in ad spend.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
Why does it cost so much to build roads, rail and infrastructure in America? So many reasons. “Not only are these projects inordinately expensive, states and localities are not even attempting to build particularly ambitious projects. The US is the sixth-most expensive country in the world to build rapid-rail transit infrastructure…” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
The case against Bitcoin. “Peter Thiel’s former portfolio manager says that the crypto narrative is built on half-truths and a nonchalance about the security provided by the nation-state.” | learn more
The ABCs of DAOs. “As of June 2021, over $1 billion has been committed towards blockchain-native analogs of traditional corporations called decentralized autonomous organizations or DAOs.” | learn more
Eth2 could kick-start $40B staking industry by 2025, say JPM analysts. “The authors estimate that holders of staked coins on PoS blockchains are currently generating some $9 billion in revenue annually from their staked holdings.” | learn more
profiles of people 🚶
The fall of the Billionaire Gucci Master. “Authorities say Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, perfected a simple internet scam and laundered millions of dollars. His past says a lot about digital swagger, and the kinds of stories that get told online.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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