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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #279

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July 31 · Issue #279 · 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 sixth year!

my story 🚀
The GOAT.
The GOAT.
  1. There are so many hotels. We’ve been taking road trips for the last couple years since the pandemic began. One aspect to life on the road that I’m still amazed by is the vast number of hotels available. The approach we’ve settled on is to drive as much as we can/want throughout the day, then find an available hotel room in the evening. The last minute approach to accommodations hasn’t failed us yet (one time was a close call, though). Maybe that’s because there are more than 2,300 Hampton Inn locations in the US. That’s just one brand!
  2. How many are convinced that all of crypto is a ponzi scheme? At least one person, a good friend, felt that way as of last night. Somehow, I managed to convince him that it’s only as much a ponzi scheme as the US Dollar. I don’t know if that’s actually a good outcome? For what it’s worth, I remain invested in a handful of cryptocurrencies. And also US Dollars.
fun facts 🙌
Why everything eventually becomes a crab. “The joke—that everything will eventually look like a crab—comes from an actual truth. The crab shape has evolved so many times that scientists had to come up with a special term for it: carcinization.” | learn more
A map of the most notable person from every hometown. “Data has been processed to show only one person for each unique geographic location with the highest notability rank.” There’s at least one data quality problem: Jean-Paul Sartre was not born in Colombia. | learn more
Dark plots and secret explanations. Okay this one’s a bit weird. Be warned. Mike Solana, writer of “Pirate Wires” and lover of a good conspiracy theory, talks about eroding trust in the establishment. “The future is a world in which nobody controls a single, unifying, national narrative. Because of this, many important truths will be uncovered, and progress will be made. But the future is also a world of cults formed up around philosophies of fiction, which will be a problem for the rest of our lives.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Red line holdup spanned 2 cars, ended with victim stabbing robbers. “The early Friday attack involved as many as six people who stabbed and beat the victim, police said. The victim took out a knife and fought back, stabbing three of his attackers.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Status as a service. Published in 2019 by Eugene Wei, this long essay offers an entirely new way to think about the value propositions of social networks. He starts with two principles: 1) people are status-seeking monkeys, and 2) people seek out the most efficient path to maximizing social capital. | learn more
Cloned pigs produced by robots. “According to the South China Morning Post, a fully-automated cloning process now exists, and it apparently works like a charm. In fact, in a slightly brutal blow to human scientists, the AI-powered system is alleged to have drastically reduced the amount of error seen during manual cloning attempts.” | learn more
Taking the ball away and starting a new game. “Adam Struck told TechCrunch that his firm had trouble getting founders to allow them to do due diligence in 2021 and was seeing startups with a lot of technical and operational debt.” So, they are earmarking $15 million of their fund for a venture studio to spin out companies. | learn more
better doing 🎯
Sitting and standing at work. “The bottom line: Sit to do computer work. Sit using a height-adjustable, downward titling keyboard tray for the best work posture, then every 20 minutes stand for 8 minutes AND MOVE for 2 minutes. … Simply standing is insufficient.” | learn more
The three-or-four-hours rule for getting creative work done. “There aren’t many hard-and-fast rules of time management that apply to everyone, always, regardless of situation or personality… But I think there might be one: you almost certainly can’t consistently do the kind of work that demands serious mental focus for more than about three or four hours a day.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
The feud between a weed influencer and scientist over puking stoners. This is a fascinating read, especially as I had never heard of the marijuana-induced vomiting syndrome until now. “A scientist went looking for genes that cause cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. But a public spat with a cannabis influencer who suffers from the disease may have derailed his research.” | learn more
Banking your own fecal matter. “Fecal transplants can fix gut diseases, but finding the right donor stool is tricky. The solution, some scientists believe, is to keep a store of your own.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Foxtrot is the store that every neighborhood deserves. Dan Frommer lavishes praise on the Chicago-based corner store of the future. “Foxtrot is a few things: Upscale convenience store, third-wave coffee shop, and wine boutique, digitally equipped for pickup and delivery. Each of these pieces is important, and I’ll get into the details.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Necrobotics: dead spiders reincarnated as robot grippers. A bit creepy, for sure. “Spiders are basically hydraulic (or pneumatic) grippers. Living spiders control their limbs by adjusting blood pressure on a limb-by-limb basis through an internal valve system.” | learn more
Diabetes breakthrough restores insulin production using existing drug. “Australian scientists have demonstrated a new way to restore insulin production in pancreatic cells, using a drug that’s already approved for use in humans.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear. A fascinating aspect of the story of a huge beverage flop. “Tab Clear was released at the same time as an intentional "kamikaze” effort to create an unpopular beverage that was positioned as an analogue of Crystal Pepsi in order to “kill both in the process.” My father-in-law did the market research for Crystal Pepsi (that executives ignored) and noted that it was bound to fail regardless of Coca-Cola’s efforts. | learn more
big ideas 📚
Stretch wrap from food waste. Another one of many examples of the coming end of dinosaur-based plastics. Almost every pallet gets wrapped with plastic before shipping to keep its contents secure. That plastic is one-time-use and boy is it used often. Australian company Great Wrap is making a version from food waste. | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Helium’s total revenue is $6.5k/month. “Often cited as one of the best examples of a Web3 use case, [Helium] has received $365M of investment led by @a16z. Regular folks have also been convinced to spend $250M buying hotspot nodes, in hopes of earning passive income.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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