No Bull With Raging Robert.

robert massimi
7 min readMay 21, 2021

Cease-fire in Israel

Israel and Hamas approved a cease-fire yesterday to end an 11-day-long conflict that left at least 232 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead. The truce, mediated by Egypt, went into effect yesterday at 7 pm ET.

Despite the agreement, each side differed on the terms of the truce. Israeli officials said it was a mutual cease-fire with a commitment to discuss issues related to the Gaza Strip — the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory surrounded by Israel (see map) — at a later date. Hamas officials said it included policy concessions around policing Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and the looming possible removal of a number of Palestinian families from their Jerusalem homes. Both issues acted as catalysts for the recent violence.

International aid groups have warned of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including a lack of access to clean water and medicine.

Royal Deceit

A British reporter who led a historic 1995 interview with Princess Diana used deceitful tactics to score the sit-down, an investigation concluded yesterday. The probe found BBC journalist Martin Bashir faked documents to gain access to Diana, enabling him to persuade her to record the interview.

Watched by 23 million people — almost 40% of the United Kingdom at the time — the interview was one of the most candid ever given by a member of the royal family and rocked Buckingham Palace. Commenting on her marriage, Diana famously quipped “there were three of us” (w/video) — a reference to Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Diana and Charles began the divorce process a month after the episode aired. Bashir and BBC have since apologized for the tactics.

The interview has since drawn parallels to a March Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Hurricane Season Returns

The Gulf Coast and the eastern United States are likely due for another above-average Atlantic hurricane season, according to a forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency released yesterday.

The upcoming year is expected to see anywhere from 13 to 20 named storms — those with wind speeds above 39 mph — with six to 10 expected to develop into hurricanes. Of those, between three and five are likely to develop into Category 3 hurricanes or stronger. Warmer than average sea temperatures fuel the activity; hurricanes generally require the ocean water temperature to be above 80 degrees to a depth of 150 feet.

The season is not expected to match last year’s historic barrage of hurricanes. It was the most active year on record, with 30 named storms and seven Category 3 or stronger systems causing more than $50B in damage. Eleven storms made landfall in the US, breaking the 1916 record of nine.

The season officially starts June 1.

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MOWING LAWNS WITH AI

From golf courses to public parks to country clubs, grass needs mowing, which makes commercial landscaping a booming, $100B industry in the US alone. But, labor costs are high and margins are razor-thin.

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With over $5M raised already, and $19M in preorders alone, you can join the investors and entrepreneurs excited to reinvent commercial mowing. Check out Graze Mowing’s offering now.

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IN THE KNOW

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Roger Hawkins, drummer from legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, dies at 75 after an extended illness (More)

> Lego debuts “Everyone is Awesome!” its first LGBTQ playset for Pride Month (More) | “Hocus Pocus 2” confirmed with original stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler for fall 2022 on Disney+ (More)

> Tim Tebow, Heisman winner and former NFL quarterback, signs one-year deal with Jacksonville Jaguars to play tight end (More) | Seven medical professionals charged with homicide in death of Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona (More)

Science & Technology

> Eighth zoonotic coronavirus possibly identified, the first to jump from dogs to humans; different from SARS-CoV-2, researchers say the virus is unlikely to cause severe illness (More)

> Conservationist Jane Goodall wins the 2021 Templeton Prize; the prestigious award honors a living person working at the intersection of science and spirituality (More)

> World’s largest iceberg breaks from Antarctic ice shelf; dubbed A-76, the iceberg is roughly 1,600 square miles (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +1.1%, Dow +0.6%, Nasdaq +1.8%) on strong jobs report (More)

> An estimated 444,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, a new pandemic-era low (More)

> Shares of Snap (Snapchat) soar 6%; company now has more than 500 million active users (More) | Robinhood, the no-fee online trading giant, to allow users to buy shares at initial public offering, a practice typically reserved for hedge funds and Wall Street firms (More)

From our partners: Go a level deeper with business and investing news. The Daily Upside newsletter delivers quality insights on the most important stories in business. And no, we aren’t talking about dogecoin. Sign up for free here.

Politics & World Affairs

> Average COVID-19 cases in the US fall to 29,000 per day, the lowest in 11 months; daily deaths averaging 550 per day, bringing the total to 588,539 (More) | Almost 61% of US adults have received at least one vaccine shot (More)

> President Joe Biden signs bill to expedite review of attacks on Asian American and Pacific Islanders during the pandemic (More) | House narrowly passes $1.9B Capitol security bill in a 213–212 vote after progressive members defect (More)

> Antigovernment protests in Colombia stretch into their fourth week; demonstrations started over a controversial tax bill, evolving to focus on income inequality, youth unemployment, and police violence (More, $$, Reuters)

IN-DEPTH

Cancel Envy

The Bulwark | Sonny Bunch. An innocuous Amazon glitch reveals how both the left and the right are convinced they are victims of censorship, with their echo chambers amplifying the claims. (Read)

Solving the Mystery of Dyatlov Pass

New Yorker | Douglas Preston. New evidence sheds light on one of Russia’s most enduring mysteries — ‌the fate of nine hikers who died under uncertain circumstances in 1959. (Read, $$)

Harper High

This American Life | Staff. (2013) An intimate look at Harper High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood that may change how you think about the complexities of gang violence and inner-city education. (Listen)

*From the archives of 1440 staff favorites. Check for another next Friday!

Sleep First, Think Second

Quanta | Veronique Greenwood. A new study of hydras — simple, brainless ocean-dwellers — suggests sleep evolved before brains. (Read)

MEET GRAZE

In partnership with Graze Mowing

Graze Mowing is on a mission to change the commercial landscaping industry through machine learning, computer vision, a seasoned team of robotics experts, and a nifty autonomous electric mower (check it out here).

And it’s no coincidence that the market they’re tackling is a huge one. Commercial landscaping in the US is a $100B industry, riddled with high labor costs and fuel expenses — and therefore low margins. Learn about Graze Mowing’s existing $19M in preorders from leading country clubs and landscapers, and take a look at their investment opportunity today.

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ETCETERA

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Historybook: American Red Cross is founded (1881); Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (1932); RIP social worker Jane Addams (1935); HBD actor Mr. T (1952); Rapper Notorious B.I.G. born (1972).

“It is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.”

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robert massimi

Drama critic for Nimbus Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine and New York Lifestyles Magazine. Producer, editor and writer.