no Bull With Raging Robert.
Claims, Cases, Shots Decline
Initial unemployment claims fell to 498,000 last week, down more than 90,000 from the previous week and well below analyst estimates of 527,000. It also marks the first time the figure has fallen below 500,000 since the pandemic began, though claims remain significantly higher than the prepandemic average of about 250,000.
The drop in new jobless claims mirrors the decline in reported COVID-19 cases in the US. The rolling average of new cases sits near 46,000 per day (see data), its lowest level in seven months. After a steep decline early in the year, reported deaths have plateaued between 650 and 700 per day, with the country’s total at 580,064 as of this writing.
About 57% of US adults have received at least one vaccine dose, with 42% fully vaccinated. Officials worry supply is beginning to outpace demand in many places — the US is averaging roughly 2 million doses administered per day, down by one-third over the past month. See how your state is doing here.
Almost one-in-five Americans say they either won’t receive a shot or will only if required, while another 15% say they are waiting to see. Find a breakdown of vaccine preferences here.
Fake Public Comments
A high-profile 2017 decision by the Federal Communications Commission to roll back net neutrality rules was marred by an overwhelming number of fake public comments, a New York state investigation concluded yesterday. More than 22 million responses were received during the FCC’s public comment period, by far the highest in the agency’s history. The recent probe revealed roughly 80% of those comments were likely fabricated.
Net neutrality refers to the idea that internet service providers should treat all data equally, without favoring or charging more for different websites (see breakdown). In principle, large websites like YouTube or Netflix would be allowed to pay for preferential treatment, creating internet “fast lanes.”
Investigators concluded nearly 8.5 million comments were fraudulently submitted in favor of repeal using real identities without owners’ knowledge, an effort led by a broadband industry trade group. Separately, 7.7 million pro-net neutrality comments were linked to a single 19-year-old college student using automated software. It is unclear how the probe will affect current rules.
Teacher of the Year
A Las Vegas special education instructor was named Teacher of the Year yesterday, beating out finalists from Utah, North Carolina, and Washington, DC. Juliana Urtubey, whose classes range from prekindergarten to fifth grade, becomes the first Nevadan to be selected and the first Latina educator since 2005. Having spent 11 years in the classroom, Urtubey exemplified the flexibility and creativity required to serve students amid the pandemic, the award committee noted, in particular those with learning differences.
The selection is more than an award — winners typically spend a year away from the classroom advocating for teachers across the country. First lady Dr. Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Urtubey’s class shortly after the announcement (watch here).
See each of the state-level winners here.
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USING AI FOR… LAWN MOWERS
The US commercial landscaping (think: mowing golf courses and parks) is a booming, $100B industry. But yet, labor costs are high and margins are razor-thin.
That is, until Graze Mowing brought their sophisticated, autonomous mowers into the picture. With machine learning and computer vision, they’ve developed proprietary technology to mow lawns like nothing you’ve seen before. And they’re 100% electric-powered, so Graze can eliminate 75% of the fuel costs and over 50% of the labor costs associated with traditional lawn mowing. The best part: You can invest in them today.
With over $5M raised already, and $19M in preorders alone, you can join the investors and entrepreneurs looking to reinvent commercial mowing. Learn more today.
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IN THE KNOW
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
Brought to you by Dollar Flight Club
> Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind Golden Globes, approves sweeping reforms meant to improve diversity among its members (More)
> Pfizer/BioNTech to partner with Olympics to donate vaccines to competitors and staff at the Tokyo Games (July 23-Aug. 8) (More) | New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard poised to be first transgender athlete to compete at Olympics (More)
> Los Angeles Pride parade, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ celebrations, canceled for second straight year due to COVID-19 (More)
From our partners: Save $500 on your summer 2021 getaway! Make it happen for just $1 today. Try Dollar Flight Club for $1 if you sign up in the next 24 hours. Their 1 million members save 90% on round-trip domestic and international flights. Think: Hawaii from $109, Greece from $247, or Iceland from $223 on airlines with flexible change policies so you can travel with peace of mind. Get it while it’s hot!
Science & Technology
> Intel unveils the world’s first computer chip with feature sizes as small as two nanometers, or roughly 20 atoms (More)
> Fossil analysis reveals best evidence to date of nocturnal dinosaur species; two small therapod species likely had night vision and owl-like hearing (More)
> Archaeologists discover the oldest known grave in Africa, estimated to have been dug 78,000 years ago; find suggests Stone Age humans had more symbolic views on death than previously thought (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +0.8%, Dow +0.9%, Nasdaq +0.4%); Dow hits fresh record high on better-than-expected jobless claims report (More)
> Yale’s legendary endowment manager David Swensen dies at 67 after cancer battle; Swensen grew Yale’s endowment from $1B in 1985 to more than $30B in 2020 (More)
> Payments giant Square smashes earning expectations as Q1 revenues increase 266% over last year (More) | Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat reports wider than expected loss as restaurant customers returned slower than anticipated in Q1 (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signs voting bill that includes changes to the number and use of ballot drop boxes; voting rights groups file federal and state lawsuits asking to block the measure (More)
> India reports highest-ever daily COVID-19 caseload, with more than 414,000 new cases and almost 4,000 deaths yesterday (More)
> Sixth-grade girl brings gun to Idaho middle school, shoots and injures two students and a custodian before being disarmed; officials reveal no motives as of this morning (More)
The New Science of Motherhood
Smithsonian | Abigail Tucker. New studies shed insight into how children shape a mother’s heart and mind — literally. (Read)
They Told Their Therapists Everything
Wired | William Ralston. A mental health startup boomed in popularity, driven by easy-to-use technology. Then hackers caused a catastrophic data breach. (Read, $$)
BBC | Peter Crutchley. (2015) How one passenger survived the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, an attack that changed the course of World War I. (Read)
The Genes of Age
Knowable | Bob Holmes. Some animals live unexpectedly long lives. What can their genetics tell us about human longevity? (Read)
In partnership with Graze Mowing
Graze Mowing is on a mission to change the commercial landscaping industry through machine learning, computer vision, 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 check out the investment opportunity today.
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The real history of Mother’s Day. (PS — it’s this Sunday in the US)
… and the complex history of Mary Ball Washington.
This optical illusion will break your brain.
Did you hear? We’re giving away $1,440: Seriously, no questions asked. All you have to do to enter is refer a friend to 1440. Today is the final day, so don’t wait — introduce us to your three closest friends for three chances to win!
Meet Japan’s trash samurais. (w/video)
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