🌞 Shrinkage – September 20 2021




Happy Monday. The “Tax the Rich” dress that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Met Gala is from a designer that owes thousands in back taxes. That's so Met-a. 

credit: getty

In Case You Missed It. 

🌋 Volcanoes erupted in the Canary Islands on Sunday and officials are warning of a “mega tsunami” after what they called an “earthquake swarm.”

🔨 Experts are warning people in the south to stay away from the carnivorous hammerhead worm that can wreak havoc on your lawn and eats other worms that are lawn-friendly. 

📚 Texas Governor Bill Abbott signed a law banning education on race and slavery in Texas. 

Coronavirus Update: 😷 Total confirmed U.S. cases as of 3:20 p.m. ET on Sunday: 42,077,283— Total deaths: 673,698 — Map

  • The U.S. is investing $1.67 million into an understanding of how the Covid vaccine impacts women’s periods and there are calls for an investigation in the U.K. too after more than 30,000 women reported disrupted menstruation after the vaccine. 
  • Case numbers are falling in Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam and the governments in those regions are looking to easing some lockdown restrictions. 
  • Researchers in Cambodia are collecting samples from bats to try to pinpoint the origin of Covid. 
  • The new hotness in the quantified life: Choosing to take blood tests to measure for Covid antibodies and comparing them to your friends’ counts.














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. 

  • Markets: While stocks have been bouncing around lately, the September sell-off hasn’t been that steep. All three indexes remain within 3% of their all-time highs. 


Program Rate Change APR Change
30 year 2.78%  0.06% 2.84%  0.06%
15 year 1.97%  0.04% 2.04%  0.05%


The Lead: Heating Costs Skyrocket

credit: wsj

You might want to save up to pay your heating bill this winter. The price of natural gas is double what it was six months ago and 17% more than it was just one month ago. 

Typically prices surge during deep freezes, which is why experts are so perplexed at price surges in the off season. What is happening? Is it a supply issue? Is it a foreshadowing of the world’s inability to sustain a society based on limited resources? Hard to say but the energy stocks have gone up based on these predictions. 

This week world leaders will meet at the United Nations and climate change is at the top of the agenda

“We have reached a tipping point on the need for climate action,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. “The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted. … We must act now to prevent further irreversible damage.”

recent report from the United Nations found that countries that have made plans to reduce emissions cannot carry the burden for the world. If other nations such as India and China do not get on board, emissions will increase by 16% by 2030. 

To Israel With Love

credit: getty

new amendment would stop the U.S. government from spending money on weapons that are sent to Israel. This comes from representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

This is part of seven amendments from Ocasio-Cortez who attached them to The National Defense Authorization Act, which will be voted on this week. In addition to halting spending in weapons for Israel, the bill also blocks the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and prohibits the transfer of military weapons into civilian law enforcement agencies. No more hand-me-down grenade launchers from the military for your local PD! 

The money for Israeli weapons was approved by the Biden administration in May after conflict flared on the Gaza Strip. 

Ocasio-Cortez says that these amendments are meant to address spending on “practices that have contributed to human rights abuses.” 

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The Cost of Bitcoin

credit: getty

new study shows that one Bitcoin transaction creates the same amount of electronic waste as throwing two iPhones in the trash. 

“Here we present a methodology to estimate Bitcoin's e-waste and find that it adds up to 30.7 metric kilotons annually, per May 2021. This number is comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunication equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands,” the authors write. 

The high demand for Bitcoin means that there is also a high demand for faster machinery to mine and trade it. The authors say that this electronic waste will only get worse. They encourage crypto investors to seek out more sustainable machinery for instance, mining rigs powered by solar panels. There is an effort to do just that but like most green technologies, adoption is painfully slow.

You're Getting Smaller

credit: getty

People in the Netherlands are getting shorter but they are still the tallest nation on the planet. 

new study shows that Dutch men born in 2001 were about 0.39 inches shorter than those born in 1980. Women born in 2001 were 0.55 inches shorter than those born in 1980. The 1980 generation was the tallest on record. Men averaged 6 feet in 1980, which is a whole 3.3 inches taller than Dutch men born in 1930. 

Experts say that immigration from “shorter” countries is partly to blame. Less-tall immigrants come in, mate with tall Dutch people and have less-tall children. However, people with only Dutch ancestors are also shorter, however slightly. 

Experts say that this could also be due to the popularity of plant-based diets. 

News By The Numbers

The 52 year old, bought the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in 1998 for $290,000.

23 years. That is how long a man in Long Island went without paying his mortgage. He tried to claim hardship for Covid but a judge ruled that, you know, the timeline doesn’t work out. 

2 weeks. That is when the supply of meat in Britain is expected to run out due to a shortage of CO2, which is what meat producers use to refrigerate their products. The same shortage could also hit frozen foods. Some worry that this could mean that Christmas dinner will be canceled. 

40 minutes. That is the daily time limit for using TikTok for users under 14 years old, according to new restrictions in China. The app will also be restricted to daytime hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. 

44. That is how many Emmys were awarded to Netflix shows and their actors at the show last night. That is more than any other network or streaming platform. The big winners of the night were “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”

What The Heck?

giphy.gif credit: giphy

File this under: Who. Does. This!?

Starbucks has felt the need to inform customers that they do not and cannot blend food items into their drinks. A Starbucks representative says that baristas are not allowed to do this. 

We’re not talking about smoothie ingredients like a banana or some berries. We’re talking about cake pops and egg bites. Some people even bring in their own protein powder or outside food additions. 

I mean, if you’re going to take the time to pack up those things and drive them to Starbucks, maybe…just a thought, you should just make the drink yourself? 

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