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Quick Hits

Bitcoin, California, and more!

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                                                                       Quick Hits Archive 2023

                                                                       Quick Hits Archive 2022

                                                                       Quick Hits Archive 2021        

                                                                       Quick Hits Archive 2020

April 17, 2024

  • Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee thinks the moon is made up “mostly of gases.”

  • Minneapolis is rethinking its mandatory driver pay hike after Uber and Lyft decided to take their business elsewhere.

  • US employees of TikTok cannot sell their stock awards, yet they are on the hook for the tax owed.

  • Meta’s Reels product has a 79% ad-hit ratio with Gen Z’ers…this is the percentage of users in this demographic that has purchased a product from an ad during a Reels view.

  • More American adults drank coffee in the last day than water.  (This is according to the national Coffee Association.)

  • A single Las Vegas Sands casino property in Singapore had $1.2b in revenues in the first quarter.

  • Homeowners being able to rent their homes for two weeks a year tax-free is called the Augusta Rule.

April 10, 2024

  • Mass General Hospital thinks it is racist to drug test newborn crack babies.

  • Jersey Mike’s is reportedly for sale.  The asking price is $8b.

  • The CEO founder bought a single sandwich shop in 1956.  He was 17 years old.

  • Overdue property taxes in New York City have jumped over 30% in three years (almost $900mm in total).

  • TikTok’s parent company had $120b in revenues in 2023 and $40b in operating income (EBITDA).

  • There are over 420 submarine fiber cables under the world’s seas that transmit over 99% of the internet network.

  • The aggregate length of these cables is more than three times the distance from the earth to the moon.

  • The Regent International apartment building in Hangzhou, China houses approximately 20,000 people.

April 4, 2024

  • Amazon’s “Just walk out” grocery checkout is not powered by AI but rather cameras and 1,000 people in India.

  • “Journalists” flying on Air Force One have been warned to stop stealing souvenirs from the airplane.

  • Canada Goose, the parka maker, has closed its Aspen store and is opening one in Hawaii.

  • The MTA (the NY authority that runs the subway and other NY-only tolls) is demanding that the NYC Marathon organizers pay it for lost revenue due to the Verrazano bridge being closed to cars during the race.

  • The Verrazano tolls collect $750k a day according to the MTA.

  • The WSJ reports that the company Super Micro is more commonly known as Supermicro.

  • California has run out of money for its shark detection system.

  • One of the earliest documented uses of a mechanical bull for entertainment purposes was in New Jersey in the 1930s.  (Chalk Creek Junior was curious about Mickey Gilley, so down the rabbit hole we went.)

March 27, 2024

  • Lactose-intolerant coffee drinkers have filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for charging extra for plant-based milk.

  • It is illegal for Chinese nationals to gamble in Singapore casinos.

  • Petrobras, the national oil company of Brazil, spent $40b to build out 115k barrels of refining capacity.  It could have bought 6mm barrels of refining capacity for the same amount of money.

  • In Oakland, there were almost 14,000 cars reported abandoned during g a six month stretch in 2023.  The police will not respond to abandoned or stolen cars.  The city is spending $1mm on excess storage for all the stripped cars.

  • Scottie Scheffler’s caddie has made more money on the course than Rory McIlroy this year.

  • BYU could not be a 5-seed in the NCAA tournament because they will not play on Sundays.

  • Subway is dropping Coke for Pepsi.

  • The number of mentions of “ESG” during management conference calls has dropped from over 3,000 at the beginning of 2022 to about 1,200 now (probably round-tripping back to zero soon).

  • A Texas man has legally changed his name to “Literally Anybody Else,” and he is officially running for president (he has filed with the FEC).

  • 5,000 shares of Trump’s SPAC were exchanged for $10.87 instead of waiting one day and selling them at over $42.

  • Robinhood is issuing a gold credit card that is actually made of gold.

March 20, 2024

  • A scammer in Buffalo fraudulently filed bankruptcy for two other unrelated companies.  Presumably this guy did so to make money by shorting the stocks involved.  But he filed the petitions via mail…as in USPS.

  • 40% of India’s 1.4b population is under the age of 25.

  • Ireland held a referendum to change some of the language in its constitution.  Critics labeled the wording as being the equivalent of “the woman’s place is in the home.”  The actual language is more contorted, “The State recognizes that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.”  The vote was not successful.

  • Ireland’s population in 1961 was 95% Catholic.  It was 69% in 2022.

  • The CEO of Palantir said, “The best thing that could happen to short sellers is we will lead their coke dealers to their homes after they can’t pay their bills.”

  • PETA is asking schools to stop saying “cheese” during photos.  We are supposed to say “nutritional yeast” to get smiles from the children.

  • Minneapolis has passed a city ordinance increasing the minimum wage for Lyft and Uber drivers.  Lyft and Uber have announced plans to cease operations in Minneapolis.

  • The NCAA pays about $2mm for each game of March Madness ($2mm for each team making the tourney, $2mm more for each win).  The NCAA pays out this money to the conferences (not the teams) over six years.

  • Cocoa prices have doubled in 2024.

  • An 11 foot, 750lbs alligator was seized from a home outside Buffalo.  No word if it was owned by the fake bankruptcy filer.

March 6, 2024

  • Rihanna was paid $6mm (some reports have it at $9mm) to perform at a wedding in India.

  • Rihanna has not performed a concert in eight years.

  • A student housing building in College Station has a $47mm note on it.  It has 173 units ($272k per unit).

  • In 2019, San Francisco had more drug users (injection, not smoking) than high school students.

  • San Francisco has just passed a referendum to require a drug test to receive welfare (presumably you need to not have drugs in your system, but maybe it is the other way around).

  • California is proposing a bill that will provide interest free mortgages to illegal immigrants.  No downpayment.  No monthly payments at all.

  • Otter Tail County, MN has 1,000 lakes, the most in the country.

  • There is a proposed law in Canada that will criminalize the promotion of fossil fuels (speaking nicely about them).

  • The Dartmouth men’s basketball team voted to unionize (not many NIL deals coming down the pipe for the Ivy League).

  • In India, 78% of people over the age of 15 have a bank account.  This is up from 44% in 2011.

  • Renderings of the prospective ballpark for the A’s in Las Vegas do not have bullpens, air conditioning, luxury suites, or lighting.

February 29. 2024

  • Texas has 15,300 wind turbines in operation.

  • Reddit is issuing its users shares in its IPO.  But the company is warning them that their ownership might increase the volatility of the shares.

  • The ex-PM of Thailand faces prosecution for insulting the royalty.

  • The husband of a mergers and acquisitions manager at BP overheard his wife talking about a prospective deal.  The husband bought shares of the target company and made a killing.  He fessed up to his wife.  She ratted him out to BP.  BP fired her.  She divorced him.  He is going to jail.

  • A woman lost an $800k disability payment because she was busted participating in a tree-throwing competition.

  • Some desert landslides go up hill (a “retrogressive” slide).

  • Green was the most popular car color in the mid 90’s.

February 21, 2024

  • Any Super Bowl bets not related to the actual game on the field are illegal (i.e. any bet involving Taylor Swift).

  • The top securities regulator in India, when asked about retail traders buying options, said “If you need diabetes and high blood pressure, then go into this market.”

  • China issued more permits for coal plants in 3Q2023 than all of 2021.

  • The holiday we just celebrated is still technically Washington’s Birthday… not President’s Day.

  • Morgan Stanley is being sued after issuing a $1b margin call against a billionaire.  The lawyers attribute part of the move to “snobbery.”

February 14, 2024

  • The first Super Bowl commercials in 1967 cost $37k for 30 seconds.  This past game’s price tag was $7mm.

  • The NFL spent $1mm to grow special grass for the Super Bowl.

  • U2 played at the new Sphere in Vegas two days before the Super Bowl.  Tickets could be had for $70.

  • No Alabama football player has ever scored in the Super Bowl.

  • Walmart sells 37% of all televisions in the US.

  • New York state taxes online sports betting companies 51% of gross gaming revenues.

February 7, 2024

  • The British navy had more personnel in the Revolutionary War than today.

  • US Bitcoin mining uses more electricity than the state of Utah (2.3% of the nation’s).

  • There is an upstart sports competition trying to take on the Olympics.  It is called the Enhanced Games.  There is no drug testing as it, “openly celebrates scientific innovation.”

  • A single software application, Geth, is responsible for maintaining the Ethereum network at the largest crypto platforms.  Decentralized?

  • Some blogger has an article in Ski magazine in which she subtitles, “the ski bum lifestyle is physically dangerous for black people.” 

  • Six Michael Jordan sneakers sold for a total of $8mm at auction.  They were sold as individual sneakers.

  • On particularly windy days in England, the electricity regulator pays wind farms to not generate electricity as the grid cannot handle excess generation.

  • The US has not implemented the changes from the 15% global minimum tax which was passed into law in 2021.  Other countries are taxing US companies per this global agreement.

  • The National Association of Realtors has trademarked the term “realtor.”

  • The National Association of Realtors is the second largest lobbying machine in the US (only behind the Chamber of Commerce).

  • The 5-Hour Energy guy who bought the rights to Sports Illustrated only to put it out of business reportedly told the staff upon taking control, “The amount of useless stuff you guys do is staggering.”

January 31, 2024

  • Saudi Arabia accounts for only 3% of the global supply of natural gas.

  • Saudi Arabia generates a third of its electricity by burning oil.

  • 10% of all full-time remote workers were laid off in 2023.

  • 25% of young adults who live with their parents say their “sense of independence” has improved.

  • There are approximately 1.5 billion empty apartment/condo units in China (some estimate this to be as high as 3b units).

  • “Scientists” in the Netherlands have determined that the recent -44.6C temperature in Sweden would actually have been -51C without climate change.

January 24, 2024

  • Sports Illustrated is going out of business…sorta.  The magazine has been under a license agreement between two companies…one that owns the brand and the one that publishes it.  The one that publishes it is being taken over by the guy who started 5-Hour Energy.  Before he bought the whole company (there is still a pending tender offer), he decided to buy stock and bonds of the company in the market.  He accumulated enough stock to fire the board of directors putting himself in control.  He stopped paying the licensing fee to the owner of the SI brand, and then he fired all the staff of the magazine.  To recap:  5-Hour Energy guy paid a lot of money to buy the rights to a brand and then he terminated his rights to the brand.

  • Joey Gallo struck out 42.8% of his plate appearances last season with a .177 batting average.

  • North Dakota is the third largest oil-producing state.

  • The WWE (pro wrestling) bagged a 10-year $5b distribution contract from Netflix.

  • The head of Southwest’s flight attendants’ s union is upset that the airline “does not value employees equally.”  She was referring to the different contracts offered to pilots.

  • Dean Phillips, the only democrat challenger to Biden, won 20% of the vote in the NH primary.  He will get zero delegates.

  • Adrian Beltre had a hit off 9% of all the players to ever throw a pitch in a MLB game.

  • A California woman was arrested for stealing $2500 worth of Stanley drinking tumblers.  An arrest in California is the real headline!

  • A Californian congressman, Ted Lieu, is introducing a bill to ban pest glue traps.

January 17, 2024

  • Hertz is selling 20k EVs to buy…ahem…gas powered cars.

  • 21% of adults in the US say they are not drinking alcohol this January (we do not believe this).

  • 29% of adults say they will drink on fewer days during January (we do believe this).

  • NBC paid the NFL $110mm to stream the Chiefs-Dolphins playoff game exclusively on Peacock.

  • The average rent for studios to two-bedroom apartments in the largest 50 metro areas in the US has been down seven straight months.  The median rent is now $1,717.

  • The claim that a dog in Portugal was the world’s oldest on record is now being challenged.  The dog died last year at supposedly 31 years old.

  • The Emmy’s on Monday drew 4.3mm viewers.

  • Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch’s mother was the EPA administrator at the time of the original Chevron Deference case.

  • Quantas Airlines had 14 fatal crashes between 1927 and 1951.

January 10, 2024

  • The NFL accounted for 93 of the top 100 TV broadcasts during 2023.

  • The first blue fin tuna auction of the season in Japan sold for $789k.  That is a little over $1500 a pound.  This fish is sometimes called Black Diamond…not to be confused with the black apples in India!

  • A 13-year-old beat the game of Tetris.  He cleared 1511 lines in 40 minutes.  The game then just ended.

January 3, 2024

  • There is an apple native to Tibet called the Black Diamond.  It is a dark purple color.

  • Nunchakus are a training device more so than a weapon.

  • 3% of the world’s population has gray eyes.

  • India is the only country that has both lions and tigers in the wild.

  • White tigers only exist in captivity (and are not a separate species).

  • Scorigami!  Baltimore beat Miami 56-19,  It  was the 1084th unique score in NFL history.

  • The US Navy has the world’s second and fifth largest air forces.

  • Juul’s private share price has collapsed from $279 in 2018 to $1.07 today.

Quick Hits Archive 2023

Quick Hits Archive 2022

Quick Hits Archive 2021

Quick Hits Archive 2020

Meaning of Chalk Creek

Chalk Creek is a small river starting on the Continental Divide above St. Elmo, Colorado.  It runs east through the valley...

Glossary of Jargon

Here is a list of common terms we use.  Some Explain Wall Street Jargon.  Some are just silly.

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