🐤 It's a small world

Disney dealt DeSantis another blow this week, and Florida workers could pay the price.

Saturday | May 20th, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Saturday, chirpers! If you’ve ever been scrolling through Instagram and though to yourself, “I wish this were more like Twitter,” then you’re in luck!

Meta has announced that its Twitter-rivaling app — the company calls it “Instagram for your thoughts” — could be debuting as soon as next month.

-Chris Agee

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*Market data for this issue is from May 19th, 2023 at 6:57pm EST

🏦 Markets: Negotiations over the debt ceiling seemed to stall out on Friday when Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) walked out of a meeting with White House representatives.

Economic news took another hit yesterday when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen signaled that the banking crisis might require more financial institution mergers to avoid additional failures.

It all added up to a losing day to close out an otherwise positive week on Wall Street with all three major indexes down a fraction of a percent at the closing bell.

us politics

Disney Lands Latest Blow In Ongoing Feud With DeSantis

The move could negatively impact Florida's economy.

Disney Lands Latest Blow In Ongoing Feud With DeSantis Illustration by Early Chirp (Editorials by imageBROKER/Shutterstock, Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

The bad blood between Disney and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to result in moves by each side that seem designed to make a point.

Most recently, the company that owns and operates Walt Disney World in the Sunshine State put the kibosh on plans to invest a whopping $1 billion on projects that could have created thousands of jobs in Florida.

A history of the dispute

If you haven’t been paying attention to all the details, you might not know exactly why a governor and an iconic entertainment company are at each others’ throats. Here’s a brief rundown of events that will bring us to the latest development.

  • DeSantis got upset when Disney spoke out against his push to eliminate certain lessons about gender and sexuality from elementary education.
  • The governor retaliated in part by calling for Walt Disney World to lose some of the benefits the park has enjoyed since its inception.
  • Disney hit back with a lawsuit and threatened to call off as much as $17 billion in future investments in the state.

Where things stand now

Although Disney executive Josh D’Amaro didn’t mention DeSantis by name in a recent memo, he confirmed that “changing business conditions” were at the root of the company’s decision to halt plans for a $1 billion office complex in the state.

Last week, Disney CEO Robert Iger expressed similar concerns about the Florida’s current trajectory, asking during an earnings call: “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?”

Despite the deep rift, D’Amaro still expressed “hope” that the company will be able to push forward with the $17 billion construction project at the theme park, which is expected to create roughly 13,000 jobs.

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The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Futurama/Giphy

🚀 Back again: The animated cult classic “Futurama” is coming back for the third time as fans anticipate its 11th season, set to start streaming on Hulu in just over two months. There were some pay disputes between Hulu and voice actor John DiMaggio last year and the ongoing writer’s strike could throw a wrench into the plans, but it appears that at least a shortened season of the show will be available on July 24.

🗽 Shake it up: There were no reports of injuries or property damage, but some New Yorkers felt a rumble early Friday morning that the U.S. Geological Service later confirmed was an earthquake. The tremor registered a 2.2 on the Richter scale and erupted in the Westchester County village of Hastings-on-Hudson. Some residents as far away as New Jersey reported feeling the impact of the quake.

🍗 Closing up: If you’re old enough to remember cruising the local shopping mall, you might remember spotting a Chick-fil-A in the food court. Well, it all started with one in the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta, which dates back to 1967. That location will be closing for good this afternoon. Although a sign announcing the closure didn’t provide a reason, it’s hardly surprising these days to learn that an iconic piece of America’s mall culture is calling it quits.

🪖 Action plan: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will reportedly be participating in the upcoming Group of Seven meeting tomorrow as world leaders plot their future response to Russia’s ongoing invasion. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has approved further aid to Ukraine, which includes training Ukrainian troops to operate F-16 fighter jets. America has previously provided Zelenskyy’s military with tanks, rocket launchers, and other equipment.

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A Brief Look At The Deep History Of Kissing

It's a universal gesture of affection ... but why?

A Brief Look At The Deep History Of Kissing Lady and the Tramp/Disney/Giphy

Thousands of years before you and your grade-school crush were “sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” your ancestors were engaged in a similar display of affection.

There’s a lot that historians still don’t fully understand about how kissing became a common human phenomenon. But we’re starting to get a better understanding of what it is and how long we’ve been doing it.

Two distinct types

The act of giving someone a kiss can be done for multiple reasons, but the two most common examples involve a romantic or a parental display of affection. These are the two types most closely studied by modern experts, and there appears to be a clear divergence in the developing histories of both.

  • Romantic kisses were commemorated in a manuscript from about 1500 B.C., but some evidence suggests it was practiced at least 1,000 years earlier.
  • Friendly (or parental) kisses seem to date back much farther and appear more deeply ingrained in the human experience.
  • While evidence of parental kissing transcends cultures and nations, not every society recognizes the act as a romantic or sexual gesture.

So where did the concept of romantic kissing come from? Earlier theories speculated that it kind of erupted out of nowhere and the notion spread around the world. More recently, however, historians have come to believe that it was a more organic behavior that many different cultures came to discover on their own over the course of thousands of years.

It’s not just humans

Some of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom have also been known to share a peck on the lips. Chimpanzees reportedly kiss as part of a platonic method to maintain their social structure. Bonobos, on the other hand, are believed to display sexual desire in the kisses they plant on their partners.

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dad joke

What’s blue and doesn’t weigh much?

Light blue.


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Would You Live In A House Made From Dirty Diapers?

The benefits could outweigh the ick factor.

Would You Live In A House Made From Dirty Diapers? Anjar Primasetra

You might be willing to make some compromises in your life in order to benefit the environment … but there’s got to be a limit, right?

Well, one group of researchers in Japan is betting that at least some people would draw the line on the other side of moving into a home created in part out of used diapers.

How the process works

A new study finds that disposable diapers, which often end up rotting away in landfills, can be used as a substitute for some of the sand necessary in the creation of concrete. When replacing as much as 8% of the sand with diapers, evidence shows that the resulting structure remains sturdy and stable.

The thought of using soiled diapers to create the structure of a home might sound off-putting, but all of the dirty work is out of the way before construction begins. The researchers who studied the efficacy of this method spent plenty of time manually cleaning the diapers and then soaking them in a chemical that removed any additional waste.

From there, the diapers were dried and torn into small pieces before being added to the concrete.

Finding the right balance

A number of different mixtures were used to determine the optimum ratio of shredded diapers to sand. Upon reaching the perfect concoction, studies showed that the concrete did not contain a higher level of potentially harmful microbes than concrete produced the old-fashioned way.

Some concrete used in the construction of a residence — like non-load-bearing walls, support structures, and columns — remain structurally sound with as much as 40% of the sand replaced by diapers.

So if you can get past the notion of living in walls packed with diapers, you could feasibly save some money and benefit the environment.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

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