🐤 Make your reservations

There's a spot in Finland that won't be open to the public for 100,000 years --- here's why.

Saturday | August 26th, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Saturday, chirpers! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That appears to be the motto over at CNN after its disastrous first step into the streaming market. Although CNN+ lasted about as long as it will take you to read today’s newsletter, the cable network is apparently hoping to learn from its mistakes and offer streaming content in a different format.

This time, it’s expected to be part of Max, the recently renamed platform owned by CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.

-Chris Agee

$126.68 (0.94%)
Dow Jones
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S&P 500
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-$132.10 (-0.50%)
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*Market data for this issue is from August 25th, 2023 at 5:20pm EST

🏦 Markets: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offered a pretty optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy during his remarks at an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday.

Although he didn’t signal whether further interest rate hikes are in the works, he advised that the “economy may not be cooling as expected.”

The news was good enough to push all three major stock market indexes higher to end the week.


What's the right amount of wine to have with dinner?

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The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Shutterstock

✈️ Breaking barriers: Long gone is the Concorde, a jet that offered ultra-fast (and ultra-expensive) commercial flight. But now NASA is hoping that the private sector will be able to help develop an even quicker, quieter, and more accessible version of its X-59 jet. If successful, this new crop of planes could travel four times the speed of sound — up to 3,045 mph — and go from New York to London in less than 90 minutes. That’s more than twice as fast as the Concorde.

⌚ Time to move: Rolex has built an iconic name in the luxury watch market, but it recently stepped outside of that realm to purchase the retail brand Burcherer AG. Many saw it as an unexpected move on the company’s part, and one of Rolex’s closest retail partners experienced a big drop in its value as a result. Watches of Switzerland lost about $629 million in market cap, but Rolex vowed that it would continue providing inventory to its largest retailer in the U.K.

🍌 That bust is bananas: Drug smugglers are always trying to stay one step ahead of authorities, resulting in some unusual efforts to hide their haul. But an effort to camouflage tons of cocaine in a shipment of bananas wasn’t enough to fool customs agents in Spain. The shipment reportedly came from Ecuador and the amount of drugs seized tipped the scale at 9.5 tons — more than one ton more than the previous record bust, which was also hidden in bananas.

☔ When it rains it pours: Much of the U.S. experienced heavy rains this week, and the deluge caused big problems. At an airport near Detroit, one of the most active terminals was forced to close and nearby tunnels were shut down due to the heavy precipitation. A flooded highway in Ohio left motorists stranded and authorities had to carry out a rescue operation. Even Las Vegas, which is among the driest cities in the country, was hit with torrential rain.

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dad joke

What’s worse than raining cats and dogs?

Hailing taxis.


Why The Wait List For This Underground Destination Is 100,000 Years

It's an ultra-exclusive spot, but you probably don't want to visit.

Why The Wait List For This Underground Destination Is 100,000 Years Shutterstock

There are members-only clubs and resorts all around the world, but one spot in Finland might be the most exclusive spot anywhere on the planet. In fact, it could be off-limits to all humans until after the next ice age … and for good reason.

The toxic waste problem

Although nuclear power has a number of valuable applications in our modern society, there’s always that pesky problem of safely disposing of the contaminated byproducts of this temperamental industry.

Officials working on Onkalo, a deep cavern cut into the rocks of southwest Finland, hope to finally address the problem with a sustainable solution.

Pretty soon, this will be the first place on Earth where spent nuclear rods will be buried underground for long-term storage. And we mean really long-term, as in 100,000 years.

The process is underway

Although there’s still plenty of work to do, experts say the first waste will begin to be buried at the site, which is nearly 1,500 feet below ground, within about two or three years.

Before being disposed of, the rods will be stored in cylinder containers made of cast iron and copper before the entire thing is covered with bentonite clay.

For now, some outsiders can still catch a glimpse of the deep cave and the tunnels that construction crews use to enter and exit Onkalo.

The BBC’s Erika Benke recently made the trek and remarked that it felt “oddly normal” as workers went about their tasks to prepare the location for its dangerous payload.

But by the time 2025 rolls around, this place will be anything but normal.

Thinking about the astounding fact that no one will be allowed here until the year 102025 caused Benke (and probably everyone reading this) to consider just how dangerous nuclear waste is.

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Solve today's crossword and win a prize!

Highest score wins an Amazon gift card!


*Prizes are sent out via email the next day by 11am EST.


Inside The Quest To Identify Humanity’s Oldest Language

There's no clear answer yet, but linguists have a few theories.

Inside The Quest To Identify Humanity’s Oldest Language Shutterstock

Many modern languages evolved from Latin, but humans were communicating long before that ancient tongue was ever developed.

Given the fact that so many languages have been lost to history, today’s experts face a tough task when attempting to identify the oldest one ever. But they’re nonetheless making some progress and have the list narrowed down to a few likely possibilities.

It all comes down to this

Although identifying the very first language ever used for human communication is an interesting and useful process, it’s also important to understand that countless dialects throughout the millennia have brought humanity to where it is today.

So what does modern communication around the world look like?

  • There are an estimated 7,100 languages currently in use.
  • Less than two dozen languages represent more than half of the world’s population.
  • About 40% of modern languages are considered endangered.

All of these regional tongues have changed over generations, and understanding their respective evolutions will help us better reflect on our collective history.

So which one came first?

Since lost and obsolete languages don’t come with clear timelines attached, linguist Danny Hieber said trying to find the oldest of the bunch is “a deceptively complicated task.”

Some say the title should go to a language with clear written evidence of its usage while others believe there might be one mother tongue from which all other languages stemmed.

But as it stands, some of the oldest with reliable evidence include Sumerian, Akkadian, and Egyptian hieroglyphs, each of which can be traced by more than 4,600 years.

As for the oldest languages still in use, most experts cite Hebrew and Arabic, which have been in use for 3,000 years and developed out of a language family that might be 20,000 years old.

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Authorities Finally Nab ‘Hank The Tank,’ Wanted For 28 Home Break-Ins

As it turns out, there were actually multiple culprits behind the crime spree.

Authorities Finally Nab ‘Hank The Tank,’ Wanted For 28 Home Break-Ins X.com: @animalsanctuary

Folks around the world take precautions to reduce their risk of a residential burglary, but most of the time they’re preparing for a possible human culprit. When the burglar is a massive black bear, however, ordinary locks and alarms don’t always make a difference.

The hunt for Hank

Locals living around South Lake Tahoe, California, have been on high alert since authorities warned that there was one bear in particular — affectionately known as “Hank the Tank” — who was linked to more than two dozen break-ins and a total of “152 reports of conflict behavior.”

While social media users outside of the area shared memes about the crime spree, those in town were living in fear.

As officials conducted an investigation into the matter, however, they realized that Hank wasn’t working alone. He had at least two accomplices in his reign of terror. In fact, the most prolific burglar bear was a female who had brought three cubs along with her.

This animal, officially named Bear 64F, was recently captured by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The public speaks out

Bear 64F would ordinarily qualify as a “conflict bear” and be euthanized as a result of her actions. But locals say it wasn’t her fault.

After hearing public outcry blaming the fact that homes were being built in the bears’ natural habitat and locals were leaving their garbage cans out, authorities decided to grant Bear 64F and her cubs a reprieve.

They’re all set to be released to a sanctuary in Colorado, where Gov. Jared Polis said he’ll be waiting to welcome the family. He even suggested a name change: Henrietta the Tank.

If all goes as planned, the bear and three male cubs will once again be released into the wild.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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