🐤 Bringing it back

Mexico's rich heritage has been pilfered, but the country is currently doing something about it.

Tuesday | October 24th, 2023
Early Chirp
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Happy Tuesday, chirpers! Do you ever wish your Uber driver could wield a blazing inferno while guiding you through the sky in a wicker basket?
Well, if you’re going to be in Turkey anytime soon you might just get your wish. The ride-sharing app is expanding into a variety of new experiences, including, apparently, hot air balloon rides.

-Chris Agee

$34.52 (0.27%)
Dow Jones
-$190.87 (-0.58%)
S&P 500
-$7.12 (-0.17%)
-$0.00 (-0.01%)
$2,758.25 (9.20%)
-$0.07 (-6.41%)
*Market data for this issue is from October 23rd, 2023 at 7:40pm EST

🏦 Markets: The soaring 10-year Treasury bond yield has retreated from the 5% mark to start the week, which offered some faint hope about the strength of the overall economy and allowed the Nasdaq to experience its first winning day in nearly a week.

But the other two indexes didn’t fare quite so well. The S&P 500 was down slightly and the Dow Jones shed more than half a percent as of Monday’s closing bell.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown MLB/Giphy

⚾️ Game seven: It came down to the final game of the series to determine the first team to lock up a spot in the World Series. The Rangers gained an early advantage over the Astros to wrap up the AL championship series and maintained their lead throughout the game, which ended with a score of 11-4. All-Star Adolis Garcia joined an elite group of players to knock out two homers in a Game 7. The NLCS will also be decided in a Game 7 after the D-Backs tied things up 3-3 against the Phillies in Game 6 yesterday.

🐶 RIP Bobi: If you buy into the “dog years” claim, the world’s oldest canine ever lived to the ripe old age of about 220. In reality, Bobi died over the weekend at a veterinary hospital in Portugal with a documented age of 31 years, 165 days. That was enough to thoroughly shatter the previous record, which has stood since 1931 and made Bobi the first dog on record to reach his 30s. For the sake of comparison, Bobi’s breed typically lives between 10 and 14 years.

🛢️ Oil moves: The price of crude oil is ticking upward amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, and motorists will soon have fewer options when it comes to filling up the tank. A recent deal worth $53 billion will result in Chevron acquiring Hess Corp. to create yet another oil-sector behemoth. And it comes on the heels of an even larger merger announcement. Exxon Mobil confirmed earlier this month that it wants to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources.

👋 CEO ouster: Tensions are running high around the globe after Hamas terrorists staged a deadly attack on Israel, and Israel responded with a bombardment on Gaza. There has been public criticism against both sides, but remarks from the CEO of Web Summit (a European tech-sector conference) resulted in his resignation. Paddy Cosgrave claimed that Israel is guilty of war crimes and issued a mea culpa describing his remarks “a distraction.”

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Here’s How Mexico Is Slowly Reclaiming Its Stolen History

Thousands of artifacts are already back in their rightful locations.

Here’s How Mexico Is Slowly Reclaiming Its Stolen History Shutterstock

Whether you’ve visited its ancient sites in person or studied the nation’s history in books, you might already know that Mexico has a rich and vibrant heritage. Unfortunately, many other nations have wanted a piece of that history for themselves and countless artifacts have been taken by thieves, looters, or colonizing nations.

But now, activists and officials in Mexico are in the process of reclaiming their history — and it seems to be working.

“Mi Patrimonio No Se Vende”

An effort has been underway since 2019 to identify museums or other entities that have possession of relics that rightfully belong to Mexico. The campaign translates into the English phrase “My Heritage Is Not For Sale” and has already resulted in the repatriation of several key items.

Mexican Culture Secretary Alejandra Frausto explained that the mission focuses on the “awareness or shame that’s generated in someone who has archaeological pieces from Mexico or other countries on display when someone visits their home.”

In just the four years that the campaign has been active, Mexico has been able to reclaim more than 13,000 different items — including a whopping 1,300 from the San Bernardino County Museum in California alone.

A history worth preserving

One of the most notable pieces that has been successfully returned to its home country is a stone carving that dates back 2,600 years. The one-ton monument featured the face of a jaguar and had been pilfered from a site near modern-day Mexico City before it was illegally transported into the U.S. and changed hands several times.

It was tracked down at a Denver warehouse earlier this month and now the relic, which was believed in ancient times to have been used as a passageway into the underworld, is in the possession of a Mexican museum.

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The Engineering Marvels That Allow Super-Deep Ocean Exploration

There's some serious planning that goes into this dangerous mission.

The Engineering Marvels That Allow Super-Deep Ocean Exploration Xinhua/Shutterstock

The Mariana Trench is more than 36,200 feet below the surface and the pitch-black water down there hovers just above the freezing point.

It’s an utterly inhospitable environment with pressure that can exceed 16,000 pounds per square inch, but that hasn’t stopped clever (and very rich) humans from figuring out a way to get down there.

A 52-year gap

Believe it or not, the very first expedition to this deep spot was way back in 1960. But it took more than half a century for another journey … and filmmaker James Cameron was aboard that submarine.

Since then, there have been 20 more expeditions, with almost all of them using one specially designed vessel known as the Challenger Deep. Like many other experimental vehicles, this one was funded privately and cost a staggering $37 million to design and build.

Some interesting stats

So what makes the Challenger Deep so special? It’s been engineered to successfully withstand some of the harshest conditions imaginable and boasts:

  • A reinforced sphere with 3.5-inch titanium walls
  • A 59-inch interior that is almost a perfect sphere, so pressure is applied evenly
  • Acrylic windows so passengers can see the once-in-a-lifetime views
  • Cameras, powerful lights, and a robot arm

Keeping things safe

After four years of testing that included research in Russia that mimicked the pressure found at the Mariana Trench, the Challenger Deep was ready to go. It is operated with a joystick and has a chamber that fills with water as well as interior foam to keep it upright and partially buoyant.

Thrusters help it move and on-board equipment allows it to remain in contact with crews on the surface.

If anything does go wrong, there are backup batteries and 96 hours of life support built into the ship.

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dad joke

What word becomes shorter when you add two letters?



Libraries Are Embracing Their Newfound Role As Mental Health Ambassadors

There's a lot more going on than just checking out books.

Libraries Are Embracing Their Newfound Role As Mental Health Ambassadors Giphy

In the age of smartphones, libraries might seem anachronistic. But as society deals with some serious mental health-related crises, there’s a new role that librarians now find themselves filling.

Prepared for anything

Michael Bare took on his role as a library assistant four years ago in a West Virginia city near the borders of Ohio and Kentucky. While he envisioned helping patrons find books or use some of the library’s services, he said that much of his time is spent helping individuals in various states of distress.

And he’s far from alone. One recent survey determined that 2 out of every 3 workers at nearly 600 libraries have witnessed individuals displaying violence or aggression.

Why is it so common for people in crisis to find their way into a library? One major reason, according to experts, is that they often have no other options. Few public places provide such easy access, and it only makes sense that people looking for a refuge will take advantage of that space.

A mixed bag

While many library workers are eager to provide whatever type of help they can to people who come in, the situations can often become dangerous or overwhelming. While many of these folks are just looking for a warm place to rest or a restroom to use, some are carrying weapons, watching pornography, or otherwise behaving in an unacceptable manner.

And Kevin King of the Kalamazoo Public Library expressed the dichotomy that many in his industry now experience.

“They don’t have anywhere else to go, and they don’t trust other places,” he said. “I love being that place, but after a while it’s taxing and wearing on you.”

A growing number of jurisdictions have acknowledged the trend and are hiring trained social workers to address these complex and difficult situations.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

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