Good morning. Having trouble getting motivated on this Monday? Well, it’s never too late to chase your dreams – like this 103-year-old woman who just set the record for the oldest person ever to go skydiving.
What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.
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The Israeli Visit
Last Thursday, Israel announced that it would bar congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel for a visit. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited their support for a movement to boycott Israel and their planned itinerary as the reason behind the action.
On Friday, Israel granted a more limited travel permit to Tlaib to visit the West Bank, where she has close relatives, on humanitarian grounds. Tlaib announced later that day that she would be cancelling her trip, citing the permit’s restrictions on her travel and speech while in Israel.
So, what next? This has sparked renewed debate surrounding the international movement to boycott Israel – in late July, the House passed a resolution condemning the movement by a vote of 398-17.
Let’s see what people are saying…
Shocked Israel would ban Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar? Don’t be
What would you do if you were stranded in the desert? That was the dilemma 73-year-old Greg Randolph and his two canine companions were facing after his jeep got stuck in the Lake County Oregon wilderness, an area that boasts a population of less than one person per square mile. He decided to walk for help and after spending 4 days unprotected in the sun, collapsed from dehydration. Enter cyclist and savior Thomas Quinones, who was bikepacking through Oregon and miraculously discovered Greg after his collapse. Thomas immediately contacted the authorities and nursed Greg until they arrived (he was not able to sit up and could barely drink water). Thanks to Thomas being in the right place at the right time, Greg and his two dogs, Cruella and Buddy, are still alive and well.
Michigan couple David and Alli Printz were excited for the birth of their son, Duke, but those plans were interrupted when Alli’s high blood pressure put her in the hospital with preeclampsia. As a result, the doctors induced labor 6 weeks early. The early birth put Duke and Alli in the NICU, and the responsibility fell to David to be there for them as well as take care of the couple’s older daughter. The new dad had no vacation days at work, and after wrestling with the decision decided to take unpaid leave to be with his family. After his boss was briefed on the situation, he (the boss) sent a company-wide email asking for PTO donations from employees to help. The response was overwhelming – David’s coworkers pitched in more than enough PTO to cover his leave so that he could spend quality time with his wife and new son without worrying about how to cover the bills.
School is starting back up and that usually means school buses full of students. But what about school buses full of donated school supplies? That’s what happened in Pasadena after donations poured in for the second annual Fill the Bus donation drive. The drive started last year, after the city of Pasadena recognized that many teachers paid out of their own pockets for school supplies to fill their classrooms. The first ever Fill the Bus drive last year was a success, filling three school buses with donated school supplies. This year it was even better – the event raised $30,000 and filled more than seven school buses with supplies for the students and teachers.
SoftBank Group is lending its employees up to $20 billion to purchase stakes in its second Vision Fund, a $100+ billion investment fund expected to focus on artificial intelligence. The first Vision Fund offered the same arrangement for SoftBank employees, and ~$8 billion of that fund is comprised of employee money.
Segway-Ninebot, a Chinese scooter company, has unveiled a self-driving scooter that can drive itself to charging stations using AI and remote cloud capabilities. The company says the scooters are gathering interest from Uber and Lyft, and are expected to launch early 2020.
Airbnb released its earnings Friday, reporting $9.4 billion in total bookings (and 91 million nights booked) this past quarter – up 31% over last year. According to the WSJ, the company is planning an IPO in early 2020.
Tesla announced (or rather, Elon Musk tweeted) a relaunch of its solar panels business, offering a rental option and no-contract solar panel packages. This is seen as a move to juice its solar business, which reported its third consecutive quarterly decline in installations last month.
Only YOU can prevent wildfires. Well, you and goats. Portugal is now using goats to help prevent wildfires. (NYT)
Last week, Jay Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL entered into a partnership that puts the agency in charge of some of the league’s entertainment and social justice components. The agreement is now receiving public backlash from current and former NFL players.
Santa Monica police shut down Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel promotion last week, citing extreme traffic delays. The reason for the chaos? They were offering gas to consumers at the same price it would’ve been in 1959 – 30 cents a gallon.
Going once… going twice… An auction for a $20 million Porsche flops following a technical error and confusion surrounding the auctioneer’s pronunciation.
The world’s largest honeybees are located near the peaks of the Himalayas. Many “honey hunters” brave the heights and bee stings to harvest their honey, which possesses a strange and valuable characteristic.