Good morning. In light of the recent news that more Americans went to the library than to the movies in 2019, we’re on the lookout for some new reading material. Have a suggestion? Shoot a reply to this email with the titles of your favorite book(s) – and don’t forget to pay that overdue fine.
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future by merely changing their attitude.”
– Oprah Winfrey
Coronavirus: A Cause for Concern?
The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all dropped more than one-and-a-half percent on Monday amid reports that seventeen countries outside China have now seen confirmed cases of the sickness. As of Monday night, Johns Hopkins’ real-time online tracker shows more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 107 deaths.
A quick bit of context…
The 2003 SARS outbreak resulted in 8,437 confirmed cases and 813 deaths.
Between 291,000 and 646,000 people die from seasonal flu-related respiratory illness each year (per the CDC).
How it’s spreading… The outbreak is believed to have originated at a meat market in Wuhan (China), and has been confirmed to spread via human-to-human contact. Several recent discoveries have brought its proliferation to light:
Coronavirus appears to be contagious during its incubation period (1-14 days).
On average, each infected person has transmitted the disease to more than two people (studies can be found here and here).
What’s next? WHO experts determined last week that it was too early to declare the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. In the meantime, China has imposed travel restrictions on more than 20 million people (though the mayor of Wuhan said 5 million people left the city before travel restrictions were put into place), and the CDC has warned against traveling to China.
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
Impeachment Trial Continues
White House lawyers wrapped up a weekend of opening arguments Monday after House impeachment managers concluded their three-day stretch on Friday. President Trump on Twitter denied allegations reportedly made by ex-national security advisor John Bolton, which Republican senators Mitt Romney (UT) and Susan Collins (MA) have said strengthen the case to allow witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial.
On Monday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 along party lines to grant the Trump administration’s request to lift an injunction blocking proposed immigration legislation. The White House can now implement a rule that could block residency, green cards, and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance in the future.
A U.S. military official has confirmed an American aircraft crashed in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province Monday in an area partly controlled by the Taliban. The military spokesman did not disclose how many people were on board or if they were killed, but said there was no indication the crash was caused by enemy fire.
According to CNBC, Boeing has secured more than $12 billion in financing from more than a dozen banks ahead of its earnings report Wednesday. The size of the loan is $2 billion more than Boeing was reportedly seeking last week.
General Motors announced it will invest $3 billion in the production of all-electric trucks and SUVs, as well as an autonomous vehicle. The investment is split between a $2.2 billion infusion into GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant and an $800 million allocation towards supplier tooling.
Axiom of Choice
NASA has chosen Houston-based startup Axiom Space to build the first commercial habitat module for the International Space Station (ISS). The module will be used in planned future commercial flights to the ISS via human-carrying spacecraft, such as the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner.
Brick by Brick
Between working long hours, family responsibilities, and balancing everyday duties, life can get stressful for modern adults, leading to ailments such as depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. However, research has shown that play therapy and crafting for adults can serve as a salve for stress and tension, leading many to reach for crayons and coloring books, knitting needles, and even action figures.
LEGO has picked up on the trend of wellness crafting for adults, and is now featuring complex build-it sets aimed at easing the everyday stress of adulting. Fans of the craze find some measure of peace in the process of following instructions to assemble a replica of an architectural masterpiece or iconic movie spaceship. Whether taking a yoga class, playing an instrument, or building a castle of small plastic bricks, it’s important to find an activity that inspires mindfulness and sense of child-like joy.
When an entire community comes together for a shared cause, amazing things can happen. 4-year-old Jasper Mazzocco was recently diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, and underwent months of grueling treatment that forced his absence from preschool. Missing their friend and wanting to help, his classmates (with the help of their parents) organized a hot cocoa fundraiser in Jasper’s honor to help pay his medical bills.
With the help of various community leaders and several retailers’ generous donations, Jasper’s friends were able to raise $10,000 from the cocoa stand. Afterwards, Jasper’s mom was able to share some great news – his tumor is shrinking! Shelby said the aid and care they’ve received has meant the world to their family, and provided a much-needed bright spot in their lives.
Patient OneZero… a Canadian health monitoring AI program called BlueDot – which scours foreign-language news reports for danger zones such as Wuhan – reportedly notified its customers of the coronavirus outbreak a week before the CDC’s official acknowledgement.
Alz Well That Ends Well… a study from researchers at McGill University found that lithium is capable of halting advanced signs of Alzheimer’s and recovering lost cognitive abilities.
Over the Moon… China’s National Space Administration has released thousands of files from their Lunar Exploration Program, including several photos of the Moon’s surface.
Final Flight… aircraft tracking website FlightAware.com has released data outlining an erratic flight path prior to the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others in Calabasas, CA Sunday morning.
Play by Play
What is the most played Spotify song of all time?
A) “Closer” – The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey B) “Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran C) “One Dance” – Drake feat. Wizkid & Kyla D) “Rockstar” – Post Malone feat. 21 Savage
First published on Jan. 6 2017, Ed Sheeran’s monster hit to date has accumulated over 2.4 billion plays on Spotify. “Rockstar” and “One Dance” are in a contested battle for the #2 slot, featuring 1.8 billion plays apiece.