“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”
–Daniel J. Boorstin
Now, to announce our $25 Target for Teachers gift card winner… congratulations to Emily K. from Agua Fria Union High!!! A big THANK YOU to all who helped us out, we’re honored to be a part of your classroom.
💉 Coming Soon to a Pharmacy Near You
Last week, the U.S. government began shipping COVID-19 vaccines to 21 national drugstore chains and independent pharmacies as part of a new program to accelerate vaccine distribution across the country.
In the first phase of the program, one million doses were allocated to 6,500 pharmacies – including some CVS, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and Rite Aid locations – which started administering the shots on Friday.
As vaccine availability increases over time, the program will ultimately expand to include all 40k+ U.S. pharmacies.
🤿 A deeper dive…
The pharmacies taking part in the program’s first phase vary by state, with the CDC offering a state-by-state accounting of the retailers scheduled to receive vaccines this week. (See your state’s participating pharmacies)
Each pharmacy will follow the individual state’s respective guidelines for eligibility when administering the vaccine. Everyone will receive the vaccine at no cost, even those who have no health insurance or are under-insured.
In an effort to discourage crowds, pharmacies are making vaccines available through timed appointments, which consumers can register for online or by phone. (Walmart | Sam’s Club; membership not required | Rite Aid; limited information | CVS | Walgreens)
In the case of timed appointments, the entire process should take about an hour, per the WSJ. (What you need to know)
📝 Progress Report
Image via Bloomberg.
At the U.S.’ current rate of vaccination, Bloomberg estimates it will take eight months to cover 75% of Americans with a two-dose vaccine.
People with mental health conditions should get vaccine priority
Roughly 150M Americans were under a winter storm warning, winter weather advisory or ice storm warning in 25 states, stretching over 2,000 miles from southern Texas to northern Maine, the National Weather Service said.
At least four people have died as a result of the storm.
A state of emergency has been declared for all 254 counties in the state of Texas. The storm knocked out power for over 4M residents and shut down grocery stores, air travel, and schools.
✅ WHO Approves AstraZeneca Vaccine
The WHOgranted emergency use authorization yesterday to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine co-developed with the University of Oxford. The WHO will begin distributing the vaccine in late February through its COVAX initiative, which aims to improve access to vaccines for vulnerable people globally.
More: AstraZeneca’s vaccine boasts easier storage requirements compared to Pfizer or Moderna’s shot, making it ideal for the WHO’s plan to distribute to low- and middle-income countries.
🇲🇲 Hundreds of thousands of protesterstook to the streetsacross Myanmar for a ninth straight day on Sunday to protest the February 1st military coup, with scaled-down demonstrations continuing yesterday. The military reportedly shut down internet connections for eight hours early Monday morning.
🇬🇳 Health officials in Guineaannounced a new Ebola outbreak on Sunday, marking the first cases of Ebola in Africa since a 2014-2016 outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people. Health officials confirmed three people have died from Ebola thus far, and at least four others have tested positive.
🌊 Life Finds a Way
Researchers in Antarctica discovered two unidentified marine animals on a boulder 3,000 feet beneath the ice shelf, which lies in total darkness at temperatures around 28ºF. The animals, which experts believe to be a type of sponge, were accidentally found while the researchers tried to obtain a sediment sample from the ocean floor. (Video – 0:50)
More: The animals were located hundreds of miles from known nutrient sources. Researchers are currently looking into ways to study them more closely.
🌐 Parler’s Back
Parler has opened back up for existing users, and announced on Monday it will be open to the public later this week. Parler was originally suspendedfrom Amazon Web Services and Apple and Google’s mobile stores in early January due to allegations the company failed to adequately monitor violent content.
More: Parler detailed new moderation procedures yesterday. Dig deeper.
Even More: AWS was replaced by SkySilk, a Web infrastructure company based outside LA.
💬 Relevant Quote:
“Let me be clear, Skysilk does not advocate nor condone hate, rather, it advocates the right to private judgment and rejects the role of being the judge, jury, and executioner.
… this is not a matter of SkySilk endorsing the message, but rather, the right of the messenger to deliver it. SkySilk will support Parler in their efforts to be a nonpartisan Public Square as we are convinced this is the only appropriate course of action.” –Kevin Matossian, SkySilk CEO.
Jaguar announced plans to become an all-electric car brand by 2025, while sister company Land Rover said it will release its first all-electric vehicle in 2024.
The automakers, which operate under parent company Jaguar Land Rover, have produced one fully-electric car to date – the Jaguar I-Pace SUV.
Jaguar Land Rover expects all Jaguar models and 60% of Land Rover vehicles to be zero-emission by 2030 (the year the UK plans to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles).
More: Last week, Toyota announced it will bring three new electric vehicles to the U.S. market, with sales expected to begin in 2022.
Even More: Last month, GM announced plans to end production of all diesel-and gas-powered vehicles by 2035; part of a broader plan to become carbon-neutral by 2040.
⏰ Catch Up Quick:
The World Trade Organizationappointed Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its next director-general, making her the first woman and first African to lead the global trade body.
A Kremlin spokespersonresponded yesterday to Elon Musk after he extended an invitation to Vladimir Putin for a conversation on Clubhouse, saying the proposal was “interesting” but more details are needed.
The price of oil reached its highest point since January 2020in early trading yesterday, which analysts attributed in part to the ongoing U.S. winter storm. Crude futures are up 24% so far this year.
👶 Oh, Baby!
Olivia Salza and her husband struggled with infertility for over 3 years. In this tear-jerking video, Salza shares her pregnancy news with her dad, who is in the hospital fighting Alzheimer’s.
📱 Social Distance Powwow
Many Native American tribes have missed out on important traditions and ceremonial gatherings due to the pandemic. Thanks to the Facebook group Social Distance Powwow, more than 230,000 native people have connected and shared these traditions with other tribes around the country.
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From the CEO’s Desk…
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⚡ Getting a Reaction… Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a start-up backed by Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, is working to develop a commercially viable form of nuclear fusion – a virtually limitless clean energy source that could help combat climate change.
🚀 Out of This World… Panspermia, the theory that organic life began elsewhere in the universe before migrating to Earth, is gaining traction within the scientific community, with some prominent planetary scientists proposing that life on Earth originated on Mars.
💾 System Update… researchers at MIT discovered that graphene – a “supermaterial” made of a single layer of graphite – is capable of spontaneous electric polarization, a property that could be used to dramatically increase the power of the next generation of computing technology.
🚂 Livin’ La Vida Locomotion… Transportation officials in the Chinese province of Shandong commissioned five maglev trains, which rely on a system of magnetic propulsion, capable of speeds of more than 370mph – which would make them the fastest commercially operated trains in the world.
🎥 Tell Me ‘Y’
How many of Snow White’s seven dwarfs have names ending in the letter ‘Y’?
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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