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News Headlines you may have missed. Below are articles you may have missed. Feel free to comment on them or any other article that made the news.

Inflation Ticks Up
Annual inflation in the US rose 3.4% in December, a 0.3% rise from November and slightly higher than analysts’ expectations, according to new government data released yesterday. Inflation peaked in June 2022 at 9.1% and has remained under 4% since May.

 

The consumer price index, which measures price changes for a basket of goods and services, rose 3.9% year-over-year when excluding volatile food and energy prices. Over half of the increase stemmed from rising shelter costs, which rose 0.5% from November and 6.2% year-over-year. Analysts claim elevated mortgage rates have reduced supply and pushed up housing prices. See a detailed breakout of prices for various commodities here.

 

The Federal Reserve, responsible for maintaining inflation at 2%, has held the federal funds rate between 5.25% and 5.5% three times after 11 raises since March 2022. The Fed is expected to reduce rates this year, possibly as soon as March.

A Weekend Blizzard
winter storm is sweeping across the country today and is poised to become a bomb cyclone, bringing blizzard conditions and flooding across much of the country’s eastern half. The storm will be followed by a blast of arctic cold air, with as much as 88% of the contiguous US expected to experience temperatures dropping below freezing by Monday.

 

Dubbed Winter Storm Gerri, it comes days after a separate winter storm hit the central US and parts of the Plains (Why so many?). Gerri is forecast to make its way from the Four Corners region toward the central and eastern US, with 1-2 feet of snow projected in portions of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Meteorologists say temperatures in Wyoming and Montana could reach between 20 and 30 degrees below zero and potentially below 50 degrees in the Northern Plains. The Southern Plains and Midwest could see temperatures dip into the minus 20s, while the South could see temperatures in the 20s.

 

The cold air pattern is projected to stay until at least the week of Jan. 22; see detailed forecasts for regions across the US here (w/clickable map).

Lost Cities Revealed
Archaeologists have discovered a constellation of ancient Amazonian structures in what is now modern-day Ecuador, according to new research published yesterday. Flourishing for roughly 1,000 years about two millennia ago, the settlements are believed to have been populated by 30,000 residents at their peak—roughly equal to London under the Roman Empire at the same time.

 

The complex was discovered using LiDAR (light detection and ranging), a technique in which variations in surface height are measured using airborne laser mapping. The approach allows researchers to penetrate dense forest canopies or layers of Earth, revealing what lies underneath without labor-intensive fieldwork and digs. Learn more about how LiDAR—also used in many self-driving vehicles to “see” the road—has revolutionized archaeology.

 

The find follows a number of similar discoveries in recent years, including a sprawling urban network in the Bolivian Amazon two years ago.

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The startup also joins an all-star list of names like Elon Musk and Google in studying how a variety of health issues can be traced to the nervous system. Their patented microchip-based technology is being developed to detect neuronal signals to find nerve bundles that cause pain and other ailments. With $100B+ in potential treatment markets worldwide and 100+ patents issued and pending, the company is attempting to take the world by storm.

 

This could be the final opportunity to invest while they’re still private. See how you can become an Autonomix shareholder today.*

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In The Know
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick to depart after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots; Belichick has racked up 333 wins across his 29 seasons as an NFL head coach (More)
> ESPN reportedly forced to return 37 Emmy Awards for using fake names to win awards for “College Gameday” program (More) | Michael Jackson biopic film set for April 2025 release (More)
> NFL postseason begins tomorrow with the Wild Card round; see preview and predictions (More) | NFL’s 2024 four International Games to include Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars in London, and the Carolina Panthers in Munich; opponents to be named (More)
Science & Technology
In partnership with Noom
> Researchers release open source program to model the increasing density of space debris orbiting the Earth (More) | The emerging problem of space trash (More)
> Study suggests the largest ape to ever live died off around 250,000 years ago because it failed to adapt its diet as the landscape shifted from dense forest to grasslands (More) | Meet Gigantopithecus blacki (More)
> Paleontologists discover oldest-known fossilized reptile skin; 289-million-year-old specimen predates dinosaurs, was from a now-extinct iguana-like lizard (More)
From our partners: Weight loss can feel like an uphill battle, but Noom takes a psychology-based approach. It helps you understand your relationship with food, so you can modify your habits and make healthier choices. And the best part? You don’t have to give up your favorite foods (yes, even cake). This is weight loss designed for any pace or lifestyle. Take the quiz right now and join 500,000 people creating healthier routines.
Business & Markets
> Markets close roughly flat Thursday (S&P 500 -0.1%, Dow 0%, Nasdaq 0%) following higher-than-expected inflation data (More) | Spot bitcoin ETFs begin trading, see $4.6B in trading volume on first day (More)
> Chesapeake Energy to buy Southwestern Energy for $7.4B in all-stock deal; acquisition would make Chesapeake the largest US natural gas producer (More)
> Google lays off hundreds of employees in Google Assistant division as company explores integrating AI chatbots into products; company also planning to restructure its 30,000-person ad sales department (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Israel defends against charges of genocide in Gaza at the International Court of Justice; claims introduced by South Africa (More) | US, UK lead airstrikes against Houthi rebel sites in Yemen (More) | Jewish students sue Harvard, claiming antisemitism on campus violates civil rights (More)
> Closing arguments held in civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump; proceedings held despite early morning bomb threat made at the home of Judge Arthur Engoron (More)
> Federal Aviation Officials launch probe into whether Boeing followed safety protocols when securing door plugs on 737 MAX-9 models (More) | Everything you need to know about Boeing’s blown-out door plugs, visualized (More)
In-Depth
> A Knife Forged in Fire

Chicago Magazine | Laurence Gonzales. The technical process of forging steel knives by hand opens a spectator to mystical reflections on danger, beauty, and transformation. (Read)

 

> The Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

WSJ | Staff. A look at one of the world’s most dangerous shipping lanes where Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched drone attacks against commercial vessels. (Watch)

> Baby Brokers

Guardian | Rachel Nolan. Amid ballooning adoptions in Guatemala during its civil war in the 1980s, a shadowy role arose: the jaladora, a supplier of babies hired by adoption lawyers. (Read)

 

> How Cranes Work

Stuff You Should Know | Josh Clark, Chuck Bryant. (Podcast) Everything you didn’t know about construction cranes, the massive tools towering over cityscapes piecing together commercial buildings. (Listen)

In partnership with Autonomix
A scientist explains how snowflakes form. (via YouTube)

 

Employees rank the top places to work for 2024.

 

See the shortlist for the year’s best wildlife photography.

 

America’s most (and least) popular CEOs.

 

One of the world’s rarest supercars goes to auction.

 

A timeline of the distant, distant future.

 

Nine-month cruise becomes an online sensation.

 

The mysterious disappearance of Hydrox cookies.

 

Clickbait: Mark Zuckerberg raises cows on beer and nuts.

 

Historybook: Author Jack London born (1876); Hattie Caraway becomes first woman elected to US Senate (1932); Howard Stern born (1954); Mystery novelist Agatha Christie dies (1976); Earthquake in Haiti kills more than 100,000 (2010).

“We never know the whole man, though sometimes, in quick flashes, we know the true man.”
– Agatha Christie

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By MC

Master of Truth. A writer who has captured the imagination of many.

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