The Data Examiner 05/28/2023

Remote Work Comes With Daytime Drug And Drinking Habits:

A May 2022 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimates that the number of working age Americans (25 to 54 years old) with substance use disorders has risen by 23% since pre-pandemic, to 27 million. A figure that’s about one in six of people who were employed around the time of the study. It’s caused a 9% to 26% drop in labor force participation that Karen Kopecky, one of the authors of the report, says continues today.

North Korea Spy Satellite:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced yesterday the country had completed assembly of its first military spy satellite and plans to launch it at an undisclosed date. The announcement came just days after the U.S., Japan, and South Korea agreed to conduct regular defense drills in the region. Putting a spy satellite into orbit requires a long-range ballistic missile, which the United Nations currently bans North Korea from using.

The Data Examiner – Lens:

Bakhmut obliterated. As fighting around the city in eastern Ukraine rages on, drone footage last week captured the scorched buildings, destroyed schools, and cratered parks that now define Bakhmut.

(Notable) Remarks

** Polls showed that even many people unhappy with Joe Biden voted Democratic, a sign that Trump fatigue has finally set in. It’s so bad, the Murdoch empire has turned on its former fair-haired boy. —- Maureen Dowd

** Predictably, the claims from the crypto community are increasingly coalescing around the argument that this was regulators’ fault. Enough nonsense, please. The industry, as it exists today, is built on a foundation of memes and lies. The objective has always been to drive panicked buying of a speculative asset, as the FTX saga demonstrates yet again. There are real issues with the global financial system, and the misinformation spread by the crypto industry has delayed rather than accelerated reform. —- Michael W. Green, Chief strategist and portfolio manager for Simplify Asset Management who has been an active participant in financial markets for over 30 years

** Whether or not Donald Trump’s hat is in the ring, he’s finished as a serious contender for high office. That’s not a line to write lightly. First, because he has been written off so often in the past – after mocking John McCain’s military record; after the “Access Hollywood” tape; after January 6; after the January 6 committee hearings – that it seems foolhardy to do it again. Second, because every time he is written off, his supporters seem to draw energy from their purported irrelevance. And third, because the line will surely be hung around my neck if I’m wrong. But I’m not. —- Bret Stephens

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** Ridiculous Clocks – Rick Stanley has spent his life creating some of the most inventive clocks in the world, made of shoes, bottles, bicycles, and more. WATCH

** The decline of walking to school. WATCH


** AAA estimates 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend, up 7% from 2022.

** Target recalls nearly 5 million candles after reports of burns and lacerations.

** The world’s most expensive ice cream costs $6,696 per scoop.

DATA In-Depth

How The Los Chapitos Built A Fentanyl Empire

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s four sons, known as Los Chapitos, have emerged as powerful drug lords in the Sinaloa Cartel, who U.S. officials say is responsible for the opioid epidemic that’s killing almost 200 Americans daily.

The Data Examiner – Lens:

The disaster scene at the border as the immigration restriction known as Title 42 expires.


** So long influencers, cue the de-influencers. TikTok videos with the hashtag #deinfluencing, in which users recommend why not to buy specific products, have 88M+ views.

** Burger King’s “Whopper Whopper” original song is unbelievably popular. The jingle, written by a small ad agency as part of a $400M rebrand, scored 99% in brand recall.

** Like a good neighbor, State Farm and Progressive are there, so long as you don’t have certain Hyundai and Kia models released between 2015 and 2019, which are especially prone to theft. Only 26% of Hyundais and Kias from then had electronic immobilizers, compared to 96% of all vehicles sold.

** He’s still standing (yeah, yeah, yeah). Elton John’s farewell tour has grossed $817.9M across 278 shows, beating out Ed Sheeran’s $776.4M record, with 51 shows to go. Since his 1986 tour, John has grossed $1.863B and sold 19.9M tickets across 1.5K+ shows.

The Data Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:


We asked Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States and in 26 foreign countries for their thoughts. The Data Examiner readers have spoken.

The Data Examiner:

Operation SpecTor

Authorities have arrested 288 people for trafficking fentanyl and opioids on the dark web over the last 18 months, in what is considered the largest global crackdown of its kind. Authorities also seized roughly 1,800 pounds of drugs, 117 firearms, and $53.4M in cash and virtual currencies, the U.S. The global effort, dubbed “Operation SpecTor,” spanned across the U.S., Europe, and South America and centered on the online drug marketplace Monopoly Market. German authorities seized the marketplace in December 2021, which aided in identifying the nearly 300 vendors and buyers who were arrested. German and U.S. authorities also shuttered Hydra Market, the dark web’s once largest online marketplace for illicit goods and services, in April 2022. Of the total arrests, 153 took place in the U.S. Other arrests were made in the UK (55), Germany (52), the Netherlands (10), Austria (9), France (5), Switzerland (2), Poland (1), and Brazil (1).

The Data Examiner – Worth Noting:

Writer Salman Rushdie has made a public speech, nine months after being stabbed and seriously injured onstage, warning that freedom of expression in the West is under its most severe threat in his lifetime. Rushdie delivered a video message to the British Book Awards, where he was awarded the Freedom to Publish award. Organizers said the honor “acknowledges the determination of authors, publishers and booksellers who take a stand against intolerance, despite the ongoing threats they face.”

Group Of Sorority Sisters Suing University Of Wyoming:

A group of sorority sisters who are suing the University of Wyoming for accepting a transgender woman into their group have broken cover to describe how they “live in constant fear in our home” – after the hulking student has become physically aroused around them. The seven women from the Kappa Kappa Gamma house have filed a lawsuit against the university and Artemis Langford, 21, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound trans student who joined their chapter in September 2022. Langford – referred to under the male pseudonym Terry Smith in the suit – has been living outside the sorority house and was expected to move in the coming year, according to Cowboy State Daily.


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** Representatives for the Bud Light brand, owned by Anheuser-Busch, confirmed a brand partnership with trans-identifying activist Dylan Mulvaney after followers speculated the whole thing could be an April Fool’s Day prank. “Anheuser Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points,” a spokesperson for the company said.

** Dog eats bird: Elon Musk changed the Twitter logo to the symbol for Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that saw its price surge as much as 30% in the wake of the swap.

** 12 U.S. cities, all with democratic mayors, ranked among the 50 most dangerous cities on earth, including Baltimore, Memphis Detroit. Also making the top 50 list Albuquerque, NM; St. Louis, MO; New Orleans Oakland; C.A. Milwaukee; Chicago Philadelphia Cleveland and Houston.


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