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🇮🇳 The drama around India’s richest man

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Trader Joe’s 14th annual survey crowned Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips as its top product. Previous repeated winners — lookin’ at you, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups — were omitted from voting.

In today’s email:

  • An experiment: Why British Columbia is decriminalizing drugs.
  • Chart: The drama around India’s richest man.
  • Lorem ipsum: Where’d it come from?
  • Around the web: A bubble paradox, music for programming, and a baby giraffe.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Jacob and Juliet discuss Canada’s drug experiment, Trader Joe’s winners, a folding iPad, India’s richest man, and more.

The big idea
Canada leaf

Canada’s drug experiment

British Columbia, Canada, is conducting a three-year experiment with drugs.

Starting today, small amounts of drugs are decriminalized, including hard drugs like cocaine and heroin (cannabis is already legal in Canada).

  • Instead of facing criminal charges, people caught with less than 2.5 grams will receive info on treatment or other resources.
  • Drug trafficking is still illegal.

Will it be a successful social and economic decision?

Decriminalization advocates…

…see substance use and addiction as a health issue, not a crime. People who fear punishment are less likely to seek help.

Criminalizing drugs is also expensive and often doesn’t work:

  • The US has spent $1T+ on the war on drugs, largely considered a failure.
  • But investing $1 in a syringe exchange program saves ~$6 in costs associated with HIV in the US, per The New York Times.

Has this been done?

Yep. Portugal decriminalized drugs in 2001 and, aside from a brief uptick in experimentation, usage is down, although exactly why is unclear.

So are opioid deaths, diseases associated with injection use, prison overcrowding, and drug-related crimes. (For an in-depth look, check out this long read from The Guardian.)

Oregon also did this in 2020, but the state has been slow to fund services.

Critics of Oregon’s policy have the same concerns about BC’s: decriminalization must be paired with treatment programs and resources, like Portugal’s. They also question whether it can succeed as the economy weakens, according to Bloomberg.

It’s worth noting…

… not all drugs are alike. For many, the desired outcome is treatment, but others reach legalization.

Remember how your DARE instructor used to warn you about the dangers of the devil’s lettuce, but now you can buy weed from bougie boutiques?

The global market for once-illegal cannabis was worth $17.8B in 2021. Like cannabis, researchers are seeing the benefits of psychedelics, too. Magic mushrooms — already legal for therapeutic use in Oregon — could be next.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Man on the moon, bear on Mars? The University of Arizona, operator of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera, shared an image in which a hill, two craters, and a fracture look like an adorable bear face.


Nice work, Doug. Automotive YouTuber Doug DeMuro landed a $37m investment from The Chernin Group to expand his channel and Cars & Bids auction site, which has sold $230m+ worth of vehicles.

Impossible Foods is reportedly planning to lay off 20% of its ~700 staff just weeks after reporting record sales in 2022.

Ford is ramping up production and cutting the prices of its electric Mustang Mach-E, following price cuts by Tesla. Meanwhile, UK-based EV startup Arrival is laying off 50% of its staff.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is “positive” the company will drop a foldable iPad in 2024. Apple is also sourcing AirPods components in India, part of a broader shift we recently wrote about.

Sam’s Club plans to open 30 new US stores over the next several years, plus five fulfillment centers in 2023.

Samsung is expected to unveil three Galaxy S23 smartphones and a line of Galaxy Book laptops at its Unpacked event on Feb. 1.

Twitter Payments: The company is reportedly filing for US regulatory licenses required to offer payments processing — part of Musk’s “superapp” plan.

ChatGPT is apparently great at writing real estate listings. Plus, it can calculate mortgage payments.

France, with donations from luxury brand LVMH, paid ~$47m to add Gustave Caillebotte’s impressionist work “A Boating Party” to its collection.

Thanks to “The Last of Us,” Linda Ronstadt, whose song “Long, Long Time” was featured in the latest episode, is enjoying a 4.9k% bump in Spotify streams.

Cool AF company: Get ready to slip into your cozy new sweater made from… human hair? You read that right. Here’s the story.

Liquid Gold

Gatorade is the most popular sports drink in the world, and that’s good news for the University of Florida. This short video breaks down how the school rakes in ~$20m a year off Gatorade.

Adani stock
Singdhi Sokpo

The drama around India’s richest man

In September, we wrote about Gautam Adani, the Indian business magnate whose net worth had catapulted him to the second spot on the world’s richest list at one point last year.

Adani is the chairman and founder of Adani Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate with arms in gas, power, ports, media, and others, worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Last week, a lengthy — and we mean lengthy — report from short-seller firm Hindenburg Research accused the business of fraud. The report slashed ~$70B of value off Adani’s companies.

In the report, Hindenburg…

  • Identified what it believes are multiple offshore shell entities Adani uses for manipulating finances.
  • Shed light on a seemingly miniscule accounting group, with 11 employees, responsible for auditing Adani Enterprises.
  • Listed 88 “easy questions to answer” for Adani.

Over the weekend, Adani Group issued a brief 413-page response — creatively titled, “Adani Response.”

Adani said its rebuttal answered 65 of Hindenburg’s questions, but Hindenburg said it failed to answer 62 of them and was “obfuscated by nationalism.”

Shares of Adani firms sank lower Monday, though Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Co. voiced confidence in the group, saying it’ll be investing $400m into Adani Enterprises.

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Free Resource

Is this the year you go and get it?

Sadly, we don’t decide. You’re already a winner in our book.

If that’s not enough encouragement, try episode 620 of the Goal Digger podcast. Host Jenna Kutcher taps long-time teammate and brand specialist Brooklyn Wagner to wrestle with the namesake — digging to your goals.

Dissecting questions like:

  • Who am I turning into this year?
  • What are my North Star objectives?
  • How do I deal with all this pressure?
  • How do I grow and stay true to my roots?

To help you go from where you’re at, to where you’re aiming.

Listen now →
Internet Lingo
person typing

Where did Lorem Ipsum come from?

Latin is a dead language. Depending on the source, the number of fluent speakers globally ranges from ~2k to ~2m people.

But everybody who’s spent time on the internet is familiar with at least one Latin phrase: “lorem ipsum,” the first two words of the dummy text designers use to gauge the layout of a page. It tends to appear in the wild when somebody forgets to replace the Latin with their intended message (often in hilarious fashion).

The backstory of how “lorem ipsum” appeared in our lives is complicated, according to Slate’s Jack Shepherd.

The full passage is attributed to Cicero

The famous Roman philosopher penned it as a long-winded way of saying, “No pain, no gain.”

From there, the story goes that a 16th-century typesetter used “Lorem Ipsum dolor…” in a book of typefaces, and the tradition continued for hundreds of years.

But Shepherd found those origins unlikely because the popular translation of Cicero’s text didn’t appear until 1914.

So who introduced lorem ipsum?

The British design company Letraset, which used the phrase to advertise its services in the 1960s.

Why? Nobody really knows. Probably because an employee was a fan of Cicero.

Their decision led to years of lorem ipsum-ing, as well as lots of fun recent spinoffs: Online text generators let designers use everything from Hipster Ipsum to DeLorean Ipsum for planning layouts.

BTW: Until 2014, Latin was the official language of Vatican City.

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📺 On this day: In 1949, the first daytime soap opera, “These Are My Children,” debuted on NBC.

🫧 That’s interesting: A new study says Leonardo da Vinci’s paradox about why bubbles move the way they do has been solved after 500+ years.

🎧 Tune in: The “Shark Tank” rewatch crew jumped back in the tank to talk scholarships, cupcakes, and hot sauce on the latest episode of Another Bite.

🧠 Useful: Music for Programming offers playlists for when you need to focus.

🦒 Aww: And now, meet the Sacramento Zoo’s new giraffe calf.

ChatGPT meme

Probably for the best. (Link)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Old Times, New Roman” Dent.

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