"5 COOL THINGS" - weekly emails

5 Cool Things  😎
5 Cool Things:
Hi, this is Greg Powell. I hope you'll enjoy one or more of these interesting topics from the world of business and beyond. Dan Powell, my son and collaborator, has researched the articles and written the summaries, so this is not a boilerplate message. We'd like to give you a weekly break to learn about something cool or, better yet, 5 Cool Things.

LA County Approves Return of Bruce's Beach Property to Descendants of Black Couple (NBC)

In 1912, Willa and Charles Bruce, two Black entrepreneurs in Southern California, purchased a stretch of coastline in the city of Manhattan Beach for $1,225 (some $36,000 in today’s money). In a time when beaches tended to be racially segregated, the couple planned for a resort town where people of color could enjoy the ocean with amenities like a bath house, dance hall, and café. Unfortunately, the city council seized the land by eminent domain in the late 1920s, ostensibly to build a park but, evidently, only so it could reserve the land for White development. Last week, Los Angeles County - the current owners of the land - revealed plans to return Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of the Bruces, righting a wrong that lingered for over 100 years. "We will never be able to rectify the injustice that was inflicted upon the Bruce family, but this is a start, and it is the right thing to do.” Read more…

NASA Aims to Launch the SLS Rocket In Just 2 Months (ARS Technica)

On July 21, 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down after its trip orbiting the Earth, marking the end of the Space Shuttle program. Incredibly, in the eleven years since, US astronauts have had to resort to hitching rides into space aboard the 1960’s era Russian spacecraft Soyuz, except for a 2020 demo flight by the privately-operated SpaceX Crew Dragon. Back in 2010, NASA had a plan for a new launch system, looking something like a Space Shuttle tank and booster system with an Apollo module on top. Originally planned for a 2016 test flight, the program has been pushed back repeatedly. Now, after $20 billion in funding and many years of development time, the SLS booster may finally be ready for its first flight, with a target window during late summer 2022. NASA’s new Artemis program aims to send astronauts back to the Moon’s surface aboard SLS boosters sometime during the second half of this decade. Read more

How We Got Addicted to Using Q-Tips the Wrong Way (CNN)

We’re always hearing that Q-Tips aren’t meant to be stuck into our ears. If they aren’t for cleaning the ear canal, what are they supposed to be for? And why do so many people still use them for ear cleaning, regardless of their doctors’ warnings? Leo Gerstenzang, a Polish immigrant in 1920s America, invented the Q-Tip after observing his wife wrapping cotton around a toothpick to clean sensitive areas around their daughter’s eyes and mouth. Because early marketing featured ear cleaning as a potential use for the product, emphasizing its “soft and safe” qualities, many users believed Q-Tips were the proper tool for cleaning out earwax. Unfortunately, Q-Tips can actually work against this goal, pushing wax deeper into the ear canal, and Q-Tips have included a warning to not stick them into the ear since the 1970s. Read more…

Explorers Find WWII Navy Ship, Deepest Wreck Discovered (AP News)

In the latter period of WWII's Pacific campaign, the Japanese Navy threw everything it had at the American forces inching their way across the islands toward Japan. Successfully diverting America's powerful Third Fleet away from the Philippine Islands, a Japanese task force of battleships and cruisers pounced upon a group of light carriers and destroyers in the Battle of Samar. The American squadron, known as “Taffy 3”. put up a brave resistance which has become legendary in naval lore. Knowing they had little hope of defeating the overwhelming Japanese force, the sailors of Taffy 3 successfully delayed the Japanese advance until most of the carriers could safely retreat. In the fighting, the Americans lost five ships and 1,500 sailors while saving the lives of many thousand of their countrymen. This month, in what represents the deepest shipwreck ever discovered, oceanic explorers released photos of one of those American ships, the USS Samuel B. Roberts, a small destroyer escort which managed to charge and heavily damage the larger Japanese cruiser Chikuma before being sent to the bottom of Leyte Gulf. Read more…


In Russia, Western Planes Are Falling Apart (Wired)

While the sanctions intended to cripple Russia for its decision to invade Ukraine earlier this year have garnered a certain level of criticism for their effectiveness, they’re beginning to bite into different areas of the Russian economy as critical goods run low and cannot be replaced. One of these areas is the aviation industry, where western-built Airbus and Boeing aircraft rely on parts and servicing from contractors currently banned from doing business in the country. The aviation industry serves here as something of a bellwether for the impact of sanctions, as it relies heavily on specialized equipment and expertise. With options running low, Russia has expanded the list of acceptable suppliers and, perhaps, developed its own solutions in-house. “I don’t think it’s that these aircraft are all flying death traps,” said an expert. “It’s more that there’s an unknown quantity about the whole thing.” Still, it may be best not to schedule any flights to Moscow until the situation is resolved. Read more…




Check out my Writings: "Minding Your Business"
See you next week!
            - Greg
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