I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.Beyonce – Singer-Songwriter-Actress

UFO Disappearance Day

Did you know…

… that today is UFO Disappearance Day? In 1977, Michael Schenker, guitarist with the UFO rock group, disappeared without a trace after a show in Leeds, England. He was finally located about six months later in Germany. His reason for disappearing? He just didn’t know how to say, “I quit.”

Via Below the fold Newsletter

Would you wait for hours to see an endangered flower? Crowds in Warsaw, Poland lined up this weekend to get a glimpse of the Sumatran titan arum, a giant blossom referred to as the “corpse flower” for producing a dead body smell. It grows up to 10 feet tall, making it the largest flowering structure on Earth. Unfortunately, deforestation has endangered its species and the latest bloom is already withering away. A live video was also set up for those who prefer to avoid the smell and busy crowds.DISINFORMATIONThe $1.1 billion in anti-vax profit
Wed Jun 2

The social media disinformation saga continues with an alarming new report revealing that the global anti-vaccination (anti-vax) industry generates $1.1B in annual revenue for social media giants. In return, the anti-vax industry itself earns up to $36M a year. Two-thirds of this content comes from 12 influencers labeled the “disinformation dozen” — including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — reaching an estimated audience of 62 million.

Companies like Facebook are disputing the findings, saying they run the world’s largest online vaccine information campaign (by labeling posts mentioning COVID with accurate resources) and removing misleading content. Other groups seem to be having a different experience:Citizen Browser, a nationwide panel of over 3,100 Facebook users, has continued to discover (and be recommended by Facebook’s algorithm) anti-vax groups and pages explicitly created for the purpose of propagating lies about the pandemic.VAERS, the largest U.S. database for tracking potential vaccine side effects, is actively being used to spread disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines across social media.The proposed solution? Deplatform the major influencers. In fear of a reality where this could happen, some anti-vax influencers have tried encouraging their followers to switch to platforms such as Telegram but have seen limited success. In fact, some of the leading anti-vaccine organizations have even admitted in legal filings that they rely on platforms like Facebook and YouTube to make money and spread their ideals. Others suggest (and have for some time now) that federal regulation is needed to help govern the new digital landscape of information. Some additional resources…→ Full coverage: Codastory
→ Report on anti-vax industry business: Center for Countering Digital Hate
→ Disinformation dozen: CCDH
→ Misuse of federal data (VAERS): NPR
→ Facebook recommending anti-vax groups: The Markup
SAFETYConcerns of stalker tech spreads around devices used to find lost keys
Sun Jun 6

Women are taking to social media to share odd stories of tracking devices appearing in their bags, including one woman’s recent TikTok video that has been viewed nearly a million times. While uncertainty exists around how these trackers got in their bags and why, warnings are being shared to help others avoid potentially dangerous outcomes.

First, let’s understand the trackers. There are two main devices in question: Tiles and AirTags. A Tile is a small, bluetooth tracking device for tracking misplaced keys, wallets, and even pets (if you attach one to their collar). AirTag is Apple’s version, which launched with much anti-competition concern from Tile, fueling ongoing antitrust allegations against Apple.

And concerns over how this technology could be abused are well known.Apple says safeguards such as iPhone alerts have been implemented to prevent stalking attempts, but some worry that victims of domestic violence can be coerced into turning such alerts off by their aggressor.While the devices are said to work only within a set radius, worries are settling in as Tile’s collaboration with Amazon’s Sidewalk could remove those distance limits. Airtags are also proving hackable by one security researcher who reprogrammed theirs.Beyond individual safety, privacy advocates are worried about the growing surveillance power of tech companies from these devices. Every iPhone 11 and above is automatically listening for AirTags and constantly pinging Apple’s servers with the detected location data. And with Tile partnering with Amazon on the newly launched mesh network Sidewalk, Amazon could further grow its surveillance business. For now, anyone concerned can opt-out of Apple location services and Amazon’s Sidewalk.

This story includes first-hand reports the Below the Fold team received from readers who found trackers in their bags while traveling.  Some additional resources… → Woman warns TikTok: Newser
→ AirTags as stalker tech: The Conversation
→ Apple-Tile wars: MacRumors
→ Amazon’s partnership with Tile: EngadgetCLASSIFIEDSAs much as we love reading, scouring through hundreds of articles is exhausting. That’s why the writers behind 1440 take care of doing that for you. Their newsletter provides a single morning briefing with stories on everything from culture to science to sports.

Specifically, 1440:Provides an impartial view of what’s happening in the worldCurates their content from expertsTakes just five minutes to readThat’s likely why 800,000 people are already subscribed. Consider adding 1440 to your inbox for free today.>> Check out 1440ASCII OF THE WEEK __/) .-(__(=: | \) ejm97 (\__ | :=)__)-| __/) (/ |-(__(=: ______ | _ \) / \ | / \ ___\|/___\ [ ]\ \ / \ \ / \___/ Grows 10 feet tall? Produces a dead body smell? What in-carnation!
Art Credit: ASCII Art Archive

via Seth Godin’s Newsletter – Non-machinable surcharge

* Non-machinable surcharge [ ]

I got a marketing letter from a colleague yesterday. Not a sales pitch, just an update on what they were up to.

I was delighted to discover that this mass mailing had a hand-lettered address on it, with little bits of water color for fun. It was slightly irregularly shaped, requiring an extra stamp because it wasn’t machinable. Inside, in addition to a personal (and personalized) note, there was a gift card for an ice cream cone. But the coolest part was that the card wasn’t from a national chain, it was from the local place down the street.

It obviously cost more in time to create than it was going to take me to read. It obviously didn’t go to a lot of people.

And that imbalance is now rare.

People eager to hustle are busy spamming lists of millions of people with an email that takes two minutes to write and poorly mail merge, giving the hustler a 2,000 to 1 advantage in time spent vs. time consumed. It’s a form of leverage that feels like theft to the recipient, because our time, the irreplaceable thing we all are given, was taken.

Of course, I don’t need an ice cream cone, and a small gift card isn’t a bribe. What it represents is care and respect. The opposite of hustle. It was done with sprezzatura, not with a transaction in mind.

None of it works unless you’ve already earned permission. It doesn’t work if it’s part of a clever hustle. It doesn’t work if it’s seen as spam or creates uncomfortable tension or a need for reciprocity. It simply works because it required a surcharge. Instead of using an asset, you can choose to build one.

[And yes, this is exactly the opposite of the way my bank answers the phone, the way most customer service is grudgingly offered, the way many publicists do their job, the way that organizations make foolish choices about attention and trust…] The question shouldn’t be, “does it scale?” Instead, it might be, “is it worth it?”

Interactions with the people who are enrolled and giving you the benefit of the doubt are a form of avocado time. They shouldn’t be optimized for efficiency or even leverage. Instead, it’s a chance to make a difference.

[Thanks Stephen]


Fauna FAH-nəPart of speech: nounOrigin: Latin, 18th century
1The animals of a particular region, habitat, or geological period.
Examples of Fauna in a sentence “The fauna in the Serengeti includes the increasingly rare black rhino.” “A trip to the aquarium is a great way to study the fauna of the sea.”

world day to combat Desertification and Drought 17 th June

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – 17 June 

This day is celebrated to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. 

Content marketing ideas:     

  • Listicle idea: Everyday hacks that can help conserve groundwater  
  • Infographic idea: X Alternative farming techniques you should know about 
  • Video idea: Here’s how droughts have shaped the history of our world  
  • Podcast idea: This is how wildfires are affecting the soil quality in deserts 

Sustainable Gastronomy Day – 18 June 

Interesting newsletter – Behavioural Economics

Latest Insights
A Safe Space Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about data privacy in their interactions with tools that support financial decision-making. This article summarizes experimental research on the relationship between privacy concerns and consumers’ use of financial support tools.
National Identity and Covid-19 Behaviors In a massive international collaboration, more than 200 researchers recently examined the adoption of public health behaviors and support of public policy interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Results reported in this article show that a strong national identity can be linked to greater engagement in public health behaviors and greater support for public health policies.
When Red Means “Go” Color can affect judgment and decision making, and its effects may vary across cultures. New research reported in this article shows that cross-cultural color effects on risk preferences are influenced by personal associations of color-gain/loss. The study finds a cultural reactance effect, a phenomenon in which people who hold culturally incongruent (vs. cultural mainstream) color associations show a stronger risk preference. 
Is It Loyalty or Habit? Marketing theories on loyalty mostly dismiss the idea that consumer’s repeated usage of the brand may be a result of a habit, rather than any emotional commitment to the brand. As a result, loyalty marketing often misses one vital component of generating customer stickiness – trying to convert brand choice into a habit.

Cherry Garcia of Ben and Jerry’s IceCream – Happy Birthday.

Did you know…

… that today is the birthday of Cherry Garcia? In 1987, lawyers for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead finally came to an agreement to allow Ben & Jerry to create a new flavor of ice cream: Cherry Garcia. Yum, yum. Celebrate today by grabbing a bowl of your favorite ice cream!