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Happy Mondayest Monday ever!

Happy Monday friends. This morning started as the Mondayest Monday. Ever. From tripping over the dogs to listening to the screaming cat. Has anyone seen my keys? Coffee machine didn’t want to produce the life giving liquid that I require from it, and the husbands alarm wouldn’t stop going off. But here we are, on the day before Independence Day, and lets just make the best of it! It’s only Monday for so long, right? Today is the strange liminal space between a weekend and a holiday when everything shuts down and get hyped all at the same time. We’ll be off tomorrow but back with our coffee cups on Wednesday. Happy Fourth of July!!!

Cities declare their independence from fireworks

Miami Beach, Florida, Ocean Terrace, Fire on the Fourth, 4th of July Festival, drone light show featuring Liberty Bell.Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As smoky skies blanket the East Coast and the West enters another wildfire season, many US cities are beginning to acknowledge that pounding the air with pyrotechnics in the middle of the summer is maybe not the best idea.

Expanding a trend that began in earnest last year, a number of cities—particularly in the West—are scrapping their July Fourth fireworks displays in favor of drone shows.

  • Salt Lake City will hold its first drone show for Independence Day to be “conscientious of both our air quality and the potential for wildfires,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said.
  • Boulder, CO, is doing the same, citing “increased fire danger fueled by climate change.”
  • In California, Lake Tahoe and La Jolla are also opting for drone shows.

Community leaders hope their residents will embrace the change like baseball fans have the pitch clock. Not only are drones safer and better for the environment than fireworks, but they’re also quiet, which is great news for dog owners. Plus, they can tell a story in a way fireworks cannot.

As more events around the world, from the Super Bowl to New Year’s celebrations, adopt drone shows, the market for them has grown from virtually nothing a decade ago to ~$1 billion in 2021, per Allied Market Research data cited by the NYT.

But the pryos aren’t going down without a fight

In fact, fireworks have never been more popular. Americans increased their spending on fireworks by about $100 million this year compared to last summer, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. If spending reaches $2.3 billion this season, as expected, that would represent a 3x increase from just 11 years ago.

Compared to synchronized drones, fireworks are cheaper—a small drone show could cost $20,000, while a fireworks display can land under $7,000, per Flying Magazine. Plus, even the coolest drone shows don’t stir the soul quite like the experience of watching explosives detonate hundreds of feet above you and illuminate the night sky.

Bottom line: As drone choreography goes mainstream and fireworks sales soar even higher, both types of shows will probably coexist on the July Fourth itinerary.

Tour de headlines

Elon Musk pointing with a bird on his fingerPhoto Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Photo: Getty Images/Frederic J. Brown

 Musk limits the amount of Twitter posts you can read. Deploying the unusual business move of restricting how much people can use your product, Twitter owner Elon Musk slapped daily limits on the number of posts users can see each day: 1,000 posts for unverified users and 10,000 for paying verified users. Musk said the (temporary) rate limits are necessary to curb “extreme levels” of data scraping by organizations training their AI systems on Twitter conversations. Meanwhile, preparations for the Musk vs. Zuckerberg cage match appear to be progressing.

 United tries to make amends for mass disruptions. As its operations mostly returned to normal this weekend, United Airlines said it’s sending 30,000 frequent flyer miles to its customers most affected by last week’s travel chaos, when nearly 20% of United’s flights were canceled. And in a grievance that will sound familiar to people living in the NYC area, United CEO Scott Kirby blamed problems at Newark Liberty International Airport, a major United hub, for the widespread disruptions. Kirby said the airline will have to change or reduce its operations at Newark to minimize the risk of this happening again.

🪧 SoCal hotel workers go on strike. Thousands of unionized hotel workers in the Los Angeles area channeled the July Fourth rebel spirit and walked off the job yesterday to demand an immediate $5/hour raise to keep pace with skyrocketing housing prices. The strike could hurt LA’s tourism economy on a busy holiday weekend that also includes the Anime Expo. Los Angeles has been a hotbed for labor organizing recently: Hollywood writers have been on strike for about two months, and dockworkers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach picketed before agreeing to a new labor deal.


George Shea on what it takes to eat 60-some hot dogs

George Shea announces the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4, 2018 in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.Steven Ferdman/WireImage

“The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest is the crucible through which greatness is forged,” George Shea likes to say.

It’s not bluster: Shea is the co-founder and chairman of Major League Eating, the organization that holds about 70 eating competitions throughout the year, including the July Fourth hot dog eating contest in Coney Island.

Shea’s performance as emcee of that contest has turned him into an American legend. Every Fourth of July at Nathan’s Famous, Shea goes viral for his intros that whip a crowd of 35,000 people (and millions more watching at home) into a frenzy to cheer on the most prolific competitive eaters of our time.

Before the dogs hit the stage and the grandstands fill up with viewers hungry for drama, Morning Brew caught up with Shea to discuss what it’s like to witness greatness up close.

Here is a snippet from our interview.

MB: What is it like to watch Joey Chestnut eat up close?

GS: What I feel from Joey is this intense anxiety, focus, and fury. A whole-body tension. It’s like a spring wound way too tight. And it unwinds through the contest. It’s encased fury, but not anger so much as tension and energy. But the real takeaway for me is the dynamic between Joey and the crowd, the energy that comes back to the stage from the crowd is incredible. And so when I think of Joey eating, I’m sort of outside of that loop. But I’m right near that loop. And that loop is incredible.

The week ahead

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain plays a backhand against Jannik Sinner of Italy during their Men's Singles Fourth Round match on day seven of The Championships Wimbledon 2022Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Wimbledon begins today: Novak Djokovic is the clear favorite in the men’s draw, but look out for Taylor Fritz (No. 9 in the world) and Frances Tiafoe (No. 10). It’s the first time since 2012 that two American men are ranked in the Top 10 entering Wimbledon.

July Fourth is tomorrow. If you haven’t bought supplies for your cookout yet, you’ll find that sirloin steak and processed cheese for your burger are more expensive than last July Fourth, but chicken and eggs are cheaper, according to Wells Fargo’s Chief Agricultural Economist Michael Swanson. Plus, filling up your gas tank will cost you about $1.30 less per gallon than a year ago, per AAA.

Jobs report incoming: The June jobs report highlights a relatively slow week for economic data. Once again, like in every month before it since January 2021, the report is expected to show that companies are still on the hiring grind, adding an estimated 225,000 new jobs last month.

Everything else:

  • Taylor Swift’s re-recorded album Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) will be released on Friday. She’ll be performing in Kansas City that night, if you’re keeping tabs.
  • The annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, starts on Friday.
  • The Tour de France grinds on in the southwest part of the country. You can check out the superhuman athleticism on Peacock.


Key performance indicators

Sign saying that Buc-ee's is now open in Sevierville, TNBuc-ee’s Beaver on Twitter

Stat: What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than by visiting the world’s largest gas station? Opened last week, the Buc-ee’s location near Sevierville, TN, spans 74,000 square feet, has 120 fuel pumps, and employs 350 people to staff it 24/7, per The Drive. Ball’s in your court, Wawa.

Quote: “We want to calm things down.”

The grandmother of the 17-year-old who was fatally shot by a French police officer called on the rioters to stop their violent attacks following nearly a week of protests. The riots appear to be abating somewhat, but on Sunday, a Paris-area mayor’s wife and child were injured when a burning car hit their home in the middle of the night. The killing of the teenager, known as Nahel, at a traffic stop unleashed long-simmering frustrations over police mistreatment of French immigrants, particularly those of North African descent.

Read: Why the champions of affirmative action had to leave Asian Americans behind. (New Yorker)


What else is brewing

  • Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles in the second quarter, topping estimates. Those price cuts definitely helped.
  • Two people were killed and 28 injured in a shooting at a block party in Baltimore on Sunday.
  • Goldman Sachs is looking to end its partnership with Apple and have American Express take over, the WSJ reports.
  • A growing number of Australian students are “hot-bedding”—sharing a bed with a stranger—because rental costs are too high.
  • Do the style choices on And Just Like That… mark the end of “quiet luxury”?


Monday to-do list image

 How to act like a boss: Here’s a practical guide to having “executive presence.”

 Eclectic cookout playlist: These songs were the most upvoted from various artist subreddits.

 Which supermarket bagel is best? blind taste test.

 Spoil it: Watching movies the whole way through is overrated—this website will give you the ending.

 New to you: Did you know we have a newsletter written specifically for professionals in the IT industry? Subscribe to IT Brew.


 Wood if you could: Now you can. The Tenuto 2 is the first and only FDA-registered male vibrator clinically proven to combat ED. Experience extended performance and boost intimacy for both partners.


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