– It's Tuesday, you're watching”The Philip DeFranco Show,” and here's what'shappening, starting with, we should talk aboutthis big Neuralink news because as you might have seen, Elon Musk announced on X last night that his startup,Neuralink, implanted a chip into the brain of theirfirst human subject. And while we don't knowwho this patient is, Musk said that theinitial data is promising.
And that the patient is recovering well. Well, of course, theinternet got its jokes in saying the announcementsounds like a data log you find in an office in ascary dystopian video game. Joking about future headlines like “Neuralink Man fighting the urge “to murder anyone who calls X Twitter.” But general meme-ery aside, this is actually a hugemoment for Neuralink.
They received FDA approval tobegin human trials back in May for their brain implant, which according to their website, is designed to interpret neuron activity in the part of the brainthat plans movement. Giving someone the abilityto control a smartphone or a computer with their thoughts. And this specific clinicaltrial is only open to participants withquadriplegia due to ALS.
Or a spinal cord injury. And Musk saying that the first product would be called Telepathy, with initial users being those who have lost the use of their limbs and would allow themto control their phone or their computer just by thinking. With Musk adding, “Imagineif Stephen Hawking “could communicate faster thana speed typist or auctioneer.
“That is the goal.” Now, all that said, it's important to note that Neuralink is actuallynot the first company in the brain computer interface world. Synchron was actually thefirst to receive FDA approval for human trials back in 2021. Ever since they've been implantingtheir chip into patients. Also, Blackrock Neurotechhas been implanting patients for a while now, reportedlygiving them the ability to eat,.
Send emails, and operate arobotic arm with their thoughts. And as far as Musk andNeuralink, he's even suggested that it could give blind people sight. But all of this as he and his company have faced many challenges, right? Things that we've seenin the past like a report by Wired detailing torturousconditions on test monkeys. Also lawmakers have asked the SEC to look into whether Musk misled investors.
About the safety of the implant. Also, more generally, peoplehave expressed concern about the ethical issues thatneurotechnology could pose with people like Allan McCay, a fellow at the Universityof Sydney's Law School, saying, “A society where some people “are cognitively enhancedand others aren't, “could create a classdivide like nothing ever.” Though that also sounds like the concerns.
From a brokey, noenhancement havin' bitch. some jealous, nobody, finger dragger. Also finger dragger isa slur I just made up for people who don't have implants and can't control theirphones with their mind. I'm doing God's work here. I'm creating bigotry for peoplethat don't even exist yet. I didn't have an outro for this story. So, that's what you get.
And then, America, we did it. We fuckin' did it.(eagle crying) Unfortunately, the itthat I'm talking about is double the hate crimesin schools and colleges. With new data that wasjust released by the FBI showing that jump happenedbetween 2018 and 2022. That also means that when youactually look into the data, one in every 10 hatecrimes in the United States took place in schools in 2022,.
Which makes 'em thethird most common place for them to go down, onlytrailing homes and roadways. And it appears that the only time that we've seen a meaningfuldip in hate crimes during the five yearperiod was because of COVID because the pandemic shutdown schools for months. So, it was just literally not possible to commit a hate crime atschool 'cause it was closed. Also, as far as more specifics,.
They found that Black Americans by far experienced the mosthate crimes at schools by more than double ofany other single group. But the second mostimpacted group was Jews. And then while it's a mixed group, there were a ton of offenses based off of sexual orientation. But also, and this is a key thing, when we talk about stuff like this,.
Experts in this field widelybelieve that the hate crimes are under-reported in general. And in fact, over the past few years, some local police departmentshaven't even been reporting their hate crime data to the FBI, right? So, it's skewing national numbers. Notably, these numbers don't cover 2023, which is where we'veseen increased reports of hate acts against Jewish,Arab, and Muslim Americans,.
Especially in schools. With college campuses inparticular seeing a ton of tension. And then, well, let'stalk about this insanity. Right, so this guy's walking home, about to cross the street,when all of a sudden he hears tires screechingand a woman screaming. So he does the logical thing and he pulls out his phoneto record and he sees this. (car accelerating)- Oh my God.
– And that woman clingingto the hood of that car is LA resident Ali Zacharias. And to record scratchunderstand how she got here, we have to take a tripthrough the dark underworld of dog mafias and puppy snatchers, right? 'Cause you may not know this, but according to the American Kennel Club, millions of dogs arestolen every single year and most of the time theirowners just never see them again.
And also reporting thatlast year the cases of theft had shot up 140% overthe prior four years. But also, I don't want all dog owners to just get scared right now, because these dog nappersusually just target the most expensive pure breed animals like German Shepherds,right, Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, YorkshireTerriers, and Shih tzus. Though the number one most popular breed.
For thieves are the French Bulldog. I mean, hell, remember back in 2021, someone shot Lady Gaga's dog walker and stole two of her French bulldogs. But all of that brings usback to Ali Zacharias, right? Because she was just sittingdown having lunch outside of a Whole Foods with who else, but her adorable French bulldog, Onyx. And she's spoiling him withsome meatballs and whitefish.
And at some point he ducksunder the table to explore. Ali's just letting him do his thing. But the next thing she knows is that Onyx isn't on the ground anymore. He's in the arms of some random woman who's now walking away. So initially, Ali's like, maybe this is some sort of misunderstanding. She's following.
She's calling out to this stranger. And even as the woman climbs into the car waiting on the street, itreally hasn't fully clicked in Ali's head what's happening. She actually tries to followthe woman into the car, but instead, four people pushher out and lock the doors, with Ali then describingwhat happened next, saying, “I stood in front of the car “and I was holding my handsup, like 'Stop, do not go.'.
“And they drove into meand I fell onto the hood.” The driver then peeling out of there as she grabbed onto the windshield wipers, which led to this video. And they punched throughdowntown LA like that for several blocks with Ali saying, “Before I know it, we'regoing like 40 miles per hour.” And later adding. – As he started to go faster and faster,.
I started to say, “I'm about to die. “This is my death right now. “I'm about to die.” – But eventually the car swervesthrowing her off the hood and then speeds offwith Onyx still inside, never to be seen again, leaving Ali with some bruises and cuts, but otherwise fine, at least physically. Because emotionally this hit her.
Like the loss of a family member. – I just feel lost and lonely without him. And he's my buddy, he'smy wing man, you know? And he goes to work withme and we do everything. And he was just suddenly gone. They stole my child away from me. – And all of that wentdown back on January 18th. And since then she'sbeen putting up posters, working with police, andjust doing everything she can.
To get her puppy back. Though, in the midst of all this, because fuckin' humans are horrible, someone preyed on her desperation, with her saying some scammerled her on a wild goose chase on Sunday to get $50. But still she's trying, even offering a rewardfor her dog's safe return. And as far as the dog nappers,.
They took off in thiswhite four door Kia Forte with a missing hubcap onthe front driver's side. And unfortunately, theirlicense plate appears to have been whited out. But hopefully, there's enoughidentifiable information that some of these scumbags get caught. And then, have you evertried to break a bad habit and felt like you're climbingEverest in flip flops? Because yeah, I think alot of us have been there.
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And if you haven't seen, a while ago, we actually did a deep diveinto the impending disaster that is America's rapidlydepleting aquifers, which are naturally occurringunderground water sources. With “The New York Times” even publishing this absolutely crazy study that found out many of theaquifers that supply 90% of the nation's drinking water, they're being depletedat a dangerous pace.
And not only is that wateressential to American life, it's relied on by farmers, who make up the country'smost important economic sector supplying food and other essential goods across the US and beyond. But also because of that, farms are one of the major reason aquifers are being over pumpedand running out of water. Though it's also being exacerbated.
By growing cities andclimate change, right? So if we wanna have any chance at actually mitigating this crisis, we've gotta look at policies that address agricultural over-pumping. And that's exactly what's being done in California's Pajaro Valley, right? It's this region that's located along a 10 mile stretch of Monterey Bay.
It's mainly known for its berries, specifically strawberries,blackberries, and raspberries. It also produces lettuces, Brussels sprouts, kale, and other greens. All of which bring innearly a billion dollars in revenue every year. While you've got farmersall over the country just waiting for the day thatthey run outta groundwater, that breaking pointactually hit the valley.
Nearly four decades ago. Right, back in the 1980s, farmers began to overpump coastal groundwater with that then causingsalt water from the ocean to bleed in from below their fields and into the roots of their crops. So, to preserve groundwater and stop the state fromtaking control of their lands, a group of farmers formeda local water agency.
And its first order ofbusiness was to install meters so that the farmers could gauge how much groundwaterthey were actually using. Then in 1993, began chargingthem a fee of $30 per acre-foot to pay for managing andreading those meters, right? Essentially attacks on water. And this as the water agencycontinued to invest millions and millions of dollars intoother technologies and systems to more sustainably use waterthrough rainwater capture,.
Water recycling, and more. While some of those projectshave also been paid for by federal grants and loans, the rest of the costs arebeing covered by money farmers spend to use groundwater. And so, as those ambitiousprojects have ramped up, so has the cost of groundwater. Early on in the process,growers who are used to getting that groundwater for free,.
They were unhappy withthe price increases. With, at one point, a group of farmers suing the water agency. In fact, they were able tosuccessfully drive down prices for several years, evenforcing it to refund them around $12 million from 2008 to 2011. But then between 2012 and 2017, California was hit withits worst drought ever in recorded history,.
Which made it so the farmers had to significantlylimit their water supply. So, groundwater prices wentup in the Pajaro Valley, but they at least still had water. Though since then, the costshave continued to rise. Right now, the per acre-footcost has grown to $400, which according to the Timesmakes the Valley, quote, “One of the most expensiveplaces to grow food “in the country, if not the world.”.
But this as the chair ofthat water agency's board of directors told the Timesthat the last time prices were bumped up in 2021, there was actually very little protest. And that's likely becausethis whole experiment has been seen as widely successful, right? 'Cause the money thatfarmers spend on groundwater brings in $12 million each year alone. With that money thengetting used for investing.
In groundwater restorationand conservation. And to that point, arecent study on this model identified a direct linkbetween having farmers pay for groundwater andsuccessfully conserving it, specifically finding thata 20% increase in the price of groundwater brought abouta 20% drop in the amount of groundwater that was extracted. So because of that, plentyof farmers have come around to accepting that these increased costs.
Are actually necessary if they wanna keep farmingin the valley at all. And beyond that, the region's absolutelythriving economically. And again, this despitethe high water prices. Right, it's the home to the headquarters of some major brands like Driscoll's, which is literally the largestberry supplier in the world. Martinelli's is also based in the Valley,.
Which is where it grows most of the apples for its famous sparkling cider. And so with all this,you have experts saying, “Hey, what they're doing in the Valley, “this water buying system, “it should absolutely be copied “by growers facing animpending groundwater shortage “in the US and beyond.” Especially because like we talked about.
In the first groundwater deep dive, the federal government has done fuck all to address the crisis. And when it comes to the states, they have this messypatchwork of differing laws. In fact, according to FeliciaMarcus, a former chair of the California State WaterResources Control Board, only a few other regions have set groundwater fees for farming.
And what we're seeing in the Pajaro Valley is that it's cutting edge, saying they're way ahead of the curve. And it's gotten a lot ofattention with Brian Lockwood, the general manager of the water agency, also telling the outlet we get calls from all over the state, “How did you get this going? “How did you get thegrowers to agree to it?”.
This is better than thecounty or the state coming and taking control. And by now, this issomething that's solid, it's been tried, it survived lawsuits. And all that was echoed byDriscoll's chief executive who also said in an interview that he absolutely considers this a model that can be replicated. And adding water can't be free anywhere.
Because you can't run asustainable water supply without pricing it. That would apply to the globe. But then you have peopleon the other side of this, where you also have plenty of experts who say that there aresignificant barriers to actually implementing thispolicy on a bigger scale. First and foremost, newtaxes, they're just unpopular. That is just a political fact.
Then you also have some concernsaying, “Hey, these systems, “they actually benefit bigmultinational corporations “that can afford to shoulder the expenses “over small independent growers.” And what's more, and thisis the big hitter here, requiring farmers to pay for groundwater at a large scale could turnthe economy upside down, triggering huge changes for both producers and consumers like you and me, right?.
'Cause when growers have to pay for water, the increased cost getspassed on to the product and the consumer, which can make the farmers'goods less competitive in the market. The big corporate growers who sell premium produce like berries and lettuce, they can affordto absorb the extra cost because grocery stores and consumers.
Will still buy their goodseven when the prices go up. Which notably, you know,when you had farmers in Pajaro Valley, they either shifted to growing high priced products or they just left the region altogether to find cheaper land. But those numbers, those economics, they don't apply to cheap commodity crops like cotton, alfalfa, corn, or soybeans.
Or things that are necessaryto make animal feed and a number of other goods like textiles. Without going into likea whole Econ 101 lesson, market is generally seen asnot willing to pay as much for those commodities asit does for premium crops. So you have people arguing if fewer people are producing those crops,it creates a scarcity. In fact, the Times even reported that in some parts of the country.
Pricing groundwater could spell an end to current crops altogether, with some experts specificallypointing to producers of Texas cotton, whichnotably is being grown using water from a depleting aquifer. And the impacts of what's coming already, or any changes we try to make,like they're gonna be huge, not just for the US but globally, right. Like with cotton, the US exported more.
Of that than any other country in 2022. And the US is also a huge supplier of other commodity crops makingup 32% of soybean exports and 23% of corn exports the same year. Which is why you havesome saying, you know, this is a classic and painful catch 22. There is going to be change,there is going to be pain. Whether it's taking action or inaction, it's going to have an impact for everyone,.
But especially if you workin the agriculture industry or live in big farming towns. But hey, as we continue to get closer and closer to that cliff's edge, I'll pass the question off to you. What are your thoughts here? What do you think? And why are you just a consumer? Are you connected to theproduction of things?.
I'd love to hear from you. And then, you know, for many of us, January represents a time to refocus and get back on trackafter taking a break. And while taking a break isimportant for our wellbeing, we must also make sure to resume our regularactivities and responsibilities. But just keep it simple byadding back in the basic, get important foundational needs.
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Namely, it's decreasing. With reports recently noting that there's been no American film to make it into China's top 10 in the box office in the last year. Hell, neither Barbie or Oppenheimer, some of our biggest movies evenmade it into China's top 30. And that's a huge differencefrom just over 10 years ago. In 2012, seven of the top 10movies in China were American.
But now, we're seeingaudiences there preferring to watch Chinese filmsfor a number of reasons, including they feel morerelevant to their actual lives. But that's Hollywood. Can social media be different? Well, one of America'sbiggest entertainment exports is about to try to find out, Mr. Beast. While he's made headlines recently for posting videos to X,.
He's also been doing something that's gotten a lot lessattention from Western media, posting to the Chinese platform, Bilibili. He's got a video introducinghimself and his content. It's all part of a much bigger plan. And the person managinghis rollout in China talked to Bloomberg sayingthat he started with Bilibili because it's similar to YouTube, but adding that Mr. Beast plans to expand.
To a ton of other siteslike Weibo and more in the coming months. While we've seen numerous examples of there being a dividebetween what American and Chinese audiences want, some have said that Mr. Beast would need to changehis game up for China, arguing that he'd need to keep up with Chinese social media trends.
Instead of just re-uploadinghis YouTube content with subtitles or dubs. But the thing is, there's already someinterest that's been proven. Not only has Chinese social media become increasingly interestedin foreign influencers, but there are actually a number of fans who have re-uploaded Mr.Beast's content already. And those even now comingfrom an official channel,.
They've gotten 3 million, 5million, even 7 million views. And that's all without him andhis team trying themselves. And I imagine as long asMr. Beast doesn't start uploading random videoswhere he's giving his opinion on Taiwan and the plight of the Uyghurs and Tiananmen Square, sky'sthe limit for the views. But that said, it'll be interesting to see how all this plays out. And then in online dramaslash business news,.
We got Meg Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj. They're one of our firstbig celebrity feuds in 2024. And everyone's beenchiming in on this thing, both regular people on social media as well as like it's being covered by “The Washington Post”and “The New York Times.” Well, there's a lot to explain here. I'm gonna try and keep this tight, right? 'Cause a lot of this poppedoff when Meg released a song.
Last Friday called “HISS.” And there's this one line in particular that seemingly bothered Nicki Minaj. That line being, “Thesehoes don't be mad at Megan, “these hoes mad at Megan's Law.” And Megan's Law is a law that requires convicted sex offenders to be registered and identified. And the reason thatwould bother Nicki Minaj.
Is well, Nikki's husband,there's no other way to put it, is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of attemptedrape back in the nineties when he was a teenager. And in 2022 he actuallygot home confinement for failing to register as a sex offender when he moved to California. You know, Nicki Minajhas long defended him, how she was even accused.
Of harassing and intimidating his victim. Though, those claims were later dropped. And so, after Meg releasedher song that had that line, Nick Minaj fired back on Twittercalling Meg's music a flop, saying she's a horribleactor, a pathological liar. Then going on Instagram livewhere she stood off camera, but included a song snippet that went “Bad bitch, she like sixfoot, I call her Big Foot, “the bitch fell off, I saidget up on your good foot.”.
Right, and that seemingto reference the fact that Meg was shot inthe feet by Tory Lanez. Also, I will say Meg technicallydidn't say Nicki's name or talk about her husbandby name in the song, but when she did an interviewwith “The Breakfast Club” and was talking about like, who are you talking about here? She said, it's for “thesebitches and hoes alike, “men or women.”.
But then also adding, “I'msaying a hit dog gon' holler. “That's it. “Whoever feel it, feel it.” And so, you know, there havebeen spinoff riffs and feuds and stories all about this. But all of that took us to yesterday when Nicki released a disstrack called “Big Foot.” And it includes linesfrom the Instagram live about calling her Big Foot,get up on your good foot.
As well as referencesto the Megan's Law lyric accusing Meg of bringingup a 30-year-old tea. Also making more referencesto the Tory Lanez shooting, really mocking that incident. As well as repeatedly bringing up the fact that Meg's mom died, right, by using the phrase “Lying onyour dead mama” over and over. And in general, if youlook at the reaction, it's been kind of widely panned outside.
Of hardcore Nicki Minaj fans. And as far as the dislike,it's been disliked for kind of two different reasons. Some saying the song just objectively bad, like just from a music standpoint. And then others saying herdisses feel like they're weird or they miss the mark, right? And that ranges from like, why are you making a big dealabout her being six foot?.
She literally calls herselfMeg Thee Stallion, right? She embraces her body. Others saying that it's weirdo behavior that because she called outyour husband's violent crime in the past, you try to wave a violent act that happened to her, right? And that's just some of it. But while this has largelybeen seen as more of a win for Meg Thee stallion,.
There's an argument out there that this is still actuallygood for both of them, right? Because attention is attention, right? If you go to Apple Music's top 100 global, “HISS” is number one, “BigFoot's” number two, right? There's just a lot of interest. And whether one or both endup being pops and then flops, you know, time will tell. But also while there's all this attention.
You had Meg announcing this morning that she's touring this summer, so that announcement getseven more buzz than usual because there's all this attention. You know, why you got Nicki Minaj saying there's five moresongs that she'll release if Meg so much as breathes wrong. And ultimately, more than ever, this story just makes me feel weird.
About the attention economythat we currently have, as well as like thecurrent state of fandoms. But that's been on my mindfor a number of reasons. I dunno, weird world. And then finally, let'stalk about yesterday's show. Let's dive into those comments and see what y'all had to say. And yesterday, on the topic of politics, people were talking about age limits.
Jimmy Greer saying, “Can we please “have some age limits in politics? “Trump is clearly mentally unstable, “McConnell freezes up, Bidenhas had some senile moments, “Pelosi is starting to sound deranged.” You know, I'm personally of the mindset of great, let's set an age limit. I agree that we need age limits, but also I find it extraordinarily odd.
That we have term limitsfor the presidency, the most fuckin' powerfulposition in the world and hell, we even havethem for most governors who, some people would saythey're essentially the president of their state, but for some reason, if you're in the House orthe Senate, nah, you're good. I mean, for fuckin' senators,two terms is 12 years. But like if you justlook to our US Senate, you've got Chuck Schumer,he's been in Congress.
For over 43 years and he hasn'teven been there the longest. Ed Markey over 47 years. Fuckin' Chuck Grassleyhas served in Congress for over 49 years. Man was born back in 1933 when everything was black and white. And I'm not just talkingabout the water fountains, like in the actual world, I don't think color had been invented yet.
This is too long. Like there's something to be said about respecting learned experience, but also there is a limit to it where you're just holding on the old, you're resisting changeor any sort of evolution. At a certain point youjust need new people. But getting off my soapbox, yesterday, there was alsoa lot of conversation.
Around my opinions on swatting, with @MistressCha saying,”I wholeheartedly agree “with Phil about the swatting charges. “They should be treated more harshly, “and he was right. “It's like wielding a loaded gun “that even if it doesn't happen to go off, “the mental anguish itleaves behind in its wake “is devastating.”.
And going on to say, “Anthony'sinterview with QTCinderella “is forever etched in my mind “about her and Ludwig gettingswatted numerous times “by the same officers over and over again. “How they almost lost theiranimals because of it, “and how the police almostblew Slime's head off. “And all the fake callsput the officers called “on edge as well, “with 'em constantly blaming the people.
“that get repeatedly swatted, “that it's their fault fornot having different jobs “and drawing attention to themselves. “It needs to stop.” Though some offering aninteresting point of view saying, “I feel like if theytook swatting seriously, “that would mean admitting that the police “is a danger to ordinary citizens.” But we will say there, whileI understand the sentiment.
Where that is coming from, this specific story in the application, it feels like trying to fita square peg in a round hole. 'Cause law enforcementresponding to this fake call, they're being manipulated as well. Like in this situation, we're not talking about a race-based stopand frisk that escalated. People are like, “Hey, someonegot murdered in this house” and the police are showing uptrying to stop something bad.
Which is arguably another reason why people that are makingthese swatting calls need to be punished in a more harsh way. But that is where you dive intothe news is gonna end today. As always, thank you for being a part of these daily dives into the news. And remember, my name's Philip DeFranco, you've just been phil-ed in. I love yo faces and I'll seeyou right back here tomorrow.