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Today in Awesome: SpaceX Launches 58 Satellites, Pro Sports Stadiums Offer Arenas For Voting, and More

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Here are some awesome stories you should know about for this Wednesday.


Games Done Quick Summer Event Raises $400,000

For the first bit of awesome, let’s highlight the work Games Done Quick is doing with their summer event. Games Done Quick is a charity that hosts video game speed-running events and its events, which happen a few times a year, often raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This summer’s event started August 16 and will continue until Saturday, August 22. The money from the event is being used to support Doctors Without Borders, and as of writing has raised just over $400,000.


SpaceX Starlink Launch

Everyone loves a rocket launch, and SpaceX has been prolific when it comes to sending stuff into space.

On August 18, it launched 58 more satellites into space as part of their Starlink project. The ambitious plan is to set up a wireless internet network that relies on this massive network of satellites.

The company and its founder, Elon Musk, claim that the orbital Starlink network will be as fast and reliable as broadband internet. If that ends up being true, it could be a game changer worldwide by giving internet access to essentially the entire globe at consistent speeds.

The plan is well on its way, with currently about 600 satellites in orbit. Once around 720 are circling the globe, its expected that constant coverage, globally, will be achievable.


Pro Sports Teams Offer Their Arenas to Supplement In-Person Voting This Fall

Currently, eight professional sports teams are offering their stadiums as in-person voting venues for the 2020 Presidential Election.

The teams, which include four from the NBA, one from the NFL, one from the MLB, and two from the NHL, all hope that the venues will make it easier for election officials to have safe in-person voting during the pandemic.

Clearly a sports arena is far larger than a school gymnasium, so the hope is that social distancing will be easier at these places.

This might be a growing trend because, beyond these 8 teams, others like The Golden State Warriors are also in talks to open up their venue. This whole initiative was organized by the National Vote at Home Institute, who hope that eventually, 25 teams will join to supplement other voting areas nationwide.

Participating Teams
  • Indiana Pacers (Indianapolis)
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Boston Red Sox
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Washington Capitals (who share an arena & owner with the Wizards)

Tokyo Now Has Transparent Public Toilets

This next bit of awesome is a weird one. In Tokyo, two public parks are trying out a new system for public restrooms. The new public toilets are encased in completely transparent glass.

That’s a deal breaker for just about anyone, but once the door is locked, the walls become opaque. Check it out in the video below.

The idea behind the project is that with transparent glass, users can see if a bathroom is clean before they even get into it, and also clearly know when someone is or isn’t in the restroom.


Chocolate Factory Malfunction Causes Cocoa Snow

For the last bit of awesome, here’s some news about a huge industrial accident because those are always known for being pleasant and uplifting.

Jokes aside, a town in Switzerland found itself covered in what’s been described as “cocoa-snow.” The town is the home of the Lindt factory – the famous chocolatiers. The factory had a ventilation malfunction and the nearby town got a light dusting of the “snow.”

The cocoa managed to escape the factory into the air, and a strong wind spread it around a decent-sized area.

The malfunction has been fixed and Lindt has offered to pay for any clean up, but so far no one has asked them to do so.

Side note, the cocoa powder wouldn’t taste like chocolate since it’s unsweetened, so don’t get too excited for the locals. Still, how often do you get to say your town is covered in cocoa dust?

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Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022

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Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show. 


For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday. 

“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.

Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed. 

Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end. 

There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets. 

It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.

See what others are saying: (Spotify) (Variety) (Forbes)

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Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded

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“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.


Pressure on Beckham

Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. 

Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death. 

Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine. 

In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.  

“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.” 

“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.” 

Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”

Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.

“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.

Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit. 

Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event. 

Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage. 

See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hollywood Reporter) (BBC News)

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Federal Judge Dismisses Dave Portnoy’s Lawsuit Against Insider

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The online personality called the decision “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.” 


Lawsuit Tossed

A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a defamation lawsuit Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy filed against Business Insider, several outlets reported on Monday. 

According to a report from The Washington Post, Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV decided that Portnoy did not successfully prove that the news outlet acted with “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth” when it published two articles about his sexual relationships. 

The first article, published in Nov. 2021, detailed stories from women who said they had “violent” and traumatizing sex with Portnoy. A second piece was published in Feb. 2022 and includes sources who said Portnoy filmed sexual encounters without consent.

Portnoy has repeatedly denied the allegations and maintained that the sexual encounters were consensual and positive. He sued Insider in February following the publication of the second article. 

Per The Post, Saylor tossed the complaint because it did “not allege that Insider’s anonymous sources were fake, or that the articles misrepresented what the women told [Insider’s reporters].”

“Furthermore, plaintiff admits that Insider investigated its first article for months, requested an interview with him, sought his comment before publication, included his denials, and hyperlinked to his news conference and his lawyer’s full denial letter,” the judge’s decision continued. 

Saylor also noted that Insider corroborated their sources’ claims with photos, texts, medical reports, receipts, and accounts from their friends. 

While Portnoy argued that these stories were an invasion of privacy as they pertained to his private sex life and the women involved were not his employees, Insider held that their claims were relevant.

“When a rich, famous, and powerful person uses their power in a way that is harmful to other people, it is newsworthy,” Nicholas Carlson, Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief, previously wrote in an editor’s note. 

Saylor largely agreed with that, saying that issues of consent and power are part of “legitimate public interest,” including in instances that arise outside “the employment context.”

Portnoy Responds

An Insider spokesperson told The Post that the outlet is “pleased and gratified that the judge dismissed his complaint.”

“We knew from the start that our reporting was careful, fair, and accurate, but it’s gratifying to see that validated in court,” Julia Black, one of the reporters named in the lawsuit, tweeted in response to the news. 

For his part, however, Portnoy has criticized the judge’s decision, calling it “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.” 

“Every single lawyer said it was an uphill battle, every legal expert said it was an uphill battle, that it’s almost impossible for a public figure to prove defamation,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “The laws are stacked against me.”

Portnoy said that he turned in texts and other evidence he believed would prove the sexual encounters were positive but claimed “the judge didn’t even really look at the evidence.” 

He later read an excerpt from the judge’s decision that said Portnoy “can’t seek to prove actual malice by challenging statements that defendants did not publish.” 

“In other words: Business Insider did not publish any of my shit, I can’t talk about it, it’s not part of the case,” Portnoy explained. “It’s inadmissible.” 

He said he could appeal the decision if he wanted, but added he was not optimistic about how that would turn out for him. He floated the idea of suing the sources themselves, noting he thinks he would stand a better chance in such a case.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post)

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