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Welcome to The Water Cooler for April 13, 2022. Today is my birthday, so I wrote this yesterday.
What is the WC?
It’s a random mix of stuff that could make you smarter, or at least help you sound smarter down at the pub. Anything useful / interesting / notable that’s on my mind will get pumped into your inbox every Wednesday.
NFTs are coming to your TV.
Not content with pushing Ryan’s World and other YouTube garbage into my house, Samsung is now bringing NFTs to my smart tv.
But ffs, Samsung, can you please just make things I care about (a useful app store, a way to type that doesn’t feel like 2004 sms’ing, a stable internet connection) work first?
I’m also surprised they partnered with Nifty Gateway rather than OpenSea.
Nifty acts as its own custodian for NFTs rather than using an external wallet, so maybe it was a tech/integration issue (good luck entering a metamask twelve-word recovery phrase, one phone-pad number at a time), but the platform feels very 2021 nowadays.
Maybe that’s why Nifty agreed to work with a boomer brand like Samsung. They’re out of options.
Chinese wine sounds…quite good?
For the first time ever, a Chinese wine was accepted into France’s stuffy La Place de Bordeaux distribution system.
La Place is a 400 year-old institution originally crafted to ensure the aristocrats didn’t have to get muddy with the merchant class. It’s ancient, it’s outdated, and it’s tres important.
The fact that a Chinese wine (China makes wine?) was accepted is a Big Deal. And honestly, the wine sounds amazing.
Ao Yun (the wine) comes from four tiny villages surrounding the Mekong river valley. Nestled nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, the region produces incredibly complex wines. Because of the different elevations, soil composition, exposure, drainage, and severity of slope (ranging from moderately steep to literally suicidal), over 35 distinct terroirs (flavours) have been identified over only 67 acres of vines.
The wine has received increased attention from the recent addition to La Place de Bordeaux, but the prices haven’t yet caught up. In fact, it’s still trading slightly below original retail.
You can pick up bottles from around $275/ea from a variety of shops in the US and UK if you’d like to give it a try or hold on as an investment.
The trend is your friend.
I spoke with the founders at AtlasTrend this week, and it reminded me of the depth and breadth of the fintech universe.
Only available in Australia, the company lets you add funds to a wallet, then choose from a variety of disruptive themes – Online shopping, CleanTech… that sort of thing.
The trends feel a bit obvious today, but that’s because the funds have been around for years.
They’re not blowing the doors off with 10% to 13% annual returns, but the bundles do make it easy to pick a winner and invest without thinking too hard about things.
That the company itself is still around after years is remarkable. Remember Motif?
WTF is Elon doing?
If you’re at all active on Twitter, you heard that Elon Musk did a bit of impulse shopping and then, uh… had some fun at Twitter’s expense.
April 7, 2022
He joined then immediately quit the company’s board, either because it all sounded a bit like hard work or because he’s got something more nefarious in mind.
Some think he’s going to keep acquiring shares then push a hostile takeover, but I honestly think that’s too boring for him.
I think it’s most likely that he’ll keep messing with the company then eventually sell his shares off in the most hilarious way possible. Which is funny, but consider how important Twitter has become as a vital piece of infrastructure to many, many people.
For example, a great deal of what we know about day-to-day on-the-ground activities in Ukraine is because of Twitter. Just something to bear in mind before everyone votes for the most hilarious outcome possible.
The war in Ukraine could last until 2035
Kiev is preparing itself for a sort of forever war with Russia, as one top minister predicted the Conflict could last until 2035. While Oleksiy Arestovich, a top adviser to President Zelienskyy, doesn’t think it’ll be one continuous conflict, he paints a pretty glum picture:“Those who are not ready for this, who are now screaming about how can they live here and raise children, they will need to go to some other country.”
The man is literally telling everyone who wants to have a normal life to GTFO of his country because it’s going to be pretty miserable for a decade and a half.
He compares the situation with that of Israel, but it feels to me more like the Syrian Civil War – far more in your face, way more entrenched, and exponentially more deadly. No surprise Russia was involved there.
How does the world cope with fifteen years of a nuclear country mucking about and genociding a NATO-adjacent nation? I don’t think it copes well.
On that cheery note, that’s all for this week. What did you think of this? Love it, hate it?
Let me know if you read something interesting, quirky, hilarious. I don’t know about you guys but I need more LOLs these days.