Sue's List

Sue's List

Happy Independence Day everyone! First up, we'll be celebrating America's birthday with a look at the nation's spirit and inventions. Then, we'll mosey on over to Denmark where a new law is aiming to cut down on...well, let's just say it's a very gassy situation. Speaking of cooling down, we'll dive into the not-so-splashy news of America's dipping pool market. On a sweet note, will be exploring the delightful tradition of strawberries and cream at the world-famous Wimbledon tennis championships!
So grab a sparkler, a slice of pie, and get ready for a fun-filled journey around the globe.
 

S = Statistics

Pool Builders Feeling the Pinch: Backyard Oasis Sales Dive

 
Forget the pool party vibes, America! Summer just isn't the same without a backyard splash zone, but pool builders are seeing a serious case of the dries. Here's the skinny: this year, research firms say only about 60,000 in-ground pools will be making a splash in backyards – that's HALF as many as took the plunge in 2021! Yikes! At this rate, we might even see fewer pools than during the Great Recession pool-pocalypse of 2009. Apparently, fancy pools with waterfalls and all the bells and whistles are still selling like hotcakes. It seems high rollers are paying cash for their backyard oases, while folks on a budget are taking a dip out of the pool financing market thanks to those pesky high interest rates. So, is the American Dream of a backyard pool officially on hold? Only time will tell, but one thing's for sure: pool parties might be a little less crowded this summer. Maybe it's a good time to invest in a slip-and-slide?

 

U = Unusual

Wimbledon's Berry Good Tradition: Spectators Ready to Devour Mountains of Strawberries and Cream

 
The mystery behind Wimbledon's signature dish is as fluffy as the whipped cream itself. But who cares? Spectators at this tennis marathon, Europe's biggest chow-down of the year, are more interested in devouring mountains of strawberries and cream than culinary history. This year, they're gearing up to smash last year's record of 50 tons of strawberries and 15,000 liters of cream – that's enough to make your dentist weep tears of pure, sugary joy. And the best part? Unlike those overpriced stadium hot dogs, this English Wimbledon tradition won't break the bank. A portion of strawberries and cream has been a steal at £2.50 since 2010. So, grab your tennis whites because Wimbledon is already in full swing until July 14th. Just be prepared to share the court... with a sea of cream-mustachioed tennis fans.
 

E = Explore

248 Years of Freedom: Happy Independence Day, America!

 
Hold onto your fireworks, America! This Tuesday marked a whopping 248th birthday – the day the Second Continental Congress declared, "We're outta here!" and birthed the United States. It took another 2 days for the Declaration of Independence to be approved and July 4th became the holiday. 
Think about it: from a baker's dozen colonies with a population smaller than a modern-day city (around 2.5 million), America ballooned to 50 states and 14 territories, bursting with over 330 million people. Not to brag, but the economy's a powerhouse too, clocking in at over $27 trillion. Speaking of power, the US has come a long way from flickering candles. Thanks to American ingenuity, we're basking in the bright glow of the light bulb, soaring through the skies on airplanes, and scrolling through the internet – all inventions born right here in the USA. Feeling hot? No problem!  An American invented air conditioning for that. Want to escape reality for a bit? They gave you movies. Polio got you down? They’ve got a vaccine for that (and many others!). American roads stretch for over 4 million paved miles, crisscrossed by a web of 2.7 million miles of power lines. And let's not forget, the US sent more humans to space (over 800!) than any other nation. Sure, there's always room for improvement, but there's no denying America's come a long way. So fire up the grill, grab a hot dog, and raise a glass – here's to the next 248 years of liberty, innovation, and maybe even a few more trips to the moon!
 

‘S = Special

Mooove Over, Methane! Denmark Taxes Cows to Cut Emissions

 
Forget the saying "better out than in" – Denmark's got a new law that flips the script on cow emissions! Just recently they became the first country to introduce a carbon tax specifically for agriculture, taking aim at methane-mooing cows and other livestock. How it works: Starting in 2030, farmers with cattle will pay a small tax (around $17) for each ton of CO2 equivalent their cows "contribute" to the atmosphere. Since the average Danish cow is a bit of a climate culprit, emitting roughly 6 tons of CO2 a year, that translates to roughly $100 per cow annually. Oink oink – pig emissions will also be taxed, though they're not quite as gassy as their bovine counterparts. Why the big moo-ve? Denmark has a serious goal: slashing their emissions by 70% by 2030. Livestock are predicted to be a major source of emissions by then, accounting for almost half (46%) of the country's total. Experts believe this new tax could be a game-changer, potentially reducing emissions by a whopping 1.8 million metric tons of CO2. This Danish decision comes hot on the heels of European farmer protests against similar regulations, and New Zealand just recently put the brakes on their own "burp tax" after widespread farmer opposition. So, will Denmark's bold move inspire other countries to follow suit? Only time will tell, but one thing's for sure: the fight against climate change is getting udderly interesting.
 
Happy 4th of July!
See you next week
-Sue

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