🌎 Crediting inflation

Plus: Welcome to the world, human No. 8 billion
🌎 Crediting inflation

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

A missile struck Poland, killing two people. NATO allies gather to discuss the incident today, but president Joe Biden said the missile’s provenance—as yet undetermined—is unlikely to be Russian.

US credit card debt jumped by 15% year-on-year. The latest data indicates that Americans are plunging into debt to deal with inflation. Meanwhile, retailers like Home Depot and Walmart are doing just fine.

Estée Lauder is paying $2.3 billion to buy Tom Ford. The blockbuster acquisition is the biggest for the cosmetics brand so far, expanding its luxury empire.

FTX could have over 1 million creditors. The crypto platform’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried is reportedly still looking for cash to cover $8 billion in withdrawal requests, even after the company filed for bankruptcy last Friday.

Donald Trump announced a third bid for the White House. The former president, who refused to accept defeat in 2020 and is facing several investigations, launched the 2024 campaign from his Mar-a-Lago residence.

Ticketmaster’s handling of Taylor Swift’s tour tickets sale enraged fans. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for a break up of the Ticketmaster-Live Nation monopoly as Swifties faced glitches.

What to watch for

Three, two, one… blast off! After a series of glitches and false starts, Nasa’s Artemis I spacecraft finally launched today (Nov. 16) at 1:47am US Eastern time, reaching for the Moon 50 years after the end of the Apollo program. The mission’s name isn’t just a reference to the Moon goddess and Apollo’s sister, but also to its goal of sending a woman to walk the Earth satellite’s surface.

It’s been a long time coming for the mega Moon rocket that could, having traversed a lengthy development, engine sensor problems, and two hurricanes. The uncrewed test flight has a lot to prove—mainly that the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion space capsule can safely carry future astronauts to the Moon. Will the investment pay off?

$93 billion: Amount spent on the Artemis 1 program
$4 billion: Cost per launch
$270 billion: Cost of the entire Apollo program, including six crewed landings on the Moon, in present-day dollars

Welcome to the world, human No. 8 billion!

Yesterday, the world’s population crossed the 8 billion threshold. Before you get too pessimistic with your population crisis theories, know that there’s a lot behind that number. For one, the rate at which the population is growing is actually slowing, and average fertility rates are declining. Plus public health improvements are helping people live longer.

But if there are reasons for concern, they lie in whether some regions will have the capacity to support fast-growing populations. Africa will drive half of the world’s population growth through 2062, putting many countries in a giant dilemma: balancing the fallout from catastrophic climate events while still growing economies to support a demographic dividend.

Image for article titled 🌎 Crediting inflation
Graphic: Amanda Shendruk

Tis the season for tech layoffs

One big number: 33,000, the number of people major US tech companies have laid off in the past month. Here’s a breakdown of some recent workforce cuts in Silicon Valley.

Image for article titled 🌎 Crediting inflation
Graphic: Scott Nover

And that’s only part of the list. See how Peloton, Coinbase, and others stacked up.

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Surprising discoveries

Steve Jobs’ used sandals were sold at the price of a Ferrari. The 1970s pair of Birkenstocks went for over $218,000 at auction.

Even rats get groovy to Lady Gaga. Rodents are most responsive to music that has 120-140 beats per minute, just like humans.

A censored Italian baroque painting will be tastefully disrobed. Artemisia Gentileschi’s 1616 piece, The Allegory of Inclination, will be freed from another artist’s prudish drapery.

The Milky Way is more chocolate-y than we thought. Neutron stars have a structure akin to something like a Ferrero Rocher praline.

The oldest piece of text in the Basque language has been found. So far one word has been decoded from a 2,100-year-old bronze plate: sorioneku, or “good omen.”

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