Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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Going Green

CTR reports on improved lithium extraction from brine (The Desert Review)

A new process for extracting lithium from the water inside geothermal power plant loops is starting to scale up in California’s Salton Sea. [Link]

Cities Would Literally Be Much Cooler With More Trees by Lara Williams (Bloomberg)

Sometimes big problems have remarkably simple solutions. For cities, high temperatures, pollution, and health crises could all be improved by planting a lot more trees. [Link; soft paywall]


Get Used to Face Recognition in Stadiums by Khari Johnson (Wired)

The dystopian use of facial recognition systems at Madison Square Garden is only the tip of the iceberg as sports venues work to contain fans who get out of hand…and some they just don’t like. [Link]

Sports Illustrated Publisher Taps AI to Generate Articles, Story Ideas by Alexandra Bruell (WSJ)

Arena Group, which publishes a range of finance, sports, and general interest sites, is integrating AI to produce content using AI, sometimes by using inventories of content from the group’s previous articles. [Link; paywall]


OpenAI launches ChatGPT Plus, a paid version of the popular AI chat by Christianna Silva (Mashable)

For $20 per month, paid users get more reliable uptime and faster access to the popular AI chatbot protocol which has spread widely across the internet in the last few months. [Link]

Are You Smarter Than ChatGPT? OpenAI Tool Aims to Detect AI-Generated Text by Michael Kan (PC Mag)

Amidst concerns that AI-generated text is being misused (especially by students), ChatGPT’s creators at OpenAI have created a tool that claims to be able to detect whether a piece of text was AI-generated or human in origin. [Link]


Wings and Guacamole Are Cheaper, Just in Time for Your Super Bowl Party by Kevin Simauchi (Yahoo!/Bloomberg)

After a huge surge alongside other commodities over the past couple of years, prices for chicken and avocados are collapsing just in time for the Super Bowl. [Link]

Wave of ‘sushi terrorism’ grips Japan’s restaurant world by Justin McCurry (The Guardian)

Conveyor belt sushi restaurants have become the focus of an unfortunate social media trend which has sent their stocks plunging as a breakdown in basic social decorum threatens to remake the industry in Japan. [Link]

Raising Chickens for Cheaper Eggs Gets Expensive Fast by Rachel Wolfe (WSJ)

If you’re trying to skip the high egg prices at the grocery store by raising your own chickens, watch out: you might be signing up for more than you bargained for. [Link; paywall]


Merck Covid Drug Linked to New Virus Mutations, Study Says by John Lauerman (Bloomberg)

A study has found that a Merck treatment for COVID-19 creates more mutations of the virus, which works by altering the virus’s genome to reduce replication. [Link; soft paywall]

US Offices Reach 50% Occupancy for First Time Since Pandemic Hit by Matthew Boyle (BNN Bloomberg)

For the first time since the pandemic hit, building occupancies across 10 major metro areas moved above 50%, marking a major milestone in the return to normal that has been slowly and steadily emerging. [Link]


The Adani affair: the fallout for Modi’s India by John Reed and Benjamin Parkin (FT)

A look at the macroeconomic and political milieu that surrounds Gautam Adani and his company in the wake of a catastrophic decline in shares following short seller allegations of stock manipulation and accounting fraud. [Link; paywall]


US Downs Alleged Chinese Spy Balloon That Lingered for Days by Christian Hall and Riley Griffin (Bloomberg)

After a Chinese weather balloon (or, depending on who you’re listening too, spy platform) spent a week above the US, an American fighter jet shot it down over the South Carolina coast on Saturday. [Link; soft paywall]

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