The Weekender: See it Monday or in 2044

Strategic Elements. The Weekender. Featuring an image of a solar eclipse.


  • 3.6%: The percentage of chicken flock the country’s largest egg producer had to cull due to a bird flu outbreak
  • 7.4: The magnitude of the earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday – the strongest in 25 years
  • $20: California’s new minimum wage for fast food workers
  • 90,000: The number of U.S. job cuts in March – the highest number since January 2023
  • 12.3 Million: The number of viewers who watched the Iowa vs. LSU women’s Elite Eight game – the biggest college basketball audience in ESPN network history
  • 31.6 Million: NASA’s estimate for the number of people who live in the path of the total solar eclipse happening April 8

The Big 5 News Updates

Why Wisconsin’s Primary Still Mattered

Although the Republican and Democratic parties had already locked in their presumptive presidential nominees, Wisconsin’s primary this week didn’t fly under the radar. To no surprise, election results propped up the parties’ respective nominees. Trump clinched 78.9% of the Republican party’s vote, and Biden was the top choice for 87.9% of Democrats.

Among DNC primary voters, 8.3% – or 46,480 ballots – opted to vote uninstructed, for none of the above. Organizers stated many uninstructed ballots were a response to Biden’s action surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict. Many individuals underscored that they do not support Trump but wanted to send a message urging Biden to change his approach before November.

As ballots were brought to the box, cold wind and sleet didn’t stop the Trump faithful from rallying with the former president in Green Bay. Trump criticized the Biden administration over immigration at the southern border, claimed he won the 2020 election, pledged to protect social security benefits, and accused Democrats of interfering with the election through his indictments. “They want to take away my freedom because I won’t let them take away your freedom,” he said.

The Trump v. Biden rematch is set (with a possible RFK plot twist). This week, No Labels, a centrist group with stated intentions to field a third-party candidate in November, said they were unable to identify a candidate with a winning path to the White House. Only 214 days until Election Day on November 5!

Read More at Politico

Gen Z Tosses Tradition for the Trades

Gen Z may have an upper hand in determining their life courses that prior generations did not have. Since they were raised with limitless information via the internet, they can see what is in the water before they commit to swimming, so to speak. Rising costs of college education for lower employment opportunities post-graduation, an expectant AI takeover of white-collar careers, and seeing their parents in front of a computer all day are factors contributing to Gen Z increasingly choosing to work in the trades.

As more plumbers, welders, and contractors begin to retire, the demand (and cost-per-service) for these roles is rising; Gen Z is stepping in to capitalize. Steady wage growth year-over-year, little debt to get started in the fields, and a technological boom in robotic equipment are often too enticing to pass up – and rightly so. Attending a traditional four-year institution or community college has become 179.2% more expensive over the past 20 years. For private colleges, a student would have averaged $1,000 per year on a diploma in 1963; today, that average is nearly $33,000. Compare that annual number (multiplied by four years) to the average cost of a trade school certification of $17,600, and it is clear why Gen Z is choosing to work with their hands rather than their computers.

Read More at The Wall Street Journal

Small Business’ Best Frenemy

E-commerce heralded in the golden age of small businesses – but no good deed goes unpunished. The internet can cause concern for small biz, namely in the form of cyberattacks. Unlike major corporations, small companies often do not have the numbers, money, or time to reasonably defend themselves against nefarious actors online. In the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s most recent index, 60% of small business owners are concerned about protecting their company online. Scams, phishing attempts, malware, and hacks are on the rise and small businesses are seeking cost-effective tools to address the issue proactively, before it bites without them knowing.

Companies can do many things to ensure they are tasked for safety in the digital age. Cybersecurity clinics, training sessions for employees, two-factor authentication, protecting networks, providing firewalls, creating mobile device action plans, and securing credit card payment practices are some of the best tactics for keeping your firm’s head above water. One of the most important actions small businesses can take when dealing with suspicious activity is to not engage with potential scams (don’t click unless you are confident you know what you are clicking on!) and report them immediately.

Read More at Axios


As the average age of the American farmer reaches 60 and crop yields are slowly reducing, the ag community is turning to new technology (robotics and AI) to fill in the gaps. From products that reduce labor for loading grain trailers, to products that auto-steer machinery, technology and AI have been breathing new life into the U.S. agricultural sector for years. In 2021, 87% of agricultural companies were utilizing AI in some fashion to support their operations.

In one sense, the U.S. ag community is serving as the litmus test for the globe on farming in the 21st century. With the world’s population currently sitting at 8.1 billion mouths and climate change disrupting crop production in surprising ways, discovering innovative ways to get food on the table is welcome news.

The adoption of AI could bring new fruit to bear for the fruit-growers. For example, using drones to precisely water crops could reduce water supply concerns for farmers in California. AI could spell trouble for us in the coming decades, but it is undeniable the benefits it is having in sectors across the economy.

Read More at BBC

After Monday, You’ll Wait Until 2044

On April 8 in the early afternoon, the moon will block the sun completely, and it will be the last time this happens (visible from North America) for over two decades. Although the previous total eclipse happened in 2017, the eclipse before that took place over three decades prior. The upcoming eclipse will be more dramatic than its predecessor and will last significantly longer – the partial eclipse will last over two hours, and in the path of totality, the total eclipse will last up to four minutes. The rarity of this event has made it a tourist attraction, with visitors flocking from all over the country to watch.

Before rushing to see the eclipse, make sure you have the right gear to protect your vision. Check the inside of any solar eclipse glasses you purchase for the code 12312-2 – this is the stamp of safety approval from the International Organization for Standardization. If your glasses have this code and are not damaged, they are safe for viewing the eclipse without damaging your eyes.

Read more at The Washington Post

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