Metamates, the Crypto Bowl and further blockade tensions in Ottawa

Planet Business: Boldly going deeper into space than anyone has gone in 50 years

Image of the week: Siege of Ottawa

Canadian public opinion about the Ottawa trucker convoy protesting against vaccination mandates has been unevenly split between anti-government flag-wavers scrawling messages of support on the side of lorries, people who have sympathy for the truckers’ frustrations but are appalled by their blockading tactics, plus a third group: counter-protesting Ottawa residents, pictured here, who feel so let down by the police’s inability to end the convoy after several weeks, they have taken to the streets themselves with signs including “go home” and “mob rule is not democracy”.

Canadian writer and activist Naomi Klein is among those to have celebrated the counter-protests, calling participants in the trucker convoy “fossil fuel-addled reality deniers” pursuing a “fake-freedom” cause. Meanwhile, Ottawa’s police chief has resigned amid mounting criticism of his force’s failure to break the siege – an operation complicated by the fact that many truckers have brought children to the blockade. Following the invoking of emergency legislation, this is now unlawful.

In numbers: Crypto Bowl


Seconds in the weird and slightly hypnotic Super Bowl advertisement for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which mostly just showed a floating QR code bouncing across the screen.


20 million

Resulting hits on Coinbase’s landing page over a one-minute period, with the surge in interest briefly crashing its platform. Always reassuring.


Total number of cryptocurrency companies that paid millions to advertise during US television's NFL showpiece. The others were eToro, and FTX, which conscripted comedian Larry David for the occasion.

Getting to know: Jared Isaacman

Jared Isaacman is the billionaire founder (when aged 16) and chief executive of payments company Shift4, the founder of fighter aircraft contractor Draken International, a former airshow pilot and an astronaut, who sometimes climbs mountains – so just your typical millennial underachiever, then.

Let’s rewind to the “astronaut” entry on the American’s CV. Not content with his purchase of a three-day Inspiration4 mission into space on board SpaceX’s all-tourist Crew Dragon spaceship last September, Isaacman is making good on his post-landing promise that “we’re just getting started” by buying three more flights from Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The first of these, a five-day Polaris mission planned for later in 2022, is expected to travel out to the Van Allen radiation belt, while it will also squeeze in a spacewalk on its packed itinerary. “We’re going to farther into space than humans have gone since we last walked on the moon,” he told NBC’s Today Show.


The list: Meta’s company values

Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has hit refresh on the "company values" for the entity formerly known as Facebook, and, really, how could anyone not be inspired?

1. Move fast together: this is a subtle update on a previous value statement that was merely “move fast”, transforming it into something that conjures up an image of a three-legged race instead.

2. Live in the future: a tough one, this, for anyone who fancies time-travelling back to Harvard 2004 and changing the course of history.

3. Build awesome things: this has replaced the now-ditched value “be bold”, the naughty meaning of bold not being especially widespread outside Irish classrooms.

4. Focus on long-term impact: in the immortal words of Killing Eve’s Villanelle, “boring!”

5. Meta, Metamates, Me: In a further blow to the dignity of the modern workplace, employees are now to be known internally as “Metamates” in an allusion to the naval slogan “ship, shipmates, self”. Time to walk the plank?