10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

‘Dragon to Mars’ by Spacex © 2016, Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Good morning.

1. Facebook is unstoppable. The company beat on both the top and bottom line and the stock surged 8%. The numbers, in an apparently rocky quarter for tech stocks, are mind-boggling:

  • Earnings per share: $0.77 versus $0.62 expected
  • Revenue: $5.38 billion versus $5.25 billion expected and up 57% year-over-year
  • Facebook monthly active users: 1.65 billion versus 1.62 billion expected
  • Daily active users: 1.09 billion on average for March 2016.

So yeah, the kids might like Snapchat videos more, but Facebook is making money, now, off people with money, who actually spend money, now. And they’ll still spend money for another 20 years, and be even less inclined every year to veer off and add yet another responsibility to their social media suite. They’re called the rising middle class and they, more than anyone, just want the one machine that slices, dices, cooks and serves.

2. And here’s a novelty – “Mr Zuckerberg” has a cash-rich company which respects his “long-term vision”. Here’s an excerpt from Facebook’s earnings statement:

“We intend to issue two shares of Class C capital stock as a one-time stock dividend in respect of each outstanding share of our Class A and Class B common stock. This proposal is designed to create a capital structure that will, among other things, allow us to remain focused on Mr. Zuckerberg’s long-term vision for our company and encourage Mr. Zuckerberg to remain in an active leadership role at Facebook.”

So it’s one Zuckerberg to rule them all.

3. To markets, and it was a big day in Australia yesterday, with all that deflation and everything. Stocks fell 0.6% and the Aussie copped a bit of a pasting (-2% at one stage this morning). But the Fed opted to not signal intent to rise in the US, which boosted markets in the US and Europer. That in turn has the SPI 200 up 51 points, 1%, and if the banks can hold firm, it should be a solid day for the ASX200.

4. This is big. Researchers at the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope were performing a routine measurement when when they noticed gases swirling in the center of a galaxy 1.8 billion light-years away were travelling faster than 540km per second – twice as fast as they would have expected. That, they assume, means it’s not the traditional model of just one black hole at the center of a single galaxy. It’s a massive black hole in the middle of three galaxies which have crashed together – and it’s about 3.8 billion times the mass of our Sun. Told you it was big.

5. Leicester City FC can win the English Premier League on Sunday night by beating Manchester City, with two games to spare in the season. That was so unlikely at the start of the season, Ladbrokes took just 47 bets on it, at odds of 5000/1. Only 24 of those bets still stand, the best of which, Ladbrokes reckons, is a 10p punt that will return 500 squids. “Surely the best use of 10p ever,” Ladbrokes says. “We have been taking bets for 130 years and we have never ever seen anything come even close to this.”

6. The next Mars mission is suddenly happening, nowish. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is sick of mucking about trying to land landers, and reckons it’s ready for the Red Planet. It announced overnight that it will send its Dragon 2 craft – designed “to be able to land anywhere in the solar system” – to Mars to collect some samples directly from NASA’s Mars rover. Here’s what it will look like touching down. Hopefully:

‘Dragon to Mars’ by Spacex © 2016, Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

And here’s why it’s going to be very, very difficult.

7. “The impact of Panama Papers has been epic,” says the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. And it has plenty to boast about, bringing down Iceland’s prime minister and Spain’s industry minister after showing the world where the rich and powerful hide their money. Now the ICIJ has another dump to unload, on May 9, which it says “will likely be the largest-ever release of information about secret offshore companies and the people behind them”. One to watch, then.

8. Jocko Willink. Commander of Navy SEAL Team Three Task Unit Bruiser. The most highly decorated special-operations unit of the Iraq War. Knows a thing or two about leadership, does Jocko. Here are his 12 rules to follow if you want be a great leader, with bonus pics of a cartoon Jocko looking uncomfortable in a shirt and tie.

9. Scott McGillivray, host of the HGTV show “Income Property”, once bought more than 30 homes in one day. So when he tells us there’s one day in the week where a homeowner is more likely to accept a reduced offer, you can assume he knows what he’s talking about.

10. Recognise this?

to bring this new version of Westeros to life

(Fun fact: The notepad with the sticky gum along the top was invented by Birchalls, a bookseller in Launceston, Tasmania. And that piece of history is now for sale on the open market for the first time in more than 170 years.)

BONUS ITEM: Mark down April 28, 2026. As the day you’ll see this video in one of those clickbait posts about how “you won’t believe how trashy the 20-teens were”:

Have a great day.