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Enigmatic entrepreneur, tiny home resident and newly minted 50-year-old Elon Musk leads a busy life. How has he spent his first 10 days over the hill?
Musk has kept busy with frequent flights, his many ventures and the passive accrual of hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth. But he has also made time for market-shifting memes and keyboard advocacy, according to various social media accounts, business announcements and local reports.
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Read on for a glimpse into his unique lifestyle.
Monday, June 28
Musk's private jet flew from Brownsville to Austin on his birthday, according to the Twitter tracking bot account @ElonJet, and received warm wishes from his mother, model Maye Musk, and many acolytes.
Tesla Owners, all over the world know how to express deep appreciation and love for the most amazing incredible entrepreneur, and business magnet 🧲 the world has ever seen! @elonmusk #Happy50thElon #HappyBirthdayElon @teslaownersSV @mayemusk @kimbal— Tesla Owners Austin (@AustinTeslaClub) June 28, 2021
Musk keeps a low profile while in Austin, where his partner, the musician Grimes, lives. He's been spotted at The Pershing, an exclusive social club in East Austin, and most recently was seen eating at Neighborhood Sushi. He has also been spotted around town with fellow California transplant Joe Rogan and at 1618 Asian Fusion on East Riverside Drive.
Musk was also the focus of media attention on his birthday, when the Houston Chronicle took a look inside his $50,000 rented tiny home in Boca Chica, Texas, where his aerospace company SpaceX has a launch facility. Musk is the second richest person on the planet, with an estimated net worth of $151 billion, according to Forbes.
My primary home is literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica / Starbase that I rent from SpaceX. It’s kinda awesome though.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2021
Only house I own is the events house in the Bay Area. If I sold it, the house would see less use, unless bought by a big family, which might happen some day.
That same day, District 2 Council Member Vanessa Fuentes visited the Gigafactory construction site in Southeast Travis County, touting its progress.
🚘 Toured the Tesla site w/ some of my team on Friday! It's incredible to see how quickly it's coming together. I look forward to checking it out once it's complete. #GigaTexas pic.twitter.com/y1dEqwJFvu— Vanessa Fuentes 💃🏽 (@VanessaForATX) June 30, 2021
Thursday, July 1
Musk's private jet flew from Austin to Brownsville. From the SpaceX Boca Chica test site, the CEO teased the company's Super Heavy booster, which will be used to launch Starship—designed to fly humans to Mars—as soon as later this month.
Grimes also shared a selfie on Instagram, tagged to the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site.
Friday, July 2
Musk's private jet flew from Brownsville to Los Angeles, where he typically spends Friday afternoons in the Tesla Design Studio, and then to Hawthorne, California, where SpaceX is headquartered. Musk's tunneling startup, The Boring Company, has also built a 1.14-mile research-and-development tunnel in the Southern California city, originating from the SpaceX site.
Friday afternoons are usually Tesla design studio time. Cybertruck will be almost exactly what was shown. We’re adding rear wheel steering, so it can do tight turns & maneuver with high agility.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2021
Lot of other great things coming.
Tesla also announced its second quarter vehicle production numbers. The electric carmaker delivered 201,250 cars, more than twice as many as it did during the same period last year, despite a global chip shortage. Musk celebrated on Twitter.
Congrats Tesla Team on over 200,000 car built & delivered in Q2, despite many challenges!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 2, 2021
Saturday, July 3
Musk concedes on Twitter that self-driving cars are a trickier proposition than he initially thought.
The Tesla CEO has a long history of overpromising and under-delivering when it comes to the company's self-driving vehicles, according to The Verge. A growing number of fatal crashes involving Tesla's Autopilot system have also spurred concerns—and even prompted a federal investigation.
Haha, FSD 9 beta is shipping soon, I swear!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2021
Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI. Didn’t expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect.
Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality.
Sunday, July 4
Musk celebrated the Fourth of July, tweeting "Bless America." He was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and moved to Canada at 17 to attend university. He later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania and then headed to California, where he founded his first company.
Musk has said he aspired to move to the U.S. as a child and attributes at least some of his success to his chosen home. "There is definitely no other country where I could have done this—immigrant or not," he told Bloomberg last year.
Bless America pic.twitter.com/QNagk4PArb— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 4, 2021
Monday, July 5
One week into being 50, Musk took to Twitter to express support for Britney Spears, who has recently spoken out against her "abusive" conservatorship. Grimes, who has cited Spears as a musical influence, responded: "Thank u."
Thank u— ☾laire de ☾une (@Grimezsz) July 5, 2021
Tuesday, July 6
Musk's private jet flew to San Jose, and the crypto supporter tweeted a cryptic meme that commenters suspected was about Dogecoin.
Despite the documented "Elon Musk Effect," in which his tweets and SNL monologue could drive the volatility of Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies, Musk's influence may be waning. "(T)he crypto community may have grown tired with Musk's tweets, possibly making their influence fade away as just another passing fad," according to a recent Business Insider market report.
Meanwhile, The Boring Company won a contract to build an underground transit system connecting downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach. Mayor Dean Trantalist announced the decision on Tuesday, tweeting that it "could be a truly innovative way to reduce traffic congestion."
Fort Lauderdale formally accepted tonight a proposal from @elonmusk's @boringcompany to build an underground transit system between downtown and the beach. Other firms have 45 days to submit competing proposals. This could be a truly innovative way to reduce traffic congestion. pic.twitter.com/R7Bh2NPVnl— Mayor Dean J. Trantalis (@DeanTrantalis) July 7, 2021
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a record-setting second quarter during an earnings call broadcasted from the Giga Texas construction site in Southeast Travis County on Monday.
The electric carmaker reported more than $1 billion in quarterly net income and the production of more than 200,000 vehicles for the first time despite challenges such as a global semiconductor shortage.
"It … seems that public sentiment towards electric vehicles is at an inflection point, and at this point, I think, almost everyone agrees electric vehicles are the only way forward," Musk said.
Exterior shots taken just a while ago of Giga Texas (while @elonmusk is reportedly at the Gigafactory!) during today's earnings call!
Hope @peterdog15 got to catch the technoking in his video! #fastestinhistory #Tesla pic.twitter.com/WqeDlb5wU3
— Austin Tesla Club (@AustinTeslaClub) July 26, 2021
Despite rising consumer demand and adequate factory capacity, Tesla faces what Musk described as a "quite serious" global semiconductor shortage, which will determine the company's growth rate for the rest of the year.
With increased revenue and production, Tesla is investing in new factories, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said. These include Giga Texas, the $1.1 billion manufacturing plant that broke ground last summer and is slated to open later this year.
The Giga Texas factory in Southeast Travis County has rapidly increased in size since ground broke last August. (Tesla)
Musk commended the construction team for "incredible progress," transforming what was basically a vacant site into "a mostly complete large factory a year later."
I was at Giga Texas yesterday. Team is making excellent progress. Building will be almost a mile long when complete.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2021
Giga Texas will produce the highly anticipated Cybertruck, along with other models, but Musk said scaling its production will be difficult, especially given the supply chain delays caused by the pandemic. "It's going to move as fast as the slowest of its up to 10,000 unique parts," he said.
In other news, Musk said Monday's earnings call would likely be his last regular appearance, only jumping on future quarterly calls when big announcements warrant it.
Tesla Solar recently made news when it announced plans to build the nation's most sustainable residential community in Southeast Austin earlier this month. The newly built homes will feature Tesla solar roof tiles and Powerwall battery storage as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
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The city of Austin released a shortlist of seven candidates for the police chief position left vacant when Brian Manley retired in March.
City Manager Spencer Cronk hopes to announce an appointment by the end of August, which will require City Council approval.
The finalists, chosen from a field of 46 applicants, include:
- APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon, who previously served as an assistant chief in the department for almost five years
- Anne Kirkpatrick, former police chief in Oakland, California, who was fired last year after a federal monitor criticized her handling of a fatal 2018 police shooting of a homeless man
- Dallas Police Department Assistant Chief Avery L. Moore, who is a 30-year veteran of the department
- Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Celeste Murphy, who manages the department's community services division
- Dekalb County Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, who previously served as division chief in the Miami-Dade Police Department
- Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay, who is a former president of the Minnesota Police Chief's Association as well as one of the first police chiefs of a major U.S. City to call George Floyd's death a murder, as reported by the Wichita Eagle
- Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Emada E. Tingirides, who is also commanding officer of the department's newly formed Community Safety Partnership Bureau, which serves L.A.'s underserved communities
City staff will interview the finalists in the coming weeks, with several community input opportunities to come, according to a Monday press release.
The city conducted a public survey in March and hosted community input meetings in April to learn more about what residents are looking for in their next police chief, which helped shape the selection criteria for the position.
"They want to see the Chief be reform-minded and transparent and have a track record of fostering community involvement and accountability," Cronk said in the release. "The candidates selected show these characteristics in various ways."
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Days after Austin began once again recommending masks in public spaces, Austin ISD announced Monday that kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will have virtual options this fall.
The district will discuss the move in a special board meeting Monday evening starting at 5 p.m., while full details will be released Friday.
Teachers will not have to fret about the new option—no educators will have to juggle both virtual and in-person learning. Instead, certain teachers will specialize in virtual education, according to a press release.
The news comes after a recent spike in COVID cases in Travis County and across the nation. Children typically suffer fewer symptoms of COVID when contracted, but they are now catching the virus more often than their older counterparts without a vaccine available to them and as the more contagious Delta variant is quickly being spread.
While local health officials are recommending everyone wear masks, public school districts are unable to mandate masks due to an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott in May.
Parents have expressed concern about classrooms with masks unenforceable and children under the age of 12 ineligible for a vaccine. Some have even said they would look for alternative schooling if AISD did not offer a virtual option for students.
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