Your Private Lancer: “Prigozhin was born in Soviet Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, in 1961, nine years after Putin. As a teen-ager, he took up with a gang of petty thieves who robbed apartments. One night, in 1980, the gang mugged a woman on a dark Leningrad street. Prigozhin was sentenced to thirteen years in prison and served nine. His release coincided with the final stage of the Soviet Union’s slow-motion collapse, and, for his next act, he launched a hot-dog business. He and his associates mixed the mustard in the kitchen of his apartment, while his mother counted the profits.” So how did this common criminal turned hot-dog salesman end up running the world’s most well-known private military force and, for a moment, challenging Putin’s rule? Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker: Inside the Wagner Group’s Armed Uprising.

+ LED There Be Light: “The rule passed by President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy in April 2022 states that light bulbs must emit a minimum of 45 lumens per watt. A lumen is a measure of brightness. That effectively outlaws the manufacture and sale of common incandescent bulbs, the kind you screw into the vast majority of light sockets in your home.” What you need to know about the incandescent light bulb ban.

+ Check Up: “The consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased 3% from a year ago, which is the lowest level since March 2021, while the personal consumption expenditures price index also notched the lowest annual level in more than two years. And yet, as of June, 61% of adults still say they are living paycheck to paycheck.”

+ Post Mortem? “The USWNT advanced to the World Cup knockout round thanks to a 0-0 draw in its final group-stage game against Portugal. They were the width of a goal post away from not only going home, but being on the wrong end of the biggest upset in World Cup history.” (They really don’t look good. And I’m not just saying that because I stayed up until 2:30am to watch a tie…)

+ Can You Hear Me Now? “After days of silence, NASA has heard from Voyager 2 in interstellar space billions of miles away. Flight controllers accidentally sent a wrong command nearly two weeks ago that tilted the spacecraft’s antenna away from Earth and severed contact.”

+ Thread Count: The word from the tech press is that Threads is failing because only about half of its mass deluge of signups have remained as active users. It’s typically silly tech coverage. I’ll let John Gruber explain: Nobody Uses Threads Anymore, It’s Too Crowded.