Friday, June 28th, 2019


Drop and Give Me … Any

"There are the vital signs: heart and respiratory rates and body temperature. Sometimes blood pressure. These are critical in emergencies. If you've been stabbed in the chest, paramedics want to know no numbers more than these. But in day-to-day life, the normalcy of those numbers is expected. It doesn't so much grant you a clean bill of health as indicate that you are not in acute danger. What if you just generally want to know whether you're on pace to live an average life or longer?" In The Atlantic, James Hamblin reviews some of the very simple ways to measure health, from how fast you walk to whether or not you can do a pushup. The Power of One Push-Up. (I still think two finger typing speed is the ultimate health measurement stat.)


Pacific Rimshot

"Turning to Mr. Putin, he said, with a slight grin on his face and an almost joking tone in his voice, 'Don't meddle in the election, President.'" America's hilarious presidential hijinks show is on tour again, this time in Osaka, where President Trump joked around about election meddling with his favorite improv partner. NYT: Trump Tells Putin (With a Grin) Not to Meddle in Elections. Oh, but the laughs didn't stop there. Trump also kidded with Putin that they should 'get rid' of journalists. This one really delivered boisterous belly laughs, especially among those aware of the long, bloody history of murdered journalists in Putin's Russia.

+ Meanwhile, A Grim-Faced Theresa May Shakes Putin's Hand, Then Rips Into Him. (OK, but how is that funny?)


Weekend Whats

What to Watch: "I've noticed you're pretending to masturbate, and I was wondering if you wanted to talk about it?" That question from Gillian Anderson's character to her high school aged son is a pretty reasonable introduction to the show, Sex Education on Netflix. The series opens with a sex scene, full frontal nudity, and a guy faking an orgasm. So it's not for kids. But it's excellent. Another must-see show about high school life is HBO's Euphoria. Excellent cinematography and unique storytelling mark this new show about drugs, sex, and youth that's both hard to watch and impossible not to.

+ What to Read: "What moves one reader may not resonate with another, regardless of their birth year. So think of this list as a starting point, plus an invitation to look back at your own literary chronology: What spoke to you during a certain time in your life — and why?" Cool idea from WaPo: The best books to read at every age, from 1 to 100.


Ive League of His Own

"Apple today announced that Sir Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer, will depart the company as an employee later this year to form an independent design company which will count Apple among its primary clients. While he pursues personal projects, Ive in his new company will continue to work closely and on a range of projects with Apple." It's the end of an era at Apple. And when something big happens at Apple, I head over to Daring Fireball.

+ Here are Jony Ive's most important — and indulgent — Apple product videos. (Aluminium, Aluminium, Aluminium...)


Stat Cats

"Its handling of poor patients begins with a financial assistance policy that, unlike many of its peers around the country, all but ignores patients with any form of health insurance, no matter their out-of-pocket costs. If they are unable to afford their bills, patients then face what experts say is rare: A licensed collection agency owned by the hospital." ProPublica: The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor. But wait, that's not all. "Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has sued many of its own employees over unpaid medical bills and garnishes their wages; its health care plan prevents them from going to competitors with better financial assistance." (It's good thing they own a hospital, because this is pretty sick...)


Daca Con

""The fates of almost a million people brought to the country illegally as children, known as DREAMers, are now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court." NPR: Supreme Court Takes Up DACA Appeal. "The president's daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were both said to be DACA supporters, and the president himself had often spoken approvingly about DREAMers, calling them 'great kids,' and expressing his 'love' for them."


Haul Pass

"Over the last decade, Indian Americans have launched trucking schools, truck companies, truck washes, trucker temples and no-frills Indian restaurants modeled after truck stops back home, where Sikhs from the state of Punjab dominate the industry. 'You used to see a guy with a turban and you would get excited," says Pal, who is in his 15th year of trucking. 'Today, you go to some stops and can convince yourself you are in India.'" LA Times: Sikh drivers are transforming U.S. trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway.



From the NYT: "President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has vowed to pursue drug traffickers relentlessly. So he was hard-pressed to explain how a presidential plane ended up carrying 86 pounds of cocaine across the Atlantic during an official trip."


Debate and Tackle

As I did with part one, I urge you to watch part two of the Democratic debate in full and make your own decisions about what you see. (And you're gonna see a lot in this one...)

+ In 1979, Marianne Williamson ran a combination metaphysical bookstore and coffeeshop. Then things got weird.


Feel Good Friday

"I'd been feeling terribly sad about it, and she said, 'Mary, there are always going to be tragedies in the world, but there will always be more good — you just have to look for it,' Latham, 32, recalled. It took almost three years for Latham to truly understand what her mother meant." WaPo: This woman has been on a three-year road trip documenting acts of kindness.

+ The Yale Happiness Class, Distilled.

+ WaPo: This 13-year-old opened a bakery. For every cupcake he sells, he gives one to the homeless.

+ Good news for the great Norman Lear and my daughter who gets another season of her favorite show. One Day at a Time: Inside the Comedy's Historic Comeback.

+ Central Park Five receive standing ovation.

+ Illinois is expunging marijuana convictions from nearly 800,000 criminal records.

+ English towns are installing ‘chat benches' to combat loneliness.