August 18th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Dems unconventional opener, the cardboard crime ring, and and DeJoy Vey!

“So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.” Michelle Obama is justifiably getting most of the attention after her Dem Convention opening night speech. But the broader message of the evening was the participation of GOP politicians who argued that this moment goes beyond party. “If Biden does manage to win in November, good luck getting Sanders, Kasich, and Klobuchar to agree on very much. But, on Monday, all three urged viewers to consider the circumstances.” The New Yorker: A Temporary Truce at the Democratic National Convention. Featuring GOP speakers was exactly the right move. You don’t beat division with more division. You beat it with unity.

+ “Miles Taylor, a former senior Trump administration official, publicly warned President Donald Trump on Tuesday he’s just the ‘opening salvo‘ of former administration officials coming forward to tell unflattering stories witnessed first-hand from inside the Trump administration.” (Here’s Taylor’s video explaining the decision to oppose Trump’s reelection.)

+ “Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something.” Trump calls out New Zealand’s ‘terrible’ Covid surge, on day it records nine new cases.

+ Related: Women leaders saved lives from Covid-19 by locking down earlier.

+ Trump to posthumously pardon Susan B. Anthony. (Hasn’t this woman suffraged enough?)


Box Trot

“The annual value of the legitimate trade in recycled cardboard and other papers is expected to climb to $5.4bn by 2024, up from $4.3bn in 2017. This increase is not surprising when you consider the continuing rise in online shopping, and the fact that most consumer goods are delivered to you in cardboard boxes that are made from recycled fiber.” BBC: The millions being made from cardboard theft.



“Kibble tumbled out of a dispenser, and Blaze bounded across the small training facility to devour it, tail-waggingly pleased with his reward but unaware of why his olfactory prowess so delighted the human onlookers.” WaPo: Can dogs detect the novel coronavirus? The nose knows. (Cats can detect it too, they just don’t care enough to warn us.)

+ NYT: “Scientists who have been monitoring immune responses to the virus are now starting to see encouraging signs of strong, lasting immunity, even in people who developed only mild symptoms of Covid-19.”


Strip Maul

“During the four-day period, about 26,000 devices were identified on the Las Vegas Strip. Some of those same smartphones also showed up in every state on the mainland except Maine in those same four days. About 3,700 of the devices were spotted in Southern California in the same four days; about 2,700 in Arizona, with 740 in Phoenix; around 1,000 in Texas; more than 800 in Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland; and more than 100 in the New York area.” ProPublica: Cellphone Data Shows How Las Vegas Is ‘Gambling With Lives’ Across the Country. (In short, we’re endangering one another and being tracked while we do it.)


Hotel Continental

“Because the hotels exist outside the formal detention system, they are not subject to policies designed to prevent abuse in federal custody or those requiring that detainees be provided access to phones, healthy food, and medical and mental health care. Parents and lawyers have no way of finding the children or monitoring their well-being while they are in custody.” NYT: A Private Security Company Is Detaining Migrant Children at Hotels.


Male Fraud

“Trump has flatly denied he was asking for a slow-walk of the mail. But his newly-installed postmaster, a Republican donor with no previous postal management, is facing pressure by Democrats to halt any changes as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail during the COVID-19 crisis. Demonstrations are being held Tuesday in several cities.” Postmaster general to appear before Senate over mail delays.

+ Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday that he is suspending certain changes at the U.S. Postal Service until after the 2020 election in order to ‘avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.'” (It’s not just about the appearance of any impact on the mail. It’s about sowing doubt and confusion.)


Throw (Another) Book At ‘Em

“The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, totaling nearly 1,000 pages, provided a bipartisan Senate imprimatur for an extraordinary set of facts: The Russian government undertook an extensive campaign to try to sabotage the 2016 American election to help Mr. Trump become president, and some members of Mr. Trump’s circle of advisers were open to the help from an American adversary.” Yes, we knew this already. But this report is coming from a GOP-led Senate panel and we can expect some October surprises on the topic, so it’s worth noting. NYT: G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign and Russia. (This whole ordeal was like two thousand crimes ago.)


Fortnite of the Living Dead

“This lawsuit is also a reminder that Apple has a lot to lose. While the most likely outcome is an Apple victory — the Supreme Court has been pretty consistent in holding that companies do not have a ‘duty to deal’ — every decision the company makes that favors only itself, and not society generally, is an invitation to examine just how important the iPhone is to, well, everything.” Ben Thompson with a good overview about Apple, Epic, and the App Store.


Hair, Nets

“You can’t go anywhere. You can’t go to the store, you can’t see your family, you’ve got to be right there for four to six weeks or even longer. There’s all this uncertainty—it’s an unprecedented situation, nobody’s ever done this before. So the six barbers, three stylists, and three nail technicians I was able to select, they all took this as a blessing and an opportunity to both grow their brands and do something that’s never been done before, to be a part of history.” GQ: Inside the Barbershops Keeping the NBA Shaped Up in the Bubble. (I gave myself my second pandemic haircut using clippers yesterday, and now I have a self-induced bald spot. But at least it distracts from the one nature induced…)


Bottom of the News

“The president, 71, was pictured on Saturday swimming over to the kayakers who were struggling in the water. He later told reporters that the women had been swept by currents from a neighbouring beach into the bay.” Portugal president helps rescue two women.

+ “Building the campus [on Minecraft] offers students ways to leverage engineering, computer, and memory as they create the exteriors and interiors of our campus. It digitally brings the feel and look of the campus to undergraduate students studying remotely who miss being connected to campus and interior spaces such as libraries, labs and lounge spaces.” Johns Hopkins University is letting students interact with each other … in a Minecraft version of the campus. (Given my success ratio with real-person interaction during college, I’m pretty sure I would have preferred Minecraft.)

+ A guy invented a gun that can shoot masks onto people’s faces.

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