Tuesday, September 8th, 2020


Reality Bites

According to the NYT, dentists are finding the unexpected when performing cavity searches; namely an epidemic of cracked teeth. Tammy Chen says she's "seen more tooth fractures in the last six weeks than in the previous six years." What happening? "One obvious answer is stress. From Covid-induced nightmares to 'doomsurfing' to 'coronaphobia,' it's no secret that pandemic-related anxiety is affecting our collective mental health. That stress, in turn, leads to clenching and grinding, which can damage the teeth." 2020 is so messed up it has even ruined grinding and clenching. (I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. My 2020 night screams tend to keep my mouth mostly ajar.)

+ WaPo: During pandemic, growth of U.S. adults with mental health issues jumps to 53 percent.


Senegal and Sensibility

"Senegal, a west African country with a fragile health care system, a scarcity of hospital beds and about seven doctors for every 100,000 people. And yet Senegal, with a population of 16 million, has tackled COVID-19 aggressively and, so far, effectively. More than six months into the pandemic, the country has about 14,000 cases and 284 deaths." USA Today: Senegal's quiet COVID success: Test results in 24 hours, temperature checks at every store, no fights over masks. (Where's the shithole now?)


Sound Proof

My dad survived the Holocaust, escaped to the Polish forest, joined the Partisans, and fought the Nazis. So I listened closely in the lead-up to the 2016 election when he said of Trump, "You know, this guy's language and speaking style remind me of Hitler. Everyone laughed at him during the early days too." Apparently he wasn't the only person hearing the similarities. "Among German conspiracy theorists, ultranationalists and neo-Nazis, the American president is surfacing as a rallying cry, or even as a potential 'liberator.'" NYT: Trump Emerges as Inspiration for Germany's Far Right.


Fire Starting

"This is crazy. We haven't even got into the October and November fire season and we've broken the all-time record." A Record 2 Million Acres of California Have Burned This Year With Heat Conditions Predicted to Continue. The previous record was set two years ago. Climate change is the most realistic hoax ever.

+ AP: California fires bring more chopper rescues, power shutoffs.

+ Enormous California wildfire was started by firework at gender reveal party. (Not only do they know it's a girl, they know the girl is Drew Barrymore.)


Uproot Cause

"This has been one of the major forms of damage, of course along with the deaths and injuries, that have been caused by these wars. It tells us that U.S. involvement in these countries has been horrifically catastrophic, horrifically damaging in ways that I don't think that most people in the United States, in many ways myself included, have grappled with or reckoned with in even the slightest terms." NYT: At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America's War on Terror. (This isn't likely to win many hearts and minds.)


Payload DeJoy

"Five people who worked for DeJoy's former company, New Breed Logistics, say they were urged by DeJoy's aides or by DeJoy himself to write checks and attend fundraisers at his mansion in Greensboro, North Carolina ... Two former employees told the newspaper that DeJoy would later give bigger bonuses to reimburse for the contributions." House to investigate DeJoy possible campaign law violations.

+ "I'm not saying the military's in love with me -- the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy." Trump deflects news he criticized the military by criticizing the military.

+ "Where are the senior officers of the United States armed forces, serving and retired—the men and women who worked most closely on military affairs with President Trump? Has any one of them stepped forward to say, 'That's not the man I know?'" David Frum: Everyone Knows It's True.

+ NYT: How Trump's Billion-Dollar Campaign Lost Its Cash Advantage. (Legal bills?)


Crossing the Linesperson

Over the weekend, Novak Djokovic hit a ball in anger that inadvertently hit a linesperson in the throat. It was a mistake, but the rules are pretty clear, so the move cost Djokovic the match and what looked like an almost sure thing major win. So how does social media react? Some people have attacked the woman hit in the throat. Djokovic defends line judge after social media abuse. Of course, 99.9% of people feel sympathy for woman. But normalcy isn't what gets amplified on social media, and then later in the news. Beyond not hitting a ball in anger in a major, there's a lesson here.


Plateau Jam

"Jornet is to endurance sports what Usain Bolt was to the 100m and Eliud Kipchoge is to the road marathon – an outlier and a record breaker. Most of his achievements seem basically inhuman. He has won every significant race on the mountain-running circuit, some of which are 100 miles long. He has broken nearly every mountaineering record in the world. He is the fastest man to have run up and down various big peaks, including Mont Blanc (normal time: two days; Jornet time: four hours, 57 minutes). In 2018, he scrambled to the top of Everest without supplementary oxygen but with a nasty bout of diarrhea ... Three days later he tried again. What took him 26 hours first time around took him 17 hours on the second attempt." One step beyond: the ascent of mountain runner Kílian Jornet.

+ Check out this documentary on Kilian Jornet's Path to Everest. It will give you the exact opposite feeling from reading 2020 news. Trust me.


Jumping Off the G Wagon

"Well, hold on just a minute. 5G may hold promise for the years ahead — but across most of America in 2020, a 5G phone does diddly squat. Testing 5G phones, I've been clocking download speeds that are roughly the same as on 4G LTE ones. And in some places, like inside my house and along the California highway, my 5G phones actually have been slower." WaPo's Geoffrey A. Fowler: The 5G lie: The network of the future is still slow.


Bottom of the News

It's my friend RD's birthday. Actually, he's your friend too because he proofs nearly every NextDraft blurb, is my daily sounding board, and is the virtual officemate that keeps me from chucking my MacBook Air and its open tabs into the abyss. For his birthday, I'm getting him some Twitter followers. That's where you come it. Follow RD here. (His feed is MUCH safer than mine...)

+ "All over the world, from the US to Germany to the UK, some people decide to disappear from their own lives without a trace – leaving their homes, jobs and families in the middle of the night to start a second life, often without ever looking back. In Japan, these people are sometimes referred to as "jouhatsu". That's the Japanese word for evaporation, but it also refers to people who vanish on purpose into thin air, and continue to conceal their whereabouts – potentially for years, even decades." BBC: The companies that help people vanish. (If NextDraft stops arriving, you'll know why...)

+ Jelly Belly founder to give away candy factory as part of 'gold ticket' treasure hunt. (So shines a good deed in a weary world.)