Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020


A Motion to Compel

We know sitting motionless all day is bad (which is just one of the reasons I'm lying on the couch with my Beagles, Pumpernickel and Rye, right now). But just how much movement does it take to offset all that inactivity (not counting my two typing fingers, which are both totally buffed). Well, if it were like 2-3 hours, there's no way I'd be leading with this story. According to a recent study, even doing a minimal amount of walking can make a big difference. (And I second that motion!) "The sweet spot for physical activity and longevity seemed to arrive at about 35 minutes a day of brisk walking or other moderate activities." That's the sweet spot. But I'm trying to avoid sweets, so I'm aiming lower. NYT: 11 Minutes of Exercise a Day May Help Counter the Effects of Sitting. (Now I just have to break it to the beagles that we're going to be tripling the length of our daily stroll.)


Kyoto the Line

"If you look at the economics textbooks, enterprises are supposed to be maximizing profits, scaling up their size, market share and growth rate. But these companies' operating principles are completely different ... Their No. 1 priority is carrying on ... Each generation is like a runner in a relay race. What's important is passing the baton." NYT: This Japanese Shop Is 1,020 Years Old. It Knows a Bit About Surviving Crises. (Maybe, but will it scale?)


Vax Oversight

"Now, instead of the standard 14-day quarantine it has been recommending, the CDC says that potential exposure warrants a quarantine of 10 or seven days, depending on one's test results and symptoms." CDC Shortens Its COVID-19 Quarantine Recommendations.

+ A CDC expert panel issued guidelines that are pretty much what any layperson would conclude. Healthcare workers and nursing home residents should be first in line for a coronavirus vaccine. They will be followed by news curators. After that, it's first come first serve.

+ "Rather than accepting the findings of vaccine makers, American regulators painstakingly reanalyze raw data from the trials to validate the results, poring over what regulators have described as thousands of pages of documents." NYT: Why the U.K. Approved a Coronavirus Vaccine First.

+ Andy Slavitt: 15 Reasons Why I Will Get a Covid-19 Vaccine.


No Honor Among Thieves

"Disputing President Donald Trump's persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election." Barr: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

+ So what was the reaction of the base and Trump's media sycophants when a guy who has bent and nearly broke the Justice Department in the name of protecting his corrupt boss and previously jail bound friends told the obvious truth? Oh, you know. They're ripping him to shreds.

+ In other news from the crime blotter, Trump is pondering preemptively pardoning his kids before leaving office. (Jared, Ivanka, and Don Jr for crimes, Eric, for being Eric.) Trump has raised $170 million for an election defense fund that's really raising money for a PAC (hey, having the severely duped write you checks is great work if you can get it), and is already making noise about a 2024 run. "It's been an amazing four years. We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I'll see you in four years." (Prediction: More fore! Less four.) And the Justice Department is investigating a possible bribery-for-pardon scheme. Individual One not done?


Laundry List

"Gov. Gavin Newsom is in good company when it comes to politicians attending fancy birthday parties while encouraging others to avoid gathering. It turns out San Francisco Mayor London Breed dined at the French Laundry the night after Newsom's infamous, ill-advised, mid-pandemic soiree at the three-star Michelin restaurant in Yountville." (I hear the food is to die for...)

+ A couple was arrested after they knowingly boarded an SFO flight to Hawaii after positive COVID tests.

+ Let this section prove that I don't shy away from reporting on stupid moves by people who are Democrats, live in my neck of the woods, or share my proclivities. Speaking of which: New Orleans swingers' convention led to 41 Covid-19 infections, event organizer says. (If I gotta go, this is the kind of multi-course experience I prefer...)


Get Fix and Chill

"An old story about glass goes something like this: A glassmaker, presenting his wares to the Roman emperor Tiberius, handed over a bowl for inspection. After studying it, Tiberius returned the bowl to the man, who promptly hurled it to the ground. Rather than smash to pieces, the glass merely dented; it had been fashioned from a substance that the ancients called vitrum flexile. Amazed, Tiberius asked if anyone else knew how to make it. When the artisan said no, the emperor—fearing that such an invention would devalue treasuries filled with gold and silver—had him executed." Luckily, we can still make tough glass. Because we suddenly need a lot of it. The New Yorker: The Race to Make Vials for Coronavirus Vaccines.

+ WaPo: The cold rush: Pfizer's covid vaccine jump-starts race for special freezers.

+ The Atlantic: Dry Ice Is Hotter Than Ever.


Salesforce Awakens

Salesforce is making its biggest purchase ever with a $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack. Not a bad return for early Slack investors who invested in a gaming company. When the game wasn't working out, Stewart Butterfield refocused the company on a product they created for the team to chat with one another. (Slack needs to be allowed to be the Zappos of Salesforce. Let the team remain separate. Let them focus on user experience and making the most elegant product. Slowly connect the app to Salesforce products. And allow the parent company to learn from the acquired one on UI.)


Jair 404

"Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon surges to 12-year high, official government data showed on Monday, with destruction soaring since President Jair Bolsonaro took office and weakened environmental enforcement." Before Bolsonaro is done, Amazon will be bigger than The Amazon.


K Pop and Give Me Twenty

"In South Korea, all men who are healthy enough to go are required to enlist and complete mandatory military service between the ages of 18 to 30 years old. As the service is expected to take up to two years, the final age that men can enlist is 28." Unless you're in a K-Pop band. South Korea Has Passed A Law That Will Allow BTS To Postpone Their Military Enlistment.


Bottom of the News

By 2015, rangers were trekking to the toilets and finding repulsive conditions. At its worst, the solid matter would freeze and thaw repeatedly and rise above the seat. Rangers would have to dig the material from the chamber and load it into a five-gallon bucket, place the cargo on to a pack animal and ride down. "This is some of the worst work in the world," said Geoff Hill, a toilet entrepreneur. (Try news curation...) US park rangers grapple with tide of human waste. (Try news curation.)

+ Here are The Eye-Popping Nominees For Wildlife Photographer Of The Year's People's Choice Award.

+ South Africa's lottery probed as 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 drawn. (Great, there goes my password too...)