Tuesday, February 9th, 2021



"The authorities said the plot unfolded last Friday morning, when an employee noticed that someone was controlling his computer. He initially dismissed it because the city has software that allows supervisors to access computers remotely. But about five and a half hours later, the employee saw that different programs were opening and that the level of lye changed." The NYT's Frances Robles and Nicole Perlroth on a troubling attempt by hackers to try to poison the water supply of a Florida Town called Oldsmar (This is not your father's Oldsmar). This story points to the vulnerabilities of having everything online and accessible. It's also a reminder that while we focus a lot of effort protecting the big grids and water facilities, small town infrastructure is a ripe target. That's a tough pill to swallow, especially without drinkable water.

+ Perlroth's must read book, This is How They Tell Me the World Ends, is out today.


Gluteus Mad Maximus

"It is the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery in the world. When Glancey scrolls through Instagram, she sees it everywhere: beach-ball buttocks mimicking the most famous bottom in the world, a bottom so scrutinised, so emulated, so monetised, that it no longer feels like a body part, but its own high-concept venture, its own startup turned major IPO. (It will probably sue me.)" Brazilian butt lifts are both the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the world, and the most dangerous.


Try Try Again

Your stomach is upset. You feel acid bubbling up into your esophagus. Frustration and anger are building. Yes, it's that old familiar feeling. After a twenty-day break, Trump news is back. So are the insane efforts to convince Americans that they didn't see and hear what they saw and heard. And so are the sad efforts of the enablers who choose fealty to a treacherous liar over loyalty to the country. Keep in mind that the jurors in this trial were the victims of the attack and had to walk past thousands of armed troops on their way to the trial. If the Big Lie and inciting an insurrection isn't a reason to convict, nothing is. We'll see if that means anything over the next week. Here's the latest on day one of trial two from CNN, WaPo, and The Guardian.

+ WaPo: Trump's lawyers say he was immediately ‘horrified' by the Capitol attack. Here's what his allies and aides said really happened that day. (He was so horrified that he didn't call in the National Guard or take any steps to stop the violence for hours. I guess he didn't want people to panic.)

+ Politico: Trump plans a reemergence and some retribution after impeachment.


DeJoy Sticks

"Unless the president is willing to take a significant legal risk, DeJoy will remain in control for months or years to come." Slate on Why Biden Can't Fire Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.


Light of My Life, Fire of My Coins

"Were there any warning signs about the market?" Nothing. "Nothing at all?" Nope... NYT: Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg Push Cryptocurrencies to Record Highs.


The Grass is Always Greener

"The Arctic is getting greener, and it's about as pretty as you might expect—vast stretches of coastal land positively glowing against cobalt seas." The problem, in layperson's terms, is that it's the f--kin' Arctic. For a bit more science, here's Wired: Beautiful Yet Unnerving Photos of the Arctic Getting Greener.


Cow Print

"The new meat-making process, developed with research partners at the Israel Institute of Technology, prints living cells that are incubated on a plant-based matrix to grow, differentiate and interact to achieve the texture and qualities of a real steak. It has a system similar to an animal's vascular system, which allows cells to mature and nutrients to move across thicker tissue, resulting in a steak with a similar shape and structure to traditional cow tissue before and during cooking." WaPo: First 3-D-printed rib-eye is unveiled. (What I really want them to do is figure out a way to print up healthy Doritos.)


Smartmatic vs Autocratic

"When a sitting President and his surrogates claim an election was rigged, the public has a right to know what they are claiming, full stop. When a sitting President and his surrogates bring lawsuits challenging election results, the public has a right to know the substance of their claims and what evidence backs them up, full stop. In that context, interviewing lawyers advocating for the President is fully protected First Amendment activity, whether those lawyers can eventually substantiate their claims or not." How will Fox News defend itself against $2.7 billion lawsuit brought by Smartmatic? By saying, "We didn't lie, the president did."


Timely Information

"A new study from Mount Sinai researchers published in the peer-reviewed 'Journal of Medical Internet Research' found that wearable hardware, and specifically the Apple Watch, can effectively predict a positive COVID-19 diagnosis up to a week before current PCR-based nasal swab tests."


Bottom of the News

"My hair has been like this for about a month now. It's not my choice, no, it's not my choice." The forever ponytail: woman shares ordeal after using Gorilla Glue on her hair. (This will end up being all the rage among dudes with male pattern baldness. I wish I had gorilla glued my hair about a decade ago...)

+ A koala has been rescued after causing a five-car pileup while trying to cross a six-lane freeway in southern Australia. (Even this Koala is less guilty than Trump.)

+ Is This Beverly Hills Cop Playing Sublime's ‘Santeria' to Avoid Being Livestreamed?.

+ "Sometimes we're in such a hurry to get to a destination that we forget to take in our surroundings. But that's not the case when passengers step onto the platform of the Seiryu Miharashi train station in Japan. In fact, they have no choice but to take in the view." This Unusual Japanese Train Station Has No Entrance or Exit. (That's how I felt about 2020.)