Wednesday, February 24th, 2021


Teen Spirit Sapped

The pandemic has been a weird, confusing, and worrisome time for adults. When you pile that onto an already stressed-out teen, it can be unbearable. Some kids have been able to take the weirdness in stride. But for those who were just getting by—emotionally, academically, psychologically—the pandemic has been devastating. They weren't prepared for this. And neither was the safety net. Benedict Carey in the NYT: For Some Teens, It's Been a Year of Anxiety and Trips to the E.R. "'What parents and children are consistently reporting is an increase in all symptoms — a child who was a little anxious before the pandemic became very anxious over this past year."


Tomb Aiders

"There's not going to be a parade for you guys.You're not going to get discounts or big [thank-you] signs. The work we do, we do in silence. Not even the family members of the victims will know what we do. There's a pride in that. There's a silent pride in that. You're taking care of someone's grandmother, grandfather, husband, daughter, son, and that's a higher calling ... It's a heavy burden ... It's a very heavy burden." Luke Mullins: Inside DC's Secret Covid Morgue. "This is the story of a secret disaster morgue—and the quiet force of civil servants tending to everyone we've lost to Covid." (We spent the pandemic so focused on the villains, we missed the heroes.)


Right and Ron

"Sen. Ron Johnson claimed Tuesday that left-wing 'provocateurs' and 'fake' Trump supporters sparked the violence at the Capitol riots." We've gotten used to these lies, but don't let them just pass you by. This is part of a continued effort to turn reality on its head, to rob words of their meaning, and to destroy truth. It's fascism 101, with a modern twist. The internet enables one to quickly assess which messages resonate. So guys like Ron Johnson can try every lie until they find one that sticks.


Long on Johnson

Not all Johnsons are bad. Here's some good news from a couple of them. "Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic."

+ Drug executives: Big jump in vaccine supply is coming soon.


RNA For Effort

"We got very lucky. The two most effective vaccines against the coronavirus are based on messenger RNA, a technology that has been in the works for 20 years." That amazing tech is just one of the interesting items on MIT Tech Review's look at 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021. (I'd add the Zoom mute button to the list.)


Flogleg Hole

"Mahajan said surgeons there placed a rod into the tibia of Woods' right leg, and they used a combination of screws and pins to stabilize injuries to his foot and ankle. Mahajan said Woods also suffered trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of his right leg, which required surgeons to release 'the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.'" After a very serious car crash, Tiger Woods is lucky to be a live. But his right leg is going to be hard to convince of that good fortune. ESPN: What we know about Tiger Woods' crash, condition and what happens next.


Navalny Knee Jerk Reaction

"Amnesty International has stripped the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny of his 'prisoner of conscience' status after it says it was 'bombarded' with complaints highlighting xenophobic comments that he has made in the past and not renounced." Terrible timing for a bad decision. We are in an era of the good guys vs the really, really bad guys. We don't have time to hold the Woke-olympics on the good side. Get serious.


Born to Run From the Law?

"Mr. Springsteen, who has no previous criminal record of any kind, voluntarily plead guilty to a violation of consuming an alcoholic beverage in a closed area ..." Prosecutors drop DWI charges against Bruce Springsteen, with rocker fined $500. It could have been worse. He could have been pulled over by a Highway Patrolman or a State Trooper after driving a stolen car down on Eldridge Avenue, alongside hemi-powered drones that scream down the boulevard, and ended up in a wreck on the highway. He could have been blinded by the light while racing in the street and been left with no option but hiding on the backstreets. He could have gone out for a ride and never went back; like a river that don't know where it's flowing, he could have taken a wrong turn and just kept going. He could have been driving in his brother's car down to the river only to find the river was as dry as New Jersey's Gateway National Recreation Area is supposed to be. He could have ended up in the darkness on the edge of town where he'd find things that haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets. What if heaven was waiting out on the tracks and the Boss ended up dancing in the dark with the ghost of Tom Joad? Luckily, he was just around the corner from the light of day. I guess this all part of the growin' up process. It's hard to be a saint in the city.


Hard to Beat This Life

"The spiritual godfather of the Beat movement, Mr. Ferlinghetti made his home base in the modest independent book haven now formally known as City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. A self-described 'literary meeting place' founded in 1953 and located on the border of the city's sometimes swank, sometimes seedy North Beach neighborhood, City Lights, on Columbus Avenue, soon became as much a part of the San Francisco scene as the Golden Gate Bridge or Fisherman's Wharf." NYT: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poet Who Nurtured the Beats, Dies at 101.


Bottom of the News

"During an interrogation on Sept. 30, investigators noted Boever's glasses were found inside Ravsnborg's 2011 Ford Taurus. 'That means his face came through your windshield... His face is in your windshield ... Think about it.'" South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravsnborg has maintained since his fatal crash last fall that he didn't see what he'd hit. In an era of lying, he may be the worst liar yet. Read this article. It's unbelievable. You'll need the jaws of life to lift your jaw off the floor.

+ The USPS unveils next-generation mail truck. (It looks like a shuttle bus for NBA players.)