Thursday, March 4th, 2021


A Canuck Nuck Joke

Nuck, nuck. Who's there? No, one, they all moved to Canada... "Canada is now seen as the most desirable destination for overseas workers when it comes to choosing a country to relocate to, a global survey has found, knocking the U.S. off top spot." How could our supposedly nice northern neighbors hit us with this canuckle sandwich? OK, sure, we borrowed Rachael McAdams, Jim Carrey, Anna Paquin, Mike Myers, Ryans Gosling and Reynolds, Alanis Morissette, Keanu Reeves, Celine Dion, Drake, Michael J Fox, Sandra Oh, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Seth Rogan, Dan Aykroyd who was born in Ottawa on Canada Day, Justin Bieber, and yes, Shatner. But we always planned to give them back. Apparently the U.S. was "hurt by an inconsistent pandemic response, the adoption of more nationalistic policies, and social unrest." (Come on, nobody's perfect, eh?) CNBC: These are the most desirable countries and cities for workers looking to relocate in 2021.


A Pregnant Pause

"The real societal challenge of a Covid baby bust will be a smaller work force, which portends lower economic productivity and fewer workers to contribute to the tax base. It also means a lower ratio of workers to retirees, which stresses Social Security." NYT: We Expect 300,000 Fewer Births Than Usual This Year. (I thought I was the only one going through a pandemic dry spell.)



"Footage of a brutal crackdown on protests against a coup in Myanmar unleashed outrage and calls for a stronger international response Thursday, a day after 38 people were killed. Videos showed security forces shooting a person at point-blank range and chasing down and savagely beating demonstrators. Despite the shocking violence the day before, protesters returned to the streets Thursday to denounce the military's Feb. 1 takeover — and were met again with tear gas." AP: Myanmar crackdown on protests, widely filmed, sparks outrage.

+ NYT: In Myanmar's Protests, Women Are on the Front Lines: "Despite the danger, women have been at the forefront of the movement, rebuking the generals who ousted a female civilian leader."


Timing is Everything

"When experts envision the future of the coronavirus, many predict that it will become a seasonal pathogen that won't be much more than a nuisance for most of us who have been vaccinated or previously exposed to it. But how long that process takes — and how much damage the virus inflicts in the interim — is still anyone's guess." Stat News: The short-term, middle-term, and long-term future of the coronavirus.

+ Making guesses about timing is all the more difficult because so many leaders are guessing their way through policy decisions. Three of Gov. Greg Abbott's four coronavirus medical advisers say they weren't directly consulted before he lifted mask mandate.

+ Target, Starbucks, CVS and Kroger are among the retailers — some of the largest in the nation — that will continue to require that customers in Texas wear masks inside stores. (Have I mentioned that wearing a mask is like no big deal?)


Cash Advance

"Using donated funds, the industrial city on the edge of the Bay Area tech economy launched a small demonstration program, sending payments of $500 a month to 125 randomly selected individuals living in neighborhoods with average incomes lower than the city median of $46,000 a year. The recipients were allowed to spend the money however they saw fit, and they were not obligated to complete any drug tests, interviews, means or asset tests, or work requirements. They just got the money, no strings attached." And it went really well. The Atlantic: Stockton's Basic-Income Experiment Pays Off.

+ NBC: One California city ran a Universal Basic Income Experiment. Employment rates went up.


Who’s Loeffling Now?

Dave Zirin in The Nation with a pretty damn incredible turn of events. "A franchise owner runs a racist Senate campaign, throwing their own Black players under the bus in the process. Meanwhile, one of those players takes the year off from playing ball to dedicate themselves to social justice concerns. That player asks to meet with the aforementioned franchise owner to discuss those concerns and is denied. The franchise owner refuses to meet and respectfully engage with someone who disagrees with them for political reasons. After the franchise owner faceplants their election campaign, ending in ignominious defeat, the players, the union, fans, and eventually even the league pressures them to sell the club. That in and of itself would be a hell of a story. But this one goes to the next level: The aforementioned player joins an ownership group and buys the team."


Can I Get Your Digits?

"NFTs are designed to give you something that can't be copied: ownership of the work (though the artist can still retain the copyright and reproduction rights, just like with physical artwork). To put it in terms of physical art collecting: anyone can buy a Monet print. But only one person can own the original." NFTs, or Non-fungible tokens, are the hot new digital thing. So let's get up to speed. The Verge: NFTs, explained.


Felon of Troy

"A single troy ounce, which is slightly heavier than a regular ounce, of rhodium cost around $27,000 last week — more than a brand new Toyota Prius. That's up from $1,700 three years ago." WaPo: A precious metal that costs 15 times more than gold is driving a surge in thefts of catalytic converters.


Let This Mosquito Coast

"The reason it's so hard to kill a mosquito is that they move really well. Scientists are trying to build a robot with that kind of agility. And these tiny but mighty flying robots could be used in life-and-death situations, such as finding people in a collapsed building." Don't Swat This Bug. It Might Be A Robot On A Rescue Mission.


Bottom of the News

"In 1865, a report declared that the rock formation — at more than 8,800 feet above sea level — was a path that 'never will be trodden by human foot.' Since then, Half Dome has become a popular, but challenging, hike. But on Feb. 21, Jason Torlano and Zach Milligan made the nearly 5,000-foot trek down on skis." (I get nervous disembarking from a chairlift.)

+ Haruki Murakami Has Designed a Line of T-Shirts for UNIQLO. Damn, everyone's getting into merch...