Wednesday, March 10th, 2021


I Am Your Creator

When it comes to social media, we long ago gave up on self control. Thankfully, we've got another shot at success, this time with the control of others. One startup founder intent on enabling this kind of control explained the model. "We're building an economy of attention where you purchase moments in other people's lives, and we take it a step further by allowing and enabling people to control those moments." The NYT's Taylor Lorenz: For Creators, Everything Is for Sale. "Sure, it's fun to control a famous influencer or celebrity, but it's honestly just as entertaining to control someone you go to school with, or your boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, or an author planning their next sci-fi novel, or a beauty founder creating their next makeup palette ... It doesn't matter how boring you think you are, there's someone out there who would find your life interesting to the point that they're willing to pay." (How much would it cost just to make it all stop?)


Kids These Days

"The number of unaccompanied children being held at the border has tripled in the past two weeks, to more than three thousand two hundred and fifty. More than thirteen hundred of them have been in C.B.P. custody longer than the seventy-two-hour limit prescribed by law." The New Yorker's Jonathan Blitzer: Biden Has Few Good Options for the Unaccompanied Children at the Border. "These aren't brand new cases of people setting out for the U.S. ... These are kids who've been waiting at the border, in some cases for more than a year."


Kyle or Be Kyled

"Many conservatives would lionize Rittenhouse as a hero, defending property and then himself against a mob. Many on the left would vilify him as a murderous white supremacist. The truth, however, was even more tragic than either side allowed." Doug Bock Clark in GQ: "Last summer, in a small Wisconsin city, the country's fiercest differences collided in the streets—and a teenager named Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire, shooting three people. In the aftermath, a disquieting question loomed: Were these among the first shots in a new kind of civil war?" (Or maybe just the latest shots in the old Civil War that never really ended?)


That’s a Cheap Shot

"As states ramp up vaccination distribution in the fight against the coronavirus, volunteers are needed to do everything from direct traffic to check people in so vaccination sites run smoothly." But the act of volunteering isn't wholly altruistic. AP: Volunteers are key at vaccine sites. It pays off with a shot.


Children of the Cornmeal

"The children in the market town ate far more meat and dairy products than the rural children, along with new starches, like white rice, and highly processed foods, like candy. In general, they ate more and in a more-modern way than the rural children, and it was this diet, Dr. Urlacher and his colleagues conclude, that contributed most to their higher weight." NYT: Exercise vs. Diet? What Children of the Amazon Can Teach Us About Weight Gain. (My problem is that I'm a child of the Amazon dot com.)


Little Rock Ark of the Convenant

"The law does not allow any exceptions in situations of rape or incest — a line that anti-abortion-rights activists and lawmakers have supported in the past. Performing or attempting to perform an abortion is considered an unclassified felony under the measure. Anyone convicted under the law could face a fine up to $100,000 or a prison sentence." Arkansas just passed an anti-abortion law that's clearly unconstitutional. And that's the point. NPR: Arkansas Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban — And A Possible 'Roe V. Wade' Test.


The Day the Music Died

It's been a year since we shut it all down. WaPo: 27 entertainers on the disbelief and despair that took over when covid-19 shut down their world. Dave Grohl: "I thought she was being alarmist. I'm like, 'What do you mean?' And I remember on the way home stopping in an Ace Hardware store. Sold out. Then I go to Home Depot. Sold out. And that's when I thought, like, 'Oh, my God, this is really happening right now.'" Even the Foo Fighters were Fubar.


Winter Wonder

"His curiosity comes from working as a wax technician for Canadian elite cross-country skiers in the early- to mid-2000s while he was still getting his PhD. He travelled with teams for months and noticed how breathing issues would worsen as the ski season wore on. 'By the time you got to national or the spring season races in March, they were hacking all the time, so they basically had chronic cough,' he said. 'It's not healthy to have chronic cough.'" CBC News: Why winter exercise can be especially hard on the lungs.


Animal Cam Jam

You weren't getting out much in 2020. But the animals were. InFocus: Winners of the 2020 World Nature Photography Awards.


Bottom of the News

"It's been a strange school year for everyone, but high school students in Burlington, Vermont, recently restarted in-person classes in a very unique environment. An old Macy's department store in the city has been converted into the new Burlington High School after the old school building was closed due to chemical contamination concerns."

+ A Reddit user moved to Florida and noticed that there is an epidemic of bald men having billboards extended in order to fit their bald heads.