1

Hold My Year

Last year was filled with days that felt like years, but none was longer than March 11, the news-packed, life-altering day when a series of decisions were made that would have been unthinkable just days before. Famous people got Covid, travel routes were closed, sports were cancelled, freezers were stocked, toilet paper was hoarded, and the beginning of the great shutdown was upon us. From Buzzfeed: Tom Hanks, The NBA, And COVID's Day Of Reckoning In The US: An Oral History.

+ NYT: These stories offer a look at one year of loss and disruption.

+ WaPo: Sorrow and stamina, defiance and despair. It's been a year.

+ Photos that capture the range of emotion we felt in the first year of the pandemic. (While it's been a long year, it's worth reflecting on the almost unimaginable pace at which vaccines went from an urgent need to being injected into arms. At the risk of being oxymoronic: It is a scientific miracle.)

2

The Deep

In addition to being the one year anniversary of the American shutdown, it's also the 10 year anniversary of the day when "a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck off Japan's northeastern shore—the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit the country—generating enormous tsunami waves that spread across miles of shoreline, climbing as high as 130 feet. The fierce inundation of seawater tore apart coastal towns and villages, carrying ships inland as thousands of homes were flattened, then washed tons of debris and vehicles back out to sea." My wife and I watched the wave come ashore on TV, and even from that distance, it is one of the most shocking things I've ever seen. InFocus Photos: 10 Years Since the Great East Japan Earthquake.

+ A 2011 piece from Michael Paterniti in GQ: The Man Who Sailed His House.

3

Oh What a Relief It Is

Joe Biden will sign the $1.9 trillion relief bill before addressing the nation on the road forward as we look to put the pandemic behind us. USA Today: Money for colleges, libraries and clubs: 10 things you might not know are in Biden's COVID-19 relief package.

4

Beeple Juice

Most people are hearing about "NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique files that live on a blockchain and are able to verify ownership of a work of digital art," for the first time. But there's already news of a pretty big sale. An NFT of a work created by Mike Winkelmann (who goes by the name Beeple) just sold for $69 million. Until a few months ago, Winkelmann's most expensive prints went for about a hundred bucks.

5

Mexico-Dependent Relationship

"Security experts agree that the law's practical impact on violence will likely be minimal: With 15 American states having now legalized marijuana, they argue, the crop has become a relatively small part of the Mexican drug trafficking business, with cartels focusing on more profitable products like fentanyl and methamphetamines." NYT: Mexico Set to Legalize Marijuana, Becoming World's Largest Market. (Legalizing pot when it's no longer a big profit center for cartels is just another reminder that the drug war has been one of human history's most epic and deadly failures.)

6

Sir Mix a Lot

"Trying to envision something that didn't yet exist, Ottens used a wooden block that was small and thin enough to fit in his pocket as the target for what the future of tape recording and playback should be." Lou Ottens, Inventor Of The Cassette Tape, Has Died. There's a documentary on the Cassette tape for you kids too young to know about them.

7

In Loco Parentis Loco

"We were, in retrospect, imperfectly set up for pandemic parenthood. We live in New York, where we have a few friends but no family nearby. We don't have a car. We were established with all the trappings of successful 21st-century lives—good careers in an amazing city where we'd moved to facilitate them. But these things also meant that, when it really mattered, we were alone." Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic: Becoming a Parent During the Pandemic Was the Hardest Thing I've Ever Done. (The pandemic really did become less stressful when I decided to stop parenting.)

8

Someone Needs to Mother Tucker

"Fox News host Tucker Carlson devoted a lengthy portion of his show Tuesday night to attacking New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz over her accounts of facing online harassment." WaPo: Tucker Carlson keeps attacking a New York Times reporter after the paper calls his tactics ‘calculated and cruel'. And U.S. Army Appears to Hit Back at Tucker Carlson for Mocking Women in the Military. (It's long past time for every advertiser to drop this pathetic jerk. He is garbage.)

9

Kyoto Yolo

"Indeed, with the exception of cautious jaunts into the world for COVID-safe performances, photo shoots and interviews, she largely experienced her rising stardom from her tiny, recently vacated pad in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake, which she'd called home since she was 18. While much of the world's population has had to realign the borders of everyday life over the past year, Bridgers has seen hers expand dramatically." Variety: How Grammy Nominee Phoebe Bridgers Became a Lockdown Rock Star.

+ Phoebe Bridgers Doesn't Have Time For 'Goat Beard Assholes.' (That's too baaaaaad...)

10

Bottom of the News

"In an effort to regain the satisfying elements of her former routine, Jesson began faux commuting several months ago. Now, she drives about 20 minutes to a coffee shop most mornings, before her workday starts. Not only does Jesson's commute create a buffer between her work and personal time, but it "adds that more human aspect" back into her day." Meet the 'faux commuters' taking fake trips to work during the pandemic. (I always carve out at least an hour of my day for faux road rage.)

+ Let's drone through a bowling alley.