Thursday, March 25th, 2021


You’re Gonna Need a Smaller Boat

The Ever Given was just another mega cargo ship passing through the Suez Canal, but then things went sideways. And stayed there. Now one of the world's major trade arteries is blocked, and some experts (yes, there are experts on canal wedgies) say it could be days, or even weeks, before the container ship is freed and the growing backup of ships can free themselves from the highway to hull. NPR: It 'Might Take Weeks' To Free Ship Stuck In Suez Canal, Salvage Company Says. (This will all be much simpler once we exclusively trade in NFTs.)

+ In pictures: Efforts to dislodge huge ship from Egypt's Suez Canal.

+ Speaking of rough commutes, so far, people are not coming back to public transit around the world. NYT: Riders Are Abandoning Buses and Trains. That's a Problem for Climate Change.


Biden Press Conference

Joe Biden held his first presidential press conference today, and kicked things off with a new goal of 200 million vaccine shots by the 100th day of his presidency. Immigration and filibusters were also topics. Injecting Lysol wasn't. Here's the latest from CNN.

+ Meanwhile, Kamala Harris got her first major assignment. And it's not an easy one. Vice President Kamala Harris to lead White House efforts to stem migration at the border.

+ WaPo's Greg Sargent on Why Kamala Harris's new immigration assignment could be a big deal. "In the short run, it could help shift part of the conversation away from the media-centric idea that the sum total of this 'crisis' is what's happening at the border, and focus it on the deeper causes of these migrations. That's absolutely necessary if the political and policy debate is going to regain some sanity. What's more, in the long run, this could also pave the way toward the development of some actual solutions to the broader problems here, which are fiendishly difficult."


Sole Patch

"For 18 years I didn't have a window in my room to distract myself from the intensity of my confinement. I wasn't permitted to talk to my fellow prisoners or even to myself. I didn't have healthy, nutritious food; I was given just enough to not die. These circumstances made me think about how I ended up in solitary confinement." Ian Manuel in the NYT I Survived 18 Years in Solitary Confinement. His stint in solitary started when he was 15.


Cleanup in Aisle America

"Two days after 10 people were murdered at a grocery store in Colorado, a man was arrested at an Atlanta supermarket with a semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and four handguns. The man also was wearing body armor and had a cache of ammunition." The charge: reckless conduct. (Just look at the cache of weapons in the photo in this article and tell me we're not crazy.)


Cotton Balls

"Both companies had said in separate statements that they were 'concerned' about reports that Uighurs were being forced to pick cotton in Xinjiang, and that they did not source products from the region." Nike, H&M face China fury over Xinjiang cotton concerns. (Just to be clear. China is not facing fury for possibly using Uighurs as slave labor. Nike and H&M are facing fury for bringing up the topic.)


I Wanna Party With You

I'm on the board of 826 Valencia, and our annual gala is going virtual tonight. It's always a great event, and this year's special guest is Zadie Smith. She'll be joined by Dave Eggers and a collection of young writers that will amaze and delight you. Here are the details about tonight's event. It would be great to have you join the fun. Do it for the kids! (Or to show my fellow board members the power of my reach.)


Don’t Construe the Crime if You Can’t Do the Time

"Last year, everyday patterns of life broke down. Schools shut down. Young people were on their own. There was a widespread sense of a crisis and a surge in gun ownership. People stopped making their way to institutions that they know and where they spend their time. That type of destabilization is what creates the conditions for violence to emerge." The Atlantic's Derek Thompson with a very interesting interview about the very complex process of examining why crime rises and falls. Why America's Great Crime Decline Is Over.


Confirmation Bias

"Voting mostly along party lines, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be the nation's assistant secretary of health. She is the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation."

+ Vanita Gupta's confirmation to be the number three person at the DOJ has been delayed and contentious. Rachel Maddow has an idea why and shares the absolutely incredible story of the 1999 (though it seems more like 1899) Tulia, Texas arrests by a corrupt cop. Racist scandal lurks in background of Cornyn obstruction of Gupta nomination to DOJ.


Family Guise

"Members of Cuomo's family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times." Top health officials told to prioritize COVID testing for Cuomo's relatives. (I'd be surprised if this were unique to Cuomo, but when scandals rain, they pour.)


Bottom of the News

Researchers create nose-only COVID-19 masks to wear while eating. (This actually seems like a positive sign. Covid may have jumped the shark.)

+ Some fun behind the scenes movie trivia.

+ Think you know what that small pocket on your jeans is for? You're probably wrong.