Friday, April 2nd, 2021


Thank Good It’s Friday

Kids are on spring break next week. Delivery could be sporadic.

The New Yorker's Kathryn Schulz examines why animals are so good at not getting lost, and what we can learn from them, beginning with a cat named Billy and his owner named Phil. The two had been separated on a rainy highway 30 minutes from home. Weeks later, they were to meet again. "Phil showed up at my door. The cat, who had been pacing continuously, took one look and leaped into Phil's arms—literally hurled himself the several feet necessary to be bundled into his erstwhile owner's chest. Phil, a six-foot-tall bartender of the badass variety, promptly started to cry ... How Billy accomplished his remarkable feat remains a mystery, not only to me but to everyone." Why Animals Don't Get Lost. (In other words, if your cat took off one day and didn't come back, it was intentional.)


Van Jones

"He said he had posted the video because he cared about 'sharing a realistic point of view,' adding that some people were disappointed when their experience in a van didn't turn out the way they had imagined based on what they had seen on social media. 'You search for #vanlife on Instagram, and it just looks perfect,' Mr. Frew said in a phone interview. 'It looks like the ideal life that anyone would be crazy not to do.'" The pandemic made certain things impossible and certain things more popular. The latter category includes Van Life. NYT: How Veterans of Vanlife Feel About All the Newbies. (I never lived in a van, but I often pretend to be running errands while I'm really just sitting in my Volvo in the driveway listening to Howard Stern for three hours.)


Weekend Whats

What to Book: Nothing was more evident during the pandemic than America's economic divide. And no company more fully reflects that divide than Amazon. Luckily, Alec MacGillis has written an excellent book (with a great cover) on the topic. Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America.

+ What to Doc The Mole Agent starts out as a documentary about a private eye checking on conditions at a retirement home. But this Oscar nominated doc morphs into something else.

+ What to Watch They're not called Metal Detectors when they're the people doing the detecting. They're called Metal Detectorists. And The Detectorists is a great, little show. Trust me.


Road Outrage

Two Capitol Hill police officers were injured after a car rammed a barricade and the driver exited the vehicle brandishing a knife. The driver was shot, taken into custody, and ultimately died at the hospital. Sadly, at least one of the officers died of his injuries. Here's the latest from CNN.


Stating the Obvious

"So in your opinion, should that restraint have stopped once he was handcuffed and thrown on the ground?" Prosecutor Matthew Frank asked. 'Absolutely,' Zimmerman replied." Lieutenant: Kneeling on Floyd's neck ‘totally unnecessary.'


You Can Call Me Jay

"Grandmaster Jay's group, the NFAC, is a Black militia whose goals, other than to abjure F-cking Around, are obscure. It has a militarylike structure, fields an army of hundreds of heavily armed men and women, subscribes to esoteric racist doctrines, opposes Black Lives Matter, and follows a leader who thinks we live in a period of apocalyptic tribulation signaled by the movements of celestial bodies. Its modus operandi is to deploy a more fearsome Black militia wherever white militias dare to appear." The Atlantic's Graeme Wood with the pretty weird, oddly entertaining, a fully disturbing story of a man calling himself Grandmaster Jay who has raised a disciplined, heavily armed militia. "It has yet to fire a shot at its enemies, but it's prepared for war."



"Gaetz's associate, former local politician Joel Greenberg, was indicted last year for allegedly trafficking a teenage girl for sex in 2017, and the Justice Department is also trying to determine whether Gaetz had sex with the 17-year-old, according to sources." Feds looking at alleged payments Rep. Matt Gaetz made to women and online solicitation.

+ U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz was the lone vote in the House against an anti-human trafficking bill. (At least now we know why...)

+ "Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with, the sources told CNN, including while on the House floor. The sources, including two people directly shown the material, said Gaetz displayed the images of women on his phone and talked about having sex with them. One of the videos showed a naked woman with a hula hoop, according to one source." (This thing just escalated to being an OSHA issue...)


Vaccination States

"Vaccinated people can safely travel, according to new CDC pandemic guidelines released on Friday, but must continue to take COVID-19 safety precautions while traveling, like wearing a mask in public and social distancing."

+ NYT: Can Vaccinated People Spread the Virus? We Don't Know, Scientists Say.


Monkey See, Monkey Don’t

"Despite the veneer of neutrality of nature documentaries, I know there's no such thing as objective truth when you're dealing with cameras and film editing. And silent video is boring. But on the other hand, just making up sounds that spiders don't actually make — I don't know." Jason Kottke illuminates us about How Sounds Are Faked For Nature Documentaries.


Bottom of the News

"Getting vaxxed at moscone and they're literally playing Here Comes the Sun on the PA and I'm shaking,' Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho tweeted on March 17. 'I'm gonna f—ing cry.'" Here's the story behind the amazing Moscone Center vaccine playlist.

+ USDA drops plan to cut food stamps for 700,000 Americans.

+ $1M lottery ticket recovered in parking lot.

+ Employers Add 916,000 Jobs As Economy Emerges From Winter Slump.

+ Not Heading To Paris This Summer? The Louvre Has Digitized 482,000 Artworks.

+ Pentagon issues policy allowing transgender troops to serve in preferred gender.

+ How the SF treasure behind one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite burgers in the world survived COVID-19.

+ A Photographer Captured The Moment A 98-Year-Old Got To See Her Family After A Year Apart.

+ Australia: Geologist beaten up by 'angriest octopus' on beach. (Not really "feel good," but I bet he had it coming...)