1

Shock and Blah

"Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you're muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021. As scientists and physicians work to treat and cure the physical symptoms of long-haul Covid, many people are struggling with the emotional long-haul of the pandemic. It hit some of us unprepared as the intense fear and grief of last year faded." Adam Grant in the NYT: There's a Name for the Blah You're Feeling: It's Called Languishing. "Part of the danger is that when you're languishing, you might not notice the dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive. You don't catch yourself slipping slowly into solitude; you're indifferent to your indifference. When you can't see your own suffering, you don't seek help or even do much to help yourself." (I disagree with this diagnosis, but I really don't have the energy to explain why...)

2

Stop the Count(y)

"Almost 130 million people 18 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 50.4% of the total adult population." Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot. (Now comes the hard half.)

+ NYT: Scientists have estimated that 70 to 90 percent of the total population must acquire resistance to the virus to reach herd immunity. But in hundreds of counties around the country, vaccination rates are low, with some even languishing in the teens." You'll never guess what those counties have in common.

+ Counties are different. And countries are even more different. Australia-New Zealand travel bubble opens with joy, tears. Meanwhile, India's capital to lock down amid explosive virus surge. And from BBC: Covid in Brazil: Hunger worsens in city slums.

3

Lan of the Lost

"A tiny fraction of one per cent of North Koreans has access to the Internet. Yet, paradoxically, the North Korean government has produced some of the world's most proficient hackers. At first glance, the situation is perverse, even comical—like Jamaica winning an Olympic gold in bobsledding—but the cyber threat from North Korea is real and growing." Ed Caesar in The New Yorker: The Incredible Rise of North Korea's Hacking Army.

4

I Reacted to What You Did Last Summer

As the Derek Chauvin trial enters closing arguments, it's worth asking whether anything has actually changed since our summer of pandemic protests. It may not be enough yet, but the answer is yes. NYT: "States have passed over 140 police oversight bills since the killing of George Floyd, increasing accountability and overhauling rules on the use of force. But the calls for change continue." Of course, it's a big problem to tackle: Since testimony in Derek Chauvin's trial began on March 29, more than three people a day have died at the hands of law enforcement.

+ While police violence and mass shootings dominate the headlines, the even bigger story is the horror of everyday murder in America. 7-year-old girl shot and killed in McDonald's drive-thru in Chicago.

+ From The Guardian, a lede that defines America: "A gunman who murdered eight people at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis legally purchased the two semi-automatic rifles he used in the attack, months after a shotgun he owned was confiscated by police over concerns around his mental health."

5

Hunger Struck

"Navalny allies have said that they are bracing for bad news and that they are planning nationwide protest rallies to call for his release." NPR: Navalny Moved To Infirmary In Russian Prison After Doctor Warns He Could Die Soon.

6

Remote Possibilities

"Equipped with cameras, the drone is a prototype that the space agency hopes will pioneer future flying explorers on Mars and other worlds with atmospheres." NASA Just Flew The First Powered Flight On Another Planet.

7

This is Still Pretty Rare

"The plant-based food category is starting from a very low baseline. A 45 percent increase in plant-based meat sales over one year is a big deal, but it can be brought back down to earth by a grim, stubborn fact: More than 99 percent of the meat we eat in the US still comes from animals." The state of the plant-based food industry. (Growing, but still small.)

8

Ibogaine Control

"When it was over, Marcus felt as if he'd finally put down a heavy load he'd been carrying for years. For the first time in a long time, he didn't want a drink, and he didn't touch alcohol for a year after. 'I was thinking clear. I wasn't impulsive anymore. I had no anxiety. I wasn't depressed,' he says. Amber couldn't believe it, but when she picked him up, she knew she had her husband back. 'When he walked into the room, it was as though I was witnessing him the first time I met him,' she says. 'His anger and his darkness and his whole demeanor had changed. All of that was gone. He was easy. He was light. He was present. He was happy. It just absolutely blew my mind.'" Time: Inside Ibogaine, One of the Most Promising and Perilous Psychedelics for Addiction.

9

Lake Superior?

"Spun-out Teslas on snowy roads. Cabins bought for cash, sight unseen. A shoveling disaster. Locals bemoan the pandemic-induced migration of Bay Area residents to the mountains. But there are two sides to the Zoom-town story." Outside: When the Techies Took Over Tahoe. (For a place overtaken by techies, the internet speeds sure suck.)

10

Bottom of the News

"Hedge fund manager David Einhorn warned of dangers for retail investors that he sees in the market, and one of his main examples was a tiny New Jersey deli with a market capitalization of more than $100 million." There's a single New Jersey deli doing $35,000 in sales valued at $100 million in the stock market. "The largest shareholder is also the CEO/CFO/Treasurer and a Director, who also happens to be the wrestling coach of the high school next door to the deli. The pastrami must be amazing."

+ Meet eight influencers who have spent their golden years racking up followers. Grandparents gone viral. (I've still got time!)