Who Let the Cogs Out?

We're living in a material world. But we're out of materials. In many product areas, the elf on the shelf is all by himself. For years, just in time manufacturing and stocking has been revolutionizing retail. "By keeping inventories thin, major retailers have been able to use more of their space to display a wider array of goods. Just In Time has enabled manufacturers to customize their wares. And lean production has significantly cut costs while allowing companies to pivot quickly to new products." But during the pandemic, just in time turned into just short. "This helps explain why Nike and other apparel brands struggle to stock retail outlets with their wares. It's one of the reasons construction companies are having trouble purchasing paints and sealants. It was a principal contributor to the tragic shortages of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic, which left frontline medical workers without adequate gear." Peter S. Goodman and Niraj Chokshi in the NYT: How the World Ran Out of Everything. (And I thought it was only semiconductors, toilet paper, and ethics.)


Blight Claw

"What most of us want to know, coming out of the pandemic, is this: Am I drinking too much? And: How much are other people drinking? And: Is alcohol actually that bad? The answer to all these questions turns, to a surprising extent, not only on how much you drink, but on how and where and with whom you do it." The Atlantic: America Has a Drinking Problem.

+ And that, as much as anything else, led to my drinking problem.


Arms Reach

It's true that America fell behind on mass shootings during the quarantine. But we're catching up. And when it comes to violence, we can expect a lot of newbies to get into the action. Gun sales shot up during the pandemic, and a fifth of those who purchased were first-time owners. Gun Buying Spiked During the Pandemic. It's Still Up.



"Because Hahnemann treated so many poor patients, it had significant financial difficulties. But patient outcomes rivalled those of practically any hospital in the country, and the people who worked there were driven by a sense of mission. "The doctors at Hahnemann were there because they wanted to be there ... Hahnemann took care of the people that no one else wanted to take care of." That kind of feel good story is hard to sustain in an era when private equity has entered the medical industry and the country is losing about 30 hospitals a year. Chris Pomorski in The New Yorker: The Death of Hahnemann Hospital.


The Tennis Court of Public Opinion

"You shouldnt ever have to make a decison like this-but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be dont protect their own. Major respect." That was Steph Curry's response when Naomi Osaki pulled out of the French Open for reasons related to her mental health. Everyone else has had an opinion, too. Ironically, leaving a tournament because she wanted to avoid post-match press conferences has led to Osaka being in nonstop headlines. I knew Naomi made the right decision when Piers Morgan said she didn't. (The fault, dear Piers, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.) She's 23 and has faced more fame and pressure than most do in a lifetime, and she's responded to that by winning a lot. So maybe we should all STFU...


Walking the Walkout

"Texas Democrats who defeated a Republican effort to pass a suite of new voting restrictions with a dramatic late-night walkout from the state House chamber on Sunday have a message for President Biden and his allies in Congress: If we can protect voting rights, you can, too." WaPo: After defeating restrictive voting bill, Texas Democrats send loud message: ‘We need Congress to do their part.' (And they better hurry, because time is running out.)


Tusla Time

"Biden will be the first president to participate in remembrances of the destruction of what was known as 'Black Wall Street.' Biden honors forgotten victims of Tulsa race massacre.

+ Emotional photos show how Tulsa is marking 100 years since a massacre.


The War on Hugs

"The notoriously violent Jalisco cartel has responded to Mexico's 'hugs, not bullets' policy with a policy of its own: The cartel kidnapped several members of an elite police force in the state of Guanajuato, tortured them to obtain names and addresses of fellow officers and is now hunting down and killing police at their homes, on their days off, in front of their families."


Taco Cell

"But no one, not even the former prosecutor in the case, is demanding that Kaestel remain behind bars. Since 2012, the parole board recommended clemency three times, but Hutchinson and his predecessor Mike Beebe declined to grant it. The victim of the crime, Dennis Schluterman, has spent years pleading for Kaestel's release." He Robbed a Taco Joint With a Toy Water Gun for $264. He Got Life in Prison.


Bottom of the News

"According to a post from the sheriff's office, deputies were assisting police during a 13-mile pursuit between Barron and Cumberland. The chase ended on a farm when the suspect vehicle was blocked by a group of cattle." (Don't Moove! Get into the cow paddy wagon.)

+ Massive bitcoin mine discovered in UK after police raid suspected cannabis farm. (Now we just need an NFT of the arrest and we're covered.)