Monday, June 28th, 2021


They’re Here…

After more than a year hiding from a deadly virus, it's time to come back outside where you'll burn to death. That's an exaggeration. But only a slight one in parts of the northwest US and Canada. They are the latest region to get a stark reminder that we're no longer waiting for the impacts of climate change. They're here. From Oregon Live: Portland expected to hit 114 degrees Monday in Oregon heat wave's 3rd record-setting day.

+ Lytton in British Columbia soared to 116F on Sunday, breaking an 84-year-old record, officials said.

+ NPR: Intense. Prolonged. Record-breaking. Unprecedented. Abnormal. Dangerous. That's how the National Weather Service described the historic heat wave hitting the Pacific Northwest. (That's also how I described quarantining with my family.)


Screaming Into the Voids

"We have over 80 rescuers at a time that are breaching the walls that collapsed, in a frantic effort to try to rescue those that are still viable and to get to those voids that we typically know exist in these buildings. We have been able to tunnel through the building. This is a frantic search to seek that hope, that miracle, to see who we can bring out of this building alive." Rescuers: Survivors could still be inside collapsed building. So far 10 bodies have been recovered and more than 150 are still unaccounted for. Nightmare.

+ Surfside official was sent disturbing report. He told board condo was ‘in good shape.'


A Show About Nothing

"My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time. If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit." It was all bullshit, but too many people didn't have the ethical courage to call bullshit. Jonathan D. Karl in The Atlantic: Inside William Barr's Breakup With Trump. In short, they lost control of their monster. "To McConnell, the road to maintaining control of the Senate was simple: Republicans needed to make the argument that with Biden soon to be in the White House, it was crucial that they have a majority in the Senate to check his power. But McConnell also believed that if he openly declared Biden the winner, Trump would be enraged and likely act to sabotage the Republican Senate campaigns in Georgia. Barr related his conversations with McConnell to me. McConnell confirms the account." (Isn't it nice when someone confirms an account that makes it so clear that they put self-interest over country?)


The Money Pit

Infrastructure week is tantalizingly close to actually arriving. You can never be sure in today's political environment. But one thing you can be sure of: As is the case in health care, when it comes to bridges, tunnels, and roads, Americans will be overpaying. Vox: Why does it cost so much to build things in America?


Come Together? Right Now?

"She'd been staying in a Venice studio with big windows. 'I used to tell people I was living in a tree house,' she said. But when the pandemic hit she felt disconnected in both life and work, so she started searching. Treehouse—the name, the concept—rang true. 'My friends all said, ‘Oh, you're moving to a cult!' So I read a cult book,' she told me. 'Just to be sure.'" The New Yorker's Nathan Heller on the rise and meaning of group living. In a Divided Country, Communal Living Redefines Togetherness. (I live with my wife, two kids, two beagles, two cats, and my mother-in-law. Maybe I should read a book on cults.)


Buck Wild

A new dollar store opens in America every six hours or so. There may be no clearer stat to define the great American divide than this: There are more dollar stores than CVS stores, Walgreens, Walmarts, and Targets combined. The Hustle with a visual explainer on The economics of dollar stores.


There You Have It

"Half-truths and distorted information have obscured an accurate accounting of the lab's functions and activities, which were more routine than how they've been portrayed in the media, she said. 'It's not that it was boring, but it was a regular lab that worked in the same way as any other high-containment lab,' Anderson said. 'What people are saying is just not how it is.'" Bloomberg: The Last—And Only—Foreign Scientist in the Wuhan Lab Speaks Out. She was there, and thinks there's no there there.


Speech Impediment

"When he made that revelation, the principal, Robert M. Tull, went to the back of the stage and appeared to unplug some cords, a video from the ceremony shows. Suddenly, Mr. Dershem, 18, was silenced. Mr. Tull walked onstage and took the microphone from its stand. When the principal took the microphone, he also took Mr. Dershem's prepared remarks." When a Valedictorian Spoke of His Queer Identity, the Principal Cut Off His Speech. (So the kid gave his speech from memory and the principal's idiotic move made the speech all the more memorable.)

+ Supreme Court gives victory to transgender student who sued to use bathroom. (I spent my entire childhood avoiding school restrooms. It's pretty sad this kid had to sue to use one.)


Peloton of Bricks

"A woman holding a large sign bearing the words "ALLEZ OPI-OMI!" (German terms of endearment for grandparents) clipped Germany's Tony Martin, who lost his balance and set off a chain reaction that sent cyclists sprawling across the pavement as she stepped in front of the peloton to display the sign for TV cameras. Several spectators and cyclists were injured." Tour de France official says woman who caused huge crash will be sued. (Once they find her.)

+ NYT: He Felt Like Running: 100 Days, 100 Ironman-Length Triathlons.


Bottom of the News

A Man, a Dog, a Walk Around the World.

+ Buck naked: nude sunbathers fleeing deer fined for breaking Sydney lockdown. "Police fined two men $1,000 each after helicopter and rescue crew sent to help the pair who became lost in bushland after wildlife encounter." (I'm almost positive that Nude and Lost in Bushland was the name of a 70s movie.)