It’s a Die Heat

It turns out there's a lot of science behind the phrase, "But it's a dry heat." Our bodies are much more effective at cooling off in places like Death Valley where we've come to expect temps to soar. But climate change is bringing the heat to wetter climate zones, and that's when things get dangerous. It's not the heat, it's the humidity. " With its position in the tropics, in one of the most humid regions of the Western Hemisphere, a single day of 120-degree temperatures in Palm Beach would be a mass casualty event. Dead bodies would pile up in the morgues, victims of hyperthermia, or heatstroke—cooked, alive, in their own bodies. What gives? Why is 120 degrees in Palm Beach not the same as 120 degrees in Palm Springs?" Slate: When Will It Get Too Hot for the Body to Survive?

+ In her new book, ‘The Joy of Sweat,' Sarah Everts answers all of our questions about perspiration.

+ We're seeing the combination of heat and humidity in the Olympics. It seems to be most visible on the tennis courts where players are drenched. "Daniil Medvedev of Russia, struggled to breathe through the hot and humid conditions of one of his matches. He told the chair umpire: 'I can finish the match but I can die.'" (Never them see you die is the new Never let them see you sweat.)


Comic Con?

"When the French government launched a smartphone app that gives 300 euros to every 18-year-old in the country for cultural purchases like books and music, or exhibition and performance tickets, most young people's impulse wasn't to buy Proust's greatest works or to line up and see Molière." What did they buy? Manga, and lots of it. NYT (gift article for ND readers): France Gave Teenagers $350 for Culture. They're Buying Comic Books.


Things Go South

"This month, South Africa witnessed the worst violence since the end of the apartheid era. More than three hundred and thirty died over a week of escalating tensions. Forty thousand businesses—including stores, banks, factories, and post offices—were vandalized or burned; damage to the economy was estimated in the billions of dollars." The spark was the imprisonment of corrupt former President Jacob Zuma. But the rot beneath the riots runs deeper than that, and some of it will seem familiar. Robin Wright in The New Yorker: Mandela's Dream for South Africa Is in Ruins.


Profit of Madness

"Although these companies make their money in different ways, the results served as another reminder of the clout they wield and why government regulators are growing increasingly concerned about whether they have become too powerful." Three tech companies — Apple, Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet — reported combined profits of more than $50 billion in the April-June quarter. "The massive profits pouring into each company also illustrated why they have a combined market value of $6.4 trillion -- more than double their collective value when the COVID-19 pandemic started 16 months ago." Are these companies too big to nail?


Finally Hammer Time?

"After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on 'the major issues' in their $1.2 trillion 'hard' infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday." After years of shovel readiness, Infrastructure Week could finally be at hand.


Five Ring Circus

"Imagine a Martian trying to make sense of this world and the only available data are the Summer Olympic medal tables from the past century. How much would that explain? Quite a lot, it turns out. In fact, it would be challenging to find anything else so concise that says so much about the past century." How The Olympic Medal Table Explains The World.

+ Simone Biles has withdrawn from the Individual All-Around Gymnastics Final. "Gymnasts have described the twisties as a kind of mental block. In some sports a sudden mental block - like the "yips" in golf - may cost you a missed putt, or a lost game. In gymnastics, it can cause a person to lose their sense of space and dimension as they're in the air, causing them to lose control of their body and do extra twists or flips that they hadn't intended." What are the twisties in gymnastics?

+ Is the lack of an audience hurting the athletes' performance?


Gall in the Family

"I woke up today at the start of my 100th year as a citizen of this beautiful, bewildering country. I am proud of the progress we've made in my first 99 years, and it breaks my heart to see it undermined by politicians more committed to their own power than the principles that should bind us together. Frankly, I am baffled and disturbed that 21st-century Americans must still struggle to protect their right to vote." The great Norman Lear in WaPo (a gift article to celebrate Norman's birthday): As I begin my 100th year, I'm baffled that voting rights are still under attack.

+ Margaret Sullivan in WaPo: "Mainstream journalists want their work to be perceived as fair-minded and nonpartisan. They want to defend themselves against charges of bias. So they equalize the unequal. This practice seems so ingrained as to be unresolvable." Our democracy is under attack. Washington journalists must stop covering it like politics as usual. Amen.


Ruling With a Moron Fist

"The changed circumstances of summer 2021 call for new approaches. Any entity thinking about a mask requirement — from private businesses to local, state, and federal governments — should consider mandating something else first: vaccination."

+ After Kevin McCarthy blasted the CDC's new mask guidelines for not being based in science (insert laugh track), Nancy Pelosi said, "He's such a moron."


Lets Get Ready to Bumble!

"The study offers a new perspective on the brains of bees that may ultimately improve the efficiency of commercial pollinators. If agricultural bees were caffeinated in their nests, and trained to pollinate target crops, they could boost farm production while also reducing competition with their wild bee counterparts over flowers." A Caffeine Buzz Helps Bumble Bees Do Their Jobs Better, Study Finds. (Red Bull's not the only thing that gives you wings.)


Bottom of the News

This is a Trip Advisor review for the ages: "I would've highly recommended this hotel.. however and this is a HUGE however, the only deterring factor for my not recommending to others is the fact that my group of friends RESCUED a young girl from a 12 ft+ CROCODILE." And it wasn't a joke. Bay Area teen dragged into ocean by crocodile while vacationing in Mexico. Next time someone invites me on a beach vacation, I'm responding, "See you later, alligator."

+ US government sells 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli's one-off Wu-Tang Clan album.