Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021


Hurd Immunity

Stop the Olympics. It's over. We had our greatest race of the competition and one of the greatest races of all time. American Rai Benjamin ran the 400m hurdles in 46.17 seconds, beating the previous world record by more than half a second. And Benjamin came in second. Norway's Karsten Warholm ran "a mind-boggling time of 45.94 seconds, obliterating his month-old record (46.70)." How fast is that? Consider this. Warholm ran the 400m hurdles faster than 18 of the 48 competitors who ran the 400m WITHOUT HURDLES. (This is the one and only time that all-caps are appropriate.) You can watch the race here.

+ NYT (gift article for ND readers): A Track Built for Speed Is Already Producing Records. (It's springy, but it would have to be a trampoline to explain that 400 hurdle time.)

+ Wired: Why Even the Fastest Human Can't Outrun Your House Cat. (Yeah, but cats run under the hurdles. That's cheating.)

+ Look, up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. No, Simone Biles is back in action. Biles took Bronze in the balance beam. "It means more than all of the golds because I pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I've even been here." Biles said the twisties are still there. "Every time I watch the guys and the girls out there, I want to puke every time I watch them do a double-double [a move involving twists] because I cannot fathom how they're doing it." (After learning about the twisties, I realize I have them for just about all physical activities.)

+ OK, let's not stop the Olympics. You never know what can happen. For example, who predicted a Badminton player would swap rackets mid-rally and still win the point?


Capitol Offense

"Four law enforcement officers who responded to the Capitol insurrection have now died by suicide, a sobering toll which doubled on Monday, after Metropolitan Police confirmed two of the department's officers who responded on January 6 recently took their own lives." (This wasn't a tourist visit or just another day at the Capitol, folks.)


The War on Hugs

"Zacatecas, the state Fresnillo is in, has the country's highest murder rate, with 122 deaths in June, according to the Mexican government. Lately, it has become a national horror show, with cadavers found dangling from bridges, stuffed into plastic bags or even tied to a cross ... In 2018, during his run for president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered a grand vision to remake Mexico — and a radically new way of tackling the violence. He would break with the failed tactics of his predecessors, he said. Instead of arresting and killing traffickers as previous leaders had done, he would focus on the causes of violence: 'hugs not bullets, he called it. He was swept to victory." NYT: ‘We're Living in Hell': Inside Mexico's Most Terrified City. (It's almost like the Mexican government doesn't want to solve the cartel violence. Hmm.)


Cuomo Magnon

"An investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in and out of state government and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers, New York's attorney general announced Tuesday in a finding that quickly renewed calls for the Democrat's resignation or impeachment." (The trend these days is to attack all the findings and hold onto office. Maybe these findings should break that trend.)


Rescue Mission Possible?

"An American-born girl who grew up under ISIS control was rescued from a Syrian detention camp last month after the girl's mother — a US citizen who left the country and in 2014 joined the terrorist organization — and her father were killed while living under the terror group, according to a former US diplomat." A Young American Girl Whose Mother Joined ISIS And Died Has Been Rescued, A Former US Diplomat Said. Read this story and consider all the other kids who are victims of geopolitical conflicts and cultural madness.


That 70s Slow

"There was was no celebration at the White House on Monday, nor a setting of a new target, as the administration instead struggles to overcome skepticism and outright hostility to the vaccine, especially in the South and other rural and conservative areas." US hits 70% vaccination rate -- a month late, amid a surge.

+ Beer, lotteries, and free pizza are decent motivators. Fear is a better one. All 50 states report rising vaccination rates.

+ US employers ratchet up the pressure on the unvaccinated. (good.)

+ New York City will require vaccines for entry to restaurants and gyms. (good.)

+ As of late last week, 9 states have enacted 11 laws with prohibitions on vaccine mandates. (bad.)


Undergroundhog Day

"The difference is that thawing wetlands releases 'microbial' methane from the decay of soil and organic matter, while thawing limestone — or carbonate rock — releases hydrocarbons and gas hydrates from reservoirs both below and within the permafrost, making it 'much more dangerous' than past studies have suggested." WaPo: Scientists expected thawing wetlands in Siberia's permafrost. What they found is ‘much more dangerous.' (Anyone else sense a negative trend in climate news?)


Tuck, Tuck, Truce

"The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday evening announced he would be broadcasting his show 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' this week from Budapest, as he visits the Hungarian capital and meets with the country's populist prime minister, Viktor Orbán. Carlson is also billed to speak Saturday at a far-right conference in Budapest." (It's nice that two democracy destroyers can get together and exchange tips.)

+ Heather Cox Richardson describes a Hungary that probably sounds great to many anti-democracy Americans. "No matter what he calls it, Orbán's model is not democracy at all. As soon as he retook office in 2010, he began to establish control over the media, cracking down on those critical of his party, Fidesz, and rewarding those who toed the party line. In 2012, his supporters rewrote the country's constitution to strengthen his hand, and extreme gerrymandering gave his party more power while changes to election rules benefited his campaigns. Increasingly, he used the power of the state to concentrate wealth among his cronies, and he reworked the country's judicial system and civil service system to stack it with his loyalists. While Hungary still has elections, state control of the media and the apparatus of voting means that it is impossible for Orbán's opponents to take power." If you sponsor Fox News, these are your dollars (and Forints) at work.

+ Here's a shocker: Trump raised millions but spent none of it on audits and GOP candidates.


I Want My … What Was It I Wanted Again?

On its 40th anniversary, here's a look back at the MTV launch. A minute-by-minute breakdown of the first half an hour. At this point, those of us who said, "I want my MTV," need a hearing aid to enjoy it.


Bottom of the News

Carrone says that performing was a great way to ease the situation and to connect with the community to show that police officers are people, too. The performance even earned praise from Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno, who called the action 'textbook community policing at its best.'" A police officer called over a noise complaint ended up sitting in with the band. (It's the one thing that still unites us. Everyone wants to be a rock star.)

+ Now this is what the internet is actually for. A Cat Ran Onto The Field During The Yankee Game.