Thursday, August 5th, 2021


A Short Fuselage

Before the pandemic era, travelers would often return from a trip complaining about the terrible service provided by airlines. Things have changed. These days, the complaints are about the passengers. The mask rules may be the trigger, but the assholery can't be explained away by a single issue. Now the FAA is asking for help, including this request made in a letter to a thousand commercial airport operators. "We have received reports that some airport concessionaires have offered alcohol ‘to-go,' and passengers believe they can carry that alcohol onto their flights or they become inebriated during the boarding process. The FAA requests that airports work with their concessionaires to help avoid this." Look, we're in a metal tube hurtling through the air at 500 miles per hour, can we at least hold the outbursts until we're safely on the tarmac?

+ Think I'm overstating the trend? Flight attendants are now being trained in self-defense. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.


Regrets Only

While the governor of Florida is focused on outlawing school mask mandates and blaming immigrants, hospitals are telling the real story. "Although cases have spiked across all age groups in Florida, a Miami Herald analysis of weekly case data revealed that the sharpest increase over the past month has occurred among kids under 12."

+ "I signed it at the time because our cases were at a very low point. Everything has changed now." Arkansas's Governor Says He Now Regrets Banning Masks In Schools. Look, these pandemic swings are new to all of us and we've all been surprised at different moments. But what the hell is the point of responding to a health crisis by outlawing caution? It's politics at its worst.

+ As breakthrough covid infections rise, nursing home chains require staffers be vaccinated. (It took until now for this mandate?)


Don’t Look Now

The New Yorker's Megan K. Stack on how the war that Americans forgot is ending in chaos and secrecy: "In a sense, the obfuscation was predictable. Leaving a country that many expect will now collapse into civil war, the United States has no victory to declare; it can only acknowledge the reality of relinquishment and retreat. 'A military that's withdrawing from battle, whether it's an organized withdrawal or a retreat, doesn't want any media nearby," said the Getty combat photographer John Moore. 'The military wants to show itself in a victorious way. When you're leaving a field of battle, it never looks victorious.'" A Near Press Blackout in Afghanistan.


Plugging Electric Cars

"A decade from now, electric vehicles could make up half of new vehicle sales in the U.S., according a voluntary pledge from automakers that will be unveiled on Thursday at the White House. President Biden, surrounded by union officials and carmakers, will sign an executive order setting a target that half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 be zero-emission cars, which would include plug-in hybrids." There's A Big Push For Electric Cars, With The White House Teaming Up With Automakers.

+ Pete Buttigieg says he doesn't know why Elon Musk's Tesla wasn't invited to Biden's clean-car showcase. I can think of a few reasons, but including Tesla would have been the right move.


S’More Sunny, S’More Problems

Kids today have missed activities and school for fires, floods, and a pandemic. Several camps shutter due to poor air quality. This roller coaster is rough on us. But it's gonna have a lasting impact on the next generation.

+ That's a longterm issue I worry about. But it's hard for anyone to focus on the long term when they're in one of the many extreme fire zones. California's Dixie Fire swallows historic town of Greenville, burns so hot lamp posts melt. And satellite imagery shows massive smoke plumes rising above California.

+ It's not just California or even America. Our common bond is the impact of climate change. When I first saw the photo on the left, I thought it was Sausalito. Instead, it's a place halfway around the world - the island of Evia, 100 miles north of Greece. But it's not just the landscape that's familiar...

+ That's the current situation. The forecast calls for worse. Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse.


Mexico Defendant

"The Mexican government argues that the companies know that their practices contribute to the trafficking of guns to Mexico and facilitate it. Mexico wants compensation for the havoc the guns have wrought in its country." Mexico sues US gun manufacturers over arms trafficking toll. If the Mexican government wins the suit, the Mexican people should sue it for the full settlement amount.


Five Ring Circus

"Larry Crouser, 86, passed away the day before his grandson flew to Tokyo for his second Olympics." Years earlier, he had gotten his grandson into Shot Put. It paid off. The meaning behind Ryan Crouser's gold-medal note to his grandfather.

+ Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe led the US to a bronze in women's soccer. The win included a made goal from a corner kick by Rapinoe.

+ "Carl Lewis called it a 'clown show.' Michael Johnson said it was 'embarrassing and ridiculous.' And they were right." Man, the 4x100m men's relay was ugly for team USA.

+ Is the Olympic track faster than those that came before it? Hell yes. It was designed to be.

+ She's 14 Years Old And Just Scored 2 Perfect 10s To Win A Gold Medal In Diving.

+ How Olympic divers make the perfect tiny splash. (I didn't see anything in this piece to help me with the love handle factor.)


What is WTF?

"Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to become permanent host of the venerable quiz show, taking the reins of the syndicated powerhouse that was fronted by Alex Trebek for 36 years."


Outer Stanks

"Outer Banks, a perfect show on Netflix about treasure-hunting miscreant teenagers, is a lot like a can of Pringles: it is sleek, it is shiny, and once you pop, you will have no option but to watch the entire season in one sitting. Whether you're a teenager, a 30-year-old, or a 30-year-old playing a teenager on Netflix's Outer Banks, if you have watched Season 2 of this show, then it is most likely that you watched all 10 episodes over the course of a single weekend." Which leads us to this question from Jodi Walker in The Ringer: Exactly How Long Has Each ‘Outer Banks' Character Gone Without Showering? (Expect like 30 shower scenes next season...)


Bottom of the News

Al Bundy as a Miami Vice Coke Dealer. And that begins a fantastic Twitter thread of all the well known actors who appeared on Miami Vice.

+ Sadly, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts will miss band's upcoming tour. It might be his recent medical procedure. It also might be that he's 80. At that age, the only place anyone is rambling at midnight is to the bathroom.