Monday, August 30th, 2021


Gamers Unconsoled

In the much-hyped competition between China and the U.S., Americans are gaining an advantage in at least one area: Online gaming. China just made its already strict limitations for young online gamers even stricter. NYT (gift article for ND readers): China Tightens Limits for Young Online Gamers and Bans School Night Play. "Under the old rules, players under the age of 18 were limited to no more than 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays and three hours a day on weekend. Parents had complained that was too generous and had been laxly enforced, the administration said. The new rule sets the permitted gameplay hour to 8 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The government said it would step up inspections to ensure that gaming companies were enforcing the restrictions." (Three hours total on weekends? My kids play three hours in two hours.)


Drench Quarter

"Rescuers set out in hundreds of boats and helicopters to reach people trapped by floodwaters Monday, and utility repair crews rushed in, after a furious Hurricane Ida swamped the Louisiana coast and made a shambles of the electrical grid in the sticky, late-summer heat." Hurricane Ida traps Louisianans, shatters the power grid. Here are photos, a video of a roof being torn off a hospital, and the latest from CNN.

+ Ida forced the Mississippi River to reverse flow.

+ One big part of the Ida story was how quickly it became dangerous. That speed makes evacuating impossible in some cases. Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic: We're Hitting the Limits of Hurricane Preparedness.


One Hundred Grand Return

"That average, calculated over the last seven days, is higher than in any previous surge except last winter's, before most Americans were eligible to get vaccinated ... Hospitalizations nationwide have increased by nearly 500 percent in the past two months, particularly across Southern states, where I.C.U. beds are filling up, a crisis fueled by some of the country's lowest vaccination rates and widespread political opposition to public health measures like mask requirements." U.S. Tops 100,000 Average Covid Hospitalizations.

+ What makes this stat, and the anti-science movement that drives it, even more upsetting is that this time, Covid is coming for kids. NYT (gift article for ND readers): At a Children's Hospital, a Wave of Young Patients Struggling to Breathe.

+ The most dangerous job in America? Antivax radio host: 3rd conservative radio host who condemned vaccines dies of Covid.

+ The spokesman for a major evangelical nonprofit was fired for promoting vaccines on the MSNBC. (It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap, you gotta get out while you're young.)

+ Judge orders Cinci hospital to treat COVID-19 patient with Ivermectin, despite CDC warnings.

+ Ben Collins: "A lot of people have asked me this week: Where did this ivermectin obsession come from? Who could possibly benefit from it? Most importantly, why did my antivaxx aunt start eating horse goo from the tractor store? It's complicated, but here are some answers."

+ EU takes US off safe travel list.


Smoke on the Water

"To put it in perspective, we've been seeing about a half-mile of movement on the fire's perimeter each day for the last couple of weeks, and today, this has already moved at 2.5 miles on us, with no sign that it's starting to slow down." Lake Tahoe threatened by massive fire, more ordered to flee. (California is burning and we're wasting our time with a recall. Our obsession with the trivial will be our undoing.)


Las Vegas Raiders

"Teenagers, especially those in poverty or the foster-care system, are particularly vulnerable. Traffickers pose as trusted adults or befriend them on social media, then manipulate them to be sold for sexual abuse. Under federal law, these children are victims, not criminals. Yet every year, kids who have been sex trafficked are detained and charged with crimes." Jessica Contrera in WaPo (gift article for ND readers): Sex-trafficked kids are crime victims. In Las Vegas, they still go to jail.


Flight Club

"Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants union that represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airlines, noted that the difference in passenger response to the pandemic compared with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been 'night and day.' Twenty years ago, 'every single person who came on our plane was completely on our team,' she said. But now, flight attendants have become 'punching bags for the public.'" There's nothing that can unify Americans today. Not even a common foe like Covid. NYT (gift article for ND readers): Flight Attendants' Hellish Summer: ‘I Don't Even Feel Like a Human'.


Never Mind Over Matters

"Never mind the fact that the Taliban had been gaining ground since it resumed its military campaign in 2004 ... Never mind that the previous administration's deal with the Taliban included the release of 5,000 fighters from prison and favored an even earlier departure date than the one that Biden embraced ... Never mind that Trump had drawn down U.S. troop levels from about 13,000 to 2,500 during his last year in office and had failed to repatriate America's equipment on the ground ... Never mind the facts. Never mind the losses. Never mind the lessons." (Or in the case of much of the media coverage, never mind the past 20 years.) David Rothkopf in The Atlantic: Biden Deserves Credit, Not Blame, for Afghanistan.

+ US investigates civilian deaths in Kabul strike.

+ Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul so quickly fearing execution by the Taliban that aides who returned from a lunch break wondered where he'd gone.


Leave No Trace

"Seven steps you can take to keep Facebook and Instagram from gathering so much of your personal information outside of their apps." Useful tips from Geoffrey Fowler in WaPo (gift article for ND readers): How to block Facebook from snooping on you.


And a Riv Runs Through It

"The electric vehicle maker Rivian has confirmed that it is planning to pursue an initial public offering (IPO) this fall, aiming for a valuation roughly 350 times that of Tesla's IPO in 2010." Rivian, which has yet to deliver vehicles to consumers, files for an IPO with an $80 billion valuation.


Bottom of the News

The Foo Fighters play Everlong live with the greatest little drummer of all time, Nandi Bushell. (This so enjoyable.) If you missed the backstory, "The Foo Fighters leader and the English prodigy struck up a competitive friendship on social media." NYT: Dave Grohl, 10-Year-Old Nandi Bushell and One Very Epic Drum Battle.

+ Flamin' Hot Mountain Dew coming to torch your taste buds.

+ Speaking of Flamin' Hot, the sales of my book Please Scream Inside Your Heart are on burning up the charts. Let's make it a best-seller.
IndieBound | Amazon | | Green Apple (signed copies).