Tuesday, October 12th, 2021


Leaving Las Vegas

Things in the NFL seem to come in threes. Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. Punt, Pass, and Kick. And in the case of Jon Gruden's rapid exit from the Raiders, Racism, Homophobia, and Misogyny (one assumes he was saving antisemitism for overtime). His comments were uncovered in emails collected during "a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues." One of the ironies of the firing is though the Raiders have a badboy image, they're actually one of the most forward-thinking teams when it comes to the very issues Gruden's emails touched upon. Legendary owner Al Davis was known for his phrase, "Just Win, Baby." But he once refused to play in Mobile, Alabama because of segregation laws. He also hired the first Black head coach (Art Shell), and the NFL's first female chief executive (Amy Trask). "He set a foundation so strong that Carl Nassib became the first openly gay player in the NFL, and it was fitting he played for the Raiders." The Raiders were always the team of outcasts. And Gruden, as it turns out, was miscast.


Not Tonight, Darling

"Daily aspirin use may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some people, but it can also cause potentially serious harms, such as internal bleeding." US task force proposes adults 60 and older should not take daily aspirin to prevent heart disease or stroke. (You can still take aspirin if all these shifts in advice are giving you a headache.)


Bean Dip

"Bernard noted that the affected brain regions were 'all linked to the olfactory bulb,' which sends signals from the nose to the brain. It also connects to the temporal lobe, home of the hippocampus — which is key to memory and cognition." SF Chronicle: Here's what Bay Area doctors say about how COVID affects the brain. "A new study from Oxford University offers the worrisome suggestion that the coronavirus not only can shrink the brain, but also reduce 'gray matter thickness,' damage tissue in areas associated with the sense of smell, and cause more than 60 other long-term changes to that essential organ." This one is paywalled, but the key point is that Covid can be bad for your brain.

+ So can politics. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott orders a ban on all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state.

+ Pointless Guard: Kyrie Irving is the NBA's last vaccine holdout. He's also the NBA's most notable flat earther. I just leave it at that.


Pigtails from the Crypt

"The names police had given the principal included four girls, now sitting in classrooms throughout the school. All four girls were Black. There was a sixth grader, two fourth graders and a third grader. The youngest was 8. On this sunny Friday afternoon in spring, she wore her hair in pigtails." ProPublica: Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn't Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.


Go Long

"All humans share 99.9 percent of their genes. This explains why even 'super-agers,' born with tiny genetic differences that promote longevity, almost never surpass 110. (Jeanne Louise Calment of France was an outlier, living until the age of 122, the current record.) Some animals make it well beyond that mark, according to Jan Vijg, a molecular geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Scientists know just one way for humans to live 170 years like a giant tortoise: become a giant tortoise." But there are ways to add some years (which years is another issue). Some are diet related. Some are exercise related. And some are connected to being an optimistic, loving person. (I'm 0 for 3, but at least I won't have to live with that feeling for too long.) WaPo (Gift Article for NextDraft Readers): Want to add healthy years to your life? Here's what new longevity research says.


The Big Lie Getting Bigger

"At a rally Saturday in Iowa, Trump spent almost 30 minutes arguing falsely that he had won Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds stood by and welcomed his return to their state." Meanwhile, "the House's second-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election wasn't stolen." (This is America's greatest threat. And it's not going away. In fact, more Republicans are digging in now than before. 2020 was the earthquake. The aftershocks keep coming.)


Subs and Sandwiches

"A former US navy nuclear engineer and his wife faced their first court hearing on Tuesday, on charges they attempted to sell secrets about nuclear submarines to a foreign power in exchange for cryptocurrency. The case of Jonathan and Diana Toebbe has made headlines around the world, not least because they are alleged to have attempted to hand over secrets hidden inside a peanut butter sandwich." (And now, they're in a jam.) US navy engineer charged with trying to sell nuclear submarine secrets. "Jonathan Toebbe and wife were arrested in West Virginia after nuclear engineer makes ‘dead drop' to undercover FBI agent." (Worse, the agent had a peanut allergy.)


Wage Sage

"A U.S.-based economist won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for pioneering research that transformed widely held ideas about the labor force, showing how an increase in the minimum wage doesn't hinder hiring and immigrants don't lower pay for native-born workers. Two others shared the award for developing ways to study these types of societal issues. Canadian-born David Card of the University of California, Berkeley, was awarded half of the prize for his research on how the minimum wage, immigration and education affect the labor market." 3 US-based economists win Nobel for research on wages, jobs. (Go Bears!)


R You Imagining Things?

You know that nagging feeling that you're surrounded by terrible idiots with no ethics? Well, it's not all in your mind. R Kelly's sex trafficking conviction has increased his income.


Bottom of the News

"A 600-pound elk was stuck with a tire around its neck for two years before wildlife officials could remove it." A 600-pound elk lived stuck in a tire for nearly half its life. (In the Elk community, this is being reported as a necklace theft.)

+ Bosnian Man Builds Rotating House As Monument Of Love For His Wife. (Sure, it's a monument of love. Until he turns it up to full speed.)

+ Humans used tobacco 12,300 years ago, new discovery suggests. (It's a tough habit to kick.)

+ Ratio of residents to publicly available bathrooms in New York City : 7,258:1. Here's the latest Harper's Index.