Wednesday, October 27th, 2021


I Found My Dill

Let's face it. For the most part, the so-called sharing economy just amounted to us paying new companies for the same services and goods for which we used to pay someone else. But in far flung corners of the internet, the real sharing economy lives on. From the NYT (Gift Article): Inside the World of Buy Nothing, Where Dryer Lint Is a Hot Commodity. "David Stahl did not need leftover pickle juice because, really, no one needs someone else's used brine. But a few months ago, he decided to ask for some just to see if it was possible, posting a request to an Upper West Side chapter of Buy Nothing, a hyperlocal Facebook group. It turns out, people are willing to give away (and take) just about anything, if you ask."


Merck Twain

"The drug, known as molnupiravir, has shown promise in treating the disease, and the agreement to license its production could help millions of people in the developing world gain access to it." Merck will allow drugmakers in other countries to make its COVID-19 pill. (The vaccine makers should follow this model, and quickly.)


Kid Gloves

We fight a lot about vaccines in this country. But one thing everyone can agree on is that we need to take extra caution when it comes to keeping little kids safe. That's why the FDA is taking a longer time to give the green light. But it's coming. Here's What You Need To Know About Pfizer's COVID Vaccine For Kids Under 12. "The dose for younger children is one-third the size for adults and is more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infections."

+ I mean, I hope we can all agree on keeping kids safe. But it might be too optimistic to think we can sanely agree on anything. WaPo: I'm a Florida school board member. This is how protesters come after me.


Good P.R.

NPR: Why Puerto Rico leads the U.S. in COVID vaccine rate — and what states can learn. (Toss them a few rolls of paper towel and they'll spill all their secrets.)


Hot Topic

As the world gets set for the meet in Glasgow for the United Nations' climate change conference, 45% of Americans Don't Believe Humans Cause Climate Change, and 8.3 percent denied global warming is happening altogether. (It's really too late to try to convince the ignorant of the what the experts know.)


Supersonic Boom

"Milley's comments are the most significant acknowledgment by a U.S. official of reports that China's military conducted possibly two hypersonic weapons tests over the summer, including the launch into space of an orbiting hypersonic weapon capable of carrying a nuclear payload ... The next-generation technology, if perfected, could be used to send nuclear warheads over the South Pole and around American anti-missile systems in the northern hemisphere. Hypersonic weapons are normally defined as fast, low-flying and highly maneuverable weapons designed to be too quick and agile for traditional missile defense systems." Bloomberg: U.S. General Likens China's Hypersonic Weapon Test to Sputnik Moment.


Humanity’s Never-ending Storyline

From NPR: 1 in 4 American Jews say they experienced antisemitism in the last year. "The report also found that, out of fear of antisemitism, 39% of American Jews changed their behavior in the past 12 months, such as by avoiding posting online content or wearing items that would identify them as Jewish." (Please don't do that. Be aware. Call it out. Fight back. But don't be afraid.)

+ On a brighter note, 3 Jewish baseball players could make or break the 2021 World Series. (Instead of doing the tomahawk chant, Atlanta fans should sing Hava Nagila.)


Mother, Nature

"In her 40s, Dierdre Wolownick taught herself to swim. In her 50s, she took up running. Then, at 60, she became a rock climber — and not just any rock climber. Four years ago, at 66, Ms. Wolownick made a record-breaking ascent up El Capitan, Yosemite National Park's granite monolith that has some of the longest, most challenging rock climbing routes in the world. And she did it in style. The route she tackled then, Lurking Fear, typically takes four days to complete. Ms. Wolownick did it in one." Did I mention that Ms Wolownick is also Alex Honnold's mom. (It's only a matter of time before my mom launches a newsletter.) NYT (Gift article): It's Never Too Late to Climb That Mountain. (For me, it was too late to rock climb the day I was born.)


We’re Sahl Mates

"A topical comedian with a well-honed sardonic slant on every issue and everybody, Sahl was a major influence on comics from Lenny Bruce and George Carlin to Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and Will Durst — as well a joke writer to presidents ranging from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan." He was considered the inventor of modern standup and he used to get on stage with a newspaper and just riff on the news. I can relate. Mort Sahl, giant of political comedy who emerged from S.F. clubs, dead at 94.


Bottom of the News

This is quite the lede: "The longtime head of spine surgery at Boston Medical Center has been reprimanded by state regulators and fined $5,000 for leaving an operating room before the start of an emergency ankle surgery to go eat in his parked car, where he fell asleep and missed the procedure." (In fairness, lunch does the same thing to me every day.)

+ Alligator crawls out of storm drain at Mobile apartment complex.

+ You know those times that you've been in an especially bad mood and you took it out on some service workers who were just doing their job? Well, you're not so bad. "A resident of a high-rise condominium in Thailand cut the support rope for two painters, apparently angry she wasn't told they would be doing work, and left them hanging above the 26th floor until a couple rescued them." ("Next time I say I want the matte paint you'll use the goddamn matte paint!")