Thursday, October 28th, 2021


From Bad to Verse?

"Let's start by exploring what different kinds of Metaverse experiences could feel like, starting with the most important experience of all: connecting with people." And with that, Mark Zuckerberg rolled out his vision for the Metaverse. It's virtual. It's immersive. It's all encompassing. The problem with using today's social media is that you still maintain an iota of awareness of the real world via your peripheral vision. The Metaverse fixes that. (It will be nice if the Metaverse enables rioters to take a dump on the marble floors of the nation's Capitol from the comfort of their own home.) If that's not meta enough for you, the company is rebranding itself as Meta.


Build Back Bettor

Infrastructure Week has officially kicked off and for its first project, America built a framework! That's what Joe Biden announced today as the Democrats and Democrats seem to have come to terms on spending package. The president reportedly told his fellow Dems, "I don't think it's hyperbole to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens in the next week." Here's the latest. In the meantime, Biden is off to Europe for the climate change summit, the G20, and a meeting with the Pope (where he will pray that Manchin and Sinema like the framework as much as he does.)


Life in a Border Town

You know how all those border crossings are turning our border towns into dangerous, violent hellholes? Well, it turns out the opposite is true. "Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average."


Oil Spills

The big oil companies are appearing before Congress to explain what they knew and when they knew it when it comes to climate change. You can listen to the testimony, or you can read what Big Oil knew about climate change, in its own words. "The industry's own words, as I found in my research, show they knew about the risk long before most of the rest of the world."


Moby Trick

"'I don't know much about whales. I have never seen a whale in my life,' says Michael Bronstein. The Israeli computer scientist, teaching at Imperial College London, England, might not seem the ideal candidate for a project involving the communication of sperm whales. But his skills as an expert in machine learning could be key to an ambitious endeavor that officially started in March 2020: an interdisciplinary group of scientists wants to use artificial intelligence (AI) to decode the language of these marine mammals. If Project CETI (for Cetacean Translation Initiative) succeeds, it would be the first time that we actually understand what animals are chatting about—and maybe we could even have a conversation with them." Hakia Magazine: Are We on the Verge of Chatting with Whales? (It's only a matter of time before they tell us to quit spouting off.)


Heir Clippings

"A sample of hair belonging to the legendary 19th century Native American leader Sitting Bull has allowed scientists to confirm that a South Dakota man is his great-grandson.
Scientists took DNA from a tiny sample of Sitting Bull's hair that had been stored in Washington DC." Sitting Bull: DNA confirms great-grandson's identity. (Now I know why my mom keeps asking me for a lock of hair.)


A Prentiss

GQ on What It's Like to Have a Record Deal and Justin Bieber For a Fan at Age 14. "Prentiss Furr can barely sit still. He sips on an oversized Whataburger cup in his parents' living room in Jackson, Mississippi, swiveling the phone back and forth and resting his curly-haired head on his hand ... Stars from Justin Bieber to Skrillex to Meghan Trainor to Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 have sung his praises on social media, and he's managed by Xavier Candelaria, who previously worked with Mars Volta. It's heady territory for someone whose voice hasn't even dropped." (Once things start dropping, they never stop.)


Balls Deep

"For the rest of the afternoon, Olson shoveled out sand and bowling balls. He'd post an update to the Facebook group, find 10 more balls, get a drink of water, find 10 more balls, eat something, find 10 more balls. When his 5-year-old son, Zeke, got home from preschool, he joined in. David would unearth a ball from the sand, plop it on the ground behind him, and Zeke would chuck it off the back deck. Over and over again. 'I had to get to the bottom,' he says. 'I couldn't stop.'" ESPN: The remarkable story of a man who found 162 bowling balls under his house. (It would have made more sense if he found them in the alley next to his house...)


Outside the Box Seating

"Currently, there are a dozen soccer stadiums that NWSL teams use, but none of them were built specifically for the women's teams. The new KC stadium is expected to seat 11,000 and is slated to open sometime in 2024." Kansas City team plans to build the first stadium created for women's league soccer.


Bottom of the News

"Typically, players from the home team will skate out and wave to the appreciative fans; in some cases, they'll toss a souvenir puck or stick into the rows closest to the ice. But in Seattle, the stars of the game throw a stuffed fish at the fans." Seattle Kraken 'Three Stars' postgame ceremony features players tossing plush salmon to fans.

+ This is why BJ Novak's photo is used to market many products around the world, even though he doesn't get a dime.