Thursday, November 4th, 2021


Critical Baste Theory

5 Days Until My Book Comes Out: Get Please Scream Inside Your Heart now at Amazon, IndieBound, or anywhere you want!

The Thanksgiving holidays can be rough on anyone. But imagine being part of the tribe that helped the Pilgrims survive. It's the 400th anniversary of the most famous dinner party in American history. It left Native Americans between Plymouth Rock and a hard place, and the story we gobble up is definitely not baste in reality. WaPo (Gift Article): This tribe helped the Pilgrims survive for their first Thanksgiving. They still regret it 400 years later. "There was likely no turkey served. There were no feathered headdresses worn. And, initially, there was no effort by the Pilgrims to invite the Wampanoags to the feast they'd made possible." (In hindsight, it probably would have been a good idea to RSVP No.)



Companies must give employees paid time off to get a vaccination. If those employees want to go the testing/mask route, they'll have to foot the bill. The deadline is Jan 4. Biden's vaccine rules for 100 million workers are here. These are the details.

+ Merck's antiviral pill to treat Covid gets approval in UK.


Welcome to the Taillight Zone

People get pulled over all the time for violations like broken taillights and tinted windows. The infractions are minor, but the interactions can escalate into something major. And behind it all is a drive for revenue. NYT (Gift Article): The Demand for Money Behind Many Police Traffic Stops. "A hidden scaffolding of financial incentives underpins the policing of motorists in the United States, encouraging some communities to essentially repurpose armed officers as revenue agents searching for infractions largely unrelated to public safety. As a result, driving is one of the most common daily routines during which people have been shot, Tased, beaten or arrested after minor offenses."

+ On the other end of the vehicular violation spectrum, Las Vegas Raider Henry Ruggs III was driving drunk at 156 mph before rear ending another car in a fatal crash.


Droned Out

"Surveillance videos showed the presence of at least one child in the area some two minutes before the military launched a drone strike on a site in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August, the Defense Department said on Wednesday. But the general who conducted the investigation into the U.S. airstrike, which the military has acknowledged mistakenly killed 10 civilians, including seven children, said the footage showing the presence of a child would have been easy to miss in real time." NYT: Video Footage Showed at Least 1 Child Near Site Minutes Before Drone Strike in Kabul. (No disciplinary action was recommended.)


Two Faced

"One of the least understood shifts in the global economy is the phenomenon of hundreds of millions of customers who, after gaining access to new technologies for the first time, are entering the economy nearly overnight. Financial inclusion at this scale could have the greatest impact on raising people out of poverty in history." We're all pissed at Facebook right now, for good reason. But like most tech stories, there's both good and bad in this one. Christopher M. Schroeder: Facebook has stumbled. But let's not forget the real good it has done across the world. During the quarantine, tech was keeping my kids in contact with teachers and friends. It was also providing a platform for those looking to harm democracy. Let's hope the good outweighs the bad. Actually, let's not hope. Let's advocate.


Igor on the Floor

"The case against Igor Danchenko is part of special counsel John Durham's ongoing investigation into the origins of the FBI's probe into whether Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia had conspired to tip the outcome of that year's presidential campaign. The five-count indictment accuses Danchenko, a U.S.-based Russia analyst, of making multiple false statements to the FBI when interviewed in 2017 about his role in collecting information for Christopher Steele." Analyst who aided Trump-Russia dossier is arrested. (Guy who led an effort to overturn an American election still free.)


Jury of Your Fears

"Just one Black person will serve as a juror in the trial of three white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, even after the judge overseeing the case said there appeared to be 'intentional discrimination' in jury selection." Remember, this is a case that never would be in court had it not been for viral video.

+ Rittenhouse juror dismissed after joke about Blake shooting.


Who’s Matalafing Now?

"For centuries, the leaves of the psychotria insularum plant, known locally in Samoa as matalafi, have been used in traditional medicine to treat inflammation associated with fever, body aches, swellings, elephantiasis, and respiratory infections." Plant in traditional Samoa medicine could be as effective as ibuprofen, study shows.


Don’t Scream, Meme

"A recent study published by the American Psychological Association has found that memes have helped Americans cope with stress during the pandemic, noting that respondents who looked at memes felt 'calmer' and more 'content.' Interestingly, those who viewed memes about the epidemic, in particular, were more confident in their ability to deal with the global health crisis." (Using humor to manage bad news. Who'd a thunk?)


Bottom of the News

"I deliver my pitches in about 12 minutes, which they say is the perfect time because a pitch should never be as long as the actual pilot episode. I don't place my Emmy in the Zoom shot, mostly because I don't have one. I don't egotistically refer to older series I created as "my show" — again, mostly because I don't have any. And rather than speak at them, I include the executives in the conversation, which Kramer had told me was key. The best pitch Adler and Botnick remember, which of course was not mine, was when Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna said, 'Crazy ex-girlfriend: You've either been one or had one,' after which everyone started talking." Joel Stein: How Not to Sell Your Hilarious Comedy Pitch.

+ A potato the size of a small dog is found in New Zealand.

+ Megan Thee College Graduate.