Tuesday, November 16th, 2021


Fruity Rebels

I like to be consistent with my pet peeves (one of which is that phrase). So every time I wash a piece of fruit, I complain aloud about those damn non-compostable stickers I have to peel off, often adding something along the lines of, "I'm expected to edit the entire internet by midday, I don't have time for this sh*t!" But whether as an oversight or an overt act of rebellion, it never occurred to me to eat the stickers. Anyone can accidentally experience this sticker shock once or twice. But at least one concerned citizen has made something of a habit of it, as evidenced by this question submitted to the NYT's Ask Well (Gift Article): "I keep finding myself biting into an apple or a peach, only to find I've eaten half the sticker the store put on there. Is there any harm in eating produce stickers?" It's rarely appropriate to answer a question with a question, but in this case I might have asked, "Exactly how high are you?" The Well chose to give a more direct answer about those nasty PLU (Price Look Up) stickers: "While the stickers that get placed on fruits and vegetables won't cause you any harm, it's probably best to remove them before eating." What would actually be best would be if the fruit people figured out a way to produce the produce sans stickers. Talk about an industry that's ripe for disruption.


You Buy That?

"The retail sales numbers — which are adjusted for seasonal variations but not for inflation — indicate consumers are willing to pay the higher prices, despite a recent indication that sentiment is at its lowest level in 10 years." Prices are up. Consumer sentiment is down. But our fellow Americans are sucking it up and buying stuff anyway. Retail sales rise faster than expected.


Care Bear Market

"Health-care workers, under any circumstances, live in the thick of death, stress, and trauma. 'You go in knowing those are the things you'll see,' Cassandra Werry, an ICU nurse currently working in Idaho, told me. 'Not everyone pulls through, but at the end of the day, the point is to get people better. You strive for those wins.' COVID-19 has upset that balance, confronting even experienced people with the worst conditions they have ever faced and turning difficult jobs into unbearable ones." Ed Yong in The Atlantic: Why Health-Care Workers Are Quitting in Droves "About one in five health-care workers has left medicine since the pandemic started."


Pill, Baby, Pill

"Pfizer will not receive royalties on sales in lower income countries and said it would waive royalties in all nations included in the agreement while Covid remains a World Health Organization-designated public health emergency." Pfizer to allow developing nations to make its treatment pill.

+ "With breakthrough cases rising and 30 percent of American adults not fully vaccinated, health officials believe the pills will help tame the pandemic because of their ability to thwart the virus's most pernicious effects." WaPo: Biden administration to announce purchase of 10 million courses of Pfizer anti-covid pill.


Children of a Lesser Sod?

"The athletic program at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside, has suffered its share of humiliations and harassment over the years. There was the time that a visiting team's volleyball coach mocked the deaf players. And another time a hearing coach for the girls' basketball team listened as opponents discussed how embarrassing it would be to lose to a deaf team ... No one is disparaging the Cubs anymore. This season, they are undefeated — the highest-ranked team in their Southern California division. Through 11 games, they have not so much beaten their opponents as flattened them." NYT (gift article): Underdog No More, a Deaf Football Team Takes California by Storm.


Sat Down

"Earlier today, the Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive … test of a direct ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites. The test has so far generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations." WaPo: In first, Russian test strikes satellite using Earth-based missile. (Wait, does this mean they could take away our Netflix?)


Cult Classic

"She is bound by her oath to the Constitution. Sadly, a portion of the Wyoming GOP leadership has abandoned that fundamental principle, and instead allowed themselves to be held hostage to the lies of a dangerous and irrational man." Wyoming GOP votes to no longer recognize Liz Cheney as a member of their party. (This is beyond disturbing.)


Trampled Rights?

"Happy stood and swayed and stared and lifted and lowered her foot. Next year, maybe as soon as January, the New York Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments regarding a petition of habeas corpus that alleges that Happy's detention is unlawful because, under U.S. law, she is a person. She is also an elephant." Jill Lepore in The Atlantic: The Elephant Suit.


Body Heat

"Young people are leading the charge when it comes to climate justice. As well as initiating global climate strikes and sit-ins, challenging the government's lack of action, fighting to make COP26 more inclusive, and stepping up when politicians don't (and so much more), now they're saving the planet by… going clubbing." This Glasgow nightclub is turning your dance moves into renewable energy.


Bottom of the News

"This Thanksgiving, your pie doesn't have to be pumpkin. Hershey has released a Reese's Thanksgiving Pie, the largest Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ever made. It's 9 inches long and 3.25 pounds of solid peanut butter and chocolate." (This sounds like something I might put in my Tinder profile.) Hershey unveiled its largest Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and called it a Thanksgiving pie. 3,000 sold out in hours.

+ A $35 Million Castle With a Moat Hits the Market in Woodstock, Connecticut.

+ "YouTuber Kiun grew up in Yakutia, a region of Siberia that is known for having some of the coldest weather on Earth (we're talking -40°F on a warm day). In this video, she talks about what daily life is like there, including details about the open-air markets (meat & fish stay naturally frozen) and having a car (owners basically have to keep them running all winter)." How People Live in the Coldest Place on Earth.