May 31st – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Containers Overboard, Best time to Exercise.

They are huge. They are unsightly. They power the global economy. But we landlubbers didn’t pay them much attention until one got stuck in the Suez Canal and then a whole lot of them suffered delays so extreme that the global economy faltered as the wind was taken out of our collective air fryer. Now that seeing ships pass in night (even though they were scheduled to pass during the day) inspires more curiosity, one often wonders what exactly is in those stacked containers. The answer is floating to a shore near you. Kathryn Schulz in The New Yorker: When Shipping Containers Sink in the Drink. “Things have been tumbling off boats into the ocean for as long as humans have been a seafaring species, which is to say, at least ten thousand and possibly more than a hundred thousand years. But the specific kind of tumbling off a boat that befell the nearly five million Lego pieces of the Tokio Express is part of a much more recent phenomenon, dating only to about the nineteen-fifties and known in the shipping industry as ‘container loss.’ Technically, the term refers to containers that do not make it to their destination for whatever reason: stolen in port, burned up in a shipboard fire, seized by pirates, blown up in an act of war. But the most common way for a container to get lost is by ending up in the ocean, generally by falling off a ship but occasionally by going down with one when it sinks.” (If you’re tired of waiting by the mailbox, you can always wait at the beach.)

+ “Enormous container ships ferry goods all over the world, but when one of them gets into trouble – as happened with the Ever Given and Ever Forward recently – how can they be saved?” It’s a niche industry focused on very big problems. How to rescue the world’s biggest cargo ships.

+ There’s currently an additional challenge hampering the delivery of products to their ultimate destination. “Though most consumers shake their heads at the cost of gasoline and complain about the cost of filling up their car tanks, what they really should be worried about is the price of diesel. The U.S. economy runs on diesel. It’s what powers the container ships that bring goods from Asia and the trucks that collect goods from the ports and bring them to warehouses and then to your home.” Time: Inflation is Going to Get Worse. Blame a Lack of Diesel.


Dropping Dimes on Crimes

“What if someone told you that you could dramatically reduce the crime rate without resorting to coercive policing or incarceration? In fact, what if they said you could avert a serious crime — a robbery, say, or maybe even a murder — just by shelling out $1.50?” Vox: A study gave cash and therapy to men at risk of criminal behavior. 10 years later, the results are in.


Brothers (and Sisters) in Arms

“Just a few hours later — just after Jose had been celebrated in a ceremony for his good grades — the boy was shot dead by a gunman who had slipped into the building through an open door. His sister escaped through a window.” NYT (Gift Article): A Son Was Lost, a Daughter Saved.

+ This cover of the Sunday Review may help explain why this all feels so familiar.

+ “In a tight-knit community where Border Patrol, police and state troopers are recognized not just as heroes — but as cousins, aunts and uncles — the steadfast support for law enforcement in Uvalde has quickly become complicated.” Texas Tribune: Uvalde’s ‘back-the-blue’ values collide with outrage over police response to Texas’ worst school shooting. (The delayed reaction by the police is part of the exact same problem that led to the shooting in the first place: The fact that anyone can walk into a gun store and acquire a ridiculous amount of firepower. If a gun is powerful enough paralyze armored cops with fear, it’s too powerful to be sold.)

+ “A violent society ought, at the very least, to regard its handiwork, however ugly, whether it be the toll on the men and women who fight in our name, on ordinary crime victims killed or wounded by guns or on children whose right to grow up has been sacrificed to the right to bear arms.” Susie Linfield in the NYT: Should We Be Forced to See Exactly What an AR-15 Does to a 10-Year-Old?

+ CityLab: The State Laws That Are Most Effective at Stopping Mass Shootings.

+ We know which laws work. And we better hurry up implementing them. 9 killed, more than 60 injured in Memorial Day weekend mass shootings.


The Privacy Policy Book Club

“I applaud Twitter for putting effort into being more understandable. The same goes for Facebook, which last week rewrote its infamous privacy policy to a secondary-school reading level — but also tripled its length to 12,000 words. The deeper I dug into them, the clearer it became that understandability isn’t our biggest privacy problem. Being overwhelmed is.” Geoffrey A. Fowler in WaPo: I tried to read all my app privacy policies. It was 1 million words. (Marcel Proust thinks your privacy policy is too long…)

+ Wired: What Do Those Pesky ‘Cookie Preferences’ Pop-Ups Really Mean?


Extra, Extra

To the Viktor Go the Oils: “In the most significant effort yet to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine, the European Union agreed to ban the overwhelming majority of Russian oil imports after tense negotiations that tested how far the bloc is willing to go to ostracize Moscow.” The ban could have been more extensive but Fox News anchor favorite Viktor Orban blocked the efforts.

+ Leak Detection: “Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, taking steps to require law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits.” Or, when judge’s clerks need to hire a lawyer…

+ Crypto Tags: “As much of the financial and tech elite has rallied around crypto, White has led a small but scrappy group of skeptics pushing the other way whose warnings have seemed vindicated by the cratering in recent weeks of cryptocurrency prices. “Most of my disdain is reserved for the big players who are marketing this to a mainstream audience as though it’s an investment, often promising to be a ticket out of a really tough financial spot for people who don’t have many options. It’s very predatory.'” WaPo (Gift Article): First she documented the alt-right. Now she’s coming for crypto.

+ Time Out: “Differences in hormones, in biological clocks and sleep-wake cycles between the sexes, could all play a role.” Best exercise time may differ for men and women. (For me, the best exercise time has always been tomorrow.)


Bottom of the News

“A short video shot by a visitor to the Louvre in Paris showed the aftermath of the incident on Sunday as a member of staff is seen wiping off cream that had been smeared on the reinforced glass case that protects the world’s most famous painting.” Mona Lisa Attacked With Cake by Man Disguised as Woman in a Wheelchair. After throwing the cake, the attacker reportedly said, “think of the planet.” (I had this guy pegged as an anti-gluten activist.)

Copied to Clipboard