Tuesday, July 5th, 2022


American Fireworks

A guy ate 63 hot dogs and there was a mass shooting. America. The hot dog eating contest is reserved for the 4th of July, but we get the fireworks all year round. We got independence from England, but we can't get independence from our remarkable lunacy when it comes to gun laws, where the freedom to parade around carrying killing machines trumps the freedom to attend an Independence Day parade with your family. "The man suspected of killing at least six people and injuring more than 30 others Monday morning during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park planned the attack for several weeks before he climbed a fire escape ladder and fired on the crowd from the roof of a building ... dressed as a woman in order to evade detection." The gunman was able to get off more than 70 rounds with a gun obtained legally.

What do you call deadly gun violence that mars a peaceful family outing in America? The norm. In Chicago alone, 71 people were shot and 8 killed in 4th of July weekend violence. But don't sling mud at the Mud City. While some people call Chicago Chi-raq due to its high crime rate, mass shootings are a hallowed American tradition from which we never take a holiday. Fourth of July weekend marred by violent shootings across US.


Track Record

"While some fret over data maintained by period trackers and other specialty apps, the case against Fisher shows that simple search histories may pose enormous risks in a post-Roe world." WaPo: Texts, web searches about abortion have been used to prosecute women. Bet you never thought you'd have to open an incognito browser or use a VPN to search for health care.

+ "Google says it'll start automatically deleting visits to abortion clinics, domestic violence shelters, weight loss clinics, and other potentially sensitive locations from users' location histories in the coming weeks."

+ Patients head to Indiana for abortion services as other states restrict care.

+ A return to a more traditional time? Hardly. Benjamin Franklin gave instructions on at-home abortions in a book in the 1700s.


The Griddler on the Roof

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire. But it's more mild than the rest of the house. "At the end of April, when the daytime temperature crossed 113 °F, most residents of Nagla Tulai sought succor in the hot winds blowing outdoors. Since northwest India first began to see alarming temperatures, local governments have been advising people not to go out in the sun if they can help it. But Nagla Tulai is one of the few Indian villages yet to be electrified. That means no fans, no coolers, and no air conditioners for its 150-odd households. Instead, the women of Nagla Tulai have taken their cooking to the rooftops. There they sit for hours stuffing tinder into their clay stoves to keep them burning even as the sun breathes fire at them from above." Imagine cooking over an open fire on the roof as a way to cool off. MIT Tech Review: No power, no fans, no AC: The villagers fighting to survive India's deadly heatwaves.

+ Sydney floods burden 50,000 around Australia's largest city.


Draw Bridge

"What if Voldemort was a member of Green Day? What if there was a McDonald's in Mordor? What if scientists sent a Roomba to the bottom of the Mariana Trench?" You don't have to wonder anymore. A new AI program called Dall-E turns text phrases into art. And that art has the internet buzzing. NPR: When machine learning meets surrealist art meets Reddit, you get DALL-E mini.


Extra, Extra

Slow Motion Disaster: "Moscow's seizure of the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk province came at a steep price. The critical question now is whether Russia can muster enough strength for a new offensive to complete its capture of the Donbas and make gains elsewhere in Ukraine. 'Yes, the Russians have seized the Luhansk region, but at what price?" asked Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst in Ukraine, noting that some Russian units involved in the battle lost up to a half their soldiers.'" (As a layperson doing a lit review, here's what I've noticed as a trend in stories about the invasion. Russia makes slow gains. Experts critique their poor performance, planning, and effectiveness. Russia makes more slow gains. It's also notable that Putin doesn't care about human losses. He cares about maintaining power and money.) Plus, Brittney Griner made an appeal to President Joe Biden: "As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I'm terrified I might be here forever."

+ Nepalm Leaf: "Phuc, who now lives in Toronto, said she hoped that the world would learn 'how to live with love, hope and forgiveness ...If everyone can learn to live like that we don't need war at all." Vietnam 'Napalm Girl' gets final burn treatment in Florida 50 years later.

+ Traffic Signals: "Supply-chain snarls, raw material shortages, and record-setting inflation are turning the simple act of buying a car into a war of all against all, and there's no relief in sight. Could the electric-car market collapse under its own weight?" Nick Bilton: How Crazy Prices and Yearslong Wait Times Could Doom the Electric-Car Experiment. (I don't think it can doom the E-xperiment because so many automakers are shifting gears. But it's slowing the car market to a crawl. And I happen to need a new car and my wife and kids aren't buying the supply chain excuses...)

+ Secret Society: "A drumbeat of revelations from the House Jan. 6 committee has revealed two dueling identities of the Secret Service under former president Donald Trump — gutsy heroes who blocked the president from a dangerous plan to accompany rioters at the Capitol and political yes-men who were willing to enable his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election." No one covers the Secret Service like Carol Leonnig in WaPo: Jan. 6 showed two identities of Secret Service: Gutsy heroes vs. Trump yes-men. (Those seem to be the two identities of Americans in general.)

+ Fault of Our Stars: Nick Kyrgios has dominated the Wimbledon buzz. He's a jerk on the court. And now he's headed for another court. Wimbledon quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend.


Bottom of the News

"I always go to IHOP first thing in the morning. I get a pancake stack with strawberries, bananas, honey, and anything I really want on there and I'll demolish that. About two hours later, I'll get a wee snack of my choice. Lunchtime is a burger or a double burger and chips. I'll repeat that meal three times in a day, so I'll have three burgers and chips in a day—that's when I'm in America a week before comp. My last meal of the day is usually something with pasta because it's extra starchy and it'll sit in your belly and digest slowly. Then maybe some chocolate cake at night." The Real-Life Diet of Tom Stoltman, the World's Strongest Man.

+ Do you love board game nights, going to Disneyland without kids, and watching teen dramas on The CW? Then you might be a kidult.

+ Remember RadioShack? It's now a crypto company with wild tweets. Of course it is.