July 25th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Some reawy nice awticles for you!

Today’s headline might be the first to have truly universal appeal across cultures and languages. It uses the international language. No not love, music, or Esperanto. Baby talk. “In the most wide-ranging study of its kind, more than 40 scientists helped to gather and analyze 1,615 voice recordings from 410 parents on six continents, in 18 languages from diverse communities: rural and urban, isolated and cosmopolitan, internet savvy and off the grid, from hunter gatherers in Tanzania to urban dwellers in Beijing. The results, published recently in the journal Nature Human Behavior, showed that in every one of these cultures, the way parents spoke and sang to their infants differed from the way they communicated with adults — and that those differences were profoundly similar from group to group.” Fwom NYT, a wittle gift awticle fo you to weed cause you’re a reawy nice subskiber.) Parentese Is Truly a Lingua Franca, Global Study Finds.


Smoke and Mirrors

This week, my son’s day camp got delayed because of smoke related to our state’s latest megafire. He took in stride. For his generation, climate change related intrusions are normal. That’s in part because their forebearers ignored or denied reality. And they had help. “Thirty years ago, a bold plan was cooked up to spread doubt and persuade the public that climate change was not a problem. The little-known meeting – between some of America’s biggest industrial players and a PR genius – forged a devastatingly successful strategy that endured for years, and the consequences of which are all around us.” BBC: The audacious PR plot that seeded doubt about climate change.

+ Delayed camps are one thing. Boiling drinking water is another. Dhruv Kullar in The New Yorker: Living Through India’s Next-Level Heat Wave. “When we come back home, our heads feel like they will explode. We take water with us, but it’s boiling by the time we can drink it.”

+ Hundreds of temperature records broken as heat wave scorches the U.S.

+ “Water has always been recycled. The water molecules in your shower or cup of coffee might just be the same molecules that rained on dinosaurs more than 65 million years ago.” That may or may not make LA residents feel better about this. Los Angeles could soon put recycled water directly in your tap. (It will take some audacious PR to get people to swallow this news.)


You Just Don’t Get It

“There are no winners in a pandemic. That said, if you’ve made it to the summer of 2022 without yet testing positive for the coronavirus, you might feel entitled to some bragging rights. Who’s still in the game at this point? Not Anthony Fauci. Not Denzel Washington, Camila Cabello or Lionel Messi. Not your friend who’s even more cautious than you but who finally caught it last week.” They still haven’t gotten COVID. Here are some theories as to why.

+ A reduced sex drive, hallucinations, hair loss, shortness of breath, fatigue, rashes, brain fog … the list of long Covid symtoms is long. (And they sound a lot like being middle-aged.)

+ Meanwhile, WHO has declared Monkeypox a global public health emergency.


Chip Slip

“A bill to boost semiconductor production in the United States has managed to do nearly the unthinkable — unite the democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and the fiscally conservative right.” (So in other words, it might make sense to support the semiconductor bill?)

+ Tangentially related: CNN: FBI investigation determined Chinese-made Huawei equipment could disrupt US nuclear arsenal communications.


Extra, Extra

Retirement Check: “About 2 in 3 Americans say they favor term limits or a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices, according to a new poll that finds a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans saying they have ‘hardly any’ confidence in the court.” Scotus just ignored this poll by a 6-3 margin.

+ Private Equity Moves into the Trailer Park: “They hoped the latest owner, Cook Properties, would address the bourbon-colored drinking water, sewage bubbling into their bathtubs and the pothole-filled roads. When that didn’t happen and a new lease with a 6% increase was imposed this year, they formed an association.” AP: Rents spike as big-pocketed investors buy mobile home parks.

+ Blind Date: “You want people to eat and enjoy the product when it’s at its peak, because that’s going to increase their enjoyment, [and] encourage them to buy it again.” The truth, and strategy, of food expiration dates.

+ Hidden in Plain Sight: “Despite its name, you’re not really incognito, and you may want to dial back your confidence in what these modes really do.” NYT: Incognito Mode Isn’t As Incognito As You Might Think. (Relax, relax. It does hide your browsing history…)

+ Bishopping Spree: “A Brooklyn bishop and his wife were robbed during a livestreamed sermon Sunday after armed assailants stormed the service and made off with around $400,000 worth of jewelry.” (Luckily, the offering plate was left behind.)

+ Wolf Pact: “Take a popular theme like werewolves, sprinkle it with certain tropes like a forbidden romance, and write as many chapters as you can. Some novels have hundreds of chapters, most ending on a cliffhanger to keep readers engaged and eager to read on.” Inside the global gig economy of werewolf erotica.


Bottom of the News

“This is the domain of Hazel Chatman, a 75-year-old seasonal Parks Department worker who has been overseeing beach bathrooms for 28 years. The Daily News was praising her work back in 2007, and here she is in the summer of 2022, five days a week, eight hours a day, a short woman in sunglasses and a Parks Department shirt, moving both rapidly and deliberately, directing patrons to open stalls, greeting old friends, and keeping things in order.” In praise of a true rarity: a public bathroom that’s not horrific. A Brighton Beach Bathroom to Remember.

+ Chess robot grabs and breaks finger of seven-year-old opponent.

+ Whale jumps and lands on fishing boat off Massachusetts coast.

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