August 18th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Weather has a long memory. Trump's CFO pleads guilty.

So you’ve come up with some alternative energy solutions to address climate change. But here’s the problem: Climate change knows what you did last Summer, and those prior behaviors are making some of your new solutions less tenable. For example, hydropower works a lot better when there is flowing water. When combined with Putin’s energy war, Europe is having a long, hot summer. NYT (Gift Article): Europe’s Scorching Summer Puts Unexpected Strain on Energy Supply. “The dry summer has reduced hydropower in Norway, threatened nuclear reactors in France and crimped coal transport in Germany. And that’s on top of Russian gas cuts.”

+ WaPo: Glaciers in Europe are experiencing the most severe melting on record. (Maybe they should put hydropower facilities at the base of glaciers.)

+ WaPo (Gift Article): French farmers made salers cheese for 2,000 years — then a drought hit. “France’s severe drought shut down the cheese production that had continued through two world wars, collapsed monarchies and the fall of the Roman Empire.” I just returned from Rome, where my family had to fight like gladiators to make it from the Colosseum back to our air conditioned hotel room. Of course, air conditioning represents another one of those vicious cycles. Our air conditioners make the climate hotter and the hotter climate makes us buy more air conditioners. From Vox: The search for an AC that doesn’t destroy the planet.


Pop Goes the Weisselberg

“Judge Juan Manuel Merchan agreed to sentence Weisselberg to five months in New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, although he will be eligible for release much earlier if he behaves well behind bars. The judge said Weisselberg will have to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, penalties and interest and complete five years of probation.” Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty in tax evasion case. He’d have to testify in a Trump Org trial, but doesn’t have to provide much info prior to that.

+ At this point, Dick Wolf could get about 20 seasons out of a show called Law & Order:Trump. The shenanigans have been going on forever. Let’s go back to the 80s in Atlantic City with Jeff Maysh in The New Yorker: “If you entered a sweepstakes competition in those years, it was likely run by C.B.S. You had no chance of winning—Seidman had built a sprawling network of ‘paper winners,’ including a kung-fu master and a pet psychic, who helped him steal millions of dollars in cash and prizes, pulling off the biggest sweepstakes fraud the country had ever seen.” Donald Trump and the Sweepstakes Scammers.


Crap Shoot

One of the few positives of the Covid era is that it accelerated the use of wastewater surveillance for tracking disease spread. The NYT (Gift Article) fleshes, and flushes, out all the details. Tracking viruses can be tricky. Sewage provides a solution. (All you have to do is flush.) (This is one job where robots replacing humans sounds pretty good.)


Land of the Rising Shun

“The contest asks 20 to 39-year-olds to share their business ideas to kick-start demand among their peers – whether it’s for Japanese sake, shochu, whiskey, beer or wine.” Japan urges its young people to drink more to boost economy. “The younger generation drinks less alcohol than their parents – a move that has hit taxes from beverages like sake.”

+ Maybe the Japanese should elect Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin. She’s in hot water, again, after a leaked video showed her partying and dancing. She insists there were no drugs, just lots of dancing at the ‘wild’ party. (Getting people to drink more? A prime minister who dances too much? Those problems sure beat dealing with a group of self-radicalized lunatics throwing democracy under the bus in the name of a serial con man.)


Extra, Extra

Witness: “Kaniya Jaranilla, 13, has feared for years that he would find her family again. It’s made her so paranoid that when she sends friends pictures of herself in her family’s apartment, Kaniya blurs out the background first. On TikTok, she never tags her location or shows details that could reveal the town where she now lives in hiding. Kaniya’s accounts are private, but that offers little comfort. She knows what the man can do, because she saw him do it.” WaPo: Hundreds of kids witness parents shot to death. This is what it does to them.

+ No One Wants to Cable and Chill: “Americans now watch more stuff on TV from streaming services than either broadcast or cable TV.” And with more sports going to streaming services, that trend is about to accelerate.

+ Keep Your Theragun in Your Pants: Following a long, closely watched saga, Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson has been suspended 11 games and fined $5 million after settlement between the NFL and a Player’s Association. “He was accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.” (He recently signed a $240 million contract.)

+ Teenage Taste Land: It’s hard to believe there was a time when Facebook was remotely popular with teens. These days, it’s all about Tik Tok, Snap and YouTube. Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022.

+ Did You Hear the One About the Market Manipulator? Manchester United shares briefly pop 17% in premarket after Elon Musk jokes about buying the club. (This reminds me of the time he joked about buying Twitter.)


Bottom of the News

“Call it a Kentucky Waterfall, a Tennessee Top Hat or a Missouri Compromise, at the end of the day it’s the same iconic haircut: the mullet. And now fans of the business in the front, party in the back hairdo have a chance to vote on their favorite styles in this year’s USA Mullet Championship.” Meet this year’s child Mullet Championship finalists. (I’m never complaining about my kids’ hair styles again…)

+ Whales surprise two paddleboarders in Argentina. (This is a disturbing story to read the day my new kayak is being delivered.)

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