Friday, September 2nd, 2022


Let Them Eat Kale

It's all part of the process. And that's the problem. Processed foods are an American addiction. While medical advances have people talking about life extension, and even life everlasting, the truth is that our life expectancies are being held back by our in-between panacea snacks. One of the problems is that we often view food as an issue that's separate from health and medicine when they couldn't be more related. "The data are stark: the typical American diet is shortening the lives of many Americans. Diet-related deaths outrank deaths from smoking, and about half of U.S. deaths from heart disease – nearly 900 deaths a day – are linked to poor diet. The pandemic highlighted the problem, with much worse outcomes for people with obesity and other diet-related diseases." Maybe we can eat our way out of the problem, but only if we choose the right menu. NPR: The U.S. diet is deadly. Here are 7 ideas to get Americans eating healthier.

+ Ultraprocessed foods linked to cancer and early death, studies find.


Still Diddling Around

From Zoom to Peloton, the pandemic stocks have been crushed as we return to our pre-quarantine schedules. Will any of our online habits survive the return to terrestrial life? Well, if you've been paying any attention to the history of the internet (not to mention human history writ large), you know the answer. "Business boomed last year for OnlyFans, the social media site that has become an established home for creators selling sexually explicit content and engaging privately with followers." Meanwhile, the OnlyFans owner made $500m after spike in users. Now that's what I call a money shot.


InAction Jackson

"Jackson's water issues, though, are long-running and well known to residents; they were first told to boil their water in July. Many haven't sipped tap water for years. This isn't the first time Jackson has gone without clean water, either. The city suffered through a similar ordeal last winter, when cold weather froze the pipes and residents were told to boil their water for a month. It's hard to imagine that a similarly sized, richer, and less Black city—say Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or Providence, Rhode Island—facing a crisis of this magnitude would have received this little national attention for so long." TNR: Mississippi's Dry Run for Eco-Apartheid.


Weekend Whats

What to Tennis: Since we're heading into the middle weekend of the US Open, let's serve up some tennis-related picks. First, there's a new Showtime doc on John McEnroe that is getting rave reviews. For a time, he was the best player in the world. Currently, he could be the best color commentator in sports. And through it all, he's been interesting as hell. McEnroe is like a human unconscious with a killer backhand. Two other docs to enjoy between matches: HBO has a newish doc on McEnroe's opposite: Citizen Ashe. And if you're bummed we may have seen the last of the Williams sisters on the same court, check out Venus and Serena on Amazon Prime.

+ What to Watch: If you're looking for something a little less psychologically traumatic than 104 minutes with John McEnroe, then check out Steve Carrell as a therapist kidnapped by a patient who needs help curbing his homicidal urges: The Patient on Hulu.


Extra, Extra

White Flag: "Chicago is one of the nation's gun violence hotspots and a seemingly ideal place to employ Illinois' 'red flag' law that allows police to step in and take firearms away from people who threaten to kill. But amid more than 8,500 shootings resulting in 1,800 deaths since 2020, the law was used there just four times. It's a pattern that's played out in New Mexico, with nearly 600 gun homicides during that period and a mere eight uses of its red flag law. And in Massachusetts, with nearly 300 shooting homicides and just 12 uses of its law." AP: Red flag laws get little use as shootings, gun deaths soar.

+ Stating the Obvious: "As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault. We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise." Biden speaks the obvious truth about Trump and his enablers. He's facing a GOP backlash today, but just in the hours since his speech we've learned how election deniers could sway the 2024 election, that Ginni Thomas lobbied Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn 2020 election, and that Donald Trump says he plans to pardon US Capitol attack participants if elected. (Which makes sense, as he was the chief participant.)

+ Jam Session: "Argentina's vice-president has narrowly avoided assassination after a gunman's weapon jammed as he aimed at her. Footage shows the moment Cristina Fernández de Kirchner found herself face-to-face with the loaded weapon."

+ Join the Booster Club: "Sometime this weekend or early next week, pharmacies and doctors' offices are going to start to receive Covid-19 boosters that have been reformulated to include protection against one of the sub-variants of Omicron." Your questions on the new Covid vaccine boosters answered.

+ The Incredible Bulk: Jared Kushner's White House memoir sits atop the NYT bestseller list. But there's just a little symbol under that ranking that you should take note of. It has to do with bulk sales. (These guys cheat at everything.)

+ Pottify: "As it turns out, there are quite a few songs that will fill Alexa requests for the whole gamut of things a kindergartener might dream up: poop, diapers, dog poop, stinky butt." Kids Yell 'Poop' At Alexa, And These Musicians Profit.


Feel Good Friday

I've been telling you about the Busload of Books tour from children's book creators Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson. Their family is in a school bus that's traveling around the country delighting kids and giving away books. The first stop is happening today. This is going to be so great. You can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. This family will be famous for all the right reasons by the time this trip is over. So get on the bus now.

+ 826 Valencia is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Here's Dave Eggers explaining why Writing Should be Joyful and Strange. (I'm halfway there...)

+ This company is about to grow new organs in a person for the first time.

+ "Though it's little-remembered today, the initiative was championed by such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Theodore Dreiser, and Upton Sinclair, and was celebrated nationwide." The Brooklyn Public Library has been unbanning books for a long time. And that, sadly, is needed now more than ever. UnBanning Books Since 1934.

+ "Until recently considered a folly available only to billionaires, personal submarines are now ready for the (well-heeled) masses." NYT: A Personal Submarine for Every Orthodontist.

+ From Mic: Five good news stories about climate change.

+ The world's biggest offshore wind farm is now fully operational.

+ Experience: I am the Monopoly world champion.