Thursday, September 15th, 2022


Play Misty For Me

My wife convinced me to move to Sausalito with the sales pitch that I'd be closer to the fog. The fog is my oxygen, my air conditioner, my entertainment; the bay's foghorns are the soundtrack to my life. They're playing my tune in the background as I type this. While the rest of the world sweats, we wear layers. I plan to be buried in a windbreaker. No July 4th is complete without our uniquely San Francisco fireworks show that features nothing more than distant booms accompanied by the fog glowing various colors. I love fog so much, I get misty just thinking about it. As the excellent John Branch writes, "It arrives like a whisper and disappears like a magic trick. It is there one moment and gone the next." But will this cool, rolling, weather marvel that burns off each time it arrives ultimately burn off for good? Branch and photographer Nina Riggio in the NYT (Gift Article): The Elusive Future of San Francisco's Fog. "Fog is a companion, part of the rhythm of summertime, flitting in and out of lives like a family member. But it does more than astonish ill-prepared tourists and dazzle photographers and poets. It nourishes the natural world. It enriches the area's cultural identity. It might even be an untapped resource in California's growing anxiety over water." The Pulitzer-winning John Branch usually writes about sports, so he knows the regular battle between the fog and the sun could be Earth's greatest ongoing rivalry. Branch lives about 15 minutes up the highway from me where it's often 20-25 degrees hotter. No wonder he loves the fog.


Be Vest

In 1991, The Red Hot Chili Peppers made the following suggestion: Give it away, give it away, give it away now. Give it away, give it away, give it away now. Give it away, give it away, give it away now. More than three decades later, Yvon Chouinard answered that call. NYT (Gift Article): Billionaire No More: Patagonia Founder Gives Away the Company. "Rather than selling the company or taking it public, Mr. Chouinard, his wife and two adult children have transferred their ownership of Patagonia, valued at about $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization. They were created to preserve the company's independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe." (Hopefully his offspring don't feel like they just got fleeced by Patagonia.)


Cover Me

Police departments have been slow to change their tactics. Major news stories don't lead to change. Protests come and go. Can anything make a difference? Yes. Money. "Where community activists, use-of-force victims and city officials have failed to persuade police departments to change dangerous and sometimes deadly policing practices, insurers are successfully dictating changes to tactics and policies, mostly at small to medium-size departments throughout the nation." WaPo (Gift Article): The high cost of settlements over police misconduct has led insurers to demand police departments overhaul tactics or forgo coverage.


Fed Zeppelin

"A 2011 poll revealed that Federer was the second-most respected person in the world—behind only Nelson Mandela—and ahead of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI ... Federer was something altogether different, captivating in a way that concurrently transcended tennis—yet also displayed it with an unsurpassed blend of flair and grace. It didn't matter if you barely knew the sport or had been around it for 50 years: Federer was tennis' avatar, a dazzling representation of tennis' possibilities. No one has ever left more people swooning about all this sport can be." Roger Federer announces his retirement. This is hardly a surprise, but it's a bummer that injuries robbed Fed of a Serena-like send off.

+ From the archives: David Foster Wallace in the NYT (Gift Article): Roger Federer as Religious Experience. "Almost anyone who loves tennis and follows the men's tour on television has, over the last few years, had what might be termed Federer Moments. These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you're O.K. The Moments are more intense if you've played enough tennis to understand the impossibility of what you just saw him do. "


Extra, Extra

Back on Track: When your nickname is Amtrak Joe, you better be able to avert a rail strike. And Biden just helped get that done. How Biden navigated a political and economic minefield at a critical moment in rail negotiations.

+ Gov Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry: "About 50 migrants arrived by plane in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Wednesday on a flight paid for by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and that originated in San Antonio, Texas." Migrants on Martha's Vineyard flight say they were told they were going to Boston. Shipping kids and families around the country to score cheap political points is the new normal. Greg Abbott, also in the running to be the next Trump, started the trend. "Two buses of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border were dropped off near Vice President Kamala Harris' home in residential Washington on Thursday morning."

+ Dam Fool: "We understand your questions and concerns in this regard. During today's meeting, of course, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before." Putin and Xi held their first meeting since the Ukraine invasion began. And Putin is responding to military setbacks by playing dirtier. Houses flooded after missiles hit major dam.

+ Boys to Men: "The fact that boys mature later than girls is one known to every parent, and certainly to every teacher. According to a Rand survey, teachers are three times more likely to delay entry for their own sons than their own daughters. The maturity gap is now demonstrated conclusively by neuroscience: Brain development follows a different trajectory for boys than it does for girls. But this fact is entirely ignored in broader education policy, even as boys fall further behind girls in the classroom." The Atlantic: Why boys should start school a year later than girls.

+ By Design: From a browser app that compensates for users' tremors in real time to a floating wind farm that uses 126 turbines and is designed for deep water, here are FastCo's 2022 Innovation by Design Awards.


Bottom of the News

"A growing number of men are undergoing a radical and expensive surgery to grow anywhere from three to six inches. The catch: It requires having both your femurs broken." GQ goes inside the booming world of leg lengthening. Why go through all that pain when it's girth that matters?