Friday, October 7th, 2022


Hairdos and Don’ts

It goes by many names. Kentucky Waterfall. Camaro Crash Helmet. Tennessee Tophat. Dixie Dust Ruffle. Macgyver. Hesher. Hockey Hair. Soccer Rocker. Ten-Ninety. Achy Breaky Big Mistakey. Missouri Mudflap. Coat Rack. Beaver Paddle. Yep-nope. Schmelby. Neckwarmer. El Camino. Squirrel Pelt. Business in the front, party in the back. And my favorite: The Shlong (SHort in the front, long in the back.) A haircut doesn't get this many nicknames without drawing a lot of emotion from those in favor and those opposed. So proceed with caution as you bear witness to the year's most disturbing hairdo event. NYT (Gift Article): Inside the Search for the Best Mullet in America. If you were in the vicinity, you may have been concerned you wandered into an insurrection planning session—until you heard the participants sharing tips on conditioners. "About half of the 14 contestants wore Americana garb: a shirt with a toile-esque pattern of bald eagles, red-white-and-blue camouflage, shortalls that looked like an American flag. Almost all wore wraparound sunglasses. Many sipped tallboy cans of beer as they shared tales of barbers, including one dramatic anecdote about a hairstylist being unreachable that morning when one contestant needed a touch up. Conditioners were compared — Tresemmé proved divisive — and tips were shared, including a hunch about how sunshine can add a gloss to hair."


Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

We're constantly reminded that we have to be the quarterbacks of our own health care experience. But we have such limited access to information that it often feels like we're dropping back in the pocket wearing a blindfold. Hopefully, that's about to change. "The American Revolution had July 4. The allies had D-Day. And now U.S. patients, held down for decades by information hoarders, can rally around a new turning point, October 6, 2022 — the day they got their health data back. Under federal rules taking effect Thursday, health care organizations must give patients unfettered access to their full health records in digital format. No more long delays. No more fax machines. No more exorbitant charges for printed pages." Stat News: Call it data liberation day: Patients can now access all their health records digitally. This news is nothing to turn your head and cough at.


Dimorphos Gonna Get It

Aside from Trump coverage which never ends, we tend to watch big news stories emerge like oncoming meteors and disappear like shooting stars. But let's pause and reflect on the amazingness of the story of how humans took on an asteroid. David W Brown in The New Yorker: How NASA Launched Its Asteroid Killer. "The Dart spacecraft was seven million miles from Earth; after charting a ten-month, hundred-and-one-million-mile course around the sun, it had squared up for its terminal run against an asteroid called Dimorphos. If all went according to plan, dart would collide head on with Dimorphos at fourteen thousand miles an hour, fundamentally deforming the asteroid and changing its orbit. For the first time in more than sixty years of spaceflight, our species would be not just exploring the solar system but rearranging it." I feel a sense of accomplishment if I rearrange my sock drawer.


Weekend Whats

What to Hear: The back to back Vs are just about the only thing I don't like about the Canadian band Alvvays. Like their other fans, I've been waiting for this new album for years, and thankfully, it doesn't disappoint. Check out Blue Rev. And I absolutely love the new and much-anticipated album from the Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeahs (I added an extra Yeah, because the single Spitting Off the Edge of the World is that good). Listen to Cool It Down.

+ What to Read: "His feet exploded inside his shoes. His tibias and fibulas exploded like shrapnel through his slacks. His knees went in different directions. Then his butt hit and that exploded, too. Then his spine: Four of his vertebrae blew out and every rib, front and back, cracked. And then he fell to his right side and broke everything there: the bones in his hand, the bones in his wrist, the bones in his elbow and his arm and his shoulder—all destroyed." Joshua St.Clair in Esquire: Mike Conner v. The Pain. "Appreciate what you have left, Mike told himself. Appreciate the breeze and the trees and the birds and the arm that you can move. If you can move, move. If you can make sounds, talk. If you can tell someone you love them, say it loud."

+ What to Doc: "A powerful new documentary, follows Lebanon's first all-female metal band as they battle sexism, censorship, and themselves. Filmmaker Rita Baghdadi's intimate portrait celebrates creative triumph over political oppression." A couple years ago I decided to start investing a little money in documentaries, one of my favorite forms of content. My first check was written for a film called Sirens, and it's been getting great reviews like this one from Pitchfork.


Extra, Extra

Ato-mic Drop: "Biden's blunt assessment caught several senior US officials by surprise, largely due to that lack of any new intelligence to drive them and the grim language Biden deployed." You don't need any access to intelligence to know that a cornered megalomaniac with a lot of nukes is a serious concern. But an American president mentioning nuclear Armageddon is definitely something. Meanwhile, Putin faces new challenge as Kremlin allies turn on Russia's military leaders. (Those Kremlin allies made it pretty hard on their military leaders by stealing all the country's defense money and spending it villas and yachts.)

+ Iced Chips: "The raft of measures could amount to the biggest shift in U.S. policy toward shipping technology to China since the 1990s. If effective, they could set China's chip manufacturing industry back years." U.S. aims to hobble China's chip industry with sweeping new export rules. The new cold war is here and computer chips are on the front lines.

+ Belarus to Judgement: As is often the case, the Nobel peace prize committee used the award to send a message. "A jailed Belarus activist and two groups from Ukraine and Russia have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for championing human rights and democracy."

+ Salvador Stopper "President Nayib Bukele requested Congress grant him extraordinary powers after gangs were blamed for 62 killings on March 26, and that decree has been renewed every month since then. It suspends some Constitutional rights and gives police more powers to arrest and hold suspects." In El Salvador, army surrounds town to root out gang.

+ Wembanyamarama: "LeBron James called him an alien. Everyone else is already calling him next year's no. 1 pick. Just how good can the silky 7-foot-4 star be? 'He's not a franchise-altering talent," said one NBA executive, 'he's a league-altering talent.'" Is the NBA Ready for Victor Wembanyama?

+ Just Happy to See You! A New York City man faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly attempting to smuggle three large snakes across the US-Canada border – in his pants.


Feel Good Friday

The Busload of Books tour is starting to get coverage like this and this. It will only increase as news of this feel great story spreads across America. You should definitely be following along on Instagram or Facebook.

+ Here's an awesome, short video on a great program in Marin City called Play Marin. A Brighter Tomorrow.

+ "Carl Allamby's professional trajectory could be reduced to the plot of a feel-good movie. Skimming over the details, his is a story of a once-poor boy from the wrong side of Cleveland, who went from fixing cars to fixing people, from mechanic to medical doctor. But the more accurate truth is that in this case, Allamby's social and economic mobility was of the tortoise vs. hare variety." What's it take to go from mechanic to physician at 51? Patience, an Ohio doctor says.

+ "So many people and businesses will use those tax credits that the IRA's total spending is likely to be more than $800 billion, double what the CBO projects. And because federal spending tends to catalyze private investment, that could send total climate spending across the economy to roughly $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years." The Atlantic: The Climate Economy Is About to Explode.

+ "The school was the trial site for a scheme that has pitched using the metaverse to help teach English to students with a limited grasp of the language." The LA kids who started behind and then flew ahead.

+ "The Nordic nation's rate of vehicle fatalities is a fraction of the toll in the US, despite a harsh climate and ice-covered streets." How Finland Put Traffic Crashes on Ice.

+ ‘It feels like fresh air to my ears': can brown noise really help you concentrate? My teenage daughter was highly skeptical (since the tip came from me). But her reviews have been great.