January 27th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Marie Gets Messy, the Skinny on Fat Drugs, Feel Good Friday

Sooner or later, the cluttered, clunky, chaotic reality of life defeats everyone, even a minimalism maximalist like Marie Kondo. Quiet as it’s kempt, it turns out the being tidy is a lot easier before life intervenes and starts messing with you. Kondo made a tidy sum selling her tidying principles, but that was before she had three kids—a subspecies notoriously opposed to cleanliness. The new Kondo Method: “My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life.” WaPo (Gift Article): Marie Kondo’s life is messier now — and she’s fine with it. If you really want declutter your house, the first thing to get rid of is self-help books. If that doesn’t work, try moving the kids out.


Here’s the Skinny

“One story you could tell about these drugs is that they represent a watershed moment for scientific discovery. In a country where each generation has been more overweight than the one that came before it, a marvelous medication seemed to fall out of the sky. But just months into this weight-loss-drug bonanza, a range of medical, cultural, and political challenges has materialized.” In a truly American irony, people are overconsuming weight loss drugs. Derek Thompson in The Atlantic: The Weight-Loss-Drug Revolution Is a Miracle—And a Menace.


Flush to Judgement

Let’s cut to the chase. Toilet flushers are too close to toilets. They should be more like long fuse bomb detonators that you engage only when you’re a safe distance from the blast. To review, let’s go back to the early days of Covid. Jacob Stern blows the lid off the story in The Atlantic: Whatever Happened to Toilet Plumes? “The short answer is that our fears have not been substantiated, but they weren’t entirely overblown either.”

+ No one was more ahead of this knowledge curve than the notable philosopher Vincent Barbarino who repeatedly offered the prescient guidance: “Of my case, toilet face.”


Weekend Whats

What to Movie: Aftersun starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio (a name we will be hearing for a long time) is a quiet movie about a father/daughter relationship, memory, and depression.

+ What to Watch: The NYT called Rian Johnson’s new Columbo-esque show starring Natasha Lyonne, “the Best New Detective Show of 1973.” That’s high praise, which is what this show is getting from all reviewers. I’m gonna be watching 50-60 hours of 49er game previews this weekend, but I suggest you check out Poker Face on Peacock.


Extra, Extra

Fatal Footage: Everyone from the local police chief to the FBI director has warned us that we will be appalled by the video of Tyre Nichols’s fatal encounter with police. Of course, you could have guessed as much from the fact that five Memphis officers were arrested on second degree murder charges before the video was made public. Here’s the latest.

+ Chief of Gaffe? Zients “joins ahead of two years of looming investigations from Congress — and a special counsel probe into classified documents found in Biden’s personal files.” Biden is getting a new chief of staff. Jeff Zients will replace Ron Klain.

+ Kid Glock: “Long guns for kids have been around for years, typically shotguns or single-shot rifles scaled down for a child. But what has attracted so much attention to the JR-15 is its semiautomatic action, firing with each pull of the trigger — along with the image of putting a mini assault rifle in the hands of children in a country where a 6-year-old just shot a teacher in the chest with a handgun legally purchased by his mother.” Coming Soon to Stores: The AR-15 for Kids. From Who Shot JR? to Who Did JR Shoot?

+ Copper and Robbers: “That mine could help address climate change by helping the United States replace fossil fuels and combustion engines with renewable energy and electric cars. But to Mr. Nosie, a former chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, it’s the latest insult in a bitter history.” The NYT on the dirty business of clean energy. A Copper Mine Could Advance Green Energy but Scar Sacred Land.

+ CBD-Day: “Hong Kong’s first CBD cafe opened in 2020 and the ban will force scores of businesses to remove CBD-infused gummies, drinks and other products, or shut down altogether.” Well, times have changed … and turned backwards. Hong Kong to ban CBD, label it a dangerous drug. “Penalties include up to life in prison … for importing, exporting or producing CBD.” These lawmakers need to smoke some THC and chill.

+ March Sadness: “I think Billy will go down in history as one of the greatest analysts in the history of sports television.” So said Jim Nantz as he reflected on the passing of Billy Packer who had the voice synonymous with college basketball. Packer called 34 Final Fours.

+ Rechecks and Balances: “The National Archives has asked former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to recheck their personal records for any classified documents following the news that President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence had such documents in their possession.” Maybe there’s an upside to this nonsense. America’s classified information is so spread out, no one can find it all.

+ Glorious Food: The Murky, Salty Mystery of Worcestershire Sauce and An Ode to Kraft Dinner, Food of Troubled Times.


Feel Good Friday

“Since 2004 Square Peg Foundation has been providing homes and meaningful work for ex-racehorses who, for whatever reason, would have trouble finding a home in equestrian sports. Today, with our 25 horses, we serve hundreds of autism families every year, we are the designated provider of equine services for San Mateo County Mental Health, and we provide meaningful paying jobs for eight young adults with autism. We currently have over 100 families on a waiting list for services.” Let’s do something good this weekend. Square Peg is an incredible organization that does good things for people and animals. I’ve known the founders for years and wholeheartedly vouch for them and the program. The recent California storms hit them hard. Join me in supporting their Go Fund Me.

+ “The Biden administration on January 19 launched the Welcome Corps, a new program that will allow groups of Americans to directly sponsor refugees to resettle in their communities.” You can now sponsor refugees yourself. Here’s how.

+ This Maine home can stay 70 degrees without a furnace, even when it’s freezing outside.

+ “Ants don’t have a nose, but that doesn’t stop them from sniffing out cancer. Thanks to an abundance of olfactory receptors on their antennae, the insects have an incredible sense of smell—and they can use it to detect tumors.”

+ WaPo: Yale’s hugely popular happiness course is revamped for teens.

+ An ALS patient set a record for communicating via a brain implant: 62 words per minute.

+ Amsterdam’s underwater parking garage fits 7,000 bicycles and zero cars.

+ Japanese government to once again allow loud cheering, full attendance at concerts, sports events. In other words, you no longer have to scream inside your heart. (Which makes this the perfect moment to buy a copy of my book, Please Scream Inside Your Heart.)

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