February 14th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Living together, Sleeping Apart.

To be able to play their latest hit song on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967, The Rolling Stones had to agree to change its words from the far too dirty Let’s Spend the Night Together to Let’s Spend Some Time Together. Mick Jagger rolled his eyes as he sang the new lyrics, but maybe Ed Sullivan was merely foretelling the future (or at least failing to make the song any less suggestive). It turns out that a lot of couples spend some time together and then spend the night apart. “Snoring and conflicting schedules are top reasons couples decide to sleep in separate bedrooms. Sex therapists and marriage counselors have their doubts about the arrangement.” NYT (Free Article): I Love You, but I Don’t Want to Sleep With You. (I heard some version of that line about a thousand times in college.)


Youth Hostile

“In 30 years of collecting similar data, ‘we’ve never seen this kind of devastating, consistent findings,’ said Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s adolescent and school health division. ‘There’s no question young people are telling us they are in crisis. The data really call on us to act.'” Pandemic youth mental health toll unprecedented. “Among girls, 30% said they seriously considered attempting suicide, double the rate among boys and up almost 60% from a decade ago.”

+ And these days, if you’re having mental health issues, data about that is being collected and sold. WaPo: Now for sale: Data on your mental health.


Tahoe Hum

“The story of Lake Tahoe is a microcosm of what’s happening in communities across California and the US, where longstanding housing problems have been intensified by the pandemic. The resulting upheaval has fueled fear and uncertainty about Lake Tahoe’s future, and forced the area to confront a difficult question: who is Tahoe for?” Like so many resort towns, Tahoe saw an influx of homebuyers during the pandemic. That’s pricing the locals out of the market. Lake Tahoe has a people problem: how a resort town became unlivable.


Fixer Upper

“Journalism is about finding out the truth, but it’s often played like a game, one in which the most interesting story with the juiciest and most convincing details wins. Heller understands what a reporter needs. As Evan Smith put it to me: ‘It’s like what they say about the Devil — the greatest trick Risa ever pulled was convincing us that she’s one of us.'” NY Mag: Get Me Risa Heller! “If you’re Jeff Zucker or Mario Batali or Jared Kushner and you’re trying to survive a bout of very bad press, she’s who you call.”


Extra, Extra

MSU Shooting: “I thought I was going to die. We didn’t know where he went. Everyone was on the ground huddling, and I just looked at my classmates and told them it was going to be okay.” Three students were killed by a single gunman at Michigan State University on Monday night. The shooter (who killed himself) had a history of rabid anger issues and had previously had a gun taken away by police. But in America, there are always more guns. Here’s the latest from CNN.

+ Modi Operandi: BBC broadcasted a documentary in the UK critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (that Modi has gone to great lengths to keep out of view). A few weeks later, BBC’s India offices were searched by income tax officials. The authoritarian playbook is not complicated. (It’s also spreading.)

+ We’ve Have the Receps: NPR: Videos show Turkey’s Erdogan boasted letting builders avoid earthquake codes. (And spreading…)

+ Assad State: “They had none of the advanced rescue equipment brought to Turkey, where teams from around the world flew in with sniffer dogs, sensitive microphones, and seismic sensors. Syrians mostly dug with backhoes, shovels, and bare hands. People told us that there were some buildings, filled with families, from which no survivors had emerged.” The New Yorker: How Assad Blocked Aid to Syrian Earthquake Victims. (And spreading…)

+ A Village on the Take: “It seemed like an open-and-shut case of democracy in action: Residents had banded together to make their voice heard and changed the direction of their community, rejecting a cozy arrangement between the area’s political and business elites. Next up was the property tax rollback. None of that, of course, could be allowed.” Ryan Grim in The Intercept with a truly crazy story of politics run amok. Surprise, it’s in Florida. The Villages Vendetta: How a Grassroots Revolt in the Iconic Retirement Community Ended With a 72-Year-Old Political Prisoner.

+ This Isn’t What They Meant By Reparations: The University of Richmond took his family name off a building because of ties to slavery. So now he wants the money back. WaPo (Gift Article): A school took his family name off a building. He’s demanding $3.6 billion.

+ Brett, Tu? Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton did the near impossible. He brought Republicans and Democrats together … in their belief that he had to be fired immediately. Biden fires Architect of the Capitol over alleged abuses.

+ Money Can’t Buy You Love. But it Can Buy You Attention: Elon Musk manipulates Twitter to ensure the world sees his tweets at the top of their feed. If I owned Twitter, I would require that every user followed me and that every one of my tweets was seen by every single person. I’d do that because I am (or was) a Twitter dopamine addict. Just like Elon was (and is). That’s why he bought the company. To understand this story, everything must be viewed through that prism.


Bottom of the News

“An award-winning German ballet company director who smeared his dog’s faeces on the face of a dance critic has failed to apologize, saying he was responding to decades of ‘annihilatory criticism.'”

+ “A bill that would make it easier for people in Wyoming to consume alcohol while doing things like throwing axes, darts, and chicken roping is only one step away from reaching Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk.” Chicken roping? This is either a joke or the worst-ever episode of Yellowstone.

+ Not feeling the V-Day love? A zoo in Texas invited people to name a cockroach after their ex, just before feeding it to a rodent.

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