Friday, March 3rd, 2023



One of the first things I do when I roll out of bed is to put on my shoes, and I don't kick them off until the seconds before I get back under the covers at night. And while they say opposites attract, I don't find myself particularly attracted to shoeless Joe DeRuvo Jr. But I do have to admit, the guy's got sole. NYT (Gift Article): He Took His Shoes Off 20 Years Ago. He Hasn't Put Them Back On. "Mr. DeRuvo initially decided to forgo shoes because of agonizing bunions, but he has stayed barefoot for reasons that transcend physical comfort. In that time, he has become a litmus test of people's forbearance and their willingness to tolerate a stranger's unconventional lifestyle and perhaps even try to understand it." (I'll tolerate and understand it from a distance. I don't even like being near people in flip flops.)


Sticks and Stones

"The whole tendency of equity language is to blur the contours of hard, often unpleasant facts. This aversion to reality is its main appeal. Once you acquire the vocabulary, it's actually easier to say people with limited financial resources than the poor. The first rolls off your tongue without interruption, leaves no aftertaste, arouses no emotion. The second is rudely blunt and bitter, and it might make someone angry or sad. Imprecise language is less likely to offend. Good writing—vivid imagery, strong statements—will hurt, because it's bound to convey painful truths." In The Atlantic, George Packer argues The Moral Case Against Equity Language. "Prison does not become a less brutal place by calling someone locked up in one a person experiencing the criminal-justice system. (With all due respect to your balls, we've gone nuts.)


Murdaugh in the First

"Good morning, your honor. I am innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never hurt my son, Paw-Paw. Thank you." That was Alex Murdaugh just before a judge sentenced the man who led a double life to a double life sentence for the murder of his wife and son. The obsessively-watched case that saw viewers poring over evidence was reportedly settled by a jury in about 45 minutes.

+ NPR spoke with a former long-running executive producer of Law and Order: SVU to try to understand why America is obsessed with the Alex Murdaugh murder trial.


Weekend Whats

What to Rock: Everyone's focused on what he'll say about the slap. But anytime Chris Rock does comedy, it's worth watching. On Saturday night, that will be especially true as he performs a live set on Netflix. Chris Rock: Selective Outrage goes live on Saturday at 7:00pm pst.

+ What to Doc: 38 At The Garden on HBO is a 38-minute documentary that chronicles the extraordinary ascendance of point guard Jeremy Lin during his landmark 2012 season with the New York Knicks (38 minutes of it in particular). No need to be into the NBA to enjoy this.

+ What to Read: "Now, on that summer night when he couldn't sleep, Jerry, twenty-one and unemployed, finally got up, put on his glasses, slipped into the bathroom so as not to wake his brother, and started writing. He went back to bed, then threw off the covers after a couple of hours and wrote some more. By dawn, he had a complete script. He got dressed and, story in hand, took the porch steps at a gallop. Jerry ran ten blocks through his neighborhood, past the wooden houses with their neat lawns and big porches, over to the cracked sidewalks of his best friend Joe's street. Huffing and puffing, Jerry arrived at the dilapidated two-story Maple Apartments that Joe and the Shuster family called home. 'Joe, you gotta draw this.'" How Two Jewish Kids in 1930s Cleveland Altered the Course of American Pop Culture.


Extra, Extra

Pill Cutters: "The nation's second-largest pharmacy chain confirmed Thursday that it will not dispense abortion pills in several states where they remain legal — acting out of an abundance of caution amid a shifting policy landscape, threats from state officials and pressure from anti-abortion activists." Walgreens won't distribute abortion pills in states where GOP AGs object.

+ Bearings Witness: "He refused to bad-order [mark for repair] cars for bad wheel bearings. My boss took issue with it because it increased our dwell time. When that happened, corporate offices would start berating management to release the cars." Leaked audio reveals US rail workers were told to skip inspections as Ohio crash prompts scrutiny to industry.

+ Jailing the Opposition: "European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned what he described as 'sham trials,' adding they were 'yet another appalling example of the Lukashenko regime trying to silence those who stand up in defence of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people in Belarus.'" Ales Bialiatski: Nobel Prize-winning activist sentenced to 10 years in jail.

+ Florida Keystrokes: "A proposed law in Florida would force bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis and other elected officials to register with a state office and file monthly reports or face fines of $25 per day."

+ Deep Fry: NPR: Toothed whales use 'vocal fry' to hunt for food, scientists say. "We also have a lower register, below the frequency range where we usually talk. That's vocal fry. In English, it's usually regarded as an affect — something that changes the emotion or attitude of what's said. Certain people are known for it, like Kim Kardashian or Leonard Cohen." (Anyone have the phrase "like Kim Kardashian or Leonard Cohen" on their news bingo card today?)

+ Don't Stop Believin': "Early in Journey's 2022 arena tour, lead guitarist Neal Schon became convinced people were out to get him. So he stationed two off-duty police officers outside his dressing room, according to sources familiar with the tour. And at a Florida show last spring, Schon and his wife, Michaele, sent an assistant into keyboardist Jonathan Cain's dressing room to snoop around — to find what, the sources have no idea.
Cain caught the assistant red-handed, and then hired an off-duty officer to guard his own dressing room." Journey's Neal Schon v. Everyone: Will Band Members Go ‘Separate Ways'?


Feel Good Friday

"The search wasn't easy, says Ed. He didn't know her married name, or where she was, but he was eventually able to find her through their church's Facebook page. That's when he sent her a friend request and some messages trying to reconnect. Priscilla, who was also widowed, promptly deleted his digital attempts at reconciliation: 'When I got the friend request, I thought, 'I don't want to be his friend.' So I just deleted it.'" He proposed 60 years ago, then broke her heart. Now they've finally tied the knot.

+ "Instead of simply hanging up as usual, Bonnie Bednarik went along with the ruse, telling them she would give them the $6,800. When the alleged scammers came to collect the money, they were shocked to find police waiting for them." Canada grandma helps stop fraud scheme targeting senior citizens.

+ "Nearly 60 years after he was recommended for the nation's highest military award, retired Col. Paris Davis, one of the first Black officers to lead a Special Forces team in combat, received the Medal of Honor on Friday for his bravery in the Vietnam War."

+ "Tricks that you see a Harlem Globetrotter do with a basketball, we do with a pizza." Pizza acrobatics is an actual sport. This man has won 7 world championships for it.

+ Heinz to give new boat to man who survived on ketchup while lost at sea.

+ Dave Grohl braved the LA storms and spent 16 hours making 500 servings of barbecue for people at a homeless shelter