March 14th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Duluth or Bust...

“Surfing in Minnesota is just like surfing in Southern California, John Jenkins says, as long as you ignore the icicles on your wet suit. Mr. Jenkins, 38, is a child of Orange County. But a decade ago, looking to escape overpopulation and intensifying wildfires, he took a chance and settled in Duluth, Minn., where temperatures can dip 30 degrees below zero.” Why are so many people catching a wave to Duluth? Because, even though it gets really cold, it’s considered climate proof when it comes to things like sea-level rise and droughts. Not so long ago, this migration to Duluth would’ve been unthinkable. “By the early 1980s, the economic situation in Duluth was so grim that a billboard popped up on the highway leading out of town, bearing the message ‘Will the last one leaving Duluth please turn out the light?'” Well, the lights are still on and more and more people are home. NYT (Gift Article): Out-of-Towners Head to ‘Climate-Proof Duluth.’


Arctic Circle Jerk

“On February 9, 2020, at a town-hall meeting in Hudson, New Hampshire, Joe Biden, then a Presidential candidate, took a question from a woman standing near the bleachers. The woman asked about oil drilling in Alaska. Biden, in response, pledged, “No more drilling on federal lands, period, period, period.” It was, he added, ‘a disaster’ to drill for oil in the Arctic—’a big disaster, in my view.'” Well, times (and politics) change, and Biden, who could fairly be called the Climate President just “granted ConocoPhillips approval for an immense new drilling project—the Willow oil project—in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.” The New Yorker: Why Did the Biden Administration Approve the Willow Project? This is the most foreboding part of the story: “The Arctic is the fastest-warming region on earth, which means that the Willow project itself will be vulnerable to climate change. To deal with the problem, ConocoPhillips has plans to install chillers to keep the permafrost frozen under its heavy equipment.” (You can’t say we weren’t given any warning signals.)


Aborting Justice

“Silva alleges that his now ex-wife learned she was pregnant in July 2022, the month after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and conspired with two friends to illegally obtain abortion-inducing medication and terminate the pregnancy. The friends texted with the woman, sending her information about Aid Access, an international group that provides abortion-inducing medication through the mail, the lawsuit alleges.” Three Texas women are sued for wrongful death after allegedly helping friend obtain abortion medication. Crazy laws get implemented in crazy ways.

+ 21 South Carolina GOP Lawmakers Propose Death Penalty for Women Who Have Abortions.


The King of Flop

It’s quite possible that no individual has ever impacted their sport more than Dick Fosbury impacted high jumping. “Before Fosbury, many high jumpers cleared their heights by running parallel to the bar, then using a straddle kick to leap over before landing with their faces pointed downward. At the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Fosbury took off at an angle, leaped backward, bent himself into a ‘J’ shape to catapult his 6-foot-4 frame over the bar, then crashed headfirst into the landing pit. Within a few years, everyone was high-jumping the Fosbury Flop way.” (I know the feeling. Before NextDraft, everyone wrote literal headlines.) Fosbury Flop high jumper Dick Fosbury dies at 76.


Extra, Extra

Coast Toast: “Early last year, a house crumbled into the sea in this small Outer Banks community, home to some of the most rapid rates of erosion and sea level rise on the East Coast. Not long after, another house fell. And then another.” WaPo: Retreat in Rodanthe. “Along three blocks in a North Carolina beach town, severe erosion is upending life, forcing hard choices and offering a glimpse of the dilemmas other coastal communities will face.”

+ Drone Be Down: “The incident, which raised tensions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, appeared to mark the first time since the height of the Cold War that a U.S. aircraft was brought down after being hit by a Russian warplane.” US says Russian warplane hits American drone over Black Sea.

+ Bakenfreude: There’s been no more stupid take on the Silicon Valley Bank collapse (or any other topic) than the notion that it was caused by wokeness. But there are plenty of other ridiculous takes including the weird glee some people seemed feel. Bank collapses are not good. And they don’t just impact people with a lot of money. SVB Didn’t Just Lend to Startups. It Was Key Partner for Affordable Housing.

+ Sub Plot: “President Joe Biden was flanked on Monday by a 377-foot submarine – the USS Missouri – as he announced an accelerated timeline for Australia to receive its own nuclear-powered submarines early next decade. But looming much larger was the increasingly tense US relationship with China.”

+ Meta-morphosis: “Meta will lay off 10,000 more workers and incur restructuring costs ranging from $3 billion to $5 billion, the company announced Tuesday, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg warning that economic instability could continue for ‘many years.'” (The layoffs have nothing to do with the fact that the company over-bet on the metaverse or that they wildly over-hired during the pandemic.)

+ Choc Full of Nuts: “The anger was prompted by a February proposal from the USDA aimed at making school meals healthier by limiting the amount of added sugar and sodium in breakfasts and lunches.” Leave the chocolate milk out of this. (I guess everyone needs to be outraged about something…)


Bottom of the News

Happy Pi Day. To celebrate, let’s look back at the night my wife Gina Pell recited the first 314 digits of Pi from memory in front of an audience while downing shots of tequila.

+ Conspiracy theorists are setting up their own dating sites. That’s so cute. They can have little conspiracy theorist babies.

+ Happy 25th Birthday to Jason Kottke’s most excellent blog.

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