March 16th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Whitewashing Education, IBS in Space

Claims like those suggesting that Silicon Valley Bank somehow collapsed because of wokeness are comically stupid and nakedly political. But don’t let the wanton idiocy of some pronouncements distract you from the very real efforts to alter truth, not only in the media, but in our schools. NYT (Free Article): Florida Scoured Math Textbooks for ‘Prohibited Topics.’ Next Up: Social Studies. “In a sign of how fraught the political landscape has become, one publisher created multiple versions of its social studies material, softening or eliminating references to race — even in the story of Rosa Parks — as it sought to gain approval in Florida.” The Rosa Parks story without the racism. You’d think people would be protesting in the streets.


You Cannot Be Serious

So far my March Madness bracket is looking pretty good. I had SVB going out early with First Republic eking into the next round. The other March Madness kicks off today. Office pools and brackets are always fun. But this year, those lighthearted bets are increasingly accompanied by a whole lot more serious ones, as sports betting is increasingly legal and increasingly mainstream. And that’s cause for concern. Just ask England. “Sixty percent of industry profits come from the top 5 percent of users; the industry, supposedly regulated, has an estimated 36,000 children addicted to it; the government estimates 8 percent of suicides are gambling related. In 2016, the situation was already so bad that the co-founder of Paddy Power, an industry leader, resigned from the company’s board while ‘fighting back tears’ because he believed he was complicit in an immoral industry.” America’s bad bet on expanding legal sports gambling. (I guess these days, sports gambling no riskier than putting your money into a checking account…)



“In a matter of days, Saudi Arabia carried out blockbuster agreements with the world’s two leading powers — China and the United States. Riyadh signed a Chinese-facilitated deal aimed at restoring diplomatic ties with its arch-nemesis Iran and then announced a massive contract to buy commercial planes from U.S. manufacturer Boeing.” Is this just about China/US competition. Or is MBS repositioning Saudi Arabia. With Saudi deals, US, China battle for influence in Mideast.


Newton’s Law of Universal Sanitation

“As a general rule, the constant push of g-force on our body is a part of life that we rarely notice. Or at least, that’s what scientists have always thought. But there is another possibility: that gravity itself is making some people sick.” The Atlantic on The Rogue Theory That Gravity Causes IBS. (Gravity might be bad, but just picture diarrhea in space…)


Extra, Extra

Stock Lock: “The records give no indication as to why executives made particular trades or what information they possessed; they may have simply been relying on years of broad industry knowledge to make astute bets at fortuitous moments. Still, the records show many instances where the executives bought and sold with exquisite timing.” Wealthy Executives Make Millions Trading Competitors’ Stock With Remarkable Timing.

+ Check Mates: The banking craziness continues as Credit Suisse needs rescuing and First Republic is maneuvering to avoid becoming the next SVB. Bank shares rebound off lows as big banks consider coming to the aid of First Republic.

+ One Man, One Vote “Lawmakers were shouting, their voices shaking with emotion as Macron made the risky move, which is expected to trigger quick motions of no-confidence in his government. Riot police vans zoomed by outside the National Assembly, their sirens wailing.” Macron imposes an unpopular plan to raise retirement age, shunning a vote by lawmakers.

+ Curing Jet Lag: “Polish President Andrzej Duda says his country will deliver four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in ‘the next few days,’ making Poland the first NATO country to supply fighter planes to Ukraine.”

+ Clip Clip: “Russia denied its Su-27 fighter jet clipped the propeller of the drone, but the video appears to back up the American version of events.” Video shows moment Russian fighter jet hits US drone over Black Sea.

+ Bad Seed: “The Alabama men’s basketball program has a job. In normal times, the team is supposed to provide casual winter and spring entertainment for Southerners with no football to watch.” But this year, they’re doing a whole lot more than that. They’re one of the top picks to win March Madness. That’s not the only thing different about this season. There’s also a murder case. The Murder Case Embroiling the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 Overall Seed.


Bottom of the News

“There are a few ways to find out which colleges offer students the best experience. You could read each college’s reviews and testimonials. You could search a college’s name on Twitter for students’ brutally honest opinions on studying there. Or, you could do what did: use an AI facial recognition tool to detect smiles in Instagram selfies geotagged at different universities, and rank colleges according to the highest proportion of happy-looking faces.”

+ Newark mayor signs deal with Hindu nation that does not exist. (Once they get Google in Newark, these situations will be easily avoided.)

+ The boneless wings at Buffalo Wild Wings are made using chicken breasts. Hence, lawsuit.

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