May 26th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Americans extended youth, Weekend Whats, Feel Good Friday

Maybe youth isn’t wasted on the young, after all. Having a full-time job, being financially independent, living on your own, getting married, having a child, quitting Twitter, and accepting the the results of presidential elections. Those are some of the milestones Americans associate with adulthood (OK, maybe I added a couple). Whatever your definition, it seems that young Americans are crossing the thresholds later than they used to. “In 2021, the most recent year with available data, 39% of 21-year-olds were working full time, compared with 64% in 1980. And only a quarter of people this age in 2021 were financially independent of their parents – meaning that their income was at least 150% of the poverty line – compared with 42% in 1980.” Some of the data has to do with college attendance. Another driver, one assumes, has to do with the fact that living in your parents’ house and Tik Toking all day is a hell of a lot better than the alternative. Pew: Young adults in the U.S. are reaching key life milestones later than in the past. (We have a clear agreement in my extended family. If my kids don’t move out of my house, I’m moving back in with my mom.)


We’ll Leave the Light On for You

“The public remains fascinated by the evocative beacons, which are popular tourist attractions, beloved local landmarks and the subject of countless photographers and artists, standing lonely but strong against tides and storms, day and night and flashing life-saving beams of light whatever the weather.” But these days, thanks to GPS, lighthouses aren’t as necessary for safety. That means, you can probably have one if you agree to take care of it. US to give away free lighthouses as GPS makes them unnecessary. (This kind of upkeep isn’t for me. I can barely change a lightbulb, much less a lighthouse. Shoutout to my middle school teacher Ralph Shanks, author of the 1978 book, Lighthouses and Lifeboats on the Redwood Coast.)


Mural Conundrum

Taking ownership of a lighthouse and committing to its maintenance is something that one goes into knowingly. But what happens if the responsibility for an aspect of your property is thrust upon you? “Imagine one day you wake up and a famous artist has installed a mural on the side of your home—shooting up its value…” And also shooting up your blood pressure. Banksy Painted a Mural on a U.K. Couple’s Home. They Paid Nearly $250,000 to Get It Removed.


Weekend Whats

What to Doc: From The Center for Investigative Reporting, Victim/Suspect on Netflix is a timely and extremely well-reported look at how young women who report sexual assaults actually end up getting arrested themselves. Right here, right now in America. The documentary is also an amazing look at what it takes to be a great investigative reporter. Please watch it and spread the word.

+ What to Book: No one does better book lists than my wife, Gina Pell. This year is no exception. These are sure thing books: The What List Best Books 2023.

+ What to TV: When Cary and Brooke Dubek’s 13-year-old brother becomes an overnight pop sensation, their unglamorous lives are thrown into chaos. The Other Two on HBO, er Max, is an excellent comedy series with a Schitt’s Creek vibe and a hint of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s also an excellent satire of the modern entertainment and influencer economy.

+ What to Mourn: Succession is going away. I miss it already. Variety: Goodbye, ‘Succession’: A Pre-Finale Ode to the Great Show of Our Time.


Extra, Extra

Slave State: “Longstanding factors like conflict, repressive governments and supply chains are, in part, driving the worsening situation. But additional conditions — including the pandemic, climate-induced migration and rollbacks of women’s rights — have also become major drivers as well.” The number of people living in modern slavery is growing, reaching 50 million in 2021 — an increase of 10 million in less than six years.

+ She Was Ten: Indiana doctor who talked publicly about a 10-year-old rape victim’s abortion is fined. (She was fined because of a privacy violation, but this is all politics.)

+ Weird Coincidence! “The day before a key meeting last year between a lawyer for former President Donald Trump and officials seeking the return of classified documents in Trump’s possession, a maintenance worker at the former president’s private club saw an aide moving boxes into a storage room.” Mar-a-Lago Worker Provided Prosecutors New Details in Trump Documents Case.

+ Debt Sealing: “The training program for Navy SEALs is plagued by widespread failures in medical care, poor oversight and the use of performance-enhancing drugs that have increased the risk of injury and death to those seeking to become elite commandos, according to an investigation triggered by the death of a sailor last year.”

+ Howdy Pardoner: “DeSantis said that “what I’m going to do is — I’m going to do on day one — I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, who are people, who are victims of weaponization or political targeting.” DeSantis is already teasing pardons for Trump and others involved in the Jan 6 insurrection. Party over country is now personal gain over country. In actual law and justice news, Jessica Watkins: Oath Keepers member and Army veteran sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for January 6. (Meanwhile, DeSantis signs Florida bill limiting the liabilities of private spaceflight companies. I guess he wasn’t that pissed about the Twitter glitches.)

+ He’s in My Head: “Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface company Neuralink says it has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to launch its first in-human clinical study. If this is true, it means that actual humans could be getting a device from Neuralink implanted in their heads.” Maybe there’s an implant to get Elon Musk out of my head. If so, sign me up.

+ Anti Antisemitism: “President Joe Biden announced a new plan on Thursday to fight hate, bias and violence against Jewish people and combat an alarming rise in antisemitism,” and Lauren Boebert’s response to the plan was… “When they say stuff like this, they mean they want to go after conservatives.”


Feel Good Friday

“The AI helped narrow down thousands of potential chemicals to a handful that could be tested in the laboratory. The result was a potent, experimental antibiotic called abaucin.” New superbug-killing antibiotic discovered using AI. AI chat programs. Worrisome. AI health benefits. Amazing.

+ If you missed my link earlier this week, brain implants helped a paralyzed man to walk again.

+ “It’s not unusual for students to take some time off from their university studies to find themselves before finally graduating. In the case of Arthur Ross, that time off lasted about five decades.” Bill Murray, your thoughts?

+ 12-year-old girl saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning. (One of my kids helped me find the AppleTV remote this week.)

+ Tesla Model Y is the first EV to become the world’s bestselling car.

+ “On January 16, 1988, Tina Turner performed for approximately 188,000 fans at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In doing so, she set a Guinness World Record for ‘largest paying concert attendance for a solo artist.'”

+ WaPo: She flushed a diamond ring down the toilet. 13 years later, it resurfaced.

+ Ed Sheeran’s surprise concert for high school students.

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