No News is Good News

You’re Sick of News, Chilling in Phoenix

This won’t come as news to you. You’re getting sick of news. Maybe it’s too repetitive. Maybe it’s too depressing and alienating. Maybe it gives you a sense of hopelessness. Maybe it’s just just too horrifying to be regularly reminded of those we live among (for example, today’s story on the Britney Spears fans splitting into two equally obsessed factions or every day’s stories from Congress). Whatever it is, you’ve had enough of it. According to a recent survey (yes, I know, you’re sick of surveys, too), “38 percent of U.S. respondents say they sometimes or often avoid news, including 41 percent of women and 34 percent of men. At the same time, the proportion of people who are ‘extremely’ or ‘very interested’ in the news continued to sink. In the United States, this group was in the minority (49 percent) for the first time in the survey’s short history, down from 67 percent in 2015.'” (Anyone want to posit a theory on what changed after 2015?) WaPo (Gift Article): Do you avoid the news? You’re in growing company. Now you see the genius of my product. I’ve taken two things people hate the most, news and email, and combined them into a single offering that has no discernable business model. What can I say? Misery loves company.


The Plight of the Phoenix

Great news for folks who have suffered 31 straight days of 110 degree plus weather in Phoenix. The streak finally cooled off. On Monday, temps at the city’s airport only reached 108. Enjoy the cooling trend. It’s gonna be back up around 115 by the end of the week.

+ WaPo: Phoenix just posted the hottest month ever observed in a US city.

+ “For years, climate scientists have detailed again and again the many impacts that are likely as the world grows steadily hotter, such as more intense storms, more torrential rainfall, fast-rising seas and melting ice caps. But they also have been unequivocal that with more warming comes the possibility of unforeseen consequences — of rapid changes, irreversible collapses and other feedback loops.” Well, (Poltergeist voice), they’re here. WaPo (Gift Article): It’s not just hot. Climate anomalies are emerging around the globe.

+ Don’t forget that the hot summer follows a record-setting winter snowfall in some places. Skiers Are Still Shredding at This California Resort.


You’ve Got Some Nerves

“A newer kind of device, known as a ‘myoelectric prosthesis,’ is powered by electric nerve signals from the residual limb. These ‘have incredible robotic capabilities but no good strategy to be able to control them,’ says Cederna—like having ‘a Ferrari in your garage but no car keys.'” Maggie Chen in WiredUK on the latest efforts to find the keys. This Prosthetic Limb Actually Attaches to the Wearer’s Nerves.


Maroon with a View

What albums, books, and movies would you bring to a deserted island. For most of us this is a thought experiment. For New Jersey massage therapist Charlotte Gale, it’s quite practical. Gale “had some money from the sale of her home and began searching online listings for a simple cottage with space for a garden, in a nearby state like Delaware or Connecticut. Nothing stood out. No place seemed special.” Well, she found somewhere special. NYT (Gift Article): A Tiny Cabin, a Little Island and a Big Change: ‘Am I Crazy?’ “A New Jersey woman now lives alone part of the year on a remote island in Maine that Stephen King called ‘a novel here, just waiting to be written.'” (Great, you finally get some peace and quiet and now Stephen King is pressuring you about your novel…)


Extra, Extra

Your Private Lancer: “Prigozhin was born in Soviet Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, in 1961, nine years after Putin. As a teen-ager, he took up with a gang of petty thieves who robbed apartments. One night, in 1980, the gang mugged a woman on a dark Leningrad street. Prigozhin was sentenced to thirteen years in prison and served nine. His release coincided with the final stage of the Soviet Union’s slow-motion collapse, and, for his next act, he launched a hot-dog business. He and his associates mixed the mustard in the kitchen of his apartment, while his mother counted the profits.” So how did this common criminal turned hot-dog salesman end up running the world’s most well-known private military force and, for a moment, challenging Putin’s rule? Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker: Inside the Wagner Group’s Armed Uprising.

+ LED There Be Light: “The rule passed by President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy in April 2022 states that light bulbs must emit a minimum of 45 lumens per watt. A lumen is a measure of brightness. That effectively outlaws the manufacture and sale of common incandescent bulbs, the kind you screw into the vast majority of light sockets in your home.” What you need to know about the incandescent light bulb ban.

+ Check Up: “The consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased 3% from a year ago, which is the lowest level since March 2021, while the personal consumption expenditures price index also notched the lowest annual level in more than two years. And yet, as of June, 61% of adults still say they are living paycheck to paycheck.”

+ Post Mortem? “The USWNT advanced to the World Cup knockout round thanks to a 0-0 draw in its final group-stage game against Portugal. They were the width of a goal post away from not only going home, but being on the wrong end of the biggest upset in World Cup history.” (They really don’t look good. And I’m not just saying that because I stayed up until 2:30am to watch a tie…)

+ Can You Hear Me Now? “After days of silence, NASA has heard from Voyager 2 in interstellar space billions of miles away. Flight controllers accidentally sent a wrong command nearly two weeks ago that tilted the spacecraft’s antenna away from Earth and severed contact.”

+ Thread Count: The word from the tech press is that Threads is failing because only about half of its mass deluge of signups have remained as active users. It’s typically silly tech coverage. I’ll let John Gruber explain: Nobody Uses Threads Anymore, It’s Too Crowded.


Bottom of the News

“Ask your dog if they want to go to the park, and you might get an inquisitive-looking head tilt in response. This cute canine behavior is familiar to dog owners, but no one really knows why human’s best friend does it—and scientists have published just one study focusing on possible reasons for head tilting in dogs. That research suggests the animals might cock their furry noggins when processing familiar words.” Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Head to the Side? (Alt theory: They have something caught in their ear.)

+ Something you don’t expect to see during your day at the beach: A plane crashing a few feet away.

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