1

Dar Wins

Sometimes a headline is so clear, it leaves very little room for further analysis. From WaPo: Coronavirus infections dropping where people are vaccinated, rising where they are not.

+ Virtually all hospitalized Covid patients have one thing in common: They're unvaccinated.

+ And where the infections are dropping, so are the infringements on 'merican freedom. "Public health measures will remain only for mega-events with 5,000 or more people indoors or 10,000 attendees outdoors, with vaccine verification required or at least recommended." California was the first state to shut down. It reopens today. Let's hope we can keep it open.

+ NYT: What You Need to Know About Your Vaccine Card.

2

What Fulfill Meant

We know how good it felt to be on the receiving end of deliveries during the pandemic. Let's take a look at what things were like on the other side of that transaction. A deep-dive from the NYT: The Amazon That Customers Don't See. "What happened inside shows how Jeff Bezos created the workplace of the future and pulled off the impossible during the pandemic — but also reveals what's standing in the way of his promise to do better by his employees."

+ Working 9 to 5 cutting 2 x 4s and mending K-9s. Vets and Sawmills are among the employers with the most demand for new workers. WaPo: The seven industries most desperate for workers. (I'm surprised that fact-checkers didn't make the list.)

+ The Atlantic: Winners and Losers of the Work-From-Home Revolution. (It's a pretty good time to be a high-income introvert living in the suburbs.)

3

Geneva Watch

"Buoyed by days of partnership-building sessions with America's democratic allies, Joe Biden arrived in Geneva on Tuesday for the most-watched and tensest part of his first European tour as president: talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin." Biden arrives in Geneva for highly-anticipated Putin meeting. Not all Americans are in Biden's corner. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy: "I don't care about charming Europe and thinking you're one of them. Biden is making our adversaries stronger. Russia is stronger today under a Biden administration than he was under the past administration." (I just had that experience when you're about to laugh out loud but it's interrupted by you puking across the room.)

4

Lake Superiority

Dan O'Conor took it pretty seriously when someone said, "Go jump in a lake." He jumped. And then he kept jumping. Chicago man jumps into Lake Michigan for 365th straight day. The hard part? "Hacking a hole in the ice on the frozen lake that was big enough for him to jump through during the winter."

5

Satellite Dishing

"The newly released emails also highlight multiple conspiracy theories surrounding election fraud pushed by then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. On Dec. 30, 2020, Meadows emailed Rosen a translation of a document that alleged there was a plot in which U.S. election data was altered in Italian facilities and loaded onto 'military satellites' and that Trump was 'clearly the winner.'" Trump Pressed The Justice Department To Reverse The Election Results, Documents Show. (This isn't much a surprise, especially since such efforts have continued apace. The question is what will be done about it? Are we cool with people trying to use the levers of government to try to overturn an election?)

6

Armied and Dangerous

"They soon learned that the 9mm Beretta had a rap sheet. Bullet casings linked it to four shootings, all of them in Albany, New York. And there was something else. The pistol was U.S. Army property, a weapon intended for use against America's enemies, not on its streets." AP: US military guns keep vanishing, some used in street crimes.

7

Start with the Mao Plow

"Before arriving at Wanlong, I hadn't realized how demanding the resort would be for an absolute beginner. It wasn't that I was alone—along with the snow guns, there was a fairly phenomenal concentration of ignorance around the magic carpet, the conveyor belt that hauled novices up the easiest hill. Sometimes I saw parents or grandparents in loafers and heels, standing on either side of a child on rented skis. The adults would shuffle in the snow, holding the kid upright; because of the free admission for children, it was a low-cost way to spend an afternoon. Beside the magic carpet, warning signs illustrated some of the stunts that people must have pulled here. One sign featured a stick figure who appeared to be lying down and taking a nap on the conveyor belt." Peter Hessler in The New Yorker: Learning to Ski in a Country of Beginners. "As China prepares to host the Winter Olympics, its people get on skis."

8

Texas Hold Em Out

"When I do make the announcement later on this week, I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to for everybody in the United States — really everybody in the entire world — who wants to help Texas build the border wall, there will be a place on there where they can contribute." Texas Gov Greg Abbott says he'll use crowdfunding for his plan to build a border wall.

9

Just Rub a Little Index On It

Three out of four people think think emojis are an important tool for creating "unity, respect, and understanding." That's just one of the odd stats (and probably the least depressing one) in this month's Harper's Index.

10

Bottom of the News

"In 1923—18 years after his original discovery—Epperson finally decided to file a patent for his frozen goodies. He had originally intended to call his invention Epsicles—a combination of his name and the word icicle. However, his kids had begun to call them Pop's ‘sicles, and that name stuck. Thus the Popsicle was born." The Surprisingly Fun Story of How the Popsicle Was Invented by an 11-Year-Old Boy. (I knew none of this. And I eat about 10 sugar-free popsicles day, and chew ice the rest of the time.)

+ "The 109-year-old organization says the coronavirus — not thinner demand for Thin Mints — is the main culprit. As the pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons." The Girl Scouts have some extra boxes of cookies this year. Fifteen million of them.

+ Ronaldo shuns Coca-Cola with unexpected health advice in Euro 2020 press conference.

+ Norman Lear Answers the Proust Questionnaire.