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  Quick Links for August 2020

Poll: many Americans would worry about the safety of a Covid-19 vaccine that's pushed out before testing is completed. One possible scenario: Trump pressures the FDA to approve an untested vaccine before Election Day.  statnews.com
Mark Mothersbaugh nearly died from Covid-19. He was on a ventilator for 10 days and was delusional. "...these kids sold me to an ambulance company that then got some sort of a payment for delivering Covid patients to their ICUs. I totally believed it."  rollingstone.com
Oh man, Chadwick Boseman died today aged 43. He’d been fighting colon cancer for 4 years.  twitter.com
A company that offers legal documents online saw a "34% increase in sales of their divorce agreement compared to the same period in 2019" because of the pandemic.  digg.com
I have not listened to this yet, but I plan on making time for Ezra Klein's podcast conversation with Isabel Wilkerson about her latest book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.  vox.com
Some advice from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the media, truth, and how to stay informed. "There is a BIG difference between a fact and the STORY."  twitter.com
Great piece by BuzzFeed News about the disturbing network of concentration camps the Chinese government is building to incarcerate Muslim minorities like the Uighurs, "the largest-scale detention of ethnic & religious minorities since WWII".  buzzfeednews.com
The Apple Store: It Floats! (Apologies to Ivory soap, but Singapore has a floating Apple Store now.)  theverge.com
A state-by-state directory of 117 Black-owned independent book stores in the United States  oprahmag.com
Timely action and a coordinated public health response were much more important in determining the Covid-19 infection rate in cities than was density. In separate studies of Chinese and US urban areas, "no correlation is found with density".  nature.com
Patricia Lockwood writes, hilariously & poignantly, about her coronavirus illness. "I knew I was out of immediate danger when I stopped worrying about what my corpse would look like..."  lrb.co.uk
Frog and Toad Tentatively Go Outside After Months in Self-Quarantine. "Toad woke up. In his bed was last night’s dinner plate. And last night’s water glass. And last week’s pile of laundry."  mcsweeneys.net
In the US, we're entering the 6th consecutive week of 1000+ Covid-19 deaths every weekday. That's a 9/11 every three days. For weeks.  twitter.com
In the past, tuberculosis outbreaks led to schools holding classes outside, even in winter. (Check out the photos!) Why can't we figure out how to do this to get kids to school & keep them and teachers safe?  nytimes.com
Public health officials have certified that polio has been eradicated from the continent of Africa. The top 5 reasons the polio virus was defeated: 1. vaccine 2. vaccine 3. vaccine! 4. magical thinki...nope, still vaccine. 5. VACCINE!  theguardian.com
Here's some informed skepticism about the potential Hong Kong Covid-19 reinfection case: it might just be a false positive on the initial infection test.  twitter.com
A woman w/ Covid-19 spread her infection to 27 other people in a Korean Starbucks (she was sitting under the air conditioner, most patrons weren't masked up), but all 4 masked employees escaped infection.  bloomberg.com
Usain Bolt has tested positive for Covid-19 days after his birthday party where most of the guests "were not wearing masks or social distancing".  theguardian.com
A screenwriter's manual written in 1919 lists the 37 different types of stories, incl. "possessed of an ambition", "loving an enemy", "adultry with murder", and "an innocent suspected".  openculture.com
Upon his death in 1790, Benjamin Franklin gave Boston and Philadelphia a small sum of money, a portion of which they couldn't use until 200 years after his death (when it had appreciated into millions of dollars).  mentalfloss.com
Dorothy Parker Explains Remote Kindergarten. "Money cannot buy health, but it sure as hell could have hired an excellent tutor for a small learning pod."  mcsweeneys.net
"Here are the greatest novels ever written about every sport."  lithub.com
Embroidery of a realistic-looking pizza slice, complete with cheese pull (at ~25 seconds) that will blow your mind.  youtube.com
In a recent poll, 57% of Republicans say that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is acceptable. (Death toll is 200,000+ incl. excess deaths.) The Republican Party is a death cult, period.  cbsnews.com
Introducing The Mail, a Newsletter and Zine About the USPS.  vice.com
"People who felt sick weeks or months ago and now wonder if they are immune to Covid-19 'probably shouldn't bother' getting an antibody test."  nytimes.com
From an analysis of the archives of Scientific American, a series of visualizations about how scientific language has changed over the past 175 years.  scientificamerican.com
Using GDP calculations from Goldman Sachs, The Economist has estimated that the economic value of an American wearing a mask for 1 day is $56.14.  twitter.com
The Criterion Collection includes more than 1000 films by more than 450 different directors. Only 4 of those directors are Black Americans. (And only 7% are women.)  nytimes.com
From Ask A Swole Woman: How to Fit in a Real Workout When You Have Only 20 Minutes.  vice.com
The Anti-Capitalist Software License. "This license exists to release software that empowers individuals, collectives, worker-owned cooperatives, and nonprofits, while denying usage to those that exploit labor for profit."  anticapitalist.software
From Harvard Business Review, An Interview with Janelle Monáe. "[My job at Office Depot] was getting in the way of my focusing on what I needed to do as an artist. When they fired me, I had no excuse. I had to go all in on my career."  hbr.org
Trailer for On the Rocks, a new movie by Sofia Coppola starring Rashida Jones and Bill Murray.  youtube.com
In the 1920s, a group of American women crowdfunded $100,000 to buy Marie Curie a gram of radium so she could continue her cancer research. (Curie, of course, discovered radium and freely published instructions on how to extract it.)  smithsonianmag.com
The Case of the Top Secret iPod. "I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn't know about it. You'll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me."  tidbits.com
The first four hours of MTV from August 1981, remastered from a VHS recordings and original tapes.  archive.org
Here are the five finalists for the design of Mississippi's new state flag. They're finally ditching the Confederate imagery.  printmag.com
I'm not sure I can stand to read this right now: An Oral History of the Bush-Gore Florida Recount. But wow, they talked to the right folks from both sides for this.  theatlantic.com
An oral history of the "steamed hams" scene from The Simpsons. "Aurora borealis?! At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?"  melmagazine.com
Colossal, one of my favorite websites on the entire internet, turns 10 years old.  thisiscolossal.com
Tim Wu on the case for banning TikTok. "China keeps a closed and censorial internet economy at home while its products enjoy full access to open markets abroad. The asymmetry is unfair and ought no longer be tolerated."  nytimes.com
A report on how the perspectives of journalists of color are diluted by public radio organizations because of all the different ways in which they cater (subtly and not) to a "college-educated, middle- to upper-class white audience".  prospect.org
M83's Midnight City, but with Nelson Muntz's laugh from The Simpsons  youtube.com
This book looks fascinating: What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World. "What might assistance based on the body's stunning capacity for adaptation – rather than a rigid insistence on 'normalcy' – look like?"  bookshop.org
Overall, scientists say that the human body's immune response to SARS-CoV-2 has been predictable, which is good news in terms of a future vaccine providing protection.  nature.com
While resizing an image, this photographer noticed that the AI upscaling software he was using inserted a tiny image of Ryan Gosling into his photo. "There is checkbox if you don't want the software to identify faces..."  petapixel.com
Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused. "This wasn't the kind of movie everybody liked, but it was the kind of movie certain people loved, with an intensity that felt personal." Due out Nov 17.  bookshop.org
Pure Skill Minesweeper, a version of the popular game "where you will never be penalised when forced to guess". But bad guesses (i.e. when a safe move can be deduced) will be punished.  github.andrewt.net
Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between The World and Me is becoming an HBO special "based on the 2018 adaptation and staging of the book at the Apollo Theater". Debuts this fall.  hbo.com
"ScreenplaySubs is a browser extension for Netflix that syncs up movies with screenplays, displaying them side by side. It's like having a subtitle that provides more insights on films."  screenplaysubs.com
A ranking of 40 performances of Hamlet, from portrayals on Sesame Street and The Simpsons to turns by Kenneth Branagh and Laurence Olivier.  lithub.com
Damon Young: "COVID-19 Made Me a One-Issue Voter: Get the Man Responsible for 165,000 American Deaths the Fuck Out"  verysmartbrothas.theroot.com
Death Valley hit 130 ºF on Sunday, possibly the highest temperature recorded on the surface of the Earth in modern times.  axios.com
The US has the high score on the COV-MAN video game.  printmag.com
This restored Technicolor screen test of Katharine Hepburn as Joan Of Arc from 1934 looks strikingly modern.  youtube.com
We Will Pay for Our Summer Vacations With Winter Lockdowns. "The rise in infections in Europe seems particularly linked to activities like barhopping, clubbing and partying among younger people..."  nytimes.com
If you're like me and watch absolutely no political TV/video coverage, you might not know how to pronounce Kamala Harris's first name. This video will help. (It's "COMMA-LAH".)  youtube.com
Twitter launches new API as it tries to make amends with third-party developers. [insert gif of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown again...]  theverge.com
New CDC guidance: don't wear masks with exhalation valves because if you're sick, you're potentially just exhaling virus everywhere (literally the thing masks are supposed to prevent).  washingtonpost.com
"increasingly unsettling eggs"  twitter.com
Old gold from The Onion in 2011: Trump Unable To Produce Certificate Proving He's Not A Festering Pile Of Shit.  politics.theonion.com
Apple just booted Fortnite from the App Store. Epic Games is one of many companies now protesting Apple's exorbitant 30% cut of App Store revenues.  theverge.com
"Joan Feynman, an astrophysicist known for her discovery of the origin of auroras, died on July 21. She was 93."  aps.org
How social justice slideshows took over Instagram.  vox.com
Because of excess deaths, the true Covid-19 death toll in the US has likely passed 200,000 people already.  nytimes.com
This is a sweet/sad story, especially if your parents had a challenging divorce when you were a kid: My Lifelong Journey to Find Pee-wee Herman.  narratively.com
Some compelling evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through the air, not just through droplets. "It's unambiguous evidence that there is infectious virus in aerosols."  nytimes.com
A collection of vintage films of cities (Jerusalem in 1897, NYC in 1911, Belfast in 1901, San Francisco in 1906, etc.)  twitter.com
Historian Allan Lichtman's 13 Keys to the White House has correctly predicted the outcome of every Presidential election since 1984 (and retrospectively to 120 years ago). His system predicts a Biden win this year.  youtube.com
During the 1918 influenza pandemic, there were scattered protests against wearing masks. In SF, ppl were fined or jailed. "Some gave fake names, said they just wanted to light a cigar or that they hated following laws."  nytimes.com
The Kardashev Scale. Categorizations of "Type I, II and III civilizations [are] based on their ability to extract and utilize the power in their planet, star and galaxy, respectively."  youtube.com
From Nature: How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond. "This coronavirus is here for the long haul – here's what scientists predict for the next months and years."  nature.com
Download the plans to build a nesting box for the Great Crested Flycatcher. They're declining in population in the Northeast, Midwest, and the Southwest.  nestwatch.org
Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates. ("It looks like you're entering genetic data. Would you like me to muck it up for you?")  theverge.com
New York's Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the NRA alleging fraud and seeking to dissolve the organization. The NRA is a terrorist organization – good riddance.  npr.org
An extensive reading list on how the sound of Roland electronic music machines (like the 808 drum machine) came to be embedded in hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music.  twitter.com
A meticulous restoration of Manhatta, a short documentary film about NYC made by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand in 1921. It's considered the first avant-garde film made in America.  openculture.com
Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die. Great piece by Ed Yong on how the human immune system works, both generally against viruses and specifically against SARS-CoV-2.  theatlantic.com
The argument over the New York Times' 1619 Project is just the latest skirmish in a longstanding debate among historians about "a proslavery reading of the American Revolution".  bostonreview.net
The trailer for City Dreamers, a documentary about four pioneering architects (Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown) who accomplished much in a male-dominated profession.  youtube.com
A review of some of the lingering symptoms that are affecting Covid-19 "long-haulers" for months after their initial infections.  sciencemag.org
We Need to Talk About Ventilation. "How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we are still doing so little to mitigate airborne transmission?"  theatlantic.com
The pure joy of learning a difficult skill after much hard work (in this case, how to kick-flip a skateboard)  twitter.com
Nirvana's "Come As You Are" as an old-fashioned swing tune. How can something so wrong feel so right?  youtube.com
Loved seeing @austinkleon and his boys' artwork in the NY Times! "I never went to art school, but being home with my kids turned out to be more inspiring than any art school I can imagine."  nytimes.com
The headline here says it all: The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free.  currentaffairs.org
Ed Yong: How the Pandemic Defeated America. "How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet's most powerful nation."  theatlantic.com
"We should be hopeful about the prospects of a vaccine for Covid-19." The natural decrease in antibodies after an infection is not cause for alarm.  nytimes.com
July 2020 Archives »