Quick Links for January 2021

The strong moral argument for rich countries subsidizing Covid-19 vaccination worldwide is buoyed by this study: spending $40 billion on vaccinations would save $1.8 trillion to $3.8 trillion down the road.  newyorker.com
The CDC has issued an order requiring people to wear masks on airplanes, buses, subways, etc. and at transit hubs (airports, bus stations). Not wearing a mask is a violation of federal law.  reuters.com
TIL that C-3PO had a mismatched silver leg throughout the entire original Star Wars trilogy.  screencrush.com
"David Chang's new memoir grapples with the white-hot fury that defined most of his career. But as an employee on the receiving end of that rage, the book fails to account for trauma he caused me."  eater.com
On the challenges of navigating the pandemic while single. "One day I realized it had been three months since I had touched a human being."  nytimes.com
"The sheer number of COVID cases worldwide is allowing the virus numerous opportunities to change a little bit. Each infected person is, essentially, a chance for SARS-CoV-2 to reinvent itself."  scientificamerican.com
The preliminary results from Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine trials are encouraging.  jnj.com
"The pandemic has evaporated entire categories of friendship, and by doing so, depleted the joys that make up a human life – and buoy human health."  theatlantic.com
A dictionary of the language of science fiction.  sfdictionary.com
"Spend time on something that will outlast them"  austinkleon.com
How the "stop the steal" lie resembles the "stab-in-the-back myth" that festered in Germany after WWI and led to the rise of the Nazis. "A myth of betrayal and injustice is well underway." (This was written before 1/6.)  nytimes.com
In a ranking of the effectiveness of national responses to Covid-19, the US ranks *94th out of 98* in the world. #1 New Zealand's score is 94.4 while the US score is just 17.3. A massive failure.  interactives.lowyinstitute.org
Across the globe, tests are being conducted to determine if dogs can be effective in screening people for Covid-19. "Early experiments appear to demonstrate high levels of accuracy by the sniffer dogs..."  theatlantic.com
Here's what we should do as the new Covid-19 variants bear down on us. I cannot describe how SO VERY FRUSTRATING it is to read articles like this that recommend doing all the things we should have been doing all along.  nytimes.com
A pretty good explainer about what's happening with the GameStop stock situation. "How a horde of Redditors are destroying various hedge funds and becoming rich."  vice.com
"The stability of the [Black] middle class has always been a mirage. And you can't hollow out what's never actually existed."  vox.com
U.S. Suffers Sharpest Rise in Poverty Rate in More Than 50 Years. The rate increased by 2.4% in the last half of 2020 – for Black Americans, the poverty rate increased by 5.4%.  bloomberg.com
Wow, big David Carson energy in Twitter's newest rebrand.  twitter.com
"I Left My Career in Prestige Media Because of the Shitty Men in Charge and They Are Still In Charge and Still Fucking Up." Such a surprise that the dude fired by the NY Times for that Tom Cotton op-ed is toxic.  jenzerb.medium.com
I Am the Designer of This Restaurant's Outdoor Seating Space, and This Is My Artist's Statement. "What if you could get infinitely close to being indoors, while remaining, by some convoluted set of standards, outdoors?"  mcsweeneys.net
Against all odds, Paris has become a city of bikes. "Rue de Rivoli, the wide street that runs past the Louvre, has been entirely closed to private cars."  nytimes.com
The NY Times Book Review is 125 years old and to celebrate, they resurfaced some old reviews written by the likes of H.G. Wells, Vladimir Nabokov, Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, JFK, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Kurt Vonnegut.  nytimes.com
Because of the racism of the American healthcare system (both historically and presently), it's understandble why Black Americans are skeptical of the Covid-19 vaccines.  youtube.com
This is gloriously nerdy: "Why I've tracked every single piece of clothing I've worn for three years". Don't miss his wardrobe management advice at the end.  reaktor.com
Rich couple flies private plane to get Covid-19 vaccine meant for Indigenous residents of a small Yukon town. I don't believe that people are inherently evil, but this is such a vile act that I may have to reconsider.  theguardian.com
You'll have to click through to see the winner of The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year for 2020, but I will say that IMO 2nd place finisher "Introducing the Medieval Ass" was robbed.  thebookseller.com
"Electric vehicles close to 'tipping point' of mass adoption." So many people I know have said something like "my next car will be electric".  theguardian.com
JK Rowling should gift the IP for Harry Potter to a non-profit collective overseen by HP fans. It belongs to them already anyway.  twitter.com
Biden has reversed Tr*mp's ban on transgender people serving in the military.  apnews.com
New research: Twitter users tweeting about "pneumonia" in January 2020 were an early signal that Covid-19 was spreading in Europe before the first official cases were announced.  nature.com
I used Photopea to make a goofy Bernie meme last week and was blown away by this fully functional Photoshop clone running in the browser.  photopea.com
"Israel sees 60% drop in hospitalizations for age 60-plus 3 weeks after 1st shot." The vaccines are amazing. We need to get them into people's arms faster!  timesofisrael.com
Great episode of You're Wrong About on Shannon Faulkner, the first female student to attend The Citadel (after a lengthy sexual discrimination lawsuit). Long overdue recognition of a forgotten feminist hero.  podcasts.apple.com
We should be wearing better masks indoors around others. Double-masking can help. "One big advantage of double-masking that I've found is that it creates a better fit and closes the gaps around the edge of your mask."  nytimes.com
The NY Times gives out commemorative Page One press plates to reporters and photographers whose work has been featured on the front page for the first time.  nytimes.com
Baseball legend Hank Aaron has died at the age of 86.  wsbtv.com
"This site features a curriculum developed around the television series, Halt and Catch Fire." This is fantastic!  bits.ashleyblewer.com
Nearly 1 In 5 Defendants In Capitol Riot Cases Served In The Military  npr.org
From the Biden administration, a 200-page report outlining the National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness.  whitehouse.gov
Walking 360° underwater by Kristina Makushenko  tiktok.com
"Here’s the nightly news program I’d love to see. An hour every night of Steve Kornacki doing in-depth analysis of vaccination activity."  sippey.medium.com
All five seasons of The Muppet Show will be available on Disney+ on February 19. Very excited for this...I was an avid Muppet Show viewer as a kid. "It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights..."  deadline.com
On Biden's first day in office, the US rejoined the Paris climate agreement. "It’s just a huge day to get rid of this myopic, benighted administration and welcome in a new president who manifestly is committed to strong, meaningful action."  theguardian.com
Faced with more contagious coronavirus strains, European countries are starting to mandate the wearing of more effective KN95 or surgical masks instead of cloth masks. The US should 100% do this (and provide masks).  washingtonpost.com
From the new White House website, this seems like a pretty good list of priorities for the new administration to tackle: Covid-19, climate, racial equity, economy, health care, immigration, restore America’s global standing.  whitehouse.gov
"Where the Obama administration's approach was too often clever and strewn with budgetary wonkiness, the Biden formula should embrace the opposite: big, fast, and simple." Be bold, change lives – GOP will complain either way.  theatlantic.com
Arnold Schwarzenegger, after getting the Covid-19 vaccine: "Come with me if you want to live."  twitter.com
There's a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 found in California that may be more transmissible (like B.1.1.7), which would explain the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the state in Nov/Dec.  nytimes.com
Flickr and the Library of Congress are collaborating on a project called COVID-19 American Experiences that "invites people to contribute images that reflect how the pandemic has impacted people's lives and communities".  blogs.loc.gov
Ibram X. Kendi has a deal with Netflix to bring 3 of his books to the screen: Stamped from the Beginning; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You; and Antiracist Baby.  hollywoodreporter.com
From I Love Typography, a list of favorite typefaces of 2020.  ilovetypography.com
On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, An Oral History of Wikipedia.  onezero.medium.com
From a large study of household transmission of Covid-19: "age ≥ 60 and infants most likely to get infected, age < 20 most likely to infect others (1.6X)".  twitter.com
A county-by-county US map that shows who wants to get the Covid-19 vaccine. In some places, it's under 50%. Lots of work to do here.  technologyreview.com
Michigan GOP will replace a Republican election board member who voted to certify the election for Biden. Seems likely that for 2024, a few GOP-controlled swing states could have election boards in place that will not certify Democratic candidates.  talkingpointsmemo.com
From Ibram X. Kendi, a list of The 10 Best Political Books of 2020 by Black Women.  theatlantic.com
How do we get rid of hate speech and plans for insurrection on social media but keep joyful stuff like this?  polygon.com
The Trump administration has conducted 13 federal executions since July. "No president in more than 120 years had overseen as many federal executions." Didn't get enough deaths from Covid?  apnews.com
Holler if your 2021 bingo card included a pillow salesman advising Tr*mp on how to complete his coup.  twitter.com
How a 14-year challenge to find a person based only on a photograph of him and his name ("Satoshi") was finally solved. Great story but that last line is an *incredible* reveal.  findsatoshi.com
Wikipedia turns 20 years old today.  diff.wikimedia.org
Covid-19 cut US life expectancy in 2020 by 1.13 years. "Black and Latino populations are estimated to experience declines...of 2.10 and 3.05 years" compared to 0.68 years for whites. 3 years!!  pnas.org
Sally Rooney will be out with a new book in September called "Beautiful World, Where Are You". Hot diggity!  nytimes.com
Fascinating post about how @gumroad works as a company (all part-time workers, no meetings, no deadlines, focus on flexibility instead of growth). This is how I'd run @kottke if I could support more contributors.  sahillavingia.com
Pianist Joanne Rogers, widow of Fred Rogers, has died at the age of 92.  twitter.com
Course Syllabus for Making New Friends as an Adult. "Most assignments will just end up being watching your new friend's TV-show recommendation."  newyorker.com
Here's some information on enrolling in Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine trial for teens (12-to-17-year-olds). Test sites include Meridian, ID; Houston; San Antonio; La Mesa, CA; West Jordan, UT; and Minneapolis, MN.  connect.trialscope.com
Moderna is having a hard time finding volunteers for their Covid-19 vaccine trials for 12-17-year-olds, which will delay the eventual rollout of the vaccine to that age group.  usatoday.com
The 10 Most Astonishing Archaeological Discoveries of 2020, From an Ancient Cat Carving to the Amazon Rock Paintings.  news.artnet.com
The House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump for a second time in little more than a year.  nytimes.com
HE REMOVED HIS MASK TO SNEEZE!!! ARGHGHGHGH.... That's it, I'm outta here for the rest of the day.  twitter.com
During the pandemic in 2020, the use of bicycles boomed around the world.  bbc.com
House Republicans are afraid their right-wing constituents will harm them if they vote for impeachment. Voting "no" for this reason serves to shift that danger onto their Democratic colleagues, who are already under threat. Deplorable.  twitter.com
My pal Aaron owns a small ice cream shop in Boston and he recently posted the shop's 2020 sales numbers (compared w/ 2019's). "Total sales were down about 50% and number of transactions was down 66%."  instagram.com
The Only Strategy Left for Democrats. "After this week, the mandate is clear: Make people's lives better."  thecut.com
According to the NY Times, 4,400 Covid-19 deaths were reported in the US yesterday. With cases still high, we'll see 5000/day in the coming weeks. Might see 8000-10,000/day with the new strains unless action is taken. A colossal crisis.  nytimes.com
Was discussing this with a friend yesterday: Why Aren't We Wearing Better Masks? Cloth masks and bandanas were a stop-gap measure but we're a year into this now...everyone should be wearing better masks, especially with B.1.1.7 on the horizon.  theatlantic.com
The Congressman Who Lost His Son and Fled a Mob. "The day before the Capitol riot, Representative Jamie Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, who had left a note for his family on New Year's Eve."  theatlantic.com
"Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal."  apnews.com
How a Presidential Rally Turned Into a Capitol Rampage, a visual timeline of the terrorist assault on the Capitol Building.  nytimes.com
Other Significant Others: "An OSO can be a friend or family member who fulfills a need that your significant other cannot."  nytimes.com
Israel is on pace to have 50% of their population fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by the end of March.  twitter.com
The Great Gatsby is now in the public domain. Here's a good free ebook copy you can read online, on your Kindle, or on another tablet or ereader device.  standardebooks.org
A 17th-century guide to stopping disease epidemics includes many familiar guidelines: social distancing, quarantine, lockdowns, etc.  bbc.com
Citing the racism of the "war on drugs", a paper recently published in The American Journal of Bioethics argues that drugs should be decriminalized and "non-violent offenders serving time for drug use or possession should be freed immediately".  eurekalert.org
"Domestic abusers, white supremacists, and religious bigots all operate off the same thin but very useful playbook that exploits other people's politeness."  twitter.com
"On right-wing forums, supporters of President Trump are openly planning attacks on state capitols for the days leading up to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s inauguration on Jan. 20."  nytimes.com
An explanation of how a "self coup" works. "An autogolpe is, at its simplest, when a duly elected leader revolts against his *own* government to consolidate power."  twitter.com
The US needs a National Hi-Fi Mask Initiative. "Ideally, a set of [N95 or close equivalent] masks would be mailed to each U.S. household every month -- the costs of doing so pale in comparison to the pandemic's toll on lives and the economy."  statnews.com
"The key issue is this: One of the three branches of the federal government has just incited an armed attack against another branch."  nytimes.com
Here's the article of impeachment introduced by House Democrats today "charging President Trump with 'high crimes and misdemeanors' for inciting the mob that assaulted the Capitol on Wednesday".  nytimes.com
A TikTok user w/ Parkinson's made a video complaining about their tiny hard-to-use pills so another user taught himself how to use 3D modeling software and designed an easier way to take those small pills. Schematics are open source.  twitter.com
"There has been not a single official briefing from the White House, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, or Capitol Police. The federal government has gone dark." An electrifying question to ask yourself rn: "Who is in charge of America?"  heathercoxrichardson.substack.com
"One of the indigestible facts of this country is that most of its terrorism and nearly all its mass shootings are committed by mostly conservative-leaning white men...earnestly committed to their white supremacist-misogynist identity politics."  lithub.com
"The damage is done. These companies missed the chance to change course years ago. There is no separating Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from what happened on Wednesday."  garbageday.email
Trump incited people to storm the Capitol Building and then purposefully delayed deploying the National Guard to deal with the situation. This is a clear abuse of power and a heinous criminal act against the US government.  twitter.com
This Capitol Police officer baited the mob invading the Capitol into following him away from the Senate chamber, which was secured only a minute or two later. (Read the linked thread and WP article too.)  twitter.com
The terrorist incursion of the Capitol: "Only later did it become clear that lawmakers feared for their lives; that some of the attackers were hunting for congressional leaders; that there could have been a massacre."  cnn.com
Among the terrorists who stormed the Capitol on 1/6 were those who were equipped for mayhem – possibly to take hostages, kidnap high value targets, or even take lives. “We’d better not forget what they almost managed to do.”  slate.com
A good thread from Dr. @EricTopol about why we should be taking the Covid-19 "superspreader" strains very seriously. "Over the next several weeks, these new strains will become the dominant ones in the United States..."  twitter.com
Michael Apted, the director of the Seven Up documentary series, has died at the age of 79.  hollywoodreporter.com
Twitter just permanently banned Donald Trump. “We have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”  blog.twitter.com
"Between May 1 and November 28, 2020, [US] authorities were more than twice as likely to attempt to break up and disperse a left-wing protest than a right-wing one." (Uh, because the authorities are right wing?)  fivethirtyeight.com
The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results.  nytimes.com
I made a Spotify playlist of just the "metaphysical" tracks by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross from the excellent Soul soundtrack.  open.spotify.com
How To Talk To Kids About The Riots At The U.S. Capitol. "No doubt many young people across the country are finding this moment extremely scary. Parents, caregivers and teachers can help children cope."  npr.org
2019-2020 Tech company donations to Republicans who voted to overturn the election  docs.google.com
Madness on Capitol Hill. "'This is not America,' a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. She was crying, hysterical. 'They're shooting at us. They're supposed to shoot BLM, but they're shooting the patriots.'"  thenation.com
From PBS NewsHour, a resource for teachers on how to teach students about the insurrection at the US Capitol.  pbs.org
Right-wing folks were openly & publicly planning their terrorist campaign online for weeks before yesterday. Law enforcement & anti-terrorism agencies stood by and let this happen.  buzzfeednews.com
The Morning News has a really good round-up of links related to yesterday's terrorist action incited by the President at the Capitol that left four people dead.  themorningnews.org
Nearly 3800 US deaths from Covid-19 reported yesterday. Will likely be another 3000+ deaths reported today. And every day for days and weeks to come.  twitter.com
"The people will remember that Republicans objected to democracy."  twitter.com
Twitter's policy about removing people from its platform hasn't made any sense for awhile now. It's long past time: Trump should be permanently banned from Twitter.  slate.com
Most respondents to this YouGov poll say that the terrorists' storming of the Capitol today is "a threat to democracy". But *45% of Republican respondents* say they support the terrorists' actions.  today.yougov.com
A List of Everyone Complicit in This Coup Attempt. People must be held accountable for this. Otherwise, after Ted Cruz is elected President in 2024, he'll be the last democratically elected one. (Far-fetched? Not after what happened today.)  gen.medium.com
In case you’re unclear about what happened today, white nationalist terrorists incited by the President of the United States stormed the Capitol Building in a coup attempt aided by sitting members of Congress.  theatlantic.com
Why the increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 is such a big deal: the number of infections and deaths increases *exponentially*.  theatlantic.com
It seems likely to me that the new more-transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.7) will comprise the majority of cases in the US in a few months unless much stricter measures are taken.  nytimes.com
This is an incredible statistic: "Once Warnock and Ossoff take their seats, the Democratic half of the Senate will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half."  vox.com
Some tips garnered from research on how to change people's minds. "Be nice and respectful. Listen. Understand. Instill doubt."  bakadesuyo.com
America's "toxic individualism" has got to go. "How do you convince people that caring about others is necessary? How can we relay the idea that living in a civilized society means working for the health and happiness of everyone in it?"  gen.medium.com
LeBron James tweets about putting together an ownership group for the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA team that outgoing senator Kelly Loeffler co-owns. A good idea from the comments: make it a cooperative so that fans own the team.  twitter.com
Linking to ESPN about Raphael Warnock's win over Kelly Loeffler in the Georgia Senate run-off because the players on the WNBA team that Loeffler co-owns raised Warnock's profile greatly last summer, making his victory possible.  espn.com
F. Scott Fitzgerald's first edition copy of The Great Gatsby (with handwritten corrections and notes in the margins) is available to view on the Princeton University Library website.  findingaids.princeton.edu
From Reasons to be Cheerful, David Byrne's good news site, a list of 112 bits of good news from 2020.  reasonstobecheerful.world
CDC Unveils List Of Twitter Accounts You Can Follow To Piece Together Vaccine Information.  theonion.com
A lecture on the history and prehistory of Unix. "Unix popularized so many fundamental concepts in computing that it's easy to forget that they had to come from somewhere."  docs.google.com
Interesting decision by New York magazine to put a Covid-19 conspiracy theory on their cover.  twitter.com
After a short holiday break, the Kottke Ride Home podcast is back on the airwaves. It's a daily 15-minute shot of the day's most interesting news hosted by @jackisnotabird.  art19.com
"Twitter is a dying website and that it has entered a period of deep insularity and cultural decline and is now virtually [unintelligible] to outsiders."  garbageday.substack.com
From longtime Apple watcher @jsnell, a list of the 20 most notable Macs in history.  sixcolors.com
I know you've seen/heard this already, but it really is remarkable: an audio recording of a phone call in which the sitting President of the United States openly pressures Georgia's secretary of state to alter the state's election results.  washingtonpost.com
"I have decided that reading the news in America is like listening to Gollum."  blog.ayjay.org
The Open Source Motorcycle. Using this collection of open source, modular part designs, you can "build your own fully customizable, street-legal motorcycle in a weekend".  fictiv.com
Workers at Google have publicly launched a labor union open to all of the company's 120,000+ employees.  vice.com
Mr. @austinkleon offers up 100 things that made his year in 2020.  austinkleon.com
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