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Wet Newspaper: Secret Menus

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BUSINESS

Waffle House restaurants are notorious for staying open at all costs during natural disasters. FEMA even unofficially uses a “Waffle House Index” that determines the impact of a natural disaster by how many Waffle House locations are forced to close due to power outages. In addition to having special no-power menus, Waffle House also has a secret no-water menu. In related Waffle House news, economist Tren Griffin recently highlighted some interesting business insights from the iconic chain.

The startup Starcity is creating dorm-style communal housing in San Francisco. Long term, I suspect the success and scale of this type of housing model, in San Francisco and elsewhere, will have less to do with access to affordable housing and more to do with lifestyle choice. In other words, this business will succeed if enough people see high-end communal living as a feature, not a concession, and I imagine many people will.

LIFE

PBS Frontline’s 2001 “Merchants of Cool” documentary about pop culture and teen marketing is a surreal watch. “It’s a blizzard of brands all competing for the same kids. To win teens loyalty, marketers believe, they have to speak their language the best, as an anthropologist would in exotic need of culture.” Weird. Cringeworthy. Poignant. Fascinating. There’s too much to goodness to mention here. The documentary also features a fresh-faced Malcolm Gladwell who, evidently, first coined the term “cool hunting.”  Related, but not quite: “The MTV Decade, 1980-1989” (as seen by MTV) is fun nostalgia watch.

SCIENCE & NATURE

For 30 years, Michigan State University researcher, Richard Lenski, has observed 68,000 generations of bacterial evolution. Lenski’s E. Coli long term evolution experiment ranks as one of the longest scientific experiments in history.

The traditional theory for the origin of moon is that a large asteroid collided with the early Earth and broke off a chunk that settled in the planet’s orbit. New research posits that the moon rather emerged from a massive, doughnut-shaped cloud of vaporized rock called a synestia.

Blue Planet 2 is now streaming free on BCC America and it’s everything I hoped it would be. Also from the world of Attenborough: The Empire of Ants (2018).

Floating wind farms in Scotland are delivering 2x the average capacity of on-shore wind installations in the US, an early indicator of their potential as a renewable energy source.

POLITICS

A candidate in the race for a South Texas state House seat has reportedly received $87,500 in campaign donations — $51,000 of which is made up of frozen deer semen.

More than two dozen members of the Black Caucus are asking the Congressional Ethics Committee for a probe into the “legality and propriety” of the evidently widespread practice of lawmakers sleeping in their offices, arguing it’s unsanitary and an abuse of taxpayer funds.

US

Surprisingly, no government entity, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the ATF has the power to police defective firearms or ammunition in America or even force gunmakers to warn consumers. This amounts to millions of defective guns on the market. Gun manufacturers have to police themselves. Low-quality brands often don’t.

Despite alarm following the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting, according to numbers by Northwestern University, school shootings, along with mass shootings in general, are down since the 90s.

In the early 2000s, multiple players exploited legal statistical loopholes in the Michigan state lottery, racking up millions of dollars in winnings.

Opioid overdoses in public libraries have become so common, librarians across the country are weighing whether to carry Narcan to combat overdoses. Many libraries in high-intensity drug-trafficking areas have already begun training staff to administer the drug.

ARTS

Antulio Echevarria II, retired US Army officer and editor of the US Army War College Quarterly, lists his top five books on military strategy.

William Faulkner’s 1950 nobel Prize Speech only takes about 3 minutes to read and it’s worth your time.

Last year I made two twitter bots: @WordsofMcCarthy, which posts my favorites quotes from Cormac McCarthy, and @StinkpieceBot, a parody of the popular @ThinkPieceBot. Here is a list of other fun twitter bots.

HEALTH

I just fished Adriene Mishler’s 30-Day yoga course. All the videos free are on YouTube. Each session is 20-40 minutes. This series is the best of many free video or podcast-based yoga courses I have tried over the years. Adriene does a great job balancing elements of strength training, flexibility, mindfulness, as well as offering exercise variations and tips for participants of different skills levels. This is a well-rounded, enjoyable practice with a knowledgeable host. If you’d like to develop an at home yoga practice, this is a good place to start.

Kevin Love of the Atlanta Hawks discusses his first panic attack at age 19 during a game. Kudos the The Players Tribune for bringing awareness to different shades of mental health by sharing stories of pro athletes like Corey Hirsch, Brandon Marshall, and others.


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