Sent as a newsletter November 28, 2021. Want to join my email list? Sign up here.
👋 Hi friends,
Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.
Image of the week, above: I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. As I do every year, I made my Aunt Cece’s pecan pie. And this year I finally raised my game by making the crust instead of (for shame) using a store-bought one. It did not disappoint.
Here are 10 items worth your time this week:
1) 🦠 A new Covid–19 “variant of concern”: Omicron, which has spread quickly in South Africa and has made its way to other parts of the world.
2) ⚖️ Three men in Brunswick, Georgia were convicted of murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. (Related: Don’t miss the moving 2020 longform article by Mitchell S. Jackson in Runner’s World called “Twelve Minutes and a Life.”)
3) 👉 RIP legendary Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. He was 91.
4) ⚡ Nuclear fusion – clean, cheap, and massively powerful – may be soon within reach.
5) 🛸 The Pentagon is creating a new group to look into unidentified aerial phenomena in restricted airspace.
6) 🍞 Toaster innovation hit its peak in 1948; has it been downhill since then?
7) 📖 Library Athena is a new website that allows you to read free, public domain books.
9) 🗣 The Wisdom Project contains Merlin Mann’s life advice.
10) ☕ In praise of the moka pot.
🦴 Dog-related video of the week:
📚 What I’m reading
I’ve been enjoying “The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order,” by my WSJ colleague Paul Vigna and Michael Casey. It was published in 2015 and has been updated; highly recommended for a detailed, balanced, thoughtful look at a much-hyped topic.
🎥 What I’m watching
We went to see “Dune” the other night, in the theater, and man: It is…majestic. Note: I knew very little of the storyline, and have not read the books, but I love director Denis Villeneuve’s work, especially “Blade Runner 2049.” So perhaps those more familiar with the Dune universe and characters will have complaints. But for a grand work of sci-fi cinema, sprawling in ambition and paced perfectly, with epic music, it delivers. (Trailer is here.)
💡 Quote of the week:
“If you don’t make things happen then things will happen to you.” – Robert Collier.
👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,