Newley's Notes

NN227: Blind pups jumping for joy

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๐Ÿ‘‹ 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.

Photo of the week, above: taken during a recent hike here in Hong Kong.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

๐Ÿ”ฎ 1) Longread of the week: “How Pandemics Wreak Havoc – and Open Minds,” by Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker. The piece’s subtitle: “The plague marked the end of the Middle Ages and the start of a great cultural renewal. Could the coronavirus, for all its destruction, offer a similar opportunity for radical change?

๐Ÿ˜ท + Bonus Covid–19-related WSJ link: “Face Masks Really Do Matter. The Scientific Evidence Is Growing.”

๐Ÿ˜” 2) RIP Rep. John Lewis: “Representative John Lewis, a son of sharecroppers and an apostle of nonviolence who was bloodied at Selma and across the Jim Crow South in the historic struggle for racial equality, and who then carried a mantle of moral authority into Congress, died on Friday. He was 80.”

๐Ÿšจ 3) Camouflage-adorned agents from Department of Homeland Security “rapid deployment teams” have been sweeping protesters off the streets of Portland, Oregon, sometimes ushering them into unmarked vans. "This is an attack on our democracy,โ€ said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

๐Ÿค‘ 4) Twitter suffered what is likely its worst hack ever: perpetrators took over prominent accounts, like those belonging to Barack Obama and Elon Musk, and posted messages related to a bitcoin scam.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ 5) Shot: China and the U.S. are in a new cold war, despite hopes from some that tensions can be turned into a less potentially destructive โ€œrivalry-partnership,โ€ Niall Ferguson writes. “They know full well this is a Cold War,” he says of China, “because they started it.”

๐Ÿ“ฑ 6) Chaser: tech analyst Ben Thompson on “The TikTok War”: “… what makes TikTok so unique is that it is the culmination of two trends: one about humans and the Internet, and the other about China and ideology.”

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ 7) Google is investing $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms, the telco and digital services firm that’s part of the Reliance Industries conglomerate run by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. Google follows investors like Facebook, Silver Lake, KKR, General Atlantic and more that are pouring cash into Jio, aiming for a piece of India’s burgeoning internet economy.

โ›บ 8) Not new, but new to me: Steve Wallis, an affable guy in Alberta, Canada, has become a YouTube sensation thanks to his offbeat camping videos. I especially like his “stealth camping” trips.

๐Ÿ‘Ÿ 9) Just plain awesome: Wheelies parkour. (Via my pal Lee LeFever’s Ready for Rain newsletter, which I recommend highly.)

๐Ÿ• 10) Dog-related video of the week: “Cute blind pup recognizing owner…Cutest thing Iยดve ever seen.”


๐Ÿ“• What I’m Reading

I’m almost finished with “Hong Kong,” a portrait of the city and its peoples by the great Jan Morris. It’s a bit dated now, having been written before the British handover in 1997, but clearly conveys the fascinating history of the place.

๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.โ€ – John Maxwell

๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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