Newley's Notes

NN234: Water dogs vs. herding dogs

mango mochi

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👋 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: a snack for the ages. Yes, that’s mango mochi – you read that right – a specialty on Cheung Chau, a small outlying island here in Hong Kong. And the answer is yes: mango mochi is every bit as tasty as it sounds.

Cheung Chau makes for a fun day trip or weekend getaway if you live, as we do, in a more bustling part of HK. (With the pandemic making travel difficult, I feel fortunate to be here, a city with many sights to see and countless hiking trails to explore, especially as we’re still new to the place.)

The island was once a simple fishing village but is now a popular tourist destination thanks to its beaches, seafood and street food (did I mention the mango mochi?), and growing numbers of boutiques. Its narrow streets can’t accommodate cars, so people get around on foot or bike.

📸 See my Instagram feed for a few images from a recent visit – there are short, easy hikes, beautifully maintained houses, a Taoist temple built in the 18th century, and the most diminutive ambulances you will ever see.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🦠 1) My colleagues Tim Martin and Dasl Yoon had a story out Friday about Covid–19 that’s worth a read. “South Korea appears to have cracked the code for managing the coronavirus,” they write. The country has blended “technology and testing like no other country, centralized control and communication—and a constant fear of failure.”

🇺🇸 2) Shot: Joe Biden leads President Trump 53 percent to 43 percent among registered voters in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. Among likely voters, Biden leads 49 percent to 43 percent.

❓ 3) Chaser: Longread of the week. What happens if President Trump loses – or it’s a standoff like Bush vs. Gore in 2000 – and Trump doesn’t concede? The prospects are grim, Barton Gellman writes in The Atlantic. “We are not prepared for this at all,” Julian Zelizer, a historian at Prince­ton, is quoted as saying. “We talk about it, some worry about it, and we imagine what it would be. But few people have actual answers to what happens if the machinery of democracy is used to prevent a legitimate resolution to the election.”

📕 4) A lot of people, apparently, can’t stand Goodreads but its ubiquity makes it hard to escape. Can a new service called The Story Graph succeed where Goodreads has failed?

👷‍♂️ 5) Ask Reddit: “What’s an industry secret in the field you work in?”

🐕 6) Researchers in Finland have trained dogs to sniff out Covid–19, and the canines are now being deployed in a trial run at Helsinki airport to identify passengers who might be infected.

🔉 7) The BBC has released a collection of 16,000 sound effects, ranging from acetylene torches to yacht sounds, that are available for personal or educational purposes.

🔍 8) Newspaper Navigator is a cool new project that lets you search more that 1.5 million historic newspaper photos from 1900 through 1963. You can search by state, year, and keyword.

👏 9) The finalists for this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography awards have been announced.

🐶 10) Dog-related video of the week: “A water dog and a herding dog run into a lake…”


📺 What I’m watching

The Cohen Brothers’ movies are some of my favorite films of all time, but I had never seen their first, 1984’s “Blood Simple.” I recently decided it was time to give it a watch.

Right the beginning you can see in it what would become their hallmarks: Hitchcockian plot twists, dark humor, the themes of right and wrong, loyalty and betrayal, and the sense that in this world – or in Texas, in the case of this film – it’s everyone for himself or herself. Also features Frances McDormand in her cinematic debut, and it was Barry Sonnenfeld’s first cinematographic effort.


💡 Quote of the week:
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg


👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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