Newley's Notes

NN245: The Best Sheep Herding Dog Ever

Ginger and her hoodie

Sent as an email newsletter January 11, 2021. Not a Newley’s Notes subscriber yet? Get it 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.

❄️ Photo of the week, above: We’re off to a chilly 2021 here in Hong Kong! As in: it’s 8 degrees Celsius/47 Fahrenheit (and windy!) as I write this.

🐾 But don’t worry: As you may have noticed in the previous NN, Ginger is just fine: She’s got a winter-themed hoodie to keep her toasty.

On to this week’s NN…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

1) 🗞 My newest story, which I wrote with my colleague Phred Dvorak, ran on page one just after the new year.

The headline: Oyo Hotel Chain Suffered Ailments Beyond Pandemic’s Travel Slowdown. And the dek: “Thousands of hoteliers have left the company amid troubles that emerged before Covid-19, losses that threaten the hotel network’s global ambitions.” Click through for more.

2) 📚 Just out yesterday at The 15 Best Books I Read in 2020. TLDR: six books about China/Hong Kong, a few classic novels, some philosophical treatises, and…plenty about pandemics.

3) 👉 My colleagues Dan Frosch, Rachael Levy, Khadeeja Safdar, and Erin Ailworth have a comprehensive look at just who was in the crowd that barged into the Capitol Wednesday. The piece begins:

”An Oklahoma grandmother. The CEO of a Chicago-area marketing firm. A Florida man convicted of attempted murder. A leader of the group of far-right street brawlers known as the Proud Boys. An Iraq war veteran who works at a Seattle-area packaging plant. A newly sworn-in West Virginia lawmaker.”

What they shared: “an unfounded certainty that President Trump had won re-election.”

4) ➡️ Another WSJ must-read, this one by my colleagues Michael M. Phillips and Jennifer Levitz: how one Trump fan, Doug Sweet, became part of the mob.

5) 🗣 President Trump is losing his digital megaphones. Axios has a running list of who’s banned him: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…

6) 🦠 Longread of the week: “The Plague Year,” by Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker.

7) 🇫🇷 In happier news: The Champs-Élysées is getting a $225 million makeover. Think: “an extraordinary garden.”

8) ✈️ Random technical observation: I had no idea flight simulators have gotten so realistic. Wow.

9) 🍴 Archaelolgists in Pompeii unearthed a snack bar from 79 A.D. More photos are here.

10) 🦥 Sentence of the week: “If Voirin’s hunch is right, the pygmy sloths might not just look stoned — like all sloths do — but they really are stoned.


🐕 Dog-related video of the week: “Laziest sheep herding dog ever.”


📕 What I’m Reading

Since my last dispatch I finished Nina Teicholz’s outstanding “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” then turned to Cal Newport’s “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World,” which I enjoyed.

Now it’s on to “Facebook: The Inside Story,” by Steven Levy.


💡 Quote of the week:

“I was born very far from where I’m supposed to be and so I’m on my way home." — Bob Dylan, in the 2005 Martin Scorsese documentary, “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.”


🤗 What’s new with you? Hit reply to send me tips, queries, random comments, and videos of working dogs that are hardly working.

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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