Sent as an email newsletter February 14, 2021. Sign up to receive future dispatches in your inbox.
👋 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: Ginger (and her owners) are wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day from Hong Kong!
📆 Administrative note: this is the 250th edition of NN.
Yes: the 250th! I sent the very first NN in February, 2015. (Among items in that dispatch: my newfound love for country musician Sturgill Simpson, the death of New York Times media critic David Carr, and a WSJ column with simple rules for personal finance.)
Here’s to another 250, and another five years. Thank you for reading!
Here are 10 items worth your time this week:
1) ☎️ Everyone seems to be talking about Clubhouse, the invite-only audio chat app. The San Franisco-based service has been big among Silicon Valley elite for some time, but more recently gained traction around the world. This week China’s censors appeared to shut it down following vigorous debate about political issues.
2) 😷 Is Covid–19 here to stay? We might need to start thinking of it as an endemic disease, my colleagues Daniela Hernandez and Drew Hinshaw write. A telling quote:
“Going through the five phases of grief, we need to come to the acceptance phase that our lives are not going to be the same,” said Thomas Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I don’t think the world has really absorbed the fact that these are long-term changes.”
3) 🦠 Related longread of the week: Atul Gawande, in The New Yorker, reporting on Ward County, North Dakota: “Inside the Worst-Hit County in the Worst-Hit State in the Worst-Hit Country.”
4) ⚡ Elon Musk’s Tesla bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin, sending the cryptocurrency soaring.
5) 🏈 🐐 Tom Brady, at age 43, won the Super Bowl with his Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “He prevailed not through any great flourish of athleticism but by making sound decisions and avoiding mistakes,” wrote the Financial Times’s Joshua Chaffin “It was a vintage, old man performance that this old man could appreciate.”
6) 💻 Another item to file under: how Covid–19 is changing work. Salesforce – San Francisco’s biggest private employer, with some 54,000 staff around the world – anticipates most of its employees will “work remotely part or full time after the pandemic” and that the company will “reduce its real-estate footprint as a result,” my WSJ colleague Katherine Bindley reported.
7) 🔭 Want to feel insignificant? There is now a 10 trillion pixel map of the sky, complete with a billion galaxies.
8) 🍕 Pizza-related quote of the week: “Pizza was the perfect food for the pandemic, but I think it’s also the perfect food for all time." That’s from the chief executive of Domino’s, in a New York Times story about a boom in sales amid Covid–19.
10) 🌍 An antidote to a world in which we can’t travel: City Guesser. Click the video, try to determine the place.
🐕 😭 Dog-related video of the week: “No one can stop dog from protecting its owner.”
📕 What I’m Reading
I’ve just picked up “The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium,” a 2014 book by a former media analyst for the CIA, Martin Gurri. The upshot of the work, which portended the rise of Trump, Brexit and other trends: The internet and social media have triggered an explosion of information, undermining elites, top firms, and global institutions.
💡 Quote of the week:
“You can have it all. Just not all at once.” – Oprah Winfrey
👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,