Sent as an email newsletter February 21, 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, spotted recently in a 7-Eleven here in Hong Kong: Miso-flavored Pringles chips. I haven’t tried them. Yet. I mean, that sounds like an amazing combination!
Here are 10 items worth your time this week:
1) ❄️ Severe winter weather forced parts of the Texas power grid offline for days. What happened? The single-digit temps prompted huge demand for electricity, but many power plants were shut down because they couldn’t safely operate in such cold. That left millions of people (including Texas Senator Ted Cruz) without juice for days.
2) 🦠 “World Health Organization investigators are honing their search for animals that could have spread the new coronavirus to humans, identifying two – ferret badgers and rabbits – that can carry the virus and were sold at a Chinese market where many early cases emerged,” my colleagues Betsy McKay, Jeremy Page and Drew Hinshaw report.
3) 🚀 After a nearly seven-month journey over 293 million miles, NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance touched down on the red planet, marking “the most elaborate and challenging feat in the annals of robotic spaceflight,” Reuters reported.
4) 🗞 Local journalism-related read of the week: “Corruption is flourishing in the rural corners of South Carolina as newspapers fold or shrink coverage amid a financially crippling pandemic,” Glenn Smith and Tony Bartelme report in The Post and Courier. Read more from a special report on public corruption in the state.
5) 🥾 Forget 10,000 steps. Focus instead on 120 minutes in nature every week. Spending time outside, called “forest bathing” in Japan, is linked to “lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones and decreased anxiety, depression and fatigue,” my colleague Betsy Morris reports.
6) 🔘 Control Panel is a photoblog dedicated to “dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs.”
7) 😂 💀 The laughing/crying emoji is for old people, according to Gen Z internet observers. The skull – aka “I’m dead” or “I’m dying” – is much cooler.
8) 👽 Kickstarter product of the week (assuming it’s real), dedicated to Covid–19 prevention and personal privacy: Blanc, “the only full-face modular mask.” Click through for must-see pics.
9) 🌍 Shot: This week’s antidote to a world in which we can’t travel: WindowSwap. Click a button to see the view from a window somewhere else in the world.
10) 🍺 Chaser: I Miss My Bar lets you re-create the sounds of your favorite watering hole.
Dog-related video of the week: “So gentle.”
📕 What I’m Reading
I’m working my way through, and very much enjoying, Martin Gurri’
“The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium.”
💡 Quote of the Week
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,