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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.
🚨 Let’s cut right to the chase: Ginger, our beloved dog, has just arrived here in Hong Kong after a spell in the U.S. following our move from India.
❤️ So the photo of the week, obviously: Gingy! In HK! More soon on the backstory, but didn’t want to bury the lede. The pack has been reunited.
Here are ten items worth your time this week:
📱 1) Shot: Microsoft has been in talks to acquire TikTok from China’s Bytedance, as I wrote last week. And now, per a scoop Saturday from my WSJ colleagues Georgia Wells and Cara Lombardo, Twitter has had “preliminary talks about a potential combination” with TikTok.
📺 2) Chaser: On Friday I joined Parikshit Luthra on CNBC-TV18’s “The Global Eye,” a news show in India, to discuss the potential Microsoft-TikTok deal. You can find the segment on Twitter here and on my Instagram here.
🦠 3) Wired’s Steven Levy interviews Bill Gates about Covid–19, among other issues. “You have to admit there’s been trillions of dollars of economic damage done and a lot of debts, but the innovation pipeline on scaling up diagnostics, on new therapeutics, on vaccines is actually quite impressive,” Gates says. “And that makes me feel like, for the rich world, we should largely be able to end this thing by the end of 2021, and for the world at large by the end of 2022.”
🤦♂️ 4) Fighting Excel is futile. Case in point: Scientists have had to rename 27 human genes because the program kept converting their names to dates. For example, “Membrane Associated Ring-CH-Type Finger 1,“ aka MARCH1, became ”1-Mar."
🔨 5) “We Quit Our Jobs to Build a Cabin – Everything Went Wrong,” write Bryan Schatz and Patrick Hutchison in Outside. “And it was awesome.”
✏️ 6) RIP Pete Hamill. From the AP’s obit: “Pete Hamill was one of [New York City’s] last great crusading columnists and links to journalism’s days of chattering typewriters and smoked-filled banter, an Irish-American both tough and sentimental who related to the underdog and mingled with the elite.”"
🎨 7) Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka creates tiny scenes with minature people…featuring everyday pandemic-related items like face masks and thermometers transformed into new objects.
🩸 8) High blood sugar – from stuff like sugar and processed foods – may make exercise less effective.
📕 What I’m Reading
Almost finished with Evan Osnos’s excellent “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.”
Meanwhile I finally got around to typing up my notes for a title I read read a few months back: “Pandemics: A Very Short Introduction,” by Christian McMillen.
💡 Quote of the week:
“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.” – Henry Rollins
👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,