You should read this for 5/10/2020:
Art and Film
Via Dan Moren @dmoren: Star Wars is the most influential work of fiction in my entire life, so it’s no surprise I’ve spent a ton of time thinking, talking, and writing about it. Anyway, as I sit here listening to all of the scores, I figured it’s a good day to point to some of my favorite work on it.
Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language
Coronavirus | COVID-19
Via NPR: Trump Received Intelligence Briefings On Coronavirus Twice In January President Trump was warned in January briefings that the coronavirus was going to “spread globally,” according to a White House official. Five days after that initial briefing, the official says Trump was briefed again.
The question of what Trump knew about the coronavirus, when he was aware of it and the tenor of those conversations have come under heavy scrutiny, as the administration faces criticism that it was slow to respond to early warnings about the virus. In the time since the president’s January briefings, the U.S. has reported more than 1.1 million cases of the coronavirus — more than any other nation. In all, more than 66,000 Americans have died.
Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing “A guide to making sense of a problem that is now too big for any one person to fully comprehend”
In response, [St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Maryland, Brentwood School in Los Angeles] came up with lists of reasons they would not be returning the money. The primary reason was simple enough: The schools had qualified for the loan, and they needed to pay their workers like any other business. But the board of Sidwell Friends School, the private, hyper-selective alma mater of the Obama and Clinton children in Washington, D.C., argued that it should keep the $5 million it had received for a different reason: “The Board determined that accepting the loan was appropriate and fully consistent with its fiduciary responsibilities, as well as our Quaker values.”
Food and Drink
From Wirecutter: Tools and Tips for Freezing Food So Nothing Goes to Waste
History and Archaeology
Police seize 19,000 stolen artefacts in international art trafficking crackdown “101 suspects arrested and rare cultural treasures recovered in huge global investigation”
Science and Nature
Via Down East Magazine: The Moment That Presaged a Maine Senator’s Downfall This is an interesting look at Maine in 1970, with some strong connections to current events.
“The majority of the protesters were white,” Anthony said. “I’m still not exactly sure on the connection between confederate flags and Nazi symbolism. They just had no connection to the stay-at-home orders. The fact they were carrying guns openly while we voted was unnerving.”
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
As nearly half of all Americans cancel their summer plans to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, US president Donald Trump will be escaping to New Jersey.
According to federal spending data, the Secret Service has ordered bullet-resistant glass and party tents to be used in Bedminster—home to the 535-acre Trump National Golf Club,
Taxpayers are footing a $42,350 payment to a party rental company in Jackson, New Jersey, as well as a $9,600 bill for ballistic glass installation and removal, awarded to a small business in Westbury, New York. The tent rental is projected to be slightly less expensive than one the Secret Service rented in 2018 for the holiday season at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm beach, which cost taxpayers $54,000. The Secret Service uses the tents primarily as screening areas for vehicles and visitors.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling people across the US that they should only travel outside their local area if it’s for “essential” reasons, such as providing “medical or home care to others,” or “for a job considered an essential service.”
Yet Pence and Trump by and large refuse to wear masks, despite a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that face coverings be used to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Pay It Forward and Make It Better
“So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown,” he said.
“While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12-hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need.”
Jer Thorp @blprnt made a game called 🐦🎶🎲 You can learn the calls and songs of the birds in your area. It’s made with data from eBird and sounds from Xeno-Canto.
Via Twitter and @KatecBowler: Every night, in the sweetest voice, my six year old asks me a question in order to try and stall me from leaving. I commit to documenting these questions every night for the next 30 days because THAT KID HAS GAME.
Sabrina Orah Mark in The Paris Review: Fuck the Bread. The Bread Is Over. Read this. It’s about life, truth, fairy tales, bread, and academic circuses.