Jay Reads and Recommends

WORD OF THE DAY

WORD OF THE DAY
Interstice
in-tər-stəs
Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, 15th century
1

An intervening space, especially a very small one.

2

A short period of time in between events.

Examples of Interstice in a sentence

“I saw the neighbor’s dog’s eye peeking through the interstice of the fence.”

“His birthday falls during the interstice between Christmas and the New Year.”

Jay Reads and Recommends

The Realist Environmentalist on Instagram: ““The people who make the biggest difference are the ones who do the little things consistently” @awastefreeworld #sustainableliving…”

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A Tale of Two Reactions – Daily Pnut

via A Tale of Two Reactions – Daily Pnut

A TALE OF TWO REACTIONS

In San Francisco it is a tale of two cities. This morning while walking around town you would think in some places it was business as usual. People meeting in very close proximity over a cup of coffee. And yet then in the evening in the grocery store was the busiest we’ve ever seen it with some of the longest lines. Many people are now wearing face masks (a significant uptick than just the day before), and the grocery store shelves are emptying.

We first wrote about COVID-19 on January 17, 2020’s edition. And given what we’ve learned we think the worst is unfortunately yet to come. A few important pieces of context:

  1. We are not trying to be alarmist and we think it’s important to try to be thoughtful in all matters
  2. We do not say this because we want more eyeballs/clicks
  3. We do worry greatly about the lack of global and national leadership on this matter
  4. We spend a lot of our time reading and reflecting on the news and given what we’ve read and reflected we think many more people are sick and inadvertently carrying the virus.
  5. We request that everyone take thoughtful precautionary measures now: aggressive hygiene (avoid touching one’s face, wash one’s hands, and wear a mask properly as necessary) along with social distancing and avoiding crowded places.
  6. We wish everyone safety and good health.

Leadership is Destiny (we’ve fallen in love with that phrase because despite having been indoctrinated on the importance of leadership at West Point and in the Army only recently after much reflection, study, and firsthand experience do we realize just how important leaders are):

International, Health, & Society:

Business Factors:

“The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.” ― Joseph Conrad

“Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.” – Susan Sontag

Drew Angerer via Getty Images (Daily Pnut’s Tim swears he didn’t notice this right before this edition was wrapping it but he recognizes a West Point classmate in the above image, small world)

Here We Go Again. Same Old War Again.

One British and two American soldiers were killed Wednesday and 12 other people severely wounded in a rocket attack on Camp Taji, an Iraqi base where coalition troops are stationed. Iraqi Security Forces later found a truck that was rigged to fire rockets. Pentagon officials said they were studying all possible military responses with President Trump. 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday the US military knows “with a high degree of certainty” that an Iran-backed group was behind the attack. So far no one has claimed responsibility, but two Iran-backed militia praised the strike. Kataib Hezbollah, which the US blames for previous rocket attacks, congratulated the perpetrators and urged other militias to follow their example. 

This is the 13th such strike since the start of the year, including attacks on the US Embassy, further straining the precarious relationship between Washington and Bagdad. Marine General Frank McKenzie, who is responsible for US operations in the Middle East, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday. “I would tell you … a red line … is going to be the death of a service member or those of our partners and allies. That’s a red line,” McKenzie told senators. 

Meanwhile House members voted Wednesday to limit Trump’s ability to use military force against Iran without congressional approval; the resolution doesn’t prevent the US from defending itself against an imminent attack. A companion resolution passed the Senate in February. The measure now goes to the president’s desk, but he’s expected to veto it. Trump was asked Thursday whether a military response to the rocket attack was certain; he replied: “You will see.”

Covid-13th

  • Some 100 female inmates at Hong Kong’s Lo Wu prison work six days a week in shifts of six to 10 hours, for which they’re paid less than $103 a month. Now they’re being asked to work night shifts as well, in order to turn out 2.5 million face masks a month after a huge rise in demand. A lawmaker who campaigns for prisoners’ rights called the decision “exploitation and another form of modern slavery.” Prison officials said women could approach their managers if they didn’t want to work nights.
  • On Monday New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced that in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the state will also be using prison labor to produce 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for schools, prisons, transportation systems and other government agencies. Prisoners are among the populations most vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19. The danger is particularly heightened in overcrowded facilities, which could create a “perfect storm” for spreading the disease.
  • It is notable that Italy’s prisons are among the most overcrowded in Europe. “The spread of the virus is a real concern,” said a spokeswoman for the Italian prison rights group Antigone. (Guardian)

Additional World News

Joe Raedle via Getty Images

This Little Loan Went To Market, This Little Loan Went To Homes

  • The Trump administration continues to try coming up with ways to stabilize a market that Covid-19 has sent into free fall. On Wednesday Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he would recommend to the president that the April 15 deadline for filing taxes be delayed for most individual taxpayers and small businesses, and that no interest or penalty attach. “That will have the impact of putting over $200 billion back into the economy, and that will create a very big stimulus,” Mnuchin told reporters after testifying before Congress.
  • And on instructions from Chairman Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve said Thursday it would make vast sums of short-term loans available on Wall Street, and purchase Treasury securities in a move aimed at preventing ominous trading conditions from creating a sharper economic contraction.
  • Some investors predicted the Fed’s actions wouldn’t be successful until markets had confidence that Washington was taking a more aggressive response to the public health emergency. (WSJ)

Additional USA News

 

The American Nightmare

  • A Wall Street Journal survey conducted in September 2019 reveals that more than half of Millennials think their generation’s American dream has been upended.
  • Young people who started their working lives around the time of the Great Recession in 2008-2009 encountered venerable financial institutions that were failing and bringing the stock markets down with them, the worst joblessness since the Great Depression, and millions of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure.
  • 1,440 Americans across the Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer generations offered surprising insights into how Millennials view money and investing, and how those views often differ markedly from previous generations.
  • Those born between 1981 and 1996 feel more financially burdened and are more focused on the here and now than their parents and grandparents. They’re also more distrustful of financial institutions and less financially literate than prior generations.
  • Many are putting off big milestones like buying homes, even while being committed to putting social values before monetary rewards when choosing investments or jobs. Over half of Millennials surveyed feel overwhelmed by financial obligations, compared with 39 percent of Gen Xers and 31 percent of Boomers.
  • A 29-year-old financial adviser from Detroit, who knows people who lost their jobs, homes, and went bankrupt during the Recession, says Millennials view investment risk very differently than their parents. They’re wary about putting too much of their money into stocks, fearful of the next crash. (WSJ)

Weekend Reads

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6. Pi Day – 14th March

6. Pi Day – 14th March

Pi Day Content Marketing Opportunities

It is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant pi.

Content Marketing Opportunities:

Listicle idea: X Mathematical tools that can be used to measure beauty

Infographic idea: Where can you find pi in nature?

Video: The ‘pi’ in our DNA- the math that makes our DNA so unique

Podcast: How relevant is the math we used to learn in school?

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WFP and COVID 19

World Food Programme
Dear friend,

Like you, for the past few weeks, I’ve watched with mounting concern as Covid-19 has spread across the world. From China to Italy, Australia to Denmark, we’re witnessing a global crisis that is impacting on many of us.

My name is David Beasley and I’m the Executive Director of the World Food Programme and I felt it critical I email you today.

Many of you live in countries currently facing the very real threat of the pandemic. We know that you and your family might be feeling anxious and uncertain, that your lives may have been interrupted and put on hold as your governments work to halt the spread of this virus.

I want you to know that we’re thinking of you – that you too are part of the World Food Programme family – and that we want you and your loved ones to stay healthy and well at this time. 

I also wanted to reassure you that even though we’re witnessing a crisis unseen in recent times, our work to help children and families living with hunger has not halted.

You might not know, but our Headquarters are in Rome, Italy, and while the virus has stopped us going to our workplace, it hasn’t stopped our work. You see, for WFP, helping hungry people at times of crisis, that is what we do. We do it every single day, in some of the most volatile and difficult places in the world. And we don’t leave when a crisis ends.

In fact, every year we assist some 87 million children, women and men and while we’re very concerned for these people – some of the most vulnerable people in the world – because of people like you who generously support us, we’re prepared for the worst.

Our emergency teams are already in action to tackle Covid-19. As well as maintaining all of our operations, we’re prepositioning stocks of food and cash, and mobile warehouses and tents in case they’re needed. We’re also supporting the wider UN with air, sea and land transportation. Because of you, we’re in a strong position to tackle this virus – but my teams have a challenge ahead of them.

As I sign off today, I want to let you know that we will keep you updated on our work. Take care of yourself and your loved ones at this time.

David Beasley
Executive Director

PS, If you do want to make a donation at this critical time to help continue our vital work click below. 

World Food Programme
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