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“Last fall, two different wildfires destroyed huge swaths of California. The Camp Fire in Northern California covered 153,336 acres, destroyed nearly 20,000 structures, and killed 85 people; it also left a shroud of smoke and ash hovering over the area. Public schools in five Bay Area counties were closed, and residents were warned to stay inside and protect their lungs from the dangerous air quality. Stores for miles around sold out of everything from surgical masks to the recommended N95 painter’s masks — the only kind that can effectively filter 95 percent of the tiny particles that do the most damage to your lungs.
Walking around the Bay Area in the weeks following the Camp Fire felt like living in a dystopian future — the sky a matte grey, the sun a red, alien-like orb, the streets empty save a handful of souls, nearly all wearing painter’s masks or bandannas or scarves over their mouths. Those two weeks might have been not just a dark blip, but rather a glimpse into our collective future. And there are entrepreneurs poised to capitalize on it. Because in the tomorrow that the Camp Fire portends, we’re all going to need a good face mask.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Call it a victory for Hong Kong’s protesters. But the battle is far from over. Hours after reportedly having met with a senior Chinese official, a stern-faced Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Beijing-friendly chief executive, announced that her..."
"Should the U.S. Census Bureau know how many U.S. citizens are living in the country? Most people support the idea that it’s a reasonable question for the government to ask, which is why the census has asked it in one form or another since 1820..."
"The new capital that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi is building near Cairo is already known as the white elephant that devours billions of dollars and doesn’t promise a return. It has received two elaborate housewarming ceremonies..."
"TWENTY YEARS AGO, George Lucas kicked off his reviled Star Wars prequel trilogy with Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Despite grossing over a billion dollars worldwide, the film received tepid reviews and continues to be a sore spot for Star Wars..."
"Whether the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) disproportionately helped the rich may be 2020’s biggest political issue. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claims that it benefited most Americans. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calls it a massive giveaway..."
"There sits Mark Zuckerberg, staring into a camera, proclaiming that the secret to controlling the future is controlling the stolen data of billions. A shocking declaration for the head of one of the world's most important and powerful companies..."
"History, or at least the study of it, is in bad shape these days. Almost everyone agrees that knowing history is important, but in the United States, except at the most elite schools, the study of history is in freefall. Our age seems to share..."
"Summer reading—so much expectation and anxiety and judgment is compressed within those two words! June hardly has a chance to throw on a bikini and step onto the deck before morning shows, magazines, and Web sites descend with their “Beach Reads..."
"In the discourse of the upper-upper, don’t-call-us-rich middle class, an old stereotype of fatherhood — the dim, affable, useless-for-housework Pop — has lately been supplemented by a new one: The credit-hogging, pleased-with-himself Good Dad..."
"IN 1870, advertisements for beef extract began to appear in magazines of the day. Made by Armour & Company, a leading Chicago meatpacking firm, the extract was touted as a “remedy for disease and exhaustion.” In reality a byproduct of canned beef.."
"It all started with a goat. The unfortunate animal was born in the Netherlands in the spring of 1939 – and his prospects did not look good. On the left side of his body, a bare patch of fur marked the spot where his front leg should have been..."
"This past Erev Shavuot, my 18-year old daughter and I were walking together to the Tikkun L’eyl Shavuot at a nearby Modern Orthodox synagogue. For the past five years, my rabbinic colleague at that synagogue has invited me to co-lead a midnight..."