Democrats: Be Afraid (Jeff)
From the Bulwark: “The Republican party has won a national plurality exactly once since 1988. Think about that for a minute. Because it suggests that the GOP is now a semi-permanent rump party. I don’t know that we ever quite realized this was happening, because there were always circumstances to explain away the fundamental shift. … Add it all up and it is clear that the Republican party is no longer capable of competing at the national level. These weren’t once-in-a-century and once-in-a-generation flukes. What we were watching was the slow-motion collapse of the GOP’s coalition. The Trump era ratified this truth in that Republicans stopped even pretending to try to win a majority.”
Police Unions Are Losing the War on Criminal Justice Reform (Dana)
The author writes, “Law enforcement unions are maybe the most powerful force in politics that most voters never think twice about. By quietly dumping millions of dollars in key prosecutor elections and ballot initiative fights, these organizations manage to affect everything in the criminal legal system’s orbit, usually while flying well beneath the political radar. … In recent years, however — and especially as a result of the sustained protests of police violence in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis — people have grown more attuned to how these organizations bend the criminal legal system to their will and stymie efforts to reform it.”
Gym Trainer Exposed 50 Athletes to COVID-19, but No One Else Got Sick Because of Ventilation Redesign (Russ)
The author writes, “A Virginia gym owner thought she had a nightmare scenario on her hands when she learned that 50 athletes were potentially exposed to Covid-19 particles by one of the gym’s coaches. But not a single member ended up contracting the virus, thanks to the extra safety precautions and ventilation measures she put in place. Velvet Minnick, 44, is the owner and head coach at 460 Fitness in Blacksburg, Virginia. … As the state entered Phase 2 of reopening in June, Minnick was allowed to have athletes back inside her facility. She knew one member, however, who could help her get people back while keeping them safe. Linsey Marr, 46, is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and joined 460 Fitness about two years ago. She has an expertise in airborne transmission of viruses, air quality and nanotechnology.”
England Plans to Create More National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty (Mili)
From Lonely Planet: “The British Government has announced that more of England’s beautiful and iconic landscapes will be turned into national parks and areas of natural beauty (AONB) as part of its 25-year Environment Plan. It currently has 10 national parks. … The Environment Plan aims to increase access to nature for communities and better protect the country’s rich wildlife and biodiversity. After a competitive process, a wide range of projects will receive funding to enhance the natural environment and create and support thousands of jobs. These may include action towards the creation or restoration of priority habitats, preventing or cleaning up pollution, woodland creation, peatland and wetland restoration and actions to help people connect with nature.”
This $22,000 Book Features Life-Size Photos of the Sistine Chapel’s Art (Dana)
The author writes, “Anyone who’s visited the Sistine Chapel can testify that it’s difficult to examine the space’s meticulously painted frescoes up close — partly because of the high volume of people in the chapel at any given time, but also due to the sheer height of its 68-foot-tall ceiling. Luckily, a soon-to-be released book titled The Sistine Chapel invites art lovers to take a closer look at the famed Vatican City masterpieces from the comfort of home (or, in this case, a museum or library). … The three-volume tome … features the ‘most precise images of the artwork ever produced,’ rendering paintings by Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Perugino and other artists on a 1:1 scale with 99.4 percent color accuracy. … Publishers plan on printing just 1,999 copies — including 600 English sets — of the 822-page book. Each of the three volumes measures 24 by 17 inches and weighs a whopping 25 pounds.”
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