A brief note from your author


Good afternoon from Joshua Tree, and a happy Sunday to you, wherever you may be.

I took last week and this week off to deal with a personal health matter. All is well in the grand scheme of things, but I am unofficially known as the concussion king of Bloomberg.

Taking a break from screens has been a health necessity, but also great for my mental state of mind heading into the election.

There has been no shortage of news during my break, and I've written a few pieces in my head that may or may not still be relevant by the time you are next reading me. I've included a few links below to stories, podcasts and books that have kept me occupied these past weeks. Hopefully some of them entertain or inform you as well.

In the mean time, go Dodgers, and may we all survive Tuesday in one piece. -- Lucas Shaw

Who Fixed the NBA?

This podcast on disgraced referee Tim Donaghy and how the NBA may or may not influence the outcome of games is a must-listen for any basketball fan. (Thanks to my friend Leah for recommending it.)

Virtual Influencers Make Real Money While Covid Locks Down Human Stars

Thuy Ong writes about the rise of virtual influencers Lil Miquela and Seraphine, who are unaffected by the pandemic.

How the Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine

Kevin Roose explores how a small news organization "affiliated with the secretive and relatively obscure Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong" became "a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation."

"Strangers On a Train"

If you want to escape reality this week for one reason or another, this Patricia Highsmith classic is a delightful audiobook.

Why My Private, Eerie 'Tenet' Experience in Montana Gives Me Hope For Movie Theaters

Long-time film critic Kenneth Turan rented out a movie theater in rural Montana to see Christopher Nolan's "Tenet." The experience convinced him that theaters, while troubled, aren't going anywhere.

The Indestructible Beat of Soweto

Rolling Stone's new list of the 500 best albums took some heat, but it is a great tool for finding new music. Well, old music that is new to you. This album has been on repeat for two weeks.

Clayton Kershaw, At Last, Can Call Himself a World Series Champion

You didn't think I'd let this go without a Dodgers link, did you?

Columbia's Business of Entertainment


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