The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Henry’s House of coffee, grab a seat on the deck, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• Covid’s Forgotten Hero: The Untold Story Of The Scientist Whose Breakthrough Made The Vaccines Possible The scientist most responsible for this critical delivery method is a little-known 57-year-old Canadian biochemist named Ian MacLachlan. As chief scientific officer of two small companies, Protiva Biotherapeutics and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, MacLachlan led the team that developed this crucial technology. Today, though, few people—and none of the big pharmaceutical companies—openly acknowledge his groundbreaking work, and MacLachlan earns nothing from the technology he pioneered. (Forbes)
• From Doge Soldiers to Bitcoinists: A Field Guide to the Crypto Faithful For Ethereans, maxis, yield farmers, and no-coiners, digital assets aren’t just an investment but a way of life. (Businessweek) see also The Tether controversy, explained: How stable are stablecoins? What if a digital currency wipeout could injure — or even destroy — the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem? Lately, there’s been a focus on stablecoins, the quiet power players of the cryptocurrency space. (The Verge)
• What Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Black Widow’ Legal Battle Means for the Future of Hollywood At stake is the future of how Hollywood stars negotiate their salaries, and how much they can command. Already, insiders at the studios have long griped, movie stars were demanding too much, as the ability to attract crowds shifted from a handful of charismatic actors to properties such as those of Marvel or DC Comics. (Variety)
• Check, Please? How New York’s restaurants suddenly got so expensive — and why that’s probably for the best. Restaurants are enmeshed within a vast and highly sophisticated ecosystem of supply and demand, which is being tested by a perfectly terrible storm of events. The economic devastation of COVID-19 is a factor, but Wong says that isn’t the whole story. “We all knew the prices had to go up for this industry to be more sustainable for everybody involved,” he explains. The pandemic just accelerated the timeline. (Grub Street)
• Is a Giant Purple Nipple the Digital Nose of the Future? A new generation of companies is homing in on one of the hardest problems in tech: replicating our sense of smell. (Businessweek)
• The Dresden Job: When a rash of sensational museum robberies stunned Europe, police zeroed in on a fearsome crime family—and a flashy new generation of young outlaws. Joshua Hammer unravels the case of a billion-dollar jewel heist and the race to catch a brutally audacious band of thieves. (GQ)
• The Methane Hunters: Frackers in America’s largest oil field are letting massive amounts of natural gas spill into the atmosphere. Scientists and activists are trying to find the leaks and get them plugged before they cook the planet further. (Businessweek)
• Bad News: Selling the story of disinformation Big Disinfo. A kind of EPA for content, it seeks to expose the spread of various sorts of “toxicity” on social-media platforms, the downstream effects of this spread, and the platforms’ clumsy, dishonest, and half-hearted attempts to halt it. As an environmental cleanup project, it presumes a harm model of content consumption. (Harper’s Magazine) see also Why no one really knows how bad Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem is Some researchers say that Facebook isn’t being transparent enough about Covid-19 content on its platform. (Vox)
• All-Inclusive Magic Mushroom Retreats Are the New Luxury ‘Trips’ Resorts are starting to wake up to the appeal of mind expansion. (Bloomberg)
• The Dream Cars of the Car Designers Saturday mornings are for celebrating stylish sheet metal in the parking lot of a storied hobby shop in metro Detroit. (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Fran Kinniry, who is a principal in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group, and became Global Head of Private Investments at investing giant Vanguard Group in 2019. Kinniry is behind the drive to bring Private Equity investments to Vanguard’s 401k investors.
Inflation Is Higher in the U.S. Than Elsewhere, but Don’t Panic
Source: Wall Street Journal
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.