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May 20, 2022

#sh*tkidssay

Daughter told me a boy asked her out in school.
Me: What did you say?
8 yo: I said I can speak 3 languages and was the lead in my camp’s play. What can he offer.
Me: 😳

--Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, MHS, @panagis21

trail tip

Airplane ticket prices are through the roof these days. It’s really pretty shocking. Here are a few ideas for how you can still score a deal.

trail talk

Recently Fred Miller, 56, an air force veteran, purchased a grand old house called Sharswood near his childhood home in Virginia. He wanted a place big enough to host his large extended family for their many cake-filled gatherings for birthdays, fish fries and the like. Some sleuthing by several relatives into the home’s history revealed a remarkable story. As it turns out, their ancestors were enslaved on the former plantation property Fred now owns. The tale of how the Millers made the discovery—and the revelations they uncovered—is truly astonishing and, as Leslie Stahl says in this 60 Minutes episode, both “impossible and inevitable all at once.” For anyone interested in the ways American history still lives on in all of us, this is a piece of TV news not to miss.

 The infant formula shortage currently roiling the nation is a source of intense anxiety for many parents because, of course, not everyone can breastfeed their children (exclusively or even partially). FOR SO MANY REASONS. Which means millions of families rely on infant formula to provide essential, life-saving nutrition for their babies. The shortage now is the result of a) the sudden closure in February of one large formula plant because of tainted product that led to two infant deaths and, b) a poorly designed system for feeding infants in this country. As one source quoted in this Atlantic story explained: “There are only a few manufacturing plants in the country, and there are four infant-formula companies that control about 90 percent of the supply in the United States. It’s a highly concentrated market with a highly concentrated production capacity, so that when one plant is taken offline for just a period of weeks, you see these ripple effects throughout the entire sector.” Read the whole story to understand why America has long faltered at feeding babies.

This recent podcast episode—Formula None—from iksplor favorite Today, Explained also details what led to this crisis, the systemic failures it’s laying bare and what we can expect over the next few months. It’s well worth a listen.

trail magic

Don’t know about you, but we all could use some uplifting news these days and if this story doesn’t fit the bill, we’re not sure what will. It’s about New York City’s “compost champion,” the guy whose goal is, as he says, to “make composting cool.” His name is Domingo Morales, a 30-year-old who grew up in public housing in the Bronx and whose main objective at one point was just to live to be 18. Now he’s focused on bringing compost systems to public housing sites throughout the city. So far, his initiative, “Compost Power,” has built five such sites that have produced about 30 tons of finished compost. And he has plans to expand. The story made us smile while reading. We hope it will have the same effect on you, too.

Another spot of good news? Yes please! New Zealand’s government announced a plan to help lower income families get rid of their gas-powered cars in favor of cleaner hybrid or electric vehicles. It’s part of a larger plan to meet the country’s commitments under the 2016 Paris climate accord to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

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