April 17, 2020
A semi-coherent collection of news, data, thoughts and opinions for your enjoyment, sharing or immediate deletion. Hopefully you find a few valuable nuggets inside that are worth your while...
If you're not familiar, Quibi is a new streaming platform for mobile devices that features short video "chapters" that are no more than 10 minutes long. You can make the argument that this format further pushes our short attention span culture towards mindless surfing, but I like to think that it is a throwback to the movie serials of the 1930s & '40s and the television series that followed. George Lucas credited the Flash Gordon movie serials and their signature "cliffhanger" endings each week as the inspiration for Star Wars, so who know what epic saga might be spawned from Quibi? It's free for the next 90 days if you want to check it out.

This Random Dispatch edition is going Quibi-style by keeping all the narratives short & sweet, with a limit of five sentences per section.
The Importance of Connecting
This crisis has underscored our human need for connection with others and the lengths we will take to create those connections when faced with forced physical distancing. I am inspired by the innovative ways that online platforms are being used to narrow the divide and create virtual gatherings. Corporations, non-profits, sports teams and governments are getting into the act, with mixed success. Early movers seem focused on a mix of replicating traditional experiences in a virtual world (e.g., online music performances or sport demonstrations) or creating emotional connections through messages of hope and inspiration. The winners will be the brands that grasp where we are headed, embrace the new normal, and create new ways of forging authentic connections between people directly as well as between themselves and their audiences.

Focus on the Home

Online trends are pointing to an increased focus on home improvement. It will be interesting to see how these interests manifest themselves in the months and years ahead, but it is safe to say that many folks have a renewed appreciation for their homes and outdoor recreation spaces. Buyer behaviors are difficult to predict, since the uncertainty of the current situation has curtailed discretionary spending, but home improvement stores, garden centers and recreation equipment suppliers warrant watching.

A Tipping Point?

More and more of the data coming out about severe cases of COVID-19 and related deaths points to a common culprit: chronic, low-grade inflammation. In the vast majority of cases, especially in those under age 60, inflammation-inducing obesity and diabetes are the leading factors contributing to higher risk. The increased risk associated with these conditions can also help to explain the higher rates of hospitalization and death for ethnic minorities in the U.S., which have correspondingly higher rates of obesity and diabetes - arguably tied to some systemic economic and health disadvantages that have long impacted those communities. While long-known to be an issue, the risks related to to these conditions are being brought into stark focus by this crisis. It may just be a tipping point moment for how nutrition and health are addressed by regulators, health care professionals and the media.
Obesity Linked to Severe Coronavirus Disease, Especially ...

Young adults with obesity are more likely to be hospitalized, even if they have no other health problems, studies show. Obesity may be one of the most important predictors of severe coronavirus illness, new studies say. It's an alarming finding...

Read more
Corona Cuts

An unfortunate reality of the stay-at-home era is the inability for most people to get their hair cut. The impact of this is being compounded by the adoption of video-conferencing. If you don't want to wear a hat or just need a trim to stay sane, Ellen DeGeneres is offering some helpful advice on home haircutting via her personal hairdresser, Chris McMillan. By the way, he is the creator of Jennifer Aniston's iconic cut, the "Rachel".
Sports Illustrated Thinks We May Be a Long Way Off

In this Sports Illustrated article, they take a cautious stance on when we might return to live sporting events in the United States. The perspective is based on input from epidemiologists who think safe gatherings will require a wide availability of vaccines, which is likely 12-18 months away.
Bursting the Bubble: Why Sports Aren't Coming Back Soon

The NBA, NFL and MLB are dreaming up ways to play amid a pandemic, with talk of isolating players in Arizona or Las Vegas or maybe on the moon. It all sounds great, until you talk to people who actually know science.

Read more
The PGA Takes a More Optimistic Stance

On the other had, the PGA has announced a return to professional golf competition, albeit without fans in attendance initially. Still, the prospect of having live sports content, especially with competitors strolling vast expanses of outdoor spaces in bright sunshine, definitely gets me excited. I am cautiously optimistic that this side of the debate wins out and that we see more sports returning before Summer's end.
Golf Central Update PGA Tour June 11 return no fans

Golf Central reacts to the PGA Tour's latest updates to the 2020 schedule and the new target return date of June 11.

Read more
Speaking of sports, the long-awaited ESPN series on the Jordan-era Bulls is finally here! I cannot wait to see the behind the scenes stories and relive the excitement of those games. It will be interesting to see if all the pent-up demand for quality sports content will find a release in the form of historic viewer numbers...watch for the ratings reports next week!
For another fun sports fix, check out this podcast series from Fox Sports host Rachel Bonnetta and comedy writer Rachna Fruchbom. It showcases some of the most infamous moments in sports history and goes behind the scenes to document all the details.
‎Hall of Shame on Apple Podcasts

‎Fox Sports host and comic Rachel Bonnetta ("Lock It In", "@Buzzer") and comedy writer Rachna Fruchbom ("Fresh Off the Boat", "Parks and Recreation") are here to share their love for two things: sports and DRAMA. Sure, they obsessively root for...

Read more
Captain America's Bad Jokes

The Twitter-verse is taking on the Marvel Universe with a series of posts featuring the oldest Avenger telling some corny jokes, generating an aggravated response from his audience. The link below has a few examples of Steve Rogers' 1940's-era sense of humor...
Captain America Bad Joke Memes - Imgflip

Browse and add captions to Captain America Bad Joke memes

Read more
This concept is my way of sharing information and staying connected with my personal and professional network in these crazy times. Content is chosen based on what I think is interesting, entertaining and relevant, and there is no commercial aspect to any of it.

The last thing I want is to be an annoyance...so please click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email if you don't want to receive any more of these messages.

If you'd like to access past dispatches, they are archived HERE , along with a link to subscribe if you didn't receive this directly.

Have a great day!