Headlines Edition

Friday headlines: Interpreter of maladies

Joe Biden’s big speech at an all-virtual DNC is “rousting, emotional, surprisingly effective,” proving he’s still an American romantic. / The New Yorker

Close watches of Elizabeth Warren’s speech noticed several Easter Eggs in the background. / The Morning News

The Postal Service, run by a staunch Trump supporter, hires a PR firm to fight the Republicans' attempts to discredit it. / CNN

Still, recent emails show USPS headquarters telling managers not to reconnect any mail sorting machines that were taken offline. / VICE

Phone scammers are taking advantage of contact tracing, calling people then asking for payment information. / NPR

Researchers say that singing or playing softly makes musicians less likely to spread Covid-19. / The Guardian

New coronavirus cases are declining across the US, but that may quickly change if people aren't cautious. / CNN

Nationwide, 20% of four-year colleges are offering classes partially or fully in person. How long it lasts depends on student behavior. / NPR

During the pandemic, misinformation about vaccines and other health topics has been viewed an estimated 3.8 billion times on Facebook. / The Washington Post

Related: “Meet the anonymous lawyer who’s correcting the paper of record one untactful tweet at a time.” / The Ringer

A mechanistic explanation of the SARS-CoV-2 genome’s syntax and semantics. / Csvoss

Gaming out the "phantom risks" of COVID-19. "Society will move from seriously underrating pandemic risk to badly overrating it." / Bloomberg Businessweek

The economic value of wearing a mask is $56.14 / The Economist

The debt of the United States now exceeds the size of its gross domestic product—long considered a doomsday scenario. / The New York Times

The Criterion Collection’s pantheon of films crops out African-American directors. Come to think of it, same for the Grammys. / The New York Times, Instagram

“It must be devoid of any Confederate imagery, and must contain the phrase In God We Trust.” New designs for Mississippi's flag. / The Mississippi Clarion Ledger

Black Americans may be in the midst of a mental health crisis. Recent studies find alarming statistics around rates of self-harm. / US News & World Report

Doctors have near-unilateral power in labeling child abuse—even when they’re at odds with the opinions of other experts. / The Marshall Project

New tinted glass toilets in Tokyo become opaque when occupied, but residents, especially women, fear exposure or worse. / The New York Times

Bored by the absence of tourists, ravens are fleeing the Tower of London. / The Guardian

A university in Germany offers "idleness grants" to people willing to abstain from activity. / UPI

Photographs of European summers in the 1970s and '80s in a new book from Sergio Purtell. And some collages from Luc Sante's first gallery show. / AnOther, James Fuentes Online

See also: Katy Kelleher’s “Periwinkle, the Color of Poison, Modernism, and Dusk.” / The Paris Review

A Cincinnati Reds announcer is pulled mid-game for making a homophobic slur. He stays on long enough to call a homerun while apologizing. / Pajaba