Supercreator AM: Bezos blasts off

Plus: Extreme heat endangers Olympic athletes, the CDC says to stay out of the UK and the infrastructure deal may be in trouble.

Jeff Bezos (third from left) and his space posse show off their smiles in a pre-blastoff photo while the rest of us deal with this tired-ass pandemic on earth. Photo courtesy of CNN

Good morning and welcome to Supercreator AM. It’s TuesdayJuly 20. I’m Michael, writing to you from New York City. Here’s what you need to know as you start your day:

BEZOS BLASTS OFF — Amazon founder and executive chairman Jeff Bezos will launch his own rocket into space from West Texas with his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old female aviation trailblazer — the youngest and oldest people to travel to the travel beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Bezos’s Washington-based aerospace company plans to launch two more passenger flights by year’s end. [Marcia Dunn / AP News]

IT’S HOT AF IN TOKYO — In addition to the public health threat of the coronavirus, Olympic athletes are facing extreme heat and oppressive humidity as this year’s summer Olympics are expected to be the hottest in decades. The high temps could cause heat stroke or illness, which are on the rise due to human-caused climate change. [Justine Calma / The Verge]

VIRGIL ABLOH EXPANDS HIS LVMH EMPIRE — The Black American fashion designer signed a deal with luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton that empowers him to launch brands and enter partnerships across the company’s entire portfolio, beyond just fashion. Abloh pissed people off during last year’s protests after he made some grimy comments about Black Lives Matter in response to criticism for his $50 donation to the BLM bail fund. [Joelle Diderich / Women’s Wear Daily]

THE INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL IS IN THE DANGER ZONE — After a group of bipartisan lawmakers negotiated an agreement in principle to rebuild the nation’s bridges, roads and transit systems, it’s looking unclear if Democrats and the White House can keep the legislation on track. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has scheduled a big vote tomorrow to advance the legislation, but Republicans have already said they won’t move on a bill that hasn’t been written yet. (The GOP was fine voting to overturn Obamacare in 2017 even though they didn’t have a written bill to replace it though.) [Seung Min Kim / The Washington Post]

CDC TO AMERICANS: STAY OUT OF THE UK — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Americans to avoid any nonessential travel to the United Kingdom due to the spike in coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant. But as of August 9, vaccinated US tourists can travel to Canada. [Nathaniel Weixel / The Hill]


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I like to think of Supercreator PM as an evening conversation we’re having over a drink to catch you up on everything you missed while you were creating so can spot the signal from the noise. In yesterday’s issue, I wrote about President Biden walking back his comments alleging that Facebook is killing people because of the vaccine misinformation published on its apps:

I’m glad the president corrected the record since, in his words, he misspoke. But Facebook is gonna Facebook. The company can spin any scandal in its favor because all of its data is private so what we see is what they share when they want to share it. Not to mention, people like using Facebook’s products. Advertisers like marketing their businesses on the apps. And behind the scenes, Facebook is fusing its family of apps together to make it virtually impossible to break them up if the government ever succeeds in doing so. Plus, Facebook’s internal position is that we’re picking on them because they’re a successful company. I definitely don’t believe billionaires should exist and think CEO Mark Zuckerberg is oblivious to the ramifications of what he’s built. Be successful — according to the standards of American capitalism, at least — but also be willing to recalibrate your products and services to be less chaotic influences in our democracy, economy and culture when they fail to be the absolute forces for good you designed them to be.


◇ THE MORNING READ

— “How disability influencers are using TikTok to fight stigma” by Helen Thomas at The Atlantic:

Their videos, and others like them, illuminate the everyday lives of people with disabilities and provide insights often missing from journalism and popular culture: how to navigate medical bureaucracy when you have a rare or chronic condition, how to adapt your home or work environment to offset an impairment, how to deal with the intrusive questions of strangers. One in four Americans has a disability, but without culture-war topspin—without easy villains or social-media talking points—the day-to-day problems they face typically get little attention. TikTok lends itself to an intimate, confessional tone. And unlike Twitter, which has become dominated by journalists, politicians, and other elite tone-policers, TikTok is a space where videos can go viral without provoking righteous anger or hyper-partisan outrage. It’s where normie can speak truth unto normie.

◇ MICHAEL’S PICK

— Ferm Living Luru Bookends ($179): The desire to show off these marble bookends has motivated me to restore a bit of order to the growing list of titles that are piled on my workspace.


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