Weekend Reading is a collation of 3-5 articles that have caught my attention, published on Saturday mornings. Previous editions can be found here.
1. The State of Jell-O Salad in America (HuffPo)
Wyman believes that part of the appeal of Jell-O salad is that it takes the curse off of eating vegetables. “I actually think Jell-O today might do well to advertise simple Jell-O salad recipes to young moms who are trying to get their kids to eat more veggies made with Sugar-Free Jell-O,” Wyman writes. “That’s what Michelle Obama would be talking about if she really wanted to make a dent in childhood obesity and get kids to eat all those veggies she’s growing at the White House.”
2. In a rural Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls — and sees some of the rarest diseases on Earth (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
He was 28 years old with a bad car, a growing family and $30,000 in unpaid student loans. The average salary for a family doctor in America was then around $80,000, enough to settle down and begin paying off his debt.
But the people of La Farge wanted De Line — needed him. Their offer: $20,000.
That would have to cover DeLine’s annual salary, the salary of an assistant to answer the phones and handle billing, plus all the clinic equipment and expenses. “The clinic” itself was an empty, dilapidated building with orange carpeting on some of the walls and a couch that looked like it had been sitting in someone’s garage.
DeLine took the offer.
Arma had spent more than 25 years at sea. Just five months earlier, in these same waters, he had faced his most arduous trial yet, white-knuckling the Diamond‘s helm against Typhoon Faxai. He had held the bow straight into 100-mph winds, lest they catch the cruise liner’s massive flank and fling it around like a toy boat in a Jacuzzi. He accepted the sea’s hierarchy—“You can’t beat Mother Nature, but you can come to a compromise”—so all night he negotiated, gunning the engines and thrusters to keep the 115,875-ton behemoth in place, the nautical version of running on a treadmill. You didn’t hear about a Princess cruise ship slamming into a cargo vessel or capsizing last September, because he succeeded.
“We got through Faxai. We’ll get through this,” a staff captain told Arma upon hearing of the virus aboard the ship. Arma preferred Faxai. This new coronavirus wasn’t something he knew how to navigate.
4. The Last Days of Target (Canadian Business)
The magnitude of what was at stake began weighing on some of those senior officials. “I remember wanting to vomit,” recalls one participant. Nobody disagreed with the negative assessment—everyone was well aware of Target’s operational problems—but there was still a strong sense of optimism among the leaders, many of whom were U.S. expats. The mentality, according to one former employee, was, “If there’s any team in retail that can turn this thing around, it’s us.” The group was riding a wave of momentum, in fact. They had overcome seemingly endless hurdles and worked gruelling hours to get to this point, and they knew there were costs to delaying. The former employee says the meeting ultimately concerned much more than when to open the first few stores; it was about the entirety of Target’s Canadian launch. Postponement would mean pushing back even more store openings. Everyone else in attendance expressed confidence in sticking to the schedule, and by the time the meeting concluded, it was clear the doors would open as promised. “That was the biggest mistake we could have made,” says the former employee.