The Daily Valet. - 2/1/24, Thursday
Thursday, February 1st Edition
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
I'm wondering what would be appropriate to wear to my own living funeral.
Today’s Big Story
Is the NFL making progress in tackling its concussion crisis?
It all started with the first lawsuits in 2011. Seventy-five players sued the NFL in state court in California, then seven more in federal court followed, leading to hundreds more involving thousands of players—all accusing the league of deceiving them about the dangers of concussions. The federal court system consolidated the lawsuits and led to an “uncapped” settlement. Any player who developed dementia or the other conditions would get paid, no matter how much it cost.
According to the Washington Post, in the seven years since the settlement opened, the NFL has paid out nearly $1.2 billion to more than 1,600 former players and their families—far more than experts predicted during settlement negotiations. The league points to these figures as evidence of the settlement's fairness. But behind the scenes, the settlement routinely fails to deliver money and medical care to former players suffering from CTE.
Experts identify CTE by a buildup of tau protein in the brain that can disable neuropathways. Research has shown that repetitive hits to the head—even without a concussion—can result in CTE, which has been associated with a slew of health problems. The Alzheimer’s-like disease is most commonly associated with former pro football players but has also been detected in military vets (especially those who have been exposed to combat blasts).
The NFL continues to say that player health and safety remain a top priority, but also acknowledged the rise in concussions within the sport. The scene of a wobbly player being escorted off the field after a head impact is all too familiar on high school fields, in college stadiums, and, of course, in the NFL. But it’s not really diminishing interest in the sport. Youth participation is down slightly, but the NFL is bigger than ever, and the upcoming Super Bowl will no doubt set viewership records.
What are the most famous CTE cases in NFL history?
What Are Atmospheric Rivers?
The wild weather phenomenon is bringing two epic storms to the West Coast
A powerful storm swirling over the northeastern Pacific Ocean is directing a firehose of moisture, known as an atmospheric river, at the West Coast of the United States. The storm is bringing the potential for heavy rains, mountain snow to be measured in feet and strong and damaging winds to California and parts of the Pacific Northwest through Friday.
And it’s got another one hot on its trail. This storm, while certainly impactful, may end up being weaker than the next atmospheric river that is likely to roll into Central to Southern California late this weekend into early next week.
So what is an “atmospheric river”? They are highways of concentrated water vapor located in the middle atmosphere, about 10,000 to 20,000 feet above the surface. They can stretch for thousands of miles, channeling water from the subtropics to temperate regions. The first atmospheric river that moved through California last night has ties all the way to Hawaii, which is why meteorologists referred to it as a "Pineapple Express" storm.
Scientists are debunking the California biblical-storm hysteria swirling on the internet.
Living Funerals Are Now a Thing
Would you attend your own send-off?
Dealing with death is never easy. But a new trend might change the way we think about it. Say hello to the “living funeral”. Picture a gathering filled with your family and friends, surrounded by music, good food and heartfelt tributes. And no one is dead (yet).
Sure, it’s strange, but wouldn’t it be kinda nice to hear all the lovely things friends and family might say about us at our funeral? The Guardian spoke with five people (some with a terminal diagnosis) who have done just that and had absolutely no regrets. Apparently, the concept started gaining popularity in Japan in the 1990s, where they’re known as seizenso (“funeral while living”). The idea was that it’d take the pressure off family members or friends organizing a funeral after someone had died.
In fact, end-of-life ceremonies are nothing new—in some cultures, they have been around for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. But their exact roots are difficult to track. Before a member's death, the Native American tribe the Lakota Sioux of South Dakota repair relationships, make amends, and distribute family heirlooms. Why leave it all up to chance when you could exercise creative control over your own farewell?
An estimated 2.4 million funerals take place in America every year.
Shipping Container Buildings are Cool
But they're not always as green as they seem
The demand for homes and other buildings created from shipping containers is growing, due in part to their affordable prices, short assembly times and environmental cred. But while some are technically “recycled”, they’re not as green as they seem, many experts now say.
According to NPR, the trend took off in the early ’90s as a solution for the millions of empty steel shipping containers scattered across the planet. They’re easy to use because “they’re modular, movable and durable," said California architect Douglas Burnham, who’s built several including Aether’s store in San Francisco.
But here's the thing: The vast majority of people in the market for an office or home made out of containers don't buy them heavily used (no need for the dents and rust). They’re also not very efficient at insulating so most container-turned-buildings have higher heating and AC bills. Critics are now saying the most environmentally friendly use of all these unused containers is to recycle them.
Live and Learn:
Arch Daily says maybe we should instead "see this trend as the kick-start to something bigger."
A Better Way to Give Flowers
BloomChic specializes in clothing that’s as comfortable as it is cute
Giving a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers is a classic move for Valentine's Day. But how about giving some Blooms instead? I'm talking about BloomChic, the womenswear brand that's become a cult favorite for their size-inclusive styling and comfortable, relaxed designs. By redefining old-school beauty standards, they're building a fashion landscape in which diversity—in all forms, not just size—is acknowledged and celebrated. Here's what the brand is offering for Valentine's Day.
When in doubt, dance it out.