We’re not in Kansas anymore: this week on Fresh Powder

A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

The lede

As of Wednesday, the coronavirus had killed 492 people and infected more than 24,500 more worldwide. (The latest: CNN.) In an effort to better treat the growing number of patients, China ordered a hospital to be built in 10 days in the city of Wuhan. It’s finished. The New York Times: “In a ceremony on Sunday, Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan, officially handed the new hospital over to the military, which will be in charge of operations. Boxes containing ventilators and medical equipment lay piled on a sidewalk on Monday. Trees sat in large trucks, ready to be unloaded. One volunteer offered free rides around the vast construction site on his flatbed tricycle. On a sign, he had scrawled: ‘Go, Wuhan! Go, Fire God Mountain!’”

. . . Here are 19 photos that show how China built a hospital in 10 days.


“Facing fourth-and-1 from the 49ers’ 5-yard line in the first quarter, the Chiefs lifted a play from the 1948 Rose Bowl between Michigan and USC.” The synchronized spin-o-rama. 


It’s been a banner week for system failures. First, the senate impeachment “trial” (what they called it) failed to do the trial part and the impeaching part. Then, the U.S. Senate was subsequently killed off on Wikipedia. (“It died January 31, 2020, when senators from the Republican Party refused to stand up to a corrupt autocrat calling himself the president…”) In between all of that, in the most millennial thing ever, a mobile app went down during the Iowa Caucus, the very moment it was built for: RIP, Iowa Caucuses. Basically, we can all stop pretending any of these systems work anymore. Susan Glasser in The New Yorker: “All fifteen previous impeachment trials in the U.S. Senate, including the two previous Presidential-impeachment trials, included witnesses. But Lamar Alexander has spoken. Donald Trump’s stonewalling will succeed where Nixon’s failed. Perhaps Alexander has done us all a favor: the trial that wasn’t really a trial will be over, and we will no longer have to listen to it. The Senate can stop pretending.

. . . Journalism as a system is still operable, in certain spots, according to ProPublica. “Judging from the conversation in Washington … it’s reasonable to conclude that many there no longer listen to the facts and it’s rare for journalists’ stories to make a difference. That may be true in our nation’s capital, but our experience shows that state leaders across the country are still listening and things can change.” (Good vibes only.)

. . . Iowa politics, though being publicly shamed, has worked for Pat Rynard, founder of Iowa Starting Line, a start-up news site covering politics in Iowa: The New York Times. (No doubt a supremely anticlimactic ending to the very show at the heart of the site’s existence: “Everybody Wins, And Nobody Wins, The Iowa Caucuses.”)

. . . Des Moines RegisterHere’s how Monday night became a “total mess.”


Some people watch the Super Bowl for the game. Some watch it for the halftime show, for the food they’ll get to eat, or for the commercials. Sunday’s slate of advertisements, Axios reports, had more to do with brands selling viewers on their core values than their products. (Here’s a list of four commercials I really liked: 4321.)

. . . UproxxThe Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Thinking ahead

Wendy’s will start serving breakfast next month. (Start your morning with a Biggie breakfast.)

This also happened last week: Spotify is buying Bill Simmons’ The Ringer, putting the music streaming service into the web publishing business for the first time. “Spotify intends to hire Simmons and all of his approximately 90 employees,” Recode reported, suggesting that the great website will continue with everyday business as usual.