It's A Mad World

Here’s the first Zaleski Minute of 2020. I took a two-month break from sending these — so buckle up, I suppose. This one will probably take you longer than 60 seconds, so I look forward to all your complaints to management.

What I Was Writing:

  1. For Grist: Lab-grown meat. Plant-based burgers. The fake-meat revolution is here — just go to your local Burger King for their Impossible Whopper, the soy-protein take on the classic beef burger. But to distribute fake meat to the masses, the makers of fauxteins will need help from an unlikely source: the titans of Big Meat like Tyson, Smithfield, Nestle, and Conagra.

  2. For Elemental: Here comes a two-fer. Last month I wrote about the intermittent fasting diet, a trend more and more embraced by the tech culture of Silicon Valley, even as some eating specialists have their doubts and concerns. And for the second piece: You might be losing your hearing and not even know it, even if your hair cells are fully intact. Even sounds on a busy city street are enough to induce hidden hearing loss.

  3. For GQ: Up on, I have a new biweekly health column. It’s been good fun so far. First we take a look at whether when you eat during the day is actually more important than what you’re eating. Next: man boobs. That’s right. Man boobs — and whether those soy burgers that Burger King is selling is enough to create them.

  4. For The Washington Post Magazine: What happens to our favorite navigational apps when cities and counties change street names? Here’s a look at how Google and Apple updated their maps when Arlington County decided to rename Jefferson Davis Highway.

Get Ready For:

The summer 2020 issue of Popular Science, which will publish in late May. Do any of you remember racing pinewood derby cars in the heyday of your youth? Well, get ready to meet a pack of middle-age men with serious Big Dad Energy who go to incredible lengths to build and race souped-up pinewood derby cars.

Coronavirus Is Here, We’re In Fear — Or Something:

I’ve been reading way too much about novel coronavirus, which has intermittently made me worried, concerned, pacified, and confused. Sometimes all that reading has made me a combination of all four. So here’s your unofficial COVID-19 reading list:

  1. The Washington Post has a good, running list of stories about the disease that’s regularly updated. Today they published a fascinating story about one man in South Korea who was infected and has since recovered: “I have now fully recovered and do push-ups in the morning.”

  2. Wondering about the spread of coronavirus? The Johns Hopkins University has a live map that shows current outbreaks, total confirmed cases, and the number of people who have recovered.

  3. Finally, here’s an article in MIT Technology Review. Written by Antonio Regalado, their biomedicine editor, it’s a humorous and informative take on preparing for COVID. (Featuring an appearance by Grey Goose as a disinfectant.)