Free beer’s working / ‘You could hear crickets’ / Something in the air

Free beer’s working. A USC economics professor says all the freebies—including beer, doughnuts and lotteries—are demonstrating behavioral tools’ value in helping the U.S. reach herd immunity against COVID-19.
Illinois’s Sunday total for confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 was the lowest since March 2020 …
 … which, you’ll remember, was when the U.S. led the world in confirmed COVID-19 infections.
A bioethics professor offers counsel to fully vaccinated parents on whether to keep wearing a mask for their unvaccinated kids.

‘Don’t buy a gun.’ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg breaks down some of the many reasons not to own one.
Among more than 50 people shot in Chicago over the weekend: An 11-year-old girl seriously injured on South Michigan Avenue.

‘This building is really significant.’ Block Club Chicago reports on a push to save one of the city’s oldest houses—a decaying, possibly 160-year-old structure in Austin.
An architecture professor shares a memo from the future: “The idea of demolishing the Thompson Center may seem preposterous from today’s 2035 economical, ecological and political vantage points, but that possibility seemed almost inevitable” in 2021.

‘People looking for fast cash usually get a bad deal—and they did.’ An open-government activist reflects on just how costly Chicago’s 75-year deal to lease its parking meters to a private company really has been—even as the pandemic turned downtown into a ghost town.
A Tribune editorial calls on the City Council to force Navy Pier Inc. to open its books.

‘A double blow for progressives.’ Politico assesses West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement that he’ll vote against the Democrats’ voting rights protection legislation and against efforts to kill the filibuster.
A Democratic congressman from New York calls Manchin “the new Mitch McConnell.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

‘You could hear crickets.’ CNN’s Brian Stelter says the most newsworthy aspect of Donald Trump’s Saturday night speech to North Carolina Republicans was “the silence … when he touted the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Then again, there was also all the Twitter speculation that Trump was wearing his pants backward …
  … but Snopes says it ain’t so.
The Sun-Times’ Laura Washington: His blog’s death “was just the latest episode in Trump’s long saga of failure” …
 … but, assessing Trump’s social media sway before and after his ban from Twitter and Facebook, The New York Times reports that “some of his statements have traveled just as far and wide.”

Something in the air. Even after the pandemic dramatically lowered greenhouse gas emissions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels last month hit historic highs.
A Colorado State University professor explains what the Ottoman Empire can teach us about the consequences of climate change—including how drought can uproot peoples and fuel warfare.

But he’s not arriving tomorrow. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to ride into space as one of the first humans on his Blue Origin rocket.
Joining him on board: His brother.
Amazon’s been in the south and southwest suburbs filming a new TV series, Paper Girls …
 … which is based on a graphic novel about four girls who get caught up in a time-travel war while delivering newspapers in 1988.

Hear the news about Chicago news.
Chicago Public Square and Rivet360 are teaming up for a podcast series in which Chicago media people talk about Chicago media (fourth item in Robert Feder’s post today). We’re calling it … wait for it … Chicago Media Talks. Hear it live and join the conversation on Clubhouse today at 2 p.m.
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