‘A catastrophic implosion’ / In NASCAR’s defense / News quiz!

‘A catastrophic implosion.’ The Coast Guard says the submersible Titan was destroyed near the site of the Titanic shipwreck it had descended to view.
The Navy had reason days earlier to know what happened.
The five victims included the expedition company’s CEO—whose wife is the great-great-granddaughter of two of those who died when the Titanic sank in 1912—a Titanic expert, a record-holding adventurer, a Pakistani plutocrat …
 … and his 19-year-old son, who reportedly was “terrified” by the adventure.

‘Much better than sitting for … days and suffocating.’ A Lake Forest filmmaker who traveled down on the Titan in 2021 says implosion was a mercy.
One expert who passed on a Titan trip tells The Daily Beast he saw it coming.
Titanic director James Cameron sees the ironic parallels.
Columnist Lyz Lenz’s Dingus of the Week: The stepson of one of the victims, whose behavior on Twitter through the crisis was, to put it mildly, awkward.
The stepson of another victim recounts a memory that will “forever stand out”: His stepfather’s 16-hour drive to Chicago in 2014.

‘Forever chemicals’ deal. 3M’s offering to pay at least $10.3 billion to settle lawsuits over the contamination of municipal water supplies around the nation with its PFAS—per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—which are used to fight fires and to create water- and grease-resistant things like clothing and cookware (think Teflon)…
 … and which have also been linked to cancer and other ailments.
‘It’s time to get serious on food expiration labels.’ Investigate Midwest’s Dave Dickey calls for federal rules on things like “Use By,” “Expires On,” “Use Before,” “Sell By,” “Best If Used By” and “Expiration Date.”
A government watchdog agency recommends stronger federal rules to protect meat and poultry workers from infectious diseases—like COVID-19.
The Lever flags an unfolding Medicaid disaster: “Nearly three quarters of the Americans who’ve lost coverage have been terminated not because they’re ineligible … but due to administrative reasons, such as failing to quickly respond to a piece of mail.

‘After a death threat stemming from my climate coverage last year …’ A Des Moines TV meteorologist is walking away from an 18-year career, to begin “a new journey dedicated to helping solve the climate crisis.”
Such threats are becoming more common.
The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri: “Americans who believe erroneous things about science …—but who are sick of having to vote Republican—have been overjoyed by the advent of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign.”
An Aurora guy who says he’s sworn off membership in the racist Proud Boys has been handed the harshest punishment of any Illinoisan charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
USA Today’s Rex Huppke: “Members of an Indiana chapter of the group Moms for Liberty found out this week that Adolf Hitler, the German Nazi leader who oversaw the systemic murder of 6 millions Jews, was a bad person.”

‘This case is not about me.’ A Cook County judge accused of making racist comments about Middle Eastern men has recused himself.
The judge now faces additional accusations of “witness interference and tampering” in the case.
The Onion files parodic commentary from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito: “Also, I Shouldn’t Have To Disclose That I Had Sex With A Salmon.”

‘Helping ensure that women can make decisions about their own health.’ Marking a year since the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion, President Biden was set to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to strengthen access to contraception.
Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina sees some “silver linings” a year after the Dobbs decision, including more public support than ever for abortion rights.
Planned Parenthood: 57% of the abortion patients at its three-year-old Waukegan clinic come from other states.

In NASCAR’s defense. The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg: “When I invited readers … to write in explaining the allure of NASCAR, I didn’t really expect that people would then actually, you know, write in explaining the allure of NASCAR. But that’s exactly what they did.”
It’s not a first: Autoweek recalls “NASCAR’s wild night of racing at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1956” (December link).

China, authors, heat waves and the mysteries of American brides.
That’s some of what awaits you in this week’s edition of The Conversation’s news quiz, concocted by past Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner Fritz Holznagel.
Can you beat your Square columnist’s 7/8 score?

The weekend calls. The Chicago Park District says it’s rounded up enough lifeguards to open all its pools today.
Saturday night brings the World Naked Bike Ride back to Chicago’s streets.
Sunday, it’s the Chicago Pride Parade …
 … whose organizers are planning extra security.

… and if you’re free tonight … Your Chicago Public Square columnist will be honored to moderate an appearance by author and Wednesday Journal columnist Ken Trainor*, talking about his new book, Our Town Oak Park—sponsored by Unity Temple** and the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.
Admission to this World Heritage site will be free—with sweets and wine provided. 6:30 p.m. at Unity Temple, 675 Lake St., Oak Park.
It’s an easy walk from the Green Line’s Oak Park or Harlem stops, but here’s a parking map.

Thanks. Mike Braden made this edition better.

* On whose team your columnist has played from time to time over the years.
** Where your columnist is a member.

Subscribe to Square.