Medley 204: Writers, Scobys, Videos, Trends, Soap, Bikes, How Much Longer?

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday you cool cats and kittens.

First up, our Director of Editorial, Heather, published a new article on the Growth Machine blog this week, all about how we hire great writers for our content marketing clients.

And I added a number of new videos to the Roam Course, including more advanced topic videos on Diagrams and Tables, a new video for capturing notes On the Go, and a bonus public video on What's So Great About Roam.

Alright, on to the Medley!

The World of Sponsorship

This week's Medley is brought to you by Perfect Keto! Another product PK offers that I really like is their Instant Keto Coffee. It's all the benefits of mixing butter or MCT oil into your coffee (better energy without the jitters), but in an on-the-go package. I like their "Unflavored" option the best, and as always you can get 20% off your order plus free shipping with the code "MEDLEY."

The World of Food

👨‍🍳 I've been learning a lot about fermenting during the quarantine. I picked up "The Art of Fermentation" on the recommendation of a friend, and it's a great intro resource with tons of useful guides.

🍶 So far I've made pickled onions, pickled carrots, saurkraut, fermented jalapenos, and I have two gallons of kombucha going.

Pro tip: you don't actually need a SCOBY to make kombucha. All you need is some unflavored kombucha as starter. The SCOBY gets formed from the fermenting process, but you don't need it to start the ferment.

🥩 I also made this delicious grilled skirt steak with a soy garlic marinade over the weekend. Strongly recommend it if you want a really easy, and really tasty, way to cook steak.

🤣 And in case you're reading any other recipes, Eater has a hilarious article on the extensive "intros" so many recipes have these days.  Unfortunately, without those essays recipes don't rank well in Google, so they're a necessary evil for food bloggers. This is the one area where SEO is seriously broken.

The World of Isolation

📺 The domestic box office brought in just over $5,000 last week. Compare that to $204,000,000 this same week last year. Ouch.

📉 But since you can't go watch movies, streaming TV is more popular than ever. Here's a great visualization of episode ratings over time for popular shows, including their worst episode. That House of Cards graph is pretty brutal. Breaking Bad was remarkable consistent. A

👩‍💻 Video calls are seeing an understandable surge as well. Woven put together a great article on how scheduling meetings has changed over the last few weeks, and you can see a very dramatic jump in video meetings:

🔎 What else is changing with our new socially distant world? Glimpse, one of my favorite newsletters, put together a dashboard showing how search queries for tons of different things has changed the last few weeks. This is just a few of them:

🤷‍♂️ How long are we going to have to stay isolated like this? According to research done at Brandeis, the minimum ideal duration would be 7 to 8 weeks:

Using the assumption that the suppression policy can achieve R0 = 1, we assess that it should be kept in place between 30 and 34 weeks. If suppression can achieve a lower R0 = 0.7, the policy should be in place between 11 and 12 weeks. Finally, for the most optimistic assumption that the suppression policy can achieve an even lower R0 of 0.5, we estimate that it should last between seven and eight weeks. We further show that stopping the suppression policy before six weeks does not produce any meaningful improvements in the pandemic outcome.

The World of Finance

✂️ I started doing some cost cutting last week, working through subscriptions  on my personal and business cards. After a little bit I decided it would just be faster to cancel the business cards we'd had for a few years and built up a number of random small subscriptions on. Yes, this might end up being more work, but the question of "would I start paying for this again" helps you be more selective than asking "should I cancel this?"

🙅‍♂️ I really like this move from VISA, who have created new rules to prevent merchants from tricking people into hard to cancel subscriptions.

The World of Health

🧼 Good news, I spoke too quickly when I mentioned bar soap being "germ infested" in a previous Medley. It turns out that while bar soap does have a lot of active bacterial colonies on it, those colonies are not necessarily dangerous or transferable to you:

"...scientists funded by Dial contaminated soap bars with 70 times the amount of bacteria that normally live on used soap. They asked sixteen people to wash their hands with the soap, and couldn’t find traces of the contamination on any of their hands. In fact, Wolfe’s work, published in the journal PLoS One last year, suggests that good old bar soap is pretty effective at removing viruses from people’s hands too."

🚴‍♂️ And in an attempt to escape from our quarantine a little bit, Cosette and I finally bought bikes last week. We went with the Jamis Coda S2. It's a great unisex bike that's pretty comfortable and fast, but not so flashy that it'll be a theft target when we're able to go to coffee shops again. We managed to get out for a socially distant bike ride and lake swim last week too which was a great break from the indoors.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,

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