12/30/20 Power Five

1. Obamacare, in Its First Test as Safety Net, Is Holding Up“A recent analysis of insurance industry data by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers found that roughly two million to three million Americans lost their job-based coverage between March and September. During the same period, around five million enrolled in Medicaid. When the economy suffers, the Affordable Care Act plays an important role in making sure people can still maintain insurance coverage in ways that didn’t exist before,” said Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the foundation. But Ms. Cox said that, even with this cushion, millions of Americans remain uninsured amid a public health crisis. Many of those people, she said, are eligible for free coverage, a sign that the programs aren’t reaching everyone they could.

2. The Life in the Simpsons is No Longer Attainable – “The most famous dysfunctional family of 1990s television enjoyed, by today’s standards, an almost dreamily secure existence that now seems out of reach for all too many Americans. I refer, of course, to the Simpsons. Homer, a high-school graduate whose union job at the nuclear-power plant required little technical skill, supported a family of five. A home, a car, food, regular doctor’s appointments, and enough left over for plenty of beer at the local bar were all attainable on a single working-class salary. Bart might have had to find $1,000 for the family to go to England, but he didn’t have to worry that his parents would lose their home.

3. Charlie Brown’s Inside Job – “Charles Schulz had what Maurice Sendak had: respect for children. He understood the way they think and feel, not the way adults want them to think and feel. He understood that there’s a point in children’s growing up when Christmas doesn’t work its magic as reliably as it once did. Schulz let them explore a taboo subject, Christmastime unhappiness, while still reassuring them that Christmas is a good and fun and wonderful thing. He also insisted that there be no laugh track, saying that if the children found it funny, they would laugh. And he insisted that children, rather than adult voice actors, read the dialogue.

4. The Jokes Comedians Would Steal – Comedians answer the question – If you could steal any joke from anyone ever, and nobody would know and you wouldn’t feel bad about it (so it’s like it’s your joke and has always been your joke), what would it be?

5. How to be an Elite Athlete, According to the Data – “Study after study shows that younger siblings have a much greater chance of becoming an elite athlete than older siblings or only children,” Wigmore says. As kids, little brothers and sisters are usually smaller and weaker than their older siblings, which means they have to work harder to keep up. This forces them to develop skills and tenacity. Michael Jordan had Larry Jordan, his 11-month-older brother, whom he credited in The Last Dance for motivating him to be a better player. Tennis goddess Serena Williams had Venus Williams, also a pro tennis player.