3/2/21 Power Five

1. Atul Gawande on Vaccine Distribution – “The first thing is that we, as a health-care system, are not equipped to make sure we get to every corner of the population. Instead, you have the existing health-care systems only able to do portions of the population, and that leaves big holes. In Israel and in the U.K., they have a commitment to a national health system, where everybody has a doctor; therefore, everybody has a connection to the system and everybody can be accessed and reached and given directions on where to go get vaccinated. So those are two places that have done better than we have. The second thing that makes it challenging is the vaccines themselves. This is not like delivering a flu vaccine, where it can sit on the shelf in your doctor’s office until you show up for your appointment. In this particular case, first of all, they need special care, because it’s got to be at very cold temperatures. Also, it’s two shots, which means organizing for multiple visits.”

2. The 25 Greatest Art Heists of All-Time – “A theft can transform an artwork’s history forever—and it is hardly the only piece throughout history to have been permanently altered in this way. Although technology has gotten more sophisticated and the means by which heists are committed have changed, burglaries of the world’s greatest artworks continue to be executed often, effectively adding new and bizarre chapters to the annals of art history in the process.

3. Prodigy – From 1957, a New Yorker profile on Bobby Fischer. “There have been chess prodigies in this country who flashed to prominence when considerably younger than Fischer, but none has ever captured a major title at such an early age. Honors are beginning to pile up for Robert. The United States Chess Federation has elevated him to the rank of master (some of the wits among his teen-age friends now address him as Master Master Fischer); he has been invited to be one of the ten distinguished players, from all over the world, who will participate in the highly regarded invitation tournament at Hastings, in England, this Christmas; and shortly after that he is scheduled, if the Chess Federation’s present plans work out, to visit the Soviet Union and show off his prowess before the world’s most discriminating mass audience, the Russians having been notorious chess addicts for centuries.

4. Few Student Loan Borrowers Attended Elite Universities – “The vast majority of students who graduate from the elite schools the president mentioned in the CNN town hall graduate with zero student loan debt,” said Eileen Connor, director of litigation at Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending. Indeed, just 0.3% of federal student borrowers attended Ivy League colleges, according to estimations provided to CNBC by higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.

5. The Only Carbon Capture Coal Plant in the U.S. Just Closed – “On paper, carbon capture and storage, or CCS, sounds like the solution to all our problems. If we could just suck the carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels and put it somewhere else, we could cut warming without shifting away from old methods of generating energy. In practice, though, the results have been less than promising and failed to scale at anywhere near the levels needed to avert catastrophic climate change.”