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Hey there,

This is the last newsletter of 2020 from me. For me, this year has been all about contradictions. Worrying nonstop about getting sick but also not getting a single cold all year. Feeling scared but also feeling bored. Staying at home but having to figure out how to do everything in a new way. Worrying slightly less about how I looked and yet staring into my own face every time I talked to someone on a video call. Feeling happy for friends having babies and my brother getting married, but sad that we couldn't celebrate them in as big a way. Canceling all my plans but also being overwhelmed by how often I had to get on Zoom each day. Making bread and then eating bread. (I guess that last one's not really a contradiction...)

The best advice I've gotten this year is that it doesn't have to be either/or. It can be both. You can be so grateful for your friends/family and feel lonely. This can be a terrible year and also a time of growth. You can make the bread and eat the bread and sometimes also buy bread to see if it tastes better than what you've been baking. This week's email is all about hot and cold (and sometimes both simultaneously).

I hope you're well and staying safe and, if possible, helping the people around you

This week's list

This video of a snowball fight in 1897 France is so good. The footage has been smoothed and colorized, which makes it look almost modern. But then you also get the joy of watching women in long dresses and mustache guys go into full snow battle with each other. And when a guy tries to ride his bicycle through the middle? He gets fully destroyed. Snow Fight in 1897 Lyon by the Lumière Brothers (Sam Anderson also wrote a full play-by-play analysis of the action)

Kelly Conaboy is one of the funniest writers on the internet. I first discovered her genius when I read her deep investigation into whether bay leaves actually add anything to dishes (The Vast Bay Leaf Conspiracy). As a fellow bay leaf truther, I loved her grilling every chef about why they lie and say the leaves add flavor. After that article, I was fully onboard with her. She has a new book out about her dog called The Particulars of Peter, where she visits Woofstock, “the largest outdoor festival for dogs in North America,” tries to see if her dog can sense ghosts, and takes him for lessons in Canine Freestyle, "a sport where dogs perform a routine set to music, creating the illusion that they’re dancing with their owners." For me, the best part of Kelly promoting her new book is that it reintroduced me to one of the funniest things ever written, which is her debunking a post she read on a mommy blog. I don't want to tell you too much because it's so funny, but the title really says it all: Do Men Enter Bathtubs on Hands and Knees So Their Balls Hit the Water Last?

"Climate change is propelling enormous human migrations as it transforms global agriculture and remakes the world order — and no country stands to gain more than Russia." This article convinced me that maybe even in a Biden presidency, I should still think about moving to Canada? I think I'd do better there than in Siberia. It makes a compelling case that the climate change is already shifting where food can be grown and where people are going to want to live. The Big Thaw: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World

That's it for this week and for this year. Thanks for reading! If you're enjoying these emails, please forward to a friend or spread the word. If someone forwarded you this email but you're not yet on the list, you can subscribe here.

Wishing you a very safe and healthy new year,

I'm Chris Duffy, comedian, TV writer, creator/host of You're the Expert, spoon enthusiast, a former fifth grade teacher and former fifth grade student.
Copyright © 2020 Chris Duffy, All rights reserved.

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