Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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How Long Will Vote Counting Take? Estimates and Deadlines in All 50 States by Alicia Parlapiano (NYT)

A helpful reference for the time it will take for states across the country to total up votes cast early and on election day amidst very high turnout and a pandemic in 2020. [Link; soft paywall]

Inside Decades of Nepotism and Bungling at the N.Y.C. Elections Board by Brian M. Rosenthal and Michael Rothfeld (NYT)

Some background on why New York City is one of the worst places in the country to vote, plagued by inefficiency and lines that other parts of the country wouldn’t tolerate. [Link; soft paywall]

Politics Gets Weird

Quiz: Can You Tell a ‘Trump’ Fridge From a ‘Biden’ Fridge? by John Keefe (NYT)

A fascinating if completely haphazard insight into voters’ mindsets, including both analysis and the enjoyable and mystifying game of guessing which is which. [Link; soft paywall]

They’re Afraid. They’re Buying Guns. But They’re Not Voting for Trump. by Ciara O’Rourke (Politico)

Democrats in deep blue parts of Texas are buying guns and getting trained to use them in the midst of a turbulent election season that has exposed all kinds of anxieties. [Link]


A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air by Heather Galloway (El País)

A fascinating piece of journalism that is very helpful in explaining how various mitigations can reduce risk of COVID spread indoors. [Link]

COVID & Humidity by olfadreyer (Github)

Humidity is one major factor in how much of the SARS-COV-2 virus builds up in the air. This project seeks to illustrate how lower humidity can drive more airborne viral load. [Link]

A large national outbreak of COVID-19 linked to air travel, Ireland, summer 2020 separator commenting unavailable by Murphy et al (Euro Surveillance)

Using detailed contact tracing, this study seeks to identify the COVID risk associated with air travel, despite low passenger loads and mask wearing. Bottom line: masks and lots of space between passengers still led to lots of cases. [Link]

COVID Lifestyle

With No Commute, Americans Simply Worked More During Coronavirus by Jo Craven McGinty (WSJ)

Less time commuting led to a lot more time working and doing chores per survey data, with primary jobs taking up 35% of the additional time. [Link; paywall]

Chewy launches virtual vet visits as pandemic fuels pet boom by Melissa Repko (CNBC)

With telemedicine taking off for humans, it probably shouldn’t be a big surprise that furry friends are also getting veterinary attention over the internet. [Link]

Need a Pandemic Puppy ASAP? Call the Bernedoodle Delivery People by Michael M. Phillips (WSJ)

High demand for companionship during the pandemic has led to a boom in long-distance doggy deliveries, with specialists keeping an eye on pups flying commercially across the country. [Link; paywall]

Algos Gone Wild

Virtual Influencers Make Real Money While Covid Locks Down Human Stars by Thuy Ong (Bloomberg)

Social media accounts for non-human characters are gaining popularity, with hundreds of thousands of followers eagerly awaiting photos created in photoshop. [Link; soft paywall]

How an Algorithm Blocked Kidney Transplants to Black Patients by Tom Simonite (Wired)

A widely-used algorithm makes adjustments that assign healthier scores to Black kidney patients holding other factors equal; the result is less intensive care for more seriously ill Black people. [Link; soft paywall]


The baseball card market is thriving thanks to COVID-19 by Paula Froelich (NYP)

Prices for rare baseball cards are exploding as investors enter the market as well as the same enthusiasts which have kept the market alive for so many years. [Link]

Hasbro revenue slips on production delays in movies, TV shows, shares fall by Uday Sampath Kumar (Reuters)

While Hasbro is seeing massive demand for board games, the shutdown of filming of movies and TV tied to its intellectual property have hurt revenues badly. [Link; auto-playing video]

Harley-Davidson officially spins off new electric bicycle company with stunning first model by Micah Toll (Electrek)

While Harley is known for its internal combustion engines, a new unit spun out of its skunkworks is dedicated to building electric bikes and the initial teaser is mouth-watering. [Link]

Big Names

David Einhorn Says Tech Stocks Are in an ‘Enormous’ Bubble by Hema Parmar and Joshua Fineman (Yahoo!/Bloomberg)

Greenlight Capital’s principal thinks mania in IPOs, concentration in a small number of stocks, and aggressive valuations are all factors cited in the claim. [Link]

Investor Bill Gross accused of blaring ‘Gilligan’s Island’ song on loop to torment neighbor by Laurence Darmiento (LAT)

Billionaire and former PIMCO head Bill Gross allegedly blared the theme song to Gilligan’s Island on a loop as a way to annoy his neighbor amidst a dispute over a statue. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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