#5SmartReads - September 20, 2022
Hitha on Puerto Rico, heat recycling, and why I love Canva so much
Most of Puerto Rico is without power. The island has been flooded with 30 inches of rain in the past two days.
Puerto Rico never got the resources it needed to recover from Maria’s devastation five years ago. The additional damage from Fiona is just heartbreaking to imagine.
I’m comforted to know that a state of emergency was declared promptly and hundreds of FEMA responders are working on supporting Puerto Rico. I also know that Puerto Rico deserves the same level of response as any state in the continental United States to rebuild and be reinvested into.
Rather than encourage you to donate to charities focused on relief efforts, I’m taking a page of Emily’s book and encourage you to actively post and talk about what is happening in Puerto Rico the way we all have posted or reshared the Don’t Worry Darling takes or Queen Elizabeth’s passing.
Canva is, without a doubt, my FAVORITE app (please partner with me, ILYSM).
I use it to make my vision boards, social media graphics, planning sheets, merch…just all the things. I’ll definitely be using them to create my personal website that I’ve been talking about for (well, ever), and when app features are available for purchase, I hope I can finally launch the packing list app I’ve been thinking and talking about for over 10 years.
It’s also one of the few companies co-founded and run by a woman leader - Melanie Perkins.
It’s like they’re reading my mind as they plan their product roadmap.
Valuation cuts or down rounds are rarely publicized. Canva’s valuation hit (from $40B last year to $26B earlier this year) was due to their lead investor, Blackbird, valuing all their later-stage companies with a different methodology - not based on the last funding round, but by an external valuer taking a market-based approach.
I think Blackbird’s approach is really smart for helping their portfolio companies be acquired or go public successfully, and Canva will continue to drive value - both for its users and its shareholders - as they launch more products and features.
And to think this all started as a yearbook publisher.
If there’s one article you read today, this is the one to read in full.
For one, it will introduce you to a number of brilliant scientists, and Igor Koralnik in particular, who are focused on the puzzling (and very urgent) issue that is long COVID.
“Acute COVID-19 is a respiratory disease,” Koralnik says. “But long COVID is mostly about the brain.”
Koralnik is that rare research scientist who connected the dots between neurological conditions and infectious diseases (he’s the founder and former director o the HIV/Neurology Center and was a leading researcher of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy), and he’s bringing his experience to study long COVID AND assemble a global team to study how this virus impacts the brain, over the long haul.
Despite what President Biden said, this pandemic is not over. And while vaccination and getting boosted reduces your likelihood of developing long COVID, 1-in-6 people who are up to date with their vaccinations will develop long COVID if they are infected.
So please, take care of yourself.
Happy September! And Now, Boundaries (The Riveter)
My love languages are Taco Bell, romance novels, new needlepoint kits, and boundaries.
Oh, and the Philadelphia Eagles (#FlyEaglesFly).
But back to boundaries. I don’t think I’m alone in having my boundaries quickly eroded with the start of this month. Rachel’s article couldn’t have popped into my inbox at a better time to help me re-establish and reinforce my boundaries that welcome events and meetings again, but also give me the space and time I need to just be and to rest.
This is what is helping me to re-establish my own boundaries:
re-establishing my morning routine
using the Forest app to block me out of my phone during said morning routine and during focused work time
Got any advice on maintaining boundaries or tips to help you stay well? We’d love to read them!
It’s me, your energy nerd friend, here again with a random energy recycling story.
This one is particularly special for me, given that I started my career at Cisco and spent a lot of time in data centers.
The servers and other hardware that make it possible for you to read this emit a ton of heat, and use a significant amount of energy.
So what’s usually done with the heat?
It’s typically piped out into the outside air. But there have been successful efforts in recycling this heat, by piping it into underground systems to heat water - which then heats homes and other buildings before the water heads back to the data center to be reheated.
While it’s expensive and takes a long time to retrofit existing data centers and city sewer systems to do this, it’s not any more expensive for new constructions (or major infrastructure upgrades that the infrastructure bill is funding).