May 29, 2014
1. This Doesn’t Reflect My Views
It’s been a long week for Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. A collection of his “cringeworthy” college emails to fellow frat members were leaked and Spiegel quickly responded with a statement: “I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public. I have no excuse. I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.” There are a few reasons why these leaked emails are big news. Spiegel’s college days were recent. His company is massive (people send more than 700 million snaps a day). And it confirms the belief among some that Spiegel “is kind of an ass.” But there is a broader cultural trend to consider here. Increasingly, much of what we say or write — including the stuff that would mortify and embarrass us — is being recorded. Are we all ready to be judged by our “private” conversations? (Just in case, I’d like to preemptively state that certain comments I made following a keg stand in 1989 detoured significantly from my actual views.)
2. Riling for Dollars
Could there be a connection between privately-exchanged offensive comments and big pay days? Snapchat recently turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook and Donald Sterling is about to gain an enormous profit from the sale of the Clippers. From Bloomberg: Clippers sale deserves Harvard study on idiocy profits.
3. Coal Position
On Monday, President Obama will use his authority under the Clean Air Act to introduce new rules requiring power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions. It could be the most significant effort to confront climate change in the country’s history.
+ Here’s a bit more detail on the plan from Vox.
+ Oh wait, did I say climate change? I meant global warming. When it comes to public opinion, it makes a big difference.
4. Come Heavy or Not At All
It turns out it’s not such a small world after all. According to a large study, a third of the world’s population is either overweight or obese. “Worldwide, prevalence of overweight and obesity combined rose by 27% for adults and 47% for children between 1980 and 2013. The number of overweight and obese individuals increased from 857 million in 1980, to 2.1 billion in 2013.”
+ The Mediterranean diet isn’t all that popular in the Mediterranean. Greece and Italy have the world’s most overweight kids.
+ The Economist’s Daily Chart: Peak Fat.
5. The Music Man
“My life changed because Bruce Springsteen got on a mic in front of me. That continued in my life over and over again, so I get the joke now. Artists have to be represented properly, and paid properly.” Meet Jimmy Iovine, the first Silicon Valley mogul to get his start fetching tea for John Lennon (and probably the only dude on the planet who can pull off wearing blue suede high tops).
+ The epic visual history of Beats by Dre.
6. On a Ping and a Prayer
A month ago, pings heard somewhere beneath 329 square miles of the surface of the Indian Ocean gave searchers hope that the remains of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 would be found. Today, Australia called off the search in that area.
7. For Example…
On Wednesday, NPR’s David Schaper was conducting an interview related to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new gun control plan when a gunman opened fire nearby. The plan calls for “video recordings of every gun purchase and a limit of one gun per customer per month.” (But don’t worry, there’s always your birthday…)
+ Deputies seized 7 guns and 1,000 rounds of ammo from (another) UC Santa Barbara student’s home after one of the guns was accidentally discharged.
8. A Fair Share?
“But sharing businesses aren’t just creating new income streams from nothing. In ‘disrupting’ even troubled markets — the taxi industry has had this coming for a long time — the glory of the peer economy comes at the expense of other workers’ livelihoods.” Susie Cagle makes the case against sharing and tries to give some context to what we mean when we say share. (My kids now accept credit cards or PayPal when sharing their toys.)
9. Reinventing the Waffle
“As soon as the team started to see it, there was this instant excitement, this buzz that this is a cool idea, this is a big idea.” That’s Heather Mottershaw reflecting on the invention of the Waffle Taco. Venessa Wong takes you inside Taco Bell’s secret recipe for new products.
+ You’re eating a lot of nanoparticles.
+ “Artisanal gefilte fish. Slow-fermented bagels. Organic chopped liver. Sustainable schmaltz.” Oy Vey…