July 18, 2014
President Obama called the downing of the Malaysia airlines plane an “outrage of unspeakable proportions.” Early indications suggest the plane was shot down by a missile fired from the area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Meanwhile, the UN security council called for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation.”
+ Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations: “It is impossible to rule out Russian technical assistance” in the operation of the surface to air missile system.
+ “We have just shot down a plane.” Is this alleged intercepted audio a smoking gun?
+ Putin has now called for a ceasefire. (He’s a little late with that request.)
+ “Vladimir Putin, acting out of resentment and fury toward the West and the leaders in Kiev, has fanned a kind of prolonged political frenzy, both in Russia and among his confederates in Ukraine, that serves his immediate political needs but that he can no longer easily calibrate and control.” David Remnick nails it in a must-read New Yorker piece: After the Crash.
2. The Bitter Trail
There is the geopolitical story which is just beginning to unfold. Then there is the immediate shock of the human tragedy summed up just after the plane’s downing by the NYT’s Sabrina Tavernise: “Headphones and computers were scattered throughout a field of sunflowers. In another field, a Dutch passport lay open. Bodies fell from the sky, looking like rags or clumps of ash.”
+ Joep Lange and many other AIDS researchers were on the plane, enroute to a research conference in Melbourne. BBC on some of the passengers.
+ A family that lost two members on the still-missing Malaysian Airlines flight lost two more on Flight MH17.
3. Weekend Reads
“I was 29 years old and living the dream, or at least my version of it, when everything changed. I was in love with an amazing woman and had a rent-controlled sublet in New York City’s West Village and a good job at a glossy magazine. By any estimation as I now recall my life before it was tossed upside down, my girlfriend and I had no discernible problems.” In Matter, Larry Smith’s My Life with Piper: From Big House to Small Screen.
+ Pitchman: How Tom Emanski changed the sport of baseball — and then disappeared.
+ How long do you have to react when a line drive is hit into the stands? Sometimes, not long enough. From Atlanta Magazine: Foul Territory.
+ Speaking of baseball, if you enjoy the sport, you’ve got to watch the new Netflix documentary: The Battered Bastards of Baseball.
+ As NFL players and staff get ready to report to training camp, check out the story of the building of the new 49ers stadium. It began with a really bad stink.
4. No (Ha)mas
As his military targets tunnels used by Hamas militants, Israel’s prime minister warns that the scope of the ground war could widen.
+ Bill Clinton: “Hamas was perfectly well aware of what would happen if they started raining rockets in Israel. They fired a thousand of them. And they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.” Jeffrey Goldberg: Understanding what Hamas wants.
5. Calling All Cars
Law enforcement officials and fellow drivers rightfully cheered when California banned the use of handheld phones by motorists. The law has been in place for six years. So why hasn’t it reduced motor accidents?
6. Pill Drop Shipping
When your fix absolutely, positively has to be there overnight… “US prosecutors have unveiled allegations that FedEx, despite warnings from the government, acted as the distribution network for illegal online pharmacies that sold restricted drugs, from pain-killers to anti-anxiety medicines, to be used recreationally.”
7. Quinoat’s Up With That?
Here’s the thing about fruits and vegetables. They’re (sort of) designed to kill. And that’s the element that’s missing from many supplements. “Fruits and vegetables are indeed healthful but not necessarily because they shield you from oxidative stress. In fact, they may improve health for quite the opposite reason: They stress you.” They definitely seem to stress my kids. From Nautilus: Fruits and vegetables are trying to kill you.
+ Quinoa has risen to the top shelf in your supermarket thanks to the gluten-free movement. But there are more supergrains on their way to a shelf near you. (You can’t say you weren’t warned.)
+ Join Chris Ziegler as he spends a month living on Soylent. (Unfortunately, I’m lab-made liquid nourishment intolerant.)
+ What are we chewing now that we are chewing so much less gum?
8. It’s How You Live
The Espy’s are usually a pretty playful awards show. But this year, ESPN’s Stuart Scott gave a moving and poignant speech about his life with cancer. “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.”
9. Yo Money
Remember Yo, that sort of goofy notification app that swept the Internet a few memes ago? Well, they just raised $1.5 million to expand the product. Maybe to $Yo.
10. The Bottom of the News
Build a rocket. Shoot some arrows. Swim, ride, throw, camp, and more. It’s the season for Summer Camp for Adults. (When your kids are away at summer camp, and you’re at home, that’s summer camp for adults.)
+ The average shoe size is up about two sizes since the 70s. I wondered why my bell bottoms looked like skinny jeans.
+ It’s been a long news week. Let’s unwind with a kids swearing in movies mashup.