TIME NextDraft

This Word Can Get You Sued and Other Fascinating News on the Web

October 6, 2014


1. The Culture War

At the risk of infringing on anyone’s trademark, let me ask you a question: How? Before you answer, you should know that this single word can suck you into a legally-charged vortex where you’ll find a story that encompasses the three building blocks of modern society: Frivolous lawsuits, the cult-like adoration of overrated business management philosophies, and Greek yogurt. On one side of this era-defining lawsuit, you’ve got management guru Dov Seidman, author of How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything. On the other side you’ve got Chobani, the makers of the wildly popular Greek yogurt and proud owners of a new tagline: How Matters. As the NYT’s Jonathan Mahler explains, “there have been trademark lawsuits over plenty of common words — ‘pure’ or ‘bliss,’ for instance — but perhaps never one as generic as how.” HTF is the new WTF.

2. The Affirming Denial

The Supreme Court denied all pending gay marriage appeals without comment. So gay marriage is now legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin. From WaPo: The decision’s “practical effect will be to legalize same-sex marriages in most states. And it is likely to send a signal that gay marriage will soon be legal nationwide.”

+ Vox shares the updated status of same-sex marriage in the U.S.

3. Beyond Imagination

“Previous Ebola outbreaks had been quickly throttled, but that experience proved misleading and officials did not grasp the potential scale of the disaster. Their imaginations were unequal to the virulence of the pathogen.” How the world’s health organizations failed to stop the Ebola disaster.

+ As America focuses on Thomas Eric Duncan’s diagnosis in Dallas, Liberians are focused on the nine people who are dead or dying after having contact with the pregnant woman who gave him Ebola. And a nurse in Spain has become the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa.

+ “There’s a reason Ebola has crippled West Africa, where large swaths of a distrustful population deny its existence and local governments don’t have the tools to defeat it. And there’s a reason Nigeria, a country with a more muscular government, has been able to limit its outbreak. Conditions determine a disease’s survival rate — not lethality. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the origins of the HIV pandemic.”

4. Finding Your Inner GPS

The Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to three scientists who discovered “the brain’s navigation system — the inner GPS that helps us find our way in the world.” The winners include US-British scientist John O’Keefe and Norwegian husband-and-wife research team Edvard Moser and Mary-Britt Moser. (This marks the first time a married couple agreed on anything related to directions.)

+ It turns out that just about anything smells like victory. According to a recent study, a poor sense of smell might mean death is near.

+ That smell study might make you even more anxious next time you get a stuffy nose. But try not to stress, because chilling out might free your immune system to fight off this seasons colds and flus.

5. Starkness Visible

She “revealed that she’d had a nose job, that she didn’t like her body, that she wished she were white, that she was only with her boyfriend until someone better came along, that she was ashamed of her parents’ manners, that she didn’t work at a call center, that she danced at a nightclub.” And then she got really personal. From Daniel Alarcón in the brand new California Magazine: Ruth Thalía, a teenager from the outskirts of Lima, Peru, became an overnight sensation on a hit television game show. Then, she disappeared.

6. Ex-Post Hoodie

“It’s not hard to imagine a future in which boy genius nerds in hoodies are an outdated hallmark of an earlier era in tech history. But it’s going to take meaningful, purposeful changes to get there … First, it would help to know exactly where ‘here’ is, so let’s take stock of the numbers. Because the numbers are pretty bad.” Matter’s Ann Friedman: Etsy’s trying to fix tech’s women problem. Why aren’t you?

+ NPR: The forgotten female programmers who created modern tech.

7. Through the Looking Saas

“Drones are a different kind of new technology from what we’re used to. The communications breakthroughs of the past two decades have multiplied the connections within society, but drones offer something else: the conquest of physical space, the extension of society’s compass, the ability to be anywhere and see anything.” From NY Mag: The Flying, spying, killing machines that are turning humans into superheroes. (I think I preferred Underdog.)

+ By air and by land, your neighbors in California can now use an app to report your water wasting.

+ Buzzfeed reported on a company that installed hundreds of tracking beacons into NYC phone booths. And hours later, the city told the company to remove them. (Even stationary, old phone booths are following you around…)

8. The Sty of the Beholder

“No one in the pork business even dared mention bacon’s name. It was porcine non grata.” From slow sales, to the other white meat, to the top of the food chain, Businessweek’s David Sax tracks the rise of pork: The bacon boom was not an accident.

+ I know what you’re thinking. What does a Jewish vegetarian know about bacon? It’s a long story, but trust me, the oven is absolutely the only place to cook bacon. My friend Dan Benjamin provides the directions.

+ Ever wonder if the stuff sold at the farmers market is the same stuff that’s for sale at the store?

+ Maybe MSG isn’t actually bad for you after all.

9. It’s About Content

Most of us worried the never-ending stream of distracting tidbits would spell doom for longform content. As we’ve seen, long pieces are as good as ever, and thanks to tools like Longreads, they are even easier to find. Now Longreads and its new parent company WordPress dot com (my most excellent sponsor) are teaming up to create a fund that will support independent writers and publishers. This is awesome. Glad to be associated with these folks.

10. The Bottom of the News

“There is, I think, a broader moral here. In every area of life, we underrate the merits of desperation, and persistently overrate the advantages of free choice. We insist that we ought to all be equal, free to make the choices we want and find the partners we need.
In fact, people who have this kind of freedom rarely use it well.” Adam Gopnik explains why short men make better husbands.

+ NYT: The Brown sisters have taken forty portraits in forty years.

+ The Coast Guard had to rescue a man who was running across the ocean in a bubble. (Related: Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of Whatsapp is now official.)

+ HP is splitting into two companies. One called HP, Inc and one called Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Seriously. Both companies will retain the initials HP. And some consulting company probably got millions for that decision.

+ A new statue has immortalized Edgar Allan Poe in Boston. The only problem is that Poe hated Boston. So the according to the artist, “he faces away from the Frog Pond to represent his disdain for Bostonians.” (Maybe they should have just put the statue in Yankee Stadium.)


TIME NextDraft

This Is How Much Money Hollywood Stars Make and Other Fascinating News on the Web

October 3, 2014


1. I Know What You Made Last Summer

They say there’s no business like show business. But it turns out that when it comes to money in Hollywood, art really does imitate life. A very few folks at the top make a ton of dough while the rest of the industry suffers the reality of reality show salaries. From Robert Downey’s Jr’s Iron Man gold to the hourly pay of an agent’s assistant to the day rate of the average on-screen cat, The Hollywood Reporter reveals what you can expect to earn if you try to make it in a biz where Crystal the monkey makes twice as much as the average actor (and probably has a better parking spot in the studio lot).

+ Should Jennifer Lawrence have an IPO for herself?

+ The split between the haves and have-nots is one the the world’s recurring storylines. And like most sequels, each version seems to get bigger — and worse — than the one before. The Economist sums up the trend: “Vast wealth is being created without many workers; and for all but an elite few, work no longer guarantees a rising income.”

+ In 1992, the Walton family’s net worth was equivalent to the net worth of every person Atlanta. Want to apply a similar filter to their current net worth? You’re gonna need a bigger city.

2. Blame the Messenger?

“The failure of police to stop or punish the violence is certainly feeding into perceptions that what happened is some sort of collusion.” In Hong Kong, protestors have been attacked by opponents of the movement. Are these isolated incidents or the beginning of a broader effort to clear the streets?

3. Weekend Reads

“Then I remember light. Thousands of lights. Waves of tiny diamonds. The whole stadium flashing and Jason, who would die five months later on the side of a south Georgia highway, leaning into my ear and whispering, Maddux.” In SB Nation, Jeremy Collins shares a story of friendship and baseball: Thirteen Ways Of Looking At
Greg Maddux

+ “San Francisco’s most gripping story isn’t on the baseball field. It’s up in the broadcast booth, where one of the team’s most popular and enduring figures is fighting an epic battle … with a little help.” ESPN’s Steve Fainaru with what will remain the biggest story for San Francisco Giants’ fans regardless of how the team does in the playoffs. Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper, a muscle disorder, and a giant friendship.

+ “I knew I needed to do something bold or I would be making photocopies and answering the phones for the rest of my career. This was the year that was finally gonna bring on the magic. What happened next was about to change music history.” Robin Sloan Bechtel shares the story of the first website for a band and answers the question, What The Hell Was Megadeth, Arizona?

+ “Like a visiting emperor, I have the power to confirm or destroy dreams with a thumbs up or down. I don’t deserve this elevation.” Claire Gordon-Webster shares the Secret Life Of A Guinness World Records Judge.

4. The Software Forcefield

“Protocols were followed by both the physician and the nurses. However, we have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records interacted in this specific case.” Was America’s Ebola patient sent home because of bad software?

+ This software glitch is yet another reminder of the massive contrast between our local Ebola story and the one that is ripping huge communities to shreds. Consider the fact that about 4.4 billion people around the world still don’t have Internet access.

+ An NBC News cameraman is being flown home after testing positive for Ebola.

5. Bombastic

The airstrikes on ISIS have dramatically hampered their social media propaganda efforts. (Is that what it takes to quiet social media?)

+ “Married women who converted were told by ISIL that their previous marriages were not recognised in Islamic law and that they, as well as unmarried women who converted, would be given to ISIL fighters as wives.” From Foreign Policy (No registration required for ND readers), an inside look at the brutal ways of ISIS: Women and Children for Sale.

+ “When Kenneth Jarecke photographed an Iraqi man burned alive, he thought it would change the way Americans saw the Gulf War.” From The Atlantic, the story of the war photo no one would publish. (Not publishing is its own form of propaganda.)

6. Is That Everyone?

“Unlike recent attacks on retailers, we have seen no unusual fraud activity related to this incident. Your money at JPMorgan Chase is safe.” Your data, however, isn’t. FastCo on why the JP Morgan Chase hack is so scary. Spoiler Alert: Because it affected 76 million households and they are a friggin’ bank! (If you live in one of the four households not affected by recent breaches, please submit your data now.)

7. Will The Designer Come Home to Roost?

The rooster on the Sriracha bottle has made its way to iPhone cases, t-shirts, and water bottles. But no one (not even the founder of the company) knows the name of the street artist who created the now famous logo.

+ The secret history of the Michelin Man.

8. iOS State

The path to Cupertino is the modern era’s equivalent to the path to enlightenment. So what college should you attend if you want to score a job at Apple? Hint: You might be better off at San Jose State than you would be at Harvard.

9. The Tortoise and the Hairless

I live in Northern California where you’re required throw on spandex shorts and a racer’s jersey by the time you advance beyond training wheels. But even out here, the leg-shaving ritual is usually reserved for serious cyclists. Many of them can’t explain why they do it, but it turns out it really can shave a few seconds off your time. (I think I’ll stick with my Breaking Away Cutter’s T-shirt.)

10. The Bottom of the News

“Like God, Oprah is everywhere: in the glasses of Chardonnay I drank, in the Soul Library book set and hoodie I bought, in the face of every arena attendant who stood around with a smile and gave me unsolicited hugs.” From NY Mag: I survived a weekend with the Cult of Oprah.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: “The sound made by the Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883 was so loud it ruptured eardrums of people 40 miles away, travelled around the world four times, and was clearly heard 3,000 miles away.” (My son made the same sound when I tried to take away the iPad this morning.)

+ BBC: What’s it like being a cat? (If you care enough to click through, then you have no idea.)

+ Cannonball, humpback whale style.


TIME NextDraft

Debating the Use of Real Names Online and Other Fascinating News on the Web

October 2, 2014


1. My Name Is…

In a moment of distinguished poignancy, the esteemed philosopher Eminem once said: “I am whatever you say I am, if I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?” It turns out that what seemed like a rhetorical question has become more difficult to answer in the age of social networks. After much protesting by a group of drag queens, Facebook has issued a public apology and promised to tweak its policy of requiring that all profiles include user’s “real names.” As The Atlantic’s Jessa Lingel and Tarleton Gillespie explain, what seems like a narrow issue has broader implications: “If we’re willing to look past the glitter, the makeup, and the fabulous hair, the issue beneath is an important one … Must we be ‘ourselves’ online? Can we allow people to be playful or protective about their online personas, while still avoiding the abuses that seem to accompany pseudonymity? And most importantly, who decides?” And won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up?

+ The New Yorker: Who’s real enough for Facebook?

2. Spread Dread

“As a precaution, the four people who live in the home where [Thomas E]. Duncan was staying have been ordered to stay in their apartment and a law enforcement official has been posted outside.” Officials in Texas are working to monitor around 100 people who may have had some kind of contact with the Ebola patient or his family members.

+ Here’s Thomas Frieden, the direct of the CDC: “I have no doubt that we will control this importation, or case, of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country.” And here’s NPR: Why is Frieden so sure this virus won’t spread beyond a handful of cases?

+ One of the key challenges facing officials was finding medical workers who were willing to clean the apartment where Thomas E. Duncan was staying.

+ “You see people dying like chickens.” While there is understandable concern around America’s first case of Ebola, it’s worth connecting this relatively minor story to the terrifying, isolating reality of life on the front lines of the Ebola crisis.

3. Secret Agent, Man

“The 6,700-member agency, long an elite class of skilled professionals who prized their jobs, now suffers from diminished luster and historically high turnover rates … Some agents who have sworn to take a bullet for the president and his family have little faith in the wisdom or direction of their ­senior-most leaders.” The turmoil surrounding the Secret Service has led to the resignation of its director, Julia Pierson, who has only held the top spot for eighteen months.

+ “I don’t lose sleep about it. Because the realities are, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station.” Jelani Cobb: Barack Obama’s Safety.

4. Hard News

In these days of Internet hoaxes and Twitter journalism, we sometimes forget about the excellent journalists who do the hard work of digging deep into hard news. These stories often have a huge impact. Meet Carol Leonnig. You are definitely aware of her work. From Yahoo News: The reporter who brought down the Secret Service’s director.

+ Want to see how big an impact investigative journalism can have? Check out the work of my friends at the excellent Center for Investigative Reporting: 3 investigations, 3 new laws.

5. Be Courteous, Kind and Dangerous

As the protests continue to grow, Hong Kong’s chief executive has offered to have his second in command seek talks with demonstrators.

+ “Rather than presenting scenes of smashed shops or violent confrontations with the police … the photos from central Hong Kong show smiling students sitting around doing their homework, passing out donations of food, and meticulously picking up litter — even sorting out the recyclables.” From Slate: The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

6. Jihadiville

“They have earned their reputations over the past four years by being the first to report key developments later confirmed by mainstream research and reporting — such as the split between the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, the burst of jihadi recruitment in the West, and the entry of Hezbollah into the Syrian battle.” They are not part of any intelligence department. They don’t work for the government. They are self-made experts with an internet connection. From The Boston Globe’s Thanassis Cambanis: The Jihadi Hunters.

7. Enter the Sandman

Netflix has signed Adam Sandler to an exclusive four-movie deal. Don’t laugh. Sandler’s movies have grossed a cool $3.9 billion worldwide. In a prepared statement, Sandler explained: “When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only … Netflix rhymes with wet chicks. Let the streaming begin!” ($3.9 billion…)

+ I find it hard to cheer about content exclusives. I want to watch what I want to watch where I want to watch it. But this deal is probably a good one for both Netflix and Sandler, who as Chris Plante explains, just became Billy Madison: rich, entitled, and rewarded for putting in the least effort imaginable. (And they said the American dream was dead.)

8. Going With the Norm

“He was to shed the gentle Irish intellectual Carroll O’Connor to become the poorly educated, full-of-himself blowhard Archie Bunker, spewing a kind of rancid, lights-out conservatism for a television audience that grew quickly to more than 50 million people.” The Hollywood Reporter has some excerpts from Normal Lear’s new memoir. When it comes to exploring issues of race on television, Norman Lear was ahead of his time. And ahead of our time.

+ Why Tom and Jerry cartoons carry a racism warning.

9. The Offspring of My Discontent

“Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring. Children always come first … Once our gods have left us, we try to pick up the pieces of our long neglected marriages and find new purpose. Is it surprising that divorce rates are rising fastest for new empty nesters?” Astro and Danielle Teller share their take on how American parenting is killing American marriage. (I can’t wait to see how their kids respond on Snapchat.)

10. The Bottom of the News

“I respect Starbucks for its business sense, customer service and amenities including clean bathrooms and WiFi. But unless I am checking a new store off my list, I would not go there for the coffee.” And this guy (who calls himself Winter) should know. He’s been to 11,733 Starbucks so far.

+ The honey lobby wants the feds to define honey. While we’re on the topic, why do honeybees die when they sting?

+ Mayor Bill de Blasio has never been to the High Line. New York Mayor Bill de Blassio.

+ Elon Musk sent Tesla’s stock soaring with a cryptic Tweet that read: “About time to unveil the D and something else.” The last time I said something like that I ended up spending the night in jail.


TIME NextDraft

Ebola in America and Other Fascinating News on the Web

October 1, 2014


1. It Is Here

Ebola is here. And if the immediate media coverage is any indication, you are supposed to follow a two step process. First, totally freak out because the virus has arrived in Texas. Second, stop making such a big deal about Ebola. With the current pace of Internet news, most of us barely had a chance to panic before being admonished to calm down. Here are the facts: A man began to develop symptoms last week but he was released by hospital officials who didn’t all seem to know he was visiting from Liberia (in a way, this blunder is the scariest part of the story). The man is back in the hospital, and those who had any contact with him — “including three members of the ambulance crew that transported him to the hospital and five schoolchildren” — will be closely monitored by the CDC for the next three weeks. Hopefully that makes you feel worse/better.

+ Take the Vox Quiz: Have you touched the vomit, blood, sweat saliva, urine, or feces of someone who has Ebola? If you answered no, you don’t have Ebola.

+ Once you’ve panicked and calmed down about one disease, it’s the perfect time for the media to tell you about the viral epidemic that should really terrify you.

+ Some positive news on the Ebola front: outbreaks in Nigeria, Senegal, appear to be contained.

2. The Silent Treatment

According to the NYT, Hong Kong’s leaders have decided not to negotiate with protestors (who, among other things, have called for Leung Chun-ying’s resignation). They’ve also decided not to use force to disperse the crowd. The plan: Wait them out.

+ Buzzfeed is providing live updates of the growing protest.

+ This seems like a good time to watch a new 2 minute film celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Berkeley’s free speech movement.

3. Forecast Calls For Worse

The New Yorker’s George Packer sums up the situation in Middle East in his piece, Two Speeches and a Tragedy: “A hands-off approach toward internal conflict in countries like Egypt, Syria, and Iran, did not create the space for a new partnership between the United States and the Muslim world, or allow for positive change within those societies. It’s hard to think of a worse year in modern history for the life conditions of Muslims internationally than 2014 (and there’s been plenty of competition).”

+ WaPo’s Adam Taylor introduces his collection of nine charts that try to explain the Middle East with a line that could open any article on the subject: The Middle East is complicated.

+ We know the Iraqi military needs some work on the ground. And apparently they need it in the air as well. “Iraqi military pilots mistakenly gave food, water and ammunition to enemy ISIS militants instead of their own soldiers.”

4. Paycation

As more companies analyze the data and see how damaging worker burnout can be to the bottom line, they are coming up with creative ways to attack the problem. For starters, how does unlimited paid vacation days sound? Not good enough? Maybe you’d prefer a precation: You get a two-week paid vacation before you even start a new job. (I’d take 13 days off and spend the last day finding a new job with the same perk.)

5. Elevator Glitch

The Secret Service is not having a good week. First we learned how easy it was for a man with a knife to run across the lawn and into the White House. And now it turns out that “a security contractor with a gun and three convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama.” (At least the guy didn’t enter the elevator before first allowing those inside to exit.)

+ “One intruder in a white karate outfit carried in a knife hidden in a Bible. A stranger slipped in to watch a movie with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. And a pilot crashed his Cessna into the mansion.” The NYT’s Peter Baker takes a look at the ever-expanding list of unwelcome visitors to the White House.

6. Paying a Debit To Society?

Think your bank fees are high? This excellent six-month investigation from the Center for Public Integrity uncovers how prison bankers cash in on captive customers. “JPay and other prison bankers collect tens of millions of dollars every year from inmates’ families in fees for basic financial services. To make payments, some forego medical care, skip utility bills and limit contact with their imprisoned relatives.”

+ And even after they’re released, the former prisoners still have to pay exorbitant fees to access their own money.

7. The Algorithm Method

“As we grow more reliant on applications and algorithms, we become less capable of acting without their aid.” So says Nicholas Carr in this excerpt from his new book, The Glass Cage. You can either click through to read this excerpt or have your drone pick up a copy.

8. Ample Sample

My dad used to disappear from his office for an hour or so at a time, and he never told anyone where he was going. It was a company and family mystery for years until he finally told us that he liked to go to Costco, order a hot dog, and just watch how the business worked. Apparently, he wasn’t dining alone. If it were considered a restaurant, “Costco would be number 11 on the list of the biggest pizzerias in the U.S., just ahead of Round Table.” And one of their best ways to get you to buy lunch and a whole lot more is through the psychology of samples. (Of course, my dad probably could have told you that.)

9. Splash Mob

“It’s been hard to find a comfy chunk of sea ice this summer. So walruses are opting for the next best thing: Alaska.” From Quartz: 35,000 walruses have mobbed the Alaskan coast — because there’s no sea ice left to rest on.

+ At least there are a lot of them. According to the London Zoological Society, “populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%. Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%.” Let’s assume those stats are way off. Still scary.

10. The Bottom of the News

“What a nervous day it must have been in the industry when Bounty or Brawny or whoever decided to place towel perforations more closely together … Machines were retooled, perforation distances reset, and smaller sized paper towels made their way onto the shelves of Stop & Shop and ShopRite and Walmart. Consumers, waking up from a wasteful slumber, realized how useful and smart and feel-goody smaller sized paper towels were.” I highly suggest you soak up the knowledge shared in Craig Mod’s piece: There is much to learn from the paper towel.

+ If you spend twenty-three grand on a plane ticket, this is what your flight will look like.

+ Now vending machines sell local, farm fresh foods. (We’re ruining the world.)


TIME NextDraft

More About The White House Intruder and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 30, 2014


1. Running Down a Dream

You see the men in dark suits and sunglasses listening to secret messages through their their earpieces, and you wonder at the near-magical tools being deployed to protect the Commander in Chief. It’s like a forcefield; a layer of security that is beyond your understanding, so advanced that no modern tactic could pierce through its multiple layers of techno-complexity. The most talented people in the most powerful nation are protecting the country’s most valuable person. But then some guy with a knife jumps a fence and runs across the lawn and makes it deep into the White House before being tackled, and your science fiction movie sense of security morphs into something that looks more like a scene from Home Alone. From WaPo: The White House fence-jumper made it far deeper into building than previously known.

+ Vox: How a man was able to run through the front door of the White House with a knife.

+ ABC: 6 Secret Service safeguards breached by White House intruder.

+ And the intruder “could have gotten even farther had it not been for an off-duty Secret Service agent who was coincidentally in the house and leaving for the night.” (Let’s make sure that guy gets paid time-and-a-half…)

2. Is That a Yes?

In reaction to the rise of sex crimes on college campuses, California Governor Jerry Brown signed country’s first affirmative consent law. According to the new law, “Consent can be conveyed by a verbal ‘yes,’ or signaled in a nonverbal way, but lack of resistance or objection cannot constitute consent.”

+ Slate: Consensual Sex? There’s an app for that.

3. The Polite Protest

Hong Kong leader CY Leung has indicated that China will not give in to the demands of protestors and demanded that the street rallies stop immediately. But with a holiday coming Wednesday, the protests could get bigger than ever.

+ Free fabric fresheners, signs apologizing for any inconvenience, and other things you’d only find at a Hong Kong protest.

+ NY Mag: After Hong Kong, Instagram isn’t just for brunch photos. (From Ferguson to Hong Kong, the Internet has turned photos into the international language.)

+ Buzzfeed: A 15-step guide to understanding why Hong Kong has erupted in protest

4. New Money

Ebay is spinning off PayPal and setting up an epic Internet payments battle. While the split had been pushed by Carl Icahn and other large investors, today’s move probably has as much to do with the announcement of Apple’s payment system and the rise of Stripe.

5. The Horatio Ratio

“From the beginning, selling the self-made dream to those who hoped to live it was a lucrative business itself. In a country where everyone thinks he’s bound to be a millionaire, you can make a fortune selling the secret to making that fortune.” Slate’s John Swansburg on the self-made man; the story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

6. Online Confrontations

“Amanda is now a fat, happy mom in the suburbs and I’m still terrified of her. I know this because, for this story, I started contacting her on Facebook Messenger. I soon developed a Pavlovian response to the Facebook pop. It made my hands shake and my heart race. Sometimes I buried my face in my palms for two breaths before I checked the message.” From The Atlantic: Confronting My Cyberbully, 13 Years Later.

7. Scene Stealers

Netflix and the Weinstein Company came up with a plan to simultaneously release the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on the big screen and small screen? But the people who own the big screens don’t think that’s such a great idea.

+ Why do so many people watch HGTV? (Oddly, that’s not a rhetorical question.)

+ It is “slow compared only with normal broadcast timetables. It runs not at the warp speed of narrative drama but at the rate of actual experience. It is not scripted or heavily edited; it is more concerned with movement than with tension, contrast, or character.” The iconic example of Slow TV is a seven-and-half hour recording of the exterior of a train as it travels along the countryside. From The New Yorker: Slow TV is Here.

+ If GoPro has its way, we’ll all be recording Slow TV (along with the action videos they’ve become known for). Someone definitely believes in GoPro’s promise. The company is currently worth nearly $12 billion. (That makes the Kodak Instamatic strapped to my head worth at least a couple million.)

8. Simple Twist of Phrase

“With five competing rivals, the pace of Dylan references accelerated.” NPR shares the odd story of a group of scientists who have been competing to sneak the most Bob Dylan references into their research papers.

9. The Mars Bar

“If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel.” From Aeon: Elon Musk argues that we must put a million people on Mars if we are to ensure that humanity has a future. There’s something about making huge money in technology that makes people want to live forever and move to Mars. Most of of us will be lucky if we make Moon money.

10. The Bottom of the News

Do you read the fine print when accepting online access agreements? Probably not. And neither did the Londoners who unwittingly agreed to hand over their first born child for Internet access. (Or maybe they read the agreement and thought it seemed like a reasonable deal.)

+ How Bill Murray went missing during Letterman’s first episode. (He had a good excuse.)

+ Finally, a wearable technology that shocks you when you’re bad. (Oh who are they kidding? Bill Murray invented that too.)

+ Does your car really need a tune-up?


TIME NextDraft

Why Rumors Get Shared More Than The Truth and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 29, 2014


1. Rumor Has It

It may not come as a great shock that the viral story about a woman who had a third breast surgically implanted turned out to be a hoax “after it was reported that a three-breast prosthesis had been previously found in the woman’s luggage.” But as is often the case, the correction to the story was shared a lot less than the original. The NYT’s Brendan Nyhan takes a look at why rumors outrace the truth online.

+ You undoubtedly heard that the iPhone 6 has a bending problem. But did you hear that Consumer Reports did a test and found that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not as bendy as believed. Next week’s headline: The iPhone is Inflexible.

2. Umbrella Stand

Hong Kong residents were promised direct elections by 2017. But Beijing has since ruled that ballot choices will be limited to a pre-approved slate of candidates. That’s the root of the protests in Hong Kong that started out peacefully, were met with police action, and have since attracted the attention of the world. From Vox: Hong Kong’s unprecedented protests and police crackdown, explained.

+ The protests have quickly come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution. Here’s the BBC on how the humble umbrella became a protest symbol.

+ Foreign Policy (No registration required for ND readers): “Future generations may well commemorate Sept. 28, 2014 in the history of Hong Kong as the day when the famously apolitical city turned unmistakably political.”

+ The Verge: What if everyone in Tiananmen Square had been carrying a smartphone. And Buzzfeed: The Hong Kong Occupy Central protest has triggered mainland China’s biggest ever crackdown on Weibo. (The Chinese are censored while we use devices they built to gain unfettered access.)

+ InFocus has an excellent collection of photos from the scene.

3. Stringer Bell and Omar Don’t Count?

“The only news most people ever hear about the inner city comes from grim headlines; the only residents they can name are characters on The Wire. Of course, ignorance of a community doesn’t stop outsiders from having opinions about it or passing laws that govern it.” The Atlantic’s James Forman Jr. explains how aggressive police surveillance transforms an urban neighborhood: The Society of Fugitives.

4. Troll Position

“It’s why trolling isn’t really trolling anymore. The motive isn’t sublimated. The rage is bare. Trolls don’t expose the vanities of the world these days; the world exposes the vanity of trolls.” From Emmett Rensin: The Confessions of a Former Internet Troll. (I’m nostalgic for the days when this was a troll.)

5. Poll, Pass and Kick

First there were the brain injury stories. Then there was the elevator video seen around the world. Then there was the mishandled response when the league’s best running back was arrested for child abuse. The seemingly endless series of bad publicity led many fans (especially women) to leave the NFL huddle. That much is clear in recent polls. It’s less clear in recent television ratings.

6. Caffeine Intelligence

Writing names, any names, on the cups makes the “caffeine-addicted” customers nervous. And the Barristas are given background checks before they can foam their first latte. Welcome to the CIA Starbucks: “There are no frequent-customer award cards, because officials fear the data stored on the cards could be mined by marketers and fall into the wrong hands, outing secret agents.” How little they share provides a cautionary reminder of how much data we share each time we participate in almost any transaction, even if we stick to decaf. It’s also a reminder that it’s National Coffee Day.

7. Nabster

“‘I heard a bang-bang-bang. I’m thinking it’s, like, Amazon.’ It wasn’t a delivery. It was a team of federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security, wearing bulletproof jackets and carrying guns.” The NYT’s Jenna Wortham with an excellent story about the deposed Queen of NinjaVideo, The Unrepentant Bootlegger. Even after the Queen and others have done serious time in jail, “online piracy is thriving. File-sharing, most of it illegal, still amounts to nearly a quarter of all consumer Internet traffic.”

8. Leadership Style

In gorilla society, it’s easy to pick out the leaders because of key characteristics such as hair color, size, posture, fitness, and the sounds they make. It turns out, the same is pretty much true in human society where, as The Economist reports: “The typical chief executive is more than six feet tall, has a deep voice, a good posture, a touch of grey in his thick, lustrous hair and, for his age, a fit body.” (In my industry, the leader is typically a jittery guy in a t-shirt sitting on a beanbag chair.)

+ Want to dress for success? Then lose the orange sweater and follow these rules.

9. The Finisher

“When Dennis Holland died of cancer this spring, he left behind a lifetime of unfinished projects, perhaps more than one man could hope to complete. The dream of finishing them kept him young.” And now his son is taking over and working to complete all the unfinished efforts.

10. The Bottom of the News

It’s the end of an era. While it’s already been essentially dead for years, Yahoo will make it official as they shut down the onetime hub of everything Internet. Say goodbye to the Yahoo Directory.

+ There is a compound in hops that could make you smarter. So have a beer. And then have 5,635 more each day and we’ll see if it works.

+ From the always-entertaining Dave Pell: Band Names for Aging Rockers.

+ Cats don’t need to do anything to get covered on the Internet. Dogs, on the other hand, have to surf.

+ Take a closer look at these 50 clever logos.


TIME NextDraft

The Bad Part of Sports and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 26, 2014


1. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Bad Part of Sports: There is an unwritten rule when it comes to sports journalism. Reporters are given a lot of access to games and players. And in exchange, they pretend (as we all do) that sports scores and stories are actually news and not just another form of entertainment. But the cozy deal can break down when a single brand both broadcasts and covers sports. Earlier this week, ESPN’s Bill Simmons was suspended for three weeks (yes, longer than Ray Rice’s initial suspension) after he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar and taunted his bosses. Here’s Amy Davidson in the New Yorker: “In every field of journalism, there are questions of access and the threat that, even if one is in the right, sources will dry up, interviews will be cancelled …The only way for that not to destroy journalism as an enterprise is for reporters to have, at those moments, true institutional support. ESPN has done the opposite, doing the work of the angry, powerful people whom it covers for them.”

+ Slate’s Josh Levin on Bill Simmons: “He can go wherever he wants, for any reason he wants, to watch whatever game he wants. But if he wants to be able to say whatever he wants, in whatever medium he wants, then he’s going to have to start his own company.”

+ The Ugly Part of Sports: Jon Stewart airs a “controversial segment” featuring a debate between Native Americans and Redskins fans who feel a strong connection to the team’s name.

+ The Good Part of Sports: Well, Derek Jeter “jetered” one last time. Yes, the retiring Yankee shortstop has achieved verb status as he closes out his career in the Bronx in a manner we’ve come to expect. Here’s the walk-off single that won his final home game.

+ Roger Angell: “Last night’s encounter was the first meaningless game he’d ever played in pinstripes — but then he gave it meaning.” Even Red Sox fans had to have a lump in their throats. (OK, maybe that was just a chunk of a pretzel.)

2. Bomb Them Back to Dark Ages?

“Beheadings, crucifixions, the gouging out of eyes, the use of rape as a weapon, the slaughter of children. All these things belong to the Dark Ages.” So said British Prime Minister David Cameron as the U.K. parliament voted to join the air war against ISIS. There are now more the 50 countries in the alliance.

+ An activist lawyer and human rights advocate was killed in Mosul for comments she made on her Facebook page.

+ The FBI says they know the identity of the masked militant in the beheading videos. But for now, they’re not saying who it is.

3. Weekend Reads

“This is part of my therapy. I’m pacing my life looking forward to these things, and I enjoy them. I enjoy bringing my friends … It’s not a cost-effective way of doing anything except making me happy for an afternoon.” Since being diagnosed with cancer, The Simpson’s co-creator Sam Simon has been racing to spend his fortune on causes he loves. From Vanity Fair: Always Leave Them Laughing.

+ “One day you walk 12 hours, and you don’t feel pain. There is no before or after. The intellect doesn’t drive you anymore. It doesn’t exist anymore. You become what nature needs you to be: this wild thing.” From the NYT Magazine: The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years.

+ Outside on the people who survive lightning strikes: “When lightning hits a human being, a survivor must reconcile not only what happened but why it happened. Why me? For most victims, it is not the unforgettable horror of an agonizing ordeal that haunts them—many can’t even recall the incident itself; it’s the mysterious physical and psychological symptoms that emerge, often long after their immediate wounds have healed and doctors have cleared them to return to their normal routines. But nothing is normal anymore.”

+ BBC: “He’s spent decades dodging the law. He’s escaped from jail twice by helicopter. He’s given millions to the poor. This is the story of how Greece’s most wanted man became a folk hero.”

4. A Ground Zero Sum Game

There has been a longstanding debate on whether or not respiratory illnesses can be linked to the toxic air around Ground Zero following the 9-11 attacks. According to fire officials in NYC: “Three firefighters who were on duty at Ground Zero during the 9/11 attacks died on the same day from cancer.”

5. Playing with the Percentages

“About half of his money is in private investments, like equity in his own firm. He keeps about 20 percent in cash, and a delicious 5 percent in real estate and ‘luxury assets,’ presumably tamed jaguars and yachts with helicopter landing pads. He owns four houses, each worth about $20 million.” NY Mag on how the 0.00003 percent lives.

6. Bendables are the New Wearables

Is the saga of the bending iPhone really a thing or has it been the unfortunate experience of about nine customers? And what is a phone doing in anyone’s back pocket? None of that matters. It’s a story about Apple, so it’s a big story. And it somehow got as all inside the Cupertino building where Apple tortures the iPhone 6. (I always imagined this chamber would be in Redmond…)

+ And meet the Bendgate Truthers.

7. Next Chapter in Internet History?

And then one day, people got so mad at the social network that they joined another social network. Early adopters are signing up for Ello, a new social network that promises to be “a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.” From Wired’s Jessi Hempel: Facebook killer Ello doesn’t care about money — so it won’t work. (That’s roughly what my parents think of me spending four hours a day on a newsletter.)

+ The Atlantic: “Ello says you’re not a product, but you are.” (I’ve taken out the garbage and driven my kids to enough soccer games to know I’m a service, not a product.)

8. Green Eggs and Ban

We’re coming to the close of Banned Books Week, and Mic has a list of 15 banned books you should read. And from Mental Floss: Ten twenty-first century bestsellers people tried to ban (and why).

9. Crossing the Spectrum

“In a series that has depicted teenage pregnancy, abortion, alcoholism, a breast cancer battle, and a young war veteran’s PTSD, one of the most emotional, and painful, scenes to watch on NBC’s critically acclaimed Parenthood came when Max Braverman went on his first unsupervised school field trip.” From Buzzfeed: How Parenthood broke down the autism awareness barrier.

10. The Bottom of the News

Could Coke reverse a decade of sagging sales just by slapping a few first names on the side of bottles? Well, Chris, Jess, and Alex, I’m glad you asked.

+ Forty facts about SNL ahead of their fortieth season.

+ The latest rumors have Rachel McAdams starring opposite Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn in season 2 of True Detective. (By now, you’ve probably figured out that the casting of season 2 of True Detective is season 2 of True Detective.)

+ Are you a heavy drinker? Check the chart.


TIME NextDraft

An App for Finding Your Voice and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 23, 2014


1. You Never Call

Generations of parents have complained that their kids never call. But this generation is the first one that’s right (and it’s not just because their kids moved back home and are living in the basement). The rise of texting and a slew of remarkably popular messaging apps have turned voice calls into a a mere afterthought on your smartphone. But tech guru Ray Ozzie hopes to give you your voice back with a new app that Steven Levy describes as “a weird, almost magical, combination of phone calling, text messaging, virtual conferencing and Instagram-ish photo sharing. Depending on how you view it, Talko is three or 39 years in the making.” Can the phone call be reinvented? (Please limit your answer to three emoji.)

2. Guess Who’s Back?

The U.S., with the support of several other countries, began airstrikes against ISIS in Syria last night. Here’s The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg with a few observations: “These strikes will not bring about the end of ISIS. Like other terror groups, it can ‘win’ this current round of fighting by surviving, and maximizing civilian casualties on its own side.”

+ Five Arab nations supported the initial U.S. airstrikes.

+ Vox: Obama told ISIS in advance that he was going to launch airstrikes in Syria. Was that a mistake?

+ Does if feel like we’ve been down this road (or at lease this air) before? Here are the seven countries the United States has bombed since 9/11.

3. Reaction Time

According to the CDC’s computer modeling, the best-cast scenario suggest the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone could be “almost ended” by next January. The worse-case scenario is that there will be 1.4 million cases by that time. It all depends on how the world and the region react to the crisis.

+ Slate: Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

4. Partyism

“In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said that they would feel ‘displeased’ if their son or daughter married outside their political party.” As you may have sensed, those numbers have increased dramatically. Bloomberg’s Cass R. Sunstein: Partyism Now Trumps Racism. (I’m not sure I’d even let my kid marry someone who uses the word Trump.)

5. Oh Captain My Captain

Each year the American Library Association puts together its list of banned books. And for the second straight year, Captain Underpants has topped the list. Toni Morrison’s amazing first novel, The Bluest Eye came in second. Sad this is still an issue.

+ The book banning crowd should at least attempt to get a little more creative. From Buzzfeed, here are 19 unintentionally disturbing moments from kids’ books.

6. The Place to Be

Rising seas. Never-ending droughts. Powerful storms. These are just some of the issues you need to consider when deciding where to settle down. The NYT provides a handy guide to where you should live in the age of climate change: Portland will still be cool, but Anchorage may be the place to be. Here in San Francisco, we’re just waiting for the bay to rise up to our necks. (Whatever it takes to make rents more affordable.)

7. Punt, Pass, and Kick Yourself

ESPN’s Gregg Easterbrook is an excellent football writer with an interesting take of the NFL’s troubles: “As the most important sport in the most important nation, the NFL holds up a mirror to American society. What we see in the reflection is not an athletic organization but ourselves.”

+ You don’t think spectator sports are a reflection of modern society? Consider this: “A record 41 million people now play fantasy sports in the United States and Canada.”

+ Pacific Standard: NFL players are more law abiding than average men.

+ Seriously, nothing is going right in football these days. Just take a look at this (remarkably enjoyable) video of the Wallkill Mighty Mites trying to run through a team banner.

8. Cachet of Sole

The soles are red. That is the one design element that changed everything and turned a shoe designer into an international success story. (And it just so happens that the idea for the red sole came from a NextDraft reader living in Paris.) From The New Yorker: Christian Louboutin and the psychology of shoes.

9. Orange Is the New Red

“Same old shit, different day.” So says Morgan Freeman as Red in The Shawshank Redemption. It turns out a different day (or in this case, nearly two decades of different days) can make all the difference. Shawshank wasn’t that big a movie when it first came out. But in the years since, it has become a perennial favorite. And why not? They somehow turned life in a maximum security prison into a feel-good classic. From Vanity Fair: The little-known story of how The Shawshank Redemption became one of the most beloved films of all time.

+ The story behind Bill Murray And Harold Ramis’ 21 year rift.

10. The Bottom of the News

The good news: Some emergency rooms are now taking appointments so you can spend part of your long wait time in the comfort of your own home. The bad news: It’s a friggin’ emergency.

+ GoPro is dominating the market it created. The company is currently worth more than $9 billion. Can Polaroid mount a challenge?

+ From Iggy and JLo to Kim and Nicki, the backside is frontpage news. The Atlantic’s Noah Berlasky goes deep on the subject: “Minaj’s celebration of her butt is also a celebration of, and lust for, other women’s butts.”

+ And just in time for Rosh Hashanah: 18 apple varieties with badass names.


TIME NextDraft

How Google Deletes Content and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 22, 2014


1. The Philosopher Kings

If you live in Europe, you have the right to be forgotten. Google has already deleted around sixty thousand pieces of content from its index, after receiving at least twice as many requests. Should you have the right to be deleted? And who should decide whether your request rises above some magical bar? Jules Polonetsky, the executive director of the Future of Privacy Forum, describes the issue: “If a particular Web site is doing something illegal, that should be stopped, and Google shouldn’t link to it. But for the Court to outsource to Google complicated case-specific decisions about whether to publish or suppress something is wrong. Requiring Google to be a court of philosopher kings shows a real lack of understanding about how this will play out in reality.” The Internet is reality. And its technological advances are dramatically outpacing our ability to create a new legal framework and an updated set of acceptable social norms. From Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker: The Solace of Oblivion.

2. Change in the Weather?

Ahead of the UN’s latest summit on climate change, hundreds of thousands of people marched in NYC and in other cities around the world. Here’s some drone footage of the scene.

+ Meanwhile, China, the U.S., and India have pushed world carbon output to record levels.

+ Some leaders hope to push this summit to a new level by focusing less on the weather and more on the bottom line. They might also want to focus on the cost of mortality from pollution as shown in this Economist chart.

+ The Rockefeller family’s foundation has pledged to sell off investments in fossil fuels and re-invest in clean energy. The family made its vast fortune from oil. In this case, even the tortoise moved faster than the heirs.

+ Devils and Dust: In Matter, Alan Heathcock takes you to the heart of the California drought: “It’s then I hear the dirt bike. A young and shirtless man coasts in from the west. His eyes turn to my silver Nissan with the out-of-state rental plates. He revs his engine, lurches into a wheelie then speeds in front of me, his middle finger thrust in my direction. Welcome to the Central Valley, ground zero of the water war. Outsiders take heed for this is a troubled land.”

3. Herniated Dis

When you get surgery for a herniated disk in your neck, the bulge is merely moved from your neck to someone else’s wallet. There’s no better way to understand health care’s absurd costs than with an example. From the NYT, the story of surprise $117K bill from a doctor the patient didn’t even remember meeting.

4. The Emma Dilemma

“I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.” Emma Watson stopped by the UN and gave an excellent speech on feminism.

+ To understand the intense pressure someone like Emma Watson faces for stating publicly what is clearly obvious and obviously right, you have to go to the nasty regions of the Internet where the most pathetic among us are waging a war on women. You can start with the vicious attacks on the excellent Anita Sarkeesian.

+ Emma Watson has already been targeted by a countdown clock threatening to make her the next celebrity to be victimized by hacked personal photos.

+ NY Mag: Meet the college women who are starting a revolution against campus sexual assault.

5. Open Door Policy?

The Secret Service is considering a larger buffer zone around the White House after an intruder “jumped over the White House fence just after 7:20 p.m. and was able to sprint unimpeded to the North Portico and enter the unlocked front door of the White House.” If the larger buffer zone doesn’t do the trick, they might want to consider locking the door.

6. Bigger is Bigger

I know what you did last weekend. Apple sold ten million new phones during their debut weekend.

+ Think the new phones are expensive here? They can go for insanely high prices in China (irony not incuded).

+ The Onion has a helpful breakdown of the iPhone 6 vs the Samsung Galaxy S5.

7. Are You Ready For Some TV?

Why are these NFL stories so big? In part, it’s because the NFL is so big. And in part its because, as Derek Thompson explains, “TV is a sports bundle held together by football.”

+ The Ray Rice incident opened the floodgates on a swath of issues facing the NFL, including the brain trauma associated with playing football. As The New Yorker’s Ben McGrath writes: “It has become one of those clarifying moments, after which it is no longer possible to immerse oneself in a fog of ambiguity.”

+ The UFC has cut ties with two popular fighters facing accusations of domestic violence. Good, now we can stop associating their brand with violence.

8. Hold the Haggis

Almost half of those in Scotland voted for independence, and a similar (non-binding) vote will be held in Catalonia in November. What about people in the United States? It turns out that about one in four Americans support the general idea of splitting from the union. Interestingly, the other three-quarters are cool with them splitting.

9. Eric the Actor

Howard Stern spent over an hour remembering a frequent caller known as Eric the Actor who died over the weekend. It’s sort of impossible to explain the loss of Eric the Actor to someone who doesn’t listen to the Howard Stern Show, and unnecessary to explain it to anyone who does.

10. The Bottom of the News

“This is a column about Katie Ledecky. It has a simple thesis. The thesis is that Katie Ledecky kicks ass.” Trust me, so does this column by Grantland’s Brian Phillips.

+ A TV news reporter covered the story of the Alaska Cannabis Club before announcing (with a few expletives) to the audience that she was the club’s owner and would be quitting. Dropping the pipe is the new dropping the mic.

+ At long last, science explains why I can’t remember anything. It’s because I’m a dude.


TIME NextDraft

The Alibaba IPO and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 19, 2014


1. The Alibaba IPO

One of the most feverishly anticipated tech stock IPOs lived up to its first day hype as Alibaba raised $21 billion and passed Facebook’s market capitalization on its first trade.

+ The NYT Dealbook takes you to Hangzhou: The city that minted thousands of Internet millionaires (and launched a whole lot of other Internet startups).

+ Yahoo owns a big chunk of Alibaba stock. How big? Big enough to be worth almost as much as Yahoo itself.

+ The WSJ has an excellent interactive piece that answers the question of the day: What is Alibaba? Imagine all the Internet’s most powerful business models rolled into one and aimed at the world’s most populated markets. (Just wait until the Alibaba Watch comes out.)

2. No

“They spiked the fountains with bubble bath in anticipation of a party in what was dubbed Scotland’s Yes city. But this morning only a hardy few supporters of Scottish independence remained in Dundee’s City Square.” By a significant margin, Scotland citizens voted against independence. From the BBC: The morning after the No before.

+ The referendum also served as a no vote for pollsters, and a yes vote for the bookies.

+ Here’s a look at some UK front pages.

+ Some interesting insights into why people voted the way they did, and a look at why Scotland’s vote won’t be the last battle of the generations.

3. Weekend Reads

If I looked really young, the last thing I’d want to do is sneak back into high school. But “Charity Johnson enrolled in 10th grade at New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, a few weeks before her 34th birthday … She wasn’t a con artist for money. She was a con artist for love.”

+ ““Follow me around. I don’t care. I’m serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They’d be very bored.” From Matt Bai in the NYT Magazine: How Gary Hart’s downfall forever changed American politics.

+ Boston Globe Magazine: The secret world of the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise kings.

+ Businessweek’s Tim Cook interview: “Anybody coming out of there yesterday knows that innovation is alive and well in Cupertino. If there were any doubts, I think that they should be put to bed.”

4. Fear Itself

“This virus preys on care and love, piggybacking on the deepest, most distinctively human virtues. Affected parties are almost all medical professionals and family members, snared by Ebola while in the business of caring for their fellow humans. More strikingly, 75 percent of Ebola victims are women, people who do much of the care work throughout Africa and the rest of the world. In short, Ebola parasitizes our humanity.” Slate’s Benjamin Hale on the most terrifying thing about Ebola.

+ The Wire: Eight health workers in Guinea killed by villagers fearful of Ebola.

+ The New Yorker’s Michael Specter: Ebola and the cost of fear.

5. Food and Water

“Many governments will face challenges to meet even the basic needs of their people as they confront demographic change, resource constraints, effects of climate change, and risks of global infectious disease outbreaks.” While we’re focused on combating terrorism, Foreign Policy reminds us that there are new — and potentially much bigger — challenges facing America and its allies: Water Wars.

+ “A team of recently hired mathematicians is building an online database that one day could catalog the behavior of practically every plant protein on earth … a collection of digital information that could allow [them] to model the creation of new foods using computer software.” From Wired: The Future of Food Is Data.

6. Rich Man, Richer Man

There is a wide and growing gap between the rich and the really rich. Here’s Vox with a report on the growing gap between the megamillionaire and the millionaire next door.

7. When the Lights Go Down

When I was growing up, football was my favorite sport to play and watch. But the sport has taken some serious hits over the last few years. I’m a former player who would never let his son play. And here’s Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger arguing that kids and parents should be repeatedly warned of the known risks of playing football: “Will they still be ready for some football after that? Only if they and those who love them have already lost their mind.”

+ And here’s Peter Berg, writer and director of the incredibly great TV series Friday Night Lights: Why my son is no longer allowed to play football.

+ “Over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong. And that starts with me … I got it wrong … and I’m sorry for that … but now I will get it right.” Roger Goodell vows to get the NFL’s house in order.

+ Most people probably assumed that the half-mile line in Baltimore was made up of people trying to get a new iPhone. But it was actually people waiting to trade in their Ray Rice jerseys.

+ OK, we need a positive NFL story. Ma’ake Kemoeatu retired from football to donate his kidney to his brother (and fellow player) Chris Kemoeatu,

8. With Friends Like These…

“Remember when you first came to my office — now look you’re ready for Hollywood!” Think of that quote as a warning before you enter the weird (and apparently, like so many weird things these days, completely normal) world of professors and students who friend each other on Facebook. (College students already vomit due to excessive drinking … did they really need another trigger?)

+ Why are men still paying for first dates?

9. I’m Too Old to Do Lines

And yes, today is new Apple iPhone day. And yes, that meant long, long lines. The first person to get one in Australia dropped it on the ground. And in today’s world, that means instant fame.

+ And no, you can’t charge your phone by putting it into the microwave.

10. The Bottom of the News

In the latest salvo in the new cold war, a Russian brewer has acquired Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pabst also owns Old Milwaukee, Schlitz and Colt 45. They might want to acquire Pepto Bismol next.

+ The Suitsy is a one piece suit.

+ It’s Talk Like a Pirrrrate Day. So it’s fair to ask why we think pirates talk like that.

+ And we’ve reached peak delivery service as Air Food One promises to deliver airline food right to your front door.


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