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

5 minute read

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.

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