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.)
+ Does your car really need a tune-up?