Coal Porter

You want to do your part for the environment so you buy a brand new electric car. But are you really helping matters? The answer to that question depends in large part on where you are. WaPo's Michael Birnbaum on electric cars and the coal that runs them: "The global shift to electric cars has a clear climate benefit in regions that get most of their power from clean sources, such as California or Norway. But in areas supplied by dirtier power, like China, India and even the Netherlands, which is on track to miss ambitious emissions targets set for 2020, the electric-car jump has slimmer payoffs. In some cases, it could even worsen the overall climate impact of driving, experts say." (This is why I can't wait until my kids are old enough to push my car from place to place.)

+ NYT: "Why are only about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road? One answer lies in an unexpected and powerful camp of skeptics: car dealers."


Pre-Roll Call

A Chicago police officer has been indicted on murder charges for shooting a black teenager (who was armed with a knife) 16 times. "The indictment comes a day before dashcam footage of the shooting must be released." Jason Van Dyke is the first Chicago police officer to be charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty shooting. Once the video is released, this will become a massive national story.

+ The Atlantic: "Minneapolis police have arrested suspects in the shooting of five people at a Black Lives Matter protest Monday night."


Airspace Case

"A stab in the back." That's how Vladimir Putin described Turkey's downing of Russian jet. Warplanes shot the fighter down after warning that it had entered Turkish airspace. At least one pilot was killed and a Russian Marine died during a rescue attempt. This could further complicate a situation previously believed to have already reached peak complication.


Nice Shooting Tex

When faced with increased terrorist activity, how many rights are we willing to give up? It's a key question of our time, and it's currently playing out on the streets of Paris. From the NYT: "There have been 1,072 police searches already and 139 police interrogations, and 117 people have been placed in custody, the Ministry of the Interior said on Monday. Those included a weekend raid on a restaurant selling halal burgers and Tex-Mex food in the Paris suburbs, where officers found nothing suspicious after breaking down the doors."


It’s Not the Real Thing

"I want to help your company avoid the image of being a problem in peoples' lives and back to being a company that brings important and fun things to them." That was an email sent to Coke execs by the president of a non-profit founded to combat obesity. How does a group focused on providing health data to the press and public end up working as shill for a soda company? I'm guessing the $1.5 million donation Coke gave to the company had something to do with it.


Clock Boy Knows What Time It Is

Ahmed Mohamed will be "forever associated with arguably the most contentious and divisive socio-political issue of our time ... Ahmed's reputation in the global community is permanently scarred." That's the argument being made by Ahmed Mohamed's lawyer who is demanding an apology and $15 million from the city of Irving and its school district.


Video Killed the Video Store

"I spent 25 years of my life in an industry that no longer exists. Maybe I'm not the most ambitious guy. But that time has provided me with an up-close look at not just how the industry is changing but how people's tastes, and the culture those tastes create, have changed with it." Dennis Perkins in Vox: I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here's what I learned as my industry died.


I’d Tap That

"Skinner would randomly vary the intervals between food availability. One time there'd be food available again in 60 seconds. The next, it might be after five seconds, or 50 seconds, or 200 seconds. Under these unstable conditions, the pigeons went nuts. They'd peck and peck. One pigeon hit the Plexiglas 2.5 times per second for 16 hours. Another tapped 87,000 times over the course of 14 hours, getting a reward less than 1 per cent of the time." These pigeons were part of one of B.F. Skinner's psychology experiments. Flash forward a few years. You're the one pecking. And while the pigeons were after food, you're refreshing your email. Aeon's Michael Schulson: User Behavior.


Steph Infection

"Curry is an emblem for his team at large. He's a young, perimeter-oriented genius who is reforming how we think about dominance in the NBA and making the rest of the league look feckless while doing so. He's already a champion, but, just like his team, he is still getting better." FiveThirtyEight on how the Warriors are breaking the NBA. (First Steve Ballmer had to deal with Apple. Now he has to deal with the Warriors.)


Bottom of the News

Has your life become so busy that you no longer have time to go to the gas station? Well, there's a new startup to ease your mind. Purple enables its customers to press a button on their phone and then wait while someone with several cans of gas shows up. I don't know. Something about this still feels like too much work...

+ Jeff Bezos took to Twitter for the first time to brag about the successful rocket landing by his other company, Blue Origin. (I don't know much about rockets, but Bezos definitely used Twitter correctly.) Elon Musk had a comment or two about the achievement. (Of course Bezos' rocket landed safely. It was wildly over-packaged in layers of bubble wrap and cardboard.)

+ In other Bezos-related news, Amazon Studios decided plastering trains with Nazi symbols isn't such a great idea, after all.