Thursday, June 27th, 2013


Getting to Know You

In a lot of ways, the most interesting and amazing aspect of yesterday's Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage is that they reflect public opinion. How did public opinion on gay marriage change so dramatically and so fast? Here are a few potential answers: Ellen, Will, Grace, Cam and Mitchell (from Modern Family, where we just might see a -- now legal -- gay marriage next season). It might sound silly to link pop culture with sweeping changes in the way Americans view an issue. But the fact is that it's a lot harder to hate people with whom you have no interaction. And in the past decade, millions of Americans have welcomed gay individuals and couples into their living rooms by way of the television. Consider the numbers. In a recent poll, "27 perecent of respondents said gay TV shows like Glee and Modern Family pushed them to be more pro-gay marriage, while only 2 percent said the shows made them more anti-same-sex marriage." From Wired's Angela Watercutter: How Pop Culture Changed the Face of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate.


Temp Nation

"The people here are not day laborers looking for an odd job from a passing contractor. They load the trucks and stock the shelves for some of the U.S.'s largest companies -- Walmart, Nike, PepsiCo's Frito-­Lay division -- but they are not paid by them." This report from Time and ProPublica describes how many big corporations are saving big bucks by outsourcing jobs to temp agencies. Walmart is the nation's largest employer. On at least one list, Kelly Services, a staffing agency, is number two. Meet the expendables.

+ Bloomberg: Could court rulings put an end to unpaid internships? (Related question: Where the hell is my coffee?)

+ Speaking of the changing workplace, have you seen the photos of this U.S. employer who is being held captive by his employees at a Chinese factory?


Sour Patch Kale?

During his first two weeks of sports camp, my seven year-old son has been introduced to several brands of potato chips, Skittles, Twix bars, and Sour Patch Extreme (which he explained were "so sour that they make your brain smarter"). In many cases, these summer camp snack bars merely provide a continuation of the education kids get from the cafeterias and vending machines at their schools. But that could soon change. Don't expect to find bags of organic kale and quinoa in your kids' backpack, but the Feds have just overhauled the nutritional standards for school snacks for the first time in about thirty years.


Where's My Wallet?

Lucas Duplan is only 21. But his secretive start-up Crinkle just raised $25 million from some very big name investors. The plan is to launch an app that will replace your wallet. (I wonder if the investors paid by check...)

+ Crinkle is getting a lot of hype considering that the company is focused on payments made here on Earth. PayPal is already looking into becoming the payment platform for people in space.


Front Row/Death Row

"About once every three weeks, I watch someone die." As Texas reaches the milestone of its 500th execution in modern times, AP's Michael Graczyk reflects on witnessing so many of them, he's lost count.


The House of Slaves

Sometimes photos really can tell the story. Here are some amazing shots of President Obama standing in "the door of no return" on Goree Island, "the last stop for millions of slaves sent to the new world."


Let the Game Begin

"Midnight Madness is part performance art, part nerd Olympics, and part urban scavenger hunt." From Quartz: Inside the epic, all-night Goldman Sachs scavenger hunt.


The Old Ball Game

"No one knows whether Homo erectus, the early ancestor of both the Yankees and the Red Sox, threw the split-finger fastball ... But he could have." From the NYT, scientists unlock he mystery in the evolution of pitchers.


Going Pro

Tired of people using social media to share photos of their breakfast? Well, this should make for a nice change of pace. Humans are Awesome: A compilation of cool shots people took with their GoPro cameras.


The Bottom of the News

Does it actually take seven years to digest a piece of swallowed chewing gum? Of course not. Unless you really swallow a lot of it.

+ Everything you always wanted to knowing about peeing during filibusters.

+ Sean Parker is upset with the way Internet journalists covered his wedding. Almost ten thousand words upset.

+ Scenes from James Galdolfini's funeral in NYC.

+ Want to get ahead at work? Say yeah, a lot.