Monday, July 1st, 2013


You Will Get the Picture

A picture may not necessarily be worth a thousand words, but it's almost always worth more than 140 characters. Consider these stats. We share 45 million photos a day on Instagram and 100 billion a year on Facebook. And as the NYT's Nick Bilton explains, we now use photos as a form of dialogue. Show, don't tell, has been taken to the extreme. "It's a shift that appears to be coming at the expense of the last big thing. Images sent between cellphones are on the rise as text messages continue to fall." Photo sharing is the new talking, and we can't shut up.

+ The surge in shared photos probably provides some benefit to the recipient. But I worry that it can actually harm the experience of the sender. We no longer take any time to create an internal memory of an event or an experience before seeing, filtering, and sharing a digital version of it. We remember the photo, not the moment. I updated a post on this topic and published it on Medium: This is You on Smiles - We All Have Photographic Memories Now.



"Emotionally? We're devastated. We just lost 19 of some of the finest people you're ever going to meet. Right now we're in crisis. ... Truly, we're going through a terrible crisis right now." A perfect firestorm in Arizona killed 19 members of a "hotshot" firefighting crew.

+ This was the deadliest day for U.S. firefighters since 9/11. CNN has more.

+ The troubling data behind America's growing wildfires.


Spring Forward

It turns out that the Arab Spring in Egypt could still be going on. Over the weekend, massive protests calling for the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi spread across the country.

+ 17 Instagrams of Egypt on the brink.

+ This has already been a summer of protests across the globe. InFocus has a collection of amazing photos of people in protest.


It's Thronely at the Top

For the past few years, there has been a much greater focus on executive pay and the growing salary divide between CEOs and their employees. So what did all that focus get us? More dough for CEOs. From the NYT: An Unstoppable Climb in C.E.O. Pay.

+ Larry in the Lead: Check out this chart of the 200 most highly paid executives at U.S. public companies.


See the Future Right Now

Want to see the future of America? You don't have to wait. You can just go to Houston right now. "Houston runs about 10, 15 years ahead of Texas, 30 years ahead of the U.S., in terms of ethnic diversity and immigration flows. So it is fundamentally transformed in a way that all of America shall transform." Hopefully, that doesn't include the humidity.


The Taliban Diet

"I didn't think being outside for five or 10 minutes would be such a risk. That was a miscalculation." French aid worker and amateur photographer Pierre Borghi was captured by the Taliban and held for four months. In this BBC piece, he recounts his capture, escape, and the way what he calls "The Taliban Diet" helped save his life.

+ "After two long tours in Iraq in which I saw civilians killed, humvees explode, and friends lose their lives. I struggled through anger and depression until I finally found my way -- only to realize that I was losing touch with the war that had made me who I was. Then I knew: I had to go back." In Texas Monthly, Matt Cook describes how (and why) he went from being a soldier to being an embedded journalist.


Sunrise, Rssunset

This is the last day that Google Reader will be around. The New Yorker's Matt Buchanan looks at some of the alternatives. Using RSS readers never really went that far beyond Internet power users. But I'm still a little surprised that Google didn't work to incorporate Reader into some of their more social offerings. For what it's worth, I don't use an RSS reader when I'm looking for NextDraft stories. I just open about a hundred tabs and then it's just a cloud of dust.


Hold the Lettuce

Fast food chains are adding healthy options to their menus and spending big dollars in an effort to market those new items. And it's working. Just not the way anyone anticipated. People are aware of the new healthy offerings. They read them on the overhead menus. And then they order the junk food. According to a Duke professor who studies consumer behavior: "When you put a healthy option up there on an otherwise unhealthy menu, not only do we not pick it, but its presence on the menu leads us to swing over and pick something that's worse for us than we normally would."

+ BloombergBusinessweek: Why are Americans eating fewer hot dogs?

+ Video: What's actually inside the average cup of coffee?


Heat Wave

It feels like "someone is blowing a hair dryer in my face." An AP photographer describes what it's like to be in Death Valley during a heat wave. And in Phoenix, weather forecasters were able to bake cookies on their dashboard.


The Bottom of the News

Buzzfeed just discovered the excellent pop culture art of the extremely talented Sam Spratt. It's absolutely worth a look. Of course, you look at Sam's work every day. He created the head logo for NextDraft. (Sometimes I wish he could work his magic my real head.)

+ How much adult content is there on the web? Possibly not as much as you think. That may be true, but it still seems like there's plenty to go around.

+ Ending the tyranny of the open-plan office.

+ The zip code just turned 50 proving once again that age ain't nothing but a number...