Thursday, July 18th, 2013


(Still) Live From New York…

On the broadest level, today's Emmy nominations are a confirmation that this is great time be watching TV -- no matter where or how you choose to watch it. The big story of the day is the fourteen nominations for Netflix' original shows, including some major nods for the excellent House of Cards. HBO dominated the day (once again) getting 108 nominations. But this year's Emmys are not all about new technology and relatively new networks. Saturday Night Live pulled in fifteen nominations. That's not bad for a show that's been around for nearly four decades. And several of this year's nominated actors are SNL alums.

It's definitely nice that more quality shows on cable and Netflix are getting noticed. But it's impossible to take the Emmys all that seriously when Two and a Half Men has nine trophies and The Wire has none.

+ Elisabeth Moss got two lead actress nominations. One for her role in Mad Men and one for her part in the haunting and worth-watching mini-series, Top of the Lake.

+ Here's the compete list of nominations.

+ From Buzzfeed, here are 24 outrageous Emmy snubs (several of which might not strike you as all that outrageous).

+ Maybe we need more nominees in some categories. With that take and more, here's the always enjoyable Tim Goodman: "From Spectacularly Wrong to Predictably Wrong."

+ Finally, here's The Hollywood Reporter on the firing and rehiring of Community's Dan Harmon: Showrunner, Chevy Chase rival, self-professed A-hole.


Aiding the Enemy

The military judge in the Bradley Manning case has refused to throw out the most serious charge: aiding the enemy. If Manning is found guilty on that count, he faces "life in prison plus an additional 154 years."


Metal Detectors

Here's something I noticed on my first morning as a teacher at an extremely rough and low performing high school in Brooklyn. Every kid (and they were all black) in the school had to walk through metal detectors on the way into the building. I got to bypass the security and walk right in, even though I had no track record, and no one in the school had ever seen me before. That policy sent a bad message to the students. Even those who were good students and played by the rules were treated as suspects. From that day on, I tried to go through the metal detectors anytime my students had to. I've been thinking a lot about those days since reading about Philadelphia's John Paul Jones Middle School. As Jeff Deeney explains in The Atlantic: "During renovations, they removed the metal detectors and barred windows. The police predicted chaos. But instead, new numbers seem to show that in a single year, the number of serious incidents fell by 90%."


Covering the Cover

The New Yorker's Ian Crouch has an interesting response to those who expressed shock and disgust at Rolling Stone's decision to put Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover. "The victims of the Boston Marathon bombing deserve our attention, and will continue to teach us about perseverance and the best parts of our common nature. But the dark stories of the bombing need to be told, too. And we need to hear them."

+ If you missed the actual story that went along with the cover, here it is.

+ Bad guys on magazine covers: not new.


Mandela Turns 95

It's Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday. The Wrap has collected five great interviews from over the years, including his first TV interview from 1961. And from Time, here's a look at Nelson Mandela's life in pictures.


Rock Down To Electric Avenue

Most people I know who own (or have driven) a Tesla seem pretty happy about the car and the brand. But they don't seem nearly as happy as the people who bought Tesla's stock a few months ago. From BloombergBusinessweek: Why Everybody Loves Tesla. "Tesla's ambition isn't merely to win the title of hottest car in Silicon Valley, it's to simultaneously become the next Ford Motor and ExxonMobil -- to be a profitable, mass-scale manufacturer and fuel distribution network. Not even Henry Ford tried to pull all that off."

+ Here's a cool video video that provides a peek inside Tesla's robotic factory: How the Tesla Model S is Made.

+ For his next act, Tesla's Elon Musk is working on something known as Hyperloop. The idea is to enable people to travel from LA to San Francisco in less than thirty minutes (Pro Tip: Bring a windbreaker). From The Verge: Here's how Elon Musk's Hyperloop might actually work.


Printing Money

So print magazines are supposed to be dying. But don't tell that to those in the fashion vertical. September will be a record-setting month for many of them, and Vogue's much-anticipated September issue will include 665 ad pages.


The Truth about the Benjamins

Here's a fun, interactive chart where you can compare a rapper's lyrics about how much money they make with the actual amount of money they make. Some of them are doing pretty well...

+ "He's been masterful at keeping it going and he's smart enough to know it may be over at any time. He's rich enough that won't matter." The Daily Beast states the obvious: It's Jay-Z's World.


The Chopping Block

Lately, several writers at Slate have been ranting about things that really bother them. And today, it's Forrest Wickman's turn: "I'm speaking of a terrifying new blight that poses a legitimate threat to one of our most valuable cultural institutions. I refer, of course, to the chopped salad."


The Bottom of the News

Quick, which country do you go to if you want some cocaine? How about nice bowl of hummus? The best answers may surprise you. From Quartz: Brazil nuts aren't Brazilian, our tea isn't from China, and all the hummus is made in Virginia.

+ The mall a few blocks from my office has many escalators including a curved one. The entire state of Wisconsin has two escalators.

+ Tom Grosset just set a new drumming world record with 1,208 single strokes in 60 seconds. (I've never played drums, but I'm pretty sure I broke that record several times as an adolescent.)

+ Complete idiocy + Fireworks = Good Photos.