Dream Interpretation

Dream Interpretation

When Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his I Have a Dream speech, few people listening along the Washington D.C. mall could have predicted that, fewer than five decades later, we’d have a person who looks like Barack Obama working out of the Oval Office. While we’ve come a long way in terms racial equality, we still have a long way to go. How long? The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Take a look at the very interesting numbers and analysis from Pew’s latest research on how people of different races view the state of racial equality and race relations.


The Snowden Effect

U.S. intelligence officials have declassified a court opinion in which the NSA was found to have been wrongly (and perhaps criminally) collecting thousands of “wholly domestic” emails each year. Here’s what the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court wrote in his secret 2011 opinion: “For the first time, the government has now advised the court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe.” At this point, you’re probably not too surprised that the NSA was collecting domestic communications. What’s really interesting here is that the federal government has decided to declassify the opinion. The feds are now trying to leak faster than Edward Snowden. This dude’s impact is pretty incredible.


I Am Woman, Hear Me Leak

A day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison (he could be eligible for parole in about 8) for providing government files to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning released a statement explaining that he views himself as a female. “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.”

+ How likely is it that Manning will receive hormone therapy while doing his time in military prison? Not very.

+ From The New Yorker’s John Cassidy: Even if President Obama doesn’t pardon Manning, history will.

+ “He was a troubled kid looking to make a mark who simply spilled every secret he knew, the equivalent of screaming as loud as he could in the hope that all that noise would bring some attention.” From The Daily Beast’s Brian Van Reet: Manning Is Guilty and So Is the Army That Sent Him Overseas.

+ So as of this moment, should Manning be referred to as he or she? So far, reporters aren’t quite sure.


Nice Guys' Last, Best Hope?

People at Apple still work under a lot of pressure and stress. But by all accounts, Tim Cook is a pretty nice guy (a description not often associated with his predecessor). According to this Reuters piece: “Some worry that Cook’s changes to the culture have doused the fire — and perhaps the fear — that drove employees to try to achieve the impossible.” The article goes on to suggest that many Apple employees are leaving the company. Tim Cook knows that comparisons to Steve Jobs are inevitable (especially when the stock price goes down). But it will be interesting to see if a nice guy can finish first.

+ John Gruber asks a fair question: So engineers are leaving in droves because Apple is a nicer place to work now?

+ Of course, the effectiveness of Tim Cook’s tenure as the lead man at Apple will depend a lot more on the company’s new products than his demeanor. And in some cases, the quality (or even existence) of those products will depend on his ability to negotiate and close really big deals. That’s especially true in the much hyped and rumored world of Apple TV.

+ And as of today, the state of Apple’s stock price (along with many other companies) is being affected by another key factor: The Nasdaq is down. The whole Nasdaq. Down as in not functioning.


From A to Z-Pack

The first line of this WSJ article on Antibiotics Do’s and Don’ts sums things up: “Doctors aren’t only handing out too many antibiotics, they also are frequently prescribing the wrong ones.” (Feel better?)

+ Is the knife under the gun? Circumcision is much less popular in the U.S., especially out west.


We're Going to Pump You Up

We hear a lot about athletes who take steroids and other concoctions to improve physical performance. But ‘roids are also big in Hollywood where actors are paid big bucks to look like superheroes. From The Hollywood Reporter: Hollywood and Steroids.

+ “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” The NYT Magazine on Mandy Patinkin: I Behaved Abominably. (And he’s not talking about his lack of beard grooming on Homeland.)


Have Coat, Will Travel

Comedian Sam Kinison had a famous bit in which he advised hungry people to “move to where the food is.” Today, Slate’s Matthew Yglesias wonders why more Americans don’t move to where the jobs are. Sure, some of these moves might require you to wear a much thicker coat (although, if you’d prefer something warmer Honolulu has a low unemployment rate). But people made such geo-related lifestyle changes in the past. This may be the mobile age, but when it comes to where we live, we’re a whole lot less mobile than we used to be.


Down San Diego Way

Today, I am writing NextDraft just steps from a beach in La Jolla, so let me give you a little regional news. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has reportedly reached a mediation deal with the city that will include his resignation. To give you some idea of the backstory, Filner reached the deal on the same day an 18th woman accused him of sexual misconduct.


Get Wired, Baby

It’s hard to trip without landing in a Starbucks, so you’d be forgiven for not being able to guess the most popular brand of coffee in America. It’s been around since 1850. It has a 15% share of the U.S. market. And it’s Folgers in your cup.

+ Who needs to drink coffee when you can just spray caffeine on your neck.


The Bottom of the News

What the Puck? The Real World is returning to San Francisco. In other news, Real World is still on the air. Things have changed since this show first debuted (29 seasons ago). Now cable TV is a place young people can go to avoid sharing as much as about their personal lives.

+ “But at this point, perhaps Timberlake needs ‘N Sync more than it needs him.” If we all live 50,000 more years, there’s still no way that statement will ever be true.

+ How different cultures say I disagree.

+ Mike Tyson And Evander Holyfield Reminisce About The Biting Incident. Boxing has gone from the Trilla in Manilla to the Quibble About a Nibble.

+ Steve Martin and Kermit the Frog: Dueling Banjos. (This could be a preview of a really weird sequel to Deliverance).

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