Monday, September 16th, 2013


Class is in Session

"How does a student from a country in which a third of the population is nomadic, living in round white felt tents ... ace an M.I.T. course even though nothing like this is typically taught in Mongolian´╗┐ schools?" That's a question posed by the NYT's Laura Pappano in her article, The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator. There are a few answers: First, Battushig Myanganbayar is really smart. Second, his high school principal was the first Mongolian to graduate from M.I.T. And third, Mongolia is a lot more connected than you'd imagine. The migration to wireless technologies has enabled many countries to quickly overcome a lack of landline infrastructure and build up wireless networks (even most of the nomads in Mongolia have cellphones). That connectivity, coupled with the trend towards offering courses online, is spreading educational opportunities across the globe.

+ Bloomberg/Businessweek: Wharton puts first-year MBA courses online.


Navy Yard Shooting

At least 12 people are dead following a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. While one of the suspected shooters has been killed, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier explains: "The big concern for us right now is that we have potentially two other shooters that we have not located at this point." Follow along with the latest details at CNN.

+ Here are some photos from the scene, and some background on the Washington Navy Yard.


Colorado Rivers

The flooding in Colorado just kept getting worse over much of the weekend. As many as 1,200 people are still missing and rescue crews have begun the biggest civilian helicopter mission since Katrina.

+ This collection of photographs from InFocus will give you some idea of the devastation caused by record downpours.


Oh, That’s Rich

Bill Gates is on one hell of streak. He has been the richest American for two decades straight. And this year, he's listed as the richest person in world in the Forbes 400 (can you imagine having that kind of money and still being stuck using a Windows Phone?). Life has been good at the top over the past few years. "The 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record $2.02 trillion, roughly equivalent to the GDP of Russia. That is a gain of $300 billion from a year ago, and more than double a decade ago. The average net worth of list members is a staggering $5 billion, $800 million more than a year ago and also a record."

+ These are this year's newcomers to the Forbes 400 list.


Detroit, Rocked City

How exactly does a major American city go completely broke? The Detroit Free Press goes deep in an effort to answer that question. High taxes, corrupt leaders, skyrocketing benefits, increasing debts, population loss, and more contributed to Detroit's epic downfall. This is a really interesting multi-decade look at what went wrong.


First and Ten Million

The players aren't allowed to make money, but just about everyone else with any financial or geographic connection to college football rakes in the cash on a typical Saturday. Time's Sean Gregory heads to College Station on the weekend of a big game get a glimpse inside college football's supercharged economy.

+ Mother Jones has created a matrix of pro football owners "based on their political giving and their relative assholery." How bad is your NFL team's owner?

+ The greatest NFL highlight from the weekend could be this Orlando CBS affiliate essentially apologizing for airing the Jaguars' game.


Don’t Know Much About History?

Bryan Goldberg created a major Internet backlash when he announced his plans to create "the next great women's publication." I'm not sure this New Yorker profile is going to improve his standing: "I am a dude. I don't have a lot of overlapping interests with most women my age. I'm really into history. I'm really into markets and finance." Apparently women aren't interested in those big, complicated topics. I think he may be getting the words dude and douche mixed up.

+ Rebecca Greenfield points out that the picture accompanying the article pretty much sums things up.


The Heat is On

Syndicated from Kottke: For the first time, researchers have put together all the climate data they have (from ice cores, coral, sediment drilling) into one chart that shows the "global temperature reconstruction for the last 11,000 years."


What is Thirty Years?

Jeopardy is celebrating its 30th birthday. The Daily Beast takes a look back at some of the show's wackiest moments -- and Alex Trebek's mustache evolution.


The Bottom of the News

"The response from the experts was unanimous." That's not a phrase one associates with product reviews. But apparently it happened in this case. The Wirecutter's Tim Barribeau tells you everything you could want to know about The Best Pen. (The Wirecutter is a generally great site for product reviews.)

+ Steven Kurutz: "As a 30-something skinnyish urban male there's almost nothing I can wear that won't make me look like a hipster."

+ Productivity tips from history's greatest thinkers.

+ A creepy clown has been bothering the residents of Northhampton.

+ Don't stick a knife in a toaster.