Friday, October 4th, 2013


The New Pushers

Here's Dr. Jeffrey Linder of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston: "The right antibiotic prescribing rate for people with acute bronchitis according to current guidelines is probably zero percent." Well, it turns out that doctors still tend to prescribe antibiotics for this ailment, and the same is true for many others. People get sick, they want antibiotics, and doctors seem as eager as ever to dole them out despite decades of efforts by public health officials to get them to stop. The overprescribing of antibiotics is one infection no one seems to know how to cure.


Let Them Tweet Cake

Twitter finally gave us a look at something over 140 characters as they shared details about the company ahead of the upcoming IPO. GigaOm's Mathew Ingram pulls out a few key numbers and stats, and fills us in on who's about to make a whole lot of dough.

+ How much does Twitter make off of us? Well, that depends on a few factors including our location. But Quartz did the math, and it looks like we're worth about 55 cents per quarter. In other words, we're overpaid.

+ The Atlantic does a little more division and finds that every time you view your timeline, it's worth about $0.0008.

+ Ryan Tate: "Twitter opens the books, but Facebook's IPO looked so much better."

+ Here's the good news. Twitter was made for mobile and mobile is where we are these days. The bad news. Everyone is still trying to figure out how to squeeze more advertising dollars out of mobile. Sounds like a long term hold to me.


Weekend Reads

"That the disparity between men and women's representation in science and math arises from culture rather than genetics seems beyond dispute." In the NYT Magazine, Eileen Pollack tries to answer this question: Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

+ "I asked 50 people on and around the reservation a simple question: If it were up to you and only you, would the Redskins change their name?" BuzzFeed's Joe Flood on how the Redskins debate goes over on an actual Indian Reservation.

+ "About 8,000 years ago, maize was cultivated from teosinte, a wild grass that doesn't look much like the modern corn we know today" Smithsonian Mag goes way back to explain why we eat popcorn at the movies.


Now Everybody Scream

"The triumph of opinion-driven cable TV and the collapse of newspapers has created an American news media that does an increasingly poor job of informing the public. And an excellent job of dividing it." The Atlantic's David Rohde on how the broken media helped to break the government.

+ How are people in the DC area feeling about the shutdown? Let's check the emoticons.

+ Folks in the line of this weekend's major storms aren't too happy about the shutdown either.


She Gets Around

Apple won't comment. But CNN thinks it's Susan Bennett and an audio forensic expert agrees. Meet the voice behind Siri. Bennett recorded some tracks for Apple about eight years ago. (Damn, I could've sworn it was Gilbert Gottfried.)


Chill Out

Over the past several years, the energy drink industry has gotten us so wound up we can barely stand it. So we need a way to chill out. Enter the relaxation drink industry. As soda sales decline, expect drink makers to keep looking for problems it can supposedly solve. Soon, there will be a drink that helps one cope with the inundation of silly beverage marketing.



"I thought I saw my boyfriend, who was sitting next to me in the theater, yawn. For that fraction of a second, I questioned everything I knew about him, our relationship, and most damningly, his taste in movies. When I turned to look, however, I realized that his jaw was simply hanging open." Gravity, with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is getting incredible reviews and a ton of buzz.

+ Even Buzz Aldrin loved it.

+ An Astronaut Taught Sandra Bullock How to Survive in Space — From Space.

+ In case you were wondering: What's the best way to die in space?


He Will Protect You

"That's what happens when your life becomes an odyssey of drugs, guns, young women, corruption, the promise of a miracle antibiotic, a secret laboratory, a government raid, a murder, a manhunt, and a healthy dose of paranoia." That's how The New Yorker describes part of John McAfee's recent past. But now he's back. And he says his new product can keep you protected from government surveillance. McAfee explains: "I've known for years that we're all being watched, but now everybody knows."


A For Effort

Alex Rodriguez, faced with a lengthy ban from baseball, is suing MLB and claiming that they paid off an informant as part of a "witch hunt" to force him out of the game. A-Rod says he looks forward to the day "when I can share my story with the public and my supporters." He could probably fit all of them into a dugout. But it is worth noting that the MLB steroid scandal was incredibly widespread, and the fact that players were on the juice was a surprise to almost no one.


The Bottom of the News

Remember the couple that had planned a wedding for this Saturday at the Jefferson Memorial only to see the government shutdown ruin their plans? Well, things worked out, sort of. They exchanged their vows on The Colbert Report, and even got a nice blessing from Mandy Patinkin. Now they just need Anthony Bourdain to take them on a honeymoon.

+ Mental Floss: 65 amazing facts that will blow your mind.