Tuesday, October 15th, 2013


Just When You Thought You Were Out

Just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in. There were reports of progress on a Senate budget deal that would avoid a debt default, but then things got ugly again. So far, the markets are holding steady. As the clock ticks down towards default, you can follow along with the AtlanticWire's liveblog of the all the political action.

+ From MoJo: The debt ceiling explained in 10 short sentences.

+ NY Mag's Kevin Roose on what happens if we actually, truly default. "I asked ... experts to indulge me in a speculative exercise, and give me a medium-case scenario of what could happen on the X Date – not the worst-case scenario, not the best-case scenario, just a reasonably pessimistic imagining of how that day might go, from morning until night. Here's what they told me might happen."



If you are a dude with a TV, there's a decent chance you've seen commercials that suggest you might be suffering from low testosterone (or its more hip name, Low T). Last year, drug makers spent a cool $3.7 billion advertising their cures for a problem that, so far, no one has determined is particularly widespread. Harvard Medical School's Dr. Joel Finkelstein sums things up: "The market for testosterone gels evolved because there is an appetite among men and because there is advertising. The problem is that no one has proved that it works and we don't know the risks." You could probably say the same about a lot of other conditions and their supposed cures.

+ In the past decade, we've seen an explosion in the number of kids diagnosed with ADHD. Did the kids change? Probably not. So what did? The NYT's Maggie Koerth-Baker on the not-so-hidden cause behind the ADHD epidemic.


We’ve Made Contact

According to WaPo, "the National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans." The NSA is collecting so much of our online data, they should just start marketing themselves as a backup service.


Go to Bed

According to a recent study, kids with erratic and/or late bedtimes are more likely to have behavioral problems. So get your kids to bed early. Or let them stay up really late and be sure to leave the house before they wake up.


Fashion Victim

Eight years ago, the Army spent $5 billion to develop a universal camouflage pattern that could be used everywhere from the woods to the desert. The new duds proved to be a dud. Now the military has launched a $4 billion effort to try again.


Everybody Jump

Syndicated from Kottke: A year ago yesterday, Felix Baumgartner rode in a balloon up to a height of almost 128,000 feet and jumped out. Red Bull, who sponsored the jump, has finally released the full-length footage of the jump from Baumgartner's point-of-view. A feature-length documentary about the jump is available on Rdio.


Script Crypt

"No note taking is allowed, no pictures, and definitely no photocopies as you read the dog-eared, slightly faded, only physical copy of a document potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars: a movie screenplay." The WSJ's Ben Fritz on the lengths to which some Hollywood players go in order to keeps their scripts secret. Maybe we should let these folks manage our email and contact lists...

+ How blockbusters conquered movies, TV, and music (and why you don't really care because you're watching Mad Men and Game of Thrones anyway).

+ On the opposite end of the popularity spectrum, there's this: 20 percent of Spotify's songs have never been played.

+ Tina Fey and and Amy Poehler have signed on to host the next two Golden Globes ceremonies.


The Hamburglar

Is it worth spending a little more on a Big Mac in order to increase the wages of fast food workers? Yes, it is. Especially if you compare that to the price we already pay to help support the folks working behind the counter. From Businessweek: Fast-food wages come With a $7 billion side of public assistance.


That Face

When you look at a person's face, what are the two things you notice first? Researchers took a look at your neural patterns to find out the answer: Race and gender. From the Harvard Gazette: What's in a face?


The Bottom of the News

"He has been fired out of a cannon, subdued himself with a stun gun and stood blindfolded in a corral while being charged by a yak. He has broken bones, sustained concussions and torn his urethra in a misbegotten attempt at back-flipping a motorcycle." The NYT on Johnny Knoxville and the Autumn of Jackass.

+ Looking back at the first-ever hashtag, reply, and retweet as Twitter users invented them.

+ Confessions of a Windows Phone user.

+ Can your knees really predict the weather?

+ My, what big pumpkins you have...