Wednesday, October 16th, 2013


Virginity Preserved?

Hours before a debt disaster, the Senate appears to have reached a budget deal that will end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling ... at least for a few months. Will the House approve the deal? Even sure things are tough to predict in this environment, but the market sure seems to think we are on track.

+ Here's a liveblog of all the action.

+ Even if the U.S. doesn't default, we will have come close. And that marks a sad moment in American politics. Warren Buffett criticized elected officials for using a "political weapon of mass destruction" and described the "idiocy" of damaging America's reputation for paying its bills on time: "Credit worthiness is like virginity, it can be preserved but not restored very easily, so it is crazy to play around with it."

+ Derek Thompson: American politics deserves to be downgraded.


Meet in the Middle

With DC politicians as divided as ever, where exactly is the American center? Esquire and NBC took a survey to find out. People in the center don't consider themselves in the center, they don't like the way things are going, and they trust Oprah. Here are 13 things that define the new American center.


Content is the New Content

It looks like the news industry has finally discovered a business model for the digital age: Find a rich guy who's really into the news. The Washington Post found Jeff Bezos. And now, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is set to put some considerable millions behind a new news venture with some help from Glenn Greenwald (the person, and the brand). Here's Jay Rosen with the story.


The Cost of War

"Wars kill people all kinds of ways, not just in shootings. And it exacts a toll on the invaders as well as the invaded." So says public health expert Amy Hagopian who just led a study to determine the number of people who died during the Iraq war. The conservative estimate is about 500,000.


Following Xeni

"I think that the internet helped save my life. The women who I met through the internet: through comments on my blog posts, through Twitter, through friends of friends online, they connected me to valuable referrals and life-saving information that was a part of my treatment decisions. Some of them became deeply trusted mentors and allies who I could call in the middle of the night before a big surgery." When Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin discovered she had breast cancer, she took her readers and Twitter followers along on her often harrowing journey


Start Me Up

What do you do when you first wake up in the morning? If you're like a lot of people, you fire up your first smart phone app of the day. Many of us now use our phones as alarm clocks, so the temptation is just a click way.

+ Sometimes we don't even wake up before we start using our apps. There is a growing class of applications that track everything you do, even when you're asleep. And apparently, sleeptexting is the new sleepwalking.

+ Buzzfeed's Charlie Warzel makes the case for deleting all your apps.


On Your Feet

When you're running, is it better to strike the pavement with your heel or your toe. According to the latest study, the answer to that question is yes?

+ What difference does it make if you sit down or stand up while you're working? According to group a British researchers, a lot. Standing can burn an extra 0.7 calories a minute. "If you want to put that into activity levels, then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work."


The Shelf is Casing the Joint

It's about to get a whole lot harder to sneak a snack. According to WaPo: "Mondelez International, whose properties include Chips Ahoy, Nabisco, Ritz and other high-profile snack brands, says it's planning to debut a grocery shelf in 2015 that comes equipped with sensors to determine the age and sex of passing customers." Let me skip a few steps here and just let the folks at the NSA know that I have a slight Nutter Butter problem.

+ Speaking of eating snacks, would it surprise you to learn that pot smokers are skinnier than other people? (Maybe I still have a future as a coach on The Biggest Loser.)

+ Want to outsmart increasingly wired retailers? Here's a tip: Don't shop in October.


I’m a User

I've always been a big fan of the simple premise behind Daniel Bogan's site called The Setup. A couple times a week, Daniel serves up brief interviews in which people share what products they use to get their jobs done (hardware, software, etc). Here are the answers I recently gave. And here are whole bunch of interviews with folks from all different industries.


The Bottom of the News

The days of Cinemax being called Skinemax may soon be over. The HBO-owned network is getting into the "respectable" original content game. Why? In large part, it's because the Internet killed softcore porn.

+ Is that a Beijing skyscraper in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

+ 21 times The Simpsons bizarrely predicted the future.