Thursday, October 17th, 2013


We Are What We Eat

If America is a melting pot, then all the items in that pot will ultimately be rolled into a tortilla. It turns out that looking at what we eat is a great way to understand shifting American demographics. According to one market research firm, salsa outsells ketchup by a 2-1 margin. AP takes a look at the new American menu.

+ We're not only seeing a shift in the foods we consume. We're also seeing a shift in how those foods are named, packaged, and marketed. The labels are darker, the taglines pitch high protein, and there are lots of words like pro, power, and ultimate. What gives? Groceries have become a guy thing. "Manfluencers are responsible for at least half of the grocery shopping and meal preparation for their households." I think the term manfluencers just made me lose my appetite.

+ And through all these dietary and marketing changes, bacon stands its ground. From Wired: Math proves bacon is a miracle food.


When the Shutdown Hits the Fan

After 16 wasted days, the government shutdown and the threat of a debt ceiling debacle have finally ended (for now). The AtlanticWire has a look back at the your official compilation of this glorious shutdown's best moments.

+ President Obama: "There are no winners here." (In other words, "I won.")

+ LA Times: The government shutdown's toll by the numbers.

+ "If you were still seething from the eruption of the 1960s, and thought that Reagan had ended all that, then the resilience of a pluralistic, multi-racial, fast-miscegenating, post-gay America, whose president looks like the future, not the past, you would indeed, at this point, be in a world-class, meshugganah, cultural panic." Andrew Sullivan on the Tea Party as a religion.


Slavery Continues

According a report called the Global Slavery Index, there are still 30 million people who live in some form of slavery. India and China have the highest numbers. Here are a couple charts from The Economist that help tell the depressing story.


Larry’s Toolbox

"I would love an hour in a room with him and a pair of wire-cutters and pliers, so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me. But, I do not want to kill him, nor do I want to see him die." From Larry Flynt: Don't execute the man who paralyzed me.


They’re Playing Our Tune

There was a decision that changed everything when it comes to the computer industry. It came at a moment when Apple had about a 3% marketshare in the U.S. Then some execs at Apple decided to create iTunes for Windows. It was the butterfly that started the Apple tsunami. Interestingly, Steve Jobs was against the move: "We argued with Steve a bunch [about putting iTunes on Windows], and he said no. Finally, Phil Schiller and I said 'we're going to do it.' And Steve said, 'Fuck you guys, do whatever you want. You're responsible.' And he stormed out of the room." Oddly, I just said the exact same things to my cats.


You Want a Piece of Me?

A new marketplace called Fantex will enable investors to purchase stock in professional athletes. And this isn't a fantasy league. You are essentially buying a piece of a real person. The first IPO is Houston Texans' running back Arian Foster. "Buying shares in the deal will give investors an interest in a stock linked to Mr. Foster's future economic success, which includes the value of his playing contracts, endorsements and appearance fees." Those who find that investing in Internet startups isn't risky enough can now invest in something even riskier: NFL running backs (most of whom have a career span that strongly resembles that of Kozmo).


Leave it to Weiner

Anthony Weiner thinks he would have been mayor had he run during a different era: "Maybe if the Internet didn't exist?" Like, if I was running in 1955? I'd probably get elected mayor." Either that or he'd be sending photos of his privates via Pony Express. From GQ: The Year of Living Carlos Dangerously.


Are We Rolling?

Want to get bystanders to help people in need? Here's a tip: Install surveillance cameras. New research suggests that if people "believe their heroic or helpful action will be caught on camera, people who would otherwise remain passive have a strong incentive to 'intervene to be seen.'"


The Character Actor

Ed Lauter has died at the age of 74. You probably don't know the name. But you definitely know the face. Lauter was an incredibly prolific character actor.


The Bottom of the News

They know about your addiction. They can fulfill your needs. They don't get tired. They don't make mistakes. Meet the army of robot baristas that could mean the end of Starbucks as we know it.

+ If you're into cheese, you'll want to take this photographic journey into a season with Swiss cheesemakers.

+ Researchers found that Oreos may be as addictive as cocaine. Well, at least they found out that rats really like cookies.