Friday, November 8th, 2013


Do You Mind?

Insurance companies will soon be required to provide better coverage for people who suffer from mental illnesses. The NYT sums up the change: "The Obama administration on Friday will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment." While this will cover a lot of people, those at the lower end of the income spectrum could still be left out. One of the motivating factors behind the move was a desire to curb gun violence.

+ While those suffering from mental illnesses might receive insurance coverage on par with those who have physical ailments, they still might receive unequal treatment from the rest of us. Here's a very interesting piece by Larry M. Lake in Slate: No one brings dinner when your daughter is an addict.


New Tricks for Old Dogs

These days, most of the big IPO news is about relatively young, high-flying tech companies. But they aren't the only companies looking to take advantage of friendly market conditions. Next week, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will go public. The company was founded in 1832. After that many years in operation, even an Internet startup could be profitable.


Weekend Reads

"Around 20 kids have died in the UK the past nine years; nearly 70 have been left paralysed and wheelchair-bound for the rest of their lives, yet tombstoning is more popular every year. Why do they do it?" Aeon's Guy Claxton tries to explain why adolescents take crazy risks and fall in crazy love: Get Your Kicks.

+ "Rice wasn't berating anyone, and he definitely wasn't abusing anyone. Yet if you'd been watching him that night, you might very well have thought, That guy is nuts." NYT Magazine's Jonathan Miller on Mike Rice, the coach who exploded.

+ Nicholas Carlson on the story behind why AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fired an employee in front of 1,000 coworkers. (I'm guessing it has something to do with him being the CEO of AOL): The Cost of Winning.

+ "A son kills a father and the question is why. In the case of 10-year-old Joseph Hall, the answer seemed simple: The boy had been raised around hate." GQ's Amy Wallace on the trial of a very dangerous boy.


Password Generator

The materials leaked by Edward Snowden include data that he shouldn't have been able to access. So how did he get the stuff? He apparently persuaded more than twenty colleagues to give him their login credentials. He told them he needed the logins to do his job as a computer systems administrator. It's the computer age. Sys admins rule the world.



Jim Wolf is a homeless U.S, Army Veteran. In this video piece, he's given an entirely new look -- one that apparently had an impact on his life, and might have an impact on yours: A Timelapse Transformation of a Homeless Veteran.

+ A sleek 108-unit apartment complex for homeless residents just opened in LA's skid row.


Same as it Ever Was?

"The swastikas, the students recalled, seemed to be everywhere: on walls, desks, lockers, textbooks, computer screens, a playground slide -- even on a student's face." It's not what you'd expect from a school that's only 90 minutes away from NYC. From the NYT: Swastikas, Slurs and Torment in Town's Schools.

+ 75 years after Kristallnacht, the BBC takes a look at antisemitism in Germany. And in a recent survey of Jews in Europe, "three out of four respondents, 76%, believed anti-Semitism had increased over the past five years."


Are You Ready for Some Hazing

The NFL hazing story featuring Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin continues to dominate the sports press. In this Sports Illustrated piece, a former teammate of both players provides what he calls: An Insider's Story. You might not like what he says. But I bet it reflects what a lot of other players (and fans) think. "Playing football is a man's job, and if there's any weak link, it gets weeded out. It's the leaders' job on the team to take care of it."

+ "The guys who chose not to participate and locked themselves in their room, got buckets of water thrown under their doors. The water didn't come from the sink, but from toilets, with urine. Guys that decided not to show up, their belongings were trashed, [urinated] on, their beds, all their clothes." Here's a look at the hazing practice that altered one player's career -- and life.

+ From Buzzfeed: Everything that's happened so far in the bizarre NFL bullying story.


From Cats to Rats

Police and prosecutors in Philadelphia are trying to figure out who is behind an anonymous Instagram account that has been identifying witnesses in violent crime trials in order to "expose rats." And some of the materials being released aren't even part of the public record.

+ Meanwhile, other folks have apparently been using Instagram to sell drugs.


Maybe It’s the Outfits?

Esquire's Nick Schager makes the case that modern superheroes aren't really doing all that well with the opposite sex. And yet, the nerds who read the comic books written about superheroes seem to be doing pretty well these days.


The Bottom of the News

One World Trade Center is America's tallest building. Well sort of. It's the tallest if that thing at the top is a spire. It doesn't earn the title if the thing at the top is deemed to be an antenna.

+ Hasbro has to pay Lonnie Johnson more than $72 million. Why? He's the guy who invented the Super Soaker.

+ I really wish every guy in my office building would read this article on the best way to pee into a urinal (according to science).

+ The brief, wondrous era when trans fats were considered healthy.