November 15th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Live From Gotham

It’s Friday. Let’s start with something awesome. The city of San Francisco has been transformed into Gotham City for a kid named Miles who has been battling leukemia since being diagnosed at the age of one. Miles’ wish was to be Batkid. Enter the Make-a-Wish foundation (with the help of thousands of people in San Francisco). Today, Miles is performing a series of superhero feats. The day started with a special front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. You can follow the adventures of Batkid at Buzzfeed and by following Make-a-Wish exec director Patricia Wilson on Twitter. And speaking of superhero feats, Miles’ leukemia is reportedly in remission.

+ Some more cool kid stuff from Refe Tuma: “My wife and I devote the month of November to convincing our children that, while they sleep, their plastic dinosaur figures come to life.” Welcome to Dinovember.


Dot Come One, Dot Come All

Earlier this week, Under Armour announced a big dollar acquisition of a company called MapMyFitness. The move is part of a larger trend among fitness companies. They are all becoming technology companies. You’ll no longer be buying running shorts or tennis shoes. You’ll be buying wearable computers that track you down to your every heartbeat.

+ While you’re tracking your run, many parents are tracking their kids before they can even crawl. Welcome to the rise of extreme baby monitoring. I guess the idea of parents closing the foor, putting in ear plugs, and burying their heads under a pillow is no longer in vogue.


Weekend Reads

The Internet has made it easier to cheat, and easier to get caught. The Boston Globe Magazine’s Melissa Schorr catches you up on the state of extramarital affairs

+ Whitey Bulger and the FBI Whitewash.

+ “Video games have broadened his relationships outside of our borders, and formed new bonds. He loves his gaming friends and, from what I can tell, they love him, too.” From The New Yorker’s Simon Parkin: The video game invasion of Iraq.

+ NYT Mag’s Luke Mogelson: “More than a thousand refugees have died trying to reach Christmas Island. But faced with unbearable conditions at home, they keep coming.” The Dream Boat.


The Zodiac Killer?

Hippocrates supposedly once said: “A physician without knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician.” That may sound crazy to today’s doctors. But can your birthday actually tell us something about your health? “Depending on whether you were born in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, you could have a higher or lower risk for: schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, Type 1 diabetes, bipolar disorder, and allergies, among others. The season of your birth also seems to affect how long you live.” From The Atlantic’s 09/20/1985 (also known as Elijah Wolfson), here’s more on your zodiac sign and your health. Give me your sign, stat.

+ How will a stock do on its opening day? That could depend on how pronounceable its ticker symbol is (I think I’ll still continue to make my decisions based on my broker’s birthdate.)


Sibling Rivalry

By 2050, more than a quarter of China’s population will be over the age of 65. That’s one of the reasons the country’s leaders have decided to relax the one-child policy introduced in the 1970s. This would be a good time to invest in diaper companies.

+ Quartz: Six things that will change with the loosening of China’s one-child policy.


The Love Canal

fMRI brain scanners promise “to show the neurochemical traces of joy, rage, love and hate, as they cascade through the brain.” So could the machine be used to determine the winner of a love competition. In this piece featured on AeonVideo, seven contestants “have five minutes in Stanford’s fMRI brain scanner to love someone as hard as they can.” I guess it really is the thought that counts.


Armed and Near Danger

In Oakland, armed robberies are up by 45% this year and the city seems incapable of coming up with an effective response. So some residents have taken their safety into their own hands by hiring private security firms to monitor and protect their neighborhoods. With the increasing gulf between rich and poor, is this a trend we’ll see in cities across the country?



The annual NatGeo photo contest is back and Alan Taylor of InFocus has collected some of the most amazing photos submitted so far.



CNN has generously served up the clear winner for headline of the week with this: Toronto mayor apologizes for lewd remark, gets TV show. This really is a meltdown for the ages. Here are four minutes of video to review the Rob Ford’s most outrageous moments.

+ John Stewart calls on Ford to “Throw down the mic.”


The Bottom of the News

Consider this. You can eat an apple vertically and the core just becomes part of the snack. Not buying it? At least read this impassioned argument from James Hamblin. “The core is a product of society, man. There is a thin fibrous band, smaller in diameter than a pencil and not bad to the taste. If you eat your apple vertically, it is not noticeable.”

+ More than 109 feet. That’s a long basketball shot.

+ A hunter in Florida pulled over and shot a deer. Only it wasn’t a real deer. It was a robotic deer. Seriously, how long is it before the robotic deer decides to make the first move?

+ Twenty years later, a look back at the Mickey Mouse Club members who would become really, really famous.

+ For a Volvo ad, Jean Claude Van Damme does his signature split between two moving trucks. I’m really not sure what we’re supposed to be rooting for here.

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