March 20th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

These Kids Today

“Like most parents my age, I have memories of childhood so different from the way my children are growing up that sometimes I think I might be making them up, or at least exaggerating them.” That’s The Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin on the modern parent’s preoccupation with safety that ultimately robs kids of the benefits gained from independence and risk taking. I feel the same way when I compare my childhood to the experiences of my kids and their friends who are constantly being over-watched by neurotic parents worried about everything from their physical safety to their media consumption. But what exactly has changed? Is childhood inherently more dangerous today, or are we just spending too much time with our kids? (Maybe we just want to make sure they give us some equity in their tech startups.) There’s definitely no doubt that this is the age of the overprotected kid.

+ In NYC, in the dark of night, a teen snuck by several layers of security and made it to the spire of the WTC. And Tweeted. (See what happens when you don’t keep your eye on these kids!)


You’re Getting Colder

The Russian parliament is ratifying the Crimea takeover, and the U.S. is adding more sanctions. The key targets of those sanctions? The oligarchs with close ties to Putin.

+ “Recent events — in particular the Western response to the Crimea invasion — show that Putin might understand the world order and the nature of political systems better than most analysts and policymakers.” The New Republic: Face it, the West is already accepting Putin’s actions.

+ While the world’s attention has been grabbed by the bloodless takeover of Crimea, we’ve completely ignored another region that continues to be a very bloody point of contention between the U.S. and Russia. The Syrian war has reached its third year. InFocus has a collection of images from Syria, where approximately 146,000 people have been killed.


Greased Lightning

Do you want fries with that? Your answer to that question should be largely based on your genetic make-up. Researchers from Harvard found that “some people do indeed pay a higher price for indulging in French fries and Tater Tots.” (No price is too high for Tater Tots.)


The Search Goes On

Australian authorities held a press conference to announce that they had satellite images of some debris in the Indian Ocean that could have been from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Hopes ran extremely high following this announcement, but after a day of searching the area (where weather and visibility are both bad), nothing has been found.

+ Even if the debris in the Indian Ocean turn out to be the missing plane, the answers most of us are waiting for could still be years away (if they ever come).

+ Buzzfeed: Every popular theory you’ve heard about Malaysia airlines flight 370 and why they’re probably wrong. And how much coverage is this story getting on cable news? Enough that we’ve been able to rule out the black hole theory.


The Believers

“One-third of people thinking that the Food and Drug Administration is deliberately keeping natural cures for cancer off the market because of pressure from drug companies .. Twenty percent of people said that cellphones cause cancer — and that large corporations are keeping health officials from doing anything about it. And another 20 percent think doctors and the government want to vaccinate children despite knowing that vaccines cause autism.” And you might agree with some of these items. Half of Americans believe in medical conspiracy theories.

+ According to a recent study, smarter people are more trusting. (I don’t believe the findings in this study.)


At the Lake

“In 1982 a brutal triple homicide shook the city of Waco and soon became one of the most confounding criminal cases in Texas history — one that still haunts the many people who have tried to solve it.” From Texas Monthly: The Murders at the Lake.


A Business Relationship

MoJo’s Erika Eichelberger was doing some reporting from Nigeria. While she was there, she figured she’d pay a visit to those Nigerian email scammers. Yup, they’re really from Nigeria. And they’re still in business.


Boom with a View

“If anyone needs convincing that the richest of the rich have continued to get richer, unaffected by the financial crash of 2008 and the subsequently misfiring economy, here is the proof.” The Economist pays a visit to 15 Central Park West, Limestone Jesus.


Hoop Greens

Nine of the players in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament got there (in part) by way of a suitcase filled with cash. But it’s not what you think. To get the full story, you need to go back to 2007 when an eighth grade teacher named Mike George was appearing on the gameshow Deal or No Deal. “Half the winnings, George told the host Howie Mandel on the set, would go toward supporting his grass-roots youth basketball program.” And he won.


The Bottom of the News

Jeopardy gets all the press, but I was brought up on Wheel of Fortune. And this week, a contestant pulled off what Pat Sajak called the “most amazing solve in my 30-plus years on the show.” Here it is, along with some other great moments around the Wheel.

+ Deadspin searches for the bitchiest, most defensive fans in America.

+ Here’s a list of the 101 most insane things that have ever happened in Florida. (I have no idea how they narrowed down the list this much.)

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