May 6th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Getting Off

You’d think that tatters of shredded board games would be buried in a heaping landfill of the barely recognizable parts of industries, businesses, and people disintermediated, rendered obsolete, or just plain squashed by the Internet. But it turns out that people often use technology to get themselves back offline. Last year, more Kickstarter money was raised for tabletop games than for video games. Sales at hobby stores have risen significantly over the past three years. And game creators are using technology to get games from their brains to your kitchen table faster than ever. From NYT’s Nick Wingfield: High-Tech Push Has Board Games Rolling Again.


Present, Tense

“For a long time we have perceived climate change as an issue that’s distant, affecting just polar bears or something that matters to our kids. This shows it’s not just in the future; it matters today.” The latest U.S. Climate Report confirms what we already know. Climate change is happening, and the impact is already severe.

+ Vox: Nine maps that show how climate change is already affecting the US.

+ MoJo: 7 scary facts about how global warming is scorching the United States.


The Missing

“The girls in the school dorm heard the sound of gunshots from a nearby town. So when armed men in uniforms burst in and promised to rescue them, at first they were relieved.” With the help of a student who escaped, AP’s Michelle Faul pieces together the anatomy of a kidnapping.

+ The kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls is getting a lot of international attention. But it took awhile. The kidnapping happened about three weeks ago. And the group behind the crime, Boko Haram, has been operating for about a decade. From NPR: Boko Haram’s local fight suddenly gets international scrutiny.

+ The U.S. is sending in experts to help locate and free the girls.


What You Get Out of Getting In

According to a new survey, getting into that elite college doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a happier person later in life. But then again, neither does anything else.


Game of Phones

“Upon getting word that investigators were outside, employees at the plant began destroying documents and switching computers, replacing the ones that were being used — and might have damaging material on them — with others.” Vanity Fair’s Kurt Eichenwald on Apple, Samsung, and the Great Smartphone War.


Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah just began rolling out Sharia law. So celebrities and many others have announced a boycott of his hotels, including the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air.

+ The Daily Beast: How the Sultan of Brunei violated his Sharia law with me.


The Seen

“Someone points out something and suddenly a secondary interpretation of an image appears. There’s something a little scary about this process, even when the images are harmless. We have a flash of insight and a new pattern is revealed hiding within the world we thought we knew. It surprises us.” The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal on the things you cannot unsee (and what that says about your brain).

+ Did you happen to see the face of Jesus on a piece of toast? Don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal. (I tend to see Moses, but maybe that’s because I usually eat rye.)


The Blue Period

“I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” Monica Lewinsky says “it’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” It’s also time for her book. Maybe, after all these years, we’ll finally learn what the meaning of “is” is.


These Kids Today

“It was, in other words, a sharp reversion to the banality of yore.” In Believer Magazine Anne Helen Petersen provides a detailed and interesting overview of the banality of the celebrity profile, and how it got that way.

+ Why would you teach a class on Miley Cyrus?


The Bottom of the News

The Washington Post tries to explain what it’s like to be 100 years old, in 10 charts. (Get up to pee every three charts, then you’ll know what it’s like…)

+ All politicians are not useless. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber got out of his car to give a woman CPR. (He once left the stage during a debate to help someone in need.)

+ A new app enables San Francisco drivers to auction off their current parking spot to the highest bidder. (Mike Judge will never run out of material.)

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