Monday, June 16th, 2014


You’ve Got a Golden Ticket

Oompa Loompa doo-pa-dee dee, if you are wise you'll listen to me. Whenever an Amazon package arrives at my doorstep, I imagine Jeff Bezos as Willy Wonka guiding a handful of visitors through his most advanced warehouse; a modern day candy factory. Well, courtesy of Wired's Marcus Wohlsen, you've got a golden ticket good for one rare peek inside Amazon's massive wish-fulfilling machine. "The Amazon warehouse is a uniquely 21st-century creation -- a vast, networked, intelligent engine for sating consumer desire." (Note: The gobstopper is only everlasting for Amazon Prime members.)

+ WSJ: "Google just bought a company that could have a bigger impact on its bottom line and on the world than any other recent acquisition by the search giant or its tech brethren ... And here's what Skybox could allow Google to accomplish: Within a couple of years, when you want to know whether you left your porch light on or if your teenager borrowed the car you forbade her to drive, you might check Google Maps."


Coffee U

In what CEO Howard Schultz called the most significant announcement in company history, Starbucks unveiled plans to largely foot the bill for employees seeking an online college education from Arizona State. This is one group of students who won't need Adderall.


Enemies, a Gov Story

"I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together -- the integrity of the country -- and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart" That's Sec. of State John Kerry indicating that the U.S. would work with Iran to deal with the disaster in Iraq. (The Pentagon has ruled out any military cooperation between the two countries.)

+ Dexter Filkins: "From now on, the group said, unaccompanied women were to stay indoors, and thieves would be punished by amputation. The 'divine conquest' of Mosul by a group of Islamic extremists is a bitter consequence of the American invasion. For now, there seems to be very little we can do about it."

+ Question: If the U.S. military decides to conduct airstrikes, will they know exactly who they are supposed to be targeting?

+ "We were very happy when ISIS took over the area and drove the Iraq Army out and at first they behaved very well. It was only after a month that they started killing us." Are residents in Mosul welcoming ISIS?

+ The BBC on what we know about the Iraq massacre photos.

+ "Many really suffered when Fallujah fell earlier this year, it hit home to those who lost so much, and reflecting on it, they, we, I, often ask, for what?" Iraq war vets reflect on the current crisis.


Top Banana

Each year, about a million kids either die or go blind due to a Vitamin A deficiency. Can a super banana solve the problem?

+ In Brazil, genetically modified mosquitoes are being used to fight Dengue fever.


Waxing Brazilian

The teams have been described by some as being pretty evenly matched. But consider this stark difference among the folks viewing the game back home. Ghana Is rationing electricity to make sure people can watch today's world cup match against the U.S.

+ "The enduring black-and-white pattern was said to improve visibility on black-and-white sets." The NYT provides an interesting and interactive look at the World's Ball.

+ This dog is really into watching the World Cup. (My cats don't give a crap.)


Rolling on the River

The California drought has gotten so extreme that young Chinook salmon can't swim their usual river route to the ocean. So they are migrating by truck instead.

+ NatGeo: Photographer captures drought turning California farms into kingdom of dust


Idle Threats?

The Supreme Court will consider "whether people who post violent or threatening language on Facebook and other Internet forums must show intent to follow through on their threats in order to be prosecuted."

+ Should the government be able to regulate apps that you use in your car?


Not Bad Dad

Yesterday, my kids wished a happy father's day to the OKest man they've ever known. So it's for them that I include this story from Vox: How dads improve their kids' lives, according to science. (A warning to Vox editors: They are not going to be impressed.)

+ "What is it about watching your kid play sports that brings out your inner homicidal maniac? Is it the amateur-hour refs? Is it the other parents, who talk smack to 8-year-olds and never shut up about little Billy's insufficient playing time?" GQ on the rise of the A-hole sports dad.

+ Smithsonian: Ten things we've learned about dads.

+ Who was the coolest dad on the planet during this year's Father's Day? No doubt about it ... it was this guy.


Game Theory of Thrones

Since many of us are mourning the end of another season of Game of Thrones, let's put our modern obsession with data crunching to some good use and predict when George R.R. Martin will come out with his next book.

+ The true cost of every wedding on Game of Thrones. (Pro tip: You're better off not attending...)


The Bottom of the News

He "was intrigued upon learning that by pressing upward on the dog's diaphragm, the meat shot out." Four decades later, Newshour looks back at how Dr. Heimich got his maneuver.

+ Two tech entrepreneurs are celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary by rowing a boat from Monterey to Hawaii. (My wife and I are spending our anniversary being grateful neither of us married one of these people.)

+ Humans have spent more time watching Gangnam Style than writing all of Wikipedia. (Yeah, but have you ever tried to dance to Wikipedia?)