Thursday, June 19th, 2014


Game Junkies

This is the last edition of NextDraft until June 30. I've thrown in a few extra treats in the ninth slot to tide you over.

"The drug addicts and alcoholics have a certain comfort with being in the world, you know. They're street smart. They've had to figure out how to go get their drugs and they've done their drugs socially and been sexually active. It kind of gives them a comfort in the world that a lot of our guys completely lack." Jagger Gravning takes us along for a day at the first video game rehab clinic in the U.S. After reading this, I'm pretty sure I need news rehab.

+ People were obsessed with games long before they went digital. "Before Risk, before Dungeons & Dragons, before Magic: The Gathering, there was Diplomacy." In Grantland, David Hill enters an international competition to play The Board Game of the Alpha Nerds.


The Hum

Do you hear a constant humming noise? You're not alone. In places around the world, a small fraction of the population regularly reports being driven nuts by a constant hum. As Jared Keller reports in the newly designed Mic, the hum is "characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations." And while there are many theories, nobody seems to be quite sure what's causing it.


(Advisory) Boots on the Ground

"American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq." So said President Obama during a press conference in which he announced that up to 300 military advisors will be sent to Iraq to "train, advise and support" Iraqi forces. Obama also said that the U.S. military would take "targeted and precise" actions if necessary. Here's a full transcript of the remarks.

+ WaPo: U.S. seeking alternatives to Maliki.

+ MoJo: Here's what the battle over Iraqi oil means for America.

+ (Too) much of the recent coverage of the Iraq crisis has been dominated by an incredible WSJ op-ed by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney in which they argue that we are "watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory" in Iraq. In tomorrow's WSJ, maybe Dick Cheney and George Custer will advise Obama on winning at Little Bighorn. I try to lean away from politics here, but in this case, even Fox News can't believe Cheney is giving advice.


The Bus Stops Here

Back in February, controversial American Apparel CEO Dov Charney told Buzzfeed that he was just getting started at the company: "I don't have people bursting in my house yet telling me to take a hike ... I'm just cracking my knuckles and getting started. When I'm in my mid-fifties, I'm going to start looking at how to widen, you know, start passing on the torch completely. But right now, I'm just figuring where I want to drive the bus." Well, the bus just stopped. The company's board intends to fire Charney "for cause." (I'm guessing one could use the plural causes in this case.)

+ Due to the structure of some loans, the ouster could mean bankruptcy.

+ Quartz: Here are five things Dov Charney didn't get fired for.

+ According to a recent study, the highest paid CEOs are the worst for investors.


Waxing Brazilian

"It's your crowning achievement ... Or your moment of defeat." ... "There's a big dose of artistry involved." There's the beautiful game. And there's the beautiful announcing. In a great piece (with audio!), the NYT's Fernanda Santos leads us in a chorus of Goooooool, the siren song of soccer. And here is a companion interactive piece that has a lot of people yelling goal, and that is just awesome.

+ The commentators aren't the only ones yelling. Here's what Santiago sounded like after Chile beat Spain.

+ InFocus has a good collection of photos from the first week of the World Cup.



"For more than a decade, mental-health facilities and other institutions have worked to curtail the practice of physically restraining children or isolating them in rooms against their will." It turns out there are no such regulations when it comes to public schools. From ProPublica, a pretty disturbing look at the shocking ways school kids are being pinned down, and isolated against their will.

+ NPR: Warnings against antidepressants for teens may have backfired


Chelsea’s New Neighborhood

Chelsea Handler has signed with Netflix to do a late night show. It's pretty interesting news for her. It's really interesting for the future direction of Netflix.


Jailhouse Rock

Since trying to have his wife killed, Christian Metal Rock band founder Tim Lambesis has admitted that he really wasn't all that Christian (and neither were his bandmates, and according to him, neither are members of a lot of other Christian bands). "In the process of trying to defend my faith, I started thinking the other point of view was the stronger one." He should have waited for a third point of view. Lambesis is currently serving six years in jail.


I Wouldn’t Leave You Hanging…

As I've mentioned, NextDraft will not be published for the next week. I'll be providing links to some news stories (mixed in with my usual weirdness) on Twitter. So feel free to follow me there. In the meantime, I'll fill today's ninth spot with a few extra stories.

+ "With a quivering hand, Vlok took a glass of water off Chikane's desk, poured it into the basin, sprinkled it onto Chikane's naked toes, and dried them carefully with the rag. And then both men dissolved into tears." New Republic's Eve Fairbanks on a former Apartheid leader who is seeking redemption -- by washing the feet of those he wronged.

+ "Whenever you are speaking with a co-worker who seems to be paying attention, and whose upper body is angled toward you, but whose legs and feet have turned toward the door – realize that the conversation is over." Entrepreneur on body language, leadership positions, and why you should never cross your arms again.

+ FastCo: You're more likely to lie, cheat, and steal in the afternoon. (But never at dusk...)

+ "If there were a widespread disease that similarly deprived people of a third of their conscious lives, the search for a cure would be lavishly funded." Aeon's Jessa Gamble on the end of sleep.

+ Why do Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes?

+ Fortune: Prison labor's new frontier -- Artisanal Foods.

+ Modern Farmer: California entrepreneurs try to design their way out of the drought. And The Atlantic on why Californians will soon be drinking their own pee. I always knew my cats were ahead of the curve.

+ Santa Fe Reporter: Casanova's Long Con -- How Michael Soutar turned a 34-year prison sentence into freedom.

+ Build bigger roads, and traffic gets worse.

+ "I tell them to do what I did: Get surveillance cameras. Hire a private investigator. And do the necessary steps to get them out." BloombergBusinessweek with a look inside Airbnb's battle for New York.

+ Here's an interesting look back at a CIA plan to work with one of the people behind GI Joe to make a demon toy to counter Osama bin Laden's influence

+ 19 supermarket mind games that get you to buy more stuff.


The Bottom of the News

"I am just back out here to make enough money to disappear again." Dave Chappelle is back on stage in New York City.

+ When Hells Angels freezes over... Introducing Harley-Davidson's electric motorcycle.

+ Why did Popeye's have to fork over $43 million for its own recipes (and why did they want them)?

+ If you have tens of millions of dollars but your drive a beat-up, old car, then you must be a politician.