Thursday, July 24th, 2014


Show Me Your Public Parts

During the tech revolution, the line between public and private has become increasingly blurry (or in the case of certain below-the-belt selfies, not blurry enough). Anil Dash examines the ever-changing definition and wonders how we decide what Is public? "Public is not just what can be viewed by others, but a fragile set of social conventions about what behaviors are acceptable and appropriate. There are people determined to profit from expanding and redefining what's public, working to treat nearly everything we say or do as a public work they can exploit. They may succeed before we even put up a fight." -- I found this article in Anil's backpack. I hope he doesn't mind that I published it...


Not Going Anywhere for a While?

Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead by way of lethal injection at 3:49pm on Wednesday. His execution was initiated an hour and fifty seven minutes earlier. Wood was "gasping and snorting" for so long that his lawyers filed an emergency appeal during the execution.

+ Vox explains why it took so long.

+ Days before the botched execution, U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski argued that executions should be carried out by firing squads: "Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful -- like something any one of us might experience in our final moments. But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf."


Hell-ter Shelter

As the violence in the Middle East hits its seventeenth day, the news continues to be bad. There's still no ceasefire plan in place, and Israeli artillery hit a UN-run school in Gaza that was being used as a shelter.

+ Late last night, the FAA lifted its ban on flights to Tel Aviv.

+ The extent to which a sliver of territory in the Middle East can dominate world news is truly remarkable. WorldMic takes a look at what the Gaza invasion would look like (in terms of population and geography) if it took place in your city.


Just Don’t It?

"There's something in the culture -- there's this magical, mysterious part of the culture that breeds helpfulness. The opposite of what I was taught growing up in New York, which was not to help. That you're not a bad person if you don't help." Aeon's Dwyer Gunn looks at the long history of people just standing there and doing nothing when someone else is being victimized and wonders, why won't they help?


Call of Jury Duty

As advisor to David Cameron has suggested that laws be enacted to ensure people "who steal online items in video games with a real-world monetary value receive the same sentences as criminals who steal real-world items of the same monetary value." I don't know if such a law will ever pass, but I told my son to keep his Minecraft pickaxe handy just in case.

+ This Meme's Not Big Enough For Both of Us: In New York, dozens of detectives from the homicide, counter-terrorism, and intelligence units, are searching for a skateboarder and several of his friends who could have been behind the Brooklyn Bridge flag planting.


It Doesn’t Add Up

"The inadequate implementation can make math reforms seem like the most absurd form of policy change -- one that creates a whole new problem to solve. Why try something we've failed at a half-dozen times before, only to watch it backfire?" NY Mag on the story of Akihiko Takahashi and why Americans stink at math.


Paste Traumatic Stress Disorder

Senator John Walsh is being criticized for plagiarizing much of a paper he submitted as his 1998 master's thesis. One of the people he borrowed from doesn't seem too upset: "I was surprised and mildly flattered that Sen. Walsh had decided to incorporate so much of my paper into his."

+ Meanwhile, Walsh is suggesting that PTSD may have played a role in his plagiarism. "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor." At least we can be completely sure he made up that sentence on his own.


The King and Fry

The CEO is 33. And many of the other top executives are even younger. Together, they want to run their company like a startup and want all the employees to have an "ownership mentality." But this is no new Internet company. It's one of America's most recognizable brands. From BloombergBusinessweek: Burger King Is Run by Children.

+ Speaking of eating establishments run by children, how do you get yours to eat a few vegetables before they bolt away from the kitchen table? Here's a tip from the experts: Don't say a damn thing.

+ "Slowly but surely, the kale salad will make its way to TGI Friday's menu, then McDonald's, Kraft, and, eventually, as a Doritos flavor." Meet the people who know what you're going to want to eat before you do.


The Brain Guarding the Lane

"I can usually remember plays in situations a couple of years back -- quite a few years back sometimes. I'm able to calibrate them throughout a game to the situation I'm in, to know who has it going on our team, what position to put him in. I'm lucky to have a photographic memory." ESPN introduces you to LeBron's greatest gift, and curse. His fast-twitch, incessantly churning brain.

+ What if Morgan Freeman read LeBron James' letter discussing his return to Cleveland?


The Bottom of the News

"The people who want to look like Angelina Jolie are having cheek augmentations, which makes me think that the release of Maleficent was significant." Kevin Fallon takes you inside the weird world of celebrity clone surgery. Meanwhile, a kid in India just had 232 teeth removed (and he still looks nothing like Kim Kardashian...)

+ "We all just managed to stay alive longer than everybody else." That's Roy Englert on the strategy that enabled his relay team of nonagenarians to set a new track record.

+ How blatantly did Xiaomi rip off Apple designs. Here's a hint: And there's one more thing...

+ Tuaw: I searched for all 74 of the stickers in Apple's new ad so you don't have to.

+ A car dealership gave a disgruntled customer a $100 refund, in loose change. This story isn't that interesting, but it does provide a good excuse to re-watch a great moment from Breaking Away.