Wednesday, July 30th, 2014


My Name is Inigo Montoya

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Shakespeare (or perhaps for the purposes of this blurb, we'll call him Bill) may have had it right when it comes to odor. But a rose by another name might not earn as much, get into the same schools, or live in the same area. Your name can have a major impact on your life. That's true for individuals and for brands and products. The Atlantic's Cody C. Delistraty shares some insights on who wins the name game. (Hint: Not Cody.)

+ I still can't forgive my parents for not naming me Inigo Montoya.

+ By the time people are judging you by your name, they've already made a snap judgment about you based on your face.



Modern transportation has made the world a much smaller place. That's made very clear by the fact that Patrick Sawyer, who just died of Ebola, was close to boarding a plane to make it home in time for the birthday party of his twin daughters. From The Daily Beast: "He Could Have Brought Ebola Here."

+ Vox: What would happen if Ebola made it to the United States?

+ "FiveThirtyEight: We still don't know how deadly the ebola outbreak in West Africa will be.

+ Time: Ebola by the numbers.


The Crossfire

As Israel intensifies its military efforts in Gaza, the casualties continue to mount. WaPo reports that a school sheltering evacuees and a marketplace were both struck in recent fighting.

+ This ongoing conflict in the Middle East has blown the lid off of pent-up antisemitism in cities across Europe.

+ As Gaza dominates the headlines, the world seems to once again have forgotten about Syria. According to Human Rights Watch: "The Syrian government is still indiscriminately bombing civilians with explosives-filled barrels."


I’m Pacing Myself

Running is good for your health. But just how far do you have to run to make a difference when it comes to longevity? According to a recent study, your runs can be both short and slow (which is right in my wheelhouse). From the NYT's Gretchen Reynolds: "Those who hit the paths for 150 minutes or more a week, or who were particularly speedy, clipping off six-minute miles or better, lived longer than those who didn't run. But they didn't live significantly longer those who ran the least, including people running as little as five or 10 minutes a day at a leisurely pace of 10 minutes a mile or slower."


Goldman Sats

Last October, Goldman Sachs did the unthinkable. They told their junior investment bankers to "take Saturdays off. From 9 p.m. on Friday until 9 a.m. on Sunday, all analysts and associates were required to be out of the office doing anything other than working." Slate's Alison Griswold takes a look at how that's working out. (When investment bankers are working on Saturdays, what exactly are they doing?)

+ Do happy workers make richer companies? (Amazingly, that's not a rhetorical question.)


Passing the Pipe, Getting the Shaft

"The resentment goes something like: We Latinos and African Americans from the ‘hood were stigmatized for marijuana use, disdained and disproportionately prosecuted in the war on drugs ... Now pot is legalized and who benefits? Rich people with their money to invest and their clean criminal records and 800 credit scores. And here we are again: on the outskirts of opportunity." Tina Griego takes you inside Colorado's flourishing, segregated black market for pot.


Film Buffs

With more movies being shot on video, sales of Kodak's motion-picture film have dropped by 96% percent in the last seven years. So Kodak seriously considered shutting down its film manufacturing plant. (And they're the only major producer left). So a bunch of big name directors got together and made a deal: "The negotiations -- secret until now -- are expected to result in an arrangement where studios promise to buy a set quantity of film for the next several years, even though most movies and television shows these days are shot on digital video."


Punt, Pass, and Sticks and Stones

"Asked when he thought people would stop asking whether he was a trailblazer, Sam said, 'When I lay somebody out that first game.'" Michael Sam has been a historical figure in the NFL since coming out shortly before the draft. Now he needs to take the next step. And it's an important one. He needs to make the team.

+ For the first time, the NFL will have "zero tolerance" for "on-field use of racial slurs or abusive language relating to sexual orientation." Just because you're smashing the shit out of each other doesn't mean you have to be rude.

+ How did Jon Bon Jovi become the most hated man in Buffalo?


Eighteen Minutes

With a biopic hitting screens, David Remnick urges you to spend 18 minutes watching the real James Brown on a night when he was relegated to opening act status: "When it comes to James Brown, the real thing, in its most thrilling, compressed, erotic, explosive form, just eighteen minutes long, is also arguably the most electrifying performance in the history of postwar American music."

+ Michael Jackson's Billy Jean at the Motown 25th Anniversary wasn't too bad either.

+ The James Brown buzz will have a lot of people replaying Eddie Murphy's impersonation from the Delirious tour.


The Bottom of the News

Buzzfeed gets serious and asks: Why don't British singers have British accents when they sing? And while we're on the topic, why do American singers have British accents when they talk? (Now that's a jolly good question.)

+ The headline you've been waiting for -- Martha Stewart: Why I Love My Drone.

+ Here's a video that will make you smile and make you think. Via BoingBoing: Watch a cocoa farmer try chocolate for the first time.

+ By the way, SPF doesn't really matter.