Friday, October 10th, 2014


The Kid Stays in the Picture

Reminder: NextDraft will be off until Oct 20. Have a good week.

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who shares this year's Nobel Peace Prize with India's Kailash Satyarthi, had to wait until the end of the school day before making her first public statement. "This is not the end … I want to see every child going to school and getting an education." Kailash Satyarthi, who has been marching and working on behalf of children for three decades, echoed the sentiment: "A lot of work still remains but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime." One recipient is 17, one is 60. Both fight for the human rights of children. Both have regularly risked their lives for the cause. And both want the award to improve relations between their countries, starting with their decision to invite the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to attend the prize ceremony.

+ The New Yorker: "Both of these people deserved the award individually. The combination of the two laureates gives it a nuanced character -- and a different kind of power than if it had gone to either of them alone."

+ Malala celebrated her sixteenth birthday by giving a remarkable speech at the UN.

+ "In the paper we read she is favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize. My son is astonished. 'How can she win?' he asks. 'She's always fighting with her brother!'" Christina Lamb in The Sunday Times: My year with Malala.


Thru the Desert on a Course with No Name

Sadly, we follow the news of the peace prize with updates from the front lines. Dexter Filkins on the air campaign: "Why is the situation turning out so badly? The answers are pretty simple, and they aren't exactly heartening."

+ "The kill-chain is very convoluted. Nobody really has the control in the tactical environment." From The Daily Beast: Air Force pilots say they're flying blind against ISIS.

+ NPR: "The U.S. has been bombing the Islamic State for two months now, and several developments stand out: The extremists are still on the offensive, the U.S. is struggling to find partners on the ground, and for the first time in a quarter-century, a major U.S. military intervention lacks a formal name."


Weekend Reads

"The trip lasted nearly a month, devolving from a journey of want and fear into an outright abduction by smugglers in the United States. Freedom came only after an extra $1,000 payment, made at a gas station in Fort Myers, Fla., as her kidnappers flashed a gun." From the NYT's: Damien Cave and Frances Robles: A Smuggled Girl's Odyssey of False Promises and Fear.

+ "Ping-pong is a game for obsessives. Obsessiveness, in fact, is a prerequisite for success." Eric Nusbaum in Deadspin: The Immigrant Sport: What Ping-Pong Means In America.

+ "What's the difference between God and a mountain guide? ... God doesn't think he's a mountain guide." From the National Post: Joe O'Connor on the avalanche that changed backcountry culture: The Day the Mountain Fell.

+ Buzzfeed: Meet The Scientists Who May Have Found The Cure For Drug Addiction.

+ The other night I used a flashlight and a tennis racket to try to scare a raccoon away from my garbage cans. The raccoon sensed my weakness; saw right through me. Just sat and stared with look that said it all. "You're not gonna use that racket, and even if you did, we both know you've got no backhand." But maybe I shouldn't feel so bad. Like humans, raccoons have adapted to modern life. From Nautilus: The Intelligent Life of the City Raccoon.


The Great Awakening

"White rice, miso soup, kabocha squash simmered in soy sauce and sweet sake, pickled cucumber, rolled egg omelet, and grilled salmon." That's the Japanese equivalent to the bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch your kid ate before school. From the NYT Magazine: What kids around the world eat for breakfast.

+ "I don't know how many, like, white people having brunch I can deal with on a Saturday afternoon." David Shaftel: Brunch is for jerks.


Karma’s a Glitch

"A cybermob jumps on board, and one can imagine that the only thing the attackers know about the victim is that she's female." In The Atlantic, Catherine Buni and Soraya Chemaly detail how social media has turned against women.

+ At a "celebration of women in computing," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella advised women in tech who hoped for a raise to simply have "faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. That's good karma." (Maybe it's time for a system upgrade.)


Delay of Blame?

"We knew it was wrong … For whatever reason, it just kind of got glossed over. I'm no psychiatrist, so I can't really get into what that part of it is. I'm just telling you how I was. I've got to look at myself first. And I was part of that, but I didn't stand alone." A former general manager of the Chicago Bears says NFL teams glossed over hundreds of domestic violence incidents.


A Legend in His Own Mind

"During Banned Books Week last month, you may have heard that some busybodies banned Green Eggs and Ham because they thought the story was kinda gay ... None of these reports say where or when this purported prohibition took place, other than those vague references to California and the '90s ... I'm pretty sure I know where this began. It's my fault. Sorry. My bad." Jesse Walker in Reason: I think I accidentally started an urban legend. (This could explain about 90% of the Internet.)

+ When a joke goes well, there's laughter. When it goes poorly, there's silence. When it goes really bad, there's this: "Here's what it looks like after someone shouts 'I have Ebola, you're all screwed!' on a plane


Kim Jong, Undercover

North Korea's leader missed a couple more major events adding to the mystery of his whereabouts. He's made no public appearances since early September. And intelligence agencies around the world don't seem to have the slightest idea where he is (or even if he's alive).

+ GQ: "Rumors have swirled about a possible coup, Cuban shoe-related ankle injuries, and Swiss cheese-inflicted gout. Now, some are floating the idea that maybe he's dead. You know who's probably not going berserk over his disappearance? Regular North Koreans."


Knee Jerk Reactions

According to a recent study, loud, startling noises may lead to knee injuries. Nothing can making you feel older than blowing out your knee because somebody yelled at it (except Green Day being nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).

+ "I sincerely believe that we can enjoy something very similar to yoga if we encourage people to play with horses and if we dare to truly connect with them on their frequency in the frequency of nature." Two words, folks: Horse Yoga.


The Bottom of the News

"Clown International has lost almost 90 percent of its members from its peak in the 1980s." The Atlantic on how clowns became terrifying.

+ WaPo on Robert Downey's remarkable comeback. And if his movie career doesn't amaze you, his singing at Sting's birthday party will.

+ What happens to baggage that's never claimed? For the answer, you'll need to go to Scottsboro, Alabama.