November 20th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Your Secret Life

I want a glimpse into your private life. I want to know your best story. I want access to your secrets, your inside jokes (the ones just between you and you), and your hopes, dreams, and failures. No, I don’t want to look at your diary. I want to know your passwords. In the NYT Magazine, Ian Urbina takes us on a very interesting journey into the secret life of passwords: “In our authorship of passwords, in the fact that we construct them so that we (and only we) will remember them, they take on secret lives. Many of our passwords are suffused with pathos, mischief, sometimes even poetry.” (Mostly pathos…)


Shot in the Dark

“There is one exception, however, that runs through all of the data: violence against oneself.” The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova takes a look at several studies in a quest to answer the question: Is there a link between mental health and gun violence? Shooting someone for a reason other than self-defense seems to provide something of a diagnostic test in and of itself.

+ A Florida State alum wounded three people on campus before being killed by police. One student posted photos of the books he claims saved his life.


Not Going Anywhere For a While?

President Obama is set to deliver a primetime speech outlining his plans for an executive action on immigration. WaPo has a preview of what the action will say, and how many people it will affect. The move already has politicians on both sides of the aisle saying “Dios Mio!”

+ Vox: The best arguments for and against Obama’s executive action.


Spreadsheet Cells

“The foundation of Islamic State’s management model is more akin to General Motors than to a ­religious dynasty.” Businessweek on the corporatization of terror and the banality of the Islamic State.

+ The Atlantic: The Geography of Terrorism.


Canceling Cosby

Netflix special, canceled. New show for NBC, poof. Even the re-runs of The Cosby Show have been pulled. Bill Cosby has been known to tell young comics to clean up their acts. Now, as Soraya Nadia McDonald explains, pop culture is being cleansed of all thing Cosby. “Perhaps an honest and thorough conversation about rape culture is what comes next.”

+ “Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began.” From Rolling Stone: A Rape on Campus.


In Full Lake Effect

Let’s be honest. It takes a lot for snow in Buffalo to make headlines. Well, this is a lot. The wall of snow that is hitting Buffalo and surrounding areas could soon top 100 inches. “That’s about as much snow as the region typically gets all winter — and it’s not even technically winter yet.”

+ Newshour: 5 things you should know about the freaky Buffalo snowstorm.

+ The Buffalo News: Aerial photos of Winter Storm Knife.

+ The snow is deep. The weather sucks. It’s difficult to get around. And then you come across a Doritos truck abandoned in the snow.


Let Them Eat Kombucha

Earlier this week, we got a preview the strange and interesting things that might happen when Whole Foods moves into the poorest neighborhood in Chicago. Today, Slate takes a look at another Whole Foods that popped up in an unexpected place: “Challenging elitism, racism, and obesity with a grocery store may sound crazy. Here’s what happened when Whole Foods tried to do it in Detroit.”

+ Don’t think a luxury-goods company can make it in today’s Detroit? Well, then you don’t know shit from Shinola.


Here’s To You, Mr. Nichols

The awesome director Mike Nichols has died at the age of 83. Nichols was one of the few folks to win an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy. Most of us will remember him most for his excellent films including The Graduate. Here are the trailers for 10 classic Mike Nichols films.

+ Longreads has a collection of pieces on Nichols.

+ Kevin Fallon in The Daily Beast: Out of the Birdcage – How Mike Nichols Made Gay Culture Mainstream



“Eight years ago when I met my producer, co-writer, and close friend Sawyer Steele, he was the first transgender person I knew. Since then, quite a lot has changed…” Tiffany Shlain is out with a second season of her excellent series of short films, The Future Starts Here. I’ve seen them all, and they’re all quick, entertaining, and thought provoking. Especially the one that was most personal for her producer and co-writer Sawyer Steele: Transboom.

+ And if you haven’t binge-watched Transparent on Amazon, then get on it. You can thank me later.


The Bottom of the News

“I was a suburban housewife. We had our cigarettes and our cocktails and we were happy.” Take a look at Grandmas smoking weed for the first time. They’ve got some catching up to do…

+ According to a recent study, one’s occupation helps determine brainpower into old age. (I guess I better start actually reading the articles I link to.)

+ FastCo: One man’s epic quest to sanitize your filthy, germ-riddled coffee cup lid. I just don’t get why anyone would want to suck coffee through a plastic hole in the first place.

+ I feel a little less like the old guy on the Internet now that I know The Wirecutter is reviewing minivans.

+ Firefox signed a deal to make Yahoo its default search engine. I guess Alta Vista was unavailable.

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