Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014


Whatever Happened to Thumbs Down?

"Any time a movie causes a country to threaten nuclear retaliation, the higher-ups wanna get in a room with you." That was how Seth Rogen described a meeting held back when Sony executives were concerned that some North Korean missile testing might be related to his upcoming movie The Interview, in which a couple of journalists (played by Rogen and James Franco) are hired to assassinate Kim Jung-un. While the use of nukes seems unlikely, Sony Pictures is set to confirm that North Korea was behind last week's hack that exposed sensitive data and essentially stopped the company in its tracks. I don't want to be a total narc, but maybe someone should tell the North Koreans that Rogen is Canadian.


No Holds Barred

A Staten Island grand jury has opted not to bring charges against a police officer whose chokehold led to the death of the unarmed Eric Garner during a confrontation. NYC officials have been preparing for potential protests.

+ Will the ability of NYPD to keep the peace depend, at least in part, on what they're wearing?

+ Buzzfeed is providing updates on the story.


America’s Plus-One

The F-4 Phantom jets were American made. But the pilots are Iranian. The Islamic State may have succeeded in uniting Iran and the U.S. in a common cause. Iranian airstrikes have driven ISIS out of two towns in what the LA Times calls "the latest sign that America's longtime adversary is conducting a parallel but largely unacknowledged military campaign in the conflict."


You Know, For Kids

"The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there's a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children." That's Google's Pavni Diwanji on the company's plans to create versions of its products for kids who are twelve and under. Why do I have the feeling my son is about to start using Bing?

+ Narratively on kids, the holiday season, and presents: When Mommy and Daddy took the toys away. (My wife and I could take away the entirety of Maslow's hierarchy and I'm not sure either my kids would look up from the iPad.)


Bipartisan Agreement

Democrats and Republicans finally found something they can agree on. The House unanimously passed a bill that would cut off benefits for some unwelcome residents who have been enjoying them for decades. Introducing the No Social Security for Nazis Act.

+ Vox: Congress wants to cancel Social Security for Nazis. Here's why we can't just arrest them.


Brain Drain

According to one of the professors, some of them may have been taken "for living rooms or Halloween pranks." No one really seems to know who stole them or why. But there are 100 missing brains at the University of Texas. (That seems low compared to most Universities...)


Around The Final Retch

"On her husband's mark, the 5-foot-3-inch, 108-pound Kimbrough cracks open a can of the ale and throws her head back, letting it drain down her throat like a fraternity pledge. Ten seconds later, the can is empty. She tosses it to the grassy infield and takes off on her first lap." A mother of six is among the favorites to finish first in the inaugural Beer-Mile World Championships. The challenge is to run a mile while chugging four beers. (Or as any parent of six kids might call it: relaxing.)

+ Outside's Todd Balf on the beer mile: If you can do it in under five minutes -- without hurling or passing out -- you're not just fast. You're a hero. (Stuporman?)

+ In addition to testing your body's anti-hurl system, there is another benefit to running. It might help you stay young.


Swami Don’t Play

Attention downward facing doggers, assorted cat-cow stretchers, and all the rest of you posers: India wants its Yoga back.


The Grateful Ed

His songs, described by The Independent as "authentically uninspiring" were streamed 860 million times on Spotify. And that was enough to make Ed Sheeran the most streamed artist in the world in 2014.

+ The Voice has produced no real stars. But the show has sold more than 20 million songs.


The Bottom of the News

"Some of the individuals involved could try to retaliate against witnesses. They have ties to types who could do away with you if they wanted to." Grantland's David Hill takes you inside the secret world of competitive bass fishing cheaters.

+ The AK-47 is undergoing a rebranding that includes a friendlier logo and a new tagline: The weapon of peace. Talk about taking the oxy out of oxymoron.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: This dive, by Leeds United midfielder Adryan in match against Derby County, might be the worst dive of all time.

+ One journalist has come up with a unique way to deal with the young boys who send her rape threats via Facebook. She tells their mothers.