Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


Snow Job

Yes, the storm was big in Boston and elsewhere, but the media capital of the world is NYC, where the consensus is that -- when it comes to Snowpocalypse 2015 --- prognosticators and politicians made a mountain out of a mogul. Still, our time talking about the weather was well spent. After all, there is almost no topic we appreciate more. The New Yorker's Maria Konnikova explains how weather-talk can "satisfy our inner risk-seeker without going into dangerous territory."

+ Here's the latest on the storm from Buzzfeed, and answers to your storm-related ethical questions: Is it OK to eat snow? And are you an a-hole for ordering food in a blizzard?

+ Almost all of us seem to be gluten-free and lactose intolerant. Until we face the threat of not being able to get to a grocery store for a couple hours. Then, regardless of their merit as survival foods, we're all about milk and bread.

+ McSweeney's: Snowstorms, Then and Now.


A Tough Pill to Swallow

"People at risk for a first heart attack are often recommended to take aspirin daily to prevent it. Only a very few will actually see this benefit and there's no way to know in advance who." When you consider us as a group, we take an incredible amount of medicine for very little benefit. As the NYT Upshot points out, there's a statistic for that. (There's also a business model for that.)


In Fact It’s a Gas

The Saudis have figured the best way to win the climate change debate. It's called cheap gas. It's also a pretty effective way to squeeze the hell out of the competition. And "Saudi Arabia can sustain these low oil prices for at least eight years."

+ Jeffrey Goldberg: The Netanyahu Disaster.


Thighs and Buns

"When a doctor examined his leg, she warned him that it was so swollen there was a chance it might burst." Every year, more than 48 million Americans are sickened by contaminated foods. And the biggest culprit tastes just like chicken.

+ The world hit peak chicken in 2006.

+ Nine billion burgers were served at American restaurants last year.


Watching the Detectives

Does the police-spotting feature in the Waze app put law enforcement officers at risk? The LAPD thinks it does. Google thinks it doesn't.

+ While you're tracking them, they are tracking you. Millions of cars are being tracked across the U.S.


Word Down

"At a growing number of campuses, professors now attach 'trigger warnings' to texts that may upset students, and there is a campaign to eradicate 'microaggressions,' or small social slights that might cause searing trauma. These newly fashionable terms merely repackage a central tenet of the first p.c. movement: that people should be expected to treat even faintly unpleasant ideas or behaviors as full-scale offenses." From college campuses to comedy clubs to social media, we've entered a new era of political correctness.


The Brady Hunch

"We're not Jewish But I think we're into everything ... I don't know what I believe. I think there's a belief system, I'm just not sure what it is." There's at least one thing that Tom Brady knows that he believes. He wants to play at a very high level for a very long time. From the NYT Mag: Tom Brady Can't Stop. (When I was a kid, I gave players on the 49ers dynasty teams new names like Joe Montanaberg, Dwight Clarkbaum, and Fred Deanstein. Trust me, if Tom Brady was Jewish, I'd know...)

+ And yes, we're actually using the phrase "a person of interest" in relation to DeflateGate. (The best part of this story is that each chapter begins with a member of the media explaining how sick they are of covering it. Sort of like they're sick of covering blizzards.)


Getting Played

"Brett was playing so many hours of video games the seams between reality and virtual reality started to break down, once causing him to attempt a World of Warcraft–style teleportation move at a bus stop." Vice takes you inside the tragic, obsessive world of videogame addicts.

+ Regardless of your opinion about gaming addictions, you'll likely recognize some of the symptoms in the story above. We've exhibited at least a few of them since the 90s, when a startup terrified Microsoft and got Americans to go online.


Fly By Night

For those of you who were worried by the notion that a drone could easily land on White House grounds, relax. It was being flown by a government employee. And he was drunk.


The Bottom of the News

Officials in Mexico City are starting a new program to promote a healthier lifestyle. They "will begin offering free subway rides in exchange for 10 squats in front of a ticket-dispensing motion sensor." It probably says a lot that my first thought was, "I wonder what I can get for five squats?"

+ Chubby Noodle has filed a trademark suit against Fat Noodle.

+ FastCo: "I went to a spa for my uterus and this is my story."