Wednesday, January 28th, 2015


The Apple of Your I

Cupertino is reporting about eight feet of cash today. That's how crazy Apple's most recent earnings report looks. This is no longer about a company. It's about an international addiction. Somewhere, a crack dealer just described his product as "selling like iPhones." Consider this one stat: Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones last quarter (that's about 30,000 per hour).

+ If you're a longtime Apple user, then you know the story. First, you convinced your friends to try a Mac. Then you convinced your friends to get an iPhone. Then you convinced them to buy Apple stock. In other words, you're a good friend. Especially after yesterday's results were announced, and "Apple rose in value by one entire Yahoo." Buzzfeed tries to put the ridiculous numbers in perspective.


It’s a Guy Thing

In the highest gap ever recorded, men currently outnumber women on the planet by 60 million. Quartz shares some of the trends behind the numbers: A story of drinkers, genocide and unborn girls.



Take a look at this remarkably disturbing sentence from a recent AP article: "More than 90 percent of women in Egypt are estimated to have undergone female genital mutilation." That's process, currently carried out in 29 countries, and which "generally involves the cutting off of all or part of the clitoris and sometimes the labia. It is performed on both Muslims and Christians and is believed to control a young woman's sexual appetite."

+ During a brief visit to Saudi Arabia, Michelle Obama did not wear a headscarf. That, it turns out, is enough to stir an international debate.

+ Authorities in Jordan are reportedly attempting to trade an Iraqi prisoner for a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic State.

+ At least 2 Israeli soldiers and one UN peacekeeper were killed by an anti-tank missile fired by Lebanon's Hezbollah.


Getting Out

It's described as "one of the most difficult operations the US military has ever undertaken ... every convoy has to be handled as a combat operation." War is hell. And as FastCo's E.B. Boyd explains, so are logistics: The incredibly complex process of getting our stuff out of Afghanistan.


Control Alt Narrative?

"The story of urban neighborhoods in the U.S. is that they either become desperately poor, drug-dominated and very unpleasant places to live, or they become gentrified. There can be an alternative narrative." Is such a narrative possible? There is no better place to test the theory than in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

+ Greg Gopman: "Last year I wrote a rant on Facebook voicing my displeasure with San Francisco's homeless community. It went viral. People thought I was a monster. And in turn, I spent the last year learning about homelessness and what could be done to make things better."

+ How can you predict the next neighborhood to see surging home prices? Follow the Starbucks. (I was gonna suggest following the closely cropped beards...)


The Constant

"One thing was constant: All of them struggled daily to balance their sworn oath with their born identity."Aurin Squire on cops of color in post-Ferguson America


Antisocial Media

"Content warning for misogyny, gendered insults, victim blaming, incitement to suicide, sexual violence, rape and death threats." That's the prologue Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian provides for her Tumblr post in which she shares one week of the harassment she gets on Twitter.

+ The Verge: Here's what Anita Sarkeesian's harassers do with the rest of their Twitter time.


Pouring Out a (Top) Forty

In recent weeks, Howard Stern has taken several fake phone calls from Casey Kasem's corpse. "Once the voice said he was calling from the Gaza Strip. Another time, he was in the tower of Big Ben, looking out over London." Like many of Stern's bits, it's pretty absurd. But in this case, it's not all that much weirder than the reality. From GQ's Amy Wallace: The Long, Strange Purgatory of Casey Kasem.


Sounds Good

"I do this because I have autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). Only, I have no real idea what it is, and neither does anybody else. The only thing I really know about it is that until a few years ago, I thought I was the only one." Mashable's Jason Abbruzzese on All the Feels: How a bunch of YouTubers discovered a tingling sensation nobody knew existed.

+ The NYT's Nick Bilton on a Vine star: "Mention 'that French Guy' to typical teenagers today, and they will know exactly which French guy you are talking about."


The Bottom of the News

Bart the cat was hit by a car. Bart the cat was buried. Five days later, Bart the cat crawled out of his grave and started meowing for food. (This is either the feel good story of the week or the plot of HBO's next dystopian nightmare.)

+ Letterman invites Leno to The Late Show. (OK, this is one is definitely a dystopian nightmare.)

+ This week's storm didn't live up to the hype in NYC. But it did in Nantucket.

+ Pricenomics on the business of fake diplomas.

+ My typos can occasionally ruin a punchline. But in at least one case, a typo destroyed a business.