February 18th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Home on the Range

When I was in elementary school, my friends and I would walk home after school every day. We’d often stray from our route, stomp along the creek, hike in the hills, or play some sport until the impending dusk made it clear dinner was imminent. By today’s standards, we’d be considered daredevils, and there’s a small chance our parents would get a visit from child protective services. Some parents are fighting the trend by letting young kids spend a little time alone. Others are referring to that behavior as neglect. NPR on the free-range parenting debate that’s been unleashed. (While we’re debating, maybe we should unleash our kids.)


Mac Truckin

Last week’s news that Apple is likely working on a car had many people wondering why the company would want to shift from the information highway to the terrestrial one. In FastCo, Luke Dormehl argues that “the better question may be: why wouldn’t Apple do this?” (I’m gonna skip the Apple car and hold out for the Mac Truck.)


Missing Parts

“We have bodies. Come and examine them. It is clear they are missing certain parts.” That was Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations making the case that ISIS is now harvesting organs as way to further fund its operations. Meanwhile, there are reports that as many as 45 people were burned to death in Iraq.


Hot Button Issue

“If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.” That’s Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore making the increasingly common argument that the best way to fight campus rape is to allow guns on campus.


Keeping It In-House

“You come to us first. Don’t tell anybody … You don’t warn parents in the congregation. We’ll decide what happens here.” That’s how one attorney describes the “legal” system that’s been set up by the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. By way of the excellent new investigative radio and podcast show from Reveal, this is how Jehovah’s Witnesses use 1st Amendment to hide child sex abuse claims.

+ From The New Yorker: “After a Hasidic man exposed child abuse in his tight-knit Brooklyn community, he found himself the target of a criminal investigation.” The Shame of Borough Park.

+ State lawmakers in California are urging San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone to withdraw the morality clauses he sent to Catholic high school teachers. Among the highlights, the handbook “asks employees to ‘affirm and believe’ that ‘adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations’ are ‘gravely evil.’ Artificial-reproductive technology, contraception and abortion are described similarly.”



Researchers at Yale teamed up with a bunch of relatively lucky mice to determine why marijuana gives you the munchies. It turns out that their findings were the exact opposite of what they expected. (Either that or they got a contact high.)

+ Being hungry when shopping is a bad idea. Even if you’re not shopping for food.


Follow the Tech

It’s hard to keep up with the pace of new technology. MIT Tech Review helps you narrow your focus to the ten breakthrough technologies of 2015. (Solving information overload with a top ten list. What a concept!)

+ Snapchat is reportedly raising money at a $19 billion valuation. Maybe all those crotch shots were actually people taking photos of their wallets.

+ Oh yeah, and Uber’s raising another billion. At this point, Uber just goes to investment banks and says: “Fill Er Up.”


Paddington Bull

The extra padding we put on running shoes was causing us to move unnaturally and led to an increase in repetitive stress-related injuries. So we moved to a flat shoe model to better mimic what it was like to run barefoot. Well, guess what? From the NYT: The new trendsetter in running shoes Is cushioning. (The moral of the story: When you hear about a new trend in athletic shoes, run.)


Not in a box. Not with a fox.

Ted Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) has been dead for more than two decades. Yet, he is about to come out with several new books. The first one is called, What Pet Should I Get? The “book” was found in a box of sketches that was set aside after Geisel’s death and was recently rediscovered.


The Bottom of the News

If you want to take home an Academy Award, you can start by being the right age, having the right hair, and doing decent box office numbers. From Bloomberg, how to build an Oscar winner.

+ Parents at a drive-in were upset that 50 Shades of Grey was visible to those watching the Spongebob movie on another screen. (How’d you like to be on that drive-in’s cleaning crew?)

+ A snail’s tooth has been named nature’s strongest material.

+ To avoid slipping on the ice, walk like penguin.

+ Washington Whispers: Biden being Biden.

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