Monday, March 9th, 2015


You’re So Metal

In the most anticipated product launch since the wheel, Apple rolled out its new watches which promise to do everything but give you back the hour you lost this weekend. Tim Cook and Jony Ivy spent so much time describing the metals included in the watch, I half-expected one to be available in Valyrian Steel. Will this be the wearable that changes everything? It could be. I've heard two key reactions from people who have had the chance to wear the watch for an extended period: First, it takes a little time to get into the groove of using it. And second, once you do, you end up reaching for your phone a whole lot less. Yes, we finally found something to distract you from your technology: More technology. Ironically, this watch ain't for people who get paid by the hour. Prices range from $349 to $10K. Here are all the details from the Apple event and a look at the product that Apple hopes will take wearables mainstream.


Progress and Persistance

"About 35 percent of women worldwide ... said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, the report finds. One in 10 girls under the age of 18 was forced to have sex, it says." The NYT on the U.N.'s report on women. Progress has been made, but violence "persists at alarmingly high levels."

+ FastCo: The best and worst news in gender equality around the world.


An Inside Job

"Reports of rising tensions between foreign and local fighters, aggressive and increasingly unsuccessful attempts to recruit local citizens for the front lines, and a growing incidence of guerrilla attacks against Islamic State" have led to the most hopeful headline we've seen on this topic. Wapo's Liz Sly: The Islamic State Appears to be Fraying from Within.


The Bridge

President Obama delivered two key messages during his speech in Selma over the weekend. One, it's a mistake to suggest that racism is banished in America. "We don't need the Ferguson report to know that's not true." And two, we've made a lot of progress: "If you think nothing's changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or L.A. of the Fifties. Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing's changed. Ask your gay friend if it's easier to be out and proud in America now than it was thirty years ago. To deny this progress -- our progress -- would be to rob us of our own agency; our responsibility to do what we can to make America better." It's worth putting politics and cynicism aside long enough to consider that on Saturday, a black president spoke at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. There's a long way to go, but that's a hell of a 50 years.

+ "We've gone too far now to turn back." To understand how far we've come, take a look back at this excellent Eyes on the Prize segment: Bridge to Freedom, 1965.


See Ya Later Sooners

To see how far we still have to go when it comes to matters of race, you don't need to look any further than today's headlines, including: Disgraceful University of Oklahoma fraternity shuttered after racist chant.


Death By Video Squad

Today's documentaries are more real than ever. Podcast fans were riveted by Serial which led to a series of legal debates, and the case is being appealed. And now, HBO's series The Jinx has led to a new focus on the inquiry into the death of a friend connected to Robert Durst (and the documentary managed to unearth new evidence). Apparently, all publicity is not good publicity.


That Sinking Feeling

Employees at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been ordered not to use the phrases Climate Change or Global Warming. Let's just put that rule near the Florida coastline and let nature take its course.



"At least your ghost is dead. Mine is still walking the building." That's Brian Williams referring to Tom Brokaw in this NY Mag piece on the (Actually) True War Stories at NBC News.


Venturing Abroad

"On the agenda of discussions was future potential business co-operation between Kingdom Holding and Snapchat in the technology field." The Guardian on the pretty surreal scene of Snapchat execs pitching Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed on a potential investment. (Because it's so damn hard to find venture money around here.)


The Bottom of the News

How are you feeling? Facebook tries to have an emoticon to help you answer that question. But some people are upset that one of those feelings is "fat." (It probably makes more sense to go with bloated anyway.)

+ Did you fight with any of your family members or roommates over the weekend? You can blame Daylight Saving.

+ We Are the World is now thirty years old (which is a long time for a song to be stuck in my head). Rolling Stone provides a minute-by-minute breakdown of the song.

+ And for some, all the new products at today's Apple event were overshadowed by the new Game of Thrones Trailer.