Tuesday, March 10th, 2015


Blame My Parents

A recent study may have finally uncovered the root causes associated with narcissism. The new theory: "When children are seen by their parents as being more special and more entitled than other children, they may internalize the view that they are superior individuals." Whatever its causes, maybe we need to redefine narcissism for the selfie era. In the the Greek myth, Narcissus was so mesmerized by his own reflection in a pond that he eventually drowned. In the digital age, Narcissus wouldn't die, he'd go viral.

+ Related: The Wirecutter picks the best Selfie Stick.


Me and My RC

If you live in DC and you've seen strange objects flying overhead, it's just the Secret Service honing their drone-flying skills so they can come up with methods "to thwart threats from civilian drones." Eventually, our entire national security apparatus will be run by twelve year-olds with joysticks.

+ What does it take to be armed and dangerous? These days, not much. Officials in the Bronx arrested a guy for pointing lasers at aircraft near La Guardia, and injuring three pilots.


What Rhymes with Expulsion?

"I have acted today to expel two students who were leaders in the singing of a racist chant." University of Oklahoma has expelled two students who played a "leadership role" in the singing of the racist Sigma Alpha Epsilon song that was recorded on video.

+ Politico: Millennials are more racist than they think.


The Overreach Around

There was a time (about a week ago), when the notion of going around a president and inviting a foreign leader to address Congress was considered a breach of protocol. That seems non adversarial when compared to 47 senators sending a letter to Iran designed to blow up the nuclear deal being negotiated by the White House.

+ Vox has an explainer on the letter and the uproar.

+ And while were on the increasingly unpleasant topic of politics, Hillary is talking about the emails: "I thought using one device would be simpler; obviously, it hasn't worked out that way."


Gross, Point Blank

"I was born 35 years too soon. If I still had the patents on my inventions, Bill Gates would have to stand aside for me." Maybe Al Gross is overstating it a bit. But then again, he did basically invent Dick Tracy's watch (and a lot more).

+ "When they sat down, a radio receiver in the table picked up the signals from their MagicBands and triangulated their location using another receiver in the ceiling. The server -- as in waitperson, not computer array -- knew what they ordered before they even approached the restaurant and knew where they were sitting. And it all worked seamlessly, like magic." Your future with smart watches can be experienced right now. Just head to Disney World.

+ Swatch co-inventor: "I do expect an Ice Age coming toward us."


The Internet is Rigged

I've pretty much purchased one of everything Apple has made since I joined the cult back in the Eighties. So I am as excited as anyone about the new product line-up. But as an indy publisher, I'm not excited about what I see as one more step towards rigging the Internet. I wrote about that in this entertaining and freakishly insightful post: This isn't the Internet we signed up for


Hard Drive

I grew up in the Northern California suburbs where the only mean streets were the streets themselves. Anyone who's lived in an area where teens spend a lot of time behind the wheel know this story. GQ's Michael Paterniti shares his tale of how a fatal car crash shattered a small town and a group of friends.


Jarring Tips

"The more honorable that restaurant work is in a society, the less that staff are tipped. Hence, Japan is one of the few countries in the world where tipping is actually offensive, because it is seen as dishonoring the server." In some places tipping is considered mandatory. In other places it's insulting. And everywhere, it's mystifying to tourists, economists and anthropologists. (Once we go all-digital, the screen will tell you what to do.)


Robbing Thicke?

"Regardless of the ultimate verdict, the suit could have a chilling effect on creators, especially in an era when most every song in recorded music history can be accessed in seconds." Is the hit song Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams inspired by a 1977 Marvin Gaye song, or is it a ripoff? A jury's answer to that question could have a big impact on the music business.


The Bottom of the News

"I've gotten hit up by people being like, ‘You know you really pulled me out of my daily struggle.' I'm basically a hero." Um, yeah basically. As long as having 3 million Instagram followers qualifies one as being heroic. (Which I obviously think it does. I mean, I'm here right?)

+ The South Sydney Rabbitohs went "from perpetual losers into the best rugby league team in the world." Because Russell Crowe.

+ Can you tell whether a computer algorithm or a person wrote these news items?

+ Finalists from Smithsonian Magazine's 2014 Photo Contest.

+ PSA: This season, HBO will air new episodes of Game of Thrones simultaneously worldwide in effort to keep spoilers from coming sooner than winter.