March 16th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

TMI Did It

And you thought you had an oversharing problem … For the past few weeks, HBO has been airing an excellent documentary called Jinx, which chronicles the life and crimes of Robert Durst, the eldest son in a wealthy NYC real estate family. Durst is a suspect in the disappearance of his first wife, somehow got off after dismembering a neighbor in Texas, and is also suspected of murdering his best friend and spokesperson in LA. In the riveting conclusion of the series, Durst essentially admits to the crimes while muttering to himself: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” (Maybe Durst should have written The Sopranos finale…) This conclusion was made even more intense because, just before it aired, Durst was arrested in New Orleans, and now could face another murder trial.

+ The LAPD says the timing of the investigation was a coincidence and the documentary played no part in the arrest in this very cold case. Either way, this is about to be the most watched court case since OJ.

+ The Jinx director said he gave authorities his evidence months ago.

+ Five documentaries that uncovered the truth behind the crime.


Get Off My Lawn

“As your client knows, Mr. Zuckerberg goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of his personal life.” That sentence was actually written by Mark Zuckerberg’s lawyer in a recent lawsuit. As Matt Richtel points out in the NYT, Zuck and other tech titans have been asking contractors who work on their houses to sign nondisclosure agreements. Yes, the very people who build the networks that encourage you to share everything are deploying legal teams to make sure their own personal lives stay that way. I wrote a quick piece on this rather remarkable trend: You Kids Get Off Mark Zuckerberg’s Lawn.

+ Pew: Americans’ privacy strategies post-Snowden.


One State of Mind

With his back potentially against the political wall, Benjamin Netanyahu was asked if his recent comments suggest that a Palestinian state will not be established if he is re-elected. His answer: Indeed.


Putin His Place

“It would be boring without gossip.” So said Vladamir Putin who resurfaced after a mysterious ten day absence that resulted in some wild claims about his whereabouts (and some that even questioned whether he was alive).


History’s Longest Running Storyline

“The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe is not — or should not be — a surprise. One of the least surprising phenomena in the history of civilization, in fact, is the persistence of anti-Semitism in Europe, which has been the wellspring of Judeophobia for 1,000 years.” The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg suggests that the fading memory of the Holocaust and rising levels of vitriol, threats and violence have brought up a difficult question: Is It time for the Jews to leave Europe?


It’s What You Know

This is college acceptance letter season. So it seems like the right time to to ask whether it really matters where you go to college. According to a report in The Economist, when it comes to your earning potential, what you study matters more than where you study it. I studied English at Berkeley and Education at Harvard. I am living proof of the veracity of this report.

+ Kanye West is set to accept an honorary degree.


Commission Statement

“In other words, if all of the managers of the 2,862 funds hadn’t bothered to try to pick stocks at all — if they had merely flipped coins — they would, as a group, probably have produced better numbers.” From the NYT’s Jeff Sommer: How Many Mutual Funds Routinely Rout the Market? Zero.


Scandal in the Wind

“You are born to a mother and a father — or at least that’s how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.” So said Domenico Dolce, as he and Stefano Gabbana made some surprising comments about parenthood. Their opinions aren’t just silly, they’re bad for business. Elton John is leading a boycott of the company. I didn’t see this conflict coming. And I guess that’s why the call it the news…


Parental Guidance

When parents are too involved in their kids’ lives, the kids don’t get as much exercise. But wait, there’s more. Doing household chores has many benefits — academically, emotionally and even professionally. So the key to parenting is being able to ignore and work your kids at the same time.


The Bottom of the News

Last week, Charles Eugster obliterated the 200m record, completing the sprint in 55.48 seconds. That might seem a little sluggish for this particular race. Until you realize that Eugster is 95. Not to be outdone, Georgina Harwood celebrated her 100th birthday by going skydiving.

+ Nate Silver on why Virgin America is the Michael Jordan of Airlines.

+ Cows, deadly.

+ Timelapse of the dyeing the Chicago River for St. Patricks Day

+ The rise of luxury toilet paper.

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