Monday, March 30th, 2015


Less Parental Guidance Suggested

It's not that I want to break up with you. I just think we should take a break, maybe see other people, and spend a little less time together. That was the news I delivered to my kids after learning from the first large-scale longitudinal study on the subject that "the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out." According to the researchers, it's the quality of time we spend together, not the quantity. Maybe our obsessiveness with creating perfect children has always been more about us than them. I'm not sure how my kids reacted to the prospect of spending less time with me because each of their expressions was blocked by the back on an iPad.


Ink Different

"Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it's time for all of us to be courageous." What can bring together a newspaper owned by Amazon's CEO and the words of Apple's CEO? The fight against stupid bigotry. Here's Tim Cook on why the so-called religious discrimination laws are dangerous.

+ Indiana lawmakers are working to clarify their religious freedom law.

+ The Atlantic's Garrett Epps on what makes Indiana's religious-freedom law different.

+ Many tech companies have signaled strong opposition to the Indiana law. While those moves might seem like risk-free, common sense to some of us, it's worth remembering that America is split on the issue.


It’s a Death Gap

At this point, it's no secret that being on the wrong side of income inequality is bad for your health. But it turns out that it's actually bad for those at both ends of the income spectrum. Here's the NYT Upshot with "new evidence suggest[ing] that living in a community with high income inequality also seems to be bad for your health."


Noah’s Career Arc

I think it's safe to say that nobody won the office pool predicting the next host of The Daily Show. South African Trevor Noah, who had appeared on the show only three times, just got named as John Stewart's successor.

+ Some of his early appearances are included in NY Mag's look at how Trevor Noah became the next host of The Daily Show.


Losing the Title

Brian Robertson taught himself to code at the age of 6. His software writing chops were earning him 25 bucks an hour in junior high. A few years later, after dropping out, he joined a company and he hated the bureaucracy. Today, Robertson is re-writing the rules of the workplace, and some young companies -- including Zappos --- are jumping on board and adopting what Robertson calls the Holacracy. "It sheds traditional hierarchies for self-governing teams that get work done through tactical meetings." From FastCo: Meet the alt-management system invented by a programmer. (I work alone, and I still think the NextDraft management hierarchy could use a little levelling.)


Friends in Low Places

"Sometimes you develop these relationships with these traffickers. You know, they're stone psychopathic killers, but they have great personalities." NPR on the addiction and adrenaline associated with being an undercover agent.

+ Developing an online persona. Stealing Bitcoin. Laundering money. These are exactly the kinds of crimes you'd associate with the Silk Road bust. But in this case, we're talking about DEA agents.


Going to the Mattresses

"If visitors arrived when AshLeigh was asleep, did she want to be woken? If they started crying, should they step outside or talk about their feelings with her? What about life support? Funeral details? Who should inherit her computer? Or Bandit, her dachshund?" In a story that is at once awful, beautiful and poignant, the NYT's Jan Hoffman describes a program that enables teenagers who are facing death to share their own feelings and wishes for the end of their lives and beyond.


Gimme the Beat, Boys

"I come from an era where you didn't steal people's ideas." BBC with a look at a little-known B-side drum solo that has appeared "in different forms in more than 1,500 other songs."

+ The Verge: The Internet took the album away, and now it's giving it back. (By Internet, they mean Beyonce.)


Orchard Supply

"Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away." So says a new study that does indicate, however, that apple eaters tend to use fewer prescriptions than their non-apple eating counterparts. Forget the studies. My dad has eaten an apple (without the peel) every night after dinner since I was a kid. He's now 90 and currently deciding what he wants to do after work: Go on a walk, play golf, swim, or work out.


The Bottom of the News

Joining an increasingly large crowd of public venues and events, the organizers of Lollapalooza and Coachella have banned Selfie Sticks. Sadly, under-bathed attendees will still be allowed to drop Molly and moan out of tune lyrics into your personal space.

+ Salon: The secret history of caffeine.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: From Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, here's how every single news report on the economy plays out. (Brooker, you may remember, is the creator of Black Mirror.)

+ And PRI with the understatement of the day: "That one-way ticket to Mars you were hoping for may not be such a good idea."