Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015


Going Mobile

"The day I started on the road, I had a flip phone, an iPod, a TomTom GPS, an atlas, a laptop, and free Wi-Fi wasn't very easy to find." Times have changed since the days back when guy known as Nuke started living out of his truck. And that's good news for him since Internet access has moved up several rungs on Maslow's hierarchy. As addicted as you are to your phone, it can be an even greater necessity for homeless folks like Mike Quain who need access to information such as weather forecasts: "If it's too cold somewhere, we'll get south any way we can. And no one likes to be surprised by rain. Rain isn't nearly as fun when you don't have a dry place to go." From Newsweek's Betsy Isaacson: Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture.


Flunking Cell Biology

"It's important that children learn that there are consequences to their actions." So said a west Texas judge who was explaining the validity of system that sends poor teens to adult jails for skipping school. (Whatever happened to sitting in the corner...)



"The difference is that this time we needn't wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn't looked." The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf takes us to Baltimore, the scene of the latest incident where a black man was killed while in police custody.

+ Freddy Gray died of a spinal cord injury on Sunday. And the protests in Baltimore are getting bigger.


San Francisco Summer of Gov

"San Francisco city supervisors have voted unanimously to ban chewing tobacco from all athletic venues, including baseball fields." That includes AT&T Park. So that includes major league baseball players.

+ No chewing tobacco in MLB dugouts. And no smoking on Bourbon Street.

+ "We have tried every noodle that is out there. Whole-wheat noodles just don't work in lasagna. We are having to go lawless to use regular pasta." The battle over what's in school lunches is setting up to be an all out food fight.

+ "Two judges perched on stools nearby watched as the contestants' foggy clouds traveled along a black measuring stick. As fans held their breath, Mr. Seybold's cloud reached out all the way to 6 feet." Welcome to the world of competitive vaping. (Vaping might be the only thing that could actually make smoking seem cool again...)


The Unsilent Treatment

Dr. Oz has responded to critics who argued that views expressed on his TV show make him unfit to be on the faculty at Columbia: "I vow to you right here and right now: we will not be silenced, we will not give in." (Turn the other cheek and cough.)

+ Michael Specter in The New Yorker: Is the most trusted doctor in America doing more harm than good? Come on, if you can't trust a television doctor named Oz, who can you trust?


The Baristocrats

"Thirty-five million Americans now have some college experience but no degree." Can Starbucks help the cream rise to the top? Amanda Ripley on the upwardly mobile barista.


You’ve Been Trunked

Amazon is testing a new service that will enable shippers to deliver packages directly to the trunk of your car. Is it really that difficult to get your packages these days? The only time I'd use this service is if I ordered a spare tire.


Fee WIFi Fo Fum

With some help from T-Mobile and Sprint, Google just officially got into the mobile carrier business. For now, the pay as you go service is only available to Nexus 6 owners, but Project Fi should go wide soon.


Flash in the Panic

Don't worry, our financial trading markets are totally safe and secure. Unless some guy at home in his undershorts decides to use an algorithm to save himself some time. From Bloomberg: Guy Trading at Home Caused the Flash Crash.


The Bottom of the News

A designer named Betty Willis has died at the age of 91. You probably don't know her name. But you have definitely seen her fabulous work on the way to Las Vegas.

+ Tim Wu on a world where nothing gets lost.

+ Vice: Help, I can't stop thinking in Emoji.

+ Since it's Earth Day, here are some photos from Earth.