Thursday, April 23rd, 2015


Follow the Yoga Pants

Each morning my six year-old daughter puts on a stylish blouse and skirt along with a newish pair of flats (her school doesn't allow heels). At the same time, my eight year-old son throws on some heavily worn sweatpants and a Warriors t-shirt with an animalistically chewed collar. It turns out he's the one on the cutting edge of fashion. Welcome to the era when the word sportswear turns literal; when yoga is popular, but nowhere near as popular as the yoga pants that represent a broader shift in the way we dress. Buzzfeed's Sapna Maheshwari on Gap's big bet on Athleta and the new way American women dress.

+ GQ with a Sportscore Timeline: The Rise of 2015's Biggest Fashion Trend.

+ Nike and Under Armour are now at the forefront of fashion. They're also trying to be at the forefront of the wearable digital health and fitness movement. It's not enough to just do it. You need to track it and share it too.

+ (Somewhat) related: Why do people hate Lilly Pulitzer clothes? According to Megan Garber, they are "the sartorial equivalents of the people who can't stop talking about the juice cleanse they're on."


Reap What Is Drone

"I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families." That was President Obama after learning that a drone strike aimed at Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan also killed two hostages, including an American.


Brothers and Motherboards in Arms

"In the last 10 years the market for force has pretty much been under US control, but as the US leaves Afghanistan and doesn't use these companies anymore, where are they going to go? They are not just going to hang up their hats and go home or they will go bankrupt. They're going to find new clients." Antony Funnell provides a good overview of the rise of military contractors and asks: Does the return of the mercenary mean a world with more war?

+ The public-private partnership we see in ground and air wars could extend to the cyber battlefield as well. The Pentagon is looking to partner with Silicon Valley tech experts to battle the cyber attacks of the future. "Some of the reservists we will recruit to this unit have already funded and sold multiple companies."


A Really Bad Forensic Hair Day

"The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000." Slate's Dahlia Lithwick on how the FBI faked an entire field of forensic science; which undoubtedly led to wrongful convictions (maybe hundreds of them).


The Few, The Loud

The Supreme Court has made it clear that when it comes to politics, money is speech. So now, "about 125 Americans control more than 40 percent of election contributions." You can forget about the 1%. Our elections are all about the 0.01%. (Or as we like to call them in Silicon Valley; entry level.)


Card Sharknado

"Consumers fancy themselves immune to this financial anesthesia. But study after study has documented credit cards' ability to get people to spend more than they otherwise would." The Atlantic's Joe Pinsker makes the case against credit cards.

+ If you're gonna get rid of your credit cards, you might need a refresher on how to write a check. Apparently, people are using Google to help themselves brush up on that old skill. (Our ability to figure out any task has been outsourced to the cloud.)


To Dell and Back

"Located in the city of Accra, Agbogbloshie is known by locals as Sodom and Gomorrah for its hellish conditions and blackened ground that resembles an open sore. The scavengers, typically between 7 and 25, sift through the refuse, setting fire to piles of rubbish to remove the rubber and plastic concealing the more valuable materials within." It's a long way from the line outside the store with the latest gadget. From Wired: Inside the Hellscape Where Our Computers Go to Die.

+ Lucas Hinch came up with a more creative way to dispose of his Dell XPS 410. He took it "out into the alley behind the building where he lives and runs a homeopathic herb store, pulled out his 9mm handgun, and put eight bullets through the PC, in cold blood." Even after getting busted by the police, Hinch described the experience this way: It was glorious.


Put Your Lips Together and Woe

"Ok. Then don't talk on the phone anymore. Don't talk in your office. Don't talk in your house. How quickly can you come in to see me?" From ProPublica and Marketplace, the story of the guy who blew the whistle on Halliburton's accounting practices; a decision that cost him nine years of his life.


Measuring Upload

It's been exactly ten years since the first video was uploaded to a startup called YouTube. Here's cofounder Jawed Karim standing in front of some elephants and talking about the length of their trunks.

+ Amazon has named a building after John Wainwright, the company's first customer who bought a book back in 1995. (I think that was the last time the company was profitable. Hey come on, is this thing on?...)


The Bottom of the News

"Clarence David Moore, 66, called the Franklin County Sheriff's Office on Monday and said he wanted to turn himself in." That was likely a surprise to the officers, because he'd been a fugitive since he escaped from prison nearly four decades ago. So why did he suddenly decide to go back to jail? He needed health care coverage.

+ "According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances, which are held with the goal of drawing more mourners." Yes, it's time to stop hiring funeral strippers.

+ Mental Floss: 101 Amazing Facts Everyone Should Know.