Wednesday, April 29th, 2015


A Remote Possibility

Netflix apparently gained in a lot subscribers after licensing Friends, because Hulu felt compelled to sign a $180 million deal to buy the rights to Seinfeld. It turns out the the new age of television looks a whole like its previous incarnations. Except, now, with apps on your set top box, your various streaming TV apparatuses, your DVD player, and built into the software powering your smartTV, it's almost impossible to find and access a show with fewer than 14 remotes. Trying to tell someone how to find a modern show makes programming a VCR seem like a breeze. In the past, there was nothing on. Now, there's too much on, but it's harder to watch. It's enough to make you get up and walk across the room and change the channel manually. But sadly, even that's impossible because your new TV has no buttons or dials.


A Shot in the Dark

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments to determine whether "Oklahoma's use of the common surgical sedative midazolam fails to make prisoners unconscious during lethal injections, thus violating the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment." Among the experts in the case is a guy who researched the issue on a website.

+ The Marshall Project: Which do we kill more humanely, our pets or condemned prisoners?


Prosper and Live Long

"Probable cause was destroyed by the drug war. It happened in stages, but even in the time that I was a police reporter, which would have been the early 80s to the early 90s, the need for police officers to address the basic rights of the people they were policing in Baltimore was minimized." Bill Keller talks to David Simon about Baltimore, Freddie Gray, the drug war, and the decline of "real policing."

+ "It ain't no race thing." NPR's Steve Inskeep: Baltimore Is not Ferguson. Here's what It really is.

+ Fusion: How life expectancies in Baltimore can drop by as much as 20 years in a few miles.

+ The Orioles scored seven runs in the first inning. But no fans were at Camden Yards to see it.


Team Effort

"He had an inkling about how to get back at her -- how to weaponize the metadata of their relationship. He wouldn't even need to touch her. In fact, he already had the goods to destroy Quinn if he wished. But it wasn't enough. He wanted more." Boston Magazine's Zachary Jason looks at the modern version of character assassination, when thousands of strangers are willing to help.


David (Way) After Dentist

You know you're getting old when you start feeling nostalgia for earlier forms of Internet technology. As YouTube turns ten, Business Insider catches up with some of the early and beloved YouTube stars. The kid from David After the Dentist is old enough to be wearing braces.

+ As I shared in the past, while Dentist David and other children were hitting the big time, my own kids refused to go viral.

+ Meet Bizagwira Marc. You might be among the 32 million people who know him better as Okay Guy.


No Mercy

A constant cacophony of outrage from Australia and others in the international community was not enough to sway the determination of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. "An Indonesian firing squad executed eight drug traffickers, including seven foreigners."

+ "Executions of drug smugglers are becoming more common." From The Economist: Which countries have the death penalty for drug smuggling?


The Ties That Bind

"Here is, weirdly enough, real community. And when I say community, I don't mean that bourgeois civic vagueness you always hear the co-op crowd chattering about. I mean the kind of community that would protect you from vigilantes intent on dragging you out of bed in the middle of the night to take turns kicking your teeth down your throat." GQ's Jay Kirk visits a South Florida village for sex offenders: Welcome to Pariahville.


Without a Keg to Stand On

"Injury victim tales of woe have been undermined by Facebook updates showing the alleged victim kayaking, riding a motorcycle, or performing a keg stand." Slate's Amanda Hess on how appearing happy on Facebook can be used against you in a court of law. (This ignores one of the key truisms of social media. No one who appears happy on Facebook is actually happy.)


A Thousand Words (and Then Some)

Some recount the tragedy of Ebola while others look at familiar moments from photographers' lives. All are worth a look. InFocus with the winners of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards


The Bottom of the News

"There will be reasonable, adult acceptance of transition. Or I will turn to a life of crime." The NYT talks to David Letterman about his 33 years in late night television.

+ Photos taken with a selfie stick make you look so lonely. Hence, the Selfie Arm.

+ You need a wetsuit that actually looks like a suit.