Wednesday, May 6th, 2015


Gimme Shelter

"You've got to be kidding me." That was the refrain most experts on homelessness had when they heard about the new "innovation" that seemed to be solving the problem of chronic homelessness in some communities. But Sam Tsemberis' strategy is so simple that it just might work. What's the big idea? To stop chronic homelessness, you give homes to the chronically homeless. This sounds obvious, but historically, housing has been viewed as a final step of treatment; granted only after a person kicks addiction or completes a counseling program. It turns out that the the best and cheapest way to get people off the streets is to do just that.


All Wrong

"There are no indications that the girl's health is at risk ... we are not, from any point of view, in favor of terminating a pregnancy." That's Paraguay's health minister Antonio Barrios explaining why a ten year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather will not be allowed to get an abortion. The stepfather is currently on the run. Meanwhile, the girl's mother has been imprisoned for breaching her duty of care. And according to the government making these laws and decisions, "two births a day occur among girls aged 10 to 14 in Paraguay, and many are the result of sexual abuse by relatives."


Life of Brian

As Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake calls on the Department of Justice to investigate her city's police department, The Guardian takes a look at the very troubling past of the officer charged with manslaughter in the Freddie Gray case. Brian Rice "allegedly threatened to kill himself and the husband of his ex-girlfriend, during incidents that led to him being disciplined and twice having his guns confiscated."


Getting The Disband Back Together

"A project is identified; a team is assembled; it works together for precisely as long as is needed to complete the task; then the team disbands." In the NYT, Adam Davidson explains what Hollywood can teach us about the future of work. (I hope my next job stars Scarlett Johansson.)


We Bought a Zoo

"We've seen an increase in coyote calls, bear calls, mountain lion calls -- all the way to mice and deer. At your house everything is green and growing and flowering and they're being drawn to it." The drought that plagues several western states is, in many cases, harder on animals than it is on humans. So the animals are coming to where the wild things aren't.


The Needle and the Damage Done

"The reduction in pressure of the Patriots game balls cannot be explained completely by basic scientific principles such as the Ideal Gas Law, based on the circumstances and conditions likely to have been present on the day of the AFC Championship Game." Remember Deflategate? Well, an investigation has been going on for several months, and the final report indicates that it's "more probable than not" that the Patriots deflated the footballs.

+ "Mayweather was already a gargoyle for our era, a gleaming hood ornament on a demented limo running one red light after another, America's id. Maybe this fight was just an opening act for the real performance. You didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After all, was there anybody out there in the culture beyond Mayweather who stands a better chance of becoming the 21st century's answer to O.J. Simpson after the gloves are hung up? Strap in folks …" In SB Nation Brin Jonathan-Butler and Mickey Duzyj go a full 12 rounds with the so-called fight of the century: The Poison Oasis.


The Golden Ears

"I don't know how many cards I've got left in the deck. Do I knock out a few hundred more surgeries, or do I try to maximize my influence while I'm here?" That was the question ear surgeon Rodney Perkins asked himself before shifting his talents to the tech startup world. Since then, he's "founded or co-founded around a dozen companies, three of which have gone public." From The New Yorker's Andrew Marantz: The Seventy-Seven-Year-Old Tech Bro Who Wants to Fix Your Hearing.


The Time Face Continuum

"I will make no attempt to undertake a comprehensive analysis of every allegedly beautifying product that is touched by a celebrity. The number is infinite. It's enough to know that the beauty industry is a huge cultural force in a tight, symbiotic relationship with celebrities ... Publishers don't generally sell magazines by reminding readers that nothing works." The Atlantic's Timothy Caulfield on the pseudoscience of beauty products. (Why risk untested beauty products when Photoshop works every time?)


Flipping the Big Bird

"There used to be an urban tale that my right arm was twice the size of my left. Although that wasn't true, I would say it was twice as strong. The bird's head weighs four and a half pounds, which doesn't sound heavy until you try to hold it over your head for fifteen minutes." Longreads talks to Caroll Spinney who has performed as Oscar and Big Bird on Sesame Street since the show launched.


The Bottom of the News

"No one ever got into Harvard or Yale with only three tabs open. But it's your life." Here are some things I need to come up with a better way to say to my kids..

+ Quartz: Stunning first shots from National Geographic's 2015 Traveler Photo Contest

+ How a hostage used a Pizza Hut app to save herself.

+ There are only 9 days left to get your NextDraft Internet Superhero T-Shirt.