Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


Dialing for Dollars

Verizon is buying AOL for $4.4 billion in a deal that mostly values the one-time Internet giant for its video streaming and ad technology. "The goal is to become an automated middle man between advertisers and publishers."

+ At the peak of the first Internet boom, AOL had a market value that was about $200 billion more than it sold for today. Let that be a lesson to all you next-generation entrepreneurs. You can run a company into the ground for fifteen years and still make billions. Quartz with AOL by the numbers.

+ And 2.15 million people still pay AOL for dialup access. (Who am I to judge? I haven't cancelled my membership to the Columbia Record Club.)


Put a Cork In It

As more people are skipping the sugary-drink aisle, water will soon become the world's best selling 'soft' drink. Sadly, that water is being sold in plastic bottles, and a lot of it comes from California where we don't have much to spare.

+ WaPo: "After embarrassing reports that Starbucks was bottling and selling water from drought-ridden California, the company will stop." (Then I suppose I'll stop watering my lawn with Frappucinos.)



It gives you some idea of the magnitude of the original quake when a 7.3 is described as an aftershock. Nepalis once again rushed for the streets as a new tremor killed dozens and hindered cleanup and recovery efforts.

+ "'What? We have a government?' he said. Everyone in the group burst into laughter." From Buzzfeed: A new generation takes the lead in Nepal's disaster relief.


Stocky Syndrome

"Some parents have lost a clear idea of what a healthy youngster looks like." As childhood obesity becomes an increasingly challenging issue, fewer parents are even aware that their children are overweight.


The Beat Goes On

Imagine you're a kid living in one of Baltimore's violent neighborhoods. Gunshots are a constant companion. You've suffered from riots. You've watched the media pull into town long enough to do a drive-by defining of your life. And meanwhile, the violence just continues. Consider this: In Baltimore, more than 50 people have been shot since the April 28 riots.


To the Family

"I called his chief of staff and explained that I was a long-lost cousin." That was how A. J. Jacobs tried to get former President George H. W. Bush on the telephone. And he deployed a similar strategy to get in contact with Ludacris. And technically, he is a cousin to both of them; just a few -- like 39 -- steps removed. As the NYT's Alex Williams reports, it's all about a global family reunion.


None of the Above

"Seventy-one percent of American adults were Christian in 2014, the lowest estimate from any sizable survey to date, and a decline of 5 million adults and 8 percentage points since a similar Pew survey in 2007." Upshot on the big drop in the number of Americans who call themselves Christian. Which group are they joining? The unaffiliated.


A Chilly Reception

Does Tom Brady deserve to be suspended for four games because of his role in Deflategate? The truth is, you have no way of answering that question because the NFL's punishments are so random. The original Ray Rice suspension was 2 games.


Crock, Stock and Feral

Is your pet smarter than you are? Let's put it this way. Sales of gluten-free pet food have already started to decline dramatically. Humans are just getting warmed up on the trend.

+ How the Bone Broth debate boiled over so suddenly.

+ Utah residents help explain what gets consumed when you abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine: Candy.


Bottom of the News

"Then, with a smile on his face that defied characterization, he put his tongue to the lens, saying, 'It's a closed event.'" This is what it takes for me to include campaign "news" in NextDraft.

+ "It ain't over 'til it's over." Happy Birthday to Yogi Berra. Celebrate with some of his greatest quotes.

+ A Picasso painting just sold for $179 million. That's damn near Internet money...

+ There are only 3 days left to get your NextDraft Internet Superhero T-Shirt.