May 28th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Lowering the Chocolate Bar

Sometimes we just want to believe. That’s what makes it particularly easy to convince us of the veracity of headlines with such claims as Chocolate Helps You Lose Weight. But don’t just blame yourself. Long before you read, believed, and shared a story based on ridiculous science, someone had to decide to publish it. How easy is it to get unfounded findings published and shared on the Internet and across mainstream media? John Bohannon explains how he fooled millions into thinking chocolate helps weight loss. “It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded.”


FIFA’s Fiefdom

“One apartment in Trump Tower for himself. A second next door for his cats. More luxury apartments in Florida and the Bahamas. Credit card charges topping $26 million. Another $20 million in his pocket.” The Daily Beast’s Michael Daly on the the soccer dad who brought down FIFA.

+ WaPo: “On the surface, it’s just another white collar crime story: rich, powerful men making themselves richer and more powerful.” But there’s also the very big human cost. Christopher Ingraham on the death toll in Qatar and the human toll of FIFA’s corruption.

+ Buzzfeed: Here’s how the bribery schemes worked.

+ NYT on the bust: “‘Sir,’ the concierge said in English, ‘I’m just calling you to say that we’re going to need you to come to your door and open it for us or we’re going to have to kick it in.'” (Whenever I hear that line, it either means I’ve committed a crime or I’m traveling with my kids.)


Fire and Ice

“We are probably the only scientific community whose archive is in danger of disappearing from the face of the planet.” The BBC’s Sara Lentati on why scientists are sending ice to Antarctica. (Let’s just hope it doesn’t dissolve into the sea along with many of the glaciers in the region.)

+ Melting roads, hundreds dead, and days when 113 degrees can feel like a relief: India’s unrelenting heat wave.

+ The Economist on why India’s heatwaves are so deadly.


Death Penalty Be Not Proud

“At the end of the day, this is just another big government program that’s really dangerous and expensive but doesn’t achieve any of its goals.”The Atlantic on how Nebraska became the first conservative state in decades to abolish the death penalty.


Now Would Be Good

“It’s that last bit of fruit that people want … It would probably win over those last few holdouts that just gotta have stuff now. The problem is it’s a logistical hell.” In that case, welcome to hell. Amazon is rolling out same day delivery in 14 metropolitan areas. Order it by noon, get it by 9pm. (Which only leaves you nine hours for more online shopping…)


Florida Man (the good one)

“Young children head for kindergarten primed for learning, or already reading, because of the free day care centers and a prekindergarten program … Property values have climbed. Houses and lawns, with few exceptions, are welcoming. Crime has plummeted.” There’s no denying that the upswing in the town of Tangelo Park has been remarkable. The question is whether any of its strategies and programs are replicable without Harris Rosen. From the NYT: One Man’s Millions Turn a Community in Florida Around. (The millions were just the start…)


Richard and Renée

“I wear the mantle of being one of the pioneers for the sexually disenfranchised, in particular the transgendered group. The gay world considers me a pioneer, and I’m proud that they do. But do I lie in bed thinking that I was a pioneer? No, I don’t.” Forty years before Bruce Jenner’s big interview with Diane Sawyer, another athlete made the same decision against the backdrop of a much less understanding world.


Paperback Fighter

“Nothing matches the feel and the smell of a book. There’s something special about holding it in your hand and knowing that that’s the same story every time, and you can rely on that story to be with you.” That’s not some old-timer or a luddite lamenting the rise of the gadget. That’s a 23 year-old who’s apparently representative of a lot of digital natives, because, as NPR reports, bookstores are hanging in. (I love reading words on a real printed page. If only you could increase the font size…)

+ MentalFloss: Seven bookstores too beautiful for words.


Too Much of a Good Thing

Most studies suggest that consuming a decent amount of coffee won’t do you any harm. But can you have too much of a good thing? According to the European Food Safety Authority, drinking more than five espressos a day could be bad for your health.

+ A French bartender received a suspended sentence after being convicted of manslaughter for serving a customer 56 shots and encouraging him to break the “in-house record.”

+ With his plane stuck on the tarmac due to weather delays, a Delta pilot decided to order pizza … for everyone on the plane.


Bottom of the News

“Brown bears tend to be peaceful and to keep to themselves, going along with their daily business, until someone comes up to them and starts playing the devil’s advocate. The last thing you want to do around a brown bear is jauntily take a contrarian stance in order to challenge its preconceived notions.” Emma Rathbone on what to do if you see a bear.

+ Americans are abandoning chewing gum.

+ “The Game is the Game.” The Wire: Tautology Supercut. (I can’t explain why I love this so much. I guess it is what it is.)

+ It makes sense that actors in adult films would have to wear protection. But protective goggles?

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