Tuesday, June 9th, 2015


You’re On Candid Camera

NextDraft will not be published on Wednesday due to end of the year school festivities (and rumors of a taco truck).

By now, millions of people have seen a police officer pull his gun on a group of teenagers attending a pool party in McKinney, Texas. There are still moments when a person could be shocked to learn that a life moment was caught on video. A police officer waving his gun while surrounded by swim-suited teens during a lengthy and heated exchange is not one of those moments. Yet, his actions made some WaPo reporters wonder: Didn't the McKinney, Texas, police officer know he was being recorded? The bigger question here (and perhaps one of the most interesting questions of the next decade or so) is whether knowing you're being filmed all the time will alter your behavior; and if it does, will it be for the better or worse?


A Fistful of Dollars

"They are price-gouging because they can. They are marking up the prices because no one is telling them they can't." That's Johns Hopkins professor Gerard Anderson explaining a report on 50 hospitals that charged uninsured patients more than 10 times the cost of care. No one wants too much regulation, but this is what happens to patients when the free market meets a prostate exam.


Clearing a Path

"Ali would work ahead, clearing a six-foot-wide corridor through a minefield, while other militiamen followed tentatively behind. In 1989, however, he stepped on a land mine and lost his first leg. Five years later the second was also blown off." You'd think that would be the end of Ali's mine-clearing career. But you'd be wrong. The Daily Beast on one man's rogue mission to de-mine North Iraq

+ "The videos, filmed over several months last year, reveal the reality of life under IS. The first series shows how women are forced to cover up, with one woman challenged for not having her hands fully covered." BBC goes inside Mosul to get a glimpse of what life is like under the Islamic State.


As If

"I can't even. I am unable to even. I have lost my ability to even. I am so unable to even. Oh, my God. Oh, my God!" Is your teenager unable to think clearly and communicate? Or are they just using an increasingly garbled code to keep you from knowing what they're talking about? NYT's Amanda Hess on teenspeak in the age of social media. "Their speech is the site of rebellion, and their slang provides shelter from adult scrutiny. Guarding the secret code has become tricky, though." (That totally barfs me out.)


So Sue Me

I think we may have found an area where people from different cultures and geographies can finally find some common ground. Lawsuits. In this short and remarkably entertaining piece, I look at a few of the latest (and the most ridiculous).


Tell It to the Judge

In Cleveland, community leaders concerned that prosecutors will fail to file charges against officers involved in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice will "invoke a seldom-used Ohio law and go directly to a judge to request murder charges against the officers."

+ A federal judge in Baton Rouge set off a firestorm of political wrangling by calling for the release of Albert Woodfox. Woodfox has been held in solitary confinement for more than 40 years. (No, that's not a typo.)


Tailor Made

Richard Matt and David Sweat have become notorious as we learn more details of their wild prison escape. It was planned in the prison tailor shop and authorities are questioning a woman who worked there about her possible role.

+ Vox: How the escaped prisoners in New York will be tracked -- and almost certainly caught.


Serena Colada

It's a busy time in sports. You've got the record-breaking viewership of the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Women's World Cup, and the FIFA scandal (the latest headlines suggest Jack Warner diverted Haiti Earthquake relief funds to his own bank account). But don't let any of this distract you from one of the most amazing sports stories in recent times. Serena Williams just won the French Open. That's her 20th major title. She's been dominating her sport for years. And it's been anything but easy. Here's Grantland's Brian Phillips on Serena Williams's dominance and the passage of time.


Just Outside the Box

"It's mail that customers look for and want and it's unused space, so it's a really smart move." AdWeek reports on the new place brands have found to get your attention: Advertising on the side of Amazon boxes. If you worry that will make you feel compelled to buy additional products, just imagine how UPS drivers will feel.


Bottom of the News

"I say thank you to the cashier at the coffee shop. I say thank you to the stranger who holds the door open for me at a restaurant. I say thank you to my wife and my 5-year-old daughter several times a day. "In The Atlantic, Deepak Singh explains that saying thank you in India can be insulting: "I've Never Thanked My Parents for Anything." (Hmm, maybe my kids are from India...)

+ BoingBoing: How hip hop can teach you to code.

+ What do you get if you put a bunch of automated cameras in the Serengeti? Animal selfies.

+ Of city metro systems and the many ways to design the letter M.