June 12th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Organic Cannon

Whole Foods has a new rating system for what it labels Responsibly Grown food, and many organic farmers are unhappy with the company’s grading curve. At issue is the fact that some non-organic foods are able to earn higher marks than their organic counterparts. As one organic advocate asks: “Why would you pay more for a certified organic product, when you can get the ‘Best’ for a couple of dollars a pound cheaper?”

+ Vox: Is organic food any healthier? Most scientists are still skeptical.

+ And good news for those saddened by the fact that vaping doesn’t already make them look ridiculous enough. They can now vape organic e-cigarette liquid. (I wouldn’t touch the stuff unless it was also artisanal.)


The Tough Pacific Rim Job

After years of facing resistance from the GOP, President Obama finds himself saying, “Et Tu, Democrats?” as his own party put the kibosh on a Pacific Rim free trade initiative that is at the forefront of his second term goals.


Weekend Reads

“The audience members stared blankly at the screen, mouths agape. They looked as if they had just witnessed a crime.” ESPN Magazine’s Mina Kines on the remarkable rise and rapid decline of an e-sports legend. The Unkillable Demon King.

+ “There were no tourists, only a raven, black and unhurried, circling at the edge of the cliff. It spiraled upward, a silent signal of rising air.” NYT Mag’s John Branch on Dean Potter’s last jump: Lost Brother in Yosemite.

+ “It’s a lot less sexual than people think. Especially if you’re a medium-income cam girl, it’s a lot more about the community… If you’re just interested in hanging out all night because you just got off work and you have no girlfriend or friends, then it’s a nice two hours.” Cate McGehee with a very interesting (and surprising) look at camming: It’s Not Like Any Other Kind of Sex Work.


Parental Guidance

The good news: More millennials have moved out of their parents’ basement. The bad news: Now they are bringing their parents to work. NY Mag’s Jennifer Senior examines the ramifications of a society in which parents can’t stop meddling.

+ According to FastCo, “More than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good.” Maybe it’s just a Bay Area thing, but most millennials I know would only take a pay cut for more equity.


They’re Back

To celebrate its second birthday, my favorite t-shirt site, Cotton Bureau, is bringing back the NextDraft Internet Superhero T-shirts. They are available for one day only. The sale stops at 9PM PST on Friday. Get them here and check out some of the other great shirts sold by Cotton Bureau. (I have no sponsorship deal with Cotton Bureau, I’m just a happy customer. And I make no profit off of these t-shirts. I’m just a raging egomaniac.)


Ball Park Frankness

“Inside his garage were two phones should he need to call for help. In his laundry room was a loaded rifle with extra ammunition on the washer and dryer. Upstairs in the bedroom: another rifle.” It’s just another day in upstate New York (other than those two escaped convicts being on the loose).

+ “When [Matt’s] cleaned up, he’s very handsome and, in all frankness, very well-endowed. He gets girlfriends any place he goes.” WaPo on what we know about the dangerously charismatic escapee at the center of the N.Y. manhunt. (At this point, I think I know more than I want to know.)


It’s a Gray Area

Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal has been pretending to be black. And from Buzzfeed, a civil rights leader has disguised herself as black for years. So now it’s now a scandal for a white person to pretend they’re black. That means basically every white high school kid from the 90s is in trouble.


Between the Rock and a Hard Place

Gawker blazed a trail now being followed by many (bigger) viral news outlets. And they’ve taken on some mighty foes. But this time, they may have met their match as they face a challenge both existential and surreal as they get into the legal ring with Hulk Hogan. In the words of Hulk: “God created the heavens, he created the Earth. He created all the Hulkamaniacs. Then he created a set of 24-inch pythons brother!” (That said, I hear Nick Denton’s been working out.)


Uber is So Meta

The Uber rise to world dominance continues. According to an internal letter to investors, “Uber is logging in 1 million daily rides in China. That’s as many daily rides as the company claimed to be hitting in all of its markets, worldwide, in December 2014.” And Uber also just released its first videogame.


Bottom of the News

“In a secular age, I suspect that reading fiction is one of the few remaining paths to transcendence, that elusive state in which the distance between the self and the universe shrinks.” In The New Yorker, Ceridwen Dovey examines whether reading can be viewed as a form of therapy. (If it can, I’m undercharging you for this newsletter.)

+ The stupid history of water guns.

+ According to a study, fermented foods can reduce social anxiety. (And nothing’s better than an interaction with an anxious person who has sauerkraut breath.)

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