Monday, June 22nd, 2015


Dear Taylor, Love Dave

Music royalty made a stand for music royalties, and they both came out winners (and so did Apple). On Sunday, Taylor Swift penned an open letter -- Dear Apple, Love Taylor -- in which she explained that she wouldn't be streaming her latest album on the company's upcoming music service because artists would not be getting royalties during the three month trial period. Within a few hours, Apple's Eddy Cue tweeted that the company had heard Taylor, and just like that, the policy had been changed. (I hear Swift is now working on letters to ISIS and the Kardashians.)

+ BBC: Five ways Taylor Swift is changing the world.

+ Taylor Swift is a music business genius. A reading list.

+ And (with a little help from me), Taylor Swift published a follow-up letter with a lot more demands.


Bin There, Done That

Eventually, you'll throw just about anything in your blue garbage bin. And that's just one of the several reasons why American recycling is stalling. Other challenges include a strong dollar, a weakened economy in China, and in an ironic twist, falling oil prices.

+ Speaking of irony, here's The Atlantic on why Saudis are going solar to keep you hooked on fossil fuels.


Charleston Chews on Flag Issue

Over the weekend, several politicians called for the removal of the Confederate Flag from its perch on South Carolina Statehouse grounds. That list of politicians is apparently about to include South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. You can sense the momentum here. The flag is coming down. (And not a century too soon.)

+ "It didn't become popular until the 20th century. It was revitalized in part by its use by the Ku Klux Klan starting in 1949." Don't kid yourself, this flag represents racism. Chris Stout-Hazard shares stuff he didn't know about the Confederate Flag.


Hold Your Ire

"No new laws restricting access to guns will be passed as a result of Wednesday's racist shooting rampage." Sadly, Americans hold that truth to be self-evident. The Economist points to one picture and a few reasons to explain why gun control is doomed.

+ Uber isn't letting its drivers carry guns anymore. (That oughta be worth at least one more star on their driver rating...)

+ As per usual, The Onion nailed this issue last year following another violent rampage: 'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.


Attention Spandex

ADHD isn't just for kids any more. In the U.S., adults have surpassed children when it comes to taking attention deficit drugs. There were 63 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs last year. (That should enable us to focus enough to see that this is becoming a problem...)

+ Chad Brown "wants kids and vets to heal each other on the great American waters that saved his life." From Outside's Patrick Symmes: The PTSD River Cure. "'I'm medicated,' Chad told me once, referring to rivers. 'That was my healing. Fishing evolved me to a place where I was ready to get back in society and kick ass.'"


Oh He Went There

"Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n*gger in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior." President Obama talked race and other issues when he (remarkably) visited the LA garage where Marc Maron records his WTF podcast. (No seriously, he was there. We have photos.)


Life in the Fast Lane

Electrocardiogram data transmitted directly from ambulances and a single call that sets off the beepers of all required personnel at once are just two of the common-sense steps that hospitals have taken to increase the speed with which they treat heart attack victims. As the NYT's Gina Kolata explains, that streamlining is saving lives. "The death rate from coronary heart disease has dropped 38 percent in a decade."

+ And here's Gina Kolata on a new approach to replacing heart valves. I've seen this work for a loved one. It's remarkable.

+ MIT Technology Review: Biotech's Coming Cancer Cure.


Turn the Page

Because so much reading is done on devices, it's easy to measure exactly how far you're getting into a book or article. Amazon now has a plan to pay authors based on how many pages are read. Had he been writing during a different era, Tolstoy might have simply titled his masterpiece War because someone at Amazon told him no one was getting to the Peace part.


Spieth Softly and Carry a Big Stick

With a little help from a Dustin Johnson three-putt, 21 year-old Jordan Spieth earned his second straight golf major, winning a U.S. Open trophy for his dad on Father's Day. (I got my dad a piece of pizza while he watched Spieth get his dad the trophy.)

+ "Half a world away, just after midnight, the phone rang in Kerr's freshman dorm room at the University of Arizona. A family friend relayed the unthinkable news. Kerr hung up, then ran into the streets of Tucson." Steve Kerr just coached the Warriors to an NBA title. That moment was a long way from the day in 1984 when he learned his father had been killed by terrorists.


Bottom of the News

"People were talking about my speech the whole wedding." In the NYT, Bruce Feller delves into the growing market for toast ghostwriters. (This is definitely my next gig...)

+ Forget how old you are. At work, it's how old you feel that matters. Hence, ping pong tables.

+ 66 surfers, one board. Hanging 660 is the new hanging ten.

+ And the headline you just knew was coming has finally arrived: How technology can help your dog lose weight.