Friday, June 26th, 2015


A Love Supreme

"Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." And with those words from Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court delivered a historic 5-4 decision that makes gay marriage legal across all fifty states. Welcome to the new summer of love. (Sidenote: If you're in a wedding band, it's time to step up your game.)

+ Obama: "Those countless, often anonymous heroes, they deserve our thanks. They should be very proud."

+ Roberts: "Celebrate today's decision ... but do not celebrate the Constitution."

+ Scalia, not pleased.

+ For those on the front lines, the struggle probably seemed to take forever. But the legalization of same-sex marriage will be studied for years to come because change -- legal, political, and social -- happened at a pace that was, by historical standards, breathtaking. The Boston Globe with a timeline of same-sex marriage in the US. And from Slate: The stunning 15-year march to marriage equality around the world.


Terror Times Three

Slate has a round-up of three terrorist attacks across three countries on Friday. "One or more attackers stormed an American-owned chemical plant in France, where they decapitated one person and unsuccessfully tried to blow up the factory; at least one gunman opened fire in a beachside resort area in Tunisia, killing 27 people, including an unknown number of foreign tourists; and a suicide bomber attacked a Shiite Muslim mosque in the capital of Kuwait, killing more than 10 people."


Weekend Reads

You may have heard that Buzz Bissinger wrote a Vanity Fair cover story on Caitlyn Jenner. That full article is now online: "If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life.'"

+ Jaime Lowe in the NYT Magazine: I Don't Believe in God, but I Believe in Lithium.

+ Peter Thiel wonders: "Why must we die?" (Hey, he helped revolutionize online payments. Why should solving for death be any harder?) From Max Anderson in Forbes: Peter Thiel and N.T. Wright on Technology, Hope, and the End Of Death. (I just want to live long enough for all my tech stock options to vest...)

+ Malcolm Thorndike Nicholson in Narratively: We're here, we're queer, and we love The Legend of Zelda.


What, No Locusts?

WaPo sums up the latest climate change-related bummer: "Scientists have already documented entire meltwater lakes vanishing in a matter of hours atop the vast Greenland ice sheet, as huge crevasses open beneath them. And now, they've cast light on the mechanisms behind another dramatic geophysical effect brought on by the rumbling and melting of this mass of often mile-thick ice: earthquakes."

+ NPR: What happens during a glacial earthquake? (I imagine it's not unlike riding Splash Mountain at Disneyland ... but forever.)


Shedding Light on the Night Shift

"There's no one to ask for help when certain things happened and you screamed. No one can hear. And there are certain places where there are no cameras. There's no sound. There's nobody." Reveal once again reminds us why investigative reporting is important: Under cover of darkness, female janitors face rape and assault.

+ And the companion documentary from Frontline: Rape on the Night Shift.


Do You Feel Lucky?

"In the summer, it can be pretty disgusting. In the winter it's not as bad because it's not maggot-infested and all of that." When a city charges residents based on the amount of trash they toss, it opens up a new municipal job. Meet the trash enforcer. (It's really too bad the title Dirty Harry was already taken.)


A Ben But Don’t Break Defense?

"And one blatant omission had managed to hurt the reputations of a prominent academic, a Hollywood superstar and an esteemed public television broadcaster." The NYT on how Ben Affleck's request to omit details of his slave-owning ancestor took down a PBS show produced by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (In the spirit of transparency, this is probably a good time for me to confess that my great uncle occasionally argued that Archie Bunker "had a decent point.")


How Sweet Is It?

Until this week, James Taylor had never had a number one hit. So how is it possible that it happened during a period that is far from his most popular? It all started with the collapse of the music industry.


Self Welp Book

Syndicated from Kottke: "Success through failure, calm through embracing anxiety..." This book sounds perfect for me. The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking.


Bottom of the News

"Seinfeld's Jewish references posed a unique challenge." From The Verge: What's the deal with translating Seinfeld?

+ Disney has banned selfie sticks from its theme parks because people use selfie sticks and people are idiots. Also, Donald Trump wrote a letter.

+ BBC on the Sikhs who saved parmesan.

+ And finally, a rental in Silicon Valley that's only nine hundred bucks a month. (It's a tent.)