Wednesday, July 1st, 2015


The Incredible Bulk

I'll be off for the holiday weekend, so I've packed this edition with fascinating news, hilarious asides, longreads, and even a book rec. Happy 4th.

You're a total waste case. Forty percent of America's food supply gets thrown out every day. All that waste is overflowing trash bins, depleting resources, and costing you money. So what's the solution? Shop more. Slate's Eric Holthaus explains how all those trips to Costco and Wal-Mart are filling landfills and -- contrary to what it might feel like -- emptying your bank account. So stop buying bulk. (If nothing else, this article managed to make me feel pretty good about polishing off that 48-gallon drum of yogurt-covered pretzels.)


Scout’s Honor

Yesterday, I wrote about the powerful combination of large brands and social media. Today, there's a related story about The Girl Scouts of Western Washington who turned away a big donation because the doner stipulated that the money could not be used to support transgender girls. After giving the money back, the organization turned to crowd funding and made a whole lot more.

+ On the (hair)flip side, Macy's has officially severed ties with Donald Trump after facing pressure from thousands of people offended by El Donald's comments about Mexicans. Meanwhile, the hosts of the Miss USA pageant have pulled out and Flo Rida has canceled plans to perform. (And everyone knows you can't win a presidential election without Flo Rida.)


DNA For Effort

"In the three decades since DNA emerged as a forensic tool, courts have rarely been skeptical about its power. When the technique of identifying people by their genes was invented, it seemed like just the thing the justice system had always been waiting for: Bare, scientific fact that could circumvent the problems of human perception, motivation, and bias." But as you'll learn in this report from Frontline, The Marshall Project, and Fusion, this crime-solving silver-bullet can somtimes backfire: The Surprisingly Imperfect Science of DNA Testing.

+ Fitbit data just undermined a woman's rape claim.


Platonic GIF

If only Plato had charts and GIFs. The ongoing Greek debt crisis has inspired many of both as people attempt to explain the possible outcomes. Bloomberg offers the possible referendum outcomes in one chart, Vox shares 12 charts that explain the Greek crisis, and Buzzfeed (bless them) manages to explain the situation by using Grease GIFs. Here's the latest from The Guardian.


If You Force a Man to Fish

"Twenty-two years after saying goodbye to his family, he was home." The AP has an interactive piece on a man who escaped an (all too common) life as a modern day slave, and makes the connection between his story and your dinner. Twenty-two years a slave.


Don’t Touch That Dial

"What if the way we organized old school radio was not simply all we could do, but instead was exactly what we wanted?" In Cuepoint, I make the case that the most popular thing about about Apple music will be its oldest, most familiar feature.


Sir Nicholas

Nicholas Winton has died at the age of 106. And he is being mourned around the world. In 1938, he was a young stockbroker living in London. A few years later, he had saved hundreds of children who were destined for concentration camps.


You Can’t Hide But You Can Run

What do you do when age is catching up to you? Run. According to a recent study of participants in the coming Senior Olympics, their "fitness age is typically 20 years or more younger than their chronological age." (Another great trick is having a youthful avatar.)

+ Another way to chase youth... Get a skateboard.


Parental Guidance Not Suggested

What's the best thing you can do if you want to ensure your kids get the most out of sports? On PBS Newshour, Daniel Pink makes the case that you should stay away from their games. (I'll stay away from their games if they agree to stay away from my iPad...)


Bottom of the News

And there's this from the LA Times: Woman gives birth, fights off bees, and starts wildfire in Northern California. (Someday that baby will grow older and roll her eyes every time she hears this story.)

+ Jim Carrey lit up Twitter last night with a screed against "Corporate Fascist" California Governor Jerry Brown who had just signed a bill making it more difficult for parents to opt their kids out of vaccines. (I still remember when Jim Carrey talking out of his ass was a schtick.)

+ "You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you'd like." I'd call that the worst case scenario. Mark Zuckerberg called it the ultimate communication technology.

+ Since we're heading into a holiday weekend, here are few bonus longreads.... "The one who went into a coma after being punched in the back of the head. The guy whose ear was bitten off in the middle of a scrum. In one game, Nana had his shaved scalp cut open the way a letter opener slices an envelope." From the NYT, the story of calcio storico, a most dangerous game. From The New Yorker's Lawrence Wright, Five Hostages. And from Runner's World: For Inmates, The Wall Has a Totally Different Meaning.

+ And finally, if you're looking for an excellent book to page-turn over the weekend, join my imaginary book club and read The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by my friend Vendela Vida.