Monday, July 6th, 2015


A Higher Love

"If you're the parent of a healthy kid, it's hard to imagine yourself doing what we did. Who spends tens of thousands of dollars on anything that's not a house, a car, or college tuition? Who lets their child be the first or even one of the first to try any medication? But Sam was not a healthy kid." Fred Vogelstein shares the story of his family's quest to get their hands on an experimental marijuana-based drug with the potential to treat his son's extremely debilitating seizures. It's a family story of love and hope. But it's also the story of a set of antiquated and illogical (and maybe even cruel) drug laws that forced a little kid and his mom to travel 5,350 miles to try to get some help. From Wired, Boy Interrupted: one man's desperate quest to cure his son's epilepsy -- with weed.

+ After years of requests by veterans who found it helped their symptoms, the FDA is finally set to begin trials to see how well cannabis can treat PTSD. Why did it take this long? Politics. (Or maybe the government didn't want soldiers who had fought in Afghanistan and Iraq to try something really dangerous like smoking a joint.)


A Pregnant Pause

"If we want to reduce poverty, one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest things we could do would be to make sure that as few people as possible become parents before they actually want to." Colorado has spent the last six years conducting a real life test to see if they could reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. As the NYT's Sabrina Tavernise explains, the results were stunning.


I’m OK, EurOK?

One rarely associates a prolonged inability to take one's own money out of one's own bank account with mass celebrations, but Greeks took to the streets to cheer a landslide "No" vote in a historic vote against austerity.

+ So what happens next? Does the vote empower Greece to wrestle a better deal from the rest of Europe, or will the Euro soon be trashed? For now, the negotiations continue.

+ And from Vox, here are 11 people and institutions to blame for the Greek crisis. (It should surprise no one that this one goes to eleven.)


Cleat Sixteen

"Surreal. Four goals in 16 minutes? Literally, I don't even know how that happens, especially in a World Cup final." It turns out the Abby Wambach was as surprised as the rest of the world by the sweet sixteen minute burst that resulted in four goals -- including three from Carli Lloyd -- and a World Cup title for the U.S. Women's team.

+ Looking for a lesson about perseverance to share with the kids? Try this one. Six of the U.S. World Cup stars were rejected from youth teams.

+ The best photos from the USA's World Cup victory.

+ And what's the only thing that could make Lloyd's amazing goal from midfield even better? This commentator yelling goooooooal several times. (Seriously, next time you accomplish something, listen to this...)


When We Say Mass

We usually associate mass shootings with headline-dominating one time events that result in several victims being killed at the hand of one murderer. But there is another much more common form of mass shooting that is far more common but often slips under the media's radar. Consider this: Over the weekend, ten people were killed in Chicago, including a seven year-old boy.

+ Are school shootings and mass killings contagious?


To Helicopter and Back

"The data emerging about the mental health of our kids only confirms the harm done by asking so little of them when it comes to life skills yet so much of them when it comes to adhering to the academic plans we've made for them." In Slate, Julie Lythcott-Haims makes the case that kids of overinvolved parents and rigidly structured childhoods suffer psychological blowback in college. (This only serves to cement the strategy I've long held. When my kids go to college, I'm going too.)


Going My Waze?

Google could be making some further inroads into the ride-sharing market as Waze is testing out a new service called RideWith in Israel. And it's a lot more like actual ride "sharing" than what's currently in the market.

+ And next from the tech industry, Uber for your trash. (Good, I need some help recycling all my start-up stock certificates from the first Internet boom.)


Doing Hard Climb

In SB Nation, William Browning tells the story of a fugitive from the law who went for a hike on the Appalachian Trail. For six years. A Long Walk's End.


Well, She Was an American Girl

"Everything is 38 inches high. That is the average height of a nine-year-old girl. This is for her." In Racked, Julia Rubin shares the story behind the enduring triumph of American Girl. When my daughter first became obsessed, I was worried about the gender stereotypes and materialism associated with dolls. Those concerns quickly gave way to far more intense conflict: She wanted to get Julie. But I thought we should get Rebecca.


Bottom of the News

"In all of the thousands of TV show sets that I have designed over 42 years in Hollywood, no other piece of set dressing has gotten as much attention. Apparently it is the paragon of Americana." Slate's Laura Bradley investigates why so many TV characters all own the same weird, old blanket.

+ Douglas Legler wanted a short obituary when he died. He got it.

+ Australia has plans to build a Beyoncé-inspired skyscraper.

+ Each Fourth of July weekend brings with it some hard lessons. This year's was no different. In short, don't shoot fireworks off your head, and don't swim with alligators.