Wednesday, July 8th, 2015


The Glitch Is Back

A pale NYSE day-trader looks away from his darkened laptop screen and tentatively steps out into the sunlight. Thousands of retirees simultaneously call their grandchildren for tech support because the Wall Street Journal homepage won't load. At an overcrowded boarding area, a group of frustrated United travelers are stunned into silence as, for once, they're given a reason for the flight delay. Is this armageddon? Or do we simply need to unplug the Internet, wait thirty seconds, and plug it back in? At just about the same time this morning, the NYSE halted trading because of a technical issue, United flights were grounded because of automation problems, and the WSJ was inaccessible. It appears as if none of the events were related, but the confluence of outages provides a stark reminder of how dependent we are on technologies which are beyond our grasp.

+ In Fusion, Felix Salmon argues that you don't need to panic about the New York Stock Exchange or anything else. (If you can't access this article, run for your life.)


Prove it All Night

Neurodegenerative disease, vascular stress, emotional disruption. Scientists have connected these symptoms and more to a lack of sleep. And in doing so, they're beginning to get a better understanding of the process. In the second of a three part series, Maria Konnikova takes a look at the work we do while we sleep.


Loan Shark Week

"Greece doesn't need to borrow money only to pay off its past debts, it has to borrow just to keep the lights on." The New Yorker's James Surowiecki on why Europe needs to offer Greece debt relief (even though Greece has almost no negotiating power).

+ "The actual income earned by a typical Greek citizen is 92 percent higher than the income reported to the government." NPR has a pretty staggering look at Greece by the numbers.


Dropping the Dime Bag

"Minutes after he returns carrying two crumpled bags of marijuana, worth $10 each, he's in the backseat of a squad car. Three months later, Winslow is found guilty of selling a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance. Another three months and the sentence lands: life imprisonment at hard labor with no chance for parole." Want to understand the two justice systems in America? Consider that some people are legally smoking pot (or live in neighborhoods where it's not treated as a crime) while others are doing life in prison for selling dime bags.


It’s a Hard(ware) Knock Life

I let my six year-old daughter play with a Windows Phone so she could see how the other half of a half of a half of a half of a half of a half of a half lives. And it looks like that number is about to go down as Microsoft announces plans to cut nearly 8,000 jobs and essentially write-off the $7.6 billion Nokia acquisition.

+ The rise and fall of Nokia in one chart.


Cat Scan

"It's an ethical quandary that's in some ways unsettlingly similar to aging and end-of-life issues currently plaguing human medicine: Just because we can extend a life, should we?" We now have access to many veterinary services that can dramatically extend the life of our ailing pets. NY Mag's Melissa Dahl ponders whether we should just because we can: I spent thousands to keep my sick cat alive. I don't think I'd do it again. (The only reason my cats keep me alive is because I'm the only one who knows how to operate the can opener.)


Straight to the Fava Beans

Texas A&M researchers may have figured out a way to stop mosquitoes from wanting to bite you. The key is modifying the way bacteria talk to each other.

+ In the NYRB, Tim Flannery drops some science and explains how we're really made up of trillions of tiny machines. (No wonder I feel bloated.)


Let’s Get Physical

Can you balance on one leg? Then you might have a stable marriage. Do you walk around holding a warm cup of tea? Then you're likely to perceive strangers as being more friendly and warm. Welcome to the world of embodied cognition; the interconnections between our physiology and our feelings. (Next time you see me drinking ice coffee, take the hint...)


Magic Mic

"Magic City is the place where you hear music before anyone else does, and where it is decided if that music gets played anywhere else." GQ's Devin Friedman heads South to find out how an Atlanta strip club runs the music industry. (This reminds me, it's about time for an Atlanta NextDraft meetup...)


Bottom of the News

Disney has announced that the character Han Solo will get his own origin movie. By the time Disney is done milking this franchise, there will be a movie following the further adventures of Luke Skywalker's severed hand.

+ Not satisfied to let natural selection work its magic, Russia's Interior Ministry has launched a public safety campaign to reduce selfie-related injuries. And the graphics are fantastic.

+ The Calleguas Municipal Water District is accusing Tom Selleck of stealing truckloads of water from a public hydrant. And they hired a P.I. to prove it.

+ Some questions for the guy who climbed onto a Broadway stage to charge his phone.

+ Facebook changes its friends icon. A woman is now in front.