July 13th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

A Good Use of Your Time

The good news. Your inbox and your to-do list are empty. The bad news. So is your creative and professional life. In Quartz, Tony Crabbe argues that tech-fueled time management is only making our lives worse. “Time management, we believe, is the solution to our busyness: if we could organize our time better, we’d be less overwhelmed, happier, and more effective. We are completely wrong on all three counts, and it’s damaging our lives and our careers.”

+ It’s sometimes hard to believe that the overwhelming number of productivity tools are actually making us more productive. Here’s my take on the topic (which I wrote using the same application I’ve used since the late 90s): The Avalanche of Options: Looking back on it now, the first time I truly felt the need for a note-taking app was when I started researching note-taking apps.


Feta Accomplie

“All and all, I think you can say the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I think there is a possibility to return to the growth path, but it is going to take a long time and it is going to be an arduous road.” The fact that quote came from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the “winning” side of the Greek debt talks gives you some idea of how brutal the situation is, even as the European Union and Greece finally came to terms. (I don’t want to suggest that the deal was too harsh, but Merkel got Chobani and Greek Salads are now referred to as Schnitzel.)

+ WaPo: What everybody needs to know about the deal to save Greece — and what happens next.

+ Slate: Why Greece got schooled. (I’m guessing it was because they had no money.)

+ Maybe the European Union will have talks with 50 Cent next


Tunnel Vision

Dios Mio. Joaquín Guzmán Loera, Mexico’s most notorious drug kingpin, managed to tunnel his way out of the country’s most secure prison. From The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe: El Chapo Escapes Again. (El Chapo’s nickname should have been Adios.)

+ El WaPo on El Chapo and his experience building “the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization by digging — quietly, efficiently, patiently.”

+ Quartz with some photos of El Chapo’s escape route.


The Game is Rigged

“Great jobs for all, she’d imagined. Improved living standards. Perhaps no place in America’s Deep South had ever received a better chance to create new economic opportunities for its people.” WaPo’s Chico Harlan with a very interesting piece on a county in the Deep South that reaped millions from casino business, but where poverty is still its spin of the wheel.


Fixing Run On Sentences

“I believe these folks deserve their second chance.” President Obama just commuted the sentences of 46 people serving long drug-related sentences in federal prison. And next week, Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.


Watching the Electives

When parents come home “they should walk in the door unplugged and use the first hour they’re home as time to reconnect with the family.” In the NYT, Jane E. Brody explains that the only way to cut kids’ screen time is say no to yourself first. (Thankfully, my kids understand that I’m a professional.)

+ Need to get offline? Try an adult coloring book. Apparently they’re all the rage.


Drink, Drank, Funk

“They’re dangerous, they’re not maintained and they’re dirty.” Kendra Pierre-Louis on the rise of bottled water, the drop in trust of government and public spaces, and why we don’t drink out of water fountains anymore. (I hear Tom Selleck still loves them.)


Little Sister

At this point, Serena Williams deserves her own parade down NYC’s Canyon of Heroes. You can’t overstate the achievement. Even this headline from The Atlantic is understated considering her dominance of her sport: The Astonishing Greatness of Serena Williams.

+ NYT: What it’s like to face a 150 mph tennis serve


Lego My Eco

“Executives are assembling a team of scientists to find a bio-based alternative to the petroleum-based plastic that has been used to make its bricks for decades.” Lego has started a 15 year research effort to come up with a way to make their bricks more eco-friendly.


Bottom of the News

On Wednesday, Amazon is having a huge sale for Prime members. So now, Wal-mart is fighting back with a sale of its own. The battle of the fake holidays is on.

+ Slate: How parents who named their kids “Atticus” feel about learning he’s now kind of racist. (Rumors are swirling that Harper Lee will come out with a third Mockingbird novel: Atticus Finch and the Goblet of Fire.)

+ Bloom County blooms once again.

+ Update: Lada Gaga is acting normal.

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