Hello Cleveland

This is the last NextDraft before a Summer break. See you back here on Aug 24.

That was the weirdest episode of Celebrity Apprentice I've ever seen. I generally shy away from using these pixels to cover the sport of politics, but last night's GOP debate really evolved (assuming one publicly acknowledges evolution) into a massive cultural moment. Consider this: The debate in Cleveland got an overnight Nielsen rating that was higher than the last game of the NBA Finals.

+ The morning after news coverage of the event was equally engulfing -- just look at Friday's NYT homepage. (Trump Week is the new Shark Week.) The team at WaPo had the lede that best summarized the debate: "Donald Trump landed on the Republican debate stage like a hand grenade here on Thursday night -- serving notice that he may run as an independent if he does not get the party's nomination, dismissing criticism of his insulting comments about women as 'political correctness' and flatly calling the nation's leaders 'stupid.'" The way I see it, Trump is bombastic, wrong-headed and offensive, but our obsession with him is worth noting, if only because 'normal' political discourse has become so scripted and disingenuous that Trump actually comes off as weirdly refreshing (to everyone other than Rosie O'Donnell).

+ The Atlantic won the battle of the headlines: Trump's Narcissism Obscures His Outrage. (I've fallen victim to that a few times myself...)


Rich Mom, Poor Mom

Netflix made big news by increasing its maternity and paternity leave to a year. But in a really interesting piece, The New Yorker's Vauhini Vara provides some historical and economic background and makes the case why not all paid family leave regulations should be left up to private employers: "Among the earners of the highest wages, twenty-two per cent have access to paid family leave, while among the lowest earners, only four per cent do. It turns out that a disparity exists even within Netflix."

+ WaPo on the surprising number of parents scaling back at work to care for kids. One of the key reasons is the cost of childcare. (Robot babysitting can't be far off. My kids seem perfectly happy being left home with the iPad.)


Weekend Reads

According to the singer, the song Friday "was never supposed to be made public, and instead was meant for sharing among friends and family, like glamour shots or a wedding video." It turned out it was made public. Four years later (which is just about how long it took to get the song out of one's head), Buzzfeed checks in with Rebecca Black; too famous to be normal and too normal to be famous.

+ When young and hip people started referring to the Lower East Side as The LES, the writing was on the Western Wall for neighborhood companies. In The Village Voice, Britta Lokting takes a look at one such company's wandering exodus: After 90 years in Manhattan, can Streit's Matzo reinvent itself upstate?

+ Grantland: The End of the Hoop Dream: A Journey to the Extreme Fringe of International Basketball.


Remembering the Internet

In Vox, Todd VanDerWerff provides an update on what is quickly becoming "an internet driven not by human beings, but by content, at all costs. And none of us -- neither media professionals, nor readers -- can stop it. Every single one of us is building it every single day ... The future belongs to the fleet, to the fast, to the instantly assembled hot take." I'm bloated, slow, and cold. I think I'm gonna need a second cup of coffee before diving into 2015 is the year the old internet finally died.


Jokers Mild

The Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan goes back to campus where, as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have complained, no one seems to be able to take a joke; and where a person in the classroom has become "less a student than a consumer, someone whose whims and affectations (political, sexual, pseudo-intellectual) must be constantly supported and championed."

+ The New Yorker's Kelefa Sanneh with a look at the fight over free speech: The Hell You Say.


Brute Camp

"Are you overwhelmed with frustration or fear over your teen's defiant behavior? Have you run out of ideas or strategies to get your teen on the right track? Have you tried it all and nothing seems to work?" Well, then maybe you want to try a police-sponsored boot camp for southeast Los Angeles County youth. What could possibly go wrong, except everything?


It’s Not a Pat Answer

Here's a well-known secret about food studies. A lot of them are sponsored by the manufacturers of the food and, therefore, the results are usually favorable to the industries footing the bill. That's why it's so unusual that a study about butter, funded by the butter industry, found that butter is bad for you. (Which naturally leads one to believe that butter is good for you.)


Have Pun Will Travel

How much can we learn about your personality from your preferred travel destination? According to one recent study, "extraverts prefer the beach to the mountains, while introverts prefer the opposite." (I generally choose the spot with better WiFi.)

+ NPR: Can you protect your tummy from traveler's diarrhea? (A reminder that I'll be traveling for the next two weeks.)


Punch Flunk Glove

It's one of baseball's oldest traditions. Words are exchanged, threats are made, and benches are cleared. But in recent years, another tradition has been added to the bench-clearing brawl. No punches are thrown. (This validates my personal credo of never hitting anyone with a bat.)


Bottom of the News

Where did you two meet? That question has had a variety of new answers in recent years from Twitter, to eBay, to a game of Words with Friends. It all goes to show that, in the end, every app is a dating app.

+ A Welsh town has appointed its first jester in 700 years. (If he's successful, he gets promoted to Tweeting.)

+ I played (and soundly lost) a tech news quiz on Marketplace Tech this morning.

+ 16 things about Uber you might not know.

+ As you might have guessed, beating the crap out of robots is not all that uncommon.

+ On that note, I'm off with the family on an Icelandic, Danish, and English adventure. I'll be tweeting on occasion. See you in a couple weeks.