August 25th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

This is Your Brain on Shrugs

Every parent of a certain age has suffered through the trials and tribulations of raising a teenager; and also taken it upon themselves to describe to parents of younger children — using verbiage that could just as easily be describing an oncoming freight train — the impending and inevitable doom associated with having an adolescent in the house. Is it all just a silly exaggeration? The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert takes a look at the latest thinking when it comes to teens, and finds that the answer to that question is a resounding no. “At moments of extreme exasperation, parents may think that there’s something wrong with their teenagers’ brains. Which, according to recent books on adolescence, there is.” (Either my seven and nine year-old kids are remarkably precocious or I’m in deep trouble.)


Rebound Relationship

The U.S. and European markets are rebounding and showing much stability compared to Monday’s roller coaster. And that falls in line with the general advice: Don’t panic. But the NYT’s David Leonhardt points out a reason to maintain some level of concern: “Stocks are more highly valued than at any point from the 1940s through the mid-1990s, relative to long-term corporate earnings.” Killjoy. I still say the key to surviving a down market is to hold your position and avoid panic. That’s why I’m not selling a single share of Webvan.


Banning Banners

“The content agreement isn’t just a handshake deal. Some appearances come with contractual provisions that discourage or explicitly ban jokes about sensitive material.” The Wrap’s Matt Donnelly explains that comedy on campus is still a booming business. As long as the comedians sign off on taking out all of the really funny stuff.

+ One banner said, Rowdy and Fun, Hope Your Baby Girl Is Ready for a Good Time. Another said Freshman Daughter Drop Off and featured an arrow pointing to the front door of the house. A third sign said, Go Ahead and Drop Off Mom Too.” Stupid and are they worth heavy national news coverage? The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues the condemnations lacked all sense of proportion (after a full paragraph’s worth of carefully making sure we know how bad he thinks the signs were).


In the Midnight Hour

“For years, we said a calorie is a calorie no matter when you consume it. I don’t know if we can say that anymore, based on the emerging research. The timing of a meal may potentially have an impact.” Science is beginning to confirm that eating a giant meal and then going straight to bed might not be an awesome idea.


A Trip Back Down Highway 9

“Bruce Springsteen’s phenomenal breakthrough in 1975 can only be understood against a backdrop of profound dislocation and urgent activism, particularly in the working-class communities that absorbed so many of the decade’s economic and cultural shocks.” On the 40th anniversary of the album, Joshua Zeitz takes an interesting look back at Born to Run and the decline of the American dream.

+ “I guess when I wrote that song, I thought I was writing about a guy and girl who wanted to run and keep on running.” Let’s celebrate 40 with a live and acoustic version of the song that landed Springsteen on the covers of Time and Newsweek in the same week (back when Time and Newsweek were still Time and Newsweek. (I choose to believe Springsteen is a NextDraft subscriber.)


New Math, Old Anxiety

If you were one of the many sufferers of math anxiety, are you destined to pass that same anxiety on to your kids? Only if you help them with their homework. I’m a Humanities major. We just pass on our anxieties about life.


Your Eggs Are Done

The FDA tells Hampton Creek Foods that it can’t call its Mayonnaise because it contains no eggs. “The use of the term ‘mayo’ in the product names and the image of an egg may be misleading to consumers because it may lead them to believe that the products are the standardized food, mayonnaise.” (I wonder if the Richard Gere character in An Officer and a Gentleman contained any eggs?)

+ BBC: “The Israeli health ministry has ruled that Heinz tomato ketchup must now be sold as tomato seasoning” (because it doesn’t contain enough tomatoes to be called Ketchup.)


Life Outside the Bubble

“Chris Jeon, a 21-year-old UCLA math major, left his $9,000-a-month internship at a financial firm in San Francisco in search of ‘real’ experience. He wound up fighting with the rebels in Libya.” Josh Davis updates his now quite timely story, Arab Spring Break.


You Can’t Handle the Truth

“Every day, we’re forced to make decisions about how much we want to know. Sometimes we opt to remain ignorant: by choosing not to learn about the health risks we might face later in life, by putting off finding out how our partner really feels about our relationship, or by avoiding feedback on how well we’re performing at work. When is it worth facing these painful truths, and when are we genuinely better off not knowing?” In Aeon, Jess Whittlestone examines how we react when the truth hurts. (Maybe it says something about me that I decided to bookmark this article for never.)


Bottom of the News

“The good news is that no one was stabbed. The bad news is I looked at my inbox and — wow — there were a lot of emails about that.” CityLab’s Dena Levitz on the secret rules of the neighborhood email list.

+ Sarcasm is awesome. Gee, that’s a big surprise.

+ At long last, you can now take any image and make it into latte art.

Copied to Clipboard