September 30th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Can You Hear Me Now?

I just got my first official billing statement from Apple Music as its service evolved from free trial to paid service. And with that transition, streaming takes a decisive step towards being the primary way we’ll consume music. From vinyl, to 8 tracks, to cassettes, to CDs, to MP3s, the music industry has had to adapt to our listening habits — and, in the process, they’ve figured out how to sell us the same music again and again, ironically (at least in the Alanis Morissette sense) at consistently lower levels of sound quality. As yet another listening mode struts its way to the top of the charts, Grantland’s Steven Hyden takes an interesting look back at how Radiohead’s Kid A kicked off the streaming revolution.


Runner’s High

Maybe running from your problems isn’t such a bad idea. In a recent study, “researchers at the University of Vermont report a 23 percent reduction in both suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among bullied students who exercise four or more days a week.” Does this mean exercise is a cure all? No. But the combination of physical activity (and the social interactions with one’s peers that is often associated with it) has repeatedly proven to be an effective weapon in our depression-fighting arsenal.


Assad State of Affairs

The United States was given about an hour’s warning before Russia began a new airstrike campaign in Syria. From BBC: “Russian defense officials say aircraft carried out about 20 missions targeting Islamic State, but US officials said that so far they did not appear to be targeting IS-held territory.”

+ “When a friend from boot camp sent Lawton an email full of links to videos made by the Islamic State — the execution of James Foley, clips from the day ISIS executed 250 Syrian soldiers in the desert — Lawton looked up ‘how to fight ISIS’ on his lunch break.” From the NYT Mag: Meet the American Vigilantes Who Are Fighting ISIS.


Orange is the New Black Car

Here’s a new feature in Uber. When you request a ride, you’ll no longer be able to see all the cars near your location on a map. And there will be a mandatory five minute wait. Those are the latest salvos being fired in Europe’s battle with Uber, as London considers these new rules and French lawmakers take Uber execs to court in a case that could result in jail time. (Uber might have to hire Travis Bickle as their lead negotiator.)


They Lied About the Tide

We’ve got a rising tide in San Francisco. The tech industry has brought thousands of people and billions of dollars to these forty nine square miles. Traffic is thick with Teslas. The WiFi is stuffed with startups. Times are good. And they say a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, that’s complete B.S. Let me tell you what’s going on a few blocks from Twitter and Medium.


Chevy Chase as The Pope

It took us until the Pope arrived safely back in Rome to learn that he held a secret meeting with Kim Davis during which he thanked her for her “courage.” So the Pope met with members of Congress and Kim Davis in the same week? That pretty much sounds like the worst vacation ever.

+ Vox: Why Pope Francis’s meeting with Kim Davis isn’t surprising.


Skinny Genes

Back in the good old days, when you exercised and ate right, you lost weight. It turns out that’s not true today. Well, it’s not as true anyway. A new and interesting study found that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still heavier. Now we just have to figure out what changed.


Cereal Offender

Protesters fed up with the gentrification of East London attacked a local landmark over the weekend. And as CityLab’s Feargus O’Sullivan explains, the target wasn’t what you might have imagined: “Curiously, [it] wasn’t a new skyscraper or luxury apartment development. It was a café. One that specializes in selling cereal.” (People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw fruity pebbles.)


Branded a Fool?

I once yelled at my kids for misbehaving at a restaurant because “it’s not good for Daddy’s personal brand.” I guess I’m not the only one with that focus. Ann Friedman shares her struggle in TNR: The paradoxical, pressure-filled quest to build a personal brand.


Bottom of the News

In Denmark, the average age of women at childbirth is going up and the average number of kids they’re having is going down. Hence the need for the “viral” campaign: Do it in Denmark. We need commercials to convince remarkably attractive Danes to have sex with other remarkably attractive Danes? I’ve seen it all.

+ A field guide to 19 of today’s best character actors.

+ Other than rooting for the Dodgers, there are few things more embarrassing for a baseball fan than dropping an easy fly ball in the stands. One of those few things is doing it three times in the same game.

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