Friday, October 16th, 2015


Let Me Count the Ways and Means

Yes, the robots and computers are coming for your jobs. And yes, they can do almost everything better and faster than you can. But wait. Don't despair. According to the NYT Upshot, we are in the middle of an era when the things you learned in preschool have become ever more crucial at work (which gives us a window of opportunity because even the robots and the algorithms are going to have a hard time navigating today's preschool application process). Here's the conclusion of a recent study: "Jobs that require both socializing and thinking, especially mathematically, have fared best in employment and pay." (I'm a Humanities major who hasn't made eye contact since the late nineties. Looks like I picked the wrong era to stop sniffing glue.)


Skull and Drones

"There has been intense focus on the technology of remote killing, but that often serves as a surrogate for what should be a broader examination of the state's power over life and death." We have a new whistleblower. And this time, by way of The Intercept, we get an inside look at how war is waged by drone: The Drone Papers. From the move to remote-controlled warfare to the ethics to the fact that many soldiers fight all day and then go home for dinner each evening, the use of military drones is the most fascinating story in America today.


Weekend Reads and Listens

Phil Bronstein and I are back with another week of our new (and still beta) podcast called What Hurts. We cover the top and bottom of the news, and this week, we get into the midriff as well with a discussion of the end of an era at Playboy. What Hurts: I Take Mine Scrambled. You can listen via Soundcloud on our placeholder homepage, or you can listen and subscribe in iTunes (You might have to subscribe to hear the latest episode, I take mine scrambled), or just search for What Hurts in your favorite podcast app. Feedback encouraged.

+ NYT: "From his days as a troubled teenager on the gritty South Side of Chicago, Patrick Girondi has never shirked a fight." And now he's taking on Sloan Kettering to save his sick son.

+ Vanity Fair takes you behind the meme: The Untold Story of the Ermahgerd Girl.

+ Reveal with a timely, and timeless, story: The Secret History of American Surveillance


Something Deeper

As violence continues to spiral in the Middle East, Palestinian rioters torched a Jewish holy site. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg provides a view behind the latest uprising: "Knife attacks on Jews in Jerusalem and elsewhere are not based on Palestinian frustration over settlements, but on something deeper."


When Parents Blog

"Astral and Defy have been vegan since they were in the womb. Lucas cloth-diapered them, and now he's home-schooling them while his wife Kenya, 36, supports the family with her PR job. The Hayeses started documenting their adventures as parents, Instagram photo by Instagram photo, on a blog about vegan pregnancy that has become a blog about vegan childhood. The family even has its own semi-satirical tagline: Committed to raising kids sustainably and humanely since 2009." From Time's Katy Steinmetz: Help, My Parents are Millennials.

+ For those who don't already know, the next force in kid snacks is seaweed. (This trend is so irritating that I find myself trying to convince my kids to eat real snacks like Goldfish and Doritos.)


Phlebotomy, Inc

"According to a source familiar with the company, Theranos had actually stopped collecting blood from its tiny vials for all but one of its tests on a Food and Drug Administration order." One of the hottest and highest-flying biotech startups has come under a big cloud of suspicion.


The Emperor’s New Apparel

Donald Trump just made his least controversial move of the election season. Regardless of your politics, who could argue with the idea of keeping the next debate under two hours?

Aside from networks broadcasting the debates, the other big winner this Fall is Louisiana-based Ace Specialties. They make the Donald's baseball caps.

+ WaPo: Voters are disgusted. So why are record numbers watching the debates? (Ever see the viewership numbers on the Walking Dead?)


Enmity and Ivory

There's something particularly upsetting about hunting down an elephant. And it's even more pathetic when you consider that many of the "hunters" are using cyanide as their weapon of choice.


The Hilarious Exit Nearest You

The planes are the same. The service is similar (with some notable exceptions). So how do airlines get you to associate their brand with something special and positive? It turns out they're trying to do by way of the safety video. (I'd settle for bringing the peanuts back.)


Bottom of the News

Uber is in talks with AT&T to stream football games to its cars. If they put a microwave in the trunk, then riding around all month in an Uber could end up being a reasonable alternative to paying San Francisco's skyrocketing rents.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: A system for tracking the facial expressions from one person and putting them on the face of a second person in real-time. This is crazy.

+ And finally, here's a headline I didn't see coming: Flirtmoji designer admits some vulva emoji were inadvertently plagiarized.