October 26th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Hide the Salami

They took your gluten. They took your sugar. And now they’re coming for your bacon. The World Health Organization announced that “bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat probably does, too.” The decision by the WHO panel was not unanimous and it’s certain to be met by resistance. A silent protest (other than the chewing sounds) already seems to be underway. These days, it’s hard to know what to believe when it comes to eating healthy. Luckily, that salami you just bought will stay fresh until they decide processed meats are actually good for you.

+ Bloomberg: How red meat joined the 478 other things that might give you cancer.


The Trolled War

According the NYT, the U.S. government is very concerned about Russian ships and subs that have been getting quite close to the undersea cables that carry most of our Internet communications: “The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent.” The new cold war just got a lot more chilling.


Nature’s Whims

A far-reaching and powerful earthquake has rattled Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. There are early reports of damaged structures and dozens of deaths. Here’s the latest from CNN.

+ Patricia was billed as the strongest Pacific hurricane ever recorded. But the toll wasn’t nearly as bad as expected. From Vox: Why a record storm did surprisingly little damage.


Stop Or I’ll Shoot Straight

Over the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of focus on the use of deadly force by police officers. And while much of the public outcry was warranted, it’s also important to remember the other side of the story. According to an analysis by WaPo, “only a small number of the shootings — roughly 5 percent — occurred under the kind of circumstances that raise doubt and draw public outcry … The vast majority of individuals shot and killed by police officers were … armed with guns and killed after attacking police officers or civilians or making other direct threats.”

+ FBI Director James Comey suggested there might be some truth to the notion of a Ferguson effect: the idea that the “spike in crime in some cities is caused by police who are afraid to do their jobs because of public scrutiny.” What we need is more scrutiny when something is wrong, and more lauding when police officers save lives. But it seems hard for the media and its consumers to follow a meme that has more than one simple idea.


Cookie-ing the Books

New rules “prohibit colleges from peeking at kids’ financial aid forms to see where else they’re applying.” But that doesn’t mean colleges can’t find and use the info. They just have to adapt to the new world and follow prospective students around the Internet like every other company does.


Eat Fit and Die

“In less than a century, our ability to produce cheap calories on a massive scale, long considered the signature triumph of American agriculture, has become a genuine threat to the nation’s health. We wouldn’t be able to eat fifty billion hamburgers a year, and at least as many orders of French fries, unless thousands of the farms that provided the meat and potatoes were also factories.” In The New Yorker, Michael Specter asks: Can fast food be good for you?

+ Quartz: Our demand for “healthier” junk food is creating some nasty new problems for the world. (At this point, the only way to be an ethical eater is to consume nothing but water; except in California where we’re not even allowed to do that.)


A Vigorish Defense

The NYT goes deep (and far) to bring you the offshore game of
online sports betting
which leads us to “one small corner of the Internet, unremarkable except for the confluence of two facts: Sports betting is largely illegal in the United States. And this Manhattan building, on 10th Avenue in Chelsea, is one node in a vast network used by a major offshore sports book — ever faster, ever more sophisticated and harder to track or regulate.”


Luca Brasi Dressed Like the Fishes

“In front of the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters — and yes, all of Japan’s designated mafia groups have well-known headquarters — a sign has been posted in Japanese noting the cancellation of the annual trick-or-treat exchanges.” The Daily Beast on how a possible gang war led to the cancelation of a Japanese Halloween tradition.


The Craft of Bart

With the show now amazingly in its twenty-seventh season, The Verge gives you a step by step account of how an episode of The Simpsons is made.

+ The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum absolutely nails the moment that The Leftovers became a great show last season. And this season has been excellent.


Bottom of the News

Jimmy Kimmel and his team celebrated their last night in Brooklyn with an updated version of Do the Right Thing for an update version of Brooklyn: Do the White Thing.

+ Vice on why you hate the sound of your own voice.

+ Instead of hating the sound of your own voice, why not hate the sound of mine? The lastest episode of the What Hurts podcast is ready for your consumption.

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