Wednesday, October 28th, 2015


Working for the Span

Looking to reduce the behaviors that will accelerate your inevitable one-way journey to nevermore? You can cut back on the bacon, stop smoking, change your sedentary lifestyle. And you can also take your job and shove it. Researchers at Harvard and Stanford have completed a new study which aims to quantify just how much time your current gig is excising from your life span. Depending on factors such as industry, race, and educational status, your career could be costing you up to three years. From WaPo: Your job is literally killing you. (So if you're reading this at work, NextDraft is literally saving your life.)

+ In The Atlantic, Olga Khazan takes a crack at explaining how stress makes you sick.


Drip Trip

"Most pilots are trained to avoid these storm systems. We're trained to enter them." When someone says they work in the cloud, you'd assume they had a career in IT. But for some pilots, it means participating in the growing field of cloud seeding. Bloomberg's Amanda Little introduces us to weather on demand: Making it rain is now a global business.


Now What Were Hussein?

"Of course, you can't say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015." That was Tony Blair on the rise of ISIS and other unpleasantries in the region. The current state of affairs is enough to make one think long and hard about this question: Is It Really Better That Saddam's Gone?


Tossing and Learning

Officer Ben Fields, who "was caught on video picking up and throwing a student out of her chair during class in Columbia, South Carolina" has been fired for not following "proper training and proper procedure." (That makes it sound like he was supposed to bend his legs more before the toss.)

+ Vox: Why having police in schools is a problem, in 3 charts. I once led a large survey of students and parents at a large urban high school where I was a teacher; and where we had metal detectors and security guards. The findings were remarkably consistent: The students did not think the metal detectors or security programs were effective. But they still wanted metal detectors and more security guards. Some of these issues aren't as simple as they seem.


Stand Up For Your Bytes

Yesterday, we learned that SXSW conference organizers canceled two panels on harassment in gaming after receiving online threats. It was a bad decision and the Internet outcry will likely cause its reversal. And that's a good thing. Because as I wrote in Medium, You Gotta Stand For Something.


Allergic Reactionary

"But for the love of Julia Child and the sake of every other soul in the restaurant, particularly the underpaid line cooks sweating their way through another Saturday night shift, please, please stop describing your food preferences as an allergy." Neil Swidey on why food allergy fakers need to stop.


Accord Cutters

With reports of Russian spy ships and subs getting close to the underwater cables that provide many of us with Internet access, Quartz takes a look at the system and its vulnerabilities. (Bottom line: If Putin takes our Netflix, we're going nuclear.)



"The old Garden was huge. Its Moorish minaret was the second-highest tower in the city, and its auditorium was the largest in the world. Even so, running 26.2 miles inside was a stretch. The organizers constructed a track measuring a tenth of a mile; the race was two hundred and sixty-two laps." The New Yorker's Ed Caesar on how NYC made the modern marathon.

+ An NYT short documentary: An Ecuadorian prep-chef explains how he's become one of the fastest marathon runners in New York City.

+ And from The Guardian: Afghanistan's marathon woman.


Got A Hug Up Your Class?

"At the close of the night, the men file in with towels over their shoulders. They kneel before their wives and wash their feet gently, just as Jesus washed his disciples' feet in the Bible. Women lean forward in their chairs, dabbing their eyes with tissues." From PRI: This school teaches Korean dads how to hug. (I thought we'd evolved to a point where all this stuff could be handled via emoji?)


Bottom of the News

Harriet Klausner died on October 15. You may not recognize her name, but there's a chance you've read her work. Before she died, she wrote more than 30,000 Amazon book reviews.

+ "The police department was looking for a versatile tool that would limit injuries to officers and the people they detained." So they gave all their officers nunchucks.

+ Syndicated via Kottke: Some recent science suggests that perhaps cats aren't as domesticated as some other animals like dogs, sheep, or horses. Are cats domesticated?

+ They basically made a fur coat for your feet. So is it any wonder that nothing can stop Uggs?

+ And here's a headline that was actually written today: Judge bars warlock from harassing witch in Salem.