Thursday, October 29th, 2015


Dropping a Deuce

China is putting an end to the one-child policy it first introduced in 1980. The policy led to the graying of the population, a skewing of the gender ratio, and was often "brutally enforced through huge fines, and forced sterilizations and abortions." Chinese couples will now be permitted to have two children. (Before doing that, prospective second-time parents might want to take a look at the home movies I've been uploading to YouTube.)

+ It's all about economics. From Bloomberg: These charts explain why China scrapped its one-child policy.


House Broken

"Let's be frank. The House is broken. We're not solving problems, we're adding to them. And I'm not interested in laying blame. We're not settling scores, we're wiping the slate clean." And with that, Paul Davis Ryan of Wisconsin becomes the 54th Speaker of the House.

+ John Boehner gave his farewell speech that included a box of tissue and fashion statement: "As much as I enjoy working with all of you, some of you have to dress better. You know who you are."


The Law Won

"While the Bin Laden operation has been much scrutinized, the story of how a tiny team of government lawyers helped shape and justify Mr. Obama's high-stakes decision has not been previously told." From the NYT's Charlie Savage: How 4 Federal Lawyers Paved the Way to Kill Osama bin Laden.


A Simplex Complex

The World Heath Organization didn't make a lot of friends after going negative on bacon and other processed meats. And now they're back with more bad news (about 3.7 billion pieces of it). According to WHO, Herpes simplex virus type 1 affects two-thirds of people under 50. (For Millennials, Herpes are like deleted social media photos. You think they're gone, but they'll be back.)


The Bottomless Pasta Poll

"Soon, you'll be able to go to the Olive Garden and order your fettuccine alfredo from a tablet mounted to the table. After paying, you'll rate the server." And in doing that, you'll join a growing team of middle managers whose judgment of employees could cost them a job. From Josh Dzieza in The Verge: How Uber and its peers turned us into horrible bosses.


CNBC You Later Agitator

The third GOP debate on CNBC turned into a referendum on the media as Ted Cruz and others piled on the moderators to the delight of audience (and Twitter). The Daily Beast called the moderators' performance a total fail, while Slate's William Saletan argued the candidates shifted attention because they just have a problem with the truth. Meanwhile, the politcal gladiator pit continues to be covered more like a sport than an election (although sports commentators seem to take their subject matter more seriously than political pundits).

+ One of the interesting moments in the debate was when each candidate -- including Trump who disagreed with himself in the process -- refused to criticize Mark Zuckerberg. (Which makes sense. His country is bigger.) Here are all the highlights from the debate.

+ All the pundits seemed to agree that Jeb Bush provided the evening's most disappointing performance. Even Nate Silver took a break from the math and noted that, "Yeah, Jeb Bush is probably toast."


My Kids are on the Weed

"Seaweed, which requires neither fresh water nor fertilizer, is one of the world's most sustainable and nutritious crops." In The New Yorker. Dana Goodyear argues that seaweed could be a miracle food. (My kids will eat a box of seaweed and leave the Goldfish and chips for me. It's already a miracle.)

+ If you want seaweed, try Mexico. They are being invaded.


Family Affairs

Researchers at U.C. Davis found that, in some cultures, having several women share a husband can improve health, wealth of the family. And Hopes and Fears pops the question: Are humans meant to be monogamous?


Contain Your Enthusiasm

Want to take a no-frills cruise and slice some of the cost out of your vacation budget? Maybe you should take your next trip on a container ship.


Bottom of the News

"Home-cut potatoes … wrapped in authentic New York Times newspaper ... cold brew coffee served … over mineralized water rocks ... and 10x washed quinoa salad." It was all part of a fake restaurant launch in Providence. But come on, it could have easily been real.

+ Being a sports mascot isn't all fun and games.