November 10th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Poll Dancing

How many polls does it take to screw in a lightbulb? That could be an increasingly difficult question to answer as political polls are becoming less accurate at the very moment when their results are having more influence. According to one political analytics expert: “It’s a little crazy to me that people are still using the same tools that were used in the nineteen-thirties.” From The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore: Politics and the New Machine.

+ Faulty polls can alter our perception. And so can popular memes. Consider the faux-controversy about the Starbucks cup that stole Christmas. The alleged boycott by Christian groups spread through social and reporter-driven media. Sure, in part we’re just having fun and sharing a joke. But it’s easy to forget that most Christians don’t actually care about Starbucks cups.

+ Besides, when it comes to the Starbucks cups, they forgot about Drei.


Can We Grade on a Curve?

The Center for Public Integrity decided to grade statehouses based on their ability to thwart things like secrecy, questionable ethics and conflicts of interest. Only three states scored higher than a D

+ and eleven of them flunked.


A Gov Supreme

“The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible.” And as with this administration’s other big pieces of legislation, that means the Obama immigration plan will have to win in the Supreme Court.

+ WaPo on why this law matters: “Some 4 million people living here illegally who had hoped for at least a temporary guarantee that they would be allowed to stay are still waiting.”

+ Arizona lawmakers were looking to crowd-fund $50 million to build a border fence. Four years later, they’re about $49.7 million short.


The Miami Drowned Machine

“When I started this job, people kept asking me, ‘Why do we have so much flooding now?’ and I said, ‘Well, there’s just one problem: The whole city’s four feet too low — that’s all!'” The New Republic pays a visit to downtown Miami, before the waters rise: Miami is sinking beneath the sea — but not without a fight.


We Bought a Mizzou

Are you ready for some football? You better be. Missouri’s football team totally altered the course of events at its university. The threat of a game boycott (that would’ve cost the school a million dollar fine, for starters) was a game-changer. And it was a strategy we may see used again.

+ The Daily Beast: Mizzou’s fight for justice started on the football field more than 50 years ago. (That’s a really long drive.)

+ In a bizarre sequence that will make you question if they teach the First Amendment in college (and wonder what the hell they could be teaching in Mass Comm class), protesting students (and a communications professor) at Missouri tried to stop a journalist from reporting.


Aborted Reality

“They consider it double the victory if she is crying, because that means repentance.” In Buzzfeed, Kay Toal explains how volunteering at an abortion clinic made her lose patience with the abortion debate.


Drill Bit the Dust

“A two-step process first prepares the damaged area of enamel, then uses a tiny electric current to push minerals into the repair site. It could be available within three years.” What does that mean? Possibly, an end to fillings. (Baba Booey.)


On a Rolling Stone

“Let’s assume that the debate, in basketball or at the blackjack table, remains open. What’s clear is that when it comes to the life of the imagination, the hot hand is a matter of historical fact. Novelists, composers, painters, and poets are apt to experience stretches of intense creativity that might derive from any number of factors … but the streak is undeniably there.” David Remnick on Bob Dylan and the hot hand.


The Whaling Wall

After facing protests, a damning documentary, and decreased revenues, SeaWorld has announced that they’re throwing in the towel when it comes to their controversial killer whale shows in San Diego. (Coming in 2016: Dolphins on Fire.)


Bottom of the News

It’s Single’s Day. Otherwise known as the biggest shopping day in the world. How big? Alibaba just sold a billion dollars worth of stuff in eight minutes.

+ Sony is finally killing the betamax.

+ This dude is about to try to walk across the Antarctic continent alone. (Whatever. Call me when you do it during the winter.)

+ I’m now convinced that Ben Carson is trying to put the The Onion out of business. Consider the latest headline about his past: Is Ben Carson Lying About Reading Psychology Today as a Teen? This is incredible. I’d like to watch Brian Williams interview Ben Carson.

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