November 11th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Preparation A

“We understand now that impacts are a regular facet of life in the solar system, and if you take the extremely long view, close encounters with objects far larger than Tunguska — asteroids that could obliterate regions or even wipe out humanity — are flying around out there and will eventually hit us, 500 or 10,000 or a million years hence.” No one is suggesting that you panic. But there’s always a chance that a hurtling rock could throw a wrench into our plans for existence. (Even among the dinosaurs, there were asteroid deniers.) Thankfully, there is a community of scientists that is trying to come up with a way to save us. From Popular Mechanics: The Asteroid Hunters.


Spread ‘Em

“It is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multibillion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country. Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.” That statement by NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman may be true. But in 2006, the feds carved out an exception that sanctioned fantasy sports as a game of skill (and therefore not gambling and not illegal). So how can NY shut down the betting? And what’s the over/under on how long the ban will last?


Give it the New College Try

“The drive to combat hurtful and hateful speech is colliding in some places with principles that educators have long held dear: freedom of speech and academic expression.” WaPo with a key question of the moment: Can colleges protect free speech while also curbing voices of hate?

+ University of Missouri Police have arrested the man suspected of making online threats aimed at the school’s Black students.


The Philosopher Zing

As CNN reports, during the fourth GOP debate “there were no scathing personal attacks, no sensational name-calling and no furious mud-slinging.” But Slate still managed to fill up a 90-second highlight reel.

+ Ben Carson actually said this line: “Where I came from, they call that a lie.” (I’m not even sure he’s from where he says he’s from.) And Marco Rubio made the case for more vocational programs: “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” What we really need is fewer candidates. But for what it’s worth, philosophers make more than welders (and both have a better business model than newsletter writers).


So Manischewitz Is Out of the Question?

Dinner between French President François Hollande and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is officially off. The Iranians insisted that the meal had to be alcohol-free. And the French responded that this is France.

+ “Going forward, the poultry, dates, wine, olive oil, cosmetics and other consumer goods must display labels such as ‘product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)’ or ‘product from West Bank (Israeli settlement).'” The European Union has set new rules that require products made in Israeli settlements to be labeled as such.


Brothers in Arms, Etc

“He had my back many times. So this is payback time.” From the AP, the story of Vietnam vets whose bond was strengthened further when one of them needed a kidney donation.


Darkness Visible

“A common mistake with blackouts is to confuse them with passing out, but they’re quite different. A passed-out person is unmoving, spread-eagle on the couch, while a person in a blackout remains active and awake.” Sarah Hepola in Texas Monthly on alcohol blackouts: In the war against campus sexual assault, why are we not talking about drinking?

+ Consumerist: CVS will limit teens to buying one shot of boozy laxative at a time.


Fare Price

Earlier this week, “Chinese billionaire and former taxi driver Liu Yiqian bought Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917-18 painting, Nu Couché for $170.4 million.” So this is a good time for Digg to catch us up with a history of insane art prices.

+ Don’t have a place to put your new Modigliani? Details has the scoop on an upcoming Bel Air estate. The asking price? Around a half a billion. (Parking included.)


Working On the Core

“On a cloudless September morning, the world’s most infamous apple farmer sat down at a table and carved into a $5 million Golden Delicious.” Buzzfeed’s Stephanie M. Lee pays a visit to the man who’s trying to build a better apple.

+ Not into apples? How about this? McDonald’s is expanding sales of their fried mozzarella sticks nationwide. (Fried cheese is the food industry’s version of going nuclear.)


Bottom of the News

“The player allegedly lifted his shirt, pounded on his chest and began barking at the dog as he was heading toward the field for the game, according to officials with the sheriff’s department.” An Oakland Raiders linebacker is apparently being investigated for barking at a police dog. (The Raiders are back!)

+ Get punched in virtual reality … and feel the impact. (That seems like a weird sales pitch.)

+ Twenty years of gum is being removed from a wall in Pike Place Market. And InFocus has the photos to prove it.

+ Pour one out… It seems that Snooki is done being Snooki. (I’ll link to the story. But in my heart, I reject this.)

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