January 7th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

News Breaking

Here’s the first thing I’ve learned from spending the last several years opening up around a hundred news tabs a day: There’s too much news. There are too many stories with too much overlap. And if we could ever examine the inside of a black hole, I’m convinced we’d find trillions of news stories that had never been read by anyone. Here’s the second thing I’ve learned. There’s not enough news. Consider this stat from Pew: In 21 states, local newspapers lack a dedicated reporter keeping tabs on Congress. Yes, you’ll get a thousands versions of a story analyzing Donald Trump’s latest tweet, while you have no one closely watching the politicians who are supposed to be representing your interests.


Screenage Wasteland

Like so many other modern activities, helicopter parenting can now be performed from the comfort of your own home. As teens have moved their social lives online, parents have followed. And followed closely. Nearly half of parents say they’ve looked through their kids’ text messages and call records. And when it comes time to have the talk, it’s less about the birds and bees and more about the bits and bots.

+ Newshour: “Nearly all parents, nine out of 10, say they have told their teen what’s okay to share, view or consume online.” (As long as they agree not to look at my Twitter account, my kids can do whatever they want online.)


Circuit Draining

“Growth is certainly slowing, but the problem with this view is that the Chinese stockmarket has only ever had a tenuous relationship with reality.” The Economist on China’s stock market circuit breakers and the 14 minutes of trading felt around the world.

+ Chinese market woes have hammered world markets. But according to a senior partner at one big American brokerage house: “There‘s no panic yet from talking to clients.” (Screaming, crying, and an uptick in the sale of Depends. But no panic.)

+ Is this about the Chinese stock market or the broader Chinese economy? Yes. The NYT on why China is rattling the world.


Germanic Depressive

Is it a country facing the demons of its past and using effective methods to tamp down hate? Or a country going overboard in its limits on free speech? Germany is going to great lengths to keep hate speech out of the public square and off the Internet. And several big tech companies are helping.

+ CityLab: In Germany, new year’s sexual assaults have given way to intense social debates.

+ Vanity Fair: Terrorism, Migrants, and Crippling Debt: Is This the End of Europe?


Your Eggs Are Done

“None of the research is definitive. To really know … would take the kinds of studies we can’t actually run in real life. But you can’t have no advice, so this is the best advice from the data that is available and may not be very useful.” In other words, the federal government is out with its latest set of dietary guidelines. Bottom line. If you like eggs, eat them nonstop until the next time the dietary guidelines are released.

+ Bloomberg: One man’s 40-year war on salt could finally succeed.


Take The Under

In the NYT Magazine, Jay Caspian Kang explains how the daily fantasy sports industry turns fans into suckers. “Every gambler, whatever the size of the problem, wants to know that he or she has some chance of winning.” (I’ve had my periods of heavy TV sports consumption and gambling. At no time did I associate my behavior with what I’d call winning.)


Let’s Talk About Sexagenarian

You’re getting older. On the downside, that means more aches and pains. On the upside, at least you have an excuse for routinely getting crushed by younger competitors in your sport of choice. At least, that was the upside until Ned Overend had to ruin it. Outside’s Jon Billman on the sexagenarian who is crushing fat-bike racers a third his age. (I had to take a handful of ibuprofen just to get through this article.)


CES La Vie

CES is supposed to be about the latest and greatest gadgets. But this year’s event also includes a heavy dose of nostalgia. I’ve seen several “new” turntables, and one of the most talked about products is a new prototype Super 8 camera.

+ Vox: Film vs. digital: the most contentious debate in the film world, explained.


Monkey See, Monkey Don’t

“This is an issue for Congress and the president. If they think animals should have the right of copyright they’re free, I think, under the Constitution, to do that.” And with that, a judge has ruled that a monkey cannot own the copyright to his own famous selfies.


Bottom of the News

Could one single headline ever sum up the entirety of an era of America life? I’m not sure. But this one sure comes damn close: Man Arrested in Mall Food Court for Stealing Sex Toys Had Just Gotten Engaged at Walmart.

+ Feeling claustrophobic? Maybe it’s because half of the world lives on 1% of its land.

+ We are apparently living in the golden age of the goatee (even though we can’t quite agree about what constitutes a goatee).

Copied to Clipboard