January 22nd – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Black Diamond, Run!!!

As the snow storm bears down on the East coast, here’s some advice that those in its path probably won’t be getting: Think of it as a spa day. It turns out that more and more athletes are turning to extremely cold treatments to improve recovery and boost performance: Here’s Outside Magazine on the many ways that the new science of freezing can improve, and even save, your life: “Spa-goers strip down to their underwear and put on athletic socks, terry cloth robes, and wool mittens for a trip inside a tin-can-shaped cryotherapy chamber filled with air that has been nitrogen-cooled to between minus 184 and minus 264 degrees.”

+ Here’s NPR on the coming snowstorm.

+ The Atlantic: Milk, Bread, and Eggs. Why do people reliably stock up on the same things before they get snowed in? (I’m no expert, but my first guess would be because French Toast is awesome.)

+ Here are storm updates from the Washington Post and some more from Buzzfeed.


The Store Front

“We had a window of opportunity to get into one of the darkest places on Earth, and not a lot of other options except to not do it. There was no other way we could identify as many players.” To catch those involved in the obscene child image business, the FBI had to run its own shop on the net.


Weekend Reads

“After his daughter died in a terrorist attack, Stephen Flatow won a historic judgment against her killers. But to collect the funds, he first had to battle his own government.” From Atavist Magazine: Hidden Damages.

+ “For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones.” The excellent Craig Mod with a dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress

+ Vauhini Vara in BloombergBusinessweek: Why Doesn’t Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?

+ Jessica Lahey: “I asked Teller, a former Latin teacher and the silent half of the magical partnership known as Penn & Teller, about his years as an educator, and the role performance played in his teaching.” (When I first started teaching high school, I tried to make myself disappear a few times.)

+ The untold tale of Target Canada’s difficult birth, tough life and brutal death.


Find My Phony

“An angry family came knocking at their door demanding the return of a stolen phone. Two months later, a group of friends came with the same request. One month, it happened four times.” Why do so many people show up at one house in Atlanta looking for their phones? Fusion’s Kashmir Hill tries to get to the bottom of a tech mystery.


Sin Like Flint

“The human damage is incalculable. Think of a mother waking in the middle of the night to make formula for her baby girl and unwittingly using liquid death as a mixer.” A Rolling Stone writer returns home to figure out who poisoned Flint.

+ My friends over at Reveal have put together an excellent overview and readling list to catch you up on Flint’s water crisis.

+ And the Big Picture with some photos from Flint.


The Sex Files

“Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly.” Gillian Anderson was paid a lot less than David Duchovny when the X-Files first hit the small screen. And when it came time for the revival, they tried to lowball her again.


Get Offline My Lawn

Local bookstores (that made it) have spent years fighting the competition of Amazon’s online juggernaut. Indie booksellers in Seattle now have another competitive threat. Amazon’s terrestrial store.



The city has been “transformed into one of the richest, most vibrant, and, yes, hip cities in the country, where the local arts scene, entrepreneurial startups and established corporate employers are all thriving.” According to Politco, that description refers to Des Moines. Here’s how America’s dullest city got cool.


Watching the Detectors

“Cold environments make fingers shrink, he said, and people often lose jewelry performing throwing or pulling actions like shovelling, swimming, or doing yard work. But he estimated that roughly half of his calls are from people who have thrown away their rings deliberately.” The New Yorker’s Tyler J. Kelley introduces you to a group of metal-detection enthusiasts dedicated to recovering lost items at little or no charge.


Bottom of the News

Being able to build excellent Lego projects at a fast clip is not a skill that you’d often find on someone’s resumé. But it is exactly what’s required when Legoland is hiring.

+ Pricenomics: Should you bribe your children to eat vegetables? (I prefer to give my kids their allowance in carrots.)

+ Just in time for the snow, here are 11 behind-the-scenes secrets of TV meteorologists, and some pictures of cute animals playing in the snow.

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