February 1st – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Sucking the Air Out of the Caucus

After months of nonstop campaign coverage, Americans will finally turn to Iowa to see some results. No matter how things turn out, you know who will be in the headlines. And whether or not he wins Iowa (or the GOP nomination), one thing is for sure: Donald Trump has changed the game when it comes to running for president. And although so much of his campaign seems like it’s been off the cuff, the truth is that things are going exactly according to plan. From Politico: How Trump Did It: “I’m going to get in and all the polls are going to go crazy. I’m going to suck all the oxygen out of the room. I know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off of me.” The polls, the lights, the sucking. It all happened. And politics aside, it’s a remarkable story.

+ The Iowa caucuses explained. (Or if you prefer, you can learn via Lego.)

+ Ten things to watch for in tonight’s caucuses.

+ “I bet he has a lot of ties.” The candidates seen through the eyes of little kids.

+ And the brutal nature of trying to watch an hour of commercial television in Iowa.



Ben Lecomte wants to be a part of the quest to better understand the impact of extreme exercise on the human heart. So he’s going to take a swim. Across the Pacific.

+ “And there’s a reason that no one has made it this way before: It’s a project that’s almost thermodynamically impossible.” Wired on crossing Antarctica alone.


Seeking Refuge from Refugees?

“These refugees do not respect our women. I have four daughters, and they used to be safe in Finland. We need to do something about it.” In what could be a disturbing glimpse into the near future in Europe, Finns are forming vigilante groups to protect women from asylum seekers.


The Class Ceiling

“They have everything: Clothes to wear. Enough to eat. Why would they need to work? They still have husbands. It’s not just insulting to them, it’s insulting to the whole village.” The NYT’s Ellen Barry with an excellent piece on Indian women seeking jobs and confronting taboos. In one part of the world woman are demanding equal pay. In another part, women are forced to quickly sit on the ground when an older man approaches.

+ Israel has approved plans to build “a space for egalitarian prayer and mixed-gender ceremonies for non-Orthodox Jews” at the Western Wall.


Sand Hill Sesame Street

From FastCo: “On Monday, Sesame Workshop announced Sesame Ventures, an internal team that will partner with venture capital firms to make investments in for-profit startups that support its mission.” Yes, you are reading that correctly. Big Bird is a VC.


Kanye and the Minions

“Many of these interests look a lot like Pages you would ordinarily follow — celebrities, hobbies, brands, etc. — although their relative audience sizes can be surprising.” The Verge crunched the publicly available numbers to come up with the definitive list of what everyone likes on Facebook. (If you’re one of the last Facebook holdouts, I’m guessing this list won’t be the thing that draws you in to see what you’re missing.)


Going Out Together

“My condition is getting worse bit by bit, slowly week by week. On top of all this, my eyesight and hearing are no good, my pulse is occasionally irregular. So how long can it go on? Weeks? Months? As you all know, I am not afraid of dying but I am dead scared of incompetence.” In The Age, Julia Medew shares the story of a couple who made a suicide pact as part of “their determination to avoid hospitals, nursing homes, palliative care units – any institution that would threaten their independence in old age.” The Big Sleep.


WHO Deet?

The World Health Organization has officially declared a state of emergency over the spread of the Zika virus. It’s the first time they’ve used that designation since the Ebola outbreak.

+ Slate: Let’s kill all mosquitoes.


Whitney’s Moment

“The Goodyear blimp? Grounded. A Blackhawk patrols instead. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s annual Super Gala gala? Canceled. Concrete bunkers gird the parking lot of old Tampa Stadium, and a 6-foot-high chain-link rises quickly behind that.” It was a moment to be grabbed, and it was. From ESPN: When Whitney Hit the High Note.

+ From The New Yorker: How Whitney Houston Remade The Star-Spangled Banner.


Bottom of the News

I’m not sure if this is really an accurate list of the 100 jokes, bits and sketches that shaped modern humor. But it’s pretty amazing that someone put it together. (I was hoping a couple of my tweets would make the list.)

+ Louis CK is not only having an impact on modern humor. He’s doing his damnedest to tweak the future of media marketing and distribution. In that spirit, he released a new show with no warning over the weekend.

+ Can plain old bubble water be bad for you? Yes, because everything is bad for you. The Atlantic on the sad state of seltzer.

Copied to Clipboard