February 5th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

I Don’t Think You’re Ready

Are you ready? I’m not talking about, say, a minor power outage that causes the ice cream in your freezer to melt, or (heaven forbid) some unexplainable interruption to your WiFi service. I mean really ready. Like Lisa Bedford, Survival Mom. For starters, “She has enough supplies to last her and her family not just weeks, but years. She knows how to make a composting toilet, how to make semi-gourmet meals out of freeze-dried goods, how to harvest as much drinkable water as possible from the pipes before the pressure’s gone and how to make whatever water remains drinkable.” From Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen: What to expect when you’re expecting the collapse of society as we know it. (When the time comes, my family plans to take an Uber to the closest society still standing where our GrubHub order should be waiting.)


Putin on the Blitz

“The loss of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the most significant urban center to fall, at least partially, under rebel control, would represent a potentially decisive blow to the nearly five-year-old rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” Russian airstrikes are helping to crush the rebellion in Syria to the point that we may not need the peace talks (which aren’t making any progress anyway).

+ And if that happens, one short term outcome will be more refugees.


Weekend Reads

“Real, relentless isolation is not at all romantic. Indeed, it is far worse than the stress of social life.” In Aeon, Kimberley Brownlee makes the case that the self-reliant individual is a myth that needs updating.

+ “There is so much misinformation about me, no one can say with absolute certainty who I am.” From the NYT: The Lives and Lies of a Professional Impostor.

“Both men wore black overcoats and jeans and, according to a 911 call from the house that evening, one initially said he was a law enforcement officer but didn’t have a badge.” By the time a recent report that Peyton Manning used HGH came out, Manning’s own investigators were already on the case. From WaPo: Inside Peyton Manning’s secret investigation into an Al Jazeera documentary.

+ “Their man was a onetime science-fair champion and self-taught chemist in Wichita, Kansas, named George Marquardt.” From Fusion: The Walter White Of Wichita.

+ Rolling Stone: Inside David Bowie’s Final Years.


Out of Africa

“The initiation rite is often performed on girls as young as five, even if their parents don’t consent.” According to Unicef, 98% of women in Somalia have undergone female genital mutilation. And here’s the NYT on how common female genital cutting is in Indonesia.


A 49er at 59

“My hands have been, oh my gosh, in the middle of the night they hurt like crazy … They kept saying I’ll need a knee replacement when I can’t walk … It acts like a lazy eye to some degree because every time you’re tired, it kind of goes wherever it feels like a little bit.” Those are just a few outtakes of Joe Montana talking about his body, a few years removed from his remarkable NFL career.

+ Vox: Most people have heard of the NFL concussion problem. Most will still let their kid play football.

+ Like the past few Super Bowls, the week leading up to this one has been riddled with stories of concussions and other long term damage. And like the past few Super Bowls, this one will be huge. From NYT Mag: Roger Goodell’s Unstoppable Football Machine.

+ A less dangerous, but often more exciting, part of the game is the commercials. Here are 25 Super Bowl commercials that explain Super Bowl commercials. And here are the highs and lows of the American economy as told through Super Bowl ads. (So this year we should see a guy bursting into tears as he looks at his tech stock portfolio.)


Dem on Dem Action

It seems like we’re inundated by town halls and debates nearly every evening. The latest debate was between Bernie and Hillary, and things got heated and, at times, substantive. Here’s everything you need to know about Sanders and Clinton’s first head-to-head debate.

+ NPR: 7 key moments from Clinton and Sanders’ progressive debate.

+ And forget the Super Bowl. The biggest blockbuster entertainment event this weekend will happen on SNL when Bernie Sanders appears with Larry David as Bernie Sanders (maybe Bernie should pick Larry-as-Bernie as his running mate…).


The Other One Percent

“Impunity is what leads to violence. People say, ‘If there are no consequences, I can do whatever I want.'” That makes sense. And if it’s accurate, it’s bad news for Mexicans. According to a recent report, only one percent of crimes are punished in Mexico. (Editor’s note: These numbers are pre-Sean Penn.)


Crane Collapse

At least one person was killed when a crane collapsed in lower Manhattan. Workers were lowering the crane due to high winds when the accident occurred. Here are some additional photos from the scene.

+ Someone caught the collapse on video.


Turn Ones and Zeros Into Tens and Twenties

Tired of paying too many brokerage fees to advisors who don’t really know any more than you do about the market? You might want to try an algorithm instead. Plenty of folks with deep pockets are moving in that direction.

+ Not ready to trust your finances to the robot overlords? Well, then at least trust your golf game in their hands. A robot just sunk a hole-in-one on the PGA Tour.


Bottom of the News

“Surprise! I’m still alive!” From WaPo: Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed. (This is going to be some marriage counselor’s greatest challenge.)

+ Surprise: A Kale salad from McDonald’s. Surprise: It has more calories than a Double Big Mac.

+ A food surgeon performs surgery on an Oreo.

+ A pro-rape idiot wanted to have a meet-up with some of his fellow idiots. But it got canceled when The Toronto Newsgirls announced they planned to attend. They are a female boxing club.

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