February 11th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Catching a Wave

“We’re saying that we made a measurement that is about a thousandth the diameter of a proton, that tells us about two black holes that merged over a billion years ago. That is a pretty extraordinary claim and it needs extraordinary evidence.” And extraordinary evidence is exactly what researchers confirmed that they have discovered in a breakthrough that marks the first detection of gravitational waves. It’s a moment that confirms one of Einstein’s big theories and opens up a new era in science. As one researcher explains: “If what we witnessed before was a silent movie … gravitational waves turn our universe into a talkie.” It comes down to what sounds like a distant chirp. And it all began over a billion years ago, millions of galaxies from here. I’ll let The New Yorker’s Nicola Twilley pick up the story from there: Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them.

+ The Atlantic: What Gravitational Waves Sound Like.

+ “The chirp is also sweet vindication for the National Science Foundation, which spent about $1.1 billion over more than 40 years to build a new hotline to nature.” (That’s the kind of money and effort usually reserved for apps that enable people to share Selfies.)The NYT: Hearing a ripple in space-time (includes a good video).


End of the Oregon Trail

After a negotiation that was broadcast live on YouTube, the final Oregon occupiers have all surrendered to the FBI.

+ “We’re putting our big-girl panties on now, and we are taking America back.” From WaPo: Meet the gun-toting, calendar-posing politician who negotiated the Ore. occupiers’ surrender.


Pay As You Go

“Regime officials are behind the exorbitant prices that drive people to leave those areas while at the same time profiting by charging ever more exorbitant fees to those who exit.” This Buzzfeed investigation shows how Syrian officials make it impossibly expensive (in terms of money and risk) to live somewhere, and then charge people when they try to leave.


Two Charts are Better Than One

Why do female dancers often end up with male welders? And why do school teachers tend to marry each other? And they’re not alone. The same is true for actors, veterinarians, sewing machine operators, air traffic controllers, and psychologists (i wonder how they decide who gets the couch). From Bloomberg, an interactive chart that shows who you should marry based on your job. (According to this, my ideal partner is a “miscellaneous manager.”)

+ Whatever your ideal match, these days, there’s a decent chance you met them online.

+ Engadget: The incredibly sad world of niche dating apps.


Dangerous at the Top

“Kim’s increasing willingness to execute some of the most senior figures in his military would suggest the young leader is struggling to impose control. Analysts are beginning to wonder how much more the military will put up with.” Could Kim Jong Un’s military turn on him?

+ The Senate has unanimously backed tougher North Korea sanctions.


MySpace’ Final Frontier?

Two bits of news from the media and tech worlds: First, MySpace is still around. And second, Time Inc just bought its remains. And as history has shown, nobody knows how to pick a great internet opportunity like Time.


This is Not Regular

According to the song Diarrhea, some people think it’s funny. However, the same had never been suggested about constipation until a Super Bowl commercial featuring an anthropomorphized large intestine changed everything. But the medicine that is being advertised is no laughing matter, and it has a direct connection to the millions of people who are hooked on opioids.


You’ve Been Owned

“But on most days since [1994], this nondescript office has remained open, staffed by two people: John Shaw, the former team president who engineered the franchise’s flight from Anaheim to St. Louis, and his secretary. They work in this nearly invisible team outpost, as if the Rams never left.” In ESPN the Magazine, the excellent Don Van Natta Jr and Seth Wickersham share the inside story of how football came back to Los Angeles (and how power in the NFL really works).


Are You Gonna Go My Way?

“Numbers are important: The more people that try to persuade the original poster, the greater the likelihood of changing their view. So is timing.” A new paper from Cornell gives us a glimpse into what it takes to change someone’s mind.


Bottom of the News

“It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter, and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralization.” Never heard of any of that? You’re probably not alone. But this is how Hollywood’s favorite juice bar owner eats every day. (Oddly, her last name is Bacon.)

+ Here is a phrase that should never have been written (or even thought of): Anti-Beyoncé rally.

+ Bloomberg: Whole Foods may put tattoo parlors inside new millennial-focused stores. (That headline is a little misleading, but not nearly misleading enough.)

+ When a congressman vapes.

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