March 4th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

OK, Wow Me

“I’m bored.” It’s a phrase that parents have been hearing from their kids for decades. If it took a lot to entertain us and hold our attention, imagine what it’s going to take to dazzle the up and coming generation of twitchy Snapchatters who need at least three screens to focus? Here’s an idea: How about letting them ride a roller coaster while watching a virtual reality battle between space aliens? That oughta do trick. For now. From the LA Times: Six Flags Magic Mountain to add virtual reality to a coaster.


Party Member

One of the more raucous days in recent political memory was capped off by a debate that even Friar’s Club roasters found a bit harsh. It was the eleventh GOP debate, and this one definitely went to 11. From NPR: The 11th Republican Presidential Debate In 100 Words (And 4 Videos).

+ This is a real CNN headline. And in fairness to them, it is entirely accurate: Donald Trump defends size of his penis. (The Presidential election has devolved into a adult movie parody of Pinocchio.)

+ And from the New Republic, The Presidential Penis: A Short History.

+ You think it’s hard for you to keep up with the back-and-forth of these debates? “Imagine that it’s your job to communicate those exchanges, in real time, to millions of people who are watching without sound.” (Only some of whom are doing so by choice.)


Weekend Reads

“Between 1999 and 2001, I helped eight people die … Now, as I prepare to take my own life, I’m ready to tell my story.” From Toronto Life Magazine: By the time you read this, I’ll be dead.

+ “When you do a lot of strange things in a very short period of time, and those strange things are successful — it just doesn’t happen.” The New Yorker’s David Owen goes behind the scenes of a cheating scandal in the world of professional bridge.

+ “Heaton’s six-year-old daughter, Emily, had once asked her father if she could ever be a real princess; after discovering the existence of Bir Tawil on the internet, his birthday present to her that year was to trek there and turn her wish into a reality.” From The Guardian: Welcome to the land that no country wants.

+ Narratively: Confessions of a phony telephone psychic.

+ And a weekend listen from RadioLab: “Out drinking with a few biologists, Jad finds out about something called CRISPR. No, it’s not a robot or the latest dating app, it’s a method for genetic manipulation that is rewriting the way we change DNA.”


The Desolation of Smog

“The smog of personal data is the carbon dioxide of privacy. We’ve emitted far too much of it over the past decades, refusing to contemplate the consequences until the storms came. Now they’ve arrived, and they’ll only get worse, because the databases that haven’t breached yet are far bigger, and more sensitive than those that have.” Cory Doctorow: Forget Apple’s fight with the FBI — our privacy catastrophe has only just begun.

+ The case between Hulk Hogan and Gawker may provide some answers to “what legal scholars say are important and largely unresolved questions about the line between privacy and free expression in the Internet era.” (Damn, the Internet is weird.)


Special Force

“The Special Forces member, Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, helped to beat up the militia commander, Abdul Rahman, in 2011.” And since then, his career status has been under review because, by beating up an Afghan militia leader, he broke the rules set out by the U.S. military. But does it make a difference that the guy who got beaten was holding a child sex slave at the time? From the NYT: Green Beret Who Hit Afghan Child Rapist Should Be Reinstated, Lawmakers Say.


A Cod Piece

“The rest is eggs, steak, chicken, vegetables and potatoes — all told, about 10 pounds of food per day. In one year, The Rock consumes more than one-third of a ton of cod alone” FiveThirtyEight tells you what happened to a dude who ate like The Rock for a month. (Luckily he exercised like him too.)


If It Doesn’t Slice, You Can’t Try Him Twice

The LA Times on the knife supposedly found on O.J. Simpson’s property. In a case of life imitating art imitating life imitating docudrama, “Los Angeles police are investigating and testing a knife that was reportedly recovered on the Brentwood property once owned by the former football star.” Is the biggest celebrity trial of the twentieth century about to come back? Maybe. (If this knife re-opens the OJ discussion during the social media era, we’re gonna need to completely rebuild our Internet infrastructure.)



“No media figure in history in my mind has ever been as important to one sport as Bud Collins was to the sport of tennis.” That’s Mike Lupica on Bud Collins who died at the age of 86. And it seems spot-on. Bud Collins was the voice the golden age of tennis.


Higher Tops

Steph Curry is the hottest player in basketball (and maybe the hottest athlete on Earth right now). That’s good for sports fans. It’s really good for Warriors fans. And it’s really, really good for Under Armour. From Quartz: Will Stephen Curry sell more sneakers than LeBron James this year? (I hate to hit you with such a heavy question right before the weekend…)


Bottom of the News

“I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.” No seriously, a senior Justice Department official argued that little kids are able represent themselves in immigration cases.

+ Quartz: Why we are secretly attracted to people who look like our parents. (Secretly?)

+ Welcome to the world of competitive bricklaying.

+ And finally, Scott Kelly grew two inches in space. (Maybe he should run for president…)

Copied to Clipboard