March 8th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Parental Discretion Advised

You hear a lot about the challenges parents face when they try to regulate the screentime and social media habits of their children. According to the NYT, it turns out that children are increasingly looking for ways to put a cap on the oversharing being done by their parents; especially when it comes to mom or dad posting about them. “As these children come of age, they’re going to be seeing the digital footprint left in their childhood’s wake. While most of them will be fine, some might take issue with it.” Makes sense. Our children should be free to independently soil their own social media reputations, just as we’ve done.

+ This was a much more contentious issue for me a few years ago when I made the very public complaint that my kids refused to go viral.


The Forever War

“They weave trick plays into their playbooks. They start running when it looks like they’re going to pass, and pass when it looks like they’re going to run. They force their opponent to play honestly by catching them off-guard early in the game. I think that analogue holds very well for us.” Avatar fighters, drone swarms, and the Pentagon’s challenge of staying a few steps ahead of the enemy in the age of tech-powered war.

+ “It was the deadliest attack on the Shabab in the more than decade-long American campaign against the group, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, and a sharp deviation from previous American strikes, which have concentrated on the group’s leaders, not on its foot soldiers.” If you blinked yesterday, you might have missed the news that U.S. drone strikes killed “about 150 fighters who were assembled for what American officials believe was a graduation ceremony and prelude to an imminent attack against American troops and their allies in East Africa.”


The List is Life

This Sarah Stillman piece is going to make you experience a feeling you probably never expected: Sympathy for some people on the public sex-offender registry. From The New Yorker, The List: When juveniles are found guilty of sexual misconduct, the sex-offender registry can be a life sentence. The idea of using laws intended to protect children as a means to indict them can lead to mind-boggling cases. Consider a 16 year-old girl in Fayetteville, North Carolina, who “faced multiple felony charges for ‘sexting’ a picture of herself to her boyfriend. According to the county sheriff’s warrant, she was both the adult perpetrator of the crime at hand — ‘sexual exploitation of a minor’ — and its child victim.”


Apple Fell Far From the Tree

“His name is not noted on the town’s welcome signs along the main drag, Route 59. There’s nothing in the local chamber’s brochures, and the local paper rarely has anything about him. His old high school keeps a glass case celebrating former NFL running back Joe Childress, Class of 1952, but not the leader of the world’s most valuable company, Class of 1978.” In order to understand Tim Cook’s activism (and his strong belief in privacy), you need to go back to its roots. In a very interesting article, WaPo’s Todd C. Frankel takes us to a rural Alabama town where it can feel as if Cook is a forgotten favorite son.


Bloomberg Campaign, Terminal

“The former New York mayor was previously rumored to be seeking the White House in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.” So it’s not all that surprising that Michael Bloomberg opted out of this year’s free-for-all. What’s even less surprising was the reason he gave. He didn’t want help elect a President Trump. It seems obvious that this would have been the outcome of a Bloomberg third-party run, but if you want to see the numbers behind the thinking, Nate Silver has them.

+ Today, all eyes will be on Michigan as primaries there could have an impact on both presidential races.

+ “There was an emerging consensus that Trump is vulnerable and that a continued blitz of attacks could puncture the billionaire mogul’s support and leave him limping onto the convention floor.” Inside the meetings where politicians, pundits and CEOs gathered to try to figure out a way to stop Trump (and better understand how he happened).

+ The Internet is weird. And sometimes, it requires an explanation. Ted Cruz’s secret life as the Zodiac Killer might be one of those times.


What Comes Around Flows Around

“The facilities serve as ‘a luxury hotel’ for drug-resistant bacteria, a place where they thrive and grow stronger.” The LA Times on how deadly superbugs from hospitals get stronger in the sewers and could end up in the ocean.


Six Degrees of Separation (from Slavery)

Longreads has a book excerpt from Kevin Bales’ Blood and Earth: “Whether we are grilling shrimp for our friends or buying T-shirts for our children we generally think of these things as beginning where we first encountered them, at the shop, at the mall, in the grocery store. But just as each of us is deeper than our surface, just as each of us has a story to tell, so do the tools and toys and food and rings and phones that tie us together. Slaves are producing many of the things we buy.”


Highway to Swell

A few months ago, WaPo’s Christopher Ingram wrote about a study that concluded Red Lake County, Minnesota is America’s worst place to live. After getting a lot of (polite) pushback, Ingram decided to go and see the place for himself. Now, he’s moving there. (Here’s a weird idea: Let’s all move there.)



A recent survey confirms what you already knew, but then forgot. Many of us don’t remember the basic Math and English lessons we learned in school. Why is it so much easier to remember the rejection and humiliation than it is to remember how to use a semicolon?

+ It could be worse. You could be among the ten percent of college grads who think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court. (Yeah, like she’d take that pay cut…)


Bottom of the News

“I didn’t have a lot of time to think. I just did anything I could to block it or deflect it.” The father and son who were in that amazing photo from Spring Training talk about their day at the ballpark. If the average picture is worth a thousand words, this one was equal to at least a few sets of encyclopedias.

+ Wired: America’s Highway Fonts Got More Drama Than The Bachelor. That’s a bold statement. Last night on The Bachelor, one of the women explained: “It’s like my tattoo says, ‘You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself.'” (No word what font she used.)

+ Want a metaphor for everything about the way the Internet interacts with society? Check out this story about the time Whole Foods started selling pre-peeled oranges.

+ “Today, the customer has a closet full of various skinny bottoms and she has many, many long tops and sweaters to go over them.” The skinny jeans demise and the death of fashion.

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