March 11th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Loco Motives

“This is where you’ll sleep. You’re not going to see me after this, because I don’t sleep where my guests are. It’s for their security … Thanks for giving me one of the best days of my life.” You’ve got the world’s most-wanted drug cartel boss, a popular Mexican actress, and a Hollywood celebrity setting up a secret meeting to discuss possible movie plans. And of course, it all started on Twitter. If this were fiction, the plot would seem a little too far-fetched. But reality that’s stranger than fiction is all the rage these days. From The New Yorker’s Robert Draper: The Mexican actress who dazzled El Chapo. (Let me channel Kate del Castillo’s parents and suggest that “we think you’d be happier with a nicer guy.”)


Plot Twist

In an election season filled with surprising headlines, here’s one nobody imagined would be used to sum up the latest GOP debate: Candidates set aside insults. Did the everyone’s favorite TV show just jump the shark?

+ FIveThirtyEight has an interesting look at the phrases each candidate repeats most. And the NYT checks out which issues each party debates, or ignores.

+ “Having myself felt the sting of the established group, when they [said] ‘no, no, no, we don’t want you,’ I totally understand what Trump is going through.” Ben Carson endorses Trump.


Weekend Reads

Five years after the Japanese tsunami and earthquake, we take a look back at Michael Paterniti’s memorable GQ piece: The Man Who Sailed His House.

+ The photos: 5 Years Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

+ “He was a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss, who became a prized U.S. government asset. The Atavist Magazine presents a story of an elusive criminal kingpin, told in weekly installments.” Here’s episode one: An Arrogant Way of Killing.

+ “People felt that eliminating all these smells was the single most effective way to improve public health.” From Collector’s Weekly: Our Pungent History: Sweat, Perfume, and the Scent of Death.


Reinventing the Wheels

Old school automakers have been increasingly aggressive when it comes to competing in the software and tech arena. And that makes sense. Cars are morphing into connected entertainment devices that happen to roll. In the latest move, GM acquired a maker of autonomous driving software for a cool billion.

+ In other autonomous software news, an Amazon Echo, home alone with NPR on, got confused and hijacked a thermostat. (It’s happening…)

+ From 9 to 5 Mac: Patent application could see the Apple Watch calling 911 when it detects a heart-attack. (And if you don’t survive, the watch automatically puts itself up for sale on eBay.)


Just Eat It

“Imagine a baby trying to eat an enormous pizza from the middle. It can’t do it. The pie is too big.” That metaphor is intended to hammer home the idea that there’s no way that a microbe can break down plastic. But now, “researchers have found a bacterium in the debris fields around a recycling plant in Japan that can feed off a common type of plastic used in clothing, plastic bottles and food packaging.”


Bank Shot

“Yes, my hand has painted part of a Banksy. It was the start, I guess… We had no idea how much his star would ascend in the next few years.” The Daily Beast gives you some background on The Secret Life of Robin Gunningham, the real Banksy. Maybe.


Ex-Post-it Facto

“l just want them to admit that l am the inventor and that they will stop saying that they are the inventor. Every single day that they keep claiming they invented it damages my reputation and defames me.” Alan Amron just wants a little credit for what he says is his invention. And one of your favorite items. The Post-It Note.


Less is the New Moore

“If cars and skyscrapers had improved at such rates since 1971, the fastest car would now be capable of a tenth of the speed of light; the tallest building would reach half way to the Moon.” According to The Economist, the absolutely amazing Moore’s Law era is coming to an end. What does that mean for the future of computing?


The In Crowd

While there’s been a lot of buzz about the Amazon delivery drones, there’s a lot more importance behind Amazon’s broader delivery goals. From Wired: Amazon just ordered twenty Boeing 767s. (Can you imagine how much cardboard will be used packaging those things?)


Bottom of the News

It’s not exactly the Montagues and the Capulets or the Crips and the Bloods, but it’s still got to be a pretty difficult time for this budding relationship to blossom. From Politico: Chelsea and Ivanka put their friendship on ice.

+ PRI: There are more than 20 towns in America called Moscow.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: Comedians Sitting on Vibrators Getting Coffee.

+ Study: Do beards keep men’s faces warm? Yes. Have we reached peak study? Yes.

+ And the quote of the week come from a TMZ story on the Dog Whisperer: “We’re told officials want to question Millan about the pig’s current location and well-being.” Updates to follow.

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