Thursday, March 31st, 2016


You’ve Got It Bad

Scheduling Note: From April 2-15, I will be traveling and only NextDrafting occasionally. Details below.

The first priority for drug companies is convincing you that you need a drug. The second is convincing you that their drug works (and figuring out a way to make a list of 92 side-effects seem like entertaining television). It's all part of America's highly unusual way of pushing pills. "The U.S. is one of only two developed countries in the world that allow drug companies to advertise their products on television ... One study, from the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that 57 percent of claims in drug ads were potentially misleading and another 10 percent were outright false." It's enough to make your head spin -- luckily, they've got something for that too. From HuffPo's Highline: Drugs you don't need for disorders you don't have.

+ "Our study found that regular cannabis users experienced downward social mobility and more financial problems." From LAT: Longtime marijuana use might make you a loser. (Maybe I haven't quite lived up to my potential, but I don't know if I'd say loser...)


The Check is in the Male

When women athletes complain about being paid less than men, they're usually met with the argument that the men's competition brings in more revenue. So let's consider the case of the U.S. women's soccer team. They bring in more revenue and are more famous than their male counterparts. But they're still getting paid less than half as much. So five of them have filed a wage discrimination complaint.


Right Turn Clyde

"Since becoming President, Erdo─čan has made a further turn toward dictatorship, crushing the remnants of a free press." But Turkey's president won't be hearing much about that during his U.S. visit, because Turkey is viewed as key ally in the battle against ISIS (even though they're not helping that much). Dexter Filkins on Erdogan's March to Dictatorship.

+ NYT Video: A Terror Attack, Then Far Right Moves In.


What the Cluck

When you hear the term "cage-free" chicken, you probably picture some happy clucking on a grassy hill. Well, it turns out cage-free doesn't even mean that the chickens get to go outdoors. In fact, the government doesn't regulate the label at all. From Vox: What it really means for an egg to be cage-free.

+ But ... Cage-free eggs are a hell of lot more profitable!


Media Matters

Politicians and critics love to heckle journalism and run against the media. But let's not forget important role journalists play in unearthing corruption and worse. And it's not just the stories that get made into Oscar-winning films. From Poynter: How the AP busted an international seafood slavery racket.


When the Shirt Hits the Fan

You donate old clothes. Those clothes make their way to Africa where they often end up being bought and sold in places like Nairobi. But some regional governments want the influx of used clothes to be tapered. Why? To force local manufacturing to take over. From The Economist: East Africa's used-clothes trade comes under fire.

+ For more on the often remarkable life of a t-shirt, here's a look back at NPR's T-shirt project.


Reef Madness

Syndicated from Kottke: In the past two weeks, the results of three surveys and studies about the Earth's climate have been released: a paper on a possible dramatic climate shift, a survey of coral bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef, and a study on the West Antarctic ice sheet. All three investigations tell the story of climate change happening quicker than was previously anticipated.


She’s the Bees Knees

"But that fear ended up inspiring her to learn more about the insects, and she decided to make her lemonade with local honey." Like many eleven year-old girls, Mikaila Ulmer has a lemonade stand. And, following a successful stint on Shark Tank, she also has a deal to sell her lemonade in Whole Foods. (This morning I read this to my kids and gave them the talk about evolving beyond being a cost center.)

+ Pepsi creates dumbbell-shaped bottle to promote healthy living.


The Audition

"Joanna isn't a villain; she's a reflection of a real struggle that women are going through across the country, and the audience should feel some sympathy for her." Vanity Fair takes you back to the scene when Meryl Streep earned the Kramer vs Kramer role and began her march towards acting royalty. Becoming Meryl Streep.

+ THR: Will Arnett: A Comedian's Open Wound Laid Bare.


Bottom of the News

Over at The What, my wife queried the coolest people she knows to come up with two lists that came out great. Kick off your heels and check out these excellent shoe picks. The Shoes She Covets and The Shoes He Covets. One interesting outtake from the research: The dudes were a lot more pumped about shoes.

+ The Guardian: How an ostentatiously ugly Australian boot defied fashion's laws of gravity. Or, Ugg: the look that refused to die.

+ "When reading emails, do you become the grammar police?" That could tell you a lot about your personality.

+ Scheduling note: I will be traveling in Japan from April 4-15. During that period, I will try to get off a couple editions, but delivery will range from sporadic to non-existent. (Anyone have any connections to help me score some tickets to the Ghibi Museum?)