April 1st – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Need a crowd of people to love and admire you like you're a star? We've got just the company.

We’re gonna need a bit more enthusiasm. Make sure you give them a nice long look of recognition. Remember those people who screamed through entire songs at Beatles’ concerts? Well, we’re gonna need a little of that too. That’s the kind of support and admiration people expect — especially when they’re paying for it. California Sunday Magazine’s Davy Rothbart takes you inside the company that provides fake paparazzi, pretend campaign supporters, and counterfeit protesters. It’s where every day is April Fools’ Day, and a nice reminder that even if you can’t earn love, at least you can crowd source it. (Sometimes when my kids ask which of their parents has the more popular newsletter, I hire a team of fake Paparazzi and say, “Who do you think?”)


I’ll Have What She’s Having

At some point last night, webmasters at all the adult sites looked up and wondered, “Hey, where is everyone?” Well, everyone was ogling the smooth curves and luscious lines of the much-anticipated Tesla for everyone. The social media chatter and dealership crowds proved once again that products are the new celebrities. And the car may have actually lived up to the hype. It has already attracted 198,000 reservations (each of which required a thousand dollars down).

+ Wired: Meet Tesla’s Model 3.


Weekend Reads

“He drilled holes in flash drives, hard drives, and cell phones, fried their circuits in a microwave, then broke them to shards with a hammer. He shredded documents and flushed them down the toilet and erased servers in Russia and Ukraine.” Bloomberg goes deep with Andrés Sepúlveda, a guy who spent years manipulating elections across Latin America. (I wonder if he’s available for a November gig in the U.S.?)

+ “Fifty years ago, when Claire Wilson was eighteen, she was critically wounded during the 1966 University of Texas Tower shooting—the first massacre of its kind. How does the path of a bullet change a life?” From Pamela Colloff in Texas Monthly: The Reckoning.

+ Golf: What Happened to Tiger Woods? It’s the Most Vexing Question in Sports. What’s even more surprising is that people are still asking it.



Mississippi is one of the latest states to push through a bill that will limit gay rights. But at least a U.S. District judge just overturned the state’s ban on gay adoption. Yes, they still had such a law. And yes, it’s 2016.


Do You See What I See?

“Public frustration with policing has led to calls nationwide for more cameras worn by officers. But what do those cameras actually reveal?” The NYT has an interesting video quiz to help understand when cameras help, and when they don’t.

+ WaPo: In shootings by police, 1 in 5 officers’ names go undisclosed.

+ And, a headline that seems to sum up recent news about both Chicago and social media: Chicago Man Shot Multiple Times While Live-Streaming On Facebook.


Greased Palms

“In the list of the world’s great companies, Unaoil is nowhere to be seen. But for the best part of the past two decades, the family business from Monaco has systematically corrupted the global oil industry, distributing many millions of dollars worth of bribes on behalf.” From The Age: The company that bribed the world.

+ Welcome to Iceland, the only country where bad bankers go to prison.


Bush and Gore

“Perhaps the cruelest fact of bushmeat poaching is that 90 percent of animals caught in snares and gin traps are never collected by the people who set them. Instead they rot away for no purpose whatsoever.” The bushmeat trade is bigger than the illegal ivory business. It’s screwing up the ecosystem. And it’s making people all over the world get sick. TakeApart on the inspiring heroes battling the hidden poaching epidemic.


220, 221… Whatever it Takes

“He closed his eyes, the device zapped him with low-voltage electrical currents. Within minutes, Tyler said, he was feeling serene enough to face the crowds once again.” Your FitBit and smartwatch are just the beginning. Brain-zapping gadgets promise to make you a better you — smarter, stronger, even happier. (You go ahead, I think I’ll wait for version 2.0…)



Yo yo, what up YouTube — YouTuuuuuube!” That’s how Jolie Olie starts most of his videos which are high, in ranking and content. He “reigns over a YouTube niche devoted exclusively to cannabis and its uses, both medical and recreational (but mostly recreational).” From Motherboard: How to Build an Empire by Getting High on YouTube.


Bottom of the News

“This year, as has happened before and will happen again, an overwhelming number of hoaxes, jokes and pranks escape onto the Web, using the cover of the terrible holiday to try to win a little bit of attention for their creators.” So let’s at least give them a little. WaPo is maintaining a comprehensive, updating (and upsetting) list of April 1 stories.

+ “He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd’s deciding about yoga — and his future in baseball.” The only April Fools’ article that ever mattered: The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch. (Note the first letter of each word in the quote above.)

+ Husband-and-wife teachers charged in separate student sex cases — in the same week.

+ The clear connection between ice cream consumption and reading ability.

+ Scheduling note: I will be traveling in Japan from April 4-15. During that period, I will try to get off a few editions, but they will arrive at unusual times and will probably include a few edamame puns.

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