Thursday, April 21st, 2016


Purple Tears

Think of all the instruments that make up a band. One of the greatest players of each of those instruments died today. And he was one guy. Prince Rogers Nelson died at the age of 57, a few days after being hospitalized for what was described as a bad case of the flu. In the minds of his fans, there are many different versions of Prince, because he was so talented in so many ways. The music passed through him. He was a hit machine. And he was one of the most ridiculously talented guitarists ever to pick up an axe; a fact even those who weren't direct fans of his music were reminded of regularly. For starters, there's this amazing all-star performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: As My Guitar Gently Weeps. Today, it wails.

+ Purple Rain in the pouring rain during his Super Bowl halftime show.

+ A few weeks ago I played this recently re-released video of Prince doing a cover of Creep at Coachella in 2008 for my son. So incredible. And such a perfect song for today. Like Bowie, Prince provided us with a constant reminder that it's not just ok to be weird; it's cool to be weird.


Stakes, High

"The first three months of 2016 have been the hottest ever recorded, and by a large margin. Greenland's massive ice sheet melted more this spring than researchers have ever seen. Warming seas are turning once-majestic coral reefs into ghostly underwater graveyards. And scientists are warning that sea levels could rise far faster than anyone expected by the end of the century, with severe impacts for coastal communities around the globe." That's WaPo's lede as we head towards an Earth Day signing of the breakthrough climate accord. It's a good start. The trouble is that Earth itself has dramatically upped the stakes. (Let's hope it doesn't go all in.)


Joyless Stick

"Because US drone strikes are cloaked in secrecy, occur in remote or dangerous locales and target people presumed to be terrorists, Americans rarely hear from survivors or their relatives." We hear little about our side of the drone war and even less about the other side of it. The Guardian takes a look at the indelible mark of America's remote control warfare.


The Truth About Those Liars

These days, there are few things we take less seriously than a politician's promise. But FiveThirtyEight did some digging and came up with a finding that may surprise you. Politicians keep most of their promises.


Tiger Direct

"He says Tiger asked how they kept this up, year after year of stress, the long slog always outlasting the romance of a job title. 'It's a life,' Shea remembers saying. 'You just do it. You keep practicing.' The following Sunday, Tiger Woods won the Buick Invitational in a playoff. Three months later, Earl died and everything started to fall apart." As you can tell by those lines, ESPN's Wright Thompson has written an amazing piece about the secret history of Tiger Woods.


Something Less Crude

If you want solid evidence that the world is moving away from oil, check with the folks who have built their fortunes selling it. Saudi Arabia is on a one-way course towards the diversification that could save its revenue generating status. From Bloomberg: Mr. Everything and the $2 trillion project to get Saudi Arabia's economy off oil.


A Curt Response

Curt Schilling was no stranger to making offensive comments that often pushed his employers to the edge. ESPN was pushed over by his latest social media posts related to the North Carolina bathroom laws. From WaPo: The radicalization (and firing) of Curt Schilling


Bootless Camp

"Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna train your f#cking ass off -- I'll train you -- you're gonna do what I tell you to do and I'll get you there. Summit and back. Deal?" Need a little inspiration today? Then read GQ's account of a disabled veteran who conquered Kilimanjaro: Mount Impossible.


Life’s Curveballs

"So now you can call me 'ump' (though we prefer 'umpire'), or you can call me 'blue' (though we often wear black these days—who's blind now, pal?). But if I don't cotton to your sass I am fully empowered to eject you from the premises." Slate's Seth Stevenson went to umpire school. And here's what he learned.


Bottom of the News

In The New Yorker, Tom O'Donnell explains why he is a proud Godzilla supporter. "All you see on TV are egghead scientists whining about how Godzilla is bad: 'When Godzilla gets here, he's going to smash through our tallest buildings like they were made of cardboard!' and 'Godzilla just ate a bus full of schoolgirls!' You never hear the other side of the story—the reasons good, hardworking people like me are excited for someone like Godzilla finally to come along and challenge the status quo."

+ You're great at everything. Except, your bragging could use some improvement.

+ As she turns 90, the Queen is looking for her first social media editor. Maybe everyone should have one of those...