Monday, April 25th, 2016


Prosper and Live Long

Here's something that has become disturbingly obvious in recent years. If you have more money, you're likely to live longer. And in some places, the life expectancy gap is massive. But it wasn't always that way. Back in the 1700s, the rich and royal had about the same life expectancy as everyone else. In a piece that includes a calculator to help determine how long people live in your region, Vox takes a look at what research on English dukes can teach us about why the rich live longer.

+ FIveThirtyEight asks an a question that seems to be increasingly common these days: What would happen if we just gave people money?

+ "The goal is to create extravagance and exclusivity for the select few, even if it stirs up resentment elsewhere. In fact, research has shown, a little envy can be good for the bottom line." It's not just that we have an economic split. We have an exclusivity split. And today, brands and marketers can target their markets like never before. From the NYT: Companies are becoming adept at identifying wealthy customers and marketing to them, creating a money-based caste system.


The Perfect Purple Storm

"It's not a coincidence that our primary use of consumer technology is always aimed at a reconnection. Here's my photo. Here are my kids. Here's what I'm thinking about. The selfie is not about narcissism, it's about connection. We miss commonality. We miss each other." Here's my take on the cultural impact and meaning of our reaction to Prince's death: Purple Storm.


Meet the Parents

"We got to fly combat, drive home, and talk about what we went through, and see our daughter together. I would review the nanny cam after our shift, to make sure it was normal. Maybe we couldn't tuck her in at night, but we were there in the morning, or vice versa." FastCo takes an inside look at America's drone training program.

+ She "nervously told her father that she had a new boyfriend. She wanted her dad to meet him, so she set up a Skype call on her laptop. During the chat, the couple asked for his blessing to marry. They also told him that Conley would be moving to Syria, where they would wed and start their lives together. Their lives, they told him, would be dedicated to ISIS." In Marie Claire, Kate Storey on The American Women of ISIS.


Chill, Baby, Chill

Feeling stressed? Meditate. Feel depressed? Meditate. Suffering from a serious illness? Meditate. If you've followed recent stories and studies, it often seems like meditation and mindfulness is a cure-all. But as Quartz reports, a new study suggests mindfulness isn't quite as miraculous as we've been led to believe. Maybe it doesn't have to be. Maybe we should chill out when it comes to chilling out. If it feels good, do it.


The Air of Our Ways

For those falsely accused, imprisoned, and waiting for your day in appeals court, the Brady deflategate appeal is finally out of the way. Coming with a decision sooner than expected, the U.S. Court of appeals has overturned a lower court and reinstated Tom Brady's four-game suspension.


Can’t Touch This

"You know where I'm going with this, right? I'm about to tell you that the company behind all this is Monsanto, or Shell, or Coca-Cola. That your car is running on the ethanol this plant is producing. That the U.S. government is funding or facilitating or failing to prevent what is taking place here." In Foreign Policy, Michael Hobbes describes the new face of corporate corruption; one that could be beyond our reach: The Untouchables.

+ From Vice: Leaving China in Pursuit of the African Dream.


Factory Setting

"The men and women stare into face scanners and swipe badges at security turnstiles to clock in. The strict ID checks are there to make sure they don't work excessive overtime." Bloomberg's Shai Oster visits one of the world's most secretive factories where every second counts. (Because, you really need that new iPhone now!)


Menage a Trump

It takes two to make a thing go right. At least that seems to be the thinking behind a pretty unusual pact between Ted Cruz and John Kasich. They've agreed to essentially divy up some of the remaining states to accomplish a shared goal: Stop Trump.


Da Plain, Da Plain

"The after-effects of tattoo removal are brutal. There's blistering, there's a very high chance of scarring. It can be really emotionally, physically and financially taxing." BBC on one woman's determination to undraw her 18 tattoos. In a world where tattoos are becoming ever more popular, you can bet tattoo removal will be a growth industry.


Bottom of the News

"It's a $1,500 outfit that incorporates mushrooms meant to break down a human corpse, cleanse it of toxins and distribute nutrients back into the soil. "I want to propose a different way of thinking about death that moves us toward death acceptance. I think death acceptance is a critical aspect of protecting our environment." If you haven't been particularly good about recycling bottles and cans, there's still time to make amends. You can recycle yourself. From the NYT: Mushroom Suits, Biodegradable Urns and Death's Green Frontier.

+ Beyonce just debuted an entirely new musical format. And I'm pretty sure we should call it Beyonce.

+ "If Coachella does have one marker of identity, it is clothing. For women, this is a highly specific and much-derided uniform of cutoff denim shorts, long flowing dresses, and culturally insensitive headdresses." Carrie Battan on the appeal of Coachella.