Monday, May 2nd, 2016


Fat Chance

"I've got my life back. I mean, I feel like a million bucks." That was Danny Cahill after he lost an incredible amount of weight and won season eight of The Biggest Loser. But gradually, Cahill began to feel like more like 1.2 million bucks, and then 1.4 million bucks, as the pounds began to return. What was different about Cahill and the rest of the contestants on that season of the show was that they were being closely studied by scientists. And what they found is being called "frightening and amazing" by researchers in the field. As the NYT's Gina Kolata explains: They didn't just return to old habits. Their bodies actually fought to regain weight.


Playing Shuffleboard on the Titanic

"Hundreds of workers and passersby gathered to watch, some cheering, as the gleaming white 704-passenger ship operated by Carnival's Fathom subsidiary pulled into the dock -- the first step toward a future in which thousands of ships a year could cross the Florida Straits" If you always wanted to visit Cuba before it was ruined by American tourists, you might be too late. The first U.S. cruise ship has arrived in Havana.

+ Maybe you should change your travel plans and head towards the Northwest Passage. But hurry. It's getting crowded. From Pacific Standard: Cruising Through the End of the World.

+ And then there's this, from Bloomberg: Antarctica Gets Hot for Another Reason: Tourists. (I also heard that sunbathing on the Pacific's giant mass of floating plastic is quite nice this time of year.)


Drawing Lines in the Sand

"Hundreds of thousands have been killed because of Sykes-Picot and all the problems it created,. It changed the course of history -- and nature." The New Yorker's Robin Wright on the hundredth anniversary of the Middle East map that has led us to the current state of affairs.


Craig’s Twist

We mean it this time. We've identified the real person known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. And his name is Craig. From the BBC, Australian Craig Wright claims to be Bitcoin creator.

+ Now that we know who Satoshi Nakamoto is, we just need someone to explain what the hell Bitcoin is. Luckily, John Lanchester is here to help. And he starts by explaining the meaning of money. (I recently had to do the same thing with my kids at the Apple Store.)

+ Update: We're actually not that sure this guy is who he says he is. (Oh wait. Did you hear me say my name was Satoshi Nakamoto. That's so weird, because I said, "Craig.")

+ And Matthew Leising takes you inside the secret meeting where Wall Street tested digital cash. "By the end of the day, they had seen something revolutionary: U.S. dollars transformed into pure digital assets." (And then, one imagines, transformed into commissions.)


Fear, Not

"She was nervous around unfamiliar men, and her house became a racket of threatening noises. The wind rustling in the curtains could keep her awake for hours. Nothing could dispel the dread that had overwhelmed her in that hotel room, when she was sure that she would die. "It was always there.'" But then, the fear that was always with Karin Klaver quite suddenly wasn't. The New Republic's Ben Crair on the single dose pill that could be a cure for fear.


The Amazing Impact of Race

Last week, we looked at the impact geography can have on one's earning potential and likely living conditions. Today, WaPo's Emily Badger heads to Atlanta to examine another key factor: Race. This can't happen by accident...


Puerto Repo

"I had to make a choice. I decided that essential services for the 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico came first." That was Governor Garcia Padilla on the day Puerto Rico skipped a bond payment of nearly $400 million. So this seems like the right time to get up to speed with a little help from Vox's Matthew Yglesias: The Puerto Rico crisis, explained.


Hungry Heart

Paul Salopek is now three years into a decade-long walk around the world (I think about taking one of these every year around the holidays). PBS Newshour catches up with him as he prepares to follow the Silk Road from Central Asia into China. This story is bad news for anyone who is part of Salopek's FitBit challenge.


Hair Apparent

"What is the point of a beard, evolutionarily speaking? Children, women, and a whole bunch of men manage just fine without one. But take a walk down some streets these days and you'll be confronted with all sizes and shapes of groomed (and less groomed) facial hair -- from designer stubble to waxed mustaches and hipster beards." From Quartz: More single men means more men with beards. (So the two clean-shaven dudes in Brooklyn better get on it...)


Bottom of the News

One by one, all examples of Radiohead's presence on the Internet are disappearing. The Tweets, gone. The Facebook updates, gone. Profile pictures? Poof. Maybe this is all part of a plan for the I'm Slightly Less of a Creep tour.

+ Tired of your old alarm clock? You can now download an app created by The Rock that will allow you to be awakened each morning by Dwayne Johnson. It's called The Rock Clock, and there is no snooze button. (Is it possible for the entire Internet to jump the shark?)

+ Starbucks is being sued by a customer who argues that they are putting too much ice in their iced drinks. Vanilla Ice is less irritating than this lawsuit.