Monday, May 9th, 2016


The Kill Shot

If someone dies of a drug overdose, should the person who provided or administered those drugs be held accountable? As prosecutors begin charging drug suppliers (even a sibling or a spouse), it's an emerging legal question, and one that goes to the heart of the way we want to treat drug addiction. "The new initiative is sometimes in direct conflict with good Samaritan laws, which protect addicts from being charged if they call 911 when a fellow user is overdosing. The tougher approach also is in marked contrast to a growing movement that seeks to treat drug addiction as a disease and public-health crisis rather than criminal behavior." From WaPo: Her fiance gave her heroin. She overdosed. Does that make him a murderer? I think we have enough data from the drug wars to know we can't incarcerate our way out of the problem.

+ Consumerist: Could you get sued for texting someone while they are driving?


All The News That’s Fit to Like

A Gizmodo story suggests Facebook news "curators" routinely suppressed conservative news and made other editorial judgments about what would appear to be trending. "In other words, Facebook's news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation." But Facebook doesn't position itself as a news outlet. This is a story worth following as more of our news is filtered through companies that are winning the most eyeballs, but probably aren't going to be winning any awards for journalism.

+ NY Mag: What it really means that facebook ‘suppressed' conservative news. (It's worth noting that I suppress all but ten fascinating news stories every day.)


Stall Wars

In a federal suit, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory accused the Justice Department of "baseless and blatant overreach" as it threatened to cut off federal funding to the state until its controversial bathroom law is changed or removed.

+ BBC: Why bathrooms matter to trans rights.

+ Buzzfeed: ACLU files lawsuit challenging anti-LGBT law in Mississippi.


The Latest Skinny on Skin

"The idea sounds like fantasy: an invisible film that can be painted on your skin and give it the elasticity of youth. Bags under the eyes vanish in seconds. Wrinkles disappear." But as the NYT's Gina Kolata explains: Scientists at Harvard and M.I.T. have discovered that it is not fantasy at all. The film covering has several potential uses and can last more than a day at a time. (I still prefer Photoshop. It lasts forever.)


Oedipus Text

"Almost a third of children starting school are not ready for the classroom, with many lacking social skills, having speech problems or not toilet trained." A survey of senior primary school staff in the U.K. has uncovered concerns that parents' smartphones are stunting some of their kids' development. From one teacher: "Four year-olds know how to swipe a phone but haven't a clue about conversations." (Try asking them about Minecraft.)

+ ReCode: Inside Evan Spiegel's very private Snapchat Story. "Admirers say Spiegel is as good at building products as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. And if you think that's hyperbole, several sources casually likened him to Picasso." (Snapchat has always seemed a little more Jackson Pollock to me...)


Spies Like Us

"The two brothers watched, stunned, as their parents were put in handcuffs and driven away in separate black cars. Tim and Alex were left behind with a number of agents, who said they needed to begin a 24-hour forensic search of the home; they had prepared a hotel room for the brothers. One of the men told them their parents had been arrested on suspicion of being unlawful agents of a foreign government." From The Guardian: The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies. (This reminds me of the day my nine year-old discovered my tweets.)


Private School

"More than 200 victims. At least 90 legal claims. At least 67 private schools in New England. This is the story of hundreds of students sexually abused by staffers, and emerging from decades of silence today." From the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe: Private schools, painful secrets.


Christie the Redeemed?

Chris Christie may have the last pained, vacant stare after all. He took a lot of political heat when he became one of the first GOP politicians to endorse Trump. Today, he's been put in charge of Trump's presidential transition team.

+ "Duterte's rise has shocked the country's political establishment, and critics have raised concerns about his many profane comments and alleged human rights violations. While campaigning, he joked about rape and infidelity, promised to clean up crime by killing of thousands of criminals, and warned that he might declare a "revolutionary government" if he does not get his way in Congress." And the early vote count suggests he'll win the Philipppines' presidency.


Coffee Stock

JAB is a holding company owned by four billionaire siblings from Germany. Their ownership stakes include Peet's, Intelligentsia, Stumptown and a big chunk of Keurig. It doesn't take an M&A expert to figure out what they needed to buy next. Krispy Kreme just agreed to a $1.35 billion takeover.

+ McDonald's tested garlic fries at some of their stores. Surprise. They completely sold out.


Bottom of the News

"It was just a lie, just a lie." Notes from a therapy session during which I only spoke in phrases from Radiohead's new album.

+ The Guardian: Japanese vagina kayak artist found guilty of obscenity.

+ From Deadspin: "Europe's top wheelchair basketball tournament came to a violent halt in Zwickau, Germany Saturday as 60 fans attacked each other with knives and baseball bats." And get this, the match would have only determined who came in fifth place...

+ Over the weekend, Bartolo Colon jumped right to the top of this list of the 10 unlikeliest home runs ever hit.