Friday, May 13th, 2016


Buh Buy

"It's finally all coming to fruition, this perfect storm that's been brewing for so long is finally starting to hit. I think this is only the beginning. It's only going to get much uglier." What is that perfect storm? The rise of online shopping, the overbuilding of retail stores, Millennials who spend more conservatively than Baby Boomers, and the increasingly popular notion that you get more for your money when you spend on experiences, rather than stuff. All this helps answer this question posed by WaPo: Why isn't America shopping? (It could be because part of America can't afford much and the other part of America already owns one of everything.)


Yearly Checkup

"Humans age gradually, but some animals do all their aging in a rush at the end of life, while others don't age at all, and a few can even age backward. The variety of aging patterns in nature should be a caution sign to anyone inclined to generalize -- particularly the generalization that aging is inevitable." In Nautilus, Josh Mitteldorf and Dorion Sagan explain why aging isn't inevitable. (It's like I always say. Age ain't nothing but a ... hmmm, what was that saying?)

+ And much more in Nautilus' aging issue.


Weekend Reads

"Once upon a time, thousands of years ago, a surging mass of magma beneath the Pacific Ocean burst through the earth's crust and began burping out a stream of lava, first underwater, then above, to form land." So it was inevitable that this would eventually lead to a dispute among neighbors. But this is no ordinary dispute. From Bloomberg: The World's Smallest Ukulele is playing for the mere millionaires being humiliated by billionaires in paradise.

+ "Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties ... That's two calls an hour, every hour, every day." Tampa Bay Times explains how you sort of pay the bill for Walmart security.

+ Outside: The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut.

+ Buzzfeed: "After almost a decade chasing fame, plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer has struck gold Snapchatting boob jobs and butt lifts as Dr. Miami. But can this Orthodox Jewish father of five take his gimmick mainstream and still preserve his identity?" (I'm increasingly convinced that we're all nuts.)


Didi Kong

Only a few weeks after their initial meeting, Apple announced a $1 billion investment in China's leading Uber competitor called Didi (I'm not sure if they were previously called Puffy). But as Quartz explains, this investment is about a lot more than ride hailing. Apple is investing in its future.

+ ReCode: After three weeks in China, it's clear Beijing is Silicon Valley's only true competitor.


The Voice

"The voice is instantly familiar; the tone, confident, even cocky; the cadence, distinctly Trumpian. The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he's a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, 'I'm sort of new here,' and 'I'm somebody that he knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes.'" Marc Fisher and Will Hobson take you back to the 90s when Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself. (He was ahead of his time. The rest of us didn't start doing this until the Internet got big.)

+ The news is from Cannes, but the headline really couldn't be more quintessentially American: Paris Hilton to produce unflinching documentary about herself.


Badreddine to the Bone

Thousands of mourners in Beirut attended the
funeral of Mustafa Amine Badreddine
. Regardless of assumptions and conspiracy theories, it's still a mystery who killed him. There are plenty of organizations and governments that would want him dead. And you'd expect mystery surrounding a guy who had been described as "an unrecognizable and virtually untraceable ghost." Alex Rowell with some background on the pyromaniac playboy who led Hezbollah's fight in Syria.


You Want Me On That Stall

"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex." The Obama administration continues to push for public bathroom rights for transgender students. Here's exactly what they're saying.

+ Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is not a fan of the new directives: "This will be the beginning of the end of the public school system as we know it." (Oh yeah, and that's just for starters.)

+ SF Chronicle: "More than 1.2 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target after it announced last month that it would welcome transgender customers to use any bathroom or fitting room that matches their gender identity."


Crab Hack

Everyone seems to get excited at the prospect of restaurants without the tipping. But it can be a different story once such a program gets implicated. Joe's Crab Shack gave it a try at several of their restaurants. And people got pretty pissed.


But It’s Charming

Esquire provides an example of the wildly differing housing markets across the US: The Smallest Home in SF Is Still $150,000 More Expensive Than a Mansion in Detroit.


Bottom of the News

Abstract: "A genital-operated door locking mechanism to prevent persons with state-mandated unauthorized genitals from accessing public restrooms." MCSweeney's Randal Cooper shares his patent application for a genital-operated bathroom door locking mechanism to help protect children.

+ Slate: The Secret Language of Campus Squirrels.

+ France might pass a law that makes it illegal to send after-hours work emails. How do you say Slack in French?

+ And today in everything you believe in is based on a lie... Maybe Skipping The Morning Meal Isn't So Bad.