Monday, May 23rd, 2016


Follow the Money

In the Internet age, we've been empowered to work remotely. So it's more than a little ironic that this is an economic moment when location matters more than ever. To understand part of the attraction of Sanders and Trump and the wildly differing views on how the American economy is doing, you've got to follow the money. That means going to a handful of highly educated and innovative counties where a preponderance of venture-backed new businesses are concentrated. WaPo's Jim Tankersley on a very bad sign for all but America's biggest cities.

+ Eli Saslow: From belief to outrage: The decline of the middle class reaches the next American town.

+ While concentration of investment and wealth can be beneficial for the chosen counties, it can also force many longtime residents to find another place to live. From CityLab: Mapping the incredible spread of million-dollar homes across San Francisco.

+ Vox uses a cartoon chart to explain how the distribution of wealth has changed in America, and why.


The Deal Hunter

In Hanoi, President Obama announced that U.S. "is fully lifting a five-decades-long arms embargo against Vietnam." It looks like China's activities in the South China Sea pushed this deal to get done a lot sooner than most people expected.


Drone Strikes Again

"It was remarkable for its location and timing, as well as the public acknowledgment that accompanied it." The Atlantic's Kathy Gilsinan on the American drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, and seemed to changed the rules of engagement once again.


Scored on a Curve

"Scores like this -- known as risk assessments -- are increasingly common in courtrooms across the nation. They are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system, from assigning bond amounts ... to even more fundamental decisions about defendants' freedom. In Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the results of such assessments are given to judges during criminal sentencing." ProPublica: There's software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it's biased against blacks.

+ In what could be a significant opinion, the Supreme Court just voided a death sentence because of racial bias; "ruling that prosecutors intentionally skewed the process by striking out all prospective black jurors in an act of blatant racial discrimination."


Cheerio, Cheerios

Aaron E. Carroll looked at the studies and concluded that breakfast is not necessarily the most important meal of the day. From the NYT Upshot: Sorry, There's Nothing Magical About Breakfast. (My link is not necessarily an endorsement. As we all know, Lucky Charms are, in fact, magically delicious.)

+ WSJ: Can You Carbo-Load Your Way to Good Health? "With highly processed flour giving way to freshly milled whole grains rich in nutrients as well as flavor, it might just be OK to love bread again." (OK, that link is an endorsement.)


Coach Wallet

"What's surprising is that the coach trainees aren't people who believe they're doing so well in life that they want to tell you how to live yours. Instead, they seem to be people who didn't know how to live and found a way to at least ascertain what they want out of life. This skill, this ascertainment, is what they want so badly to share." Bloomberg goes meta and introduces you to the life coach who trains life coaches. (Thanks but no thanks. I choose to fail on my own terms.)


I Got a Case of You, Babe

"It's like finishing each other's sentences, but it's your muscles and cells that are operating in sync." NPR explains how longtime couples get in sync, in sickness and in health. (For my wife's sake, I really hope that sitting on a couch with a box of popsicles, a prescription vape pen, and 123 open browser tabs is good for a couple's longevity.)


Art and Seoul

Seoul is one of the most wired cities in the world. But they're pretty good with a pencil and paper too. Did you know that some of your favorite animated series are hand-drawn in South Korea? "Korean animators can draw 240 pages for a single 20-second scene, and around 7,000 drawings per half-hour episode." That could all change (at least the hand-drawn part) in a new age of animation.


Roughage and Tumble

"Sarma Melngailis had it all: an Ivy League degree, model looks and a hot vegan restaurant, Pure Food and Wine in Gramercy, beloved by Alec Baldwin and Bill Clinton. Now, she's got a mug shot, a $350,000 bail." The NY Post on the downfall of NYC's hottest vegan.


Bottom of the News

If you live and grocery-shop in Northern California, this will seem like old news. For everyone else, Turmeric is the new hipster health drink ingredient.

+ Cold brew is getting more popular at cafes and in stores. So everyone is now coming out with a cold brew.

+ Fred Armisen returned to SNL and gave us this alternate ending to Dead Poet's Society. So good.

+ The NBA Western Division Finals could come down to a kick in the nuts.