Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


Tangled Up in Blue (and Red)

Let's say Trump chose Bill Cosby as his running mate. How do you think they'd do in a general election? I'm guessing they'd get about half the vote. What if Hillary selected Jared from Subway? How would they do? I'm guessing they'd approach the fifty percent mark. These are extreme examples (as if the current state of affairs wasn't extreme enough), but they might not be that far off. For the past several decades, partisanship has, well, trumped nearly all other factors when it comes to elections. Which leads us to Benjamin Wallace-Wells' question in The New Yorker: Do Trump And Clinton Matter? While we're on the topic, does anything matter?


Subterranean Homesick Blues

People are waiting longer to get married, the economy is pretty rough in many regions, and high housing prices have become a serious affliction in others. Those are just a few likely reasons why, "for the first time in modern history, living with parents has overtaken other living arrangements for 18- to 34-year-olds." (I'd be happy to let my kids stay with me forever if they'd be a little more flexible when it comes to sharing the iPad.)

+ The Atlantic: Neighborhoods Can Shape Success -- Down to the Level of a City Block.


All Along the Watchtower

"The disappearance over the Mediterranean on May 19 of an EgyptAir airliner on its way from Paris to Cairo intensified concerns about this weak link in airport security." We spend a lot of airport hours screening passengers. But are airport employees the real weak link when it comes to security? From Newsweek: Why the insider threat to airport security isn't just Egypt's problem.


Nobody Feels Any Pain

"The painkillers are over-prescribed in America, but a nightmare to obtain in much of the world." The Economist has an excellent overview of the rise of the opioid epidemic in America, and the challenges of treating pain here and elsewhere.


Long Distance Operator

"I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people's perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people's buttons, you can play them like a piano." A magician (and Google's Design Ethicist) shares some of the details on how technology hijacks people's minds. Part of me is frightened by this article. And part of me wants to hire this guy to run user growth at NextDraft.

+ "First there was the Berlin Wall. Now there is the Great Firewall of China, not a physical barrier preventing people from leaving, but a virtual one, preventing information harmful to the Communist Party from entering the country." From WaPo: China's scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works.


You Ain’t Goin Nowhere

"Constand said her legs felt 'rubbery' and 'like jelly.' 'Everything was blurry and dizzy. I felt nauseous.'" After years of accusations and a growing list of accusers, Bill Cosby has finally been ordered to stand trial for sexual assault.


Like a Complete Unknown

"Back in March, when Matrix director Lilly Wachowski came out as the second Wachowski sibling to transition, the media may have been shocked, but the trans community wasn't. Go to any conference of transgender individuals, and you'll probably see pairs -- fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, spouses, siblings." From NY Mag: Things get a little complicated when trans runs in the family: Like Sister, Like Brother.


The Times They Are (Sort of) A-Changin’

"You can draw a straight line from what happened in the '70s to today's debate about government secrets and what happens to the people who expose them." An excellent (and oddly timely) episode of the Reveal podcast: The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, lies and leaks.


Everything is Broken

"So she returned to her idea and started Tantrums LLC, one of a growing number of 'rage rooms' in America where her frustrated clients come and blow off steam with the help of a baseball bat and some inanimate objects." As the economy goes down, demand for rage rooms goes up. From The Guardian: "Facilities across the US are offering angry people the chance to smash things to their heart's delight - but experts warn that any satisfaction is only temporary." (Participating in web comments can usually tide me over between rage room sessions.)


Down On The Bottom of the News

Twitter is changing some of its posting rules. Soon, things like videos and usernames will not count towards your 140 character limit. Also coming soon: Self Retweets. (They might need to add some servers before launching this feature.)

+ They "liked their dependability and size, and even the name ... They were four times more likely than the average consumer to buy a Subaru." From Pricenomics: How an Ad Campaign Made Lesbians Fall in Love with Subaru.

+ Who's making Trader Joe's food?

+ Digg: Two Hours Of Competitive Vaping: A Viewer's Guide. (I really was born too soon.)

+ You may have noticed the theme in today's headlines. On his 75th birthday, here are 15 freewheeling facts about Bob Dylan.