Thursday, May 26th, 2016


Peter is the Wolf

It's a matchup that would impress Vince McMahon. We've now learned -- courtesy of an interview he did with the NYT's Andrew Ross Sorkin -- that Peter Thiel has indeed been financing Hulk Hogan's legal battle against Gawker as part of a decade-long quest for revenge against the publisher that publicly outed him; and that he'd just as soon see destroyed. Thiel (founder of PayPal, investor in Facebook, etc) acknowledged that he has funded similar efforts and explained that his effort to delete Gawker is "one of my greater philanthropic things that I've done." (Let's hope he never finds a hitman who has 501c3 status.)

+ "We should not be surprised that they act like entitled industrialists out here, because they are." Also, from the NYT: In Silicon Valley, Gossip, Anger and Revenge. (Again, we're talking about Silicon Valley, the place, not the show.)

+ Felix Salmon: "The Facebook board member and Silicon Valley demigod just gave the world a master class in how a billionaire can achieve enormous ends with a relatively modest investment ...Thiel's tactics in going after Gawker are very, very frightening for anybody who believes in freedom of speech; they're also extremely effective, in an evil-genius kind of way." (I still remember when tech billionaires tried to save publishers.)

+ I've got a thing or two to say to Peter Thiel, but first I need to put masking tape over my laptop camera and delete the folder on my hard drive that I labeled, Other Files. This was probably a mistake, but here's my open letter to Peter Thiel, Gawker, and Hulk Hogan.



1237. As of today, that's the number of delegates Donald Trump has reached. In other words, Trump just officially clinched the GOP nomination.

+ Michael Lind in Politico: This Is What the Future of American Politics Looks Like. (With that headline, I expected a not safe for work image.)


Summer Travel Plans

"The Italian coast guard has coordinated the rescue of around 900 migrants in seven different operations on Thursday. That brings the total of migrants who have been rescued since Monday to more than 7,000." As Summer approaches, the pace of people trying to cross the sea to escape war zones is picking back up. From Vice: Crisis in the Mediterranean.


In Like Flint

"After decades of political neglect, Matheny Tract and similar communities are now at the forefront of legislation built on a legal idea that has gained increasing attention in the past decade in the developing world: the 'human right to water.'" From Politico: The Flint of California.


Sugar Smacked

I'm trying to cut down on sugar. So I only eat products with evaporated cane juice. Which seemed good, until the FDA ruled that food makers must call evaporated can juice by its more common name. Sugar. (What's key to notice here is that the companies using the evaporated cane juice label are the ones that position themselves as being the healthy choices.)

+ John Battelle talks to Jordan Shlain about the FDA's new food labels: The World's Biggest Industry Just Got Served.


Severing Baylor’s Bonds

"Mark this day down. Turn the corner of this page in the college football family bible. Someone in the gridiron-industrial complex stood up and said some standards are more important than winning." ESPN's Ivan Maisel on the firing of Baylor's head football coach Art Briles.

+ "Baylor has been accused of failing to properly respond to claims of sexual assaults against members of the football team reported by at least six female students from 2009 to 2016." As part of the shakeup, Ken Starr (yes, that Ken Starr) has been stripped of his president title, but will remain the school's chancellor.


False Positives

"Rich parents are single-mindedly invested in their children's success, while over-involved upper-class moms and dads need to label every hormonal swing with a new disorder. These pop-psychological explanations make sense, but they're not true -- they describe an imagined set of facts." From Pacific Standard: Misunderstanding Medicated Kids.


The Sit Down Comedian

"His peers? Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead (Buddy Hackett, Alan King, George Carlin, Joan Rivers — even Garry Shandling, who was almost 25 years his junior) or retired (Shecky Greene). Rickles is one of the last of the old-time stand-ups standing." From WaPo: Don Rickles was politically incorrect before it was incorrect. And at 90, he's still going. (Rickles used to be considered an insult comedian. Today, he's not even insulting enough to run for president.)


All The News That Fits, We Print

"I recently came across a surprising statistic: The Post publishes an average of 1,200 stories, graphics, and videos per day. That's more than one story every two minutes. Could it possibly be true?" From The Atlantic: How Many Stories Do Newspapers Publish Per Day? This is exactly why I adopted the role of the Internet's Managing Editor.


Bottom of the News

The latest Internet sensation is a kid who performed what appears to be a pretty simple bottle flip. But damn, it makes for an enjoyable piece of video.

+ Syndicated via Kottke: The dance number in Ex Machina works well with pretty much any song.

+ Data drives everything these days. Including book cover colors. And for now, it is all yellow.

+ A school system in North Carolina might ban skinny jeans. Bummer. High school was the last time I could fit into them.

+ Esquire: Man Lives Your Worst Nightmare, Gets Penis Bitten by Toilet-Lurking Python. (It really is getting harder and harder to go viral these days.)