Thursday, June 2nd, 2016


Body Bags

"An autopsy, now part of court records, showed that a round piece of metal the size of a hockey puck had shot out of the Accord's air bag, sliced into Solis's neck, and lodged in his cervical spine and shoulder. It severed his carotid artery and jugular vein and fractured his windpipe. Solis was 35 and the father of two teenagers. He was also the sixth person in the U.S. killed by an exploding air bag." Back in 2008, Takata made its first air bag recall. It involved about four thousand cars made by Honda. There have been twenty more recalls since then. And the recall isn't about a failure of the bags to deploy. It's about a deadly risk when they do. Bloomberg takes a look at the ongoing debacle: Sixty Million Car Bombs: Inside Takata's Air Bag Crisis.


You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boot

Uber's status as the champ of car services is dwarfed by its role as the champ of fundraising. The company just pulled in another $3.5 billion in funding. This round comes courtesy of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. (Yes, they took an investment in their car service from a country that doesn't allow women to drive.) Uber now has so much cash in reserve that customers should be able to order a Black Car, andSUV, or a Brink's Truck.


Brazilian Wacks

"In a country where half of the population is female and a similar percentage has African or indigenous ancestry, [acting President] Temer named an all-white, all-male Cabinet. He got rid of the Ministry of Women, Racial Equality, and Human Rights, ordering it to be subsumed into the Ministry of Justice—which he promptly handed over to Alexandre de Moraes, a former security official from São Paulo who is accused of deploying death squads to fight crime in that city. (His former office has denied the accusations.) This came at the same time as news of a horrifying case in which a sixteen-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro was gang-raped by as many as thirty-three men, some of whom filmed their abuse and posted it to social media." Along with political turmoil, Brazil is dealing with an economic meltdown, Zika, and this summer's olympics. In other words, things are particularly tough in Brazil right now.


UCLA Ruins

Authorities have identified the UCLA shooter as Mainak Sarkar, a former doctoral student who left a hit list behind. In addition to UCLA professor William Klug, at least one other person on that list was also found dead.

+ Fusion: When you're 21 and this is your second campus shooting.



Prince's music was popular. Sadly, his cause of death is increasingly popular as well. Law enforcement officials have confirmed that Prince died an accidental overdose of fentaynl and weighed only 112 pounds at the time of his death.

+ Vox: Painkillers now kill more Americans than any illegal drug.


Censorship and Sensibility

"The threat to free speech on Western campuses is very different from that faced by atheists in Afghanistan or democrats in China. But when progressive thinkers agree that offensive words should be censored, it helps authoritarian regimes to justify their own much harsher restrictions and intolerant religious groups their violence." The Economist on the several ways free speech is under attack.


High Priced Blow Jobs

"It's the modern-day reincarnation of the beauty parlors that provided weekly wash-and-sets to America's grandmothers 60 years ago, except now there's free champagne and Ariana Grande on the speakers. Leading the charge is a company called Drybar." Not all fast-growing companies are about VR or AI. Some of them are about good old fashioned blow outs. Buzzfeed's Sapna Maheshwari on the hot air millionaires.


What Elon Strange Trip It’s Been

During a chat at the Code Conference, Elon Musk explained why we are probably characters in some advanced civilization's video game. He also predicted that SpaceX would be ready to send people to Mars in 2024. In other words, Elon Musk's plan to convince tech's most irritating people to go to Mars is proceeding quite well.



You block ads. Or you ignore them. But you love emojis and send them to your friends. So naturally, brands want to get in on the emoji game. From The Ringer (the new site launched by Bill Simmons of Grantland fame): How Amber Rose, Blac Chyna, and Bubba Watson invaded your keyboard and became emoji moguls. And why brands are trying to do the same. (Full disclosure: One of my cats is named Emoji.)


Bottom of the News

Last night, Rachel Maddow did a pretty long piece on the pranks being played on just about every candidate in this election: There were the two guys who complained Trump's speech wasn't entertaining enough, the duo who demanded to be paid as seat fillers at a Jeb event, and a couple of dudes who showed up to a Hillary rally without shirts. And here's the interesting thing. It's always the same two guys.

+ Sydney will become the latest city to embed traffic lights in the ground at crosswalks so people on their phones don't have to look up. (Maybe it's better to let natural selection work its magic...)

+ And related, a selfie statue in Texas.