Friday, June 3rd, 2016


Dog Bae Afternoon

"We're not dissimilar to any other wild primate. We're manipulating our environments, but not on a scale bigger than, say, a herd of African elephants. And then, we go into partnership with this group of wolves. They altered our relationship with the natural world." While cats dominate the Internet, dogs were the first animals to be domesticated and dramatically changed the course of human history. In The Atlantic, Ed Yong takes us back tens of thousands of years to get a better understanding of our unlikely partnership with the grey wolf: A New Origin Story for Dogs. Cats go viral by cutely pawing at a piece of yarn or opening five doors. Dogs try to go viral with an academic piece about their domestication. Case closed.

+ Between cryonics and cloning, your pet can live forever. Sort of. From Ringer: Pets, No Cemetery.


I Must Be in the Front Row

"If every ticket in the venue 'sells out' at the face value printed on the ticket, that wouldn't be enough to pay the artist what they are contractually guaranteed by the promoter for the performance. How does the promoter make up the difference? You guessed it: by selling some of the best seats directly in the secondary market, so that artists don't get flack from you for pricing them high right out of the gate. That means the artist is either directly complicit, or that the artist is taking a massive check for the performance while looking the other way. Goddammit, right?" Nathan Hubbard (who used to be the CEO of Ticketmaster) explains why you can never get good tickets to a major event. (I was gonna try to get some Warriors playoff tickets, but I didn't vest fast enough.)


Weekend Reads

"In 1969, the Zombies had a huge hit single, despite having broken up two years earlier. To meet the unexpected demand, one promoter did the only sensible thing: Hire four kids from Texas to tour America pretending to be a defunct British psych-rock band." From Buzzfeed's Daniel Ralston: The True Story Of The Fake Zombies, The Strangest Con In Rock History.

+ "I submit he is an old-school genius, the fiery force of nature possessed by a tutelary spirit of seemingly supernatural provenance that fuels and guides him, intoxicates his circle, and compels his retinue to be great as well. The Jefferson, the Napoléon, the Alexander... the Jim Jones, the L. Ron Hubbard, the Joseph Smith. Keeper of a messianic vision..." From Antonio Garcia Martinez in Vanity Fair: How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook's War To Crush Google Plus.

+ "Experts consider those above 4,000 kilowatts per meter to be too dangerous to be worked by fire crews on the ground, and water bomber aircraft are futile at 10,000 kW/m. By the time Tiedemann heard the evacuation order, the heart of the fire near her home was estimated to be raging at 100,000 kW/m. The authorities no longer called it by a number or its place of origin. Now they called it the Beast." From Bloomberg: Canada's $6.9 Billion Wildfire Is the Size of Delaware -- and Still Out of Control.

+ The History of Pho.


Plea Worthy

"The rising death toll spiked Friday with the discovery of more than 100 drowning victims off the Libyan coast, as rescuers searched for survivors of at least two other stricken boats in waters off Crete and Egypt." The number of migrant drownings has increased with the warmer temperatures. From WaPo: More shipwrecks in Mediterranean claim migrants' lives, spur recriminations.



In some ways, it makes sense that professional cyclists resort to doping to complete impossibly difficult courses in ridiculous times to gain cash and fame. But why are weekend warriors doping, motoring, and hacking their way into the world of phony time trials and tribulations? The Guardian's Simon Usborne on Dope and glory: the rise of cheating in amateur sport: "Social media has combined with disposable incomes, vanity and the dirty example of the Armstrong era to create a new normal for many amateurs. But what motivates the no-name cheats among us?" (Probably the same thing that motivates the middle-aged, middling athlete to trade in his banana seat and bell-bottoms for a feather light racing bike and logo'd spandex.)

+ If you prefer to train somewhere where doping is encouraged, then the cannabis gym could be just the place you've been looking for.


FIFA’s Fiefdom

As investigators gradually closed in on them, FIFA officials had two choices. Clean up house and hope to get credit for making the effort. Or get everything out of the gig before the jig is up. True to form, they went with the $80 million in bonus money.


Boomtown Drats

"But that was before the city removed the park bench where he held court. Before a new panhandling ordinance made it illegal to ask for money in most places. Before he was given a written infraction for sleeping outside." Many of America's cities are booming. In theory, that could result in increased services and less homelessness. In practice, it's resulted in a lot of removed park benches and new laws. From WaPo: Homeless say booming cities have outlawed their right to sleep, beg and even sit.

+ The NYT on homelessness in Honolulu: Aloha and Welcome
to Paradise. Unless You're Homeless


Climb Out of a Time-Out

"Seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka was found in a military training base near Shikabe in Hokkaido, just a few kilometres from where he was left. His parents initially said he had got lost, but eventually admitted briefly abandoning him for being naughty." From the BBC: Japanese missing boy Yamato Tanooka found alive in Hokkaido. Wow. My kids accuse me of abuse if I try to limit their iPad time...

+ And some background material that begins with a highly accurate lede: "It was a bizarre story from the outset." (Seriously, these could be the most relieved parents in history.)


For Pleasure or Measure?

I often find that kids are more excited about reading before it becomes a school assignment; when it goes from being fun to being homework. The Atlantic: Can Reading Logs Ruin Reading for Kids?


Bottom of the News

"Lee believes this explains the uptick in brunette Eastern European semifinalists during those years, although he stresses the presumptive Republican presidential nominee didn't just pick Melania clones ("He liked India a lot, too")" From GQ: Meet Jeff Lee, Professional Beautiful-Woman Coach.

+ I can get into watching almost any sport. Even grave-digging.

+ "The TALOS exoskeleton is intended to provide ballistic protection from small arms and other weapons, low-light and thermal imaging sensors, and power-assisted limbs. The technologies would allow the TALOS operator to kick in doors and engage enemies in the dark while taking fire." In other words, we're building Iron Man.

+ Oh man, I'm all over this weekender duffle bag from my friends at BetaBrand. Looks good.