Tuesday, June 21st, 2016


Union Jacked?

Should I stay or should I go? That question is at the heart of the election-booth clash facing Brits, Europe, and the world on Thursday when the unfortunately named Brexit vote takes place. Catch up on the issue with a little help from WaPo: What's a Brexit? The complete guide to Britain's E.U. drama for confused non-Europeans. Don't get your knickers in a twist, but be aware that it pays to know your onions because this thing could absobloodylootely turn into a cock-up if the tossers and wankers don't get Blighty sorted before she completely loses the plot.

+ "An EU without Britain would be like tea without milk. Bitter." Here's what European newspapers are saying about the EU referendum.

+ You might not be following the issue, but your stock portfolio is.

+ Quartz: There are just three things you need to know to understand what Brexit is all about.

+ NYMag: How Donald Trump explains Brexit.


Big Same Hunting

"What we saw last night on the floor of the United States Senate was a shameful display of cowardice." That was the message from the White House as the Senate rejected a series of gun control proposals.

+ "In 1995, before it implemented sweeping gun buybacks, Australia saw 67 gun murders, fewer than last year's total murders in Oklahoma City." Gun control proponents often cite Australia as an example of effective gun laws that lowered the level of violence. But is that really a good analog for the gun control fight at the Not OK Corral? The Guardian goes deep on the issue: America's gun problem is so much bigger than mass shootings.


Doctor Crush

"The boy was dying. There was no treatment; he had lost too much blood, and his lungs had filled with concrete particles. Nott held his hand for four agonizing minutes. 'All you can do is just comfort them,' he told me. I asked him what that entailed, since M1 had exhausted its supply of morphine. He began to cry, and said, 'All you can hope is that they die quickly.'" The New Yorker's Ben Taub on the doctors who continue to treat patients in a place where it's become almost impossible to do so. The Shadow Doctors: The underground race to spread medical knowledge as the Syrian regime erases it.


The Company Town

"San Francisco and the Bay Area have long been committed to values which embrace inclusivity and counterculture." But these days, SF counterculture has been reduced to drinking non-artisanal macchiatos or double parking your Tesla. Want to see how the growing economic divide affects a population? Come on out to the latest gold rush and find out.

+ Why did San Francisco Schools stop teaching Algebra in middle school? (We're too busy teaching kids how to understand stock vesting schedules.)

+ How much money do you have in savings? For about 68 million Americans, the answer to that question is zilch.


Takes One to Know One

In WaPo, Mohammed A. Malik responds to some of the claims made about Muslims following the Orlando shooting: "Donald Trump believes American Muslims are hiding something. 'They know what's going on. They know that [Omar Mateen] was bad,' he said after the Orlando massacre. 'They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad. … But you know what? They didn't turn them in. And you know what? We had death and destruction.' This is a common idea in the United States. It's also a lie ... Trump is wrong that we don't speak up when we're able. I know this firsthand: I was the one who told the FBI about Omar Mateen."


Diagramming Venezuela

"I have readers who write to me and ask, 'How can I help? I really want to do something -- to give some money; some food to these people.' The truth is they can't, because all of that kind of help is prohibited. You can't give these people medicine, you can't give people food, you can't even just give people $100, which would make a huge difference in anyone's life here." Hannah Dreier, an AP correspondent in Caracas, on the desperate state of Venezuela where thieves target school cafeterias for food.


Kid Rocked

"A lot of the research supports this idea of relationships, and the need to have a sense of someone that believes in you or someone that supports you – even in a chaotic environment, just having that one person." In Mosaic, Lucy Maddox reflects on a complicated topic. "Why are some people able to become happy, well-adjusted adults even after growing up with violence or neglect?" I saw things children shouldn't see...


Every Hypochondriac is Right Once

About one percent of Google's searches are made up of you searching symptoms. Now Google is rolling out a feature that will quickly associate those symptoms with potential ailments or causes. So much for my plan to take a chill pill.


Cheech, Chongless

Researchers went to Colorado to see what impact legalized marijuana would have on teenage pot-smoking rates. It turns out that teenagers from that state stubbornly refuse to smoke more weed.

+ Complex: Welcome to the Age of the Smart Stoner. (Interestingly, that was one of the options I considered for a NextDraft tagline.)


Bottom of the News

"On average, men's hand strength decreased by 20 pounds, and women's hand strength decreased by 10 pounds." From Quartz: People under 30 have way weaker grips than they did a few decades ago.

+ Bumper cars are pretty popular among Saudi Arabian women. But not for the bumping. Just for the driving.

+ Looking for the most tech-savvy place on Earth? You might to start in Estonia.