Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016


Sit Happens

Historically, sit-ins have been reserved for groups with very little power and few other options, which makes them the perfect vehicle for Congressional gun control advocates. After all, there have been few American political battles that have been as totally dominated as the NRA's vs its opponents. (The Harlem Globetrotters lose more contests than the NRA.) As of mid-afternoon on Wednesday, 100 House members (led by John Lewis) staged a sit-in in Congress and vowed not to move until they get "gun-control votes on measures that would prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms and expand background checks."

+ Digg has some video from the scene. But that video has been hard to come by as the GOP-led House opted to turn the cameras off. (For a second I got excited because I thought C-Span had finally canceled Congress).

+ Meanwhile, the families of Sandy Hook victims are bypassing Congress and looking to the courts to limit assault weapons. The New Yorker on a case that basically accuses the AR-15 of lying to its customers.


EU Haul

Both sides are turning up the heat as Brits finally get ready to head to the polls and decide whether or not they'll remain in the E.U. The BBC has the latest updates.

+ The Atlantic: Here is a brief guide to the issues, personalities, and policies involved in the sometimes-heated, often-entertaining debate.

+ It's no surprise that the polls are tight. Here's a look at Britain's love-hate relationship with the EU since the 1970s.

+ The most ridiculous moments of the EU referendum.


Ticking Time Bombs

"They are men who clearly seemed to be building toward violent acts, and whose names had surfaced in terrorism investigations, but who avoided crossing legal lines that could tip off the authorities until it was too late." In the NYT, Rukmini Callimachi examines one of the most complex and hotly debated topics of our era: How do you stop a future terrorist when the only evidence is a thought?

+ There are tools to delete videos of beheadings and other terror-related content before it every gets seen online. Should we use them?


Austin’s City Limit

"In their place, they left a patchwork of rogue Facebook groups, drivers struggling to find rides, bartenders terrified to over serve, and stranded drunks trying to get home." Vocativ heads to Austin to find out what life is like since Uber and Lyft pulled out of town.


Doctors Do Dishes

"He's not giving the patients themselves any medicine; instead, he's building small replicas of their organs using their own cells. He's creating miniature versions of them in a dish." Doctors are testing how people with rare diseases will respond to various medications by testing drugs on mini-yous, grown in a dish.

+ This robot surgeon could revolutionize operations. Near future generations will be shocked that we let humans do things like drive cars, perform surgeries, or publish web comments.


Tossing and Concerning

"Exported e-waste has turned rivers in China black and towns in Ghana into some of the world's largest dumps. The UN Environment Programme predicts that between 2007 and 2020, the amount of e-waste exported to India will have jumped by 500 percent, and by 200 to 400 percent in South Africa and China." And did all those tossed devices and used electronics come from? Well, let's join The Verge in NYC as they follow e-waste from your shelf to the shredder.


The Two Musketeers

Elon Musk's Tesla is looking to acquire Elon Musk's Solar City. And for good measure, Elon Musk announced the deal on National Selfie Day. (The guy is that good.)

+ While Musk called the deal "blindingly obvious," the market is not so sure.


Blame it on Rio

Is this Reuters story a foreshadowing of what kind of Olympics we're about witness? "A jaguar featured at an Olympic torch ceremony was shot dead by a soldier shortly after the event in the Brazilian Amazon city of Manaus as the animal escaped from its handlers, an army statement said."

+ Golfer Rory McIlroy pulls out of Rio Olympics due to concerns over Zika.


When Notebooks Go Viral

In The New Republic, Josephine Wolff ponders why the humble notebook is flourishing in the iPhone era. Of course, all is not entirely artisanal, even when it comes to pen and paper. It turns out we know that the humble notebook is flourishing because everyone is taking photos of their notes and sharing them on social networks.


Bottom of the News

If you are the parent of a teenager, stop what you're doing, sit them down, and make sure you finally have the talk about the potential cost of dangerous behavior. Better yet, just read them this: Firefighters Free Alabama Teen Who Got Stuck Inside a Giant Barney Head.

+ If you had a million bucks to spend on a vacation, what would you do?

+ Christo's floating piers were 50 years and $17 million in the making.

+ The Cheerios Challenge and the good news that you can still be an idiot after fatherhood.

+ And finally, a funeral business in Ontario will dissolve you with acid and pour you into the sewer. (I guess that will be my punishment for not composting.)