Thursday, July 7th, 2016


Watching the Detectives

Cameras are everywhere these days. And you're always on. Your response to this new reality probably depends on who you are. Here are a couple of possible reactions: White people: "I'm worried about living in a surveillance society." Black people: "Keep those cameras rolling." Videotaped fatalities at the hands of police seem to be confirming a story that many Americans have been telling us for years. Georgtown's Paul D. Butler sums up the impact of police shootings caught on camera: "A lot of white people are truly shocked by what these videos depict; I know very few African-Americans who are surprised. The videos are smoking-gun evidence, both literally because they are very graphic, which generates outrage, and figuratively, because people believe their own eyes." From the NYT: The Videos That Are Putting Race and Policing Into Sharp Relief.

+ Fortune's Mathew Ingram: "Sometimes, the ubiquity of smartphone cameras brings us touching moments from our friends' lives or the unintentional joy of a Chewbacca Mom video. Other times, it brings death in close -- to the point where it is impossible to ignore." A day after the Baton Rouge shooting hit the Internet, the aftermath of another shooting was broadcast on Facebook Live. From Diamond Reynolds who broadcasted the moments after her boyfriend was shot by police: "I wanted it to go viral."


The Film Crew

The first video of the Baton Rouge shooting was not shot by some random person who pulled out a phone. As WaPo reports, "it was actually filmed by a member of an organized group that specifically seeks out violent crimes using police scanners with the intention of filming them, not for the purpose of exposing police but to deter young people from crime." Here's an interesting look at the story behind the filming of the fatal Baton Rouge police shooting.


Brexit Path

Here's some UK news you can count on. The next prime minister will be a woman. From BBC: Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom will battle it out to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.

+ And The Guardian with a detailed look back at how remain failed: the inside story of a doomed campaign.


Bond on the Run

"Investors are effectively paying borrowers to lend to them -- giving away $100 and a few years later getting back $99. In the euro zone, more than half of all outstanding bonds are priced in this upside-down way." From Quartz: A third of global government debt now has negative interest rates.


Petri Dishing on Hospitals

"To die from a healthcare associated infection [is] probably more likely than dying in a car accident." Vice helps you answer a pressing question: How scared should I be of hospitals? (The correct answer: Shitless.) I have a feeling that in the future, the idea of gathering sick people together at hospitals and pharmacies will be viewed as having been completely nuts.


Walking Water

For much of world, indoor plumbing is a pipe dream. And for millions of people (mostly women and children), getting water is not merely a matter of going outside. From NPR: Millions of women take a long walk with a 40-pound water can.


Mac Daddy

From Vanity Fair's Nancy Jo Sales: Daddies, Dates, and the Girlfriend Experience: Welcome to the New Prostitution Economy. "It's become like a thing people say when they can't make their rent ... 'Well, I could always just get a sugar daddy,' ‘I guess I could just start camming,' And it's kind of a joke, but it's also not because you actually could. It's not like you need a pimp anymore. You just need a computer." (I'm sticking with using my computer to share news compilations; at least until I know you better.)


Padding Saddam’s Resume

"He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good," Politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle are scratching their heads at Donald Trump's positive comments about dictators -- like the one above about Saddam Hussein. WaPo on Trump's favorite dictators. Regardless of your affiliation, these really are amazing days in American politics. In past elections, any one of these would have immediately sunk a candidate.

+ And for the record, Saddam Hussein didn't exactly have a great track record when it comes to fighting terrorism.



Congratulations. Our generation has effectively ended the age of the couch Potato. It turns out that the "inertness of the potato metaphor ... is most at odds with the jitteriness of digital life." (So you've evolved from being a couch potato into being a basket case.) From Laurence Scott in The New Yorker: What Ever Happened To The Couch Potato? My parents asked each other that question for years after I finally moved out of the house.


Bottom of the News

"When we were in the elevator on the way to the room, my dad (who built himself into one of Northern California's top real estate developers) sniffed a couple times and said, 'You can smell the kitchen from here. That's a sign this place wasn't well built.' At that moment, I didn't need any more evidence that the Taj Mahal would fail. But I got some." My latest post: The Untold Story of the Night the House Lost.

+ Remember Erik Estrada from Chips? Well, he's a real police officer now. This is another example of life imitating schlock.

+ "It sounded like one lady walked up and asked the other lady if she was in line for the waffle maker. She didn't answer, so this lady started to make her waffle. The other confronted her and said, 'That was my waffle' and the other lady said, 'No, it's mine' and then it went down hill from there."

+ Quartz: The US navy expects to have bomb-sniffing locusts within a year.

+ The LA Times on a sad version of where the sidewalk ends: The Holy Grail for earthquake scientists has been accidentally destroyed.