Friday, July 8th, 2016


Nine One One

"We don't feel much support most days. Let's not make today most days." So said Dallas Police Chief David Brown following a horrific night when five police officers were killed by sniper fire. Three people are in custody and one suspect is dead after being killed by a robot bomb. Here's the latest from the Dallas Morning News and more updates from Buzzfeed.

+ Obama called the sniper attacks vicious and despicable. And from Speaker Paul Ryan: "Let's not lose sight of our common humanity."

+ The immediate tragedy of this week is the loss of life in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and the Dallas shootings. The longterm tragedy is the fact that these events are all being used by many as just another excuse for us to hate on one another. Much of that hate is now taking place on social media, where powerful live and recorded videos of violence captivate us. I'm not sure if access to social media increases our level of hate, or if it merely holds up a mirror to the vile contempt that's always been there. Either one of those conclusions is pretty sad. Former congressman (and current blowhard) Joe Walsh was among the most sickening voices on the Internet (his diatribe included the tweet: "This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you."). But Walsh was hardly alone in his spewing of rage in a moment that called for grief.


Finding Hope in Sad Ironies

Snipers don't represent peaceful protesters. Or America. Weeks like these can leave people feeling hopeless (especially when events are broadcast live in real time). Need some signs of hope? Look no further than the Dallas Police department itself, which has made great strides in police/community relations. From Vox: Dallas police were doing everything right.

+ WaPo: The irony at the heart of the Dallas police deaths.


Weekend Whats

What to Book: In light of this week's events, it's worth trying to make sense of crime on the streets. Ghettoside by Jill Leovy provides a look at the true story of murder in America -- from the perspective of police, criminals, and victims.

+ What to Read: Longform has "a collection of picks to help remember a time you might rather forget." The Longform Guide to High School.

+ What to Stream: Royal Blood is one of the best newish rock bands to hit the scene. The band is made up of only two members, a drummer, and a singer who has totally rewritten the rules when it comes to playing the bass. Here they are playing Figure it Out in a live studio session. Check out this song called Come on Over. And here's the breakout performance that really launched the band in Glastonbury.

+ What to Doc: Now that Cleveland finally has a championship team, it's the perfect time to look back at the many past heartbreaks that made this NBA season mean so much. Check out Believeland on Netflix.


The Magical Mystery Cure

"It is really easy to come up with interesting, compelling explanations. The challenge is to figure out which of those interesting and compelling hypotheses might be correct." The NYT's Gina Kolata on a medical mystery of the best kind: major diseases are in decline.


Catching Up With the Released

The idea that too many people are spending too much time in prison is one of our few areas of bipartisan agreement. Last year, "President Obama commuted the prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders. Here's what their lives are like now."


Second Chance

Been procrastinating too much in 2016? Well, you'll have an extra second to make up for lost time. NatGeo: From space missions to Netflix, it's amazing the difference an extra second can make.


Circling Back

Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in. Now that the FBI has concluded its investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices, the State Department has restarted its own probe. The 5 minutes between the two investigations was the best time of my life.


Blood Thinner

The high-flying, high-valued blood-testing startup called Theranos has had a tough few months. How tough? "Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes was banned for two years from owning or operating laboratories." That's like Elon Musk getting banned from anything related to transit.


Before Cat Videos

"The picture steadied as the creature, mid-stride, turned to look over its right shoulder -- just a glance -- before it disappeared into the forest. A skunky, rank odor hung heavy in the air. The whole affair was over in less than a minute." Outside's Leah Sottile on The Man Who Created Bigfoot.


Bottom of the News

"About 30% of single millennials have chosen not to date someone based off of their TV viewing preferences." The other 70% must have an incredible amount of tolerance. Here's The Wrap with the results of a study of TV and our relationships.

+ NPR: What Does It Mean When A Goat Gazes Into Your Eyes? (I already don't like where this is headed.)

+ Mental Floss: Dime After Dime: A Gripping History of Claw Machines.

+ And a couple pieces I wrote this week. Trump's Casino and The Untold Story of the Night the House Lost. And I Hate Your Facebook Status Update. (If you like my posts on Medium, please hit the recommend heart at the bottom left. It helps spread the word.)