Thursday, July 14th, 2016


Cheech and Wrong

In WaPo, Chris Ingram shares one striking chart that shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana. In short, "in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law." This isn't just about pot and opioids. It's about the power of lobbying and professional messaging to skew public policy and opinion. Thanks to big pharma maneuvering and the false rhetoric of the drug war, we prohibit one drug while pushing others that are about a zillion times more dangerous (I'm a Humanities major, but I'm pretty sure my math is right). A tenet of the anti-drug movement has been to warn of the risk of gateway drugs. For thousands of people, prescription opiates have been a gateway to the graveyard while, as far as I can tell, marijuana is at most a gateway to laughing hard at jokes that aren't that funny.


Unbearable Lightness of Revenue

Question: How many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Answer: It doesn't matter anymore. LED lightbulbs last a lot longer than their incandescent predecessors. As The New Yorker's J. B. MacKinnon explains, "this would seem to be a good thing, but building bulbs to last turns out to pose a vexing problem: no one seems to have a sound business model for such a product." How does an industry make money when planned obsolescence has always been the name of the game?


Just One Big Happy Nuclear Family?

"Since implementation day in January, Iran has adhered to all of the restrictions under the agreement, sanctions have been lifted and while Iran isn't seeing the economic windfall it originally anticipated, businesses are demonstrating interest in going back into Iran." Today is the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuke deal. How's it going? According the this report from McClatchy, so far so good.

+ Robin Wright: Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Survive?


Donald’s Mike Drop

Numerous reports are suggesting that Donald Trump is set to announce that Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be his running mate in NYC tomorrow. (Chris Christie just blocked every road and bridge between Indiana and Manhattan.) From Digg: Meet Trump's Reported VP Pick.

+ RGB puts an end to her short-lived career as a politcal pundit: "On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect." (If you missed it yesterday, I explained why Ruth Bader Ginsburg is Under the Influence.)


Scott Free Advice

If you want to get a good overview of the law enforcement issues facing black men, then listen to this evenhanded explanation by Tim Scott. He was pulled over seven times in a year. And he's a Republican U.S. Senator. "I have felt the pressure applied by the scales of justice when they are slanted ... Just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean that it does not exist. To ignore their stuggles, our struggles, does not make them disappear, it simple leaves you blind."


Boris the Collider

He's called Obama a Kenyan who has an ancestral dislike of the U.K. He's called W "a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomizes the arrogance of American foreign policy." He's also suggested that "the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump." And here's his take on Hillary Clinton: "She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital." And he's the UK's new foreign secretary. Here's a short history of Boris Johnson insulting foreign leaders.

+ And this from his French counterpart: "I have no worries about Boris Johnson, but you know well what his style is. He lied a lot during the campaign."


The Tour de Prance

Chris Froome will keep his hold on the Tour de France yellow jersey, even though he had to jog part of the latest stage.

+ GQ: How the Tour De France encourages cheating. (Maybe doing something that is too hard for humans for three straight weeks has something to do with it?)

+ Detroit may have lost its pole position in car manufacturing. But when it come to bicycles, the motor city is breaking away.


An Emmy for Tony?

Winter is here. The throne has been unified. And once again, Game of Thrones dominated the Emmy noms. The People v. O.J. Simpson also looks to be a big winner on Emmy night. Here are all the nominees, and Anthony Anderson when when he heard he was nominated.


The Thin Line Between Hugs and Huggies

"Humanity hasn't yet worked out how it feels about the internet's effect on our collective sexuality. Some see it as a liberating force, opening us up to new levels of pleasure, satisfaction and self-understanding. Others see it as corrosive: transgressive stuff like diaper porn -- in which young girls stripped naked save for a pair of Depends roll on the floor cooing and gurgling." In Aeon, Mark Hay reflects on the way "ever-faster feedback loops and micro-targeted digital p*rn are pushing human sexuality into some seriously weird places."

+ The Verge: A new app lets women charge for a night out. Will dating join the on-demand economy? (And you thought I was chasing Pikachu...)

+ You can be into whatever you're into, but sadly, no, you can't have fries with that.


Bottom of the News

The return of authoritarianism. The end of privacy. And a world where virtually anyone will be able to create their own pandemic. Gizmodo with 10 predictions about the future that should scare the hell out of you.

+ After spending most of my adult life perusing hundreds of thousands of open news tabs, I've come to at least one interesting conclusion. You want the good news or the bad news?

+ No on hammocks, canned goods, tennis balls. Yes on guns. Hello, Cleveland.

+ The dangers of manscaping.