Friday, July 15th, 2016


Bastille, My Heart

Again, terror. Again, France. At least 84 people -- including at least ten children and a father and son from Texas -- have died and hundreds more were injured in a Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. The attacker who was killed by police has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. So far, authorities haven't found any links to known terror groups. Whether there is a connection or not, this tragedy is yet another reminder of how much damage can be wreaked by one determined lunatic. Here's the latest on another brutal day in French history from the BBC.

+ Terrorism by truck has long been feared by law enforcement.

+ The Economist: "With its ornate churches and palm-tree-fringed beaches, Nice is best known as a tourist destination. Less well-known is the fact that it faces one of France's most intractable problems of Islamic radicalisation outside the Paris region."

+ "Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported." So said Newt Gingrich following the attack. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg explains why that's precisely the kind of reaction that terrorists want, and why sharia law is probably not what you think it is. There have been many recent terror attacks in places like Iraq and Turkey. It's time to retire the notion that only western civilization is at war.


In Through the Out Door

Over the past few years, fecal transplants have become a lot more common. And in some cases, the impact of the treatment seems almost miraculous. It's also mysterious. From Carl Zimmer in the NYT: Fecal Transplants Can Be Life-Saving, but How?


Weekend Whats

What to Read: "Everyone has a threshold for New Age spirituality. At Spirit Weavers, a highly Instagrammable, sold-out women's retreat, I hit mine." Marisa Meltzer takes you inside the world's chicest cult.

+ What to App: With all the hubbub about Pokémon, you might have missed another cool app to emerge recently. In yet another way to save yourself from your terrible photography, Prisma turns photos into works of art.

+ What to Book: As baseball season enters its second half, why not read one of the truly great novels about a baseball player? (And you don't have to be into baseball to dig it). Read Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding.

+ What to Learn: Someone asked, "What are the top 5 TED talks that you took away the most learnings from?" And TED founder Chris Anderson answered.

+ What to Stream: Bloodline just earned a third season on Netflix. So this is a perfect time to start your Bloodline binge.


Not Like Mike

Donald Trump needs to shore up his support among conservatives and the religious right, and to bolster his lack of DC experience. Hence, Pence. With a Tweet (of course), Trump makes his selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence official.

+ ProPublica has a very interesting piece on how Dayton explains the rise of Trump.

+ Fishing. Camping. Mowing the lawn. A lot of GOP senators won't be able to make it to the convention next week.


Hoarse Race

An extensive and very intersting study from Harvard looked to answer this basic question: "How did the news media cover the 2016 presidential primaries and how did it affect the candidates' chances?" They found that covering a campaign like a horse race has its consequences.

+ I don't have time for these kinds of studies. So several weeks ago I just thought about it really hard and came up with a similar (and slightly more entertaining) conclusion: Yes, the Media is to Blame for Trump. But So Are You


Textual Healing

"Almost everyone has a phone that's connected to the internet, so it should follow that almost everyone has access to mental health therapy." Digg looks into the brave new -- and unregulated-- world of therapy by phone. Your Therapist Is Typing...

+ One great example of a text service that's saving lives is the Crisis Text Line.

+ The Atlantic: Can This App Make Me Happier?


The Iron Age

"As a Nike historian, it's like my Holy Grail." In Popular Mechanics Matt Blitz shares the story of an dirty old waffle iron that launched an empire. (Alternate title: You Probably Want to Order the Pancakes Instead.)


Cohn Heads

"If he feels his adversary has been unfair, it is war to the death. No white flags. No Mr. Nice Guy. Prospective clients who want to kill their husband, torture a business partner, break the government's legs, hire Roy Cohn. He is a legal executioner -- the toughest, meanest, loyalest, vilest, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America. He is not a very nice man." Esquire re-posted Ken Auletta's piece on a guy who would feel right at home on the Internet, especially during this election. Don't Mess With Roy Cohn.


Key Chain Gang

"It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: seven keys, held by individuals from all over the world, that together control security at the core of the web. The reality is rather closer to The Office than The Matrix." Courtesy of The Guardian: Meet the seven people who hold the keys to worldwide internet security.

" How fast can a computer crack your password? Really fast.


Bottom of the News

Here's a headline that aptly sums up this week in digital culture: 2 California men fall off edge of ocean bluff while playing Pokemon Go. We've reached Peak-achu.

+ The enduring appeal of bleakness and black lipstick...WaPo on the enduring appeal of Goth.

+ Romance like Jagger. Mick is about to become a father for the eighth time.