Monday, July 18th, 2016


Let’s Break the Ice

This summer it's Pokémon Go. A couple summers ago it was the Ice Bucket challenge, "in which millions of people filmed themselves dumping buckets of ice-cold water over their heads, in order to fight Lou Gehrig's disease." How will history judge that summer fad? Has it had the impact of an Ice Cube, standing the test of time by evolving from gangsta rap to family-friendly movies? Or will its impact more closely resemble that of Vanilla Ice? Let's take a look back with James Surowiecki who found that the Internet's most famous example of slacktivism has had surprisingly long-lasting benefits.



Over the weekend, three police officers were killed during an ambush by a single gunman armed with an AR-15 style semi-automatic weapon.

+ Darrel W. Stephens, the executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association: "We've seen nothing like this at all. The average officer in America, who was tense anyway, their tension and vigilance is going to increase even more. Police officers have always been vulnerable, and they know it. But somewhere inside you, you didn't think it would happen. But now we're seeing it happen."

+ An excerpt from Montrell Jackson's Facebook post following the Alton Sterling killing: "I swear to God I love this city, but I wonder if the city loves me in uniform. I get nasty, hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. I've experienced so much in my short life in these last three days have tested me to the core." Jackson was the father of a 4-month-old baby.


Ground Turkey

The crackdown in Turkey continues following the attempted coup that played out on social media on Friday night. There have been thousands of suspensions and arrests. Here's the latest from The Atlantic.

+ Dexter Filkins: "In the high-stakes world of Turkish politics -- nominally democratic but played with authoritarian ferocity -- justice for the losers will be swift and brutal."

+ And while we're on the topic of Turkey: "How secure are the American hydrogen bombs stored at a Turkish airbase?"


Crazy, Terrorist, or Crazy Terrorist?

"A middle-aged man driving a car in Dijon, France, mowed down more than a dozen pedestrians within 30 minutes, occasionally shouting Islamic slogans from his window. The chief prosecutor in Dijon described the attacks, which left 13 injured but no one dead, as the work of a mentally unbalanced man whose motivations were vague and "hardly coherent." That was a year and a half ago. After last week's horrific Nice attack, leading politicians immediately called the incident a terror attack. All this brings up a complex question examined by the NYT: In the Age of ISIS, Who's a Terrorist, and Who's Simply Deranged?

+ Fusion: How to volunteer to fight ISIS in Syria, in eight steps.



"Everyone has a right to their own conscience and their own beliefs. But the fact of the matter is, as I said before, if you're a Republican and you have voted for Republican nominees for president and you're not working for Donald Trump, you're working for Hillary. And that's the bottom line." That was Chris Christie echoing a familiar tone among many at the GOP convention who are using its opening to criticize those who chose not to attend. Here's a live feed to watch the event.

+ "I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization." The ghostwriter who penned The Art of the Deal seems to be having some second thoughts.

+ "Obviously, this is Walt Disney's attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military." Mike Pence on ... Mulan.


Wada Bunch of Cheats

"The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated." The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recommended the banning all Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics.


Tender Mercies

"Dying can be long and bewildering, lonely and painful, frequently undignified, and consumed by pressing and unpredictable and constantly changing and multiplying needs. It's a relief to have someone around who understands what's going on and what may happen next. On the other hand, when dying is long it becomes ordinary, just another kind of living, but one in which your friends may be gone and your children busy, or not busy enough. In that case, it can be a good thing to see someone who is not a member of your family; who comes from the world outside your illness; who has known you long enough to be familiar but not long enough to have heard your stories already; who wants to know where your pain is but doesn't need you to explain everything; and who is there to take your vital signs but who behaves as though she might have come over to borrow a snow shovel or a couple of eggs." The New Yorker's Larissa MacFarquhar with a look at a hospice nurse who touches people's lives as life runs out: A Tender Hand In The Presence Of Death.


Cold Is as Cold Does

The NYT Upshot's Aaron E. Carroll really wants to make this point: Repeat After Me: Cold Does Not Increase Odds of Catching Cold. I'd still tell your young kids to put on their jackets before leaving the house. It's probably the last time they'll listen to you.


Lactose Intolerance

Slate's Rebecca Schuman asks: Is a kid who's 'old enough to ask for it' too old to breastfeed? (How about a kid who's old enough to drive over and ask for it?)


Bottom of the News

Something is happening between Kanye and Kim and Taylor, and Selena and Katy are getting involved. I have a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the Turkey coup attempt than this. If you care, here's the Kim-Kanye-Taylor Feud, Explained For People Who Don't Know What The Hell Is Going On.

+ Stephen Colbert returns to his roots and takes over the mic at the GOP convention.

+ It took Christian Flores almost 2,000 attempts to nail one skateboarding trick. Now, you can ride along.