Friday, July 29th, 2016


The Wrath of Khan

Hillary Clinton closed out her historic nomination week with a speech short on poetry, long on prose, and longer on what is the Dem's clear strategy in the general: Attack Trump's instability and lack of experience. This was the line that Hillary wants you to remember: "He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally. Imagine, if you dare, imagine -- imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." And don't blame the messenger on this, but thanks to the timing of the conventions, we're about to be subjected to the longest general election in more than fifty years (and back then, there were no tweets).

+ All right. This one time I'll let you ask me about my affairs: Over the years, I've tamped down political coverage in this newsletter for a few reasons. First, people who are into politics consume that content faster than I can share it. Second, the constant yelling at each other changes no minds. And third, I've got to save something for my Twitter feed. So why have I been sucked into coverage of this election? Because I don't see this as just another battle between two parties. And I'm confident I'm joined in that view by prominent voices from both sides. Khizr Khan explains it better than I ever could.

+ Let's end the week on a political topic we all can agree on. Those balloon drops are pretty impressive. Here's how they pull them off. (After the past two weeks of balloon drops, my daughter wants to have her 8th birthday party at a convention.)


Roll Your Own

Consumer Reports: "To demonstrate just how easy it is to order equipment and ingredients, then package a supplement that looks just like one you might find at your local vitamin store, we decided to create our own." And, "our modern love of dietary supplements began in 1970 when Linus Pauling, the chemist and two-time Nobel Prize winner, declared that taking 3,000 mg of vitamin C every day could abolish the common cold." The unregulated world of supplements.


Weekend Whats

What to Doc: With yet another report of political hacking, this is the perfect time for you to watch Zero Days, an absolutely riveting documentary on the Stuxnet virus and the rise of modern-day cyber warfare. Trust me. You need to see this. It's both informative and highly entertaining. Here's a list of places where you can stream it.

+ What to Stream: You may not be aware of it, but most major music festivals are live-streamed. So you can enjoy three stages of entertainment without ever setting foot inside a porta-potty. This weekend, sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Lollapolooza (contact high not included).


Mosquitoes Coast into FLA

"Florida has become the first state in our country to have a local transmission of the Zika virus." So said Florida Gov Rick Scott as Zika comes to America (and gives you one more reason to hate mosquitoes).

+ NYT: What we know and what we don't know.

+ Here are nine facts to calm you down.


Balt Reality

None of the officers accused in the Freddie Gray case were found guilty. And now, some of them are suing Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, accusing her of "false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation or false light, and other assertions."


Anything Chicagoes

Why is it so hard for Chicago police to stem gang-related violence? A lack of leadership ... in the gangs. From the Chicago Tribune: "Street gangs, once compared with Fortune 500 companies for their organizational skills and ruthless pursuit of profits, are now mostly made up of small, leaderless sets of members bound together by personal relationships rather than geographic or narcotics-trade ties. Personal insults and petty conflicts, often inflamed by social media posts, are just as likely to lead to a shooting as is competition for drug turf. Taken together, these changes have created an anything-goes atmosphere on the streets."


Putin Us On?

"To imagine Putin engaging Trump in a covert alliance is to see the discipline and coherence of a master strategist where there is, most likely, the opportunism and appetite for risk of a high-stakes gambler." Forget the politics, the hacks, and the hype. Joshua Yaffa has a very interesting piece on what the Kremlin really thinks about this election.


Hamilton All About the Benjamins

"Every performance of Hamilton is a miniature Super Bowl, in terms of demand and resale activity. Fans can still get a seat at Hamilton for less than a thousand dollars, if they are willing to wait for it -- either buying months in advance from the theater or just hours before a performance, as scalpers drop their asking price." The NYT Upshot on how scalpers might make make even more off Hamilton that the show's producers. This is new to Broadway. But all too familiar to those who attend concerts or sporting events.


Smoking Your Own Exhaustion

"What changes through history are the causes and effects that are aligned with exhaustion." We live with the notion that the always-on, modern, wired world keeps us always working, always awake, and always exhausted. But humans have been complaining about being tired (and laying out the reasons why their generation is the most tired ever) since long before you got WiFi.


Bottom of the News

"Noise can cause us distress and pain, but it can also help us think, perceive, remember, and be more creative. It turns out that it's even necessary for our physiological and mental functioning. If it's a drug, then it's a performance drug. And New York is full of addicts." You hate the noise. But you also might need the noise.

+ "Cops mistook Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze for meth." (It's amazing that only one of those substances is illegal.)

+ Wired: Meet the designer behind cinema's most iconic movie titles.

+ BBC: Bikini-clad Swedish policewoman stops thief. Just another case of life imitating Cinemax.