Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016


Sweating With The Oldies

Looking forward to your retirement years? Well, you better be able to look a really long way. For a growing number of aging workers, retirement is nowhere in sight. According to the NYT, there has been a massive surge in the number of older workers who remain un-retired. "Over 16 years, employment rose not only among 65- to 69-year olds (close to a third now work), but also among those 70 to 74 (about a fifth). In the 75-plus population, the proportion still working increased to 8.4 percent from 5.4 percent." This is Not Your Father's Old.


The Secret Life of Petroleum

"As the price of oil rose earlier this decade, this capital city did as well. Glass skyscrapers soared above the rubble of a 27-year civil war. American pop stars such as Mariah Carey were flown in to play private concerts. Luanda would become, its government announced, 'a new Dubai.'" But now oil prices have crashed, and Angola is in crisis. The geopolitical and economic impact of the shift away from foreign fossil fuels will be felt in a big way in many countries. It could reshape our world over the next decade or two.


Antisocial Media

"He was speaking openly about the situation, saying that they have loads of people living in European countries and waiting for commands to attack the European people. And that was before the Brussels attacks, before the Paris attacks." The NYT's Rukmini Callimachi conducts a jailhouse interview with an ISIS operative who explains how a secretive branch of ISIS built a global network of killers.

+ Wired on Rukmini Callimachi: How One Journalist Uses Social Media to Get Inside the Minds of ISIS.

+ Longform did an interesting interview with Callimachi last year. She's done a great job getting stories. But the distance from which she often covers ISIS is a reminder of how little direct data we have from inside the organization (and from the region in general).

+ The Pop Star of Jihad.


Get Out of Jail Cards

"Sixty-seven of Wednesday's commutations are for people serving life sentences -- almost all, per the White House, for nonviolent drug crimes." From Buzzfeed: President Obama commuted the sentences of 214 people serving federal sentences. Criminal justice reform is one of the few areas where we have bipartisan support.

+ The Marshall Project on the end of the Bill Bratton era. He's been one of the most influential top cops for years.


Five Ring Circus

Usain Bolt is slow. Yes, you read that correctly. As the WSJ's Matthew Futterman explains, "what this means is that Bolt isn't kicking into another gear and running away from the field. Instead, he's slowing down at a slower rate than anyone else."

+ Michael Phelps will carry the US flag during the opening ceremonies. But, in keeping with tradition, he won't be be dipping it.

+ The US basketball team will be staying on a cruise ship in Rio.

+ NYT: Olympic Cover-Up: Why you won't see some shoe logos.


From Russia With Love

"The fellow-feeling between the two is complex, but it is not hard to see who gets the better of whom. Trump sees strength and cynicism in Putin and hopes to emulate him. Putin sees in Trump a grand opportunity. He sees in Trump weakness and ignorance, a confused mind. He has every hope of exploiting him." David Remnick (New Yorker editor and Pulitzer prize winning expert on Russia) shares his take on Trump And Putin: A Love Story. A must read.

+ Quartz: Anti-Hillary Clinton books take second, third, and fourth place on the New York Times bestsellers list

+ Editor's note. A few readers have suggested that my election coverage is biased. I'd like to respond: It is. So is every word and link in NextDraft. My head is the logo. A few more thoughts on this topic: I Think, Therefore I Am (Biased). (And just between us, I can't wait until this election is over.)

+ And before you decide to run off to Canada, be aware that you might run into a shirtless Justin Trudeau exiting a cave.


Mommy Nearest

"Kids don't rebel against their parents anymore; why would they? Would you rebel against the concierge at the Hyatt?" The Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan makes the case that helicopter parenting can cause binge drinking. (It can definitely cause binge drinking among other parents observing the behavior.)


Walk The Line

"The fight started, and calls sped up. A boy was hit in the face with a baseball bat. A woman complaining of fatigue turned out to be a heroin addict. Fred had to break down a door to reach a guy who'd been beaten to a pulp. Cars wrecked. Then a call came in. Something about a girl at the mouth of Chacon Creek. Something down by the river. The medics have a saying for nights like this: Se suelto el diablo. The devil is loose." From California Sunday Magazine: Drownings, shootings, high-speed accidents, immigrants in labor -- the life of a border paramedic.


Seven Circles of Well

"This place is Swindon, they tell me. It is in south England, a land recently torn asunder. They call this swirl of movement the magic roundabout." A Wired video gives you a glimpse of a 7-circle roundabout that can't possibly work, but does.


Bottom of the News

"Researchers at Carnegie Mellon are working on giving robots introspection, or a sense of self-doubt." Self doubt. No emotion. I have a feeling I'm gonna get along really well with robots.

+ A psychologist analyzes the fights couples have in Ikea. (There's no need to analyze the fights they have trying to put the crap together.)

+ America's Got Talent stunts are funny until someone gets a flaming arrow to the throat.

+ China's futuristic straddling bus hits the road.

+ And, at long last, braiding hair without a cosmetology license is no longer a crime in the state of Iowa. (You can still get 20 to life for a comb-over...)