Thursday, August 4th, 2016


Conversation with a Pussy

"Secretly everybody's getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That's the kiss-ass generation we're in right now. We're really in a pussy generation. Everybody's walking on eggshells." That's Clint Eastwood calling us all a bunch of pussies during an interview with Esquire. I'm leading with this for two reasons. First, I think Eastwood's take on modern America is one shared by massive number of voters, so it's worth your attention. And second because...

+ ... I thought I'd take the opportunity to respond to Clint. Here's our conversation: Talking Dirt with Dirty Harry: "While political correctness can be bad, if you stand up to overt racism, prejudice, misogyny, or flagrant nationalism, you're not a pussy. You're an American."

+ WaPo: Video, politics, and why some whites are waking up to racism.


Leave Your Bags Unattended

"If your flight has an emergency and you're told to evacuate, be certain that at least two things will happen. You'll experience the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, for one. But you'll also hear the urgent commands of flight attendants telling you to leave your bags behind." But it turns out a lot of people don't follow that command (I'm guessing there's a strong overlap between these people and the ones who put their seat all the way back). From Bloomberg: Crashing, Burning Planes Don't Stop Passengers From Grabbing Their Luggage.


Bangers and Cash

From the Economist: "The Bank of England had not changed base rates in seven years, but when it finally moved, it did so with a bang." As Brits look to stem the economic damage from Brexit, there's this: London is no longer the world's most expensive city.


Building Bridges By Building Buildings

China has a pretty consistent strategy when it comes to diplomacy in Africa, the South Pacific, and elsewhere. Pay for new buildings where top leaders will work or live. In the latest example, China is building Zimbabwe a new parliament.

+ "Their eye-widening, skin-lightening, chin-narrowing photo apps and "beautifying" video platform are ubiquitous in China, downloaded a billion times in total, according to the company." From WaPo: These viral selfie apps with 1 billion downloads are shaping China's start-up culture.


Five Ring Circus

"USA Gymnastics would not disclose the total number of sexual misconduct allegations it receives each year. But records show the organization compiled complaint dossiers on more than 50 coaches and filed them in a drawer in its executive office in Indianapolis." The Indy Star with an upsetting report on how an organization charged with watching out for kids turned blind eye to sex abuse.

+ "From a microbiological point of view, this water is comparable to raw sewage." Gizmodo: How Olympians can survive swimming in sewage. (They should train in web comments sections.)

+ "Items in the first quadrant are very watchable, but categorically uncool, like any and all funny cat videos you might find on YouTube." The Ringer takes a crack at building a 2016 Olympics watchability matrix. I'm so sick of political coverage, I'll watch any sport and enjoy it. This year, watching the balance beam competition is going to seem relaxing.

+ Athletes, fans, and the media breathe a sigh of relief as Pokémon Go makes it to Brazil just in time for the games.


To Dive For

"At the age of 56, the reason I'm actually interested in learning to dive is that I'm trying to find my wife in the sea." From Jennifer Percy in the NYT Magazine: Five years after the tsunami that killed tens of thousands in Japan, a husband still searches the sea for his wife.


Opposites Distract

A new poll from Pew indicates "that 47% of Clinton supporters and 31% of Trump supporters say they have zero close friends who support the opposing candidate." I guess we'll just have to settle for yelling at each other on the Internet.

+ According to most news reports and many GOP insiders, it's been a rough week for Trump. But his fans remain steadfast. And his campaign saw a big jump in donations from small donors.

+ There is a working theory that all the publicity must be good for Trump's businesses. Like every theory in this election season, that one turns out to be wrong.


Post, Mortem

"A police standoff in Randallstown, Md., on Monday in which a 23-year-old woman with a shotgun was killed after the police say she had been encouraged by her online followers to defy their orders has highlighted an unexpected role of social media in violent encounters." Social media can provide a view into crime scenes. It can also become a part of them. Here's the NYT's Daniel Victor on how Instagram posts may have escalated a fatal standoff.


The Great Floss Toss

Now that we know flossing isn't all that important, we can safely assume everything is a lie. GQ has a short list of other nuggets of wisdom that are probably bull.


Bottom of the News

"Your poor dumb brain is only trying to help, in the best way it knows how." From NYT Mag: Reading makes you carsick because your brain thinks it's being poisoned. Some stories make me carsick even when I'm sitting on my couch.

+ Quartz on the many ways profanity is good for you.

+ Looking to motivate your entitled kid to get a summer job? Tell them Sasha Obama is bussing tables.