Friday, August 19th, 2016


Apocalypse Now

"Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it's seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives." That take from the excellent Joel Stein could easily be the treatment for a modernized sequel to Heart of Darkness. But this time, we're not traveling farther down the river. We're traveling deeper into our online experience. If those references don't connect, then think of it as a remake of the Love Boat, but with Milo Yiannopoulos playing the part of Julie, your cruise director. From Time: How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet. The horror! The horror!


Reality Bites

Before the Olympics, there was a lot of talk about the danger posed by Zika in Brazil. As the games come to a close, concerns are rising about the spread of the disease in America; particularly in Miami where the CDC just expanded its travel advisory.

+ "Teams of scientists ... are hunting for medicines that might work against Zika. And public-health experts have been dispatched to eradicate reservoirs of breeding mosquitoes. Those efforts might help—but there's little that can stop an epidemic in its tracks as effectively as a vaccine." From The New Yorker: The Race For A Zika Vaccine.


Weekend Whats

What to Doc: Pablo Escobar's son is not much like his father. And in this documentary, he sets out to prove that -- to the sons of the men his father killed. The Sins of My Father.

+ What to Hear: I saw White Lung earlier this week, and they nearly blew the ceiling off the Independent in San Francisco. Here's a write-up of one of their songs on Pitchfork. And here's their full performance on KEXP.

+ What to Read: "The astonishing story of how two wrestling teammates from Miami came to oppose each other in the cocaine wars -- one as a drug smuggler, the other as a DEA agent." From ESPN: Pin Kings.


Somewhere Under the Rainbow

"They have adjusted in an extraordinary way to this terrible life. For instance, they used to feel scared when they heard the sound of planes, but nowadays they want to go out the building and stare at the sky to see the jets or helicopter when they hear them overhead." From The Guardian: Aleppo's underground orphanage offers haven for children bereaved by war.


Five Ring Circus

In the end, the Rio gas station controversy was a perfect storm. It played into Brazil's concern that their country is stereotyped as a crime-ridden, second tier nation. And it hit on US concerns that the world might realize that Ryan Lochte is American. In the end, there was a small payoff, a weird trail of questions, and Lochte finally said, "Me Sorry."

+ The Ringer: The hypnotic ecstasy and brutal reality of the dissonance-inducing Rio Olympic Games.

+ Quartz: The Rio athletes who fell and picked themselves up again. (See? It's OK if not everyone who participates gets a trophy!)

+ And as Rio coverage finally comes to a close, a BBC reporter assures us that the two people in the background aren't humping.


Meter Violation

"Socrates drank hemlock after being convicted of corrupting the youth of ancient Athens. Civilly disobedient Henry David Thoreau went to jail rather than pay his taxes. And Assya and Mario Pascalev, philosophers from Bethesda, Md., are going without air conditioning." WaPo's Justin Wm. Moyer on a family that really, really, really doesn't want to have a smart meter installed. (Like, really.)


Anchors Aweigh In Alaska

"We have our unique dialect of Inupiat Eskimo language, our unique Eskimo dancing, our unique gospel singing translated in Inupiat. All that will soon die out if we do not move as a community." For residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, climate change hits close to home. Too close. So they just voted to relocate the entire village.

+ 110,000 homes. $20B in damage. The sobering stats from Louisiana's epic flood.


The Belly of the Beast

"But if I had learned anything from spending three days moving in one of the most hostile digital landscapes in the world, it was that lulling yourself into a sense of total security while online is exactly the sort of mentality that malicious hackers rely upon for their craft." Motherboard's Daniel Oberhaus: A Paranoid N00b Goes to Def Con.


The Human Highlight Reel

"That phrase. He's a student of the game. You know it well. We all do, and what it's code for: He's white. Just as we know that he's a great natural talent or he's an instinctive athlete means he's black." In ESPN, the great Andrew Corsello gets a close up look at the lightness of being Christian McCaffrey. He really is amazing. But still, Go Bears.


Bottom of the News

The gold medal for best Olympic celebration goes to... (and this was a win more lopsided that the average Usain Bolt race).

+ The weird reality of the sorority house door stack. (This makes it all the more depressing that when I knocked on sorority doors in college, no one answered at all.)

+ Motorcycle lane splitting is officially legal in California. (They might want to officially make opening a car door in traffic illegal.)

+ Warning: I'm about to add enormous value: Here are 12 satisfying soft serve stops in the US.