Monday, August 22nd, 2016


Tyrannosaurus Rx

"The calls didn't stop. All afternoon, ambulances, police officers and firefighters began crisscrossing the city, responding to reports of more than two dozen men and women overdosing -- in homes, in a gas station bathroom, at a Family Dollar store, in a Burger King parking lot, slumped behind the wheel in traffic on the West 17th Street Bridge. Others appeared at the hospital." The LA Times' Matt Pearce takes you to a small West Virginia city where officials had to to deal with 26 overdoses within just a few hours. It's an extreme story. But it's not a unique one. What happened in Huntington is a microcosm of the havoc wreaked by prescription painkillers, pill mils, and heroin all across America.

+ In case you missed it, here's Don Winslow on legalized pot and the secret history of El Chapo and the heroin crisis: "I'm always amazed that progressive young millennials will picket a grocery chain for not buying fair-trade coffee but will go home and do drugs that are brought to them by the killers, torturers, and sadists of the cartels."


Fare Trade

"Why has TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] left so many needy families behind? Its advocates argue that it reduces dependency and promotes work. Its critics contend that the time limits and work requirements it imposes are too punitive. Yet a careful look under the hood reveals that both of these claims fail to grasp the fundamental nature of what TANF has become." The Atlantic with a look at what's changed in the two decades since we ended welfare as we know it.

+ WaPo: How welfare reform changed American poverty, in 9 charts.


Kids Killing Kids

"If it wasn't for my only surviving child, I would have killed myself." A child suicide bomber killed 54 people at a wedding party in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. Most of the victims were under the age of eighteen.


Putting the Boys in the Band

"Had Pearlman never defrauded anyone, his name might be mentioned along with the demiurges of reality TV--Mark Burnett, the executive producer of Survivor; the Dutch media tycoon John de Mol, who invented Big Brother; and Simon Fuller, who created Pop Idol, in Britain, which begat American Idol. But the wizard was a crook." Lou Pearlman just died in a Miami federal prison. The New Yorker's John Seabrook argues that we live in the pop-culture world that Pearlman created. (We've embellished it quite a bit since then.)


Inbox 15K

Thought the Hillary Clinton email hubbub was cooling off? Think again. The FBI apparently just uncovered 14,900 more documents in Clinton email probe. The State Department finally got through all its emails and then woke up to find thousands of new messages. It's a metaphor for everyone's inbox experience.

+ Weston Imer is running a Trump campaign office in Colorado. Why is that news? He's twelve.

+ What happens when you repeatedly suggest an election will be rigged? According to Pew, a third of Trump supporters "have little or no confidence their vote will be counted accurately."

+ Is Trump still planning to round up and deport 11 million illegal immigrants? Maybe not.


Lochte, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

In one last (we hope) gasp of the Ryan Lochte story, Speedo and Ralph Lauren have both canceled endorsement deals with the swimmer. (I was a bit surprised that Rio officials didn't manage to work the gas station security guard into the closing ceremonies.)

+ "While you've had your critics, you're far from the only one who's suffered a shameful incident in a gas station restroom -- or felt the need to call your mother immediately after using one." Don't miss my thank you note to Ryan Lochte.

+ "Hundreds of millions of people watched [Ethiopian marathoner and silver medalist] Feyisa Lilesa hold his arms over his head, wrists crossed, in support of members of his Oromo tribe in the east African nation." Now the runner is seeking asylum.

+ Abbey D'Agostino, Nikki Hamblin got a sportsmanship award from IOC.

+ "The members of the best women's water polo team ever removed their medals, and they placed them around Adam Krikorian's neck." WaPo's Adam Kilgore with a touching look at Adam Krikorian's Olympics.


In Between

"The strangest, most unfathomable thing about the night that Dalton killed and killed again is what he did in between." GQ's Chris Heath on the Uber killer: The Real Story of One Night of Terror.


Tell it to the Teller

You probably do a lot of your banking and bill paying online. So you might be wondering why you still see banks opening branches left and right. Well, it turns out that a lot of customers are still doing much of their banking in person.


Swap Ramen

"I've seen fights over ramen. People get killed over soup." According to a recent study, Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency. (It holds an unusual amount of value in my house as well.)


Bottom of the News

"The finding by Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns followed a novel method of investigation: He used an MRI to scan a dog's brain while the dog was awake and unrestrained." And what did he find? That more dogs prefer praise over food. I'm mostly linking to this article to run my own small study. I want to find out who stops laughing at these findings first, me or my beagles.

+ Slate: "Is repeating your toddler's cute speech mistakes bad for her development?" Related question: Are we out of story topics?

+ "What is a personal brand and how can it be unleashed as a valuable, competitive advantage?" Find out in the Stanford Business School class Tyra Banks will be teaching this Fall.