Friday, September 2nd, 2016


Do Not Pass Go

They're rounding up people, arresting them, and throwing them into increasingly crowded jails at rates that are completely at odds with the rest of the country. You might be picturing the proverbial dark alley in a big city. But in this case, we're talking about Dearborn County in Indiana. It turns out that rural America is putting away more prisoners per capita than big cities and populous suburbs (many of which are actually seeing a decline in the number of people incarcerated). What gives? All politics is local. And that includes prosecutions. A Dearborn prosecutor explains why so many small towners are ending up in the big house: "I am proud of the fact that we send more people to jail than other counties. That's how we keep it safe here." Very interesting stuff from Josh Keller and Adam Pearce in the NYT: The New Geography of Prisons.


Hen House Rocks Fox

"More than two dozen women have come forward to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment, and what they have exposed is both a culture of misogyny and one of corruption and surveillance, smear campaigns and hush money, with implications reaching far wider than one disturbed man at the top." There's no bigger story in media than the fall of Roger Ailes, arguably the most influential person in the news business. And there's no one who's done a better job covering it than NY Mag's Gabriel Sherman: The Revenge of Roger's Angels.


Weekend Whats

What to Book: So many American political and social issues (including the one that leads today's edition) are tied to one thing: The opioid epidemic. The rise and impact of these drugs is really an amazing story. John Temple does a remarkable job telling it through the experiences of a couple guys who became major pill mill players. His book is non-fiction, but it reads like a thriller. American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America's Deadliest Drug Epidemic.

+ What to Book: For much of the eighties and nineties, one agency ruled Hollywood, and one guy ruled that agency. One guy also happens to rule oral histories: Check out James Andrew Miller's Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency.

+ What to Watch: High Maintenance is a series coming to HBO. But the show has been around for a while, mostly in short streaming episodes. Some of them are fantastic. HBO just made all of them available on their streaming platforms such as HBOGo.

+ What to Read: "She was the PTA mom everyone knew. who would want to harm her?" The LA Times has a six part series from Christopher Goffard: Framed.


Same as the Old Math

A picture is worth a thousand words. Which is to say nothing. "One year ago today, the world was devastated by images of a small Syrian child who had drowned while attempting to reach safety in Greece." The world felt empathy. They could relate to the crisis. But not much else has changed. From Paul Slovic and Nicole Smith Dahmen in Quartz: "It's time to confront some uncomfortable psychological facts about ourselves and our flawed arithmetic of compassion."


Road Warriors

Young people don't drive. Uber is changing everything. The roads will never be the same. But then again, gas prices have been down and all that stuff is gonna take a while to be fully realized. Hence, "drivers burned more than 405 million gallons of gas a day in June." In other words, more than ever.


Get Ready For This Threesome

Forget Ali Frazier and The Thrilla in Manila. The most anticipated three-fight showdown in history is coming in just a few weeks. And the presidential debate moderators have been named. Lester Holt will manage the mic in the first matchup on September 26. If the federal government put these things on Pay-Per-View, we could wipe out the national debt. (It will be a huge disappointment if Michael Buffer doesn't introduce the candidates.)

+ The FBI has released a lot of documents and interviews related to the never-ending Hillary Clinton email scandal.


A Killer Solution

"To the bee farmers, the reason is already clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester's own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes." From WaPo: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes.

+ LA Times: This Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year. Here's why that won't change any time soon


Fly Trap

NatGeo asks: Why are so many BASE jumpers dying? "The simplest answer is wingsuits. Right now, wingsuit BASE jumping is, globally, the hottest thing going for the impressionable, 18- to 35-year-old single-male demographic."

+ This is an especially big story because a lot of new and growing media brands are focused on bringing more and more death-defying stunts to our screens. From The Guardian: Wingsuit flying's most deadly summer leads to soul searching.


Group Therapy

"Last summer, she noticed that the social network had started recommending her patients as friends -- and she had no idea why." Facebook works in some mysterious ways when it suggests friends. That can be fun and interesting sometimes. Until it starts recommending that a psychiatrist's patients friend each other.


Bottom of the News

From Esquire: My Husband and I Had Sex Every Day for a Year -- Here's How We're Doing Now. These two must have an incredible backlog of Netflix series to binge.

+ Rolling Stone: Isabelle Lagace and Melina Roberge documented their alleged drug-smuggling journey on Instagram. Meet the Worst Cocaine Smugglers of All Time.

+ The Ringer: So, really, the monkey rodeo is one of life's great inevitabilities.