Tuesday, September 6th, 2016


Heartbreak Hotel

You make me so lonely baby, I get so lonely, I get so lonely I could die. Dr. Presley may have been onto something when he sang those lyrics. It turns out that there is an epidemic of loneliness -- especially among the elderly -- that has a significant impact on health. According to one researcher at UCSF: "The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem. It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore older adults who feel lonely and marginalized." From the NYT: Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness.

+ There's still a stigma around being lonely that makes patients unlikely to report it to their doctors. What will they report? Just about everything else Google comes up with. Here's Quartz on the ways Googling our medical symptoms is making us sicker.


Crazy Like a Fox

Gretchen Carlson got two things in the settlement connected to her sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes: $20 million. And an apology. It's worth noting that this payout is coming from Fox, not from Ailes himself. And given the fact that he just hired the lawyer Hulk Hogan used in his battle against Gawker, you'll want to stay tuned.

+ Meanwhile, Greta Van Susteren just left Fox News.


Dot Commies

"The Kremlin's intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union." From WaPo: US investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.


Speak No Evil

"Don't ask an Asian student you don't know for help on your math homework or randomly ask a black student if he plays basketball. Both questions make assumptions based on stereotypes. And don't say 'you guys.' It could be interpreted as leaving out women." And be careful about singing along with rap songs in your car. Courtesy of the NYT: Welcome to the new college orientation sessions, where incoming freshmen are trained to avoid subtle insults.

+ Slate: The Trapdoor of Trigger Words.


Central Casting

Don't be too quick to dismiss the so-called flyover states. "New data recently released by the National Endowment for the Arts suggests that there's an awful lot of creativity happening far inland from America's coastal tech and arts hubs." Here's Christopher Ingraham on the stunning geographic divide in American creativity.


Shirking for a Living

Our parents worked hard, but viewed leisure time and hobbies as a key offset to the daily grind. "Young people turned to what they loved, what they were good at, with an entrepreneurial mindset angled toward self-employment. It's why we have so many artisan lollipops and food trucks." From Timeline: Our parents discovered leisure. We killed it. (I spent the entire Labor Day weekend watching college football and tennis. Out of respect for my parents.)


There Will Be Blood

"Elizabeth Holmes won't stop. She's holding on to her story like a barnacle on the side of a ship." In Vanity Fair, the always interesting Nick Bilton explains how the Theranos house of cards came tumbling down. One of the key issues was a board that had little knowledge about the health tech the company had supposedly mastered. I'm guessing that sort of dearth of board knowledge isn't limited to Theranos.


Let Them Eat Steak

"Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fats, that we get from our food. But of the three, protein is the only one that hasn't been vilified by the media." Quartz on how wildly effective marketing has led Americans to eat way more protein than they actually need.

+ More Americans are eating gluten-free despite not having celiac disease.



"Herschel's method has been to generate wistfulness for a home that neither the brand nor its city-dwelling-hipster core clientele ever had." A few years ago while shopping in a small store, I found a backpack that had the same name as my son. I looked forward to never having to worry about writing his name on his stuff again. That was then. Today, he refuses to carry the backpack with his name. They're just too popular. Slate's Jay Deshpande tries to explain how Herschel happened. (In retrospect, we should have named him JanSport.)


Bottom of the News

"Researchers in Denmark have conducted one of the world's first mass-scale studies into how alcohol consumption affects your ability to get pregnant. They surveyed 6,120 Danish women aged 21 to 45 in relationships with male partners and were trying to get pregnant, asking them to monitor and log their alcohol intake using online questionnaires." Vice on how alcohol affects your chances of getting pregnant. (Full disclosure: I have a daughter named Don Julio.)

+ Vanity Fair has a cover story on Bruce Springsteen and his new memoir. I choose to assume the Boss is a NextDraft subscriber.

+ Digg: What's Behind 'Don't Wear White After Labor Day?'

+ And finally, middle-aged parents are now more likely to smoke weed than their teenaged kids.