Wednesday, September 14th, 2016


I Link, Therefore I Am

Each day, I use NextDraft as a platform to share links to the Internet's most fascinating news. But today, I won't be linking to the story about Colin Powell's hacked emails in which journalists (or in this case, accomplices) plucked out a few gems about Donald and Hillary. We've completely normalized the publishing and sharing of stolen data -- even in cases like this where the release of the data serves no important greater good. And it was stolen. Leaked and Hacked are not synonyms. I didn't link to stories that published emails from the Sony hack. And I'm not linking to these stories either. Sure, everyone has probably seen the money quotes anyway. But a lot of journalists and editors read NextDraft. And I want them to know that partnering with thieves is a bad trend.

+ The Atlantic: How long until hackers start faking leaked documents?


The Working Life

"Elite men in the U.S. are the world's chief workaholics. They work longer hours than poorer men in the U.S. and rich men in other advanced countries. In the last generation, they have reduced their leisure time by more than any other demographic." Derek Thompson on the free-time paradox in America.

+ BBC: Why Americans don't take sick days.

+ Is our obsession with work seeping into our child-rearing strategies? If so, we might be missing the point of play. Education does not stop when recess begins.


Red is Back in Fashion

It's not quite the the cold war again. But when it comes to the Kremlin, US intelligence officials are anything but chill.
"Terrorism remains the top concern for American intelligence services, the official said, but recent directives from the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) have moved Russia up the list of intelligence priorities for the first time since the Soviet Union's collapse."


Uppers and Downers

Household income, up. Poverty, down. Number of people with health insurance, up. Gender pay gap, down. Stock market, up. Unemployment, down. So what's the problem? From WaPo: Why most people think the country is on the wrong track, despite positive economic indicators.

+ It could be because the good news is pretty new for many in the middle class. From NYT Upshot: The economic expansion is helping the middle class, finally


Wear and Terror

In an effort that the State Dept calls "consistent with our belief that all countries should do more to help the world's most vulnerable people," the US will boost the number of refugees it admits by about 30%.

+ Vox: You're more likely to be killed by your own clothes than by an immigrant terrorist. (This is the one excuse my son hasn't used for not wearing a collared shirt.)


The Food Chain Gang

"Bayer in the U.S. is known largely for its pharmaceuticals, with scientists who developed modern Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer." And you might need a little of both to process the company's latest deal; a massive $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto. Here's more on the deal that could reshape the world's food supply. (If Bayer/Monstanto's pesticides make you sick, don't worry. Bayer/Monsanto has a drug to help you. Synergy!)


Secret’s Out

"The machine uses beams of radiation to creep in between pages and scan individual letters." Introducing the machine that can read book pages without cracking the cover.

+ "Using simple deep learning tools, the three-person team was able identify obfuscated faces and numbers with alarming accuracy." In other words, even if you're pixelated, you're not safe.


Polar Express

A couple days after the world got news of the arctic researchers under siege by polar bears (one of whom ate their dog), a passing ship sent help. "A helicopter took off from the Akademik Tryoshnikov and delivered 'three puppies and pyrotechnical devices' to the beleaguered weather station staffers." (Seems like a pretty bad work assignment for those puppies.) Read the whole story and you'll realize it's all about climate change. (They probably would have sent in supplies via drone, but all of them were being used to deliver burritos at Va Tech.)


Boob Tube?

"New research from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has found that watching TV series, and consuming other media like films and books with one's partner, can help to achieve the same kind of closeness as having a mutual group of friends. In relationships without many shared friends, the characters actually take on a similar role, providing a shared social world which, the researchers say, helps two individuals feel close and connected." Yes, watching Game of Thrones with your spouse is good for your marriage (other than that time when Daenerys Targaryen got all her clothes burned off and you started giggling uncontrollably).


Bottom of the News

There is no shortage of stories that confirm that neighbors suck. Especially neighbors who complain about little things that couldn't possibly affect them. So how, as an irritating neighbor, do you stand out from all the others in your genus? Well, you could file a complaint about a neighborhood book sharing program...

+ There are plenty of dog walkers for hire. But I'm pretty sure that Chuck McCarthy is the first people walker. (And from the looks of it, he's artisanal too.)

+ Vox: Humans and Neanderthals had sex. But was it for love? That's remarkably close to a toast someone gave at my wedding.