Friday, September 16th, 2016


Citizenship Granted

Imagine you woke up from a multi-year sleep to read this lede in today's Washington Post: "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday acknowledged for the first time that President Obama was born in the United States, ending his long history of stoking unfounded doubts about the nation's first African American president but also seeking to falsely blame Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for starting the rumors." You'd assume you had landed in some kind of a bizarro parody world. But this is not a joke. And like much of this election, the birth certificate controversy has been downright certifiable.

+ Now that the most famous case of identity theft has been resolved, let's look back on Trump's long and twisted history as grand marshal of the birther movement told as it should be: Via Tweets.

+ Jimmy Fallon, modern comedy, and the normalization of Donald Trump.

+ Here's the NYT Upshot on the latest polls. It's getting closer.

+ Bloomberg on the American electorate: One Nation Divisible.


The One Step Program

"At the precinct station, the commander, Chief Inspector Paulito Sabulao, says those who surrender and stay clean are safe. 'But I warn them, if they continue using -- or dealing -- they'll be killed." NPR on the Rodrigo Duterte drug policy: A Stark Choice For Filipino Drug Addicts: Surrender or Risk Being Killed.


Weekend Whats

What to Download: I take my desktop patterns pretty seriously. So I'm a big fan of Unsplash, a community where photographers share some of their best work. And all the photos are free to use for any purpose.

+ What to Watch: High Maintenance was one of my favorite web series. And word is that it's just as great now that HBO is taking it to the big time. And you don't have to be into smoking pot to enjoy the show (although, as with all television watching, it can't hurt).

+ What to Book: Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel by Dan Slater.


Confronting a Demon

"On that two-hour tape, he described to her, in detail, what he did to her. He blames her for it. He tells her she wouldn't understand because she doesn't possess male genitalia. He praises himself by saying that at least, 'I kept you a virgin, didn't I?'" From WaPo: He sexually abused her as a child. She became a police officer and hunted him down.


Oops, I Did it Again

We're all tired of gridlock and political infighting, so it's quite refreshing to note the two party agreement when it comes to an issue as important as criminal justice reform (including the reduction of some federal minimum sentences for non-violent offenders). Both parties backed the changes. For a short time anyway. But then, as the NYT reports, they couldn't get a bill passed.


Kray Kray

"The research indicates that this is a pretty mild substance. Criminalizing kratom use is insane to me." The DEA wants to ban another plant that supposedly helps people with chronic pain who are trying to avoid the drugs that aren't banned, like Oxycontin.



In a sign that we've reached peak health-food, even Cup Noodles is trying to make their foam cups of faux-ramen more healthy. Goodbye artificial flavors. So long MSG. Farewell incredibly high sodium levels. (Which basically leaves you with nothing but a few ounces of warm water.)


Library Card Sharks

"Robert Morin had his quirks: a regular breakfast of Fritos and a Coke; a refusal to give up on the 1992 Plymouth that he drove to his job as a library cataloger; the 18-year span, from 1979 to 1997, during which he watched more than 22,000 movies -- an average of about three a day. Morin read in chronological order every book published in the United States between 1930 and 1938." When he died, he shocked the University of New Hampshire by leaving the school $4 million (and by having $4 million in the first place). But I'm guessing he didn't expect them to spend the money on a football scoreboard.


The Jerk

"The jerk will either dismiss the criticism, counterattack, bloviate, storm off, or smile and sink the knife in deeper." From Nautilus: How to Tell If You're a Jerk.


Bottom of the News

I thought I'd share a brief look at the side effects associated with two drugs that can be effective in the treatment of pain.

+ How do you come in ninth place and still walk away with a medal? Welcome to the world of Olympic weight lifting.

+ "All the flotsam and jetsam of daily life -- artificial flowers, stuffed animals, inner tubes, socks, dancing plastic Santas -- are on display in what The Guardian described as 'a heaving multistory monument to global consumption.'" CityLab on The Chinese City Bursting With Tchotchkes. This is basically what startup offices looked like during first Internet boom.