A Green Thumb(drive)

"The technology it uses derives partly from systems designed to grow crops on the moon. The interior space is its own sealed-off world ... Countless algorithm-driven computer commands combine to induce the greens to grow, night and day, so that a crop can go from seed to shoot to harvest in eighteen days. Every known influence on the plant's wellbeing is measured, adjusted, remeasured. Tens of thousands of sensing devices monitor what's going on." Welcome to what could be the future of the world's produce supply. And unlike today's messy farms, it won't require soil, sunlight, or nearly as much water. (Add in a couple quarts of coffee, and that's basically the environment in which NextDraft grows.)The New Yorker's Ian Frazier with a very interesting look at the folks who are growing crops in the city: The Vertical Farm.

+ If you can raise crops indoors in the city, then you can go fishing in a barn in Iowa. From MoJo: A Fish Out of Water. Can farmers in Iowa help save he world's seafood supply?


Nootropic Thunder

"At the heart of it all, biohacking is being driven by one of Silicon Valley's prevailing sentiments: that anything can be optimized to run better, so why should the human body be any different?" GQ's Josh Dean hits the tech scene (which is also a new drug scene) where hackers have a new target: Their own minds. LSD Micro-dosing: The Drug Habit Your Boss Is Gonna Love.

+ "The drugs we take at a given time can largely be ascribed to an era's culture. We use -- and invent -- the drugs that suit our culture's needs." (In that case, today's citizens should be taking truth serum.) From Aeon: Drugs du jour.


Erd Mentality

"As Erdoğan has moved ever more assuredly toward dictatorship, he has also pulled Turkey—a member of nato and historically the Islamic world's strongest secular state—away from the West." Dexter Filkins on terrorism, Erdoğan's latest moves, and the end of democracy in Turkey.

+ "Madelyn, it appears, is part of a vast and effective 'keyboard army' that Duterte and his backers have mobilized to silence dissenters and create the illusion that he enjoys widespread public support." TNR's Sean Williams on Rodrigo Duterte's army of online trolls and how authoritarian regimes are winning the social media wars. (This is a major trend.)


The Shul of Law

"To some, the 20-year-old Azaria was a brave soldier facing danger in the West Bank town of Hebron last March. To others, he represented a worrisome disregard for military codes and human rights during a time of increased violence and hardening views among both Israelis and Palestinians with peace efforts effectively shelved." In a case that divided the nation, an Israeli court convicted a soldier of manslaughter in the killing of a wounded Palestinian assailant.


Hacking Up

Several former intel and defense officials are calling for a bipartisan investigation into the Russian hacks. Meanwhile, President-elect Trump remains an outlier who questions whether the Russians were involved and is he's now showing support for the Julian Assange version of things.

+ Pence and Obama were both meeting with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill as the health care wars are set to begin.

+ From the WSJ: Five things to know about the Affordable Care Act.

+ California plans to challenge the Trump administration in the courts. And the state just hired its lead lawyer. Eric Holder.

+ In other politcal news, Omarosa is headed to the White House.


Science with Humanity

"One morning in July 2015, Miller took his seat at a regular meeting of palliative-care doctors at the University of California San Francisco's cancer center. The head of the team, Dr. Michael Rabow, started with a poem. It was a tradition, he later told me, meant to remind everyone that this was a different sort of hour in their schedule, and that, as palliative-care physicians, they were seeking different outcomes for their patients: things like comfort, beauty and meaning." The NYT Magazine looks at one man's quest to change the way we die. It all started when an "electrical current arced out of a piece of equipment into the watch on his wrist. Eleven-thousand volts shot through his left arm and down his legs. When his friends reached him on the roof of the train, smoke was rising from his feet."


Better Off Head

"This is going to be a really short post because most people don't read really long ones, and a lot of people don't read past the headline. And that's the point: Now, more than ever, headlines need to be clear." Stick with me for a few more lines and one image that illustrates why headlines matter.


Dog House of Horrors

"Most every pup sold in stores in America comes from this kind of suffering -- or worse. If you buy a puppy from a pet store, this is what you're paying for and nothing else." Rolling Stone's Paul Solotaroff takes you Inside the Sickening World of Puppy Mills.


The Tip Jar Jar

"George Lucas, as with any person of great resources and great success, could choose to do whatever he wants to do with his resources, and he has chosen to give an extraordinary gift to the people of a city and the world." George Lucas wants to give away art, real estate, and an endowment worth about $1.5 billion. Now he just needs to find a city that will accept his gift.


Bottom of the News

"Off Twitter, these are all things by which I make my living -- in fact, they comprise the totality of my income. But on Twitter, I do them pro bono and, in return, I am micromanaged in real time by strangers; neo-Nazis mine my personal life for vulnerabilities to exploit; and men enjoy unfettered, direct access to my brain so they can inform me, for the thousandth time, that they would gladly rape me if I weren't so fat." From Lindy West: I've left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.

+ The Outline: We found the DC resident who filed thousands of the city's noise complaints.

+ The 10 most unusual things TSA confiscated in 2016. (This seems like advice one shouldn't need from the TSA: "Don't pack your homemade replica suicide vest.")

+ And by freakishly high demand, the Read Real News T-shirt is back (for a limited time). These look so great in person.