Tuesday, March 21st, 2017


Start Spreading the News

Everyone is looking for an edge. Wouldn't it be great if you could get an unfiltered glimpse into the real strategies of some of the world's most successful athletes? Well, now you can. To paraphrase Michael Corleone, just this once, they're gonna let you ask them about their business. ESPN's Baxter Holmes is finally spreading the word about the NBA's secret addiction. To get the full story, you need to go back to what seemed like an ordinary night in 2007 when, following a particularly vibrant performance, Kevin Garnett uttered the words that would reverberate through NBA locker rooms, team planes, hotel rooms, and court-side meetings for a generation. "We're going to need PB&J in here every game now." Forget protein powders, artisanal ancient grains, bone broth, coconut oil, acai berries, chia seeds, turmeric, kale, or Kombucha. "No matter how you slice it, it's hard to swallow: The NBA is covered in experts, obsessed with peak performance -- and still this pillar of grade-school cafeteria lunches is the staple snack of the league. An exorbitantly wealthy microclique, backed by an army of personal chefs, swears by a sandwich whose standard ingredients boast a street value of roughly 69 cents."

+ Somewhat related: "The sound of shoes skidding on hardwood can be explained by shoe designers, rubber scientists, mechanical engineers and a biologist." From the NYT: Why Are Basketball Games So Squeaky?



"Senator, I would have walked out the door." That's how Judge Neil Gorsuch said he would've reacted if he had been asked to tell the president how he would rule on Roe v Wade or any other case.

+ Many Americans view picking a Supreme Court judge as one of the most important presidential jobs, and "90% agreed that the Supreme Court has an impact on their daily lives." That said, fewer than half of Americans can name a Supreme Court justice.


The Mile High Snub

"Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items." The Dept of Homeland Security has banned laptops and other electronic devices from airplane cabins for flights from 10 airports. After seeing the same intel reports and communicating with their American counterparts, the UK has joined the ban.


Blame the Messenger

How do we decide whether news is real or fake? One would imagine it would start with the source. But according to a new survey, the source of the news has a surprisingly small impact on its believability. What matters most is who shared it with us. (Full disclosure: This pretty much makes me the most powerful person in the world. SAD!)


From Russia, With Gov

"The Russian collusion thing has always been bullshit.' the official said. 'I think Comey will come down and say there absolutely was no contact, collusion, or anything like that with the campaign." Everyone expected James Comey to debunk Trump's wiretap fantasy. But the other part of his testimony landed somewhere between quite a surprise and a total shock. Here's Ryan Lizza on how the White House got James Comey wrong. (Getting Comey wrong could be the last thing that both parties have in common...)

+ The optics don't seem to be bothering the State Department scheduling committee too much. Rex Tillerson announced plans to skip his first NATO summit. However, a trip to Russia has been confirmed.

+ "I'm gonna come after you, but I know I won't have to, because I know you'll vote yes... Honestly, a loss is not acceptable, folks." President Trump pressures GOP House members to support the new health plan.

+ Here's a pretty amazing stat from NYT Upshot: Fewer Americans would be insured with GOP plan than with simple repeal.

+ And it's official. In this White House, every day is bring your daughter to work day.


Hacker Tracker

"Werner, as it happened, knew quite a bit about Evgeniy Bogachev. He knew in precise, technical detail how Bogachev had managed to loot and terrorize the world's financial systems with impunity for years. He knew what it was like to do battle with him. But Werner had no idea what role Bogachev might have played in the US election hack. Bogachev wasn't like the other targets -- he was a bank robber. Maybe the most prolific bank robber in the world. 'What on earth is he doing on this list?' Werner wondered." Wired's Garrett M. Graff: Inside The Hunt For Russia's Most Notorious Hacker.


We Heart You

If you're a part of a native Amazonian sect called the Tsimane, you can probably expect to see a surge in visits from health researchers in the near future. At least it's for a good reason. It appears that you have the healthiest hearts in the world. And the rest of us want to figure out how that happened (especially since you aren't particularly thin, you don't do a ton of intense exercise, and you still cling to your carbs).


Pie Charts

"We had somehow created a situation where people liked our pizza less if they knew it was from us. So yeah, that was a problem." Bloomberg explains how Dominos atoned for its crimes against pizza and built a $9 billion empire.


Regretting to the Oldies

"Over the last six weeks, Missing Richard Simmons has become the biggest podcast in the world -- a Serial without the murder." The Daily Beast on the moral panic around Missing Richard Simmons.
Vox: How a podcast became an experiment in privacy invasion. (I'm pretty sure that applies to the whole Internet...)


Bottom of the News

There's so much TV, no one can possibly keep up. Thanks to a nonstop bidding war among Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other players, it is the ideal time to be in the content creation business. So why are Hollywood writers experiencing a wage drop? The Hollywood Reporter on the tricky economics of peak TV.

+ A new question for the courts: Can a GIF be considered a deadly weapon? (If one pronounces it with a soft G, then most definitely...)

+ As political movements take to the streets, it's a good time to be in the poster board business.

+ Canada bars diplomats from using cardboard Justin Trudeau figures. Hopefully, they can still use their Flat Ronnies.