August 4th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Why we love the pain of extreme exercise, plugging the leaks, and Weekend Whats

People with plenty of disposable income tend to be the ones you’ll find at triathlons, grueling Tough Mudders, and other extremely challenging sporting events. In part, that’s because a combination of extra dough and significant free time makes training for these things more doable. But researchers are beginning to wonder if there’s another draw: The Pain. “By flooding the consciousness with gnawing unpleasantness, pain provides a temporary relief from the burdens of self-awareness.” (That’s a pretty accurate explanation of why I have seventy-five browser tabs open right now.) From Outside: Why Do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

+ For some, pushing oneself to extremes is the right kind of pain. For everybody, back pain is the wrong kind. Vox reviewed eighty studies on the topic and found that you’re probably doing the wrong thing to ease your pain in the back.



“We are taking a stand … This culture of leaking must stop.” So said Jeff Sessions as Trump’s justice department announces increased efforts in their battle against leaks. “We respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited.”

+ One bit of news the administration wants to get out is the latest jobs report. America has added a million jobs since Trump took office. Trump once pledge that he’d be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” So let’s see where he ranks so far.

+ As Trump heads off for a vacation from DC, twenty legal experts chime in on how worried he should be about Mueller impaneling a grand jury.

+ One thing Trump won’t be doing is making recess appointments. The Senate just blocked him from doing so. (This act is not that rare. Except when it’s your own party doing it.)

+ And in case you need a reminder that every Trump news day is a weird news day, there’s this from WaPo: Secret Service vacates Trump Tower command post in lease dispute with president’s company.


Weekend Whats

What to Stream: I watch a ton of music festivals. But I almost always do it from the comfort of my own couch. This weekend, I’ll be watching several NextDraft-approved bands performing at Lollapalooza via RedBull TV. On Thursday, Cage the Elephant absolutely crushed it, so keep your eyes peeled for replays.

+ What to Watch: Money laundering, shady dealings, bad hombres … talk about a show for our times! Check out Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark on Netflix.

+ What to Read: Counterfeit goods made in China cost American companies a massive amount of money. “Some corporations that manufacture in China – Disney, Target, Coca-Cola, Apple, Mattel – rely primarily on in-house brand-protection agents to seize fake goods, investigate counterfeit manufacturers, and take legal action. And as evidenced in various news reports, a slew of other Fortune 1000 companies – reportedly including Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Procter & Gam­ble, and Ford — hire Pinkerton, America’s oldest detective agency, to deploy agents like Azim Uribe.” From California Sunday Magazine: To Catch a Counterfeiter.

+ What to Doc: Following his heated Statue of Liberty exchange this week, Trump-advisor Stephen Miller was all over the news. To understand more about him, check out Vanity Fair’s look at how Stephen Miller rode white rage from Duke’s campus to Trump’s West Wing. And then watch the very interesting ESPN documentary on the Duke lacrosse case: Fantastic Lies.


Screenage Wasteland

“When I tried to kill myself three times. I realized that this was not OK, this is not normal. I need help.” According to the latest numbers from the CDC, teen suicide has hit a 40 year-high. And if you missed it yesterday, this one seemed to draw a lot of clicks: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?


A Solar Flare for the Dramatic

“Traditional automakers have a century of experience behind them, backed by vast sums of cash, massive infrastructure, and supply chains in which every efficiency has been wrung out. You’d have to be absolutely out of your mind to launch a car company at any point after the closing decades of the 20th century, during which their dominance became seemingly insurmountable … Which brings us to Tesla.” Alex Roy on Tesla’s asymmetric war against the auto industry.

+ “Imagine a coal miner. The picture in your mind is likely that of a strongly built man, with soiled clothes, black coal smudged across exposed skin, and a hard hat marred by years of work.” But that’s not what a lot of coal mining looks like these days. Instead, imagine massive machines that shave vegetation from the land, millions of pounds of explosives that blow off mountain tops, and huge cranes, called draglines, which can carry more than 100 metric tons of dirt and coal in a single scoop.”

+ Andrew Beebe onThe Death of Alternative Energy. (It’s the alternative part that’s dead…)


Peeling Back the Layers

“They may be handled by customs officials in Brooklyn, blasted with a ripening gas in New Jersey, haggled over at an enormous produce market in the Bronx and finally taken in an unmarked truck, at night, to a fruit stand near you.” The NYT shares The Secret Life of the City Banana.


There’s a Lesson in Here Somewhere

The federal case against “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli had nothing to do with his infamous decision to raise the price of a drug by more than 5,000%. But that move (and other similar public acts) probably helped to get him on the Feds’ radar. And, now, after being found guilty in a fraud case, he faces years in prison.


Flight Tracker

“The suspect’s undoing appears to have been the large font he used to read and write the illicit messages, which he reportedly did in plain sight of other travelers, including the quick-thinking woman who reported it to the flight crew.” A passenger is being hailed as a hero after alerting authorities to a man allegedly sending child-sex texts mid-flight.


The Best of Bread

“As someone who’s lived in France for 10 years and written about food for 15—and is cognizant of the bile likely to appear in the comment section at the bottom of this page—I will say this anyway: This pastry stood shoulder-to-shoulder with top-flight Parisian croissants.” Can wheat nerds and scientists figure out a way to make a better bread? First you have to make the bread, then you have to convince consumers of “how good artisan whole-grain foods can taste.”


Bottom of the News

“On Castaway Cay, Disney’s pristine private Bahamas island, a patch of beach is reserved for those aged 18 and up, and a 5-kilometer run is popular with adults. Others are attracted by the tug-at-your-heartstrings, Disney-centric musicals or the first-run movie showings in digital 3-D. Some even say they’re in it for appearances by characters such as Disney princesses, superheroes, and, of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.” Bloomberg on the people who love taking Disney cruises, without their kids.

+ “A down-and-out Johnny Lawrence seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso, who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi.” YouTube is bringing back key actors to make a Karate Kid series. To prepare yourself, here are 30 sweeping facts about the Karate Kid.

+ Dunkin’ might drop “donuts” from its name.

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