Friday, November 10th, 2017


Et Too?

The severity of Harvey Weinstein revelations surprised many, and the widespread sharing of "Me Too" stories on social media shocked even more. At this point, no one can claim to be shocked or surprised at the wave of related stories that are certain to emerge in the coming weeks and months. Let's hope the courage shown by victims who come forward will stem the tide of harassment and assaults. In today's political climate, no sexual misconduct accusation is likely to be met with more divergent reactions than the claim that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl. Mitch McConnell represents one part of the GOP: "If these allegations are true, he must step aside." Meanwhile, Moore is maintaining a lot of support in Alabama, including from State Auditor Jim Zeigler: "Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual." (In case you were wondering why Jesus and Mary are currently trending harder than Kanye and Kim...) Moore's brother was a little more reserved, merely suggesting that his brother Roy "is being persecuted ... like Jesus Christ was."

+ Moore should step aside if the allegations are true says a president who once argued his own accusers were too unattractive to be believed.

+ Jia Tolentino: Listening to What Trump's Accusers Have Told Us.

+ "What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?" Aly Raisman is the latest to say she was sexually abused by U.S. national team doctor Larry Nassar.

+ "There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with." Louis C.K. responds to sexual misconduct allegations: These stories are true. FWIW, the allegations have been around for years, and some stories were written about them, including this one from Gawker.

+ L.A. prosecutors form special Hollywood sexual assault task force. (They're gonna need a big cast...)


The Wind (and Sun) Beneath Our Wings

"If we were seeing linear progress, I would say good, but we're not going to make it in time. But the fact is we are seeing progress that is growing exponentially, and that is what gives me the most reason for hope." The Guardian: The seven megatrends that could beat global warming. (None of these trends includes denying that it's a thing.)


Weekend Whats

What to Doc: One of Us on Netflix is a moving and often painful look at the lives of three Hassidic Jews who face ostracism, anxiety, and danger after deciding to leave their ultra-orthodox community.

+ What to Read: "In the technopoetic idiom of the 21st century, nothing would symbolize China's rise like a high-definition shot of a Chinese astronaut setting foot on the red planet. Nothing except, perhaps, first contact." Ross Anderson in The Atlantic: What Happens If China Makes First Contact? (At this point, I say, fine, let them explain this...)

+ What to See Clearly: I just got my new iPhone X (Hey, I'm Dave Pell!), so it's the perfect time to remind you of one of my all-time favorite products: Thin-Optics are reading glasses in a thin case that you attach to your phone case. I use mine constantly. Many colors and strengths available.


So the Store Goes

"There's been a lot of fear that retail is on the decline. What's happening instead is a shift. People are still going into the brick-and-mortar stores that feel good to be in, and where you can expect to find a person to help you navigate a complicated product space." (Of course terrestrial stores are going through hard times. But times are a lot harder for those that haven't changed a bit during the two-decade rise of ecommerce.) From Money: Meet the Retail Worker of the Future: Cool, Charismatic, and Better Paid.

+ NYT: Can Ford Turn Itself Into a Tech Company? (Better question: Do they have a choice?)

+ You can actually eat breakfast at Tiffany's. (It's all about the experience now...)


The Flynn’s of the Father

The Mike Flynn story gets weirder: "Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is under investigation for involvement in a plot to kidnap a Turkish dissident cleric living in the US and fly him to an island prison in Turkey in return for $15m, it was reported on Friday." (And this alleged behavior happened after Trump had named Flynn national security adviser.)


Purple Hazing

"This situation didn't involve a frat house. In fact, it was maybe the furthest thing, even the direct opposite of a fraternity. It was an a cappella group. And not just any a cappella group, but the a cappella group that inspired me to write a book called Pitch Perfect, which was adapted into a hit movie that's probably airing for the billionth time on HBO right now ... The same a cappella group that I sang in—20 years ago—during my years as an undergraduate at Cornell. So no, not just any a cappella group. My a cappella group." GQ: The Great Ivy League A Cappella Hazing Scandal. (And you thought no one had the guts to mess with the sopranos...)


Virtual Reality Check

"Second Life was supposed to be the future of the internet, but then Facebook came along. Yet many people still spend hours each day inhabiting this virtual realm. Their stories—and the world they've built—illuminate the promise and limitations of online life ... [but] if Second Life promised a future in which people would spend hours each day inhabiting their online identity, haven't we found ourselves inside it? Only it's come to pass on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter instead." The Atlantic: The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future. (Maybe we'd have been better off if the virtual worlds thrived. Instead, we merged our fake identities with our real worlds.)

+ Nautilus: Ideology Is the Original Augmented Reality.


Puerto Rico Sleeps With the Whitefishes

"The vast majority of the island's 3.4 million residents are again without power, extending what was already the longest power outage in US history. The blackout struck the northern part of the island, including parts of the capital, San Juan." From Vox: Puerto Rico is in blackout again after power line fixed by Whitefish fails.


For a Song

"Wildly popular in America and around the world, with 200 million-plus users creating and sharing 15-second music videos, was founded in China three years ago by Louis Yang and Alex Zhu." If you have kids between the ages of 8 and 12, this is the only social network that matters. It's also the only musical discovery platform that matters. It's also the only livestreaming platform that matters. And US companies like Snapchat probably missed a big opportunity by letting get acquired by a massive Chinese startup for $800 million.


Bottom of the News

Since you've been extra good this week, here are the finalists for The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. (My dogs loved these. My cats didn't give a shit.)

+ The perfect house-warming gift for any holiday party: A keg of ranch dressing. (I'll stick with my flask of Wishbone.)