Wednesday, January 10th, 2018


Get Paid for Sex

In Japan, "deaths outstripped births by a record 300,000 in 2016; government projections say the population of 127m could plummet by a third over the next 50 years." The country needs more kids and the government knows it. In a town called Nagicho, local authorities are experimenting with the idea of subsidized parenthood, starting with a celebratory cash gift when a mother gives birth. And the program seems to be working. From The Economist: A small town in Japan doubles its fertility rate. (When you give birth in America, all you get is one of those chewy giraffes...)


Mud Flap

"Some rescues have been gut-wrenching: firefighters pushed through wait-high mud to reach a 14-year-old girl caked in mud from head to toe. She had been trapped for hours in a pile of wood that was once her house." First SoCal had the fires. Now, heavy rains have turned the affected areas into deadly mudslides that have washed out roads, destroyed houses, and killed at least 15 people.

+ Pacific Standard: "In some spots, fire burned with such extreme intensity that it incinerated all vegetation and 'cooked' the soil underneath."

+ Some photos from the scene.


Dream Interpretation

"In terminating DACA, [the administration] failed to address the 689,800 young people who had come to rely on DACA to live and to work in this country. These individuals had submitted substantial personal identifying information to the government, paid hefty fees, and planned their lives according to the dictates of DACA." Just as their fate was being discussed during a television meeting at the White House, a federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked Trump's decision to end DACA program.

+ Vox: Here's what the shocking ruling does — and doesn't — mean.

+ "Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!" That was a tweet from President Trump. And once again, his tweets came back to haunt him in in a court case. WaPo: Trump vs. Trump, again.

+ Related: Can an arrow fired straight up fall fast enough to kill you?

+ "The action appears to open a new front in Trump's expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests." AP: Immigration agents descend on dozens of 7-Eleven store.


Hiring as Stat as They Can

"There are several drivers of the health-care jobs boom. The first is something so obvious that it might actually be underrated, since it is rarely a proper news story in its own right: Americans, as a group, are getting older." Derek Thompson: Health Care Just Became the U.S.'s Largest Employer. "This moment was inevitable. It just wasn't supposed to happen so soon."

+ NYT Upshot: Male nurses explain why nursing is a job of the future for men.



"Baby boomers grew up with music blasting from dorm room turntables, car stereos, and arenas where the sound of a band at full throttle could rival the roar of a jet engine. Volume became an act of generational defiance. As rocker Ted Nugent put it: 'If it's too loud, you're too old.'" It may come as a shock, but Nugent's analysis was not entirely on the mark. And now, many biotech companiesare racing to help boomers get their hearing back.


Powder Keg

"Guys are either cut out for it or they're not. You gotta be a dog to come out of Chicago. I mean, remember in the third grade when that kid stole your Hostess doughnut right off your lunch tray? You could have just accepted it. I mean, it was just a doughnut. The plain powder one. But what did you do? You got up, snatched the doughnut right out of his hands and punched him with the damn doughnut. You gave that dude a doughnut-punch. Powder all up in his hair and everything." Former NBA player Quentin Richardson wrote a letter to his former self, and it's pretty epic. "Even though you're about to go through some real shit, you got the DNA of some motherf*cking go-getters."


Speak Thou Unto Farrow

"You see early in life with that kind of a family background the way in which the most powerful men in America wield power for good and for ill. And probably, yes, the family background made me someone who understood the abuse of power from an early age." The Hollywood Reporter: Ronan Farrow, the Hollywood Prince Who Torched the Castle.

+ Catherine Deneuve and others wrote an editorial that is causing a lot of debate around the world. "Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime, nor is gallantry a chauvinist aggression. As a result of the Weinstein affair, there has been a legitimate realization of the sexual violence women experience, particularly in the workplace, where some men abuse their power. It was necessary. But now this liberation of speech has been turned on its head."

+ Meanwhile, the examples of sexual assault just keep piling up. From NY Mag: Rikers guards are allegedly sexually assaulting visitors in the bathrooms. And from John Stanton in Buzzfeed: "I went to Wisconsin's Bad River Reservation to find out why 14-year-old Jason Pero was shot dead by a sheriff's deputy. But tribal members didn't only want to talk about the shooting: 'You've heard about the women, right?'"


Rock of Stages

Wired UK takes you inside the Amish town that builds U2, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift's live shows: "Rock stars don't want to hear problems. Our job is not to say, 'That's impossible' - our job is to say, 'Yes, of course.'" (Editor's Note: I had a feeling it was good to be a rock star...)



"In recent years, a number of facial exercise programs have become available that claim to be able to reverse many of these visual effects of aging. The programs, often advertised as 'nonsurgical face-lifts,' generally have been developed by self-taught men and women, with only anecdotal evidence showing any beneficial effects." From the NYT: Facial Exercises May Make You Look 3 Years Younger. (Hopefully, looking askance works.)


Bottom of the News

"Once undressed, the guests gathered the courage to perform the evening's chief bit of bravery: entering the dining room. Forward the duo marched. The phrase 'surgical strike' does not begin to describe the dispatch with which they moved toward the table that the co-proprietor had picked for them—nor the speed with which they put their napkins on their laps." The New Yorker: At Paris's first nudist restaurant, an artfully placed napkin and a bottle of wine helps.

+ It's been a good week to have a book titled Fire and Fury.

+ Buzzfeed: What The Hell Just Happened To Diet Coke?