Monday, February 5th, 2018


Nick Knack, Patty Wack

Nick Foles just lived a Philadelphia story more unrealistic than Rocky. A backup, journeyman quarterback walks into a full-on shoot-out with Tom Brady and walks out as a Super Bowl MVP with three touchdown passes (and one touchdown catch). And it's not like Brady and the Pat's offense had a bad night. From FiveThirtyEight: "In Super Bowl LII on Sunday night, the New England Patriots racked up 613 yards, the most ever for a team in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady threw for 505 yards, which was the most by a quarterback in playoff history. The Patriots didn't punt once in the entire game." The Eagles' Offense Needed To Be Virtually Flawless. And It Was. Indeed. It's just too bad that Al Michaels had already used his best-ever line: "Do you believe in miracles?"

+ Nick Foles reflects on the victory (and a lot more): "I'm not perfect, I'm not Superman. I might be in the NFL, and we might have just won the Super Bowl, but I still have daily struggles … And that's really just been the message, simple. If something's going on in your life and you're struggling, embrace it, because you're growing."

+ "Target left bunch, Philly special." SI's Peter King takes you inside the play that epitomized the Eagles' season.

+ The city of Philadephia still exists. So the postgame celebration didn't quite live up to the most negative hype. But there was some, er, celebrating. Even the most experienced Philly fan probably didn't expect an exuberant reveler to commemorate the moment by eating horse shit. From Fly Eagles Fly, to Why, Philly, Why?

+ "They just flipped a car over here. If you could get a medical response team over here, I'd greatly appreciate it." After the game, thousands of internet citizens were transfixed by the live broadcast of the Philly Police Scanner. (Philly Police Scanner last night was White House Reporters every night.)

+ Timberlake? Meh.

+ Here's a look at some of the most notable ads, from the solid Doritos rap battle to the remarkably tone-deaf idea of using an MLK speech to market a Dodge truck. (How bad was MLK ad? In the speech they excerpted, King specifically criticized car advertisements.)

+ And for Pats fans feeling the morning after blues, there was this message from Gisele to her kids: "Daddy won five times. They never won before. Their whole life, they never won a Super Bowl. You have to let someone else win sometimes."


If This Wall Could Talk

"To millions the Berlin Wall—which as of today has been down for longer than it was up—was above all a symbol ... but it was also the cause of countless private tragedies. It severed families. It destroyed opportunities. 173 East Germans were killed trying to cross it. One, 18-year-old Peter Fechter, was shot in 1962 while trying to scale the wall and left to bleed to death in the no-man's-land, West German soldiers throwing him bandages in vain." The Berlin Wall has now been down longer than it was up. (And we're still struggling to learn its lessons.)


Immigration Route

The White House is already dismissing a bipartisan immigration proposal put forward by John McCain and others. But is the DC fight over immigration reflective of the mood of the American public? Many recent stories "might make it seem like most Americans are anxious about the deleterious effects of immigration on America's economy and culture. But along several dimensions, immigration has never been more popular in the history of public polling." The Atlantic's Derek Thompson: How Immigration Became So Controversial.

+ "Having taken post-graduate courses in molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Kansas, Jamal taught chemistry as an adjunct professor for several area colleges. He was most recently teaching at Park University." A Kansas chemistry instructor was arrested by ICE while taking his daughter to school. (Feel safer?)



Last week's stock market drop proved to be more than a one day occurence as Monday's market plummeted, briefly erasing the gains from the year so far. (You know it's a rough day on Wall Street when Bitcoin seems boring...)



President Trump attacked "Little" Adam Schiff as "one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington" (Editor's note: He's not.) and praised Devin Nunes as "a man of tremendous courage and grit, [who] may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!" (Editor's note: He won't.) What's all the tweeting about? The Nunes memo and the counter memo the Dems want released. Pushing an alternate memo might be a mistake. I don't think the Nunes memo is a precursor to firing Mueller. It's part of a plan to provide cover to Trump and those who defend him in Congress and in the right wing media once the Mueller findings go public. So if you're debating the merits of the contents of the memo, it's a win for those who released it. The goal isn't to convince you of a single truth. It's to flood the airwaves so you don't know what to believe.

+ Trump attacked the British health care system. They didn't like that.


Dallas Mavericks

"Here's the deal. The only way we're going to catch this guy is if we can sneak up on him. Turn your radios off. Don't say a word. This is for real. There's no cavalry coming behind us. We are the f------ cavalry." Jamie Thompson with a riveting story in the Dallas Morning News Standoff: How the Dallas SWAT team cornered and killed the July 7 police shooter.


The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

The excellent David Grann on a man's solitary journey across Antarctica. The White Darkness: "The man felt like a speck in the frozen nothingness. Every direction he turned, he could see ice stretching to the edge of the Earth: white ice and blue ice, glacial-ice tongues and ice wedges. There were no living creatures in sight. Not a bear or even a bird. Nothing but him. It was hard to breathe, and each time he exhaled the moisture froze on his face: a chandelier of crystals hung from his beard; his eyebrows were encased like preserved specimens; his eyelashes cracked when he blinked. Get wet and you die, he often reminded himself. The temperature was nearly minus forty degrees Fahrenheit, and it felt far colder because of the wind, which sometimes whipped icy particles into a blinding cloud, making him so disoriented that he toppled over, his bones rattling against the ground."


Rico Act

"They want to build a crypto utopia, a new city where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public, to show the rest of the world what a crypto future could look like. Blockchain, a digital ledger that forms the basis of virtual currencies, has the potential to reinvent society — and the Puertopians want to prove it." Nellie Bowles in the NYT: Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico. (Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans are looking to realize a more traditional utopia - one with food, shelter, electricity, and clean drinking water...)

+ Joi Ito on the big ICO swindle: "My concern with today's ICOs is that they're being fueled by the gold-rush mentality around cryptocurrencies, and so are deployed in irresponsible ways that are causing harm to individuals and damaging the ecosystem of developers and organizations."


The Born Ultimatum

"Anti-natalists are adherents of the philosophy that human beings are a destructive force to animals and to the earth, and therefore it's morally wrong to create more of them. It isn't possible, anti-natalists point out, to ask fetuses if they wish to be born (or get an answer out of them, anyway), so having a child means foisting life on another being without his or her consent." Virginia Pelley in Marie Claire: This Extreme Sect of Vegans Thinks Your Baby Will Destroy the Planet. (This group should hire Devin Nunes to help them with their PR.)


Bottom of the News

"There are many loose ends in high-tech life. Like unbreachable blister packs or awkward sticky tape, paper jams suggest that imperfection will persist, despite our best efforts. They're also a quintessential modern problem—a trivial consequence of an otherwise efficient technology that's been made monumentally annoying by the scale on which that technology has been adopted. Every year, printers get faster, smarter, and cheaper. All the same, jams endure."

+ With the Winter Olympics just days away, here's your primer on the slick science of making snow and ice.

+ Intel made smart glasses that look normal.