Thursday, February 22nd, 2018


Rage Against the Machine Gun

Scheduling Note: My daughter and I are wrapping up our road trip Friday. NextDraft will be back on Monday.

The teen-led backlash demanding action on guns and school violence has spread from the curb in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to other campuses, across the internet and TV, and all the way to the White House. Here's a look at 11 of the most dramatic moments in a day of confrontation over guns. And here are some photos from a pretty amazing moment in America.

+ During his listening session, President Trump seemed open to age restrictions, but focused mostly on arming teachers (while insisting he never said to arm teachers): "I never said 'give teachers guns' like was stated on Fake News CNN & NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving 'concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!" (What if an armed teacher comes down with a case of bone spurs?)

+ Wayne LaPierre, the head of the nation's top pro-gun lobbying group spoke at one of the year's most political events where he accused others of politicizing school shootings. "Schools must be the most hardened targets in this country, and evil must be confronted with all necessary force to protect our kids."

+ "With an AR-15, the shooter does not have to be particularly accurate. The victim does not have to be unlucky." The Atlantic: What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns.

+ It is not as easy as a "'good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun.'" Charlotte Five: I've been shot in combat. And as a veteran, I'm telling you: allowing teachers to be armed is an asinine idea.


Trend Me Your Ears

It wasn't long after the protests got underway that the online attacks and conspiracy theories began to trend. "The sliming — there is no other word for it — of the survivors of last week's Florida high school massacre is beyond the pale." WaPo's Margaret Sullivan argues that the online trashing of Parkland teens is too disgusting to ignore. (Sadly, that's precisely how it's designed to work.)

+ "It chose a popular, deeply sympathetic, nonpolarizing political enemy. More specifically, it chose a political enemy effectively born onto the internet and innately capable of waging an information war." Charlie Warzel argues that the alt right media disinformation experts and conspiracy theorists have finally met their match in the Parkland students.

+ The NYT's John Herrman: The Making of a No. 1 YouTube Conspiracy Video After the Parkland Tragedy.

+ Wired: Parkland conspiracies overwhelm the internet's broken trending tools.

+ "The 'trending' designation is a worthless metric, but in the online-content economy, it somehow means everything." Brian Feldman: It's Time to End Trending.


China Rose

"The patronizing old idea that China, like the rest of east Asia, can imitate but not innovate is certainly false now. In several scientific fields, China is starting to set the pace for others to follow." The Guardian on China's great leap forward in science.

+ Wired UK: From imitation to innovation: How China became a tech superpower. "The evolving technology dynamic between China and the west will probably involve a mix of envy, competition – and perhaps confrontation."


Fat’s Chance

If you like churning out profits, it's a good time to be in the butter business. As Bloomberg reports: Fat is back.

+ Everyone in Silicon Valley is doing it. And it can work. Just not necessarily in the way people hope it will. Julia Belluz: The keto diet, explained.

+ The NYT on a new study that suggests the key to weight loss is diet quality, not quantity: "The research lends strong support to the notion that diet quality, not quantity, is what helps people lose and manage their weight most easily in the long run. It also suggests that health authorities should shift away from telling the public to obsess over calories and instead encourage Americans to avoid processed foods that are made with refined starches and added sugar, like bagels, white bread, refined flour and sugary snacks." (In other words, the fuel that powers NextDraft...)

+ "Most people who visit my bodega are not preparing to load a barbell with 220 pounds and squat it, which makes the rise in striving for more and more protein remarkable." In Eater, Casey Johnston tracks How Protein Conquered America.


Five Ring Circus

If you've been watching the Olympics, you've seen a lot of empty seats in the arenas. But you may not have been watching. NBC's viewership numbers are down significantly.

+ I've watched a fair amount of the coverage. And the best thing I saw so far was the U.S. Women's Hockey Team's Shootout Win Over Canada. (And these days, that's the only kind of shootout I want to hear about.)

+ NYT: The Daredevils Above, Their Parents Below: Welcome to Big Air Snowboarding. (Related: Ever think Aerial Freestyle skiers are irritated that Curlers get the same gold medal?)

+ Why Mikaela Shiffrin Brought 35 Pairs of Skis to the Olympics.


There Will Be a Test

"The stories, I knew, went like this: A woman said she was sexually assaulted. She was told that, to prove it, she would need to go to a room where she would be examined from the hairs on her head to the skin beneath her toenails. She was swabbed, plucked, prodded and photographed. When it was over, every bit of what had been taken off her body was slid into small bags, placed in one of these boxes and taped shut. Most likely, the woman assumed that her kit, full of potential DNA evidence, would be sent to a laboratory to be tested." And yet, thousands of these kits were never tested. That's changing. WaPo's Jessica Contrera on A Wrenching Dilemma: Across the country, decades' worth of rape kits are finally being tested, but no one can agree on what to do next.


Living on the Edge

"The way I save people, it's like I'm seeing a friend. It's not exciting or anything. I'm like, 'Hey, how are you doing?' These people are asking for help. They're just waiting for someone to speak with them." LA Times: At Japan's suicide cliffs, he's walked more than 600 people back from the edge.


Moz Def

"We had originally filed suit early while simultaneously urging the court that the correct date was after this publication. That is why today, immediately after the order was published, Mozilla re-filed our suit challenging the FCC net neutrality order." So said Denelle Dixon, chief legal and business officer at Mozilla, as the FCC announces that Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23. There will be many challenges to the rule change between now and then. Very inspired and pleased that these efforts are being led by NextDraft's sponsor, Mozilla.


Jen Ex

"sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad." It wasn't a brokerage house rating that led to a pretty massive move in a Snap's stock. It was something far more powerful. A Kylie Jenner Tweet.


Bottom of the News

In the The Verge, James Bareham remember the remarkable breakthrough of the original iPod. "Though I subsequently bought the second, third, and fifth generation iPods, none of them came even remotely close to delivering the utter joy I experienced the first time I used my original iPod." (That's the way I felt about my MacBook Air. And I'm still typing on it.)

+ A kid got suspended from school for inhaling helium from balloon to get a squeaky voice.

+ The Outline: How To Write About Weed Without Sounding High.