May 30th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Your recycling goes to landfill, the first rule of Mickey Mouse Club, and a murder victim showed up at his own press conference.

China is sick and tired of your garbage. You may not be aware of it, but some of the trash you sort into your blue bin ends up getting shipped to China where it’s eventually recycled. But China recently decided to cut back on the amount of garbage they’re willing to import; a move that left some US cities holding the bag. So whether you know it or not, many of your recyclables are ending up in landfills as cities “are continuing to encourage their residents to recycle as usual … Local waste managers said they were concerned that if they told residents to stop recycling, it could be hard to get them to start again.” NYT: Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not.

+ If you’re tossing things in the recycling bin out of sheer hope, you might be an aspirational recycler. (LinkedIn should add that as a skill.) NYT: 6 Things You’re Recycling Wrong.


A Roseanne A Thorn

The first rule of Mickey Mouse Club is that you don’t put the Mickey Mouse brand into jeopardy. The second rule will be written on a pink slip. The fall of Roseanne and Roseanne is about a lot more than TV. It’s about politics, corporations, race, and even social media addiction. Here are my 10 quick thoughts on the firing of Roseanne Barr: The First Rule of Mickey Mouse Club.

+ This is why I ambien a racist… Roseanne blamed her Tweets on Ambien (which probably caused millions of trolls to race to the pharmacy to get some). The makers of Ambien beg to differ: “Racism Is Not a Known Side Effect.”

+ Hours after leaving Twitter, Roseanne returned to publicly apologize to Valerie Jarrett … while sharing conspiracy theories about her.


Weapons of Mass Construction

“Nuclear policy is no longer widely discussed in the media; the public has been told little about a subject of existential importance; and questions once passionately argued have been largely forgotten. Why do we have nuclear weapons? What they are for? How might they be used? And, at a time when a single American submarine can destroy the capital city of every country in the United Nations, how much is enough?” We’ve been talking a lot about one country’s denuclearization. But as The New Yorker’s Eric Schlosser explains, we’re in the middle of a massive (and somewhat unexpected) nuclear arms race.

+ “It has fractured Google’s work force, fueled heated staff meetings and internal exchanges, and prompted some employees to resign. The dispute has caused grief for some senior Google officials … as they try to straddle the gap between scientists with deep moral objections and salespeople salivating over defense contracts.” NYT: How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google.


Buns of Deal

As Trump and Kim Jong Un appear to be back on track towards a summit, a new CIA assessment has concluded that North Korea won’t denuclearize, but might open a burger joint.

+ “Over the past year, we’ve seen the full repertoire of bombastic bargaining: threatened walkouts, 11th-hour reversals, oscillating taunts and flattery, and unbridgeable gaps that mysteriously get bridged.” WaPo’s David Ignatius: Could Trump’s zig-zag course to a North Korea summit actually work?


He’s Putin Us On

“A photograph of Putin critic and [famous Russian journalist Arkady] Babchenko in a puddle of blood with three gunshot wounds on his back was released to the public. Ukrainian parliament member Anton Geraschenko told a detailed story about the murder on his Facebook page, giving details of the assassination. The Ukrainian police released a composite sketch of the supposed killer. Thousands of Babchenko’s fans and friends wept for hours. Respectful publications wrote tributes. Russian politicians blamed Kiev and Ukrainians blamed Moscow for ordering Babchenko’s murder; the United Nations demanded an investigation.” But there was an unexpected twist to the story. Arkady Babchenko was alive and well.


Terminal Velocity

“The measure would give people diagnosed with life-threatening conditions who have exhausted treatment options the ability to gain access to unproven drugs without first getting permission from the FDA.” AP: Trump signs bill for terminal patients to try unproven drugs. (This makes it all the more ridiculous that in many places the same patients can’t use marijuana for relief.)

+ “Step by methodical step, the Trump administration is remaking government policy on reproductive health — moving to limit access to birth control and abortion and bolstering abstinence-only sex education.”


Eric Rolled

“It’s clear that for the forces that oppose us there is no end in sight. I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love. I know, and people of good faith know, that I am not perfect but I have not broken any laws nor committed any offense worthy of this treatment.” Facing allegations of sexual misconduct and violations of campaign-finance law, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says he will resign on Friday.

+ “The charges facing the embattled governor of Missouri have stunned voters, but in the tight-knit Naval Special Warfare community, Greitens has been a divisive figure for years.” From the always interesting Phil Klay: The Lesson of Eric Greitens, and the Navy SEALs Who Tried to Warn Us


Everything and the Kitchen Sink

“The ceiling is low, the heat is high, the bathroom is missing. But serious cooks are at work here.” What’s in a food truck? This WaPo interactive piece will take you inside to find out.

+ “Technicians at Integrated Beverage Group … use chemical analysis, blending, and additives to create facsimiles of fine wines at a fraction of the originals’ cost.” Wired: Your Next Glass Of Wine Might Be A Fake—And You’ll Love It.

+ “As with many foods, white culture and African-American culture diverge on the make and use of macaroni and cheese. Food historian Adrian Miller points out that while Thomas Jefferson often gets credit for popularizing macaroni and cheese in the United States, it was of course his enslaved black chef James Hemmings who learned to cook it.” A Brief History of America’s Appetite for Macaroni and Cheese.

+ Japanese melons fetch record-breaking $29,000 at auction.


Connecting the Dot Coms

“China is catching up as a hub to the world’s biggest internet companies. Currently, China is home to nine of the world’s 20 biggest internet companies by market cap while the U.S. has 11. Five years ago, China had two and the U.S. had nine …. Immigration remains important for U.S. tech companies. More than half of the most highly valued tech companies in the U.S. are founded by first- or second-generation immigrants.” Those are just two of the interesting details in Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report.


Bottom of the News

“Kardashian, a more recent prison reform evangelist, appears to be approaching the White House meeting with equal seriousness. She will not be bringing the camera crew for her reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, nor will she bring a publicist or her sisters, according to the person familiar with the situation. (Her husband, Kanye West, who recently tweeted a photo of his red Make America Great Again hat, will not be present either, though there have been talks about him making a White House appearance of his own at a later, to-be-determined date.)” Kim Kardashian is headed to the White House. And it’s for a good reason (although, I’m pretty sure this means we’ve reached the celebrity singularity).

+ Five ThirtyEight examines the mystery of why Kevin Durant’s shoes keep falling off.

+ Is Cockroach Milk going to be the next superfood?

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