June 5th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The scourge of straws, the Eagles bash turned into a political party, and the junk food chefs love.

CityLab’s Kriston Capps gets you ready for the drinks of the season. “Summer is here and so are frozen daiquiris, iced lattes, lemonades, hibiscus mint teas, root-beer floats, frozen margs, Arnold Palmers, chocolate milk, nitro cold brews, bloody marys, Capri Suns, milkshakes, adult milkshakes, caipirinhas, rosé in a can, tiki drinks, and ice-cold water out of a mason jar. Kick off your shoes, throw on some shades, and carefully peel back the individual wrapper to sunny vibes. The world’s most utterly disposable product is the coin of the realm: Unwrap, sip, noisy-gurgling-sound, repeat—every day, twice a day, three times in a single happy hour. It’s straw season, mofos.” At issue are straws. While they might provide an assist in your quest to get totally tubular, when it comes to the environment, straws suck. “It’s time to crack down on single-use plastic drinking utensils, the world’s most disposable product.”

+ Ben Lecomte is likely to encounter many straws as he takes a swim to bring attention to plastic pollution. He just jumped into the Pacific Ocean from the shores of Choshi in Japan and he’ll jump out in San Francisco (a route that will take him through the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch).


Locker Room Talk

They took a knee! (Actually, they didn’t.) They let down their fans! (Nope.) They don’t respect the military (Of course they do.) The Philadelphia Eagles got disinvited from the White House today, and the administration has offered a series of odd (and false) reasons why. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small story. But it’s informative of a broader issue: The administration’s constant misleading statements about everything. How did the White House go from playing Fly, Eagles, Fly to It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To? Here’s a hint: Fewer than five of the Eagles planned to attend. President Trump continued to stoke the fire this morning: “The White House, with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus. Honoring America! NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!” (Too bad, because at this point, America could use a shower…)

+ Dictator’s Gonna Dictate: And now, on to the misleading statements that might matter, a lot. “For nearly a year, the denials from President Trump’s lawyers and spokeswoman were unequivocal. No, the president did not dictate a misleading statement released in his son’s name. ‘He certainly didn’t dictate,’ said the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Well, it turns out he dictated.

+ “Special Counsel Robert Mueller says the longtime Trump associate tried to tamper with witnesses.” And that could land Paul Manafort in jail. (For the rest of us, it’s yet another teachable moment: “Don’t commit crimes. But if you do, don’t back up the evidence of your crimes to Apple or Google’s cloud.”)


A Going Concern

“This collapsing socialist state is suffering one of the most dramatic outflows of human talent in modern history … offering a glimpse into what happens when a nation begins to empty out. Vast gaps in Venezuela’s labor market are causing a breakdown in daily life, and robbing this nation of its future.” From WaPo: A historic exodus is leaving Venezuela without teachers, doctors and electricians. “Aid workers dealing with the crisis in bordering nations say an average of 4,600 Venezuelans a day have been leaving since Jan 1.”


Feckless Driving

“Now we have videos of traffic police handing over these driver’s licenses to divert the world’s attention from the fact that the women who were actually behind championing the cause … are not only in prison but have been charged and potentially face very, very long sentences.” Saudi Arabia has started giving driving licenses to women, but some who campaigned to drive are in jail.


Is Your Fecal Matter the Shit?

Fecal transplants are showing promise of being able to help solve infections and other problems. So we’ll be needing more fecal donors. But not just anyone can donate. “Only about 3 percent make it through our screening process. We like to joke with our donors that it’s easier to get into Harvard or M.I.T. than be a stool donor.” NYT: Do You Have the Right Stuff to Be a Stool Donor?


Cooling Off Period

“For us, it would be really strange if you could get a license to buy a gun and you had no idea how to handle it. I would find it very odd if [a gun owner] had never even learned which is the pointy end and which is the trigger end.” Iceland is a gun-loving country with no shooting murders since 2007.

+ NPR: Gun Studies: Permit Laws Reduce Murders; Red Flag Laws Cut Suicides.


Kicked to the Corner

“The image that will stay with me was our best player, Christian Pulisic, the kid that had done so much, seeing him in the showers, fully clothed, with his hands in his face just crying.” The Ringer: Own Goal: The Inside Story of How the US Men’s Soccer Team Missed the 2018 World Cup.

+ Two, Four, Six, Eight, Who Do We Appreciate? A modern history of childhood, in one postgame cheer.


Bikini Whacked

“We are no longer a pageant; we are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge.” NPR: Miss America Says Farewell To Its Swimsuit Competition. “Miss America’s origins rest with an ‘Inter-City Beauty Contest’ started in the early 1920s, with the prize going to ‘The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America.'”


Follow the Puck

“After a failed attempt in Season 5 to force the housemates to start a terrible business together in Miami, the series finally settled upon its formula, and the subsequent formula for every ‘successful’ reality-television ‘character’ since, in Boston in 1997: Trauma equals drama. Or, more accurately: trauma plus sudden fame equals pain as a spectator sport, equals successful, cheaply produced television.” The true story of the exact moment in the mid-Nineties when reality television morphed from its best self to its worst. (Who knew the rest of America would follow…)


Bottom of the News

“Funyuns, sour gummy bears, Takis Mexican chips, and the Flamin’ Hot Munchies Snack Mix.” Bloomberg: The Trash Snacks and Fast-Food Guilty Pleasures of Top Chefs.

+ Coming soon. Roseanne without Roseanne?

+ Flying cans of beans took down a hammer-wielding suspect in grocery store. (I’ll let you go ahead and guess the state…)

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