September 13th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

When (a lot of) donor siblings meet, America wrestles with Trump's tweetstorm ahead of the real storm, and our new child detention record.

Many countries have limits on the number of children that can be conceived via a single sperm donor. In the US, there are no such laws. Meanwhile, DNA testing, online registries, and social media have made it increasingly possible for donor siblings to meet each other and the donor they share in common. Kianni Arroyo has met many of her donor siblings and she’s “on a quest to meet them all, chronicling her journey on Instagram. She has to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep them all straight. ‘We have a connection. It’s hard to explain, but it’s there.'” It’s actually not that hard to explain. Their connection is Donor Number 2757. WaPo on the Fertility Frontier: 44 siblings and counting.


Prepare to Be Flor’d

The first winds and high tides are hitting the Carolinas as the slow moving Florence approaches land. Here’s the latest from CNN. Meanwhile, as FEMA and law enforcement officials brace for the oncoming deluge, President Trump’s issued a paranoid Tweetstorm that dropped record amounts of delusion. “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump insisted. “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.” (I mean, there’s a chance, if you think about it, that Hurricane Maria never even hit Puerto Rico and that everyone there just turned out their lights at the exact same time because a power outage would be bad for Trump.)

+ WaPo: Why Trump’s tweets about Puerto Rico are obviously untrue. (Yes, they’re obviously untrue. But we’re now having the debate. Remember, it’s not about convincing you what’s definitely true. It’s about leaving you uncertain whether there’s anything you can believe…)


Children of the Scorn

“The big difference, said those familiar with the shelter system, is that red tape and fear brought on by stricter immigration enforcement have discouraged relatives and family friends from coming forward to sponsor children.” NYT: Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever.

+ “A temporary child detention facility, which was set up in the West Texas desert during the family separation crisis in June, will expand from 1,200 to 3,800 beds.”


Mountain Valleys

“Theories abound as to why these towns are affected, though they remain speculation. Like Durango, these are places where the cost of living is high, good jobs are scarce, and people are financially stressed. There are fewer mental health resources than one would find in a big city. (It’s common for parents to find that every child therapist in town is booked and not taking new clients.) Others blame the play-hard, party-hard vibe in idyllic mountain towns that can lead to substance abuse (a risk factor for suicide), as well as social media, the culture of relentless athletic one-upmanship, and the obsessive pursuit of fun. ‘It can be sort of this FOMO rat race,’ says Cara Kropp, a special education teacher, mountain bike coach, and friend of Tricia’s. ‘People don’t want to be around nonstoked people.'” But these are, as described, just theories. Nobody is quite certain how to explain The Suicide Clusters That Threaten Mountain Towns.

+ The Guardian: Nearly 40% of female suicides occur in India.


Les Unmoored

“I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” How did CBS’ board of directors go from comments like that to quickly ousting Les Moonves? The NYT’s James Stewart explains: Threats and Deception: Why CBS’s Board Turned Against Leslie Moonves.


Immaculate Misconception

The NFL has fallen from grace. The NFL let down its shield and faces challenges from concussions to politics to falling ratings. And yet, the league is nowhere near being in the red (zone). In fact, they’re making more money than ever. Bloomberg: The NFL’s Very Profitable Existential Crisis.


Routine Checkup

“Her device transmits a low-power wireless signal throughout a space the size of a one- or two-bedroom apartment (even through walls), and the signal reflects off people’s bodies. The device then uses machine learning to analyze those reflected signals and extract physiological data.” After yesterday’s Apple keynote highlighting the health benefits of their watch, wearables have arrived. But surroundables are coming soon. MIT Tech Review: Soon your doctor will be able to wirelessly track your health—even through walls.

+ And from me: A few thoughts about the Apple Watch and how the world’s most secretive company gave us a clue about what they really think.


Losing the Plot

“She has more than 62 million followers on China’s equivalent of Twitter, Weibo, and appears in ads for products around the world — from vitamins in Australia to lipstick by Guerlain, the clothes of Montblanc and the diamonds of De Beers. Now she is missing.” NYT: What Happened to Fan Bingbing, China’s Most Famous Actress?


Prime Time

Jeff Bezos is launching a $2 billion fund to help the homeless and develop new schools. “We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.” I tried that philosophy in my own house, but then my kids insisted, “the customer is always right.”


Bottom of the News

“OK started off as the LOL of its time. Then Martin Van Buren’s presidential campaign popularized it and its brevity proved useful for sending telegraph messages.” How Did “OK” Become One of the Most Popular Words in the World?

+ Are Audiobooks As Good For You As Reading? (If you’re choosing between two relatively positive behaviors, you’re doing fine…)

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