Tuesday, September 25th, 2018


The Young and Not Restless

Baby Boomers are incorrigible. At least that's one way of looking at the latest data on America divorce rates. It turns out that Millennials are approaching marriage differently -- so differently in fact that they often decide to stay married. From Bloomberg: Millennials Are Causing the U.S. Divorce Rate to Plummet (Even positive Millennial headlines are worded critically): "New data show younger couples are approaching relationships very differently from baby boomers, who married young, divorced, remarried and so on. Generation X and especially millennials are being pickier about who they marry, tying the knot at older ages when education, careers and finances are on track. The result is a U.S. divorce rate that dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016."


Cos and Effect

From sweaters to a jumpsuit. From Jello Pudding to just desserts. From honorary degrees, presidential medals, and Kennedy Center honors to three hots and a cot. However you put it, Bill Cosby (accused by about 60 women of doing seriously terrible things) has been sentenced to 3-10 years in jail. From the judge: "This was a serious crime. Mr. Cosby this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come." (Not soon enough...)


Does Anyone Remember Laughter?

"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy. We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism." President Trump addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. It went about how you'd expect. From the NYT: Trump, at U.N., Scorns Unaccountable Global Bureaucracy.

+ Trump urged the world to join his tough stance on Iran. Other countries made arrangements to keep doing business with them.

+ On the campaign trail, Trump often insisted that the world was laughing at America. Well, I suppose he kept that "campaign promise." Today, at the UN, the world did laugh at America. Trump delivered his favorite line about his administration accomplishing more than any other ... and the room burst into laughter. (Meanwhile, sane America is laughing through their tears.)


Virgin Territory

During an interview on Fox News, Brett Kavanaugh defended himself against accusations of sexual misconduct: "Seated beside his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, the nominee told Fox News' Martha MacCallum that he wasn't going anywhere, and demanded repeatedly — 17 times to be exact — for a fair process. 'I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process, and we're looking for a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity — my lifelong record ... of promoting dignity and equality for women, starting with the women who knew me when I was 14 years old. I'm not going anywhere.'" Kavanaugh also told Fox that he was a virgin in high school and for "many years after." (Same here, but I never thought it would be something I'd add to a job application...)

+ Politico: "Senate Republicans have hired an attorney to use as a questioner of Christine Blasey Ford at Thursday's high-stakes hearing on sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh but are declining to name her 'for her safety.'"

+ Trump chimes in on the accusations made by Deborah Ramirez: "The second accuser has nothing ... The second accuser thinks maybe it could have been him, maybe not. She admits she was drunk. She admits time lapses ... Oh, gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that." (So someone is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by more than a dozen women. Oh, gee, let's not make him president of the United States...) Here's the latest from CNN.

+ Meanwhile, Michael Avenatti is making the media rounds with claims of a new accuser. As Slate explains: We're About to Find Out Whether Michael Avenatti Is Full of It.


Rod Swirling

"Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as the special counsel and, more to the point, protected his investigation from Trump's all-but-explicit demands that he dismiss Mueller. Now, if Rosenstein is gone, who, if anyone, will make sure that Mueller's work can continue?" Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker: This is at once a narrow jurisdictional question and a major political issue. (Maybe it would be easier if we listed the things are not major political issues...)


Gram Backers

"Over the past year, both Systrom and Krieger have grown increasingly frustrated and agitated with Zuckerberg and Facebook's increased influence over the app, according to multiple sources. One characterized it as 'bizarre meddling' that hurt morale within the unit." After a remarkable run, Instagram's founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have announced that they are leaving Facebook. Instagram seemed to get more popular and more relevant during the six years since the acquisition. Pretty impressive. These days, it's hard to find a bargain for a billion dollars, but Zuckerberg did just that when he acquired Instagram.

+ Instagram is one of the many methods we use to overshare. But has tech changed us, or merely enabled us? From Aeon: The urge to share news of our lives is neither new nor narcissistic.

+ Maybe sharing news of our lives isn't new, but it definitely seems more dangerous. "The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team reports that its missions have increased by 38 percent over the last five years—something they attribute to people sharing photos and videos of their dangerous activities online."


German Weasels

From WaPo: "A report to be released Tuesday documents the sexual abuse of more than 3,600 people by 1,670 clergy members within Germany's Catholic Church over a period of 68 years — and even those numbers probably underestimate the scale of the problem, the authors say. Abuse of that magnitude constitutes one of the largest Catholic Church scandals in Europe. But at the same time, it is not altogether surprising to many church watchers." (Ya think? Are people starting to, oh I don't know, sense a trend?)


Memory Stick

Gizmodo: Would Perfect Memory Be a Burden or a Superpower? "AJ compared it to a split-screen television, where she'd be talking to someone and suddenly a vivid scene would pop into her head ... Indeed, while observing AJ, [researchers] marvelled at her ability to recall the details of every Easter for the past 24 years ... and she gave the correct dates for completely trivial events, such as the date on which the Dallas episode Who Shot J.R.? first aired. (In contrast, even though I watched every episode of Dallas, I seriously don't even remember who shot JR...)


Bees Wax, Wasps Wane

"In the survey, participants were asked to rate the insects on a scale which ran from minus five, representing a strongly negative emotion to plus five, representing a strongly positive one. The vast majority of responses for bees were plus 3 or above, whereas it was the complete reverse for wasps." BBC: Why do we hate wasps and love bees?

+ Urban bees are living healthier lives than rural bees.


Bottom of the News

"But while they are only supposed to be used by adults over the age of 18 with valid driver licenses, the scooters have also become insanely popular among teenagers, with young people like Angelica skirting the law to ride them to work, the movies, shopping, and just about everywhere teens go these days." The Verge: The Secret Life Of Teen Scooter Outlaws. (Being a rebel ain't what it used to be...)

+ The Scrabble dictionary has added 300 new words.

+ "The makeover is part of Dunkin' Brand's efforts to relabel itself as a beverage-led company that focuses on coffees, teas, speedy service and to-go food including -— but not limited to — doughnuts." When it comes to their branding, Dunkin' says goodbye to Donuts.