Tuesday, February 19th, 2019


Gag Reflex

Note: I'm on a roadtrip with my daughter. NextDraft will be off until Friday.

He couldn't help himself. He had been arrested and arraigned. He had been warned. He had been given a partial gag order. And still, Roger Stone couldn't resist posting "a photo on Instagram of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun." Roger Stone is among America's singular personalities, but this particular behavior, while reckless, might not be that unique. We've seen countless public figures and celebrities damage their reputations because of social media postings. And it's easy to imagine that many of Trump's tweets can and will be used against him in the Mueller report (and perhaps beyond). In addition to being the lead characters in the craziest political story of our lifetimes, Trump and his lackeys may be representative of a more universal malady: Social Media Addiction. (I hate to be the one to share this news, but I just couldn't help myself). In the meantime, the judge in Stone's case has ordered him "to appear in court to consider whether to revoke his bail." (Roger might want to bring his jammies.)


Encircle Jerk

The obstruction efforts have hardly been limited to the internet. Let's catch up a bit, courtesy of the NYT: Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump's Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him.

+ "No one objected. Not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds, and not based on the facts." Andrew McCabe brief the "gang of eight" on plans to open a case against Trump. They didn't object.

+ Flynn-backed plan to transfer nuclear tech to Saudis, may have broken laws.

+ Coalition of states sues Trump over national emergency to build border wall. (If it seems hard to keep up with all the norm busting and law breaking, it's because it is.)


Maduroad Less Traveled

"If you choose this path you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You will lose everything." From NPR: "At a campaign-style speech in Miami on Monday, President Trump said the Venezuelan military should not interfere with humanitarian aid coming into the country, or resort to violence." (Is he threatening US military action?)


Babies Are Us

"Screen time for children ages 0-2 more than doubled from 1997 to 2014." That stat might not surprise you. But here's the twist. Most of that screen time is not being spent on phones and tablets. It's good old-fashioned television. Of course, the study ended in 2014. Since then, I'm guessing a lot of babies have migrated to devices (at least it sure seems that way on Twitter.)


The Green New Meal

"When I visited, 16,000 pounds of greens were being harvested every week. Output like that is a locavore's dream, especially in Minnesota, where regional produce is scarce during the protracted, frigid winter ... The implications of a system like this are enormous." Outside on the inside food growing movement that could revolutionize the way we farm. Urban Organics Wants to Fix Food. "One million gallons of water was flowing through this Urban Organics farm—from fish to plants and back again. Because it's a closed-loop system, virtually no water is wasted except for a tiny amount (about 2 percent) lost to evaporation."


Father Figures

"One archbishop finally showed him what he was looking for: a document of Vatican guidelines for how to deal with priests who father children, proof that he was hardly alone." NYT on the Vatican's Secret Rules for Catholic Priests Who Have Children. (An advantage of having one unthinkably sickening scandal is that the other ones don't seem that bad by comparison...)


Ed Man Walking

"In one sense, the impulse driving these preparations is understandable. The prospect of mass murder in a classroom is intolerable, and good-faith proposals for preventing school shootings should be treated with respect. But the current mode of instead preparing kids for such events is likely to be psychologically damaging." Erika Christakis in The Atlantic: Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided. "In the 2015–16 school year, 95 percent of public schools ran lockdown drills."


Karl Icon

"I design like I breathe. You don't ask to breathe — it just happens." Karl Lagerfeld, Fashion Icon and 'Master of Reinvention,' has died at the age 85. Here's a look at his life in pictures.

+ FastCo: 22 controversial Karl Lagerfeld quotes. "Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants." (For people who work on the internet, putting anything over your underwear is a sign of victory...)

+ A classic on Karl from the NYT Mag archives. The Jet Set Life of Karl Lagerfeld's Favorite Male Model — for Now: "Lagerfeld refers to Brad and the other models that travel with him as his family, albeit a self-selected, genetically ideal one. 'I hate ugly people,' Lagerfeld told me. 'Very depressing.' If models were show dogs, Brad would be a golden retriever. He has a strong jaw, hazel eyes and thick blond hair that seems perpetually windswept."


Blood Evidence

According to the FDA, "Taking a young person's plasma and infusing it into an older person to ward off aging -- a therapy that's fascinated some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley -- has no proven clinical benefit." (It would have been great to learn that before I had kids...)

+ Another amazing story about a drug that could soon be widely available in an intranasal form: I tried ketamine to treat my depression. Within a day, I felt relief.


Bottom of the News

"Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he'd allegedly sent to a woman. One read: 'Teamwork make the dream work' with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end. Prosecutors said the message implied a working relationship between the two of them. The defendant said it could mean he was trying to strike up a romantic relationship. Who was right?" The Verge: Emoji are showing up in court cases exponentially, and courts aren't prepared.

+ She "is the first artist to claim the top three spots on the Hot 100 since the Fab Four did it in 1964." Ariana Grande Has Matched A Feat Last Achieved By The Beatles. (And that doesn't begin to explain how much time my daughter spends listening to her, thinking about her, and above all, talking about her.)

+ Wired: Why a grape turns into a fireball in a microwave.

+ French fencing body recognizes lightsaber dueling as a sport.

+ Reminder. I'm on the road this week. NextDraft will be back on Friday.