Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019


Grab Some Pine, Meat

"Red meat has a greater impact on the climate than any other food; if the world's cattle formed their own nation, it would have the third-highest emissions on Earth." (And probably the fourth or fifth most effective government.) Even though the average American consumes three burgers a week, health and climate concerns are putting the meat business under pressure. And a lot of that pressure is coming directly from those who sell the most meat. For example, Burger King just started selling beef-free Impossible Whoppers. Plant-based faux meat is one threat to the industry. "Real" meat grown in a lab is another. In Politico Magazine, Michael Grunwald takes you Inside the Race to Build the Burger of the Future. But tipping cows' dinner table dominance won't be easy. Americans love their meat and "eating animals actually helped humans become human. Meat added so much nutrition to the diets of our pre-human ancestors that they no longer had to spend all their time foraging; they started to develop larger brains and smaller stomachs." (I'm a lifelong vegetarian and my physical proportions support this theory.)


Pay Stubbed

"According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women in America are on average making about 81 cents for every dollar that a man makes." The pay gap is one obstacle faced by women. Then there's the reality gap. According to a recent survey, nearly half of men believe the pay gap is made up, "and about a quarter of men ages 18 to 34 (24%) say that media reports of men and women being paid unequally are 'fake news.'"


Cut Aid and Abet

"The President's move, which will affect everything from development aid and humanitarian assistance to joint law-enforcement operations and anti-gang initiatives, will only make the crisis at the border worse." The New Yorker's Jonathan Blitzer: Trump's Cycle of Self-Sabotage at the U.S. Border.

+ WaPo: "Until last week, U.S. officials held up El Salvador as proof that foreign aid could help curb migration. The partnership between the two countries drew praise from diplomats, members of Congress and even America's top border enforcement official. Then President Trump announced that he was withdrawing economic assistance to the Central American country and its neighbors Guatemala and Honduras. 'They haven't done a thing for us.'" (America needs to rebuild its empathy infrastructure.)

+ AP: Trump considering naming an Immigration Czar. (A perfect choice of words...)


Rico Act

"Despite Trump's insinuations that Puerto Rican officials misappropriated disaster relief funds, a Government Accountability Office report issued last September found no evidence of fraud, but instead criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for an inadequate response. (Trump has described FEMA's work as an 'incredible, unsung success.')" Vox: Trump's latest outburst against Puerto Rico, explained. (Or how disaster relief became a partisan issue.)


Tube Amp

"The conundrum isn't just that videos questioning the moon landing or the efficacy of vaccines are on YouTube. The massive 'library,' generated by users with little editorial oversight, is bound to have untrue nonsense. Instead, YouTube's problem is that it allows the nonsense to flourish. And, in some cases, through its powerful artificial intelligence system, it even provides the fuel that lets it spread." Bloomberg: YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant.


Beg, Borrow, and Heal

"Cancer surgery for $700, a heart bypass for $2,000. Pretty good, but under India's new health-care system, it's not good enough." Bloomberg: The World's Cheapest Hospital Has to Get Even Cheaper.

+ Americans borrow $88 billion annually to pay for health care.


Photo Journalism

"Much of the discussion in Baraboo after the photograph went viral focused on the intentions of the boys in the moment the shutter clicked. Those intentions were hardly as uniform or as sinister as they first appeared. But images now spread faster than the stories behind them, and this image met the residents of Baraboo with enough speed and force to uproot basic assumptions about their lives." Buzzfeed's Joseph Bernstein: The Baraboo Nazi Prom Photo Shocked The World. The City's Response Shocked Its Residents.


Under the Influence

From Vox: Meet the baby influencers wearing Air Jordans and Supreme. (Their parents do most of the talking, in part because many of the influencers are too young to talk.) "This for us isn't about getting free stuff or one day getting famous; we have made this a fun family activity that also documents our son's life to one day look back on ... As soon as Instagram starts to have a negative impact on us as a family, we will simply walk away." (For the right price, they'll walk away wearing your company's shoes...)


Pet Scan

"Then Deren, who calls herself an 'animal communicator,' picked up the cordless phone and dialed Luna's owner so that she could begin communicating with the dog. Over the phone. Mind-to-mind. The only thing she knew about the dog was her name and what she saw in the photo." Boston Globe: What's your cat thinking? Animal communicators talk with pets and argue with skeptics. (The dead giveaway is when they suggest your cat had something positive to say about you...)


Bottom of the News

"It's hard out there for a working actor — but this guy has made the very best of it." An actor cut together a compilation of his work as a background extra.

+ Winners of Smithsonian Magazine's Photo Contest.