Friday, April 12th, 2019


Kingdom Come

Be our guest, Be our guest, Put our service to the test. Disney is singing that tune about its upcoming streaming service. Walt and Co want you to have a permanent seat in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And that seat is your couch. After acknowledging the market was too big for them to Let it Go, Disney has announced the details of its much anticipated streaming service. Whether the new offering will result in an Emperor's New Groove or leave the massive content provider Frozen out of the market remains to be seen. That's what's at stake When You Wish Upon A Star. Bottom line: The new service is cheap (seven bucks a month) and includes a ton of content. Here's a preview of something that's sure to be Part of Your World.

+ The market's initial reaction was to send Disney stock up to record highs and to drive Netflix down to the tune of $8 billion. A startup takes over and it seems like A Whole New World, but then a massive company decides to Wish Upon a Star, and the market goes full Hakuna Matata! (Like most stock analysis, that phrase really doesn't mean anything...)

+ I agree with John Gruber's take that both services will thrive: "I don't think it's either/or — I'll certainly cough up $70/year in addition to whatever it is I'm paying for Netflix, and I'm sure tens of millions of others will too." But the addition of yet another service with distinct programming is a reminder that the future of television will be a little messy. My parents called for help using the VCR. I'll be calling my kids for help finding a show. I suppose that's why they say, It's the Circle of Life. (I know, that was a lot of song references. You're Welcome.)


City Haul

Here's a lead from WaPo that should be shocking, but probably isn't at this point: "White House officials have tried to pressure U.S. immigration authorities to release detainees onto the streets of sanctuary cities to retaliate against President Trump's political adversaries." (I'm sitting in one of those sanctuary cities, and I'd rather they released ICE detainees here than Trump administration officials.)

+ NBC News: Trump advisers discussed whether military could build and run migrant detention camps.

+ Buzzfeed: An ICE Official Who Said Detention Was "More Like Summer Camp" Will Now Lead The Agency.


Weekend Whats

What to Stream: I like my music festivals without the heat, the crowds, the dirt, the influencers, and the tone-deaf people singing louder than the acts. So yeah, I like them streamed into my living room. Lucky for me (and you), that's all the rage these days. Kick off Coachella the right way: On YouTube, and at room temperature.

+ What to Doc: The excellent Billy Corben is back with his latest documentary. This time he takes on the Florida steroid scene and its impact on Major League Baseball and some of its biggest stars. But you don't need to be into baseball to watch this doc. It's filled with remarkably entertaining characters, and as is the case with much of Corben's work, the most entertaining character of all might be Florida. Check out Screwball.

+ What to Peabody: "The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has announced the 60 nominees that represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2018." So you oughta be able to find something of interest here.


Fare Value

"The numbers in the company's SEC filing are truly eye-popping. Uber has delivered 1.5 billion trips. People paid $41.5 billion for Uber rides in 2018 alone, up 32 percent from the previous year. Uber took $9.2 billion of that as revenue. The company had 3.9 million drivers in the last quarter of 2018. And, of course, Uber will raise something like $10 billion from its IPO." (I don't know if there's ever been a company that grew from a tiny startup to a company that so dramatically impacted the landscape online and off. Profitability is still to come...) The Atlantic: The Uber IPO Is a Landmark.


Shorting the Planet

"Grantham was saying that a bet on a future carbon tax was a sure thing because the absence of a carbon tax meant civilizational catastrophe. If he were right, he could make billions. If he were wrong, it wouldn't matter, because the world would be on fire." NYT Mag: How Big Business Is Hedging Against the Apocalypse.

+ "Long before we get to tidal waves or smallpox, long before we choke to death or stop thinking clearly, we will need to concentrate on the most mundane and basic facts: everyone needs to eat every day, and an awful lot of us live near the ocean." Bill Mckibben in Rolling Stone: This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out.


Ivanka Hoots

"'She's a natural diplomat,' Trump said. 'She would've been great at the United Nations, as an example.' I asked why he didn't nominate her. 'If I did, they'd say nepotism, when it would've had nothing to do with nepotism. But she would've been incredible.' Warming to the subject, he said, 'I even thought of Ivanka for the World Bank … She would've been great at that because she's very good with numbers.'" The Atlantic's Elaina Plott takes you Inside Ivanka's Dreamworld.


Error BNB

You knew Ecuador's President Lenín Moreno had reached his limit when he complained about Julian Assange's "repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols." What daily life protocols was Assange breaking? Well, imagine your worst houseguest. Now imagine this. Assange came uninvited. He stayed for seven years. He had a lot of friends over. He skateboarded in the house. He went "weeks without a shower" and developed a "dental problem born of poor hygiene." He accused his housemates of being spies. Oh, and then there was that habit of spreading feces on the wall. Assange didn't just get indicted. He got evicted. BBC: Why Ecuador ended his stay in London embassy.

+ The Strangest Moments In The Julian Assange Saga, From Pamela Anderson's Vegan Meals To Embassy Cat.


Con Academy

"Foxconn's own plans for the space are amazingly vague. In September, it released a 'sneak peek' video showing a sleek campus full of glass orbs and gardens patrolled by self-driving cars, but no officials I spoke to had seen an explanation of what any of the buildings were, and Foxconn declined to provide one to The Verge. When Hintz pointed out that one of the fountain-fronted structures was actually just a photo of a city park in Bradford, England, Foxconn took the video down." The Verge: Foxconn Is Confusing The Hell Out Of Wisconsin. (It's notable that both Foxconn and Wisconsin have the word Con in their names.)


Throne Up

"We've traced the journeys of 11 of the show's main characters who were there in the first episode for what we hope is a helpful guide for this final season — which promises to be the bloodiest final run of a show yet! Like, really: Most of these characters are going to die." Buzzfeed: How 11 Game Of Thrones Characters Made It From The First Season To Its Last. Plus, How to get caught up on Game of Thrones — fast. (Just rewatch the whole series. Compared to the news, it will cheer you up...)

+ Ever heard of BTS? Better get with the program. As SNL is finding out, they're one of the biggest bands in the world, and probably the biggest boy band ever.

+ Halsey went to South Korea to join the boys in the recording of Boy With Luv (a follow up to the smash, Boy in Luv. And the video basically broke the internet.


Feel Good Friday

"Within three states, roughly 350,000 hectares of coastal forest needs to be restored—an area nearly as large as Rhode Island. With about 5,000 trees able to grow in a hectare, that works out to more than a billion trees." Luckily, help is on the way. FastCo: These tree-planting drones are firing seed missiles to restore the world's forests. (This is the first feel good Friday that felt so good it resulted in seed missiles being fired!)

+ Brain zaps boost memory in people over 60. (220, 221. Whatever it takes...)

+ Toddler miraculously survives 6-story fall landing on car.

+ Miracle baby girl was born on top of a mango tree during Cyclone Idai.

+ A 7-Eleven owner caught a teen thief. Instead of calling 911, he asked him why.

+ 20-year-old raising 5 siblings gifted new car from strangers.

+ This couple found a year-old lottery ticket worth $750K in a book – two days before the deadline. (This is why I never allow books in the house...)

+ A Photo Visit to Mount Fanjing. Amazing.

+ And this breaking news from Reuters: Marijuana may improve women's enjoyment of sex.