Monday, April 22nd, 2019


There’s No Place Like Homepage

"An eighth grader in McPherson, Kan., joined a classroom walkout in January. In the nearby town of Wellington, high schoolers staged a sit-in. Their parents organized in living rooms, at churches and in the back of machine repair shops. They showed up en masse to school board meetings. In neighborhoods with no political yard signs, homemade signs with dark red slash marks suddenly popped up." What invaded Kansas and was met with such revulsion that it drove both sit-ins and walkouts? Software. Specifically, educational software developed by Facebook engineers and funded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The NYT's Nellie Bowles: Silicon Valley Came to Kansas Schools. That Started a Rebellion. The big question is whether the problem is software, or this software.


Cap Tabled

"For the first time in decades, capitalism's future is a subject of debate among presidential hopefuls and a source of growing angst for America's business elite. In places such as Silicon Valley, the slopes of Davos, Switzerland, and the halls of Harvard Business School, there is a sense that the kind of capitalism that once made America an economic envy is responsible for the growing inequality and anger that is tearing the country apart." WaPo: Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich.

+ Bob Iger's "compensation was 1,424 times that of the median Disney employee. For Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Disney cofounder Roy Disney, that level of pay is 'insane.' Moreover, she says, executive pay at that level has 'had a corrosive effect on society.'"


Sri Lanka Terror Attacks

"Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo's Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services. Blasts also rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country's capital." Nearly 300 people are confirmed dead following a series of bombings in Sri Lanka. BBC: International network linked to bombings.

+ "Denmark's richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka." Here's the latest from The Guardian, including a grieving father sharing news that his wife and children were killed in one of the blasts. "Following reports in the media over the past 36 hours, my family and I wish to confirm that my wife Anita, our son Alex (age 14) and our daughter Annabel (age 11) were killed in the bombing of the restaurant of the Shangri-la Hotel."


Comic Sans Precedent

"The comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won a landslide victory in Ukraine's presidential election, according to official results with nearly all of the votes counted, making a comic actor with no experience in government or the military the commander in chief of a country that has been at war with Russian proxies for over five years ... Mr. Zelensky's victory will give Ukraine its first Jewish leader and deliver a stinging rebuke to a political and business establishment." NYT: Ukraine Election: Volodymyr Zelensky, TV Comedian, Trounces President. (Some countries elect comedians. Others elect hecklers.)


Record Keeping

"Trump and the Trump Organization filed suit Monday to stop the House Oversight Committee -- chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland -- from obtaining financial records from Mazars, an accounting firm that Trump used to prepare financial statements. The committee subpoenaed for 10 years' worth of Trump's financial records." CNN: Trump, sons sue to block House Democrats from obtaining his financial records.

+ "The effort involves scores of high-powered businessmen, lobbyists and former ambassadors who raised big money for George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney — and who are now preparing to tap their expansive networks for Trump after rebuffing his first presidential bid." Politico: Trump wins over big donors who snubbed him in 2016.


Law and Border

"This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families. Today's arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes." Buzzfeed: The FBI has arrested the leader of an armed militia detaining migrants at the border.


Dreamliner Notes

"Workers have filed nearly a dozen whistle-blower claims and safety complaints with federal regulators, describing issues like defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations. Others have sued Boeing, saying they were retaliated against for flagging manufacturing mistakes." Yes, this is a investigative report about shoddy production at Boeing. But it's not about the 737 Max. NYT: Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet.


Wink Blots

"Kahn has won 114 national and world Tiddlywinks titles. Lockwood has won 41. 'Larry is the Ali,' Lockwood concedes. But their rivalry is a friendly one, and when they're not competing against one another, they make a formidable pair. As a duo, they've won five international titles together." NPR: World Tiddlywinks Champions Look To Reclaim Their Glory.

+ Baltimore Sun: With stunning victory, Towson University can finally celebrate a national title — in dodgeball.


All the World’s a Stage

In the New Yorker, Laurence Scott provides A History of the Influencer, from Shakespeare to Instagram: "Influence is a challenge to sovereignty, both political and personal; to admit to being influenced is to give up the attractive idea that, as individuals or societies, we are entirely self-contained. The elusive quality of influence—the difficulty we encounter when we try to identify its sources or measure its effects—is equally destabilizing. Influence works best when it's wielded obscurely, in the shadows and behind the scenes." (This above all: to thine own self be true.)


Bottom of the News

"Before games, in his office, he can be found watching the Food Network. Sommeliers and restaurateurs claim to owe their careers to the man. As absurd as it seems, one of the greatest basketball coaches in history might be more revered in the culinary world." ESPN: Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs' dynasty.

+ Historic Kentucky barns are being stripped by thieves to fuel farmhouse-chic trend.

+ Gorillas pose for selfie with DR Congo anti-poaching unit.