Thursday, June 6th, 2019


A Day at the Beach

"With silent remembrance and respect, nations honored the fallen and the singular bravery of all Allied troops who sloshed through bloodied water to the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago on D-Day, the assault that portended the fall of Hitler's Third Reich." D-Day at 75: Nations honor veterans, memory of fallen.

+ Some remarkable photos of D-Day from Buzzfeed, the NYT, and the Boston Globe.

+ "The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone." Dwight Eisenhower wrote a letter accepting blame for d-day's failure, just in case.

+ "The forecast was so bad that the German commander in Normandy, Erwin Rommel, felt so sure there wouldn't be an invasion he went home to give his wife a pair of shoes for her 50th birthday. He was in Germany when the news came of the invasion." Ten things you might not know about D-Day. plus, 13 memorable facts about D-Day.

+ What a shame that survivors of D-Day, now in their twilight, have to suffer a President Donald Trump. And what a horror that so many people in America and Europe have forgotten what it looks like when authoritarianism rears its ugly head. Roger Cohen in the NYT: The Donald Thinks D-Day Is About Him. And from WaPo: On D-Day anniversary, ‘America First' doesn't sit well on the beaches of Normandy. "These beaches teach us the steep toll of isolation and America First — and should be perennial reminders that we cannot escape history."

+ We can't escape the present either: Trump slams US veteran Mueller in D-Day interview at Normandy cemetery.


Border Panic Disorder

"What's happening at the border is the result of a regional crisis in which — if current rates continue — close to 1 percent of the entire population of Guatemala and Honduras will attempt to immigrate to the US this year. The Mexican government, meanwhile, is vacillating between humanitarian rhetoric and militarized crackdowns, US border officials are openly begging for help, and Trump himself is throwing the mother of all temper tantrums." Vox: The border is in crisis. Here's how it got this bad.

+ "López Obrador expressed confidence that an agreement could be reached as talks continued Thursday, but did not offer any specifics beyond rejecting the use of force against migrants." AP: Mexico plans border ‘unity' rally.


Bittersweet Chocolate

"About two-thirds of the world's cocoa supply comes from West Africa where, according to a 2015 U.S. Labor Department report, more than 2 million children were engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions. When asked this spring, representatives of some of the biggest and best-known brands — Hershey, Mars and Nestlé — could not guarantee that any of their chocolates were produced without child labor." WaPo: Cocoa's Child Laborers.


Travel Bug

The internet was supposed to mean we never had to leave our homes again. But other forces -- a globally expanding middle class, increased transportation options, and even social media -- have conspired to make this an era of when an unprecedented number of humans are exerting their travel agency. The trend has left some increasingly popular places stuck in a tourist trap. The Atlantic: Too Many People Want to Travel. "If tourism is a capitalist phenomenon, overtourism is its demented late-capitalist cousin: selfie-stick deaths, all-you-can-eat ships docking at historic ports, stag nights that end in property crimes, the live-streaming of the ruination of fragile natural habitats, et cetera. There are just too many people thronging popular destinations."

+ In 1923, George Leigh Mallory said he attempted to climb Everest, "because it's there." More importantly, everyone else wasn't. These days, things have changed. "With crowds, trash, and selfies at its summit, the once untamable mountain has lost its cultural power." Everest Is Over. (I also hear that, towards the top, the WiFi sucks.)

+ You know we're reaching peak travel when a company that makes suitcases is valued at $1.4 billion.



"What we found was actually pretty surprising. We found that most of the plastic is below the surface." NPR: Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain.

+ You don't need to dive deep to be swimming in a pool of plastic. Drinking bottled water will do the trick. CNN: If you drink bottled water, you could double how many microplastic particles you ingest.


R We There Yet?

As R. Kelly pleads not guilty to 11 more sex-related charges, Jim DeRogatis, the journalist who first broke the story of Kelly's misdeeds, reflects on the long road from there to here. "We thought we'd nailed the story. And we thought he would stop hurting young women. And it continues for 19 years after that."

+ Here's an excerpt from DeRogatis' book on the topic: How The Story Of R. Kelly's Sex Cult Finally Went Public — And Quickly Exploded.


Emoluments Claws

"If the industry had written a $1 million check directly to the president's campaign, both the CFSA and campaign could have faced fines or even criminal charges — and Trump couldn't have used the money to enrich himself. But paying $1 million directly to the president's business? That's perfectly legal." ProPublica: How Payday Lenders Spent $1 Million at a Trump Resort — and Cashed In.

+ WaPo: A wealthy Iraqi sheikh who urges a hard-line U.S. approach to Iran spent 26 nights at Trump's D.C. hotel.


Leave the Jack in the Box

"There's no force in the universe more humbling than a flat tire. Here you are, god of combustion engines, cruising effortlessly at 40 miles per hour in your Kia crossover with half a Costco's worth of steamy rotisserie chickens in the back when, bdump bdump bdump. And then the inner monologue begins: Oh no. Not me. This couldn't be happening to me. I drive a gently used 2016 Sorento!" FastCo: Michelin's ingenious new tires ensure you'll never get a flat again.


Endurance Claim

"The ultimate limit of human endurance has been worked out by scientists analysing a 3,000 mile run, the Tour de France and other elite events. They showed the cap was 2.5 times the body's resting metabolic rate, or 4,000 calories a day for an average person."

+ Pregnancy pushes the body nearly as much as extreme endurance sports.


Bottom of the News

"Don't let its reputation for kale salads and acai bowls fool you—Los Angeles is the hole-ly grail for donut devotees. Almost 1,500 independent donut shops dish out these deep-fried delights, which means there are more opportunities for a sugar high here than anywhere else in the country."

+ What do you for an encore when you've already had the top job in the world? Podcast.

+ 46 ice cream trucks are being seized in a New York City crackdown. "To get away with not paying fines, the release said, the operators created dozens of 'shell' companies and systematically re-registered trucks at the Department of Motor Vehicles under the names of different corporations. By the time the city's finance department would try to collect on a debt, there would be no trace of the offending company." (Hopefully, they were at least chocolate shell companies...)