Thursday, July 18th, 2019


How Do You Like Them Apples?

NextDraft will be off tomorrow as my son and I head to ComicCon. Tips and survival strategies appreciated.

"With so much on the line, the enormous launch would have to go flawlessly: 'It's gotta be like the new iPhone.'" What's the big new product being introduced? Insiders know it as the WA 38. It's been in the research and development phase for two decades. And now it's set to fully disrupt an entire industry. Yes, as you might have guessed, it's an Apple. But not an Apple iPhone or an Apple Watch. It's just an apple. "The Cosmic Crisp is debuting on grocery stores after this fall's harvest, and in the nervous lead-up to the launch, everyone from nursery operators to marketers wanted me to understand the crazy scope of the thing: the scale of the plantings, the speed with which mountains of commercially untested fruit would be arriving on the market, the size of the capital risk. People kept saying things like 'unprecedented,' 'on steroids,' 'off the friggin' charts,' and 'the largest launch of a single produce item in American history.'" (Hopefully we're not barking up the wrong tree...)

+ Kids are always told to eat their fruits and vegetables. If they all listened, there'd be big shortages. (In a roundabout way, my kids are saving the planet...)


Stalk Pile

From WaPo's Geoffrey A. Fowler: I found your data. It's for sale. "I've watched you check in for a flight and seen your doctor refilling a prescription. I've peeked inside corporate networks at reports on faulty rockets. If I wanted, I could've even opened a tax return you only shared with your accountant." (Ho hum...)

+ Vox: "All of this sounds bad. And it is, objectively, not great. But if you've already uploaded your photo and there's nothing you can do about it now, it's worth considering how warranted the panic really is." Privacy concerns over the viral Face app is totally valid. But they're also overblown. (Oh well...)

+ NYT: Google and Facebook Are Quietly Tracking You on Sex Websites. (Wait, what!!!?)


Back Burner

AP: "Taking the legislators on one at a time, Trump ticked through a laundry list of what he deemed offensive comments by each woman, mangling and misconstruing many facts along the way. Omar came under the harshest criticism as Trump played to voters' grievances, drawing a chant from the crowd of 'Send her back! Send her back!'" President Trump revelled as his rally crowd called back chants from America's darkest hours, dragging us deeper into a swirling pool of racist tropes that, as we approach the election of 2020, seems without bottom. (Maybe "send her back" refers to the Statue of Liberty. Anyone who chants that doesn't deserve her...)

+ The Atlantic's Adam Serwer nails it: "Omar must be defended, but not because of her views on Israel, gay rights, or progressive taxation. You needn't agree with her on any of those things; in fact, you needn't like her at all. But she must be defended ... This is not about Omar anymore, or the other women of color who have been told by this president to 'go back' to their supposed countries of origin. It is about defending the idea that America should be a country for all its people. If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere." What Americans do now, in the face of this, will define us forever.


Island Hopping Mad

"Ostensibly, the demonstrators were protesting the arrogant and crass exchanges by the governor and his inner circle in a leaked group chat and the corruption of top politicians unveiled by a series of high-profile arrests. But the forceful display amounted to a rejection of decades of scandals and mismanagement involving affluent and disconnected leaders who have time and again benefited at the expense of suffering Puerto Ricans." NYT: Puerto Ricans in Protests Say They've Had Enough.

+ CNN: The latest on the protests in Puerto Rico.


Arson Attack

"A man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation studio in Kyoto, doused it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire Thursday, killing 33 people in an attack that shocked the country and brought an outpouring of grief from anime fans." Japan is reeling from a horrifying attack on an anime studio in Kyoto.


Children of the Corner

"In high-density cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., no group is growing faster than rich college-educated whites without children ... By contrast, families with children older than 6 are in outright decline in these places. In the biggest picture, it turns out that America's urban rebirth is missing a key element: births." Derek Thompson: The Future of the City Is Childless. You can definitely feel this reality in my neck of the woods. "San Francisco has the lowest share of children of any of the largest 100 cities in the US." (Yes, all those little toy scooters are for the adults!)


Not Going Anywhere For Awhile?

Maybe it was the fake passport or the piles of cash or the diamonds found in a safe. Maybe it's just because it's how predators are supposed to be treated (even if they're wealthy and connected). As the most insightful experts predicted, Jeffrey Epstein was denied bail, and must remain behind bars until his sex trafficking trial.


The Voice

"The badgers ignored the sounds of wolves entirely and were mildly concerned by the growls of wolves and bears. But they were profoundly disturbed by human speech, even the genteel tones of some BBC documentaries and a reading of The Wind in the Willows." Ed Yong: Hearing people talk can terrify even top predators such as mountain lions. (Same.)


Ride With Me

"Many individuals struggle to maintain individual, or what is known as intrapersonal, levels of things like motivation, self-control, confidence, and self-efficacy. In such cases, interpersonal support from others — even, in this case, when they are not physically present — can be extremely helpful." The Verge: The future of fitness is together but alone. (I'm pretty sure that's the future of sedentarism as well.)


Bottom of the News

"How Many Times Do the Contestants on Love Island Say 'Like' in an Episode?
We counted, and the results will, like, amaze you. Watch our supercut."

+ A Colombian man trying to sneak more than a pound of cocaine into Spain was caught with the package (poorly) hidden under his toupee.

+ How divided? This divided? Berkeley votes to rename manholes gender-neutral maintenanceholes.

+ The one good thing about the Face App? We finally know what Paul Rudd would look like if he aged like a human.