Friday, August 2nd, 2019


Haute or Not

Can the woke generation remake Playboy for modern times? (Why they'd want to is a question for another time.) According the NYT, magazine fans can expect "a newer, woke-er, more inclusive Playboy — if you believe what company executives tell you, and if you are inclined to give an aging brand yet another chance at reinvention." This time around, the covers and centerfolds will be less dirty and more metaphorical (finally, something to turn on an old English major like me.) "In his office, Shane Singh, Playboy's executive editor, explained that the underwater photo shoot, to be photographed that weekend, was for the magazine's cover — but not in the way that older, leering readers might expect. 'The water is meant to represent gender and sexual fluidity,' Mr. Singh said." (Yeah, and the bunny ears are meant to represent animal rights...) At least when Millennials say they just read Playboy for the articles, they'll actually mean it...


Some Very Fine People on Both Sides

At Trump's latest rally, The Atlantic's Elaina Plott found a lot of attendees who say, We're All Tired of Being Called Racists. "When I asked Roseanna and Amy whether they would join in a 'Send her back!' chant were it to take place that night, both women said no, but out of deference to Trump. 'He apologized for that, so I think us as Trump supporters will respect him for that,' Roseanna said. She then shared her thoughts on the chant's target, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who came to America as a refugee from Somalia. 'Look, but she is gonna get—you know, I don't want her stinkin' Muslim crap in my country."


Weekend Whats

What to Watch: Rick Rubin is one of the most successful music producers across several different genres. He's also a major trip, as is Showtime's four part docuseries featuring a "creative conversation and the emotional side of music-making." During the first episode, I really wasn't sure if I was watching a documentary or a parody. By the third episode, I wanted to cut an album at Rubin's iconic Malibu studio known as Shangri-La. (I don't advocate consumption of recreational drugs, but if you take them already, take them before watching this.)

+ What to Read: I don't surf. But I've long been obsessed with surfing movies, surfing stories, surfing clothes, and the whole surfing vibe. And I am absolutely loving Willaim Finnegan's Pulitzer Prize winning memoir Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.

+ What to Stream: There are a lot of excellent acts at this year's Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. And there's no better way to enjoy a massive, crowded music festival than from your own couch. YouTube's streaming of the event is live all weekend.


Artificial Intelligence

WaPo: Trump's pick to lead U.S. intelligence claims he arrested 300 illegal immigrants in a single day. He didn't. That's the first WaPo headline on the topic. Here's the next one: Ratcliffe withdraws from consideration for intelligence chief.

+ President Trump moved to calm the nerves of the international community with a series of tweets about North Korea's latest missile tests. "He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!"

+ "His unlikely path to Sweden is the result of two ultra-famous celebrities having a direct line to Mr. Trump, a commander-in-chief who has been otherwise shunned by the entertainment elite." NYT: Trump's Hostage Envoy Takes On an Unlikely Case: A$AP Rocky.

+ NYT: Pentagon Delays Award of $10 Billion Cloud Computing Contract. "The development was evidence of how what began as a technological competition to remake the military's aging, often incompatible computer systems now seems to have taken on a political and possibly personal element driven by Mr. Trump." (Editor's note: Just delete the word possibly and let's run the story...)

+ Bloomberg: Trump Calls Hong Kong Protests ‘Riots,' Adopting China Rhetoric.

+ Asked about Mueller's warning that Russia is continuing to interfere with U.S. elections, Pres. Trump answered, "You don't really believe this. Do you believe this?" (Believe this: This is a few hours of Trump news, and I had to be very selective to pare it down this much.)


Chokehold Up

"The judge's determination and the NYPD commissioner's ultimate decision on Pantaleo's fate are the final steps in the five-year-long case that sparked massive protests across the country, inspired in part by Garner's last words, 'I can't breathe!' It turned into a rallying cry in the Black Lives Matter movement." The NYPD Has Suspended The Officer Who Killed Eric Garner With A Chokehold. (This process has taken five years...)


Temp Job

"Greenland is the biggest contributor to sea level rise, which threatens to destroy property value in coastal regions, displace residents and eventually impact global markets." And Greenland is melting. CNBC: Extreme ice melt in Greenland threatens coastal communities across the world. Here are some photos and a video to go along with the story.


Garage Door

"For the next two years I would track down the people, documents and scientific evidence I needed to understand how an ordinary Mexican teenager lost his humanity after crossing the border, kept alive by a system that didn't care enough to learn his name. Finding Garage's name turned out to be the easy part." Joanne Faryon in the LA Times: He'd been kept alive with tubes for nearly 17 years. Who is he, and is it possible he's conscious?


Better Off Ed

"Pollstar confirms the 28-year-old British singer's tour will set the all-time highest-grossing tour record with Friday's show in Hannover, Germany." Ed Sheeran sets all-time highest-grossing tour record at nearly $737 million. (What this story doesn't mention is that Sheeran plays alone on stage, using a variety of looping techniques to give himself a full band sound. So that $737 million doesn't have to be spread out that much...)


Milk Duds?

Bloomberg: Oatly's Path to Alt‑Milk World Domination Starts in New Jersey.

+ "Almonds had been done, so I thought: ‘What if we did something that's an equity story for an equity product,' and no one had done anything with bananas." Quartz: Banana milk has officially entered the dairy wars. (So you can either feel your oats or milk your banana?)


Feel Good Friday

"Ethiopians planted 353 million trees in 12 hours, part of a 4 billion tree-planting campaign to fight deforestation and climate change."

+ California professors install seesaws along U.S.-Mexico border wall.

+ Plastic bag sales in England halved in past year.

+ An Irish teenager just won $50,000 for his project focusing on extracting micros-plastics from water.

+ This 8-year-old is selling dozens of his paintings to benefit Austin's homeless.

+ Dolphin mom adopts whale calf—a first. But what happens when the kid is big enough to easily dominate the parent? (My kids are half-Samoan, so this is a recurring question for me.)

+ Boy born without a hand meets a soccer player just like him. What a photo...

+ Buzzfeed: 16 Good Things That Happened This Week.

+ And if you missed it earlier in the week, the feel goodest thing in recent internet memory: Lizzo: Tiny Desk Concert.