Call of the Wild

Following the release of the call summary between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky, Americans are playing a country-wide game of telephone. At first reading, the details from the call seem pretty damning, but by the time it passes through partisan filters, it can mean almost anything. Let's cut through the static and call the call what it is. From AP: "President Donald Trump repeatedly prodded Ukraine's new leader to work with the U.S. attorney general and lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden."

+ Adam Schiff: "It is shocking at another level that the White House would release these notes and felt that somehow this would help the president's case or cause. Because what those notes reflect is a classic Mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader." (The Fraudfather?)

+ In case this controversy didn't have you at hello, let WaPo's David Ignatius explain: "Why is this more than just another Trump vs. Democrats mud fight? Because the Ukraine issue is about compromising U.S. national security — and direct pledges to allies — for the president's personal political gain."

+ WaPo: Giuliani pursued shadow Ukraine agenda as key foreign policy officials were sidelined. The sequence ... involved the abrupt removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the circumvention of senior officials on the National Security Council, and the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars of aid administered by the Defense and State departments."

+ WaPo: Acting director of national intelligence threatened to resign if he couldn't speak freely before Congress on whistleblower complaint.

+ Next up, the White House is preparing to release whistleblower complaint to Congress.


No Time to Chill

"The report is a synthesis of the most up-to-date climate science on oceans and ice, and it lays out a stark reality: Ocean surface temperatures have been warming steadily since 1970, and for the past 25 years or so, they've been warming twice as fast."NPR: Earth's Oceans Are Getting Hotter And Higher, And It's Accelerating.

+ Buzzfeed: A new movement of teenage climate activists — most of whom are girls — are getting dragged, doxed, hacked, and harassed online. (Their persistance is pretty heroic...)


Silent Treatment

"The world has been noticeably quiet about Xinjiang, where China has built a vast network of detention camps and systematic surveillance over the past two years in a state-led operation to convert Uighurs into loyal, secular supporters of the Communist Party. Even when diplomats have witnessed the problems firsthand and privately condemned them, they have been reluctant to go public, unable to garner broad support or unwilling to risk financial ties with China." NYT: China Wants the World to Stay Silent on Muslim Camps. It's Succeeding.


Crane U

"As dots on a map, all cranes may look the same. But their impact isn't indiscriminate. Even more than a construction tool, elegant wetland bird, and/or healing origami shape, cranes have become a synecdoche for transformation—telegraphing evolutions both personal and physical, wanted and unwanted." What the ‘Crane Index' Says About Your Changing City.


Juul of Denial

"Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs — maker of the best selling e-cigarette on the US market — has stepped down. He will be replaced by K.C. Crosthwaite, a former executive at Altria, one of the world's largest tobacco producers." With each passing day, Juul, the cigarette-quitting solution, looks a whole lot more like Juul, the cigarette company. Vox: With its new tobacco industry CEO, has Juul become Big Tobacco?

+ WaPo: Massachusetts to ban sale of all vaping products for 4 months in toughest state crackdown.


Alexa, I Think We Need Some Space

Amazon wants Alexa to be with you where ever you go. That point was hammered home with today's release of a slew of new echo-powered products including the Echo Loop (a ring), Echo Buds (noise-cancelling ear buds), and Echo Frames, Amazon's attempt at smartglasses. (I'm not sure I want Alexa sitting on my face.) Wired: Everything Amazon Announced Today, From Speakers to Glasses.


Genius Bar

Legal scholar Danielle Citron focuses "addressing the scourge of cyber harassment by raising awareness of the toll it takes on victims and proposing reforms to combat the most extreme forms of online abuse." Sounds like an important project. Luckily, she and the 25 other recipients of the MacArthur 'Genius' Grant will have an extra $625,000 to pursue their work.


Blotter Polo

"Though his son didn't play water polo, Sloane purchased gear and worked with a graphic designer to create what looked like a photo of an aspiring athlete in action, prosecutors said. An employee of Singer's then created an athletic profile for Sloane's son. Sloane then paid $50,000 directly to USC's women's athletics department, as well as $200,000 to Singer through a bogus charity." The second parent sentenced in the college admissions scandal just got sentenced to four months in prison.


Wasabi Best

"A point-of-care ultrasound, a type of ultrasound used at a patient's bedside for diagnostic purposes, showed some dysfunction in her heart's left ventricle, according to the study, which is consistent with takotsubo cardiomyopathy." A woman mistook wasabi for avocado. The shock led to Broken Heart Syndrome. (I once had that, but it wasn't the wasabi. It was the price of the sushi...)


Bottom of the News

"It's the last day on Earth. You've just heard the news, felt the tremble of the emergency alert on your phone: A meteor, barreling through deep space, will shatter the planet in a few hours, obliterating everything you know. Goodbye to your mom; toodle-oo to your stockpile of oat milk. The only thing left to do is figure out how you want to spend your remaining time." Watching how you react is the latest way Tinder hopes to match you with a perfect date. Wired: Tinder Wants Users to Find Love in the Apocalypse.

+ Thirsty? "You can always reach for a glass of water -- but plain H20 isn't the most hydrating beverage around, according to a study from Scotland's St. Andrews University that compared the hydration responses of several different drinks."

+ WaPo: A man took LSD and fell in a lake at Disneyland Paris. He was found naked and confused hours later. (Coincidentally, I'm looking for a new intern...)