Thursday, November 18th, 2021


Blockchain Reaction

"Group bids for big-ticket collectibles aren't new. But ConstitutionDAO is a particularly quixotic example of what's known as a 'decentralized autonomous organization,' a kind of internet-native co-op that is governed with cryptocurrency tokens and blockchain-based 'smart contracts' instead of traditional corporate boards and bylaws ... A successful bid for the Constitution would likely be the largest purchase by a DAO. And it would signal that these groups could extend their reach beyond digital goods and into more traditional markets." Kevin Roose in the NYT (Gift Article, No Crypto Required): They Love Crypto. They're Trying to Buy the Constitution. 'How a "financial flash mob" is trying to raise $20 million for a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution.' (Given how little the Constitution is being respected these days, they might be overpaying...) On their site, the group says, "We're buying the constitution and it will be governed by the people." I'm old enough to remember when the people were governed by it.


Gosar Yourself

"Just minutes after being censured by the US House, the Republican congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona retweeted the violent video that depicts him murdering Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York." He later deleted it. But it's a reminder that these issues are legal for one side and marketing opportunities for the other.


Bombshell Report

"In the last days of the battle against the Islamic State in Syria, when members of the once-fierce caliphate were cornered in a dirt field next to a town called Baghuz, a U.S. military drone circled high overhead, hunting for military targets. But it saw only a large crowd of women and children huddled against a river bank. Without warning, an American F-15E attack jet streaked across the drone's high-definition field of vision and dropped a 500-pound bomb on the crowd, swallowing it in a shuddering blast. As the smoke cleared, a few people stumbled away in search of cover. Then a jet tracking them dropped one 2,000-pound bomb, then another, killing most of the survivors." NYT (Gift Article): How the U.S. Hid an Airstrike That Killed Dozens of Civilians in Syria. (You can hide these strikes from Americans. But you can't hide them from those on the ground. And you can't win hearts and minds by killing them.)


Julius Easer

"Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt used his authority to spare the life of Julius Jones on Thursday, just hours before his scheduled execution that had drawn widespread outcry and protests over doubts about his guilt in the slaying of a businessman more than 20 years ago." In a case that's been heavily watched and protested, Oklahoma governor grants clemency, spares Julius Jones' life.


You Haul

"In the name of speedy customer service, unbridled growth and rapid-fire 'invention on behalf of customers' – in the name of delighting you – Amazon had given broad swathes of its global workforce extraordinary latitude to tap into customer data at will." Will Evans for Reveal and Wired: Inside Amazon's Failures to Protect Your Data: Internal Voyeurs, Bribery Scandals and Backdoor Schemes.

+ New Starbucks Pickup store in NYC uses Amazon Go cashierless technology. (This seems like a pretty venti deal.)



"I'm not ashamed to say that I actually prayed over what is the appropriate sentence in this case because there was great pain. There was great harm. There were multiple crimes committed in the case." So said Matthew J. Murphy III of Niagara, NY, just before handing out a pretty shocking sentence. NYT: Judge Spares Man in Teen Rape Case: ‘Incarceration Isn't Appropriate.' (Might want to pray over this one a bit longer.)



"The current American political debate is profound, whether about education or welfare or economic opportunity ... It is crucial that conservatives play an active, forceful role in that debate, but that will not happen if President Trump stays focused on the past. The past is the past, and the country is now in a contest to define the future." That's from Rupert Murdoch. I'll just leave it at that, other than to say it's pretty clear Rupert is watching this season's Succession.


Life of Brian

"It started as a vocal booth ... Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, soon converted the booth into what several people who dated and worked with him now describe as a solitary-confinement cell used to psychologically torture women. They say Warner frequently banished his girlfriends there, keeping them inside for hours on end to punish them for the tiniest perceived transgressions. He called it the 'Bad Girls' Room.'" Rolling Stone: Marilyn Manson: The Monster Hiding in Plain Sight.


Semi-Charmed Kinda Life

"The woman was the only person in the Nissan Altima when the vehicle was sandwiched between two semitrucks on the Skagit River Bridge. The semitruck in front of the Nissan slowed down because of traffic, and the driver of the passenger car also slowed, Oliphant said. But the semitruck behind the Nissan was unable to stop in time and struck the passenger car. The impact pushed the Nissan forward into the other semitruck, causing the car to fold, Oliphant said. The semitruck behind the car came to rest on top of it." This doesn't sound, or look, like a crash someone would walk away from. But that's what happened.


Bottom of the News

"This year, I was offered $20 million ... I said no. I'm sorry; if I sell it, it's gone forever." The story of the Bay Area man who still runs the first-ever Round Table Pizza.

+ Cool video: How Bowling Balls Are Made.

+ In China, a man was banned from all-you-can-eat BBQ for eating too much. (This is why I spread my visits to the Sizzler across multiple locations.)

+ Kids in Vermont got to name some of the state's snowplows. (Given what they came up with, I may have to hire some of them to be NextDraft interns.)