Wednesday, October 12th, 2022


A Lawyer Joke

After 23 years and the coverage provided by the most downloaded podcast of all time, Baltimore prosecutors dropped charges against Adnan Syed, due to the results on never-before-tested DNA from the victim's shoes. Obviously, most cases don't get the attention of a podcast series like Serial and most of those wrongly imprisoned stay in jail. In The Atlantic, Jake Tapper describes one of many such cases where a suspect who can't afford a good lawyer is given without the time or interest (or either) to provide adequate representation. As much as anything else, this is the story of American justice. How Bad Can a Lawyer Be? "Readers will draw their own conclusions about what happened on the night of September 25, 2011. My father and I have drawn ours. There is certainly reasonable doubt—an excess of reasonable doubt—that Rice committed the crimes of which he was accused. But what happened after that night is not open to argument: Rice lacked legal representation worthy of the name. And as he has discovered, the law provides little recourse for those undermined by a lawyer. The constitutional 'right to counsel' has become an empty guarantee."


Brain Storm

"Though he was competitive in practices, he never played in an N.F.L. regular-season game and the Titans parted ways with him once his contract was up. He tried to make the Pittsburgh Steelers' roster but was cut before the 2012 season. Not yet ready to quit football, he returned home, to New Jersey, where he languished until his mother, Beverly, shook him out of his funk." She reminded him of plan B, and he went from bashing in brains to repairing them. NYT (Gift Article): It's Never Too Late to Pivot From N.F.L. Safety to Neurosurgeon. (My plan was almost the exact opposite. If the newsletter thing didn't work out, I was going to be Tom Brady.)


Mall Rat

A jury in Alabama awarded Roy Moore more than eight million dollars in a defamation case similar to others he had brought (and lost) against those who referenced the fact that he had once been banned from a mall for hitting on teen girls. But was he defamed, or is this just another attack on the media? Charles Bethea in The New Yorker: Roy Moore Was Banned from the Mall but Won His Defamation Suit.


Chinese Fake-Out

"This particular approach to internet speak — substituting words that sound like or are spelled like others — has been an essential part of being online in China for decades, allowing netizens to use the humor and cleverness of spoken Mandarin to dodge censorship." Rest of World: How Chinese citizens use puns to get past internet censors. (I gotta come out with a Mandarin version of NextDraft!)


Extra, Extra

In Shape For Things to Come: "Residents of Kyiv are doing everything from riding their bikes to build stamina to taking marksmanship courses to prepare for the future. At least one upmarket gym has launched multiday classes on combat training and physical fitness." Cross training in Kyiv crosses fitness with military drills. The Office Workers of Kyiv Hit the CrossFit Gym—for Weapons Training.

+ Symbolic ACT: "Scores on the ACT college admissions test by this year's high school graduates hit their lowest point in more than 30 years — the latest evidence of the enormity of learning disruption during the pandemic."

+ Pitched Battle: "A former Los Angeles Angels employee was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Tuesday for providing Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs the drugs that led to his overdose death in Texas ... A coroner's report said Skaggs, 27, had choked to death on his vomit and that a toxic mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone was in his system." So this guy gets 22 years and the Sacklers get nothing.

+ In Like Print: "As the midterm elections approach, physical copies of what appears to be a regional Arizona news publication are showing up on voters' doorstep." Not satisfied with lying on the Internet, big money donors are now publishing fake print newspapers.

+ Blame the Messenger: "A New Orleans attorney who represents victims of clerical sexual abuse faces a $400,000 fine after alerting a local Catholic high school that a priest who worked there once admitted to fondling and kissing a teen girl he met at another church institution." No, you're not reading that wrong. You're more likely to get punished for calling out one of these creeps than for being one.

+ Yeah, They Were All Fellow: An ornithologist, a cellist and a human rights activist: Here's a look at the 2022 MacArthur Fellows.


Bottom of the News

"A lot of people think I'm burning millions of dollars of art but I'm not, I'm completing the transformation of these physical artworks into nfts by burning the physical versions ... the value of art digital or physical which is hard to define at the best of times will not be lost it will be transferred to the nft as soon as they are burnt." Damien Hirst just burned 1,000 of his paintings and will soon burn thousands more. (Someone needs to figure out a way to burn NFTs.)

+ Kodak is Hiring Film Technicians: ‘We Cannot Keep Up with Demand.' (I knew digital photography was just a fad.)