April 13th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Ice Cream Rises to the Top, Leak Arrest

Food studies are some of the most frustrating content to consume. You never know who is backing them: Is big sugar behind the negative reports about sugar substitutes? Did booze sellers convince us that a drink or two a day was beneficial to our health? The only thing you can be certain of is that the healthy eating fad of today will be soon be linked to an early death. The Atlantic’s David Merritt Johns found what could be the most controversial (and most hopeful) food study of them all: that ice cream is good for you in the most surprising ways. Was this the ultimate scoop or just another study that needed to be scooped up after? Was this the breaking of the cone of silence, a piercing of the magic shell, a sher-bet, or just more of the same a la modus operandi from health researchers looking to push some ice cream novelties? Nutrition Science’s Most Preposterous Result. “There’s a thing that happens when you start writing a story about how maybe, possibly, believe it or not, ice cream might be sort of good for you, and how some of the world’s top nutritionists gathered evidence supporting that hypothesis but found reasons to look past it. You begin to ask yourself: Am I high on my own ice-cream supply?” I’m a Softee for this kind of news, so whether it’s real or not, I drink your milkshake.


Domestic Discord

“A member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard was arrested by the FBI on Thursday in connection with the leaking of classified documents that have been posted online.” FBI arrests suspect in connection with intelligence leaks. (Wow, that didn’t take long…) “The leaker is described in the Post story as a lonely young man and gun enthusiast who was part of a chatroom of about two dozen people on Discord – a social media platform popular with video gamers – that shared a love of guns and military gear, according to a friend of the alleged leaker.”


Murdoch, He Wrote

If you’re suffering from a midweek jones for a new episode of Succession, you can spend some time reading about the real family that at least partly inspired the show. “The central fault line remains the rift between James and Lachlan. According to sources, the brothers no longer speak. James is horrified by Fox News and tells people the network’s embrace of climate denialism, white nationalism, and stolen election conspiracies is a menace to American democracy. But to overthrow Lachlan and get control of Fox, James needs Elisabeth and Prudence to back him—and that is hardly assured.” Gabriel Sherman in Vanity Fair: Inside Rupert Murdoch’s Succession Drama. “With the $1.6 billion Dominion lawsuit threatening to hobble Fox News, the ink on his divorce to Jerry Hall still wet, and his broken engagement to Ann Lesley Smith even fresher, it’s been a chaotic 12 months for the 92-year-old conservative media baron. As Fox and family insiders tell it, this could just be the beginning.” (Let’s hope it all goes as poorly as possible.)


It’s Not TV. (It’s Not HBO, either)

Warner Bros. Discovery has unveiled the name of its consolidated streaming service formerly known as HBO and HBO Max. It will soon be called, Max. Yes, they’re completely dropping the longstanding HBO brand. I’m not sure there’s a Max Plus on the way, but there will be a Max Ultimate level.

+ “Warner Bros. Discovery is sticking with safe bet franchises that will likely lure viewers, including a ‘Harry Potter’ series and a ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel for its rebranded Max streaming service.” (Maybe they’ll change Harry Potter’s name to Max Potter.)


Extra, Extra

Tech Arrest: “Mission Local is informed that the San Francisco Police Department early this morning made an arrest in the April 4 killing of tech executive Bob Lee, following an operation undertaken outside the city’s borders. The alleged killer also works in tech and is a man Lee purportedly knew.” (Everyone was sure that this sad story was about a random act of violence representative of the urban violence that had overtaken San Francisco. The addiction to having an immediate take, even among those with all the attention in the world, is a cultural scourge.)

+ Pillfered Rights: “A federal appeals court ruled that the abortion pill mifepristone can still be used for now but restored restrictions on the drug in a decision that the Justice Department said Thursday it would swiftly challenge at the Supreme Court … a divided three-judge panel reduced the period of pregnancy when the drug can be taken and said it could not be dispensed by mail.” Meanwhile, women in choice-less states are going to great lengths, and great distances, to get the drug. NYT: Inside the Online Market for Overseas Abortion Pills.

+ Read the Emmanuel: “To be blunt, if it weren’t for US leadership, intelligence, and weapons, the Russians would be sipping tea in Lviv.” Macron’s Taiwan remarks are a big win for China. (He’s really not great at the geopolitical stuff.)

+ Permanent Deuce: “WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in an interview with The Associated Press that while what he sought was never delivered — a chance for someone from the tour to meet with Peng, along with a full and transparent investigation into the Grand Slam doubles champion’s accusations — the decision was made, with input from player and tournament representatives, to return to the country.” Women’s tennis tour ends Peng Shuai-inspired China boycott.

+ Head First: “The first quarterback-specific helmet designed to help reduce concussions has been approved for use by the NFL and NFLPA.”

+ Navalny Poisoned? “Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in failing health because of a new suspected poisoning and is back in a punishment cell after a few days in regular confinement.” (Putin never pays a price for murdering opponents, or thousands of civilians, so why would he stop?)

+ No Irish Goodbye: “Mr Biden said he has returned to his ancestral home and his only wish was that he could stay longer.In his speech to a joint sitting of the Oireachtas (both houses of the Irish parliament), he spoke of his pride in his Irish roots and support for the peace process in Northern Ireland.” Joe Biden in Ireland: President says ‘I’m at home.’

+ She Swung the Sixties: “Only the Beatles are more closely tied to the legend that is London’s swinging 60s than Mary Quant. If the Fab Four wrote the soundtrack, Quant designed the look.” Equal parts practical and daring: how Mary Quant created look for a new way of living.


Bottom of the News

“Did you know if you hold an ermine up to your ear, you can hear what it’s like to be attacked by an ermine?” These are the kind of useful tips one can get from the National Park social media voices. WaPo (Gift Article): 8 hilarious but true wildlife tips from the National Park Service.

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