May 25th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The Glitch Not Heard 'Round the World, Tina Turner Tributes

Ron DeSantis’ campaign slogan is the semi-plagiarized line, Great American Comeback. It might have been better to go with Can You Hear Me Now? His campaign launch on Twitter wasn’t quite the mic drop moment he had hoped for. He got audio drops and technical glitches instead. Maybe DeSantis and Musk should have hosted their show on Truth Social servers? Back in the early 1930s, FDR delivered a series of radio addresses known as the fireside chats. Nearly a century later, delivering a political message via audio shouldn’t have been that hard to pull off. (On the plus side, after yesterday’s technical disasters, maybe Ron DeSantis will be in favor of allowing engineers to unionize.)

As I explained yesterday, DeSantis was the co-star in his own campaign launch and this whole story is much more about Elon Musk and Twitter.”Musk is the poster child for people who can’t stop posting. He’s a power broker for our era—one who operates not in the shadows but while taking a never-ending selfie.”

But it’s worth taking note of the DeSantis sound checkmate, not because it’s necessarily a big deal how a campaign launches (this glitch in time will soon be drowned out by the news cycle), but rather because of the way the campaign debut is being covered. The headlines hammer home the fact that when it comes to politics, we cover style over substance, the show over the tell, and the form over the function (except when the function turns to dysfunction). Hence, we end up with the kind of leaders currently dominating the American political (four seasons total) landscape. Consider these headlines from a wide variety of news outlets.

The Verge: Elon Musk fails to launch Ron DeSantis in disastrous Twitter Space. NYT: Elon Musk’s Event With Ron DeSantis Exposes Twitter’s Weaknesses. CNN: Glitches, echoes and ‘melting the servers’ crash DeSantis’ campaign launch on Twitter. The Guardian: Outages, garbled audio: DeSantis’s 2024 launch marred by Twitter tech meltdown. WaPo: Twitter repeatedly crashes as DeSantis tries to make presidential announcement. USA Today: DeSantis’ presidential announcement on Twitter plagued by technical problems. Bloomberg: DeSantis Campaign Debut on Twitter Faces Technical Glitches. NPR: Ron DeSantis debuts presidential bid in a glitch-ridden Twitter ‘disaster.’ WSJ: Elon Musk’s Twitter Event With Ron DeSantis Hits Technical Issues. TMZ: Twitter Campaign Announcement a Mess … Disaster Unfolds as Servers Overload. CNBC: Twitter glitches plague Ron DeSantis’ much-hyped presidential announcement with Elon Musk. Time: Awkward Glitches, Long Silences, and Hold Music: Ron DeSantis’ Disastrous Twitter Launch. Jon Stewart. “It’d be like if the escalator had just stopped halfway down…”

Maybe if the Trump escalator had stopped halfway down, that moment would have received even more attention than the extensive coverage it got at the time. And sadly, that relates to the aspect of the DeSantis launch that may be the most important. The technical glitches meant the Twitter event got more coverage than it may have otherwise. Through all the static, DeSantis and Musk still won the battle for attention. What the headlines actually said don’t matter any more than the stuff you couldn’t hear DeSantis say. All that matters is that you’re listening.


Take Me To Your Leader

“Oath Keepers extremist group founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced on Thursday to 18 years in prison for orchestrating a weekslong plot that culminated in his followers attacking the U.S. Capitol in a bid to keep President Joe Biden out of the White House after winning the 2020 election.” So it turns out that seditious conspiracy against the United States is a crime worthy of a serious punishment. Let’s keep moving up the chain of command.

+ “An Arkansas man who propped his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in a widely circulated photo from the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison.”


N Sync

There are arguments for and against AI and much debate about how it will change society. But one thing’s for sure. It’s coming and it’s coming fast. How do we know? Follow the money. Nvidia is the leading chipmaker when it comes to AI, and the company just announced earnings yesterday. How did it go? From Quartz: “Chipmaker Nvidia’s upbeat earnings gave its stock a boost unprecedented in the company’s history and in the history of the US stock market.”

+ Nvidia stuns markets and signals how artificial intelligence could reshape technology sector.

+ “As recently as two years ago, AI created robotic text riddled with errors. Images were tiny, pixelated and lacked artistic appeal. The mere suggestion that AI might one day rival human capability and talent drew ridicule from academics.” So what happened? WaPo (Gift Article): See why AI like ChatGPT has gotten so good, so fast.


Public Dancer

She went from Nutbush City Limits to becoming simply one of the best entertainers of her era. And her personal story was as much a part of her public life as her songs. The Guardian: Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83. “After two decades of working with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, she struck out alone and – after a few false starts – became one of the defining pop icons of the 1980s with the album Private Dancer. Her life was chronicled in three memoirs, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and in 2021, the acclaimed documentary film, Tina.”

+ Rolling Stone: Tina Turner Was Open About Her Abuse. Now Her Legacy Is Saving Survivors.

+ A public person in a private country: Tina Turner reveled in ‘normal’ life in her Swiss home.

+ 10 simply the best songs and the stories behind them. (Fun fact: Private Dancer was originally a Dire Straits song written by Mark Knopfler, but the band decided not to use it.)


Extra, Extra

Sonic Booms: “I am an aerospace engineer who studies space and defense systems, including hypersonic systems. These new systems pose an important challenge due to their maneuverability all along their trajectory. Because their flight paths can change as they travel, defending against these missiles requires tracking them throughout their flight.” They’re also fast. Like, unimaginably fast. The Conversation: China’s hypersonic missiles threaten US power in the Pacific – an aerospace engineer explains how the weapons work and the unique threats they pose.

+ Cable News Neglect: CNN’s numbers have been terrible since the Trump town hall. Last week, the network averaged just 429,000 total daily viewers. (That’s not even enough to bring down Twitter’s servers.)

+ Yellowstone Cold: Yellowstone baby bison put to death after visitor picks it up, leading herd to reject it. “The calf became separated from its mother when the herd crossed the Lamar River in northeastern Yellowstone on Saturday. The unidentified man pushed the struggling calf up from the river and onto a roadway, park officials said in a news release. Human interference with young wildlife can cause animals to shun their offspring. Park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the calf with the herd but were unsuccessful.”

+ Call Me Maybe (Not): “Attorneys general across the U.S. joined in a lawsuit against a telecommunications company accused of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the national Do Not Call Registry.” Texts and calls have gotten worse than email spam ever was.

+ Joint Venture: “If confirmed, it would be the first time in US history that both of the Defense Department’s top leaders – the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs – are African American.” Biden nominates Air Force Gen. C.Q. Brown as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

+ Mall Ball: “It’s a well-timed match. Malls have been floundering for years with landlords struggling to figure out what to do with their empty storefronts. And one of the communities most desperate for space is pickleball players, whose sport has become extremely popular but who have few places to actually play.” Pickleball Is Taking Over Empty Bed Bath & Beyonds. (Kitchen rules still apply.)


Bottom of the News

“The residence at 11222 Dilling Street doesn’t exactly look like the original. In 2018, it was purchased by HGTV for $3.5 million and became the focus of a remodeling series that aired in 2019 dubbed A Very Brady Renovation. The original cast was in on the transformation, along with Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott. Altogether, the network put roughly $2 million worth of upgrades into the project, and the spread today can be yours for a cool $5.5 million.” The Brady Bunch House is for sale. (That sounds a bit expensive. I’m gonna look into getting the Partridge Family bus instead…)

+ Woman arrested after making salad a worth $500 in closed Georgia restaurant. That’s a lot of green.

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