Extra, Extra

Sight Unseen: “Here is a non-exhaustive list of things that have been blamed for nearsightedness: pregnancy, pipe smoking, brown hair, long heads, bulging eyes, too much fluid in the eyes, not enough fluid in the eyes, muscle spasms, social class … Ask people today and they’re likely to blame smartphones and video games. Before that, it was sitting too close to the television and reading under the covers with a flashlight. Those activities all come under the broad umbrella of ‘near work’—using your eyes to look at something close to your face—which had been the leading scapegoat for myopia for centuries.” The latest thinking is the problem has to do with not getting outdoors enough. Whatever it is, it’s getting worse. Wired: The World is Going Blind. Taiwan Offers a Warning, and a Cure.

+ There’s a Coup Sheriff in Town: “The sheriff is supposed to be protecting the public from evil … When your government is evil or out of line, that’s what the sheriff is there for, protecting them from that.” A right-wing sheriffs group that challenges federal law is gaining acceptance around the country.

+ Hell and High Water: “The incident is causing a political uproar, the latest in a long-running debate over how Hawaii’s water is doled out among the state’s competing interests — real estate companies, large farms, tourism facilities and residents.” NYT (Gift Article): Lahaina Fire Prompts a Shift in Maui’s Long-Running Water Fights. (The more the climate stresses the planet, the more water will become central to the fight.)

+ Cable Car Rescue: Incredible scenes as, “after a 14-hour ordeal, all eight people, including six children and two adults, who were stranded on a cable car dangling hundreds of feet over a valley in northwest Pakistan have been rescued.”

+ Can You Be More Pacific? “The case was a harbinger of China’s ambitions in the wider Pacific as well as its willingness to conduct investigations and project its police powers overseas, sometimes with little regard for local authorities. But the case also became a catalyst for Fiji to stand up to Beijing and assert its sovereignty.” WaPo: China hoped Fiji would be a template for the Pacific. Its plan backfired. (This effort has been repeated across the South Pacific.)

+ Cutter’s Curveball: “Has Wirecutter changed meaningfully since its inception in 2011? The people who helped build the site and write its most popular articles certainly think so.” Charlie Warzel in The Atlantic (Gift Article): What Happened to Wirecutter. (What happened to the whole damn internet?)

+ Keep Calm and Sha’Carri On: “I’m not back. I’m better.” Sha’Carri Richardson caps comeback by winning 100-meter title at worlds. “On a sultry Monday night a half-world away from where her problems began, the 23-year-old earned a gold medal at world championships in the biggest 100-meter race this side of the Olympics.”

+ It’s By Design: FastCo’s got a good list of the best designs of the year.

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