Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

Nasty And Brutish: A Scandal In Colorado Reveals That Bullying Bros Still Plague University Philosophy Departments
Rebecca Schuman, Slate | Philos-bros | February 9, 2014

On Friday, the University of Colorado–Boulder released a scathing report from an independent investigating team about sexual misconduct in one of its top humanities programs, the department of philosophy. The report, commissioned, it seems, under the misguided assumption that its findings would remain private, details a female-unfriendly environment of sexual harassment that could be fodder for a sequel to The Wolf of Wall Street, if only philosophers made any money...

This Picture Has Creationists Terrified
Chris Mooney, Mother Jones | This Picture Has Creationists Terrified | February 4, 2014

This evening, Bill Nye the Science Guy will debate creationist leader Ken Ham at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Tickets to the event sold out in just two minutes, according to the museum (though you will be able to stream the debate live here). So how will Nye fare in this lion's den? The evidence for evolution is overwhelming, but debating it successfully against a creationist armed with "facts" of his own is another matter. It's about style as much as substance, and Nye, an entertainer, may fare better than an average scientist in this regard.

We don't know how Nye will argue his case. But if you want to clinch the argument for evolution with one compelling piece of evidence—and with one single image—you (and Nye) probably want to choose the one above. Here's why...

William S. Burroughs At 100: Exploding Five Major Myths
Davis Schneiderman, The Huffington Post | Exploding Burroughs Myths | February 4, 2014

Whether as novelist, essayist, painter, filmmaker, recording artist, mystic, expatriate, psychological patient, Scientologist, Beat progenitor, plagiarist, punk music godfather, anti-censorship activist, queer hero, science-fiction guru, junkie, media theorist, advertising model -- or accidental murderer -- the figure of Burroughs (1914-1997) casts as many shadows as the limits of each of these labels...


Crawling Home
Robert O. Leaver | I Crawl Home | February 4, 2014

Mr. Leaver is crawling the length of Manhattan. You can read about it here.

Crawling away from Columbus Circle on another cold morning.  Sunshine and Larry with new electric green bootlaces. Better for me to spot him. This is my tenth crawl. My son is about to turn ten. Today I will crawl ten blocks. I am half way home, give or take a few blocks. I am deep into this relationship now.  I suppose I am roughly half way through with my life too, give or take a few years and barring anything unexpected…

Man Says He Ate Birds, Turtles In 13 Months Adrift In The Pacific Ocean
Nick Perry, Associated Press | 13 Months Adrift | February 3, 2014

It's a story that almost defies belief: A man leaves Mexico in December 2012 for a day of shark fishing and ends up surviving 13 months on fish, birds and turtles before washing ashore on the remote Marshall Islands some 5,500 miles away...

St. Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin'
Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone | Gentle Revolution | February 2, 2014

Nearly every Wednesday in Rome, the faithful and the curious gather in St. Peter's Square for a general audience with the pope. Since the election of the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio last March, attendance at papal events has tripled to 6.6 million. On a recent chilly morning in December, the thousands of amassed pilgrims appear to gleam in the sunlight, covering the square like a pixelated carpet. Maybe it's all the smartphones raised to the heavens...

His Friends Know Him As Petroswickonicovick
Simon Romero, The New York Times | His Friends Know Him As Petroswickonicovick | February 2, 2014

When he became a teenager, Wonarllevyston Garlan Marllon Branddon Bruno Paullynelly Mell Oliveira Pereira did what any self-conscious person worried about merciless taunting from his peers might do: He pleaded with his parents and the courts to let him change his name.

“I never had anything in common with Marlon Brando,” he said, referring to the American actor for whom he was partially named. So with the permission of his parents and the legal system, he whittled down his nine names to an economical four, Bruno Wonarleviston Oliveira Pereira...

Ganjapreneurs Flock To Colorado Following Marijuana Legalization
Abby Haglage and Caitlin Dickson, The Daily Beast | Ganjapreneurs | January 29, 2014

From "Cannabranders" to The Medicine Man, everyone's rushing to cash in on the green in colorful Colorado.

“The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades,” croons Peter Williams, the 46-year-old chief of operations at a Denver dispensary that hopes to be known as the IKEA of Weed...

Biotech's Mommy Issue
Julie Gunlock, National Review | Biotech's Mommy Issue | January 29, 2014

Advertisers and marketing experts know that in the typical household, the woman is the primary shopper. Whether they are selling cars or light bulbs or groceries, they have to appeal to women, their consumer base.  

The same goes for organizations selling fear and worry: If they want to attract converts to their cause, they have to convince women to embrace their views and join them in agitating for action. And so it goes for activists opposed to the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), who bombard women with misinformation about food safety...

Fact-Checking Obama's 2014 State Of The Union
Katie Sanders, PolitiFact.com | Fact-Checking SOTU | January 29, 2014

Fact-checking Obama's 2014 State of the Union...