For Paste, I reviewed the upcoming boardgame Tak, which was designed based on the fictional depiction of the game in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles novels.
My last run at the helm of the BBTN podcast for this year came on Monday’s show, with guests Jerry Crasnick and Joe Sheehan.
And now, the links…
- TIME ran a thoughtful piece on how trolls are “ruining” the Internet, looking at why trolls troll and what we might do to combat the inevitable problem.
- I linked to this on Twitter earlier in the week: Mylan hiked EpiPen prices when their competitor shut down production. It’s basic economics, and while I’m very pro-free market, we do have protections against certain monopoly conditions. This is one such case. Mylan’s PR team is on the attack, with this semi-sympathetic portrait of their CEO running in the NY Times, which also ran a more analytical look at why our healthcare system enables this kind of price gouging.
- We’re preparing to fight Zika in south Florida by releasing genetically modified mosquitos into the wild. It’s the right move – doing the same in Africa could save millions of lives – but you can expect a lot of backlash.
- Meanwhile, a new virus appears to break the known ‘rules’ of viral infections by breaking itself into multiple pieces; the virus, which infects mosquitos (seriously, fuck them already), only works in the bugs if several parts of it are present.
- A teenager charged with multiple rapes and suspected of being a serial rapist was given probation by a Judge Thomas Estes because reasons. There’s another movement afoot to remove the judge from the bench, which I support because no one convicted of rape should avoid jail.
- Meanwhile, a 14-year-old girl in Cleveland is in jail and may be charged as an adult for killing her abusive father. The system failed to protect her and her mother, and now she may pay the price for their failures.
- The Canadian Medical Association has called for an end to nonmedical exemptions to childhood vaccinations, which is excellent because there is no good fucking reason on earth not to vaccinate your kids.
- Dr. Donald Henderson, who helped lead the successful effort to eradicate smallpox, died last week at 87. Despite the end of smallpox, he thought efforts to eradicate more quickly-mutating viruses like polio might be futile.
- Tom Scocca’s post mortem on Gawker makes the key point that only money can protect any journalistic outlet from the likes of Peter Thiel. Not the truth, just money.
- Daniel Vaughn reviewed a legit barbecue joint in southern Sweden.
- This New Yorker piece on a very exclusive restaurant in upstate New York is fascinating because it’s a portrait of food, a restaurant, and a chef who might be delusional.
- Some Idaho hot-taker decided to take a few shots at Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Tyson responded with a huge mic-drop in the comments.
- Amateurism is a word fart expelled after wolfing down a nothingburger, says Patrick Hruby in a piece for Vice on the gigantic farce that is the NCAA.
- Also at Vice, on the unconscionable human disaster that was the 2016 Olympics. Everything described therein, including the massive wealth transfers from poor to rich, will continue until cities stop bidding for the games.
- If you’re still stuck in the mindset that there are only two sexes, male and female, read about Olympic champion runner Stella Walsh, who was intersex. She lived as a woman, but after her death (she was murdered in a botched robberty) the coroner discovered that she had underdeveloped male gonads and no uterus due to a chromosomal abnormality. So, I ask Republicans in North Carolina and Mississippi, what bathroom would you have required her to use?
- Why do just 2% of the counties in the United States account for more than half of its death-row inmates? Why do we even execute people, period? Only two countries in the western hemisphere actively use the death penalty, the U.S. and St. Kitts, which I believe has executed one person this century. The story features prosecutor Angela Corey, profiled in a link I posted here last week as perhaps the cruelest DA in the country.
- Two posts on the University of Chicago “no safe spaces/trigger warnings” welcome letter: one that presents the letter with favorable comments, and this dismantling of its words and intent by Grand View University History Professor Kevin Gannon. I don’t think I like the ideas implied by safe spaces, but I speak without experience on that, and, hell, trigger warnings are just common courtesy, aren’t they?
- A rather peculiar research study showed (or claimed to show) that reading literary fiction was better than pop fiction for boosting readers’ emotional skills. You’ll have to read the article to see what exactly they thought it proved and to determine whether you think it proves anything. I’ll be reading literary fiction.
- We’re definitely an HGTV household, but not particularly fans of Flip or Flop. The stars of that show have loaned their likenesses to a real-estate education “seminar” that sure sounds like an old-fashioned scam to me.