- YouTube's top 10 viral videos of 2016 get reviewed with the thoughtful analysis they deserve. Updated 21h ago
- The Tournament of Books Long List: Because to corral the best works of fiction from 2016 requires 120 titles.
- Thought, music, and innovative backpacks. A round-up of the best annual summaries we've seen.
- An A.I. created a Christmas carol after studying a photograph. Unfortunately the song is creepy as hell. Updated 1d ago
- Machine learning is all the rage, but most firms really just want the cachet of leading-edge tech.
- The biggest effect of machine learning is that prediction is cheap.
- Somewhat predictably, the fake news accusation goes both ways. Updated 3d ago
- Disinformation is political. Fake news is just for profit. Discriminating between the two is necessary to find a way forward.
- A new Chrome plug-in allows you to see what news pages your friends like.
Float away, Peter
Remember Peter Thiel's Randian rich-dude "fellowship" to entice teens to drop out of school, move to San Francisco (probably displacing an artists' collective or family in the process), and become "founders?"
What it actually looks like now is more of "a kid version of the Young Presidents’ Organization," a network of 120 or so rich twentysomethings, most of whom had already achieved what most human beings would describe as "success."
Maybe they can all leave us alone and go seasteading together.
“I guess some cops are just good at shooting. They’re probably good shots.”
Filipino police forces—funded, in large part, by millions of State Department aid dollars—have a near-perfect kill rate, exposing the government's line that police only fire when fired upon and suggesting an official practice of extrajudicial drug killings.
Your job is to get patients
An investigation into the country's largest chain of psychiatric hospitals (an unnerving descriptor) reveals a culture designed around profit, not treatment.
Employees were pressured to "exaggerate people’s symptoms or twist their words to make them seem suicidal," and then essentially keep them locked up until their insurer stops paying out.
Gout goes to Israel
Your morning conversational tidbit: a "SufganiKing" is Burger King's new hamburger-jelly-donut hybrid, to be sold in Israel.
As the company says, it's a “hamburger in a donut, only for Hanukkah.” So, not quite a "Luther Burger," but close.
Clash over Appalachian demographics
The rest of the US includes the huge unpopulated or lightly populated areas west of the Mississippi and east of the Sierra Nevada. This area blasts national density metrics to kingdom-come. Tellingly, just 7 states in the US have population densities over 400 people per square mile.
And then Krugman goes and takes it way too personally.
- The GSA needs to end its lease agreement with the Trump Organization, which controls Trump's fancy new hotel down the street from 1600 Pennsylvania. Updated 1d ago
- Trump tweets blow smoke to obscure bigger problems about his business dealings.
- Direct evidence shows the Trump Foundation using charity money to benefit his family—but does anyone care?
- Soldiers have long been exposed to toxic fumes. Most recently: massive open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Updated 4d ago
- For years, the VA has turned to "Dr. Orange" to explain why it shouldn't give veterans medical treatment or compensation.
- Secret military chemical experiments during WWII tested troops by race.
The 2017 Tournament of Books Long List
This year we read a lot of new fiction. We liked a lot of what we read, and here are our combined favorites. In March we’ll narrow them to a final set of 16 novels to compete in the 2017 Tournament of Books presented by Field Notes.
The 2016 Good Gift Games
Board games are always the answer. After a dinner party, when conversation dwindles. At family gatherings, when politics loom. When you want to give a good gift, but aren’t sure where to start. Begin here, with 10 of the best from 2016.
A father writes his son a note on election night. It gets passed around their family and friends—and soon the entire world. What viral impact looks like, post-Trump.
- Stephen Hawking isn't wrong to say that this is the most dangerous time in our planet's history. But hey, Dakota Access! Updated 5d ago
- Why Al Gore isn't more stressed out: Because solar will win the price wars.
- China is poised to take the mantle of climate leadership.
- One thing that's worse than your friend who's really into bouldering: professional commentators at bouldering competitions. Updated 1w ago
- Looking for a great skateboard video? Try your local Norwegian ski mountain.
- The Baja blanket gets a hipster millennial makeover: for $129.