1. Not OK.
+The tornado that devastated Moore, OK. Monday was more than a mile wide, with winds of 200 mph. It took just 36 minutes to form and was on the ground for a terrifyingly long 40 minutes. 24 people were killed, including 10 children. 12,000 homes were flattened, some of which were owned by residents of Moore whose former homes were destroyed in a 1999 twister. The Atlantic has an excellent “backgrounder” on tornados in America (where 75% of all tornados occur) and puts this one into context.
Yahoo! bought the social blogging platform Tumblr this week for $1.1billion. It’s another big move from the new CEO Marissa Mayer who is trying to keep pace with other Internet giants like Google and Facebook. Looks like a steal based on a recent PEW research study that shows how teens feel about privacy and how that concern might be fueling their exodus from Facebook. Turns out they’re not as concerned about privacy as they are about the presence of adults, the over sharing of “inane details”, and, believe it or not, “drama”. I’m fielding offers for NewsCure, but I need you to share it with a few more people before I can compete with Tumblr’s 300 million visitors.
3. Water over the bridge
The collapse of a bridge along Interstate 5 last night in Washington is sure to refresh a national debate on infrastructure spending, which has plummeted since 2008 according to the Washington Post. The bridge over the Skagit River was built in 1955 and was classified as “functionally obsolete” based on a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100. Do you find it crazy that a bridge in that condition was still in use? 759 bridges in that state alone have a lower sufficiency rating.
4. American health
+The NY Times looks at the health toll of immigration and how becoming American can be bad for your health. The longer immigrants live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. To many, the quantity and accessibility of food exemplifies the boundless promise of the U.S. and that’s bad news for their American-born children. “You work so hard, you want to use your money in a smart way,” said Aris Ramirez, a community health worker in Brownsville, explaining the thinking. “So when they hear ‘twice the fries for an extra 49 cents,’ people think, ‘That’s economical.’ ”
+On a different health note, here is an article from Wired comprised of excerpts from a new book by Allen Frances, Saving Normal. The book studies the marketing genius of the pharmaceutical industry. “With an assist from an overly ambitious psychiatry, all human difference is being transmuted into chemical imbalance meant to be treated with a handy pill. Turning difference into illness was among the great strokes of marketing genius accomplished in our time.”
+Newsweek’s cover story: The Suicide Epidemic. “Self-harm now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined.”
Memorial Day is this Monday, and I’m still waiting for an invitation to a cookout. But this is what happens when one becomes the creator of a ridiculously successful newsletter. People think you’re worth a billion dollars and act awkwardly around you at parties. The price of fame. It’s ok. I’ll just be at home with my own 3D pizza printer, hoping my sauce cartridge doesn’t run out. If you’re like every American, you probably overlooked certain other holidays this week in preparation for this weekend. In the interest of expanding your celebratory horizons, there’s Bike to Work Day, World Turtle Day, and National Dog Bite Prevention Week. I don’t make the news. I just report it.
6. Weekend Reads
+By now you’ve heard of Argo, the story of how the CIA posed as a film crew to rescue Americans from Iran in 1980. Turns out a bit of smoke and mirrors also worked against Hitler in WWII. Just think inflatable tanks and you get the gist (pronounced jist).
+You’re probably going to forget this entire newsletter (which I wouldn’t mind considering what most of you should be absorbing this weekend). From the New Yorker, The Curse of Reading and Forgetting. I feel like I could have written this article based on a lifetime of primary research.
7. For those of you who don’t read
+Remember the video of the adorable duckling trying to stay awake from a couple of weeks ago? Here’s another, only this time it’s not a duckling. It’s Morgan Freeman. But the 75-year-old actor played it off well: “I wasn’t actually sleeping. I’m a beta tester for Google eyelids. I was merely updating my Facebook page.”
+Here is a video of kids trying new foods in slow motion. I’ve seen these faces up close, in real time, which makes it harder to dodge.
+For those of you who are not traveling this weekend, here is a nice collection of photos from the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.
+”The total mass of all ants in the world is equal to the total mass of all humans on earth.” This and other unbelievable facts that are actually true.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.