In the News 05.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 05.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 05.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 05.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Baffling Return of Mike Myers

Almost exactly four years ago, an interview with Mike Myers was published. It was conducted by GQ’s Chris Heath to promote Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, the sweet and compelling documentary about the wise guru to the stars that Myers directed as an homage to his longtime manager. The interview is a fascinating document of the comic writer and performer’s searching mind. He is curious, sincere, and largely egoless, contented with hobbies and the unlikely, nonpublic things occupying his time. He talks about raising his family, the burden of creation, and playing floor hockey with his pals in New York City. Given his disposition and the cadence of his responses, he doesn’t quite seem normal—that would be unreasonable for a person who’s experienced Myers’s brand of stardom—but he does seem kind and at peace. At the time, Myers had not been seen on screen in nearly five years, not since burrowing under makeup and a wig to portray a British general in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. And he hadn’t toplined a movie since the disastrous reception of 2008’s The Love Guru. Heath’s conversation is positioned as Myers’s comeback, but what followed Supermensch for the erstwhile Wayne Campbell was … nothing.

Read the rest of this article at: The Ringer

In the News 05.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Bred To Suffer

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THERE IS A largely hidden, poorly regulated, and highly profitable industry in the United States that has a gruesome function: breeding dogs for the sole purpose of often torturous experimentation, after which the dogs are killed because they are no longer of use.

Americans frequently express horror at festivals in countries such as China and South Korea where dogs are killed, cooked, and eaten. Mainstream media outlets in the U.S. routinely report, with a tone of disgust, on the use of dogs in those countries for food consumption.

But in the U.S. itself, corporations and academic institutions exploit dogs (as well as cats and rabbits) for excruciating experiments that are completely trivial, even useless, and are just as abusive as the practices in Asia that have produced so much moral indignation in the West. These dogs are frequently bred into life for the sole purpose of being laboratory objects, and spend their entire, often short, existence locked in a small cage, subjected to procedures that impose extreme pain and suffering.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s aptly named the Animal Usage report, 60,979 dogs were used in the U.S. for experimentation in 2016 alone. The reported number of all animals used for experimentation, whose reporting was required, was 820,812. Often, the experimentation has nothing to do with medical research, but rather trivial commercial interests, and in almost all cases, dogs provide little to no unique scientific value. This chart, compiled by Speaking of Research using USDA data, reflects the total numbers of animals used for experimentation in 2016 — an increase of 6.9 percent as compared to the prior year:

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

How Ryan Reynolds Found ‘Deadpool,’ and Also Himself

Ryan Reynolds’s introduction to superhero movies, and our introduction to Ryan Reynolds in superhero movies, is clichéd, and obnoxious, and close to perfect. It occurs in 2004’s Blade: Trinity, the third and last movie to star Wesley Snipes as a vampire-hunting badass who is not humorless, exactly—you know one of his lines is supposed to be funny when it’s got the word motherfucker in it—but let’s just say he’s not much for crowd-pleasing meta nonsense. Whereas crowd-pleasing meta nonsense is a Ryan Reynolds specialty. And a half hour in, he drops on this trashy and dour flick like a bomb.

Specifically, he throws a burning vampire head-first through an interrogation-room window. And leaps into the room after it. And flashes his name tag that reads Fuck You. And quips, “Evening, ladies,” before he starts shooting everyone. And punches Triple H, playing an evil vampire, in the face. And flaunts a scruffy beard designed to make sure you don’t confuse him with Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. And lumbers through a long hallway-fight sequence that director David S. Goyer cuts into one-second chunks, because maybe Reynolds isn’t so hot at this action-hero thing yet. And somewhere in there, Parker Posey, of all people, as another evil vampire, does the audience a solid by literally screaming Reynolds’s character’s name: “HANNIBAL KING!”

Read the rest of this article at: The Ringer

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We Depend On Plastic. Now, We’re Drowning In It.

If plastic had been invented when the Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, England, to North America—and the Mayflower had been stocked with bottled water and plastic-wrapped snacks—their plastic trash would likely still be around, four centuries later.

If the Pilgrims had been like many people today and simply tossed their empty bottles and wrappers over the side, Atlantic waves and sunlight would have worn all that plastic into tiny bits. And those bits might still be floating around the world’s oceans today, sponging up toxins to add to the ones already in them, waiting to be eaten by some hapless fish or oyster, and ultimately perhaps by one of us.

We should give thanks that the Pilgrims didn’t have plastic, I thought recently as I rode a train to Plymouth along England’s south coast. I was on my way to see a man who would help me make sense of the whole mess we’ve made with plastic, especially in the ocean.

Because plastic wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin—a figure that stunned the scientists who crunched the numbers in 2017.

No one knows how much unrecycled plastic waste ends up in the ocean, Earth’s last sink. In 2015, Jenna Jambeck, a University of Georgia engineering professor, caught everyone’s attention with a rough estimate: between 5.3 million and 14 million tons each year just from coastal regions. Most of it isn’t thrown off ships, she and her colleagues say, but is dumped carelessly on land or in rivers, mostly in Asia. It’s then blown or washed into the sea. Imagine five plastic grocery bags stuffed with plastic trash, Jambeck says, sitting on every foot of coastline around the world—that would correspond to about 8.8 million tons, her middle-of-the-road estimate of what the ocean gets from us annually. It’s unclear how long it will take for that plastic to completely biodegrade into its constituent molecules. Estimates range from 450 years to never.

Read the rest of this article at: National Geographic

Ira Glass’s Commencement Speech at
the Columbia Journalism School Graduation


Dean, faculty, parents and hello my new colleagues. Look at you.

Welcome to the next phase of your life. It’s gonna be amazing. There’s a war in this country over facts and truth – and it’s not clear how it’s gonna play out and congratulations – you’re heading to the front lines.

I know those are words every parent wants to hear.

Speaking for everyone else who’s been slogging away in the trenches: glad to have you! We need the reinforcements. Couldn’t be a better time to become a journalist.

I’m honored to be here. To be offered an award that’s also gone to so many journalists I’ve admired.

It’s funny to me that you had Maggie Haberman here yesterday as your other graduation speaker, since she and I represent such radically different approaches to this job. I like imagining a version of the world where this ceremony today were a little more like the Grammys and she and I would hate each other’s guts … snipe at each other on Twitter … snatch each others’ awards like dueling, nerdy Kanyes.

I am very aware that in my twenties I got interested in the idea of doing stories about regular people and their lives precisely because I had no idea how to do what she does and what normal reporters do. I didn’t know how to cultivate sources or cover the news or unearth important things the public needs to know.

I am very aware that Maggie Haberman shows us all, day after day, a rigorous demonstration of how you use the traditional tools of journalism to get inside information from suspicious sources and break news and answer the biggest questions in the most important ongoing story out there right now.

And as for me … there’s this thing the drummer for the Who once said that I relate to a lot. His name was Keith Moon. And when he tried to explain what he did for a living, he once said: “I … am the greatest … Keith-Moon-type drummer in the world.”

I am very aware that I make my living with a weird grab bag of skills that probably shouldn’t add up to anything. My primary skill is that I’m a good editor. That’s the main thing I do all week. From the start it was the one thing in journalism I had a natural talent for … an easy command of. I also have a bunch of showbizzy skills that go into packaging material into a program – pacing and flow and humor and emotional arcs. Stuff I learned basically in high school musicals and as a teenaged magician at children’s birthday parties.

In my 20s there was a feeling I got in a certain kind of recorded interview that I became transfixed with. And loved. And tried to make happen again and again. There’s a feeling I got when music hits underneath a radio story that just got to me. And still does. And I cultivated that.

I’m also good at running and promoting a business. I like spreadsheets and budgets and dealing with member stations and all the machinery of making a radio show. I enjoy selling, which is fortunate because a certain amount of my job is selling. On the pledge drive. In promos. During the radio show … when I’m saying things to try to bait people to “stay with us.”

I guess the lesson of this for you guys … is that there are lots of ways to be a journalist. Maggie’s way. My way. Which is good news for you as each of you discovers your way.

Before I go further, I want to acknowledge my co-workers. In particular Julie Snyder who ran This American Life with me as my partner in making the show for two decades. And who left that job to create the podcasts Serial and S-Town, which – I think I can be braggy on her behalf – made the world rethink what podcasting can be.

The kind of journalism we do at our shows is a team sport. To be totally honest, most weeks I spend most of my hours at work not working on my own stories but in a scrum of people who are puzzling out how to make somebody else’s work the very best it can be. We edit each story over and over and over, each time dragging in some new person who hasn’t heard the thing yet to bring fresh ears. Our show is made as a collaboration – to serve our pleasure and curiosity as a group. It’s best when one or more of us gets obsessed and excited about something and then pulls the rest along. To figure out something original to say about Afro-futurism or police violence or Iraq or post-Katrina New Orleans or whatever.

Together we all set the editorial agenda. Together we chew over which stories to pursue and what the angles should be. And in the interest of factual accuracy I will say that the majority of the stories on the program that’ve gotten the most attention – Harper High School, the Giant Pool of Money, convicted murderers putting up a production of Hamlet in prison, Nikole Hannah Jones stories on our show and Sarah Koenig’s and Chana Jaffe Walt’s – they were not my idea or my doing. In fact, there are not one but two stories that I was totally completely against us taking on … that went on to win Peabody Awards.

With all that in mind, I accept this fancy honor on behalf of everyone I work with in making the product you’re honoring.

Read the rest of this article at: This American Life

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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