You Can Run But You Can’t Hide
OK, we followed their advice. More Americans are exercising more often, but so far, we’re really not losing much weight. According to one researcher: “To tackle obesity, we need to do this. But we probably also need to do more … Just counting on physical activity is not going to be the solution.”
+ “Her cholesterol was astoundingly low. Her low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the form that promotes heart disease, was 14, a level unheard-of in healthy adults, whose normal level is over 100.” The NYT’s Gina Kolata on the rare mutation that has ignited a big pharma race for a new cholesterol drug.
+ Maybe what we really need is fresher broccoli in more regions. A Cornell scientist is trying to make that dream a reality by creating “a new version of the plant that can thrive in hot, steamy summers.” Sure. One day it’s thriving in heat, the next day an army of it is attacking us in our sleep.
+ Is Broccoli really President Obama’s favorite food? Probably not. And we don’t want our presidents eating good food anyway.
+ Is your mind to blame for your gluten allergy? (If it is, why would it believe any article that says it is?)
+ Here’s one competition that goats did not want to win. They are the world’s most popular meat.
Throw the E-Book At ‘Em?
A federal judge has ruled that Apple teamed up with several large publishers in a price-fixing scheme intended to raise the price of e-books. “Without apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the spring of 2010.” And yes, there’s an app(eal) for that.
+ The e-book case is all about Apple and Amazon, two companies that have taken leadership positions in the digital age of book selling. There was a time, not too long ago, when the key behemoths in book sales were Borders and Barnes & Noble. The first went bankrupt. The second, faced with sluggish Nook sales and changes at the top, has been left “without a clear path forward.”
Texting in the Streets
“When I see a free outlet somewhere, I have to say, it feels like Christmas.” Time’s Kat Ascharya with an interesting look at a homeless man and his Blackberry.
In a bus with a top speed of 45 mph, it would take about eight hours to drive from Tucson to Las Vegas. What if you had a video game that enabled players to complete that drive in real time? Well, as The New Yorker’s Simon Parkin explains, you’d have the very worst video game ever created.
Rock is Dead. Long Live Customers.
In the old days of rock and roll, artists went to great lengths to avoid looking like they were selling out or going too commercial. Those days are long gone. Today, younger audiences seem to reward celebrities who can use the system to better promote themselves (and whatever companies pay them to sell their wares). Is it still possible in this age of always-on marketing to cross the line? Here’s WaPo’s Chris Richards on Jay-Z’s Samsung-powered album release: “Are we still Jay-Z fans? Or are we Jay-Z customers? The answer to that late-capitalist riddle arrives with the rap icon’s insidious new album, Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail — which first appeared last week as a data collection exercise disguised as a smartphone app capable of delivering a bundle of mediocre rap songs to your mobile device.” I still think members of the younger generation of music fans look at Jay-Z’s Samsung deal and are impressed.
+ Three rock bands sold more than a million albums last year. The first two were Mumford & Sons and the Black Keys. The third: Skillet.
+ It would be pretty cool to have the Black Keys sponsor your little league team (how did Samsung miss out on this co-marketing opportunity?).
Clicking it Old School
A week after the death of early computing pioneer Doug Engelbart, Longreads’ Mark Armstrong puts together this cool video playlist that features five pioneering computer demos, featuring MIT, Stanford and Xerox.
Thinking Outside the Litter Box
“This is a public health problem that bears more scrutiny. We’re walking a tight line between alarming people and failing to point out obvious health problems that need to be paid attention to.” Long story short: Be afraid of your cat’s litter box. From NPR: Harmful Parasites In Cat Poop Are Widespread.
The Mouse Has Rabbit Ears
Disney suffered a huge box office blow when The Lone Ranger flopped. But the company’s stock price held pretty steady. Why? Because while Disney makes movies and runs amusements parks, at its core, it’s a television company.
Stand Against Standing
For the past several months, I’ve been typing NextDraft at my new makeshift standing desk. With all the bad news about sitting too much, standing is all the rage. I’m not really sure I feel any better though. Either way, I sort of enjoyed Ben Crair’s New Republic piece: Screw Your Standing Desk.
The Bottom of the News
Vanity Fair went there with this list of 40 signs you are a BuzzFeed writer running out of list ideas. Ironically, this is the most popular item on VF’s site right now. Now they won’t be able to resist the temptation of publishing more goofy lists.
+ Here’s another list from Mental Floss: 11 sounds your kid has probably never heard. (The list of things they’ll probably never listen to would be a lot longer).
+ A giant statue of Colin Firth emerges from a lake in a wet shirt.