The Growing Heroin Problem and Other Fascinating News on the Web

February 4, 2014

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  1. The Gateway Drug

    The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman has turned more attention towards America’s growing heroin problem, where the gateway drug is often a prescription painkiller. From PBS Newshour: “Why more Americans are getting high — and overdosing — on heroin.”

    + As I mentioned at the time, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin devoted his entire State of the State to the “full-blown heroin crisis.”

  2. Fist Bumps

    “I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralising pain. It transforms a tight, white fist into a gentle, brown wave.” Here’s a very well-written and interesting piece from Russell Brand: My life without drugs.

    + “The first time Tom Walker experimented with heroin he was 19 — and it made him sob. New to Southern California, the college freshman became euphoric when the chronic pain that plagued him from a sports injury years earlier, disappeared. ‘It was amazing. It was a feeling of coming home,’ he says. As the anxiety he’d been facing for a lifetime began to disappear, too, tears of joy welled up in his eyes. ‘I sobbed from pure, all-encompassing relief.'” From The Daily Beast: The White Collar Heroin Problem.

  3. The Rush

    “Twitter and, within the space of 17 minutes, the Internet-accessing world may have known that Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead in his apartment before his three young children, with whom he was scheduled to spend the day, and his longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell.” The WSJ broke the story with a tweet. And within a few minutes it was everywhere. But would it have really mattered if all of us found out about it a few hours later? That’s a question we no longer even ask these days. We’re in too much of a rush for that. From Salon’s Stacia L. Brown: How breaking news is breaking us.

    + Now more than ever, we need journalists rise above the din instead of getting sucked into it. Here’s a related NextDraft original: Get Off My Stoop.

  4. The New (and Old ) Sheriff in Town

    After much speculation, Microsoft has officially named Satya Nadella as its third CEO. And he’ll have a new advisor. Bill Gates will step down as chairman of the board and step into a much more active advisory role. From Wired: Why Microsoft Got It Right With New CEO.

    + Here’s a look at how Microsoft makes its money

  5. Being Gay in Putin’s Russia

    “He’s worried about a co-worker discovering him. He is worried about blackmail. He is worried, and he does not know what else to do. He wishes he could fight, but he doesn’t know how. Sign a petition? March in a parade?” From GQ: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Putin’s Russia.

    + It’s already clear that the upcoming Olympic games will stir a discussion about anti-gay laws in Russia. But is some of the hate and homophobia being exported from the US?

    + The opening ceremonies are this week. Does the media village look ready?

    + If nothing else, Sochi will be distinct from other Winter games in one key way: It’s sort of warm there.

    + And here’s a primer on the eight events debuting at Sochi (one of which Bob Costas described as “just Jackass stuff that they invented and called Olympic sports.”)

  6. The Allegations Against Woody

    “Farrow gives Allen a Valentine with a photograph of her and some of her children; a steak knife is stuck into Farrow’s heart, covered with a photo of Soon-Yi, and meat skewers are stuck in the chests of the children.” AP takes a look back at the history behind the allegations against Woody Allen.

  7. The Global Pasta Pot

    Today in climate change we learn that we are “slowly but steadily cooking the world’s oceans.”

  8. Modern Love

    According to a recent study, interfaith couples are not only getting married, they are also more likely to keep their separate religious affiliations than ever before. As long as both people yell “Oh God!” at the appropriate moment, anything can work.

    + Is BYU urging students to narc on chronic masturbators? The production value of their video is so high that, for a second, I was tempted to turn myself in.

    + Pacific Standard: “As artificial intelligence advances and our toys become more and more like us, we must consider the ethics of extracting pleasure from the machines.” (Before we get into the ethics, can somebody tell me where I sign up?)

  9. Coke is It

    The teams have returned home, Bruno Mars is selling music, Vegas bookies are counting their money, and one ad is turning out to be more memorable than the rest (and for some reason, more divisive). In short, Coke is it.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    At long last, McDonald’s is showing the Internet how McNuggets are made. And it’s not nearly as gross as you’d hope.

    + Ten years later, and still, no one really knows what the hell a Facebook poke is.

    + Here’s a look at some of Facebook’s key design changes over the years.

    + Each year Sony calls for entries to its photography contest. That means Alan Taylor of InFocus has another fantastic collection to share.