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Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

For Sale, English Mountain And Title Of Lord, $3 Million. (There's A Catch.)
Alan Cowell, The New York Times | Mountain For Sale | July 17, 2014

There were none of the familiar real estate placards when Hugh Clayton Lowther, the eighth Earl of Lonsdale, resolved to sell a part of his family’s vast estate, one of England’s most distinctive and much clambered mountains, and offered to throw in the title that goes with it: Lord of the Manor of Threlkeld.His decision got plenty of attention nonetheless, particularly from Britain’s vast legions of ramblers, mountaineers and lovers of the outdoors...

Audio: Nixon's Secret White House Tapes
Vanity Fair | More Nixon Tapes | July 15, 2014

In an adaptation from their forthcoming book, Vanity Fair contributing editor Douglas Brinkley and historian Luke A. Nichter draw on 3,700 hours of President Nixon’s White House tapes to convey the inner workings of Nixon’s action-packed first term...

What You Need To Know About The Coming Jellyfish Apocalypse
James West, Mother Jones | Jellyfish Apocalypse | July 14, 2014

Are there more jellyfish than ever before?

Is climate change to blame for the increase in jellyfish?

Should swimmers in the United States be worried?

If you get stung, what should you do?...

Tech Aesthetics
Kate Losse, Aeon Magazine | Tech Aesthetics | July 14, 2014

Twitter has log cabins and Facebook has graffiti -- what do the offices of tech giants tell us about the future of work?

'South Park' Marches On In New Places
David Carr, The New York Times | South Park Marches On | July 14, 2014

While the media moguls in Sun Valley, Idaho, jockeyed for parking spaces for their jets and hunted for havens in a consolidating content world, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the boy-men behind “South Park,” were in Los Angeles, proving again that if you make content people love — it’s harder than it looks — it doesn’t matter how many paradigms shift....

An "Unbelievable" Encounter With Amazon
Malcolm Gladwell | Gladwell Vs. Amazon | July 11, 2014

In an attempt to negotiate a bigger share of e-book royalties, Amazon has instituted shipping delays of three to five weeks for the books of many Hachette authors, including J. K. Rowling, James Patterson, and me. A few days ago, in an arrangement brokered by Dick Cavett, David Hill, the newly appointed director of “fulfillment” for Amazon, agreed to participate in a face-to-face meeting with me, at the company’s Manhattan warehouse... 

Unlikely Warriors: 'Elephant Company,' By Vicki Constantine Cooke
Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review | Elephant Bill | July 11, 2014

I have to confess — my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. But as soon as I began to read “Elephant Company,” I realized that not only was my heart safe, but that this book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species...

Every German Goal In Its 7-1 Victory Over Brazil Made History. Here's How.
Jeremy Stahl, Slate | Seven Historic Goals | July 9, 2014

For sheer spectacle and shock value, if not quality of play, the 2014 World Cup will go down as the most memorable in history. With three matches to play, this tournament is four short of the 1998 record for most goals scored in a World Cup. It already has a first-class villain in Luis Suárez and his teeth, and an indefatigable underdog in Costa Rica. Now, with Germany’s semifinal 7–1 humiliation of hosts Brazil, the tournament has a match that will be remembered for as long as people care about soccer. “Something like that happens every 100 years,” said former Germany captain and current ESPN commentator Michael Ballack. This was not an exaggeration...

Elephant Weeps While Being Rescued After 50 Years Of Mistreatment
Stphen Messenger, The Dodo | Elephant Tears | July 9, 2014

After five long decades of being forced to endure a life of unimaginable suffering, Raju the elephant is finally free. Fitted with painful shackles for nearly his entire life, Raju walked the dusty roads of India, interacting with tourists in exchange for coins and food. His body bears the signs of malnutrition and the scars of physical abuse -- but the emotional toll was no less profound...

Meet The Creative Genius Behind Daffy Duck And Wile E. Coyote
Katherine Brooks, The Huffington Post | Chuck Jones' Art | July 9, 2014

Bugs, Daffy, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd, Pepe, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian, Michigan J. Frog, Road Runner...New York's Museum of Moving Image is putting Mr. Jones, who passed away in 2002, on a pedastal with their latest exhibition, "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones. Spanning six decades and over 300 films the traveling show pays tribute...