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.

Cartoonists React: Charlie Hebdo Attack
GoComics.com | Cartoonists React to Charlie Hebdo Attack | January 8, 2015

Our cartoonists react to the January 7 attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France...

Vinyl's Difficult Comeback
John Harris, The Guardian | Vinyl's Difficult Comeback | January 8, 2015

...We talked about the process of making records; I gushed blearily about the impressive workmanship I had seen that day at the plant.

“It’s all worth it,” Teichmann said simply. “It just sounds better, doesn’t it?”...

Hubble Goes High-Definition To Revisit Iconic "Pillars of Creation"
Felicia Chou and Ray Villard, NASA | Pillars Of Creation, Hi-Def | January 8, 2015

Although the original image was dubbed the Pillars of Creation, the new image hints that they are also pillars of destruction. “I’m impressed by how transitory these structures are..."

'Battling' Up A Sheer Yosemite Face, Seizing A Dream, Not A Rope
John Branch, The New York Times | World's Toughest Climb | January 7, 2015

There are about 100 routes up El Capitan, first summited from the valley floor in 1958. But these dots, climbers named Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, were trying something that had never been done...

US Forces, Returning To Iraq, Unearth The Things Their Brethren Carried
Tim Arango, The New York Times | Returning To Iraq | January 6, 2015

The calendar on the wall reads November 2011. On the ground is a half-filled tin of Copenhagen smokeless tobacco. Scattered here and there are bottles of Gatorade...

Crossing The Line: Racial Profiling At The U.S. Border
Josh Neufeld, via The Nib | Crossing The Line | January 6, 2015

This is Khaled Ahmed. He lives with his wife and two kids in Lexington, Kentucky. He's a recording artist. Like me, he's an American citizen...

We Get Huck Finn All Wrong: Race, Mark Twain, Children And Myths Of An American Classic
Andrew Levy, Salon | Misreading Huck Finn | January 5, 2015

Our sense of comedy and seriousness in Huck Finn says more about America now than America in Mark Twain's time...

Just Hit The Damn Deer
Al Cambronne, Slate | Just Hit The Damn Deer | January 5, 2015

Expert advice about how to drive safely among North America's most dangerous animals...

Thank Congress, Not LBJ For Great Society
Julian Zelizer and Scott Porch, The Daily Beast | '60s Q&A | January 5, 2015

In his State of the Union address 50 years ago, LBJ laid out his vision for the Great Society. In an excerpt from his new book on the 1960s, historian Julian Zelizer highlights the forgotten role Congress played in getting it done. Read a Q&A between the author and Scott Porch...

Breaking Ground On The Nicaragua Canal
Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker | The Nicaragua Canal | January 2, 2015

The Nicaragua Canal is expected to take five years to complete and cost fifty billion dollars; when finished (if it is ever finished), the hundred-and-seventy-two-mile canal will bisect Nicaragua from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean...