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.

In China, Projects To Make Great Wall Feel Small
David Barboza, The New York Times | China's Mega-Projects | January 13, 2015

The world’s largest bridge. The biggest airport. The longest gas pipeline. An $80 billion effort to divert water from the south of the country, where it is abundant, to a parched section of the north, along a route that covers more than 1,500 miles...

The World Is Not Falling Apart
Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack, Slate | World Not Falling Apart | January 11, 2015

Never mind the headlines. We've never lived in such peaceful times...

Six Women You Didn't Know Were Members Of The Algonquin Round Tabler
Kevin Fitzpatrick, The Huffington post | Round Table Update | January 11, 2015

Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber were the only women sitting at the Algonquin Round Table, correct?...

Novelist Robert Stone, Known For 'Dog Soldiers' Dies At 77
The Associated Press | Robert Stone, R.I.P. | January 11, 2015

Robert Stone, the award-winning novelist who spun out tales worldwide of seekers, frauds and other misbegotten American dreamers in such works as A Flag for Sunrise and Dog Soldiers, died Saturday at age 77...

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...