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.

Mike Nichols, Celebrated Director, Dies At 83
Bruce Weber, The New York Times | Mike Nichols, R.I.P. | November 21, 2014

Mike Nichols, one of America’s most celebrated directors, whose long, protean résumé of critic- and crowd-pleasing work earned him adulation both on Broadway and in Hollywood, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 83...

Is Uber The Worst Company In Silicon Valley?
Dominic Rushe, The Guardian | Worst Company In Silicon Valley? | November 19, 2014

Co-founder Travis Kalanick may have apologised for a fellow executive's 'terrible' comments, but anger swirls at tech firm over allegations of sexism and misogyny...

Life Remembered: Neuman A Messenger Of Hope
Julie Wurth, Champaign-Urbana News Gazette | Messenger Of Hope | November 19, 2014

A Holocaust survivor who bore witness to Nazi atrocities and dedicated his life to the future of the Jewish people has died at age 91....He was a messenger of hope, choosing to remember acts of kindness even during one of history's darkest times as "sparks of holiness."...

There's A Suicide Epidemic In Utah -- And One Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows Why
Theresa Fisher, Brain.Mic | Suicide Epidemic In Utah | November 18, 2014

Despite ranking as America's happiest state, Utah has disproportionately high rates of suicide and associated mood disorders compared to the rest of the country. In fact, it's the No. 1 state for antidepressant use. These polarized feelings of despondency and delight underlie a confusing phenomenon that Perry Renshaw, a neuroscientist at the University of Utah investigating the strange juxtaposition, calls the "Utah paradox."...

J. Arthur Wood, Jr., 1927-2014
Richard Thompson, Richard's Poor Almanac | Art Wood Remembered | November 17, 2014

My favorite Art Wood story from among millions is from later, after I'd quit Cul de Sac. I said my new work would look like Cy Twombly if he used his sleeve...

Mosaics Revealed At Ancient Greek City Of Zeugma In Turkey
Daphne Tsagari, Greek Reporter | Mosaics Revealed | November 17, 2014

Archaeologists discovered three unique mosaics at the Ancient Greek city of Zeugma, in south Turkey, near the borders of Syria...

Pope Francis And the G.O.P.'s Bad Science
Michael Specter, The New Yorker | Pope Francis And G.O.P.'s Bad Science | November 14, 2014

It’s a shame that there is no provision in the Constitution of the United States that would permit Pope Francis to serve as the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee...

Preserving An Accident, The Salton Sea In California, For The Good Of Nature
Felicity Barringer, The New York Times | The Salton Sea | November 14, 2014

The area around this town of date palms attracts two kinds of migrants — hundreds of humans who work the land, and millions of birds that stop to rest and gorge at the nearby Salton Sea. The sea is a 110-year-old, increasingly briny, shallow lake that covers 350 square miles but is dwindling fast...

Rosetta Mission Lands Philae Spacecraft On Comet -- In Pictures
The Guardian | Rosetta Mission -- In Pictures | November 12, 2014

Rosetta mission -- in pictures...

Hollywood On The Tiber
Christine Smallwood, The New York Times | Cinecitta World | November 12, 2014

What could be more melancholic, extravagant, alienated, operatic and deeply strange than Italian film? Try turning Italian film into a theme park...