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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.

"The Giving Tree" At Fifty: Sadder Than I Remembered
Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker | "The Giving Tree" At Fifty | November 7, 2014

A strange thing happens when we encounter a book we used to love and suddenly find it charmless; the feeling is one of puzzled dissociation. Was it really me who once cherished this book?...

Sober In Stockholm
Nathalie Rothschild, Slate | Sober in Stockholm | November 7, 2014

Booze-free clubbing is Sweden's latest party craze...

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare
Matt Taibi, Rolling Stone | The $9Billion Witness | November 7, 2014

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing...

Garfield Television: The Cat Who Saved Primetime Cartoons
Rich Goldstein, The Daily Beast | How Garfield Saved Primetime Cartoons | November 5, 2014

Garfield the cat occupies an understated and often overlooked position critical to the history of televised animation...

How The Reagan White House Bungled Its Response To Iran-Contra Revelations
Malcolm Byrne, The Daily Beast | Reagan And Iran-Contra | November 3, 2014

An excerpt from a new book about Iran-Contra demonstrates that nearly every major player in the Reagan administration participated in covering up the clandestine affair...

Inside The Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire
Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone | Inside The Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire | November 3, 2014

Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world's largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system. But what they don't want you to know is how they made all that money...

Where The Hills And Hollows Are Alive With Music
Chris Wohlwend, The New York Times | Alive With Music | November 3, 2014

Traditionally those mountains meant isolation, relieved periodically by gatherings for church, for barn-raising or harvest help. And the gatherings meant string-band music...

Braving Ebola
Daniel Berehulak, The New York Times | Braving Ebola | November 1, 2014

Portraits of those who labor and those who survived at an Ebola treatment center in rural Liberia...

What If Meditation Isn't Good For You?
Jay Michaelson, The Daily Beast | Mindfulness's Moment | November 1, 2014

The scholars and teachers responsible for the 'mindfulness revolution' gather for a landmark conference -- and disagree about everything...

How Will The Universe End?
Alina Simone, Slate | How Will The Universe End? | October 29, 2014

Not with a bang but a bubble.

Cosmologist Alex Vilenkin gave a lecture at the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan earlier this year called “The Universe and Beyond.” I attended the talk, along with a few of my friends, and we all had the same reaction afterwards: “That was awesome! I didn’t understand a thing.” I understood even less of the lecture than the rest of my friends, which pretty much makes me the poster child for regression toward the mean, because Alex Vilenkin is my father...