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.

Five New York Epidemics That Were Way Worse Than Ebola Will Be
Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones | Five New York Epidemics | October 24, 2014

The city hasn't always dodged the pathogen bullet. Here are a few epidemics in New York that were far worse than Ebola is likely to be...

A Print Magazine For Hackers
Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker | Hacker Mag | October 24, 2014

On a Saturday afternoon earlier this summer, dozens of hackers, journalists, and activists sat on the floor in a darkened hallway of the Pennsylvania Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, watching a projection of an empty lectern. Many of the gathered were shoeless, and some were dancing to a rolling beat that issued from a pair of speakers...

An Apple A Day, For 47 Years
Michael Tortorello, The New Yorker | 17,000 Apple Varieties | October 24, 2014

In the early spring of 1983, Dan Bussey started a file on his computer. The event would prove to be momentous in the annals of American pomology, though no one realized it at the time, including him...

Ben Bradlee, Washington Editor And Watergate Warrior, Dies At 93
Mailyn Berger, The New York Times | Ben Bradlee, R.I.P. | October 22, 2014

Ben Bradlee, who presided over The Washington Post’s Watergate reporting that led to the fall of President Richard M. Nixon and that stamped him in American culture as the quintessential newspaper editor of his era — gruff, charming and tenacious — died on Tuesday at his home in Washington. He was 93...

'No Stairway, Denied!' Led Zeppelin Lawsuit Winds On Down The Road
Keith Phipps, The Daily Beast | 'Stairway' Lawsuit | October 22, 2014

Is Led Zepplin guilty of plagiarizing its most iconic song? 'Stairway to Heaven' would hardly be the first time the band faced legal action for borrowing too liberally...

When Women Become Men At Wellesley
Ruth Padawer, The New York Times Magazine | When Women Become Men At Wellesley | October 20, 2014

It was the first day of orientation, and along the picturesque paths there were cheerful upper-class student leaders providing directions and encouragement. They wore pink T-shirts stamped with this year’s orientation theme: “Free to Explore” — an enticement that could be interpreted myriad ways, perhaps far more than the college intended...

Dawn Patrol
Richard L. Hasen, Slate | Ginsberg's Dissen | October 20, 2014

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights...

The New Snack Craze On Mexico's Streets...
Nick Miroff, The Washington Post | Dorilocos | October 20, 2014

The streets of metropolitan Mexico City, population 20 million, are many things, not all of them pleasant.

They are crowded, yes. Malodorous, at times. Dirty, sure. They are also one of the world’s great incubators of snack-food experimentation...


Life-And-Death Choices In A Himalayan Blizzard
Bhadra Sharma, Ellen Barry and Rajneesh Bhandari, The New York Times | Life-and-Death Choices | October 17, 2014

Freezing, exhausted and blinded by snow, Yakov Megreli, an Israeli medical student, had a few minutes to make a choice.

He could spend the night shivering in a flimsy wooden tea stall with a few others, as snowdrifts crept up the walls outside and began to fall in through cracks. Or he could press forward into the blizzard with a large group of trekkers headed toward town and led by the tea shop’s owner, who promised to help them to safety if they each paid him 1,000 rupees, about $10...

L.A.'s Cool-Kid Backyard Concert Series -- Kensington Presents
Sara Lieberman,The Daily Beast | Backyard Concerts | October 17, 2014

A pop-up concert series in Los Angeles is bringing together up-and-coming musicians with an eclectic audience for a pot-luck backyard concert. What more could a West Coast hipster want?

On a cool California night in October 2013, a large harp stands upright on the porch of a house in Los Angeles’s Angeleno Heights neighborhood. Just in front of it, a long table is packed with creative potluck dishes...