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.

How A Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused A Catastrophe On Earth
Jason Samenow, The Washington Post | Solar Storm | July 25, 2014

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA...

A Relaunch For The New Yorker, With High Stakes
Nicole Levy and Peter Sterne, Capital New York | NYer Relaunch | July 24, 2014

...Yo understand what the imperatives of the new website mean for The New Yorker in 2014, it’s not a bad idea to step back in time just a little...

First The Internet Ruined Sex, Now It's Ruining The Weather
Stuart Heritage, The Guardian | Obsessed By Lightning | July 24, 2014

As I continue to plummet inescapably towards middle age, I have found myself searching for the thing. The thing that all men develop at a certain age. At first this thing will merely be an interest, taken up to escape the drab tedium of day-to-day life. But, gradually and without warning, it will blossom into so much more than that. It will become their entire identity...

23 Women Show Us Their Favorite Position
Elizabeth Plank, Mic.com | 23 Women | July 23, 2014

When reality television star and fashion blogger Lauren Conrad was asked what her "favorite position" was on a live radio program a while back, the women listening held their breath. Although we take great pride in the work that we do, most of us could relate to being undermined and belittled publicly at work. When Conrad cleverly retorted "CEO," it was hard not to aggressively high-five our laptop and movile devies. The words "hell" and "yeah" could be heard all across the nation...

Arizona's Checkpoint Rebellion
Amy Lieberman, Slate | Checkpoint Rebellion | July 22, 2014

Liberals, libertarians, retirees, and activists protest against immigration patrols far from the border.

Barry Goldwater, Father Of The Tea Party
Nicholas Mills, The Daily Beast | Goldwater & The Tea Party | July 22, 2014

On the 50th anniversary of his 'extremism in the defense of liberty' speech to the 1964 GOP convention, it's time to credit Goldwater as the true father of the Tea Party...

Thomas Berger Dead At 89: Author Of 20 Books, Including 'Little Big Man'
Hillel Italie, The Huffington Post | Thomas Berger, R.I.P. | July 22, 2014

One of the last major authors to have served in World War II, Berger wrote more than 20 books, including the autobiographical "Rinehart" series, a "Little Big Man" sequel and "The Feud," about warring families in a 1930s Midwest community. "The Feud" was recommended for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize by the fiction jury but was overruled by the board of directors, which awarded another Depression-era novel, William Kennedy's "Ironweed."...

Trust No One: Kim Philby And The Hazards Of Mistrust
Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker | Trust No One | July 21, 2014

When Kim Philby decided that he wanted to join the British Secret Intelligence Service, he "dropped a few hints here and there," as he later recalled, and waited patiently...

Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Belief In Autism-Vaccine Connection, And Its Political Peril
Keith Kloor, The Washington Post | RFK Jr.'s Campaign | July 21, 2014

Sen. Barbara Mikulski listened impassively as Robert Kennedy Jr. made his case. He had to talk over the din in the marbled hallway just outside the Senate chambers, where he was huddled with Mikulski, two of her aides and three allies of his who had come to Washington for this April meeting...

A Millennium After Inventing The Game, The Iroqois Are Lacrosse's New Superpower
Evin Demirel, The Daily Beast | Iroquois Superpower | July 21, 2014

Competing as their own national team, the tribe medaled for their first time in the world championship, but not without controversy. Whites said using traditional sticks was cheating...