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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.

Brown's Arid California, Thanks Partly To His Father
Adam Nagourney, The New York Times | Brown's Arid California | May 18, 2015

When Edmund G. Brown Sr. was governor of California, people were moving in at a pace of 1,000 a day...

B.B. King, Defining Bluesman For Generations, Dies At 89
Tim Weiner, The New York Times | B.B. King Obituary | May 15, 2015

B.B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died on Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89...

Driving The San Joaquin Valley
Aaron Gilbreath | Driving The San Joaquin Valley | May 13, 2015

An afternoon with Starbucks customers in the armpit of California...

The GOP's Iraq War Amnesia
Peter Beinart, The Atlantic | The GOP's Iraq War Amnesia | May 13, 2015

If Republicans want to blame America's foreign-policy woes on Obama, they need a 2016 candidate untainted by the disastrous hawkishness of the past...

Today's No-Risk Kids Don't Get The '60s
Richard Goldstein, The Daily Beast | No-Risk Kids And the '60s | May 13, 2015

The Village voice's first rock critic finds that when he talks to kids today, they're entranced by the freewheeling 60s counterculture, but they hold it at arm's length...

Recycled Drinking Water: Getting Past The Yuck Factor
John Schwartz, The New York Times | Recycled Drinking Water | May 11, 2015

Enticing people to drink recycled water...requires getting past what experts call the 'yuck' factor...

The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden
Seymour M. Hersh, London Review of Books | The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden | May 11, 2015

The White House's story might have been written by Lewis Carroll...

Caroll Spinney, Big Bird's Heart and Soul (and Body)
Jenna Marotta, The New York Times Magazine | The Caroll Spinney Story | May 11, 2015

...It was around that time that he met Henson, who enlisted him to play two of the most central -- and different -- characters on "Sesame Street" : the pollyanna-ish Big Bird and bellyaching Oscar the Grouch, roles that Spinney has had for 46 years...

The G.O.P.'s War On Science Gets Worse
Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker | GOP's War On Science | May 7, 2015

Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, headed by Republican Lamar Smith, approved a bill that would slash at least three hundred million dollars from NASA's earth-science budget...

Self-Publishing
Laura Bennett, Slate | Kim Kardashian's Masterpiece | May 7, 2015

Kim Kardashian just wants to be seen. This 445-page book of selfies might be her masterpiece...