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.

Animal-Rights Activists Bully Dying Italian Girl
Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast | Animal-Rights Activists Bully Dying Italian Girl | December 31, 2013

When 25-year-old veterinary student Caterina Simonsen posted an update on a Facebook page supporting the use of animals in medical research before Christmas, she was trying to say how lucky she felt to be alive.  The Padua native suffers from four rare genetic pulmonary diseases that require her to use breathing tubes and experimental medication to thin the mucus in her lungs in order to breathe.  Her extreme illness makes her quickly immune to treatments, and, as a result, she has been a human guinea pig in a host of medical trials as doctors search for ways to help her live longer.  At 18, her doctors told her she couldn’t be cured, but this year, she had survived another birthday and simply wanted to say thanks.  “I am 25 thanks to genuine research that includes experiments on animals.  Without research, I would have been dead at nine. You have gifted me a future.”...

Searching For Kristin, Or The Deeply Profound Sighting Of A Pile Of Rocks In The Woods
Jennifer Bendery, HuffingtonPost Blog | Searching For Kristin | December 31, 2013

With all these stories coming out about what happened in 2013 and what we'll remember -- in sum, the Pope and Jennifer Lawrence are awesome, Syria is a mess and Congress got totally pwned by the gun lobby -- it got me thinking about what the hell happened in my little world over the past year...

The Deaths You Missed This Year
Malcom Jones, Jimmy So, and Michael Moynihan, The Daily Beast | The Deaths You Missed This Year | December 31, 2013

You've already read the major obits. From Hitler's bodyguard to the godmother of burlesque, the human computer to the world's ugliest dog, the 2013 exits you may not have heard of...

The Mystery Of The Singing Mice
Rob Dunn, Smithsonian | The Mystery Of The Singing Mice | December 30, 2013

A scientist has discovered that high-pitched sounds made by the small rodents could actually be melodious songs...

The Year In Crazy
Tom Tomorrow, via Dailykos | The Year In Crazy | December 30, 2013

A highly subjective and woefully inadequate look back at the year in CRAZY...

A Deadly Mix In Benghazi
David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times | A Deadly Mix In Benghazi | December 29, 2013

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam...

Indian Family Sees Its History In A Shirt
Leslie Macmillan, The New York Times | Indian Family Sees Its History In A Shirt | December 28, 2013

Ten years ago, lost to drugs and alcohol, Karen Little Thunder moved back to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where, she said, she saved her own life by reconnecting to her Lakota heritage, particularly the legacy of her great-great grandfather. He was Little Thunder, a Lakota leader and a contemporary of Crazy Horse, whose life spanned several decades central to the history of the tribe — from the battles it fought across the Great Plains to its resettlement on reservations...

The 52 Most Breathtaking Photos From Around The World This Year
The Huffington Post | The 52 Most Breathtaking Photos From Around The World This Year | December 27, 2013

Welcome to our special edition of "Moving Image," a roundup of the best photos from around the world this year.

The following images tell the story of the past 365 days' most compelling events, capturing happenstance moments and monumental occurrences all over the globe.

Our picks for 2013 are:

The Music Industry Is Dying? Great
James Poulos, The Daily Beast | The Music Industry Is Dying? Great | December 27, 2013

The demise of the music industry can actually work for musicians as a moment of liberating grace. You can make a sane living in an unpredictable economy...

The Strand Reveals Record Books Ales On Christmas Eve
Dianna Dilworth, Galleycat | The Strand Reveals Record Books Ales On Christmas Eve | December 26, 2013

Bookstores are not dead...