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 Girl From Ipanema Is Not Alone: Rio's Famous Beach Is A Rich, Cultural Kaleidoscope
Brandon Presser, The Daily Beast | The Girl From Ipanema | June 26, 2014

Bikini models, tweens, drug dealers, and hawker tycoons; Ipanema -- the world's most famous beach -- is so much more than its famous "girl" from that song...

A SWAT Team Blew A Hole In My 2-Year-Old-Son
Alecia Phonesvanh, Salon | Bou Bou's Story | June 25, 2014

That's right: Officers threw a flashbang grenade in my son's crib -- and left a hole in his chest. It gets worse...

The Secret Suarez In All Of Us
Michael Bloomfield, The Guardian | The Secret Suarez In All Of Us | June 25, 2014

Luis Suarez has been accused of biting another football player. As a psychiatrist I'd ask if primitive Freudian urges explain his behavior...

The End Of The Hipster: How Flat Caps And Beards Stopped Being So Cool
Morwenna Ferrier, The Observer | The End Of The Hipster | June 23, 2014

Meet Josh. Josh is a 30-year-old artist/chef who lives in a converted warehouse in Hackney, east London. Josh has a beard, glasses and cares about the provenance of his coffee. He pays his tax, doesn't have a 9-to-5 job and, along with his five polymathic flatmates, shuns public transport, preferring to ride a bike...

The Absolutist
Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker | Ted Cruz Profile | June 23, 2014

Ted Cruz, the Republican junior senator from Texas, has heard the line about how the Party needs to become more moderate to win Presidential elections. “It is amazing that the wisdom of the chattering class to the Republicans is always, always, always ‘Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats,’ ” he told me. “That’s been true for my entire lifetime. The chattering classes have consistently said, ‘You crazy Republicans have to give up on what you believe and become more like Democrats.’ And, I would note, every time Republicans do that we lose.”...

This Is Your Brain On Writing
Carl Zimmer, The New York Times | This Is Your Brain On Writing | June 23, 2014

A novelist scrawling away in a notebook in seclusion may not seem to have much in common with an NBA player doing a reverse layup on a basketball court before a screaming crowd. But if you could peer inside their heads, you might see some striking similarities in how their brains were churning...

Horace Silver Dead: Pioneering Jazz Pianist Does At 85
Chris Talbott, The Huffington Post | Horace Silver, R.I.P. | June 20, 2014

Horace Silver, a pianist, composer and band leader with a tireless inventiveness who influenced generations of jazzmen with his distinctive hard bop sound, has died. He was 85...

Gerry Goffin, Hitmaking Songwriter With Carole King, Dies At 75
William Yardley and Peter Keepnews, The New York Times | Gerry Goffin, R.I.P. | June 20, 2014

Gerry Goffin, who collaborated with Carole King to write some of the biggest hits of the 1960s, songs that endured through generations and became classics, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” “Up on the Roof,” “One Fine Day” and “The Loco-Motion,” died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 75...

The Monster Of Mosul: How A Sadistic General Helped ISIS Win
Andrew Slater, The Daily Beast | Monster Of Mosul | June 19, 2014

ISIS's success in Mosul could have something to do with the Iraqi government putting a general accused of carrying out systematic torture in charge of the city's security...

A Chorus Of 'Goooooool,' The Siren Song Of Soccer
Fernanda Santos, The New York Times | The Siren Song Of Soccer | June 19, 2014

Having caught his first big break on radio 50 years ago, José Carlos Araújo, who had honed his sportscasting skills by calling button soccer games in a neighbor’s backyard, figured he would have to tame his changing voice to avoid losing his pitch halfway through the effusively long cries of “goooooool” that are the hallmark and necessity of a Brazilian play-by-play announcer’s routine...