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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.

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...

It Looks Like A Crazy Guy Just Walking Around In The Snow. Then You Zoom Out And...Whoa.
Viralnova | You Zoom Out And... Whoa. | December 25, 2013

It’s possible you’ve never heard of Simon Beck, but after today, you won’t be able to forget him or his wintry works of art. Simon is an artist and is most well-known for making incredibly delicate and detailed art in the snow, just by walking over a fresh snowfall. He literally walks miles in the snow to create these pieces. And the part that blows our minds? He could spend hours upon hours creating one design, just to have it be covered by snowfall or blown away by the next day. But he still makes them...

Edward Snowden, After Months Of NSA Revelations, Says His Mission's Accomplished
Barton Gellman, The Washington Post | Edward Snowden, After Months Of NSA Revelations, Says His Mission's Accomplished | December 24, 2013

The familiar voice on the hotel room phone did not waste words.

“What time does your clock say, exactly?” he asked.

He checked the reply against his watch and described a place to meet.

“I’ll see you there,” he said.

Edward Joseph Snowden emerged at the appointed hour, alone, blending into a light crowd of locals and tourists...

American Mirror: The Life And Art Of Norman Rockwell, by Deborah Solomon
Garrison Keillor, The New York Times Book Review | The Storyteller | December 22, 2013

Dear fragile Norman Rockwell. He grew up in a series of cramped apartments and shabby boardinghouses in Upper Manhattan, skinny, weak-chinned, squinty, an abysmal student, inept at math, probably dyslexic, neglected by his parents, overshadowed by a handsome, athletic older brother, and for the rest of his life was uncertain of himself and modest to a fault. He enrolled in art school to become an illustrator in the footsteps of Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth, just as the Armory Show of 1913 was about to usher in the avant-garde and relegate illustration — art as storytelling — to the back pages. He was a loner, did not feel close to his parents or brother, was not a devoted father to his three sons. He was married to his work; his three wives, Irene O’Connor, Mary Barstow and Molly Punderson, learned to accommodate. His biographer reports that his love life was stark: “Nothing that can be described as a love letter survives among his papers. It seems unlikely that he ever wrote one.”...

David Byrne: "Do you really think people are going to keep putting time and effort into this, if no one is making any money?"
David Daley, Salong | David Byrne | December 22, 2013

The musical genius shares his songwriting secrets, opens up his finances and ponders the future of art and the Web...

The Indispensable Leader Of The Marijuana Movement
Fred Gardner, Counterpoint | The Indispensable Leader Of The Marijuana Movement | December 19, 2013

Last weekend at the Emerald Cup, a sprawling hempfest held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Dennis Peron got a lifetime achievement award and I got to present it. The marijuana legalization movement would not have achieved its great breakthrough in 1996 had it not been for Dennis, the founder and maitre’d of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club...