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 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...

Someone Is Spilling ISIS's Secrets On Twitter
Jacob Siegel, The Daily Beast | @wikibaghdady | June 19, 2014

A mysterious Twitter account is trying to stop ISIS’s rise to power by spilling the terror group’s secrets online. For more than six months a series of tweets have detailed the alleged covert alliances and conspiratorial machinations behind the ascension of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Islamist group taking over large parts of Iraq. Taken together, the tweets form a slanted but valuable picture of ISIS and one of the only portraits of its leaders. Perhaps even more important, the account is still active, sending out tweets days ago about ISIS’s current strategy in Iraq and what it plans to do next...

Quiet About Adversary, U.S. Posts A Victory That Speaks Volumes
Juliet Macur, The New York Times | A Victory That Speaks Volumes | June 17, 2014

In the days leading up to the United States national team’s game against Ghana on Monday, not one American player said a word about the past.

No one talked about how Ghana had knocked the United States out of the past two World Cups, or how it had the psychological edge at this tournament. Not one sentence was spoken about the need for a victory in the team’s first game of this World Cup so the United States could finally break free from Ghana’s spell.

But, in the corners of the players’ minds, those thoughts simmered...

The Case For Doing Nothing In Iraq
Barry R. Posen, Politico | The Case For Doing Nothing In Iraq | June 17, 2014

The same people who got us into this mess want America to "do something." Ignore them.

Here we go again. Whenever there’s a crisis anywhere in the world, you can count on America’s pundit class to demand action—usually of the military variety. Don’t just stand there, bomb something! After more than two decades of unchallenged American hegemony, Washington keyboards seem almost programmed to call for intervention halfway around the globe...