The ‘Disembowelment’ of New York’s Hometown Newspaper
Newspapers all over are reckoning with the challenges of adapting their product to the demands of the internet age, and none more painfully, it seems, than the New York Daily News, which this month fired many of its best and brightest with "the swiftness of a Soviet-era purge,” as the New York Times’ Alan Feuer put it. It’s apparently all in the name of "a digitally driven corporate restructuring,” and the sudden, sloppy speed of it was stunning to witness, Feuer reported. According to his piece, “one reporter was so left in the dark that when she got to work that day, there was already an intern in her seat.” [NYT]
Virginia Police Arrested a Woman for Reporting That She’d Been Raped
There’s not one part of this story that isn’t completely horrifying. Katie J.M. Baker’s thorough reporting shows how the actions of a small police department in Virginia — described by their own chief of police in a secretly recorded meeting as “improper,” “sloppy” and “shortcutted” — devastated two sisters and apparently led to the death of a 15-month-old baby boy. [BuzzFeed]
Life on Mars?
Could there be life on Mars? The idea seems more plausible now that scientists have confirmed liquid water flowing on the surface of the planet. The flowing H2O is really a series of dark streaks of salty water that appear and disappear seasonally, but since liquid water is considered one of the essential ingredients for life, it may mean the planet is more hospitable to life than previously thought. [CNN]
A Look Back at the Special Moments of the Pope’s Visit
The Washington Post summed up the pope’s more endearing moments when he visited the U.S. in its roundup of photos, from “Baby Pope” to his blessing of a boy with cerebral palsy. The photos make it clear that while he made waves in the political arena, he made a profound impact on the lives who those who he met in passing. [Washington Post]
In case you missed any of the events in NYC, DNAinfo's live blog of the visit broke down the pope's visit with pictures and video.
Trevor Noah's 'Daily Show' Debut
Trevor Noah became the latest new comedian to take over a late night institution on Monday, as he hosted his first episode of "The Daily Show" following Jon Stewart's retirement. Cultural commentators were quick to weigh in on his performance, with Slate's Willa Paskin characterizing his debut as a solid performance, albeit one that felt a little bit too much like an impression of Jon Stewart. Still, she described Noah as a "show-biz natural" who "probably won't make the same mistake twice." "Whether he really has something to say," she continued, "for that, we'll have to wait and see." [Slate]
Are Video Lottery Machines Shortchanging New York Schools?
When New York legalized video lottery terminals in the wake of 9/11, a major selling point was that the industry would fork over at least 60 percent of profits from the machines to fund schools. The state lottery still uses this as a talking point, but after years of pushing for a lower minimum contribution by industry lobbyists, video slot machines now contribute just 45 percent of profits to New York schools, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars less revenue for education.
In this story, Buzzfeed breaks down the numbers with charts and graphs to show just how much money the state’s education system is missing out on even as the state lottery continues to trumpet its role in funding schools. [BuzzFeed]
See Who Won This Year’s MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the recipients of its 2015 MacArthur Grants, the latest batch of brilliant and creative minds to get the $625,000 award, informally known as the “genius grants." Among this year’s 24 winners is writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and performer and puppeteer Basil Twist, according to the New York Times, which profiled the awardees. [NYT]
The Owl & The Pussycat: Best Friends Forever!
For a much-needed moment of zen:
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.