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The best of the Web this week includes an explanation of "mansplaining," an amazing art project in China, 61 things you didn't know about hoboes, five tricks Facebook uses when dealing with your privacy, and more. Enjoy!


Arts and Culture

The Problem With Men Explaining Things / Rebecca Solnit / Mother Jones

This piece floored me. You should read it, especially if you're a man. Or a woman.





Obituary: Neil Armstrong / The Economist

An amazing man and story: "The original landing area turned out to be full of large boulders. ... By the time he found his spot, there was only 25 seconds of fuel left in the thanks."




61 Things I Learned At The National Hobo Convention / Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed

A wonderful story, animated by curiosity and genuine interest. Lots of gems, including: "6. When a hobo dies, they are said to have 'caught the Westbound.'"




Green Pedestrian Crossing In China Creates Leaves From Footprints / Christopher Jobson / Colossal

Art and advocacy meet in this clever and beautiful campaign.




Politics and World Affairs

I'm Right, You're Wrong And Other Political Truths / Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg

Finally, something people from both parties can all agree on!




Fear Of A Black President / Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic

A searching and sobering consideration of race relations in America, and of the poignant mixture of disappointment and pride Coates finds in Obama and his administration.




What I Learned At Bain Capital / Mitt Romney / The Wall Street Journal

Romney makes the case for how his business experience has equipped him to turn around the economy.




So, Mitt, What Do You Really Believe? / The Economist

Ouch: "A businessman without a credible plan to fix a problem stops being a credible businessman. So does a businessman who tells you one thing at breakfast and the opposite at supper." (via Maurice)




The Reality Of Trying To Shrink Government / Lawrence Summers / The Washington Post

Important perspective: "For structural reasons, even preserving the amount of government functions that predated the financial crisis will require substantial increases in the share of U.S. economy devoted to the public sector."




Business and Economics

The Cheapest Generation / Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissman / The Atlantic

Car and home ownership are down significantly among millennials, with many interesting explanations and implications. One insight: "young people prize 'access over ownership.'"




The Acqui-Hire Scourge: Whatever Happened To Failure In The Valley? / Sarah Lacy / PandoDaily

Interesting and well-argued piece. "Everyone loves to say that Silicon Valley's great strength is an acceptance of failure." But widespread acquisitions may be undermining this.




The Case For Spending A Little More Sometimes / Carl Richards / The New York Times

Simple advice: Avoid the temptation of cheap and disposable, and invest in things that are worth owning for the long haul.





Tootsie's Secret Empire / Ben Kesling / The Wall Street Journal

A fun story on the candy company's secretive, and aging, CEO. Plus, this great lede: "How many licks does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Roll Industries? No one really knows."




Smart Service Design Needs A New Language For Anonymity / Jan Chipcase / Co.Design

Some interesting nuggets on the value, and dangers, of personal recognition in customer service. (via @dbkahn)




Science and Technology

Digital Scarcity / Tuhin Kumar

Soon enough, digital "... will replace physical as the primary dimension in which we spend our time. ... We need to find a better way to tell others what is worth their time."





5 Design Tricks Facebook Uses To Affect Your Privacy Decisions / Avi Charkham / TechCrunch

Side-by-side comparisons show a concerted effort to make it less clear what permissions you're granting.




Apple V. Samsung Verdict Is In: $1 Billion Loss For Samsung / Joe Mullin / Ars Technica

Interesting context: "Apple's ultimate target is Google," whose Android operating system so enraged Steve Jobs that he promised "thermonuclear war."




The Worldfalls / Oliver Morton / Heliophage

A short, vivid mental image that will change the way you think about energy, from the author of a book on photosynthesis called "Eating the Sun."




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via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Pets

Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

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