1. “The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age.” It’s an astonishing look inside the cultural change still needed in the shift to digital—even in one of the world’s greatest newsrooms. Read it.
“I confess I didn’t feel anything quite so revelatory when I read last week’s leaked version—which read like an indoor-voice summary, expected and designed to be leaked to the broader world. This fuller version is quite different—it’s raw. (Or at least as raw as digital strategy documents can get.) You can sense the frayed nerves and the frustration at a newsroom that is, for all its digital successes, still in many ways oriented toward an old model. It’s journalists turning their own reporting skills on themselves.”
2. “Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist.” Yes, your gluten sensitivity may be in your head.
“Analyzing the data, Gibson found that each treatment diet, whether it included gluten or not, prompted subjects to report a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees. Reported pain, bloating, nausea, and gas all increased over the baseline low-FODMAP diet. Even in the second experiment, when the placebo diet was identical to the baseline diet, subjects reported a worsening of symptoms! The data clearly indicated that a nocebo effect, the same reaction that prompts some people to get sick from wind turbines and wireless signals, was at work here. Patients reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause. Gluten wasn’t the culprit; the cause was likely psychological. Participants expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did. The finding led Gibson to the opposite conclusion of his 2011 research: ’In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten.’ Instead, as RCS reported last week, FODMAPS are a far more likely cause of the gastrointestinal problems attributed to gluten intolerance. Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist at Monash University and lead author of the study alongside Gibson, noted that when participants consumed the baseline low-FODMAP diet, almost all reported that their symptoms improved!”
3. “Fat Woman Talking” Libby Hill on how Louie starts a necessary conversaion.
“In this way, ’So Did The Fat Lady’ ventures into territory rarely explored in pop culture: what it is to be a fat woman existing in a society that views her as less than. In the episode, a lovely, funny, overweight waitress named Vanessa (Sarah Baker) romantically pursues Louie to less than ideal ends. During her pursuit, Vanessa is revealed to be a fully formed, fully realized person; smart and capable; independent and motivated; stepping out of the fat girl holding cell populated entirely with Funny Best Friends and blazing a new trail: She is the Manic Pixie Fat Girl. And for good reason. Vanessa is written in the most droll and likable way because C.K. wants to make it perfectly clear that the reason she is rejected is because of her size. Not even being the platonic ideal is enough when you’re an overweight woman.”
4. “Why Today’s Best Horror Films Come from Australia.” Calum Marsh on how the land down under has become the source of some of the most striking horror films of late.
“Oddly enough, however, the most significant boon to the genre’s credibility would arrive in the form of a re-release of the 1971 film Wake in Fright. The long-lost cult classic, a harrowing psychological thriller by First Blood director Ted Kotcheff, was re-released in 2012 by indie distributor Drafthouse Films, whose celebrated efforts to return the film to public view brought with it an influx of publicity and attention. It also suddenly seemed apparent that Wake in Fright’s blistering portrayal of the outback and the anxieties that curdle under the sweltering Australian sun constituted the principal antecedent of the Aussie horror movement.”
5. “Still Radioactive and Spoiling for a Fight.” Godzilla, Grandaddy of Movie Monsters, Stomps Back.
“Godzilla shows up fairly late in the new movie that bears his name, and he also shows his age. Though this gigantic monster is, within the film’s own mythico-scientific terms, the long-slumbering reminder of a primordial, prehuman age, by the calendar of popular culture, he’s a baby boomer. And now, roughly 60 years after he first appeared (as Gojira in the still unsurpassed, recently restored Japanese original), everybody’s favorite skyscraper stomper is exhibiting some familiar generational traits. He seems grumpy and underslept, as well as thicker around the jowls and midriff. And though he arrives dragging the usual heavy allegorical baggage, you can detect a trace of wistful worry in his rampages, as if he had begun to doubt his own relevance.”
Video of the Day: Arcade Fire’s “We Exist” music video starring Andrew Garfield:
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