Illustrations via Max Fleishman

Dan Carlin, Aleppo?, The end of #AirbnbWhileBlack: ICYMI

Important news you may have missed on Thursday, Sept. 8.


Aaron Sankin


Published Sep 8, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 1:40 am CDT

Dan Carlin is one on the most unique voices in the world of podcasting. On his show Hardcore History, Carlin acts like the best history professor you never had, combining fascinatingly vivid historical nuggets into grand sweeping pronouncements about world events. The former talk radio host applies that same critical eye to his other podcast, Common Sense, which is about U.S. politics. Layer 8’s Aaron Sankin interviewed Carlin about the prospect of revolution, how the Founding Fathers predicted a media obsessed with trivial bullshit, and why Donald Trump seems like a giant karmic joke.

What is Aleppo? It’s a tough question and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson would like to know the answer. The former New Mexico governor was at the receiving end of stinging criticism after he responded to a question on MSNBC’s Morning Joe about the city in northern Syria that has experienced years of devastating carnage during the country’s brutal civil war, with, “What is Aleppo?

To be fair, it’s refreshing that a presidential candidate admitted to not knowing something and didn’t just immediately pivot away from a gap in his knowledge by boasting about the quality of the greens on a golf course he owns.

If anyone is curious about Aleppo, a good place to start is Italian journalist Francesca Borri’s deeply personal memoir of reporting from the city during the early years of the war, Syrian Dust.

TV host Matt Lauer is being widely criticized for his conduct during a forum that featured both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Lauer allowed Trump to get away with making the claim that he didn’t support the invasion of Iraq (he did), while repeatedly hammering Clinton on her email scandal

Fans of not checking facts will be excited to learn Fox News host Chris Wallace has said he has no intention of pushing back against any untrue statements uttered by either candidate during the presidential debate he is hosting later this year.

Would a Spotify for physical intimacy destroy society? There’s long been a sci-fi trope about a robot uprising that spells the end for human civilization. But the robots that end up destroying humanity may end up being lovers rather than fighters.

Hillary Clinton tells story to Humans of New York. Brings feels

#AirbnbWhileBlack. In response to criticism from minority groups about discrimination they’ve experienced using the home-sharing app, Airbnb has released a report outlining how the company can do better. “The new practices include a new nondiscrimination policy, a dedicated internal team focused on fighting bias, a more diverse workforce, better rule enforcement, diversity training for hosts and executives, and new a community statement, which asserts, ‘We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you commit to treat all fellow members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect, and without judgment or bias.’”

For generations, journalists had made stupid, terrible predictions that turned out to be as wrong as wrong can be. They assumed no one remembered. Freezing Cold Takes remembers.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar has a theory about the movie Grease. Yes, her theory is super dark. Yes, her theory is the only interpretation that allows anything that happens in the movie to make even the slightest bit of sense. Yes, you should go back to high school, beauty-school dropout.

What is Bepis? As the Daily Dot’s Jay Hathaway writes,“So drink your Bepis. Or your Pippu. or Parpo. It’s up to you. Just don’t bring me any goddamn Cole.”

Pioneering politically-minded rapper Zack de la Rocha, best known as the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, is back with a new track produced by El-P of Run the Jewels. You were an angry person in the ’90s, you should probably listen to it.

Here’s a take that will always be true: it is a bad idea to threaten to kill people because of a meme.

The employees of a San Antonio mattress store that had a ‘Twin Towers sale’ will never forget the single worst idea they’ve ever had —via KENS5

Google won’t rest until every website on the internet is encrypted af —via Lorenzo Francheschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

Mega-bank Wells Fargo fired more than 5,000 employees for creating phony accounts as a way to hit sales targets, often resulting in actual Wells Fargo customers fraudulently being charged overdraft fees —via Matt Egan, CNN

Google burrito drone! Google burrito drone! Google burrito drone! —via Alan Levin, Bloomberg 

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*First Published: Sep 8, 2016, 8:44 pm CDT