Burning: This Week On Fresh Powder

The lede

“Ummm is this terrorism?” Surely, my wife was not the only one to send a text like that last week as you and I and the rest of the world watched the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burning. An acknowledgement from Poynter on the day’s successful myth-debunking collaboration.


In TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, an eternally-good coffee table read featuring your favorite celebs and least favorite President of the United States, one inclusion stood out: the faceless, nameless Mirian G., one of far too many parents separated from their children at the border.

…  “She has the courage of a small lion, the stamina of a Welsh pit pony and the soul of a clown.” Emilia Clarke. (She’s a total Ann Perkins.)


If you go on the internet, you may have read about Beyonce releasing new-old content last week — a concert documentary and live album from her 2018 Coachella set. From Vanity Fair: “What made (the performances) different, as Homecoming reveals, was the intensive strain they put on Beyonce herself.


“A great karaoke song sends waves of excitement through the audience and based on the reactions I’ve witnessed, I have a feeling we’ll be hearing ‘Shallow’ for years to come.” According to karaoke DJs, “Shallow” has not yet been overplayed.


Meet James Holzhauer, the Jeopardy! prodigy who keeps winning unheard of amounts of money. (My Jeopardy!-watching sister-in-law says this guy’s legit.)

Thinking ahead

To April 26 and finding out what’s at the end of Taylor Swift’s countdown clock. Taylor Theorists believe she’s about to release new music and that she’s been intentionally — expertly — leaving clues for us since as early as October, despite only posting the countdown on April 13. It’s theorized that with the first clue, this Instagram picture of Taylor playing Scrabble with her mom (captioned: “Let the games BEGIN.”), posted in October, she’d already planned to post the countdown clock, six months later, on April 13 exactly because April 13 is National Scrabble Day. UN-BE-LIEV-A-BLE. (We need you now, Nicolas Cage.)

This also happened last weekThose gorillas stand up a lot like these humans I know.

Tiger, Tiger Woods, y’all: this week on Fresh Powder

Legendary CBS Sports announcer Verne Lundquist retired from everything — everything, except for this. Except for The Masters. This weekend was why. This weekend, Tiger Woods won his first major championship since 2008. What’s to follow is a collection of the best stories about the biggest sports story of this century. (Don’t even try arguing with me.)

…  SI: At Rae’s Creek, where the tournament flipped, “the sound of bells carried over the little three-hole valley, no doubt from a church somewhere nearby in Augusta — a church whose god might not have been quite so harsh as the one governing No. 12 that afternoon.

…  In being defeated by Tiger, his competitors had the best seats in the house. “Something you can’t pay for,” Tony Finau told USA Today. (Speak for yourself, Tony…) Also read: Golf Magazine has more interviews from further inside the players’ locker room.

…  “More unbelievably, he won his most recent one 14 years ago, in what now feels like another world altogether, before all those reveals of Waffle House liaisons and all the mixing of painkillers with automobiles and all the high-definition grimaces and perennial false hopes that came to define his career almost as much as his early dominance once had.” Tiger’s back in control of his own legacy: The Ringer

…  A ripple effect, as described by the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga: “The spectators gathered by the massive, hand-operated scoreboard at the 17th green heard the roar (at the 16th) — then waited, their backs turned to the hole, waiting for Woods’ birdie to be posted … (then) exploded as if they’d seen the shot themselves. Wherever you were on the course, you knew what had happened.”

…  NYT: In a period of 14 minutes at the 12th hole, “the famous Woods intimidation factor was rejuvenated. … About 90 minutes later, it had been fully restored.”

…  SI’s cover story, plus the forthcoming cover. (There are no words.)


Blame a hot person for stressing you out. It’s science. What happens next depends on which side of the brain is working: the Left appreciates what we see, the Right decides if we want to do anything about it. “The same thing probably happens when you look at a good painting. (The left side) can pump out the dopamine and perhaps make you slightly giddy,” but the right side stays quiet. You don’t make out with the painting. (Close one.)


Netflix’s newest interactive, You vs. Wild, puts Bear Grylls’ life in our hands. But when you try to kill him, “A ‘replay episode’ option popped onto the screen.” Does the reality genre lose when it mixes as an interactive experience?Vulture

…  Hard as this reporter tried, Grylls couldn’t be killed. (Someone would’ve reported it by now.)


“(Sephora), along with more than 34,000 other stores from Best Buy to Home Depot, had been using a service called the Retail Equation, which tracks customers’ returning habits via their driver’s licenses.” And Sephora has been banning the bad onesVox


Watch Zach Johnson accidentally hit his ball during a practice swing at The Masters.

…  More Tiger: The shot at 16, the commercial Nike swiftly patched together, the gum chewing and the scoreboard at Fenway.

Thinking ahead

Kim Kardashian is studying to become a lawyer. Her sisters told Vogue it makes sense, for one, because Kim’s obsessed with true-crime programming, which just means every single one of us should be lawyers, I guess. But, hey, maybe someday she’ll prosecute Kanye for his sins. (No one explicitly said she would.)

This also happened last weekGame of Thrones went digital with an app that disseminated scripts to its actors, “and when you finished them they would magically disappear.” Meanwhile, in Oregon, the burglar was a Roomba.

Winter is coming: this week on Fresh Powder

The lede

There’s only one television show important enough infiltrate “The lede” of this news digest, and on Sunday, that show returns to us, and then six weeks later it will leave us — Game of Thrones will be gone, forever. “An era will have ended in Westeros,” Matt Zoller Seitz writes for Vulture, “And as goes Westeros, so goes TV.” So goes TV shows as appointment-viewing mega events, MZS writes. “Game of Thrones may be the last show we all watch together the way we used to.”

…  The Ringer“It’s Not Too Late to Get Into ‘Game of Thrones.’ Here’s How.” (You have five days.)

…  “Custard is frozen with packed snow harvested beyond the Wall and hand churned by members of the Night’s Watch. Final prep occurs in Winterfell, where the shake is topped with shards of Dragonglass imported from the caves of Dragonstone. Please note, supplies are limited as the Wall is currently undergoing major renovations.” (Considering the value of dragonglass, it’s so 2019 to use to as milkshake topping. Then again: milkshakes are amazing.)  Devour Game of Thrones at Shake Shack now.

…  Mental Floss13 Game of Thrones-Themed Tours You Can Take Around the World (Dragon Rides Not Included — nor possible)


“Drug Addiction Used to End Political Careers, but That’s Finally Changing,” Vice reports.


The Atlantic: Says one student, “The most popular post in our admission group (on Facebook) is just, ‘Comment your Instagram handle.’ Facebook is just an easy way to find people on Instagram.” (Perhaps you’d call this dance “The Facebook.”)


Millennials Are Sick of Drinking,” says The Atlantic, “So beer is becoming more like juice,” harmonizes Vox. (Sometimes the news can be so in sync.)


“Girls are socialized to know when they come out, gender roles are already set. Men run the world. Men have the power. … And when these girls are coming out, who are they looking up to tell them that that’s not the way it has to be? And where better to do that than in sports?” (Praise Hands emoji.) That’s just a snippet of Muffet McGraw’s comments on why she does not hire men to her Notre Dame women’s basketball staff.

Thinking ahead

BuzzFeed News: “How An Aging Population Will Reshape The Internet”

This also happened last week: “Only a skull and a pair of pants were left after a suspected rhino poacher was attacked and killed by an elephant and then devoured by lions.”

That got out of hand: this week on Fresh Powder

The lede

After all the news and in-depth explainers of it, followed by the “What’s Nexts” for him and her and them, it’s now time for the round of media introspectives. “The Resistance Media Weren’t Ready for This,” measures The Atlantic: “After years of accruing followers, retweets, and Patreon donations with fevered speculation about the Mueller probe, they are facing the end of a gold rush — and they’re looking for the next opportunity.” (Back to selling websites…)

…  “Then when he became president, the instantaneous decision was to declare his presidency illegitimate and foreign-aided. I think there was a deep need to make sense of it all, to somehow not recognize the result. So a lot of people wanted to cancel it out. But that’s not what the press is supposed to do. That’s not our job,” Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi told Vox. “I mean, this was the greatest reality show in history. It had sex, it had cloak and dagger intrigue, it had the shadowy British spy, it had obscure meetings on remote islands. And it had the added advantage of being able to tell audiences, ‘You can’t turn us off, because this thing could blow up any minute.’” Vox: Did the media botch the Russia story?

…  Wired has the definitive social media timeline of the initial news, followed closely by Victory Lap 1 and Victory Lap 2: “The Internet Will Forever Fight Over the Mueller Report”


Taylor Lorenz, on the value of an online nemesis, for The Atlantic: “While hating is about putting others down, a nemesis is about pushing yourself to be better than they are. You still might relish in their failings, but ultimately you value your nemesis. You’d still show up to their funeral.”


“Billie Eilish Is The Future.” The headline on Craig Jenkins’ Vulture review of Eilish’s debut album begs us to consider her. Let’s!

…  “How Billie Eilish Is Redefining Teen-Pop Stardom”: one of a “Diary of a Song” video series by The New York Times. More Eilish in NYTOn her “redefining” debut album and every other redefining thing, “a collective middle finger to the strictures of teen-pop sex appeal.”

…  Billie Eilish you’ve probably heard

…  Billie Eilish, huge fan of The Office

…  Billie Eilish, excellent Instagram handle


“Another mother says of her children, ‘they’re the ones that told me Spotify would change my life. And it kind of has.’” Radio is nervous: Rolling Stone

…  (Preface this unrelated bit: You’re welcome.) “Local News Anchors In Ohio Decided To Use Teen Lingo And It Went About How You’d Expect”: BuzzFeed News(The video is at the bottom.)


Duke lost! (x1)

…  Duke lost! (x2)

Thinking ahead

When it comes to “Game of Thrones,” I don’t like reading guesswork. But, maybe you do. (ViceMilitary Historians Tell Us Who Will Win ‘Game of Thrones’)

This also happened last week: Celebrities, they’re just like us. (Nicolas Cage files for annulment 4 days after Vegas wedding.) And McDonald’s is threatening to change the drive-thru on us. (Jokes on you, McD’s; I order the same thing every time.)

Moving To New Zealand: This Week On Fresh Powder

The lede

True story: Less than a week after the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s history, its government not only put into motion but passed, effective immediately, a ban on military-style assault weapons which includes a buy-back program and eliminating the license that enables the sale of the weapons: CNN. (All this and time for the victims’ funerals, too? Who knew?)

…  In brief, from The New York Times, on New Zealand’s prime minister: “Jacinda Ardern Is Leading by Following No One.”

…  The Roots of Jacinda Adern’s Extraordinary Leadership After ChristchurchThe New Yorker

…  Jay Willis in GQ: “What New Zealand just did is not astonishing, though. It is the only safe, rational, and sane thing to do. We are the insane ones.”

…  New Zealand gun owners were already voluntarily giving up their firearms before the law passed, reported BuzzFeed News.


“At the heart of the bribery scandal lies the toxic belief that college acceptance confers value. That parents might go to jail over this reveals how deeply rooted this belief is. But I worry that legacy admissions are just a socially-acceptable expression of this same mindset.” Nailing it in two minutes or less is Maya DiRado Andrews, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and former legacy student of Stanford herself.


In important political news, “Veep” returns this weekend: On its final season (IndieWire), Selina Meyer’s best-selling book (EW) and an interview with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (GMA).

…  As countdowns go: Less than a month now until “Game of Thrones.” Read Emilia Clarke’s wrenching personal essay for The New Yorker“I had just finished filming Season 1 of “Game of Thrones.” Then I was struck with the first of two aneurysms.”(Long live our Queen!)


To a generation of clickbait lovers, “Florida man” is near and dear. For Poynter, a fun-sucker’s old-man take on why “The ‘Florida man’  is not so funny sometimes.” (Is this one of those, “If you don’t think you have that friend it’s because you are that friend” things?)

…  Hey, look, puppy pics!


MLB’s Los Angeles Angels gave outfielder Mike Trout a new contract worth more than $430 million over the next 12 years; naturally, that made everyone else want one, too.

…  Because maybe you and Trout look kind of alike, or because of your kid’s presumed athletic potential (with video proof).

…  “When you think of the Angels, you think about Mike Trout,” a teammate told ESPN, but I don’t know… there’s still this. (Shoulder shrug emoji.)

Thinking ahead

That dude Mueller’s report dropped like a new Beyonce album and nothing’s changed. Only new Beyonce can save us now. (Here’s the latest intel.)

This also happened last week: Twitter went bananas for a photo of a monkey that one tweeter equated to every journalist’s headshot, and I strongly recommend scrolling through the replies.

It’s Aunt Becky Calling: This Week On Fresh Powder

A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

The lede

On the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” a lot was written. From The New York Timesa well-organized cheatsheet that’d get you into USC.

…  “In the back of his head, he couldn’t help but wonder if his spot was taken by someone who paid their way into a program others were competing for. In that sense, for young people at implicated schools … the scandal was downright paranoia-inducing.” What UT, USC, and Georgetown Students Are Saying About the College Cheating Scam, from Vice.

…  In the midst of the scandal, honest, hard-working college applicants talk to The New York Times as they await admission results.

…  With Lori Loughlin implicated, Jezebel wonders what’s next for the Hallmark Channel. (Spoiler alert: It’s Gretchen Wieners.)

…  Entertainment Weekly already cast the movie, seeing it as inevitable, so save the date.

…  Meanwhile, there’s still another college scandal ongoing. It isn’t an Instagram model, but it still matters: The latest in the FBI’s investigation into NCAA recruitingcenters around Kansas.


“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis,” says pigtailed teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, to BuzzFeed News. The 16-year-old is nominated for the Nobel Prize; but what’d you do this weekend?


YouTube doesn’t always lay a golden egg, but last week it added another name to its list of personalities that got their start on its platform. Meet Lilly Singh. She was picked to replace Carson Daly on late night TV — a step toward a more diverse variety series genre, but a step that happens way past my bedtime, I’m afraid.

…  Also on that list, there’s Lindsay Ellis: How YouTube Made a Star Out of This Super-Smart Film Critic, Wired reports.

…  And: 29-Year-Old Akilah Hughes Turned YouTube Into a CareerForbes says.


Not to be confused for a musical about Britney Spears’ life, “Once Upon a One More Time” (hit me, baby) is only a musical featuring Spears’ music. A snippet of the plot, relayed by CNN: “A group of famous fairy tale princesses gather for their fortnightly book club, to read together.” (Count me in — obviously.)

… That features the song “Toxic”?


Instead of basking in its NCAA Tournament glory, Bradley tarnishes its reputation by picking a fight with a local reporter, by the Chicago Tribune.

Thinking ahead

It’s time to fill out your March Madness bracket. But first, a few things to consider: A Handy Guide for Filling Out Your March Madness Bracket, from The Ringer, and a ranking of all 68 team mascots, from NJ.com.

This also happened last weekThey were racing babies at the ACC Basketball Tournament; elsewhere, a rescue dog named Kratu made a mockery of an obstacle course.

The News Digest Is Back: This Week On Fresh Powder

A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

The lede

Like something out of Dolores Umbridge’s desk in Harry Potter, “Some individuals have a colored ‘X’ over their photo, indicating whether they were arrested, interviewed, or had their visa or SENTRI pass revoked by officials,” NBC 7 San Diego described from its investigation into leaked documents of a U.S. government-created database of journalists, activists and influencers covering or involved with the migrant caravan.

…  The Intercept went further in-depth on this issue: Journalists, Lawyers, and Activists Working on the Border Face Coordinated Harassment from U.S. and Mexican Authorities


“Most people don’t even understand whether moving the clocks forward gives them more sunlight or less sunlight in the morning. They just can’t remember what it does, because it so defies logic,” says the man who wrote the book on daylight-saving silliness to The New York Times.


Apparently, the haters took an off-week from their usual commitments to, instead, focus their attention on Brie Larson, aka Captain Marvel, by trying to sink her moviebefore its wide release.

…  If they’d waited to see the movie, however, they would’ve seen the gaping hole in their plan: Captain Marvel can fly. So, the movie did more than fine.

…  Larson, meanwhile, leaned in: Brie Larson surprised fans opening weekend at a ‘Captain Marvel’ screening and working the concession stand in New Jersey, Insiderreported.


“Millennials have been very hard at work explaining to their readers how millennials are very hard at work,” scoffs a not-Millennial writer for Slate.

…  Writers will keep spending bandwidth on this recycled take because of people like this who keep, hashtag, doing it for the selfie.

…  The zoo sends its prayers to the jaguar and her family.


The Pittsburgh Steelers dealt All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders, proving once and for all that anyone can force their ascent into eternal irrelevance so long as they kick and scream long enough. Hope you brought soda money, AB. Welcome to Oakland.

…  Ever the check and balance of the NFL, the trade didn’t jibe with the Madden algorithm.

Thinking ahead

Milwaukee and Charlotte, N.C., just became the two least-desirable vacation spots for Summer 2020 travelers, thanks to Democrats and Republicans.

This also happened last week: A pitch invader attacked Aston Villa footballer Jack Grealish in the middle of a match. Later the same day, it happened again (sans-attack) with a different fan, field and game, and, by that point, announcers on the NBC telecast had had enough.

SNO Merch!


Stories you can localize and deadlines to meet: this week on Fresh Powder

Localize this

Maybe your brain works this way, too: You click on a couple of the latest articles from Wired and while reading each one, it hits you, “Hey! Why couldn’t we do this article, too?”

… First, there’s the uber-simple election coverage — just pictures! This photographer captured New Yorkers standing in voting lines, thus capturing the resilient spirit of said voters. Here’s an idea, FREE OF CHARGE: Go out and take portraits of your school’s voters. Who are they? What do they look like? What motivated them to vote? Think “Humans of (Insert School Here),” except “Voters of (Your School).”

… Then there’s this national story about the internet-caused “homework gap” of students in America. Does your school have a large population of students living in rural areas? How’s their access to internet? Is it hindering their ability to learn and, sticking to theme, do their homework assignments? You may not realize it, but this may be the most consequential issue at your school. Not, you know, vaping.

Making deadline

When it comes to print deadlines and Election Night in the professional world, here’s the truth: It’s the one night a year news editors order pizza and pat themselves on the back for meeting their deadline. But guess what?

Sports editors do that every… single… night. And they don’t ask for Pizza Hut as a reward. But that’s besides the point. (Sorry! I had to get that off my chest.)

In a publishing world increasingly overtaken by design hubs, rather than local staffs, print deadlines keep getting earlier and earlier. And when you miss deadlines, you cost your publication money. So, on Election Night, very little concrete information shows up in the next morning’s newspaper, as Nieman Lab found out. Like a scan of Newseum’s top front pages of the day (and old past time), Nieman Lab found very little on the A1s of Wednesday editions. Some news outlets made a conscious decision to do this, to urge viewers to go online for it. (Yay for online!) Others did it because, well, they ran out of time.

According to front pages, voter turnout was amazing! But who knows who won their elections?

This also happened last week: A field goal kicker for the Chicago Bears had an amazing game, had he been playing H.O.R.S.E. Freeform is starting to get out of control. It started its countdown to the countdown of its “25 Days of Christmas.”That’s right, people. The world needs more Thanksgiving movies.

Criticism, endorsements and the future: this week on Fresh Powder

But what if it’s bad?

Consider for a moment the significance of recent box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians, which many student journalists are filing reviews of lately. Great, right? But is it actually any good? New York Times critic Wesley Morris wrote a thoughtful essay about how cultural criticism — that of art, television, movies — has worsened, in 2018, by becoming more about what the piece stands for, or it’s “moral correctness,” than its actual quality. As Morris argues, you can be happy that TV has a place for Insecure, whereas it likely wouldn’t have a decade ago, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t criticize it. Let your review writers and columnists read this one, going inside the mind of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Wholesale changes

It’s the time of year when newspapers’ editorial boards sit down, debate and draft endorsements for candidates in the upcoming election. The Des Moines Register,which is in Iowa, a pretty consequential state for political happenings, took it a step further than individual endorsement. “The (Republican) party needs to be voted out of power and spend a few years becoming again the party of Lincoln, no the part of Trump,” The Register’s editorial board wrote.

Hits and misses

A man sits down in the Library of Congress and pilfers through every issue of Wired’s 25-year history. Why? To see what predictions they’ve gotten right (like the cameraphone revolution), wrong (like sending smells through the internet), and not right or wrong — the ones that still seem to be on the horizon. Which reminds me: Where’s the flying car that makes icy Minnesota highways completely irrelevant? (Prayer hands emoji.)

This also happened last week: We all found out the passcode into Kanye West’s iPhone and a Russian government official is in trouble after his wife’s filming of a twerking music video literally stopped traffic on a busy highway in Moscow.

Surrealism, a bunch of memes, and a wedding: this week on Fresh Powder


You might have seen The Weather Channel give new meaning to the word “infographic” when it virtually embedded a meteorologist in (begin LeBron voice) not three, not six but nine feet of water in a surreal demonstration for Hurricane Florence. By our research, the demo was widely praised for inventing a new way to lay onto viewers the life risk of trying to ride the storm out when you’re being asked to evacuate. It’s a highly-impactful segment in that it begins as a typical weather report with numbers on a screen and a colored map, until suddenly the meteorologist is on a neighborhood street corner, no different than yours or mine, and water is rushing up around her. To do it, The Weather Channel utilized a “green screen immersive studio” it recently built at its Atlanta studio, which includes a wrap-around green screen (that’s where the water builds up), with help from its partnership with Unreal Engine, which specializes in “interactive mixed reality.” Both of those things likely make it beyond any of our reaches to recreate it, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Did you watch the clip? Whatever, just watch it again.

… Also surreal

The Weather Channel was not alone in doing something uniquely interesting. Who better than The New York Times? The paper created its first holographic video recording to accompany a story about model and activist Ashley Graham — and it, too, is pretty surreal; I mean, seriously, this is nuts. Here’s how they did it: Using Microsoft’s new “volumetric capture” technology, a brief recorded sequence of Graham walking can be endlessly available (like a Boomerang) to be projected into the world. Readers with the New York Times app can “project this ‘hologram’ of Ashley into their spaces as she demonstrates poses and her runway walk,” the Times’ explainer writes. Hello, Weird Science. Nice to meet you, Princess Leia. She’s literally walking on water on the desktop site. News graphics really advanced a lot this past week.


A couple controversial things happened this past week: one in the news, one in advertising. The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a White House “senior official” titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The internet, as it does, took the headline and “fixed it” into varioushilarious memes. Enjoy! The same happened in advertising when Nike unveiled its Colin Kaepernick campaign. One last time, enjoy!

On the podcast

We talked to The New York Times design team responsible for the revamped desktop homepage about how it all happened. Listen and subscribe now!

This also happened last week: Thomas, your SNO support superhero, got married last weekend. MARRIED! Please join us in congratulating him.