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The Case for Voicemail, Mourning "The Fantastic Four" and More #Mustreads

Voicemail doesn't have to be torture, but saying good-bye to "The Fantastic Four" does.

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Good morning!

Here’s some of the best stuff on the Web, brought to you by the Re/code team:

  1. Everyone hates voicemail. You can’t just scan for what you need to know, it takes up precious smartphone hard drive space and yet your parents still leave them. Well, that’s the point, says Leslie Horn in Gizmodo. In the age of ephemeral messages and 140-character word limits, voicemails (like phone calls) are a way to show that you care, that there’s real meaning to be found in the awkwardness of talking into the void.
  2. “The Fantastic Four” is dead, killed by a comic book empire more concerned with movie rights than creative integrity. New York’s Abraham Riesman penned an eloquent eulogy for the legendary foursome, whose demise was announced at New York ComicCon this past weekend. Riesman believes this decision was unnecessary, or as he put it: “This is an execution, not a mercy killing.”
  3. Making fun of wearables is easy. These Onion articles are proof of that. Sometimes real life is funnier. This head-scratching story from the Guardian (note: not the Onion) tells of a U.S. Navy service member who checked in for treatment after experiencing withdrawal symptoms when he took off his Google Glass. His symptoms included “involuntary movements, cravings, memory problems and dreaming as if he was wearing the glasses.” Please talk with your doctor to see if Google Glass is right for you.
  4. In America, you are what you buy. In our society, what you do with the $20 in your wallet is supposed to speak to who you are and what you identify with. But what if you don’t have that $20? In the Billfold, essayist and writing instructor Heather Ryan writes about the magical feeling of actually having cash to spend on her kids’ back-to-school clothes, when she’s used to using a needle and thread to make them presentable every September. Her article is the third in a multi-part series called “Making a Life” about getting by as a single mom who’s frequently between jobs.
  5. We all have friends who swear by the insanity workout, or crossfit or the Paleo diet or something else. They choose to suffer to make their friends (read: me) self-aware about being lazy, or alternately, it’s because real freedom means being free to oppress one’s own body. Heather Havrilesky, author of the “Ask Polly” advice column at New York magazine, has a piece in the New York Times Magazine on this extreme fitness fad that’s sweeping the privileged classes off their $200 trainers, and why physical fulfillment in modern America looks awfully torturous.

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