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Kareem Abdul Jabbar vs. the NCAA, Trouble in Cheeseburger Paradise and More #Mustreads

Also, the biggest awful-tattoo/fantastic-thing ratio ever.


Good morning!

The Internet is the frigid, black ocean. We are Jack. You are Rose. Fortunately, the Re/code raft is big enough for the both of us:

  1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and former college champion, wants you to know that the NCAA — the group that rules college sports — sucks. It sucks now, and it sucked during his college years of the late ’60s. In a piece for Jacobin, Jabbar writes about how NCAA rules made it difficult for him to make ends meet while he was in college. Jabbar uses a lot of great data points, so be sure to bookmark this for use in your next “are college sports corrupt” argument.
  2. McDonald’s has a problem. The world’s largest restaurant chain’s business is going down, while competitors like Chipotle are gobbling up market share. The causes for the McSlowdown are numerous: The menu is about as lengthy and confusing as “Moby-Dick,” its pricing scheme is all out of whack and the CEO seems stymied by the whole situation. Also, surveys say everyone thinks McDonald’s burgers suck. Read more about McDonald’s unhappy meal at Fortune.
  3. Silicon Valley loves failure — or at least it says it does. NPR Planet Money co-host Adam Davidson has a great story in the New York Times Magazine about Silicon Valley’s cult of fail, tracing its roots back to 19th century England and its present-day spread to other industries. And here’s a good tweet about it too, from Andreessen Horowitz’s Benedict Evans.
  4. The FBI once told Martin Luther King Jr. they would release details about his sex life unless, as King interpreted it, he committed suicide. Talking Points Memo has a tidy summary and a copy of the full letter. Canadian writer and prolific Tweetstormer Jeet Heer gives it great context in a quick Twitter essay (which you should read from the top down).
  5. A British scientist working on the Rosetta Project (that comet-landing thing from yesterday, which succeeded btw) has an insane tattoo on his leg of the Rosetta landing. The Daily Mail has a picture and some words. Please don’t get this tattoo.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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