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A Very Bad Smartwatch, What Tech Says About Us and More

Plus, sumo wrestling and a freshman legislator who's literally a freshman.

swilmor via iStock


You are in a desert, and this post is the Nalgene full of ice cold content you’ve been hoping for. Brought to you by Re/code:

  1. So made a “wearable” (he really doesn’t want you to say it’s a smartwatch) called the Puls. It’s uncomfortable to wear. Its keyboard is impossible to use. It has a supposedly high-end voice function that, in practice, is actually terrible. This led the Verge’s Dan Seifert to declare it “the worst product I’ve touched all year.”
  2. Paul Ford is a programmer and writer who writes about technology in such a way that he gets at a lot of basic and important human truths. His latest essay, on Medium, is about how technology fundamentally tells the story of how people relate to one another, and how the death of a friend made Ford crazy about “retro-computing.”
  3. After Tuesday, an 18-year-old Republican from West Virginia is officially America’s youngest state lawmaker. Saira Blair, who was not even an idea until 1996, is a West Virginia University freshman who opposes gay marriage and wants to drug-test welfare recipients. She previously worked for her parents’ apple orchard and water softener company. For more on this, New York’s Daily Intel caught up with Blair, who is younger than MTV’s “The Real World.”
  4. Grantland sent one of its best writers, Brian Phillips, to Japan earlier this year, and he came back with a sprawling, beautifully crafted feature about sumo wrestling, the samurai-sumo link and the spiritual dynamics of the whole sport. It’s very long, but the artwork and prose make it well worth your while.
  5. The music video for Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” is strange and crazy, with an off-kilter and amusingly gritty visual style that somehow matches the music. The directors of that video have a new short film on Vimeo called “Interesting Ball” that is made in such a way so as to defy a tidy description. Slightly NSFW.

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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