The Weekender: Eurovision, IndyCar, and cybersecurity extortion

What to do, see, and read this weekend

Hello fellow weekend-goers, and welcome back to The Weekender. This week, we learned what it was like to be a child research subject, we rode in an IndyCar, and we went to the talent competition Eurovision. We'll also be setting you up for a stellar weekend back on this terrestrial plane. So sit back and take a journey with us.


Do this

Might Get Weird: Memorial Day Party, New York, NY

Brooklyn-based DJ collective the Deep host a raucous Memorial Day party at an undisclosed location this Monday. Photo by Madison McGaw.

might-get-weird-party

Read this

Growing up as a child research subject

Scientific studies on humans have strict ethical guidelines nowadays, but that wasn't always the case. Researchers used to perform some very questionable tests on young children, including one mysterious study that led the author of this story to spend time at a day care with monkeys.

Did this cybersecurity firm use a data breach for extortion?

LabMD has been in a long and convoluted legal saga over leaked social security numbers for years, but now the story may be changing. What was once seen as a data breach could in fact be extortion at the hands of a security company, one that should have been offering help in the first place.

Eurovision and Nothingness: backstage with the hopefuls of Europe's biggest TV event

Eurovision is like a super-sized American Idol that's been made several degrees weirder. But just like American Idol, its winners and losers struggle to succeed after the show. We went backstage with one of the bands to see how they're planning to make the most of their fleeting Eurovision fame.

Inside the labs where Netflix is trying to make televisions suck less

Netflix has built a confined chamber — named after the one in Orange Is The New Black — right inside its headquarters for the purpose of putting TVs to the test. We went inside to see how it's trying to get Sony, Samsung, Vizio, and other manufacturers to build better and better TVs.

Terrifying bliss: my two laps in an IndyCar

As its new season kicks off, IndyCar is implementing some changes to make things more interesting. That includes making cars a lot faster — but it's also looking like it could make them a lot more dangerous. Here's what it's like to ride in one.



Lethal Entanglements

The New Republic
Ben Crair reports on the use of illegal and ineffective drugs in America’s lethal injection process.

As he lay on the gurney, Landrigan thanked his family for attending and spoke his last words: "Boomer Sooner," a lyric from the University of Oklahoma’s fight song. An execution team member began pushing the first drugs at 10:15 p.m. Eleven minutes later, the doctor declared Landrigan dead. For some reason, Ryan asked the execution team to administer the backup drugs to Landrigan’s corpse, but without any blood pressure, it was difficult to depress the syringe. The doctor warned that Landrigan’s vein might rupture, and Ryan called them off. The doctor’s work was done, and Ryan paid him $18,000 cash. He claimed he didn’t learn until later, from news accounts, that the drug that had killed Jeffrey Landrigan was illegal.



Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?

New York Magazine
Lisa Miller reports on a school in New York City that’s pioneering a new curriculum meant to boost self-esteem and support minority racial identities.

But Fieldston’s program would be bolder, more radical: It would be mandatory rather than voluntary, and built into the school day itself; it would compel participation from children of all races who would at first be separated into racial "affinity groups"; and it would start in the third grade, with 8-year-olds, an age when many of the kids have only an inchoate sense of what "racial identity" means. It would be a boundary-pushing experiment, in other words, in a place that seemed exceptionally hospitable to progressive experimentation — but also, undeniably, a privileged and racially anomalous bubble.



The Untold Story of ILM, a Titan that Forever Changed Film

Wired
Alex French and Howie Khan tell the story of Industrial Light & Magic, a special effects department born out of George Lucas’s necessity.

As it turns 40 this year, ILM can claim to have played a defining role making effects for 317 movies. But that’s only part of the story: Pixar began, essentially, as an ILM internal investigation. Photoshop was invented, in part, by an ILM employee tinkering with programming in his time away from work. Billions of lines of code have been formulated there. Along the way ILM has put tentacles into pirate beards, turned a man into mercury, and dominated box office charts with computer-generated dinosaurs and superheroes. What defines ILM, however, isn’t a signature look, feel, or tone—those change project by project. Rather, it’s the indefatigable spirit of innovation that each of the 43 subjects interviewed for this oral history mentioned time and again. It is the Force that sustains the place.



The Charmed (and Charming) Life of Shamir Bailey

Pitchfork
Mike Powell hangs out with rising pop icon Shamir in Las Vegas.

As for high school, Shamir didn’t like it, which he feels guilty about, because nothing verifiably bad happened: no bullying, no ostracism, no being shoved into the locker. If anything, his complaint is that people liked him, albeit in a reductive, petlike way. "It was always ‘Shamir With the Guitar’ or ‘Shamir With the Hair,’" he says—a quirky sprite who dances through life and leaves a spray of emoji diamonds in his wake. "I wanted to be a rebel so badly," he adds, then sighs and moves on.

shamir-bailey


We Need More Autopsies, To Help Save The Living

Nautil.us
David Dobbs explains why autopsies are so important.

How do we know they’re wrong? Because of so-called autopsy studies. In an autopsy study, researchers perform or collect data from post-mortem dissections of large numbers of dead people; determine definitively why they died; and then compare those findings to the causes of death listed on those people’s medical or death records. These studies reliably find something rather shocking: about 15 to 30 percent of the time, the diagnoses at time of death are wrong—and 5 to 10 percent of the time, that diagnostic error probably helped kill the patient.

Listen to this

Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?

Dance-rock figureheads Hot Chip return with more synthed-out space pop.

Total Babes - Heydays

Ohio’s Total Babes curl up with gnarled pop punk that buries itself in swaddles of buzzed angst.

Play this

Schlachteplatte

Schlachteplatte is a German dish composed of several meats, and now it’s a game. Kind of like Candy Crush but with animal flesh, you try to match similar meatballs together and when you succeed, those meatballs explode.

meat-game

Watch this


Pink Flamingos

Only for those with strong stomachs who really like camp.