I’m not going to get in the way of Miles Klee’s argument today that the rise of robocalls and their associated spam is an apolitical issue, the remedy of which people and politicians on both sides of the aisle can and should get behind.
What I will spend a few lines advocating for is Mr. Number, an app designed to block unwanted phone calls and my personal first line of defense against those scammy assholes calling me at all hours of the day. Sure, the app only works some of the time; sure, you might accidentally block the phone call of someone not trying to solicit your social security number; but damn if it doesn’t feel good to prevent even a third of those jerks hellbent on selling me a timeshare or informing me I’ve run afoul of the IRS.
Become the master of your robocall-free(ish) domain. Download Mr. Number today.
“For This Exotic Supercar Driving Club, the Real Luxuries Are the Friends They Made Along the Way”
The Canyon Carvers is a Southern California–based driving club made up of middle-aged, mostly first- and second-generation immigrants still obsessed with the finer things in life. “It’s just guys who are into cars, watches, cigars. It’s like a boys’ club — a little immature, but for the most part, it’s a clean-cut, healthy hobby.” But it’s not just toys that brings them together — it’s the joy they’ve found pushing their exotic rides to their limits, and the camaraderie of doing it together. READ MORE
Send to Voicemail
If you’re alive in 2019, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the sheet volume of robocalls and scams blowing up your smartphone. If you thought this scourge has only gotten worse since Trump was elected president, you’d be correct: The rise of robocalls can be traced to the rollback of a Federal Communications Commission rule passed under Obama in 2015. But as much as we’d like to blame Republicans for these spam calls, the issue is actually quite apolitical. And if we don’t come together and do something about them, stat, they might just be the thing that sends this country over the edge.
Tim Grierson on… FX’s ‘Better Things,’ Season Three
On what it is: “[The half-hour show] Better Things has an autobiographical setup — like her character Sam Fox, [creator and star] Pamela Adlon is a divorced mother of three daughters who makes her living acting and doing voiceover work — but whether or not the show’s incidents are based on actual experiences, the point is that they feel very real.”
On what it’s about: “At its core, this envelope-pushing sitcom pays tribute to the simple act of showing up, putting in the time, dealing with the hard shit when it would be easier to balk.”
On the elephant in the room: “Louis C.K. may have been the show’s co-creator, writing many episodes of the first two seasons, but his removal has done nothing to alter the program’s DNA.”
On what works: “What’s amazing about Better Things is its effortless ability to conjure up all the small catastrophes of everyday existence, only to shrug them off.”
On what’s lacking: “Season Three doesn’t reach quite the lyrical heights of past seasons, and it’s a little more inconsistent. Having split with her longtime collaborator and co-writer Louis C.K., Adlon is still figuring out where her adventurous, distinctive show will go next.”
On the show’s message: “The characters in Better Things are deeply flawed in deeply human ways, but again and again, the show returns to the notion that unreliable and disappointing people aren’t worth counting on — it’s the ones who have your back, no matter what, that are keepers.”
Read the rest of Tim Grierson’s take on Better Things here — including an ode to the show’s since-replaced opening credits song, John Lennon’s “Mother”; why the show makes getting a colonoscopy so terrifying; and a play-by-play of his favorite scene from the new season.
Don’t Call Cheez Whiz Cheese…
…because it isn’t. Not in any traditional sense, at least. Just check out this ingredients list:
See that? All the way down near the bottom? “Cheese Culture.” It took 15 other ingredients before we got to something with the word “cheese” in it. That’s… not good. If you’d like to know what make those 15 other additives more important than the cheese in Cheez Whiz, click here.
I Found Love in an Office Space
Oprah and Gayle; Jobs and Cook; Watson and Crick. Work soulmates bring out the absolute best in each other. But what makes someone a “work soulmate,” anyway?
Isabelle Kohn interviewed a handful of successful collaborators, a business partnership lecturer and an organizational development expert to see if she could uncover the “it” factor that makes partnerships productive and fulfilling.
Exasperated people visit the r/Anger subreddit hoping for answers to questions around how to deal with their own or a loved one’s out-of-control rage issues.
While more labor-intensive solutions like talk therapy, meditation and anger journaling have been shown to have the greatest lasting effect, many people are searching for prescriptions to do the work for them. Sadly, many find the drugs come with unexpected consequences.
Are you a renter who’s sick about how much money you’re “throwing away” on a home you’ll never own? Perhaps you shouldn’t be: Ian Lecklitner’s gonna take you through all the hidden costs of being a homeowner so you can feel better about living in a tiny-ass apartment.
Ding! You’ve Got a Virus
Getting a virus on your computer feels like a relic of a simpler time. Computer security has become more and more sophisticated, and if you own a Mac, it can seem like you’re impervious. Today, however, since smartphone usage surpasses regular computer usage, viruses have evolved so that they’re better suited to infect the computers in our pockets, not the ones on our desks.
*Sniff* *Sniff* You Stink
Women have been in a carbo-loading frenzy since news broke that everyone’s favorite fad diet, keto, might possibly be laying olfactory waste to their normally sweet-smelling bods in the form of “keto crotch.” In the meantime, guys have been wringing their hands wondering if all this talk about stinky crotches might spell disaster for their junk. As it turns out, they too have reason to worry. And not just about their crotches — everywhere else is a potential full-body fart as well.