Usually viral Kickstarter campaigns leave me indifferent at best, but the latest “it doesn’t exist yet, but it can and it will, so get in early!” craze has sucked me in. I’m not even a particularly fidgety person, but the Fidget Cube looks freaking great. One of my favorite parts is how the campaign appeals to research about why fidgeting is a legitimate human need. Nineteen dollars (or $25, once the Fidget Cube exists in the wild) seems a little steep, but honestly… gosh darn it, it’s just so cute and appealing, right?

  • Not at all gadgets are as unifying, of course. Apple confirmed last week that the next iPhone won’t have the headphone jack we’ve been using for 50 years or so. Yahoo Finance and The Verge are decidedly grumpy about it for a range of reasons, particularly regarding the ongoing battle over digital rights management — in this case, literally who gets to control what you listen to. BuzzFeed bravely tells us that we’re all freaking out over nothing, whatever, it’s actually a pretty good experience as a piece of technology. Frankly, there’s a bigger worry that women in particular have:

  • Also lost in the eternal chum of American election-year reporting, you definitely can’t miss the Washington Post’s look into how Donald Trump hasn’t spent any of his own money on the Trump Foundation since 2008. I mean, you’d have to be a sucker to think you have to give charitably yourself to take credit for it. Just get donors to give to you! (Surprised, in a not-surprised kind of way? This isn’t at all out of line with his licensing schemes for developments.)
  • Katy Waldman, writing for Slate, is a freaking gift. Her beautiful, considered review of Nadja Spiegelman’s multigenerational mother-daughter memoir I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This is both a pleasure to read in itself and a wonderful vehicle for generating interest in the book. Definitely pair with Alexandra Petri’s hilarious “An Easy Guide to Writing the Great American Novel.” Are you out there, Guy in Your MFA?
  • Even though it’s been nearly two years since I left Chicago, city of my heart and soul, I can’t bring myself to unsubscribe from all the local news Twitters. And of course, because Chicago, it was big news that Greektown’s iconic Parthenon restaurant was closing — as well it should be: this is the place that invented saganaki, the famous flaming cheese appetizer that’s one of the best parts of going to Greek restaurants, even if you’re not the one ordering. “Opa! In Praise of Flaming Saganaki” is a nice tribute from Chicago Magazine. Talk about an eternal legacy.
  • Which leads nicely into a feel-good item from my actual hometown: Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University (see previous post). Looks like not only is the Scripps School of Journalism removing alum Roger Ailes’ name from the WOUB newsroom, it’s returning several hundred thousand dollars in donations and trying to distance itself from a scholarship he set up. “I really don’t know how I would have taught in that space another day,” said one j-school professor at the announcement. Finally — at least one happy ending in 2016.

Saganaki/general representation of the world and the U.S. presidential election (despite not taking place in a dumpster) photo by Adam Minter; you might also check out this photo by Flickr user lhongchou, just for the amusement factor.

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