Like Tears in Rain

Apple Podcasts, Parenting, Giant Gold Coins, D.B. Cooper, Chemical IG, Rutger

Trying out putting the link content right in the subject/header — both so it’s easier to see what I’ll be talking about at a glance and so I don’t have to come up with some pithy title about something I aim to be a blurb (this part).

This continues to be the most problematic part of the newsletter for me, mainly because when I set out to write something quick, I always end up going long — often dangerously close to 500-ish words long. I know and appreciate that some of you like that type of preamble, but I am trying to “save” that for 500ish. 5ish, I’d like to keep about the links. And so I think I’ll try a quick, two paragraph max, top-of-mind thing.

Like this. (Paragraph 3, for shame.)


Apple Plans to Bankroll Original Podcasts

Lucas Shaw & Mark Gurman:

Executives at the company have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are preliminary. Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before.

On one hand, I get the apprehension (both from Apple and from the broader podcasting community). On the other, this seems like something Apple obviously has to do. Or, at least try. Both because they now have legitimate competition doing this, but also because it potentially plays nicely with their go-forward services strategy.

If I were them, I would bundle an Apple Podcasts+ with Apple TV+ (or, more obviously Apple Music — thanks to George Creasy for the note on this, I feel silly for not including it!), rather than try to make it its own thing. I just think that’s going to be a hard sell in our era of ever-increasing subscription asks. And again, Apple is changing the proposition with podcasts here. (I still also believe they will and should bundle all of their premium services together — Apple News+ appears to be proving that the stand-alone model doesn’t work all that well already. “Apple Prime”-time, baby!)

It remains wild just how successful Apple is in the podcasting world despite doing basically nothing to actually extend the medium in the past decade. I suppose it’s a good case study in the “hands-off” approach. And this will be the opposite. Which, again, I think they have to do now. And maybe the time, with podcasting now fairly well established, makes this the smart move.


Parenting

A nice post from Fred Wilson to put things in perspective — especially for those of us who happen to be new-ish parents.


A Gigantic Gold Coin Makes Its Way to Wall Street

Asjylyn Loder has a story — about a 2,200 pound solid gold coin from Australia — with a lot of fun, er, nuggets:

What people don’t understand about gold, Mr. Hayes says, is how much it weighs—probably because Hollywood gets it so wrong. A cubic foot of iron weighs about 491 pounds. The same volume of gold tips the scales at 1,206 pounds.

To put that in perspective, the reinforced Mini Coopers that were packed with gold bars in the 2003 remake of “The Italian Job” would have tipped over backward, Mr. Hayes says. “The back springs would collapse. It doesn’t take a lot of gold to build up to a ton.”

But the plotline wouldn’t have gotten that far in the first place, he noted, because master-thief-apprentice Mark Wahlberg, steering a submersible stacked with gold, would have sunk to the bottom of a Venice canal in the opening sequence. (Paramount Pictures didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

Love that last line. Also:

Though theft would be difficult, Mr. Hayes declined to talk about security measures in place for the coin’s visit. There are instances of these types of things being stolen.

One of the six Big Maple Leaf coins made by the Royal Canadian Mint was lent to a Berlin museum in 2017, where it was promptly swiped. The heist made “Ocean’s 11” look way too complex: These thieves climbed a ladder, forced open a window, smashed the security case and rolled away the 221-pound coin in a wheelbarrow. Four men, including a museum guard, were arrested several months later, but the coin was never recovered.

Amazing. I like the idea that someone out there just has a 221-pound gold coin in their living room. Or that they took it to Costco to buy some Butterfingers in bulk or something. (Undoubtedly, it was melted down and dispersed in chunks, but that’s decidedly less fun.)


He Died Claiming to be a Disabled Veteran, But Many Believe He Was Hijacker D.B. Cooper

Morgan Krakow:

Once on the plane, the man ordered a bourbon and a 7-Up and then handed a note to a flight attendant. The note stated that he had a bomb in his briefcase. He then opened it somewhat to reveal red sticks and wires.

I thought the ending of Mad Men was fine. But I continue to believe it would have been great had they gone down one of two ways:

1) Don Draper throwing himself out of the window of Sterling Cooper, in a complete re-creation of the opening title sequence of the show.

2) Don at an airport, telling the ticket counter his name is “Dan Cooper” and proceeding to play out of the story of “D.B. Cooper” — the “B” for “Bertram”, the man who know the truth about Don/Dick’s name and history.

Anyway, this true story remains an absolute fascination.


It Looks Like a Lake Made for Instagram. It’s a Dump for Chemical Waste.

Andrew E. Kramer:

The site, a lake in Siberia, has become such a draw this summer for people posting on Instagram that whole social media pages are dedicated to its charms.

There is only one problem: The lake is a man-made waste site for a power plant, Heating and Electrical Station Number 5. And that irresistible blue hue is not the color of pristine waters reflecting off the sky, but rather the deposits of calcium salts and metal oxides, according to the electrical company that runs the plant.

If there is a better story for our current day and age, show it to me immediately.

“We strongly ask that while hunting for selfies you don’t fall in the ash dump!”

Good life advice in general.


One of the truly great soliloquies in film history. The kicker:

He wrote his own dialog for the film’s climactic face-off with his adversary Ford.

RIP Rutger Hauer.