1. Americans Are Fed Up With the Shutdown, and They’re Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
Americans are fed up with the government shutdown. A new poll shows people who approve of Congress barely outnumber those who believe lizard people are running the government. And most of the anger is directed at Republicans: The GOP’s favorability rating has slipped to 28% – that’s the lowest number for either party in over 20 years. It’s gotten to the point where some Americans have decided to take matters into their own hands. One good Samaritan has even started mowing the lawn outside the Lincoln Memorial with a South Carolina flag slung over his shoulder. Obama has invited Republicans to the White House to work out a deal, but don’t get your hopes up; not all of them accepted the invitation.
• The 32 Republicans you should blame for the shutdown, and how to show them you’re pissed (PolicyMic).
• Congress could learn a thing or two from National Coming Out Day (PolicyMic).
2. This is What Happens When You Cross Al-Qaeda
Libya was rocked overnight by the kidnapping of the head of its transitional government, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. Reports claim as many as 150 gunmen sieged the hotel where Zeidan was staying and fought with his guards before leading him to an undisclosed location. The kidnappers have been identified as former rebels with ties to the government known as the “Anti-Crime Committee.” It’s possible the kidnapping is retaliation for the U.S. raid that led to the capture of an Al-Qaeda operative over the weekend; Libyan militants have accused Zeidan of cooperating with the U.S. mission and threatened to remove him from power. There are reports Zeidan has been freed, but at this point it’s unclear who’s running the country.
• The guide to Libya’s militias (BBC).
3. Want to Know Who’s Going to Win This Nobel Prize? Ask a Bookie
The Swedish Academy is handing out the Nobel Prize for literature today, but it’s a little bit of a mystery who’s going to win. For some reason the Academy waits until 50 years after the award to release the names of the nominees, so bookies’ odds are the best way to figure out who might win. British bookmaker Ladbrokes has Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami as this year’s favorite, but their methods aren’t exactly scientific: They make their odds by reading blogs and reports. That said, they’ve picked the right winner four of the last six years. No American writers are favored to win this year, but some experts say that’s actually a good thing.
• Check out the bookies’ guide to the Nobel Prize (Daily Beast).
• The history of the Nobel Prize, told in pictures (PolicyMic).
4. Global Warming is So Bad the World is Going to Enter a New Climate
Scientists are releasing groundbreaking research on global warming, and the news is pretty grim. A new report from the University of Hawaii says temperatures are changing so quickly most of the world is going to enter an entirely new climate in about 35 years. At that point even the coldest year will be warmer than any other since 1860. And we only have ourselves to blame for the bad news. A recent UN report says scientists are 95% certain humans are the primary cause of global warming. This quote from the lead scientist on the Hawaii project drives the message home: “Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced. What we’re saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm.”
• This map shows you which cities climate change will hit first (WaPo).
• Here’s how urban squalor will save the environment (PolicyMic).
5. Twitter Has a Woman Problem. Here Are 25 Who Should Sit On the Board.
There’s been a lot of buzz about Twitter ever since the company announced its upcoming IPO, but not all of it is good. Twitter’s IPO filing revealed there’s only one woman out of all of the company’s investors, directors, and executives, and journalists weren’t afraid to call them out for it. That’s when Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo had a public meltdown and compared a Stanford fellow to Carrot Top. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. On a lighter note, we learned some quirky facts about Twitter founder Jack Dorsey from an excerpt of tech writer Nick Bilton’s upcoming book. Apparently Dorsey hashed out the concept for Twitter while he was jacked up on Red-Bull-and-Vodkas, and he almost quit to become a fashion designer. Good thing he stuck it out: He’s going to make at least $400 million off Twitter’s IPO.
• Here are 25 women who would be a great addition to Twitter’s board (NY Times).
• Why Twitter’s IPO will succeed where Facebook’s failed (PolicyMic).
• What it's like to live with the criminal mastermind behind Silk Road (Forbes).
• How much difference can an hour of sleep really make? (BBC)
• Find out why hundreds of Harvard students are studying ancient Chinese philosophy (Atlantic).
• 30 life hacks from the internet, tested (Mental Floss).
Thanks for reading!
What do you think about the topics in today’s Mic Check? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @nicholascbaker.
Share Mic Check and help your friends stay informed: http://eepurl.com/of1jj.