Morning Update: Let's Maintain The Illusion That We Can Give Up Phones

Kate Spade found dead, lava consumes more than 600 homes in Hawaii, LeBron and Steph Curry won't go to the White House. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, June 6.

Lava from Hawaii’s volcano just destroyed hundreds of homes in a beachfront community

The full extent of damage is still being assessed but lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has so far destroyed up to 659 homes, officials said.

Lava from Kilauea has now covered more than 5,000 acres of land since the May eruption and officials say there's no telling how much longer it will continue. One scientist said, “I don't think any of us are thinking this is winding down.”

You should read these moving memories that people are sharing of the famously beautiful Kapoho Bay, one community that was destroyed. This one touched me: “We spent most of our childhoods finding entire worlds in your tidepools. We found lessons of patience, reverence, and community within your shores.”

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead

Spade was found in her Manhattan apartment, police said, after reportedly killing herself. She was 55 years old.

Spade built a fashion empire from a handbag company she founded in 1993. Her purses revolutionized the ’90s fashion industry.

It’s difficult to express the influence of her work, so I’ll turn it over to Wall Street Journal fashion reporter Christina Binkley, who once put it like this: “When two women met and saw they were both holding Kate Spade bags, they'd nod at each other and understand they were on the same page.”

Even though the brand bore her name, Spade had not been involved with the business in over a decade. She and her husband sold their remaining shares in the company to Neiman Marcus in 2006.

More on this

Fashion is quite personal, and fans are thoughtfully sharing what Spade’s work meant to them. This one stood out: “Ask any girl around my age about getting her first boxy Kate Spade bag and she’ll probably have a story to tell you.”

Reactions also poured in from celebrities, and we collected some of the most iconic looks made famous by the Kate Spade brand.


Miss America got rid of its swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Gretchen Carlson, chair of the board of the Miss America Organization, said, “We will no longer judge candidates on their outward physical appearance.” The changes to the pageant come amid the #MeToo movement.

Kelly Sadler, the Trump aide who joked that Sen. John McCain was “dying anyway,” is out at the White House. The circumstances surrounding Sadler's departure were not immediately clear.

The White House canceled the visit from the Philadelphia Eagles over the NFL anthem saga and replaced it with something called a “Celebration of America.”. The event lasted less than 10 minutes, and here’s a recap of its wonders. By the way, fewer than 10 Eagles were planning on showing up to the White House before Trump canceled.

Speaking of athletes going to the White House, LeBron James and Steph Curry — both in the NBA Finals right now — said they would not visit if they were invited. Here’s what LeBron said: “no matter who wins the series, no one wants to go anyway. So it won't be the Cavaliers or the Warriors going.”

McDonald’s is going to aggressively add self-order kiosks. The fast food chain plans to roll them out in 1,000 stores every quarter for the next two years. An interesting fact: The company’s CEO said customers who use the kiosks tend to browse the menu and order more.

Apple would like to help you unplug. Now check out these cool new iPhone features!

The contradiction is obvious, isn’t it? Apple is trying to sell more phones and get you to use their features, but in order to do that, it needs to convince you — the consumer — that it has your wellbeing at heart, and in order to do that, it needs to empower you to unplug.

Charlie Warzel wrote a fantastic piece about this. Here he is: “the company appears to have two simultaneous desires: to free us from the shackles of its meticulously designed and seductive technology while also finding new ways to weave its products deeper into our everyday lives.”

This is not a knock on Apple — Warzel writes that its efforts toward digital health “appear genuine and genuinely helpful.” But these initiatives coming from the company that invented the gadgets we can’t put down seems awkward to say the least.

How is this going to turn out for us? Prognosis: not good. Warzel again: “We need guardrails, but we might not have the self-control to use them.”

By the way, I recommend you subscribe to Warzel’s newsletter — he spends a lot of time thinking about these issues, so don’t miss out on his insights.

People are absolutely horrified by how awkward this local news segment is

Well, it starts with a TV reporter asking if inflation is a good thing — a weak joke that lasts an agonizing amount of time.

I promise you, it gets more and more and more cringeworthy as he explains that inflation is great because he’s at the local Inflatable Run Festival.

The whole thing is amazingly uncomfortable. People cannot handle it. You have to take a look.

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