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Monday, December 31, 2001


Crisp And Even
by Economist
January 1st sees the biggest-ever introduction of new banknotes on a single day. It may go smoothly — but the history of paper money is littered with warnings.

Changing The Coins Of The Realm
by Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle
Full transition to the new euro to take months in 12 nations.

Two Worlds Paired By War
by C. J. Chivers, New York Times
The sky darkened. The stars came out. It was Christmas Eve and peaceful enough to nap. The trip hadn't started out like this.


Life Of The Party
by Lynell George, Los Angeles Times
You can plan all you like, but it's the unexpected that makes for a great gathering.

Ready Or Not, Here Comes The Euro
by Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times
On Tuesday, visitors to Europe will find themselves in a grand economic experiment.

It Was A Very Strange Year
by Arts Staff, Salon
In movie screens in 2001, the nightmares took over, with the exception of one wizardly epic.

After 6 Novels In 12 Years, A Character Just Moves On
by James Sallis, New York Times
Time to put down the horn and say goodbye to Lew.

Sunday, December 30, 2001

Tech & Science

Ba-Da Bang
by Richard Powers, New York Times
In one of the great paradoxes of this controversial life, Hoyle is most widely remembered as the coiner of the phrase "Big Bang," a term he invented to disparage a theory he couldn't abide.


What A Difference 3 Months Makes
by Rachel Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times
Derailed by Sept 11, "Collateral Damage" may now have time on its side.

Where The Towers Still Stand Tall
by Diane Haithman, Los Angeles Times
In museums and galleries, documentary photos draw new interest.

Community By The Book
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Wall Street Journal
When I need to get away, I run for the Borders.

Cheese It With The Bad Cheese. It's The French Food Police
by Dietlind Lerner, Chicago Tribune
Like Pere Noel, champagne and strikes, the French food police have become an integral part of this country's holiday season.

TV, Making 9-11 Its Business
by Tom Shales, Washington Post
The world will never ben the same, like the cliche says. But then in a case like this, the world should never be the same, and we shouldn't allow it to be.

The Plot Thins
by Francie Porse, New York Times
In the kitchen of tomorrow, a turkey would roast itself in 20 minutes. Smart cars would intuit our destination and get us there in a flash. Dad and Mom would reap the glorious benefits of space-age science and labor-saving efficiency. So why couldn't — why shouldn't — Junior be able to read "War and Peace" in an hour?

Nouveau Collector
by Deborah Solomon, New York Times
Elaine Dannheisser proved that art collectors can be as vivid as the artists they collect.

Comes With Batteries. Not A Shrink
by Jenny Lyn Bader, New York Times
Who says American kids won't learn foreign languages? Truth is, they will even learn a nonexistent foreign language in order to chat with their toys.

Saturday, December 29, 2001


Life After Boeing: Uncertainty Sets In
by Jack Broom, Seattle Times
True, Rodney was laid off from Boeing two weeks ago and doesn't know where he'll land. And true, Karen has sent off 10 job applications and hasn't had an interview. But for now, the Dales, along with close family and friends, are enjoying the simple joys of the season.

Champagne And A Frisk At New Year's Festivities
by Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle
If you'are planning to party at one of the big venues on New Year's Eve, take Leslee Stewart's advice: "Arrive Early, Travel Light."

Take This Media... Please!
by Al Franken, Ani Difranco, Et Al., The Nation
After compiling our guide to the "Big Ten" media conglomerates, we shared it with cultural producers and critics in a range of fields: music, journalism, television, publishing. Following are their comments.

Stranger In A Strange Land
by Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic
The dismay of an honorable man of the left.

American Airlines: Two Bloopers
by Colbert I. King, Washington Post
No offense, American Airlines, but I'd just as soon take the bus.

Pilgrimage To New York City: Paying Respects And Spending Little
by Susan Saulny, New York Times
Officials in the tourism industry are unnerved. They know the disaster site is the sole reason many of these people visit New York, but they dare not market the city that way.

Friday, December 28, 2001


Should Americans Exchange Privacy For Security?
by Patti Waldmeir, Financial Times
Even if the loss of privacy is unavoidable, the social cost of its sacrifice is not a small one.

Smart Woman, Foolish Choices
by Thomas J. Bray, Wall Street Journal
A glance at the Web site of the Environmental Protection Agency might leave you thinking that Mr. Gore had won the electon on a smart-growth platform.

Tech & Science

Digital Technology Is Reconfiguring The Taxi
by Sam Lubell, New York Times
The cab, the workhorse of urban living, seems to be getting a technological makeover.


PJs Are Climbing Out Of Bed
by Michael Quintanilla, Los Angeles Times
Jammies are making more public appearances these days, doing double duty in eye-catching prints.

The People's Choice: Movies You Can Spell
by David Montogomery, Washington Post
We, the moviegoing public, should be ashamed of ourselves.

When A Year Becomes An Old Acquaintance
by Jon Pareles, New York Times
Soon it will be over. That may be the best thing left about 2001.

How To Celebrate The New Year When The City Is Still Wounded
by Susan Saulny, New York Times
A half-million people are expected to crowd into Times Square on New Year's Eve, but across a city still nukb fromt he attack on the World Trade Center, many interviewed yesterday had yet to decide what to do that night.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Tech & Science

Ice Memory
by Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker
Does a glacier hold the secret of how civilization began — and how it may end?

A Passenger Whose Chatter Is Always Appreciated
by Anne Eisenberg, New York Times
An invention that would relieve the loneliness of long-distance solo drivers: a software sidekick that operates from the car dashboard.


Turning Girls Into Ladies
by Stephanie Chavez and Cara Mia DiMassa, Los Angeles Times
Behind the scenes of Pasadena's Tournament of Roses lies an awesome princess-making machine.

Love Hurts
by Lisa Levy, Slate
The five deadly sins of romantic comedies.

The Not-The-USO
by Lonnae O'Neal Parker, Washington Post
Ex-member opens 2nd entertainment front.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001


Weren't We All So Young Then?
by Anna Quindlen, Newsweek
Too much blue sky, and beneath it, just nothing. Who knew open space could be so terribly sad?

America Is Half Full (At Least)
by Thomas J. Bray, Wall Street Journal
The case for optimism after Sept. 11.

Tech & Science

Buy A Star, But It's Not Yours
by Patrick Di Justo, Wired News
The International Star Registry has sold people the names of stars for more than 20 years. Too bad the scientific community doesn't recognize it. Legally, it's, well, legal.


'This Late In History, What Shall We Choose To Read?
by Jeannie Marshall, National Post
Reading anxiety: A simple calculation shows that none of us has enough time left.

By Their Clothes Ye Shall Know Them
by Jay Parini, Chronicle Of Higher Education
Long after we've forgotten what our professors told us in college, we remember what they wore.

I Wish I'd Written That!
by Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Local authors tell what book they'd like to claim as theirs.

Fast-Food Spies Work For Change
by Ameet Sachdev, Chicago Tribune
Paid to find flaws for headquarters.


For Area Theaters, Christmas Means Crowds
by Terence Chea, Washington Post
With few other options for getting out of the house, and often out-of-town guests to entertain, many families head for the movies.

Tuesday, December 25, 2001


Health Care Is New Darling Of Pork Barrel Spending
by Robert Pear, New York Times
Pork barrel spending used to mean roads and bridges and dams. Now it also means hospitals, medical schools and local health care projects singled out by Congress to receive tens of millions of federal dollars.

Tech & Science

Lego Tinkered With Success, And Is Now Paying A Price
by John Tagliabue, New York Times
Lego lost its way as it sought to incorporate electronics and licensed toys into its product mix.

Discovering What It Takes To Live To 100
by Mary Duenwald, New York Times
In nine years, Dr. Perls and his research staff have collected health data on some 1,500 centenarians. And the work has led him to a series of discoveries about the very old.


Semen And Flickering Lights - Yes, It's Art
by Russell Smith, Globe And Mail
It's not really Christmas until I have been able to have a good old what-is-art rant, so please humour me and pour yourself an eggnog while I begin.

In The Children's ER, Busy Even If It's Quiet
by Bob Levey, Washington Post
It's an annual tradition — a Saturday night spent in the Children's Hospital emergency room near Christmas.

Asia's Writers Turning To English To Gain Readers
by Doreen Weisenhaus, New York Times
English-language writing about Hong Kong and much of Asia has long been the province of Western expatriates or writers passing through, but increasingly this work is being done by Asian authors like Xu Xi.


by Richard Ford, New Yorker
Early this past spring someone left a puppy inside the back gate of our house, and then never came back to get it.


They Come, They Buy, They Leave
by Bill Picture, San Francisco Examiner
So do women really enjoy shopping more than men?

Monday, December 24, 2001

Tech & Science

Snail Mail: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Fully Pased
by Tim Race, New York Times
When the mail must be destroyed to save it, the question naturally arises: Does anyone really need snail mail any more?

A Mittenless AUtumn, For Better And Worse
by Pam Belluck and Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times
The growing variability of the weather may be as troublesome as the warming.


Toying With The Past
by Richard Seven, Seattle Times
Memories are mostly what remains of our dools and trucks, models and blocks.

Firetruck? Big Red Hat? Must Be Santa Claus
by Jennifer Frey, Washington Post
In Trumansburg, Santa Claus is the man who comes to every house on Christmas Eve — on a firetruck, granted, rather than a sleigh — and brings candy canes and small gifts, shakes the hands of the adults, holds the babies, laughs deep and loud and bellows the essential "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Driven By A Higher Calling, Not Dot-Com Dollars
by Matthew Mirapaul, New York Times
The collapse of countless e-commerce ventures may have prompted many to dismiss the Internet as a viable economic platform, but it certainly remains vital as a creative medium.


The Year Not In Review
by Doug White,
Dave Barry: I was concerned that something could happen between deadline and publication that would have made my review look stupid and tasteless (or, even more stupid and tasteless than usual).

Sunday, December 23, 2001


Censorship Never Works
by Rick Peristein, San Francisco Chronicle
How secrecy led the United States into the quagmire of Vietnam.

Tech & Science

Season's Biddings
by Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times
Is AMerica really ready for a used Christmas? EBay thinks so.


The Soul Of Cooking Was Always In Mom's Kitchen
by Gloria Bristo Brown, San Francisco Chronicle
I have a confession to make. I am a 65-year-old, Southern-born black woman, and I don't know how to cook soul food.

In The Battle Of Doughnuts, Little Johnny's Beats Big Boys
by Kim Severson, San Francisco Chronicle
We pitted the best of the Bay Area's doughnuts hole to hole. And in the end, it was a classic David and Goliath battle.

Wired, Jobless And Free (For Now)
by Jennifer Tung, New York Times
With the economy in a recession, and 97,600 jobs lost in New York City in October and November alone, a peculair kind of cafe society has emerged, at least in one thin substratum of the suddenly unemployed.

Yosemite, The Picture Of Peace
by Dan Blackburn, Los Angeles Times
In winter, the national park becomes a snowy wonderland to soothe the soul and lift the spirits, a place for skiing, skating and holiday feats, minus the crowds.

Lessons From Down Below
by Libby Copeland, Washington Post
Whatever happened to all those bomb shelters we built the last time we felt full of fear?

The California Wine Cult
by Jim Nelson, New York Times
Cult wines are a curious window on the wine world. They are both fetish objects and works of geniune hard-bitten labor.

The Moral Minefield Of A Boy's Dying Wish
by Lucy Clark, Daily Telegraph
Is it right or wrong to grant a dying teenaged boy his wish to have sex?

Saturday, December 22, 2001

Tech & Science

Net News Lethargy
by Amy Langfield, Online Journalism Review
Most sites fail to make use of the medium's main strength — speed.


'Time' Faces Person Of Year Quandary
by Bruce Horovitz, USA Today
"No matter how many times we say, 'Person of the Year is not an honor,' it's still viewed as some sort of civic award."

In Search Of A Perfect Cup
by Economist
Espresso coffee requires as much technology and taste as fine wine. Where to find the finest?

A Season Of Hopes And Fears
by Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post
In the wake of Sept. 11, a different holiday spirit.

A Poet's Palestine As A Metaphor
by Adam Shatz, New York Times
As the Palestinian poet Mahumoud Darwish has observed, Palestine is also a metaphor — for the loss of Eden, for the sorrows of dispossession and exile, for the declining power of the Arab world in its dealings with the West.

Friday, December 21, 2001


Should Singapore Have An Independent Elections Agency?
by Tan Tarn How, Straits Times
Don't fix it, so the cliche goes, if it ain't broke. When it comes to Singapore's electoral system, the difficulty is knowing whether it is broken or not in the first place.

Bush's Next Battle
by E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post
This presidnet, understandably, always worries that what happened to his father could happen to him.

Tech & Science

Project Oxygen's New Wind
by Eric S. Brown, Technology Review
Look out, PCs. MIT's ubiquitous computing effort is taking technology out of the box.

Efforts To Transform Computers Reach Milestone
by George Johnson, New York Times
The first factoring of a number with an exotic device called a quantum computer holds the rpomise of one day solving problems now considered impossible, and cracking seemingly impenetrable codes.


Is Santa A Deadweight Loss?
by Economist
Are all those Christmas gifts just a waste of resources?

Classy Newcomer
by John King, San Francisco Chronicle
Architectural design of 235 Second St. — home of Cnet — is a well-crafted building as elegant as it is intelligent.

Christmas After September 11
by Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal
Festive New York renews itself for the holidays.

Desperately Seeking Authenticity
by Rachel Laudan, Los Angeles Times
But what would an "authentic" cookbook really look like?

Yes, It's Real: The Magic Of Christmas In Montreal
by Regina Schrambling, New York Times
It's Paris without the jet lag, especially at Christmastime.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Tech & Science

Ghost Arcade
by Scott Rosenberg, Salon
Old video games never die — they just become collectibles and haunt our dreams.


Internet Art: More Click Than Point
by Jessica Dawson, Washington Post
Spending almost two hours at a computer terminal raises the question: Will we want to squander our artgoing time clickiing, scrolling and HTML-reading, just like we do all day at work?

Yes, Publishers Read For Fun
by Martin Arnold, New York Times
If book publishers and editors actually had to go into a store and buy all the book sthey say they are going to read over the holidays the slump in book sales might be over.


by Edith Pearlman, The Atlantic
We had rented the fussy apartment of a bachelor professor — every wall sateen, every curtain eyelet. It was like living inside a petticoat.


2002: A Name Odyssey
by Alex Beam, Boston Globe
For the record, the year just ending was the Year of the Bible, the Year of the Great Bear, and the International Year of Volunteers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Tech & Science

The Geek Syndrome
by Steve Silberman, Wired
Autism - and its milder cousin Asperger's syndrome - is surging among the children of Silicon valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?

Will Spyware Work?
by Kevin Hogan, Technology Review
Monitoring voice and e-mail traffic sounds like a good way to thwart terrorism. The problem? Sorting through the results takes too long for early warning.

Kids Are Beamed Up With New Disneyland Measuring Device
by Kimi Yoshino, Chicago Tribune
No more standing on tippy-toes or using mouse ears for extra inches.


At Last, A Natrual Path To The Deli
by Marian Burros, New York Times
Now that they come without the nitrites, bacon is still a special-occasion treat. Low-fat bacon that tastes good is, after all, an oxymoron.


America Has Its Advantages
by John Sutherland, Guardian
Fifty-two things they do better in America.

Almost Like Love
by Lillian Ann Slugocki, Salon
The potential for innocence beackoned me and I become reckless in search of it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Tech & Science

Darwinsim Under Attack
by Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle Of Higher Education
View that 'intelligent force' shaped life attracks students and troubles scientists.

Shorter Workweeks Increase Options: Should You Stay?
by Carrie Johnson, Washington Post
Now that many firms are struggling to conserve cash, the prospect of reduced workweeks is sinking empoyees' spirits.

In Tiny Cells, Glimpses Of Body's Master Plan
by Nicholas Wade, New York Times
The designer of the body is evolution, but its builders are the cells themselves.


Poet Of The Streets
by Maria Elena Fernandez, Los Angeles Times
With gang life long behind him, author Luis Rodriguez turns his attention to nurturing Latino creativity.

Cooking For Fun And Staggering Profits
by Chris Colin, Salon
The apogee of my culinary career came early, and ended with a dog instead of a swimming pool full of Coke.

High Society
by Vanessa E. Jones, Boston Globe
In magazines and movies, on the radio and on TV, it seems that everybody must get stoned.

On The Front And Personal
by Peter Carlson, Washington Post
Elizabeth Rubin reports the feel of Afghanistan.

A School Finds Strength In A Network Of Grief
by Jane Gross, New York Times
Xavier faces a test of moving forward that is dreadful, to be sure, but it is one the Jesuit school is equipped to meet.

Monday, December 17, 2001


The Clash
by Joel Achenbach, Washington Post
Two professors, two academic theories, on ebig difference. Depending on which is right, September 11 may mark a brief battle against terrorism, or an endless struggle between Islam and the West.

Leaping To Conslusions
by Tamim Ansary, Salon
Well-meaning observers are making dangerous assumptions about Afghan women and their goals for the future.

Tech & Science

Silicon Valley's Cyberwarriors
by Louis Freedberg, San Francisco Chronicle
Tech firms rush to cash in on the fight against terrorism.

If You Can't Touch It, Can You Steal It?
by George Johnson, New York Times
Throughout the world of the Internet, people wo would never think of stealing a cellphone or a camera find it easy to justify downloading pirated software.


The Cliché Expert Takes The Stand
by Frank Sullivan, New Yorker
Mr Arbuthnot, you are an expert in the use of the cliché, are you not?

Latitude For Living
by Paula Bock and Alan Berner, Seattle Times
To a degree, you can find just about anyone along this line.

A Father's Legacy Lives On In His Words, Spoken And Written
by Pati Poblete, San Francisco Chronicle
In my cold and dusty garage, all I could feel was pride.

Writers' Bloc
by David Wildman, Boston Globe
At lunchtime each Wednesday in Cambridge, a group of authors called the Porch Table gathers to talk about writing and life.

The Runway To Christmas
by Jeanne Marie Laskas, Washington Post
This year, with Anna approaching 3, Alex and I have agreed it's time to kick the traditions up a notch. All the traditions.

Driving Along The Mississippi River
by Jennifer Moses, New York Times
Just a mile west of my house in Baton Rouge lies the River Road, which follows the winding course of the Mississippi River for mile after mile.

To Help Land, Australians Rethink Role Of Kangaroos
by John Shaw, New York Times
Harvesting Australia's 25 million-strong kangaroo population to sell the meat around the world is a central element in a new land care strategy being promoted here by scientists, ranchers, environmentalists and government officials.


The Christmas Walk
by Hilary Flanery
Think with the wise but walk with the vulgar; I recalled the old German saying, as Bridget, eleven years old, shouted at Campion, seven... "You idiotic freak of nature."

Sunday, December 16, 2001


Clinton And Schumer: Show Us The Money
by Frank Bruni, New York Times
When the two Democratic senators from New York visit the leader of the Senate's Republican minority, they have learned that memories fade, that new priorities emerge and that New York, even now, is not an easy magnet for national sympathy.

Tech & Science

by Irene Sege, Boston Globe
Many mobile-phone users are deciding that they don't need a land line at all.


Making Of A Mogul
by Michelle Levander, Time Asia
His last name got him in the door, but can James Murdoch thrive in the world's toughest TV market?

Duty-Free Shopping
by Amy Goldwasser, New York Times
Wherever you look these days, there's a public official telling you that these petty little pleasures are brave acts of patriotism. That may make them more noble, but it sure doesn't make them more fun.

Buyers Reading Cover Price, And Opting Not To Read The Rest
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
Across the country this holiday season, recession-minded book buyers are suffering a wave of sticker shock.

Saturday, December 15, 2001


Trauma Culture
by Charles Taylor, Salon
From Oklahoma City to New York, we've turned violent human loss into epic narratives of suffering and patriotism. Does this help people heal or hurt them?

Friday, December 14, 2001


Addicted To Oil
by Economist
America's energy policy was wrong before September 11th. Now it is even more so.

What We Did For Normandy Do For New York
by Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal
The military knows how to memorialize the dead.


Crisis Of The (Virtual) Commons
by Mansha Daswani, ReadMe
Despite the common wisdom that interactivity is one thing the Net does well, some mainstream news sites treat their public forums like bastard children. What are they afraid of?

Nubbins To Super-Droopers: The Quest For The Ideal Bra
by Robert Gottlieb, New York Observer
You may have worn a brassiere, you may have helped a friend or two take off a brassiere, but have you ever really thought about the brassiere?

Rules Of The Game
by Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times
How to make it through the gift-buying season during uncertain economic times.

TV Gones Gung-Ho Over War
by Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times
There's no biz like war biz.

Japan's Suicide Epidemic
by Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
In a nation where mental illness is shamed and lifetime jobs are a memory, some desperate workers see no way out.

Suggestions For My (Kinko's) Co-Workers
by Rob Walker, Slate
This isn't the pushy complaining of a customer. It's just a little friendly advice between co-workers.

Why College Radio Fears The DMCA
by Mark L. Shahinian, Salon
If the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is fully enforced, stations will be unable to afford to webcast their tunes.

NBC, With Conditions, To Accept Ads For Liquor
by Stuart Elliott, New York Times
Five years after some liquor companies began producing televsion commercials for alcoholic beverages, a large national broadcast network has agreed to begin accepting those spots.

Thursday, December 13, 2001


Making The City Whole
by Bob Herbert, New York Times
For the federal assistance so quickly and generously offered by the president — assistance that is crucial to getting the city back on its feet — well, the government now seems to be saying, "Not so fast."


by Inigo Thomas, Slate
The long march of the British chef would appear to be at an end.

Restaurant Prices: How Low Will They Go?
by Amanda Hesser, New York Times
The days of breaking the $30 price ceiling seem, for the moment at least, to have vanished.

Pooh-Poohing The Purists, A Scholar Revels In Netspeak
by Anne Eisenberg, New York Times
The future of the Internet isn't just commercial or technical. It's linguistic, too.

Slinky Winter Garden Opens In Philadelphia
by Herbert Muschamp, New York Times
Philadelphia now breaks ranks with cities that have regressed toward infinite infantilism in the quest to revitalize their downtowns.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001


The Rout Of Doubt
by Jacob Weisberg, Slate
The pessimists have declined to retreat into their caves.

Tech & Science

MIT's Media Lab Will Lay Off About 30 Staff Members In 'Belt-Tightening'
by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle Of Higher Education
It has been taking on new expenses faster than it can win money to support them, officials said.

Back To Basics
by Joel Spolsky, Joel On Software
Some of the biggest mistakes people make even at the highest architectural levels come from having a weak or broken understanding of a few simple things at the very lowest levels.


The Wireless World's 100th Anniversary
by Inigo Thomas, Slate
We are all in debut to Guglielmo Marconi an Italian-Irishman who, 100 years ago tomorrow, trnsmitted the first radsio signal across the Atlantic — from Poldhu on English's Cornish coast to St. John's, Newfoundland.

The Secret History Of Mr. Happy
by David Bowman, Salon
"A Mind of Its Own" author David M. Friedman chats about the long, uncut history of the penis.

In 5th Season, 'Ally' Seems To Be Stalling
by Bill Carter, New York Times
The probkm with "Ally McBeal" seems to involve its premise, which was always among the most challenging in TV.

Examined Life
by Malcom Gladwell, New Yorker
What Stanley H. Kaplan taught us about the S.A.T.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001


Death Penalty, Location Are Linked In Va. Study
by Brooke A. Masters, Washington Post
The city or county where a murder occurs outweighs race or the specific facts of the crime in determining whether a killer faces execution in Virginia.

Tech & Science

Did Noah Really Need The Ark?
by Kevin Cox, The Globe And Mail
Two sets of geologists are having a flood feud. The Americans say they have proof that the Great Deluge happened just when the Bible says it did. The Canadians say it's hogwash.

Game Developer Sid Meier Has His Priorities Straight
by Mike Musgrove, Washington Post
How many companies would write off millions of dollars because they had not "found the fun?"

Engineers Ask Nature For Design Advice
by Jim Robbins, New York Times
What does a flower known as the sacred white lotus have to do with house paint? In the world of biomimicry, everything.


Sweatshop Stars And Stripes
by Matt Weiser, Salon
How Chinese communism is profiting from America's post-Sept 11 love affair with the flag.

Anatomy Of A Word
by Linton Weeks, Washington Post
Harvard professor hopes to take away a racial epithet's sting.


Why New Yorker Is Going To The Dogs
by Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle
An important new scientific study revealed there are five times more dogs in New Yorker magazine cartoons than there were 40 years ago.

Monday, December 10, 2001


Europe Will Never Be The Same Again
by Ian Black, The Guardian
Celebration and dismay set to greet world's biggest cash changeover.

Now, About The Rule Of Law
by Robert L. Bartley, Wall Street Journal
Clinton's defenders don't have the credibility to criticize Ashcroft.

Tech & Science

DVD Menu Design: The Failures Of Web Design Recreated Yet Again
by Donald A. Norman,
Designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media: Computer software, Internet web pages, and even WAP phones.

A Scientific Mystery Stalks Stockholm's Ailing Modern Museum
by Alan Riding, New York Times
Stockholm's modern art museum, the Moderna Museet, is being forced to close next month because of what is known as "sick-building syndrome," a series of seemingly unrelated construction defects believed responsible for health problems reported by numerous staff members.


Networks May Be Losing The News War
by Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Globe
In a story driven by the all-war-all-the-time TV outlets, it was the cable news correspondent, not the broadcast bigfeet, who accompanied the troops.

How Low Can They Go?
by Kera Bolonik, Salon
Women's magazines, once the source of first-rate writing, now offer a steady diet of diets and product tie-ins to readers who get no respect.

Space Oddity
by Robert Hodierne, Washington Post
Promoters insist that zero-G tourism is no joke. Maybe it's time to start planning an out of this world vacation.

Online Archive For Coke Advertising
by Allison Fass, New York Times
The goal of the project is to make it easier for Coca-Cola employees to gain access to advertising and marketing material going all the way back to the first newspaper ad that appeared for the Cocoa-Cola soft-drink brand on May 29, 1886.

Sunday, December 9, 2001


Confessions Of A Traitor
by Frank Rich, New York Times
One thing we learned on that Tuesday morning, I had thought, is that it's better to raise these questions today than the morning after.

The Challenge: Criticzing Bush's Policies Without Attacking Bush
by David E. Rosenbaum, New York Times
Paradoxically, the notion of supporting the president while attacking his policies is exactly the oppostie of the Republicans' approach during most of Bill Clinton's presidency.

Tech & Science

Ginger's Scheme All In The Lean
by Noah Shachtman, Wired News
Let's get at least this much straight: the mega-hyped Segway Human Transporter does not read the rider's thoughts.

Digital Cash Payoff
by Evan I. Schwartz, Technology Review
PayPal's fraud-busting technology makes it easy for people to pay one another over the Internet — and may give credit card companies a run for their money.

Software Is Free Speech
by Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York Times
"If you can put it on a T-shirt, it's speech."

Silver Bullet-ism: Technology Runs To The Rescue
by John Schwartz, New York Times
While attendance at the nation's houses of worship has pretty much dropped to pre-Sept. 11 levels, there is instead a rising, slightly desperate, faith in technology.


In Your Face
by Suh-kyung Yoon, Far Eastern Economic Review
Forget banner ads and TV slots. Savvy companies that really want to get noticed are splashing their wares on old-fashioned billboards.

Mordor, He Wrote...
by Neil Spencer, The Observer
The Lord of the Rings is set to rival Star Wars, both at the box office and as a mythic portrayal of the battle of good and evil. So it's time we recognised the qualities of Tolkien's book as well.

Medicine's Race Problem
by Sally Satel, PolicyReview
The mere mention of race and biology together sends many physicians and scientists scrambling to protest (too much) against a possible connection. The facts, however, paint a more complex picture.

After September 11, Myth And Truth Collide
by David Maraniss, Anne Hull and Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post
For those whose lives were changed September 11, the Contrast between the mythology surrounding that day and their own reality keeps growing.

One E-Mail Message Can Change The World
by Laura Miller, New York Times
Ansary's letter may be the most potent example yet of how the right message at the right time can spread among them like wildfire.

Populist Editing
by Steven Johnson, New York Times
If you don't like the perspective of the article you are perusing, you can go in and rephrase the concluding paragraph.


The Gift Questioned
by Robert Chute, Apples & Oranges Poetry Magazine

Saturday, December 8, 2001


Adieu, Arafat?
by Economist
Israel might be even less safe from terrorist outrages without him.

Why The World Loves To Hate America
by Moises Naim, Financial Times
For all the post-Sept 11 focus on Islamic anti-Americanism, the world's reaction has, in fact, exposed the variety, complexity and ubiquity of antipathy towards the United States.

The Ashcroft Smear
by Editorial, Washington Post
If American political history stands for one solitary point it is that democratic debate is good and makes the country stronger.

Tech & Science

Segway's Assault On Walking
by Christopher Orlet, Salon
Dean Kamen's much-hyped superscooter is a slothful step in the wrong direction.

Yes, It's Been Warm. And Why?
by Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times
The warm spell that gave the United States its second-warmest November and the planet its warmest October on record was caused by — well, climate scientists cannot quite agree.

Interface Design Is Trickier Than It Seems
by David Pogue, New York Times
I may sound like a hrash critic, but far be it for me to suggest that it's easy to design excellent interfaces. Quite the contrary.


A New Independents' Day
by Sorina Diaconescu, Los Angeles Times
Six filmmakers discuss new technology, the effects of Sept 11 and the need to remain true to their craft and vision.

Is The Metropolitan The Limit?
by Kamau High, Financial Times
How does an artist go on creating when, for many, there would be no other goals left?

All Is Calm, All Is Bright
by Mary Jane Solomon, Washington Post
Where to find the most dazzling, decked out houses this side of the north pole.

A Family, A Feud And A Six-Foot Sandwich
by Glenn Collins, New York Times
Here in post-tragedy New York, there has been no shortage of heartwarming stories about long-feuding families setting aside their differences in an inspirational repudiation of strife-mongering in a war-torn world. This is not one of them.

Two Books Seek Lessons From The Great Depression
by Robert J. Samuelson, New York Times
The attacks of Sept. 11 have only deepened the parallels between present-day America and the America of teh 1920's.

24/7 Service, But Who's Counting?
by Matt Richtel, New York Times
I'd like to thank AT&T for helping me to better grasp the concept of time, by enlightening me to the space, time, customer-service continuum.

O.K., O.K., I'm Going Cellular
by Jerry Mikorenda, New York Times
For the longest time, I had designs on being the last New Yorkers without a cellphone.

Where San Francisco's Chinatown Reveals Itself
by Katherine Kam, New York Times
In Chinatown, daily life unfolds in the temples, alleys, side streets and meeting places.


Wall St Journal Updates Its Look
by Claire Cozens, Guardian
The radical overhaul will introduce colour to the front page for the first time.

Friday, December 7, 2001


In Sydney, The Next Wave Of Culinary Delight
by R. W. Apple Jr., New York Times
Demonstrating conclusively that Sydney's ascent during the last decade into the top ranks of the world's restaurant cities, right up there with Paris, New York and London, was no passing phase, exciting new places are opening and somehow flourishing, or at least surviving, and established stars are rehoning their skills.

Thursday, December 6, 2001


'The Nutcracker' In A Nutshell
by Jennifer Fisher, Los Angeles Times
With so many versions from which to choose, the trick is to find one that embodies the Christmas ballet's core values. Take it from someone who has seen more than her fair share.

Their Favorite Things
by Emily Young, Los Angeles Times
Local designers suggest objects that celebrate home and earth.

They Came Late To Nudity, But THey Learned Fast
by Alan Riding, New York Times
So, the new commonplace goes, the Victorians were not prudes after all, just hypocrites.

How Van Gogh Would've Painted, If He'd Been On TV
by Sarah Lyall, New York Times
While BBC executives are delighted that the series has attracted such a audience, television critics and others have called it a sorry example of the increasing tendency of television to trivialize the arts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2001


by Niall Ferguson, New York Times
Take the long view. What will New York be like on Sept. 11, 2011?

Tech & Science

New Priorities At Work
by Ellen McCarthy, Wasington Post
As one of the first 10 employees of Alexandria's Motley Fool Inc. in 1995, Jonathan Wilder got hooked on the notion that doing technology work could be doing good work.

AOL Retreats From Big Push For E-Books
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
"Perhaps Mr. Gutenberg has the last laugh here."


The Church Ladies
by Judith Weinraub, Washington Post
Their cakes and candies and cobblers aren't just filled with empty calories. "A piece of fudge or a good brownie is a religious experience."

Howell Raines Owes Me An Apology
by James Fallows, Slate
The New York Times editor's sudden conversion to public journalism.

Britney Spears Is Not The Devil
by Lauren Modica, Salon
And neither are the little girls who love her and her secret, shameful beat.

Precious, Yes; But Are They Worth The Wait?
by Kate Betts, New York Times
You know the waiting list, fashion's answer to the velvet rope, the Gild-the-Lily Gold Club.

A New Western Focus On Russia, 'Where The Oil Is'
by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times
Indeed, for anyone interested in oil, Yukos is now the right place to be.


Number Takes Prime Position
by David Whitehouse, BBC News
The largest prime number yet discovered has just been revealed to the world.

Tuesday, December 4, 2001


The Deficit President
by Jonathan Chait, Slate
And how he's getting away with it.

Tech & Science

Don't Take A Holiday From Job Search
by Carrie Johnson, Washington Post
Candidates could be making a big mistake by taking a breather during the holidays.

The Invention That Runs On Hype
by Joel Garreau, Washington Post
The only way "Ginger" could have lived up to its hype is if it had lifted straight up off the ground and flown three times around the Empire State Building.

Eyes Focus On Trade Center's 'Bathtub' As Debris Is Cleared
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
Workers and engineers are slowly transforming the World Trade Center from a nightmarish mountain of debris to something resembling an ordinary construction excavation site.


Battle Stations
by Ken Auletta, New Yorker
How long wil the networks stick with the news?

by Charles Perry, Los Angeles Times
Our old friend is still here, as rich, mellow and seductive as ever.

Everything Falls
by Jill Ketterer, Salon
My father is a burning martyr scratching his balls as I condemn him for his sin.

The Books That Begged Not To Be Opened
by Linton Weeks, Washington Post
Coffee-table tomes to fit all occasions.

A New Cheese Capital, North Of The Golden Gate
by R. W. Apple Jr., New York Times
Amazingly, this profoundly rural area lies only 50 miles or so north of the Golden Gate. More amazingly, it has evolved in recent years into one of the nation's prime centers of artisanal cheese making.

Monday, December 3, 2001

Tech & Science

The Ultimate Jam Session
by Dan Baum, Wired
It takes more than technology to solve the world's traffic problems. While Singapore succeeds with an iron fist, the United States waits for the invisible hand.

Reinventing The Wheel
by John Heilemann, Time
Here "it" is: the inside story of the secret invention that so many are buzzing about. Could this thing really change the world?


Cold Comfort
by Lynn Ferrin, San Francisco Chronicle
Yosemite Valley's splendor is at its most compelling in the silent months of winter.

The Cult Of Richard Feynman
by J. Michael Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
All these years gone, and Richard Feynman is still a force. Dead more than a dozen years, but an icon nonetheless.

Losing Sleep Over It
by Benedict Carey, Los Angeles Times
Experts say insomniacs have physical traits, coupled with psychological factors, that are behind the problem.

In Nonfiction, Standout Works Drew Timely Lessons From Other Eras
by Michael Kenney, Boston Globe
When the publishing year of 2001 began, there was a disputed presidential election. As it comes to an end, there is a matter of a war.

Why Not The Worst?
by Gene Weingarten, Washington Post
We promised to find the armpit of America. Turns out it's only about five inches from the heart.

Take Up Your Beds And Move
by Loannae O'Neal Parker, Washington Post
How do you relocate a hospital? With planning and intensive care.

They Leap From Your Brain Then Take Over Your Heart
by Andrew Greeley, New York Times
You create a world, fill it with characters and set them on a path toward a conclusion of which they are unaware and you but dimly aware. Then they invade your life and take it over.

Sunday, December 2, 2001


Say "R"
by Economist
Economists have a dismal record in predicting recession.

The Gore Nightmare
by Albert R. Hunt, Wall Street Journal
We're lucky Bush is president — and it's the Republicans' fault.

Adventures In Baby-Sitting
by Kurt Andersen, New York Times
I couldn't help thinking of the third-act war and horror movie cliche: "It's quiest out there — too quiet."

Tech & Science

Two Cheers For Human Cloning
by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times
"Every time we have made a leap that has benefited mankind, it has always been with a loud voice behind us saying, 'You'd better watch out.'"


A Ramble To Africa
by Mari Rhydwen, Economist
In eloquent priase of the merits of travelling slowly.

Shedding Writer's Block
by Noel C. Paul, Christian Science Monitor
Retreating to the confines of a tiny shed is the first step for many writers in freeing their imagination.

Memories Of 'The Quiet One'
by Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times
George Harrison was a distinguished guitarist, songwriter and humanitarian. Above all, however, he was a Beatle — and that's how we will remember him.

The Public's Stake In A Cultural Crossroads
by Evan and Freda Eisenberg, New York Times
For a place whose stories are stained with the tomato traces of so many critics — critics of architecture, urbanism, acoustics — Lincoln Center has inspired a good deal of affection.

Saturday, December 1, 2001

Tech & Science

Making The Music Sway To Your Beat
by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, New York Times
Dr Nishimoto has designed a wearable system of sensors that allows users to create and play music while doing routine tasks and to share performances with one another over a wireless neetwork.


George Harrison
by Erik Tarloff, Slate
They wouldn't have been the Beatles without him.

'Broadway, The Golden Years': The Rise Of The Choreographer-Director
by Terry Teachout, New York Times
How will Jerome Robbins be remembered, other than as one of the most feared and hated men in show business?

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