Friday, May 31, 2002
Farewell At Ground Zero
And when it ended an hour after it began and when the bagpipes fell silent, the fathers hugged tightly and slapped each other's backs. And they returned, along with the thousands of other still-grieving relatives, to daily life, such as it is.
Where Twin Towers Stood, A Silent Goodbye
At 10.29 yesterday morning, after the tolling of bells and inthe presence of thousands, silence took its proper place.
Tech & Science
Having been burned on Internet schemes, Disney has reinvented its approach to technology to get closer to its customers. Maybe a little too close.
Engineered To Run Wild
Genetically altered animals could be released to fight pests and disease.
'Are We There Yet?' Becomes 'Where's The Barney Tape?'
Although the entertainment systems are still in just a small number of cars, every maker of S.U.V.'s and many carmakers either offer the systems on some models or plan to offer them in the near future.
Breathtaking Spring Makes Hassle Fade
This is why we live here.
When 300 Baud Was The Bomb
Once upon a time there was no Internet. And it was good.
The Socialist Economics Of College Tuition
Why elite universities charge $38,000 per year, and why they don't expect you to pay it.
Smithsonian anthropologists unlock secrets in bones of ancestors and crime victims.
It's All About Finesse
I knew if I were a chef, I'd approach things in a similarly obsessive and perfectionistic, yet Zen-like, manner.
Thursday, May 30, 2002
Read All About It
Despite a regionwide advertising slump and overcrowded markets, some Asian newspapers are finding new ways to reach advertisers and readers.
Bridging The Pond
The main reason for optimism is that the administration seems at last to have resolved an important difference over NATO.
Been There, Smashed That
From porcelain machine guns to plates commemorating hideous disasters, artist Charles Krafft's grimly satirical work sheds strange light on an age when terror is rattling our teacups.
Who is to blame when a 22-year-old 747 falls from the sky?
Can Lifestyle Mavens Make A City Boom?
What's worked in Austin (or Dallas, for that matter) is more complicated and harder to duplicate than The Rise of the Creative Class sometimes implies.
A True Woman Of Mystery
The original Carolyn Keene — the first, and best, of the ghostwriters, the one who gave Nancy Drew her personality and her keenness, her independence and her spunk — is exactly what we'd hope to find. Her name was Mildred Wirt Benson, and she died Tuesday night in Toledo at the age of 96.
A Cost-Free, Not Carefree, Education
3 D.C. students struggle to adjust at college in rural Maryland.
In Old Austria, The Shock Of The New
A surge of young Viennese architects are instigating a debate over how best to create a modern presence without obscuring the masklike facades and enigmatic surfaces of the city's atmospheric past.
Wired Now Looks As Good As It Is
There are graphic designers who would tell you that what they do is every bit as important as the content they're presenting - a tough proposition to accept. But the new Wired might help make their case.
Home Again, Home Again
The kids in my local bat-house breathe heavy metals, and their gelatinous bodies quiver nauseously during our counseling sessions, and for all that, they reacted just like I had when I told them I was going away for a while — with hurt and betrayal, and they aroused palpable guilt in me.
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Tech & Science
The Man Who Cracked The Code To Everything...
... But first it cracked him. The inside story of how Stephen Wolfram went from boy genius to recluse to science renegade.
Weathering The Flight
New weather-prediction system will soon allow more precise air-traffic routing.
Totally Awesome Software?
"Extreme programming" sounds like no mor ethan a marketing-driven fad, but fans are convinced that its rules hold the key to better code.
Sex Differences In The Brain
Men and women display patterns of behavioral and cognitive differences that reflect varying hormonal influences on brain development.
Who Was Kipling?
Kipling's life-story, lest we forget, wouldn't be nearly so compelling if it weren't so rife with contradictions.
Uncounted Viewers Are Hiding In Public — For Now
The late spring and summer have long been a time for vacations, barbecues, baseball and NBA playoff games, but those activities also coincide with TV viewing that isn't captured by traditional ratings methodology.
How To Tell The New York Times From The Weekly World News
Which one peddles flying-saucer pics it doesn't own at $375 a pop?
Unapologetic 7 Up
This is not even an admission that it ever was interpreted negatively, just that it's possible that it might have been. That's some unapology.
If Clear Channel is a colossus, it's a colossus under the gun.
10th Grade, Four Courses And Dessert
From latchkey city dwellers to rural princesses and suburban cowboys, teenagers across the country are cooking and entertaining with an enthusiasm their elders would envy.
New York's Other Restaurant Rows Suffer, Too
In the city's restaurant industry, places outside Manhattan are among those suffering the most from the recession and from Sept. 11.
How dare the film critics fault the latest "Star Wars" flick? Those who did found their inboxes crammed with hate e-mail from Jedi wannabes.
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Any Hope For The Arts In Business-Oriented Singapore?
Yes — everyone knows it's always a good thing to support the arts. But do we know why, really?
Tech & Science
Cooking, And How It Slew The Beast Within
In the view of Dr. Richard W. Wrangham, the preparing, cooking and sociable eating of food are so central to the human experience that the culinary arts may well be what made us human in the first place.
How To Own The Internet In Your Spare Time
We argue for the pressing need to develop a "Center for Disease Control" analog for virus- and worm-based threats to national cybersecurity, and sketch some of the components that would go into such a Center.
Frozen In Time
Enola Gay's navigator takes atomic artifacts to auction block.
I'd Prefer Not To
My list includes Toni Morrison, Henry James, Faulkner and Beckett. Why are there some great writers we just cannot read?
Here Comes The Buns
THe posterior has, intentionally or not, recently become the focal point of fashion and pop culture alike: The butt crack is the new cleavage, relcaimed to peek seductively from thepants of supermodels and commoners alike.
Legal Weapons, Too
For actor Danny Glover, his role as an activist is a lifetime's work.
Mastering Arabic's Nuances No Easy Mission
Arabic is among the most difficult languages to learn and that the college environment isn't ideal for learning it.
Where Soccer Is King, A Popular Revolt
An unpopular coach, a roster missing the country's most consistent scorer and a fetid, seemingly endless corruption scandal have combined to put Brazilians in a sour mood.
Judy Blunt Took Bleakness And Ran With It
Judy Blunt lived as a ranch wife for 30 years, then worked 10 years to get her story down on paper. The resulting book is now stirring up trouble in the ranch land of Montana.
Turning The Tables On Music
'Scrtching' records to create new sounds has become wildly popular. But are scratchers really musicians?
Whatever fire burns us first, they teach us the word No,
but on our own we learn the sweet word More.
Monday, May 27, 2002
Tech & Science
Why Won't We Read The Manual?
And so it has come to this: Americans buy the most sophisticated computers, the coolest digital cameras, the most advanced automobiles, the most versatile cell phones and handheld organizers, and then... and then we forget, or decline, or flat out refuse, to read the directions.
Up In The Air
The strange thing is that this magician wasn't doing anything magical. He was just standing there.
Meet The Gamma Girls
They're not mean. They like their parents. They're smart, confident and think popularity is overrated. What makes these teens tick.
L.A.'s Harbor Town Still Funky After All These Years
This is no cookie-cutter beach town. Military installations have become artists' studios and youth hostels; motorcycle clubs ride at sundown; visitors can eat local lobster and watch fishermen mending their nets. Part of the appeal is the grit showing through the polish.
Beware The Poet In The Windstorm
Is it possible to be happily married and stray? Or does such a thing happen only in the movies?
Eminem: You Just Have To Love The Guy. Sorry.
Eminem isn't feeling the love. Oh, we've tried to give him the love, we really have.
Atlanta's Growing Thirst Creates Water War
Atlanta's dizzying growth is at the heart of a water rights dispute among Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
Sunday, May 26, 2002
Power And Weakness
It is time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world.
Romancing The Rose
When I started out innocently wondering why so many people love roses, I didn't think I'd be writing about bees and sex. And I didn't think it had anything to do with me. I wasn't one of the people besotted with roses.
Literary Road Trip
When an author goes on a book tour, a media escort is firmly at the wheel.
The End Of The Affair
Could it be that the great role reversal failed and that the Hollywood-Washington nexus of the 90's that gave us George magazine, Bill Clinton rocking the vote on sax and the brief but curiously intense Warren Beatty-for-president episode has come undone at last?
For Teenagers Natonwide, It's New York And It's 1904
For hundreds of young women in their teens and early 20's, the film "Newsies" struck a chord, spawning a cult following that spans the United States and extends even to Europe.
The Wonders Of Genetics Breed A New Art
If art in the broadest sense peers into the mysteries of life, then an art dedicated to the structure of life itself is of momentous relevance.
Saturday, May 25, 2002
Tech & Science
Eight Technologies That Will Change The World
What happens when today's tech trends begin to intersect and feed off one another? They'll spawn new fields of knowledge that will transform everything.
Baseball More Ready For Openly Gay Athlete Than Rest Of Society
History has proved you can integrate a locker room than a church, a restaurant or a toilet stool.
For TV Networks, It's A Family Affair
The hot new trend of the next television season is an old one straight out of TV's flickering past: programs about families, for family audiences.
A Postmodernist Of The 1600's Is Back In Fashion
A puckish question was raised on Thursday night at New York University. "Was Athanasius Kircher the coolest guy ever, or what?"
America's Best Shot
Suddenly, Clint Mathis is the man everybody wants.
Evolution, Males, And Violence
The turth is that if we could eliminate or even significantly reduce male violence, we would pretty much get rid of violence altogether. The maleness of violence is so overwhelming that it is rarely even noticed.
Friday, May 24, 2002
Tech & Science
Silicon Valley Grows Up
This is not just an intrastate feud between Northern and Southern California. It is a fight with global implications, and the valley's peculiarly technophilic culture, usually part of its charm, may not serve it so well.
The Future Of Mind Control
People already worry about genetics. They should worry about brain science too.
The Mystery Of Language And Ideology
When a change of government means a change of grammar.
What Spider-Man Can (And Can't) Do For Marvel
What does Spider-Man mean for Marvel, the beleaguered comic-book publisher where the web-slinger was born?
From his home in the mountains of Vermont, William Arkin seems to have mastered one of the great juggling acts of the multimedia age — persuading news organizations, advocacy groups and the Pentagon, through sheer smarts and a bulldog personality, to take him on his own terms.
Where The Rivers Run Extreme
A few days after I took a stab at white-water paddling, someone casually referred to it as one of the adrenaline sports. Ah, I thought, so that's what was going on.
Thursday, May 23, 2002
Tech & Science
Give It Away Now
Music start-up FightCloud.com offers CDs free, but says it's making a profit. How can that be?
Playing The Biggest Game In Town
The four-day International Contemporary Furniture Fair is a new American design company's best crack at the big time.
A New Imprint Is Dedicated To Black Readers
Of the five imprints in major publishing companies committed to books on black subjects, Harlem Moon will be the only one to offer all its books as trade paperbacks.
If the Americans are the most technologically advanced nation in the world, can it be that they do not know so simple a thing as how to eat?
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Soft On China
Critics say that Beijing is succeeding in its efforts to influence the Hong Kong media.
Can George Bush Westernize Russia?
Will George Bush's optimistic overture to Vladimir Putin end differently?
Why Europe Doubts
Not only do European leaders not like being told what to do but, more significantly, they are afraid the United States has stopped thinking of them as genuine partners.
The Scientist Who Wrote Rings Around The Earth
A brilliant scientist who can write beautifully is an unusual creature, almost an evolutionary impossibility.
Before Silicon Valley, There Was San Jose
Seeking out history, Asian and otherwise, in California's oldest city.
Will American Go For mLife?
AT&T is pushing Japanese-style wireless services in the U.S. But until cellphones are as fun to use in New York as they are in Tokyo, a jaded market is likely to keep yawning.
The Unsinkable Optimism Of Walter Lord
If Heaven exists, and there's justice in it, Walter Lord is finally aboard the Titanic.
How About Lunch, Dear? Bring Everyone
It's not just that we feel more expansive at this time of year (though there is that) but that we fool ourselves, too — we allow ourselves to make the familiar mistaken assumption that easy-eating early summer food is easily cooked, that a relaxed afternoon in the garden means an equally relaxed morning in the kitchen.
History Has Not Yet Begun
Is this really the end of history? A growing consensus suggests that we are at the end of something.
Sixty years I've lived, hardly a cross word said!
(The carpenter found, behind their bed,
a crawl-space where black snakes had bred.)
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
We Are The World
In this time of turmoil, one sport brings us all together. The Cup is here.
Bush should have anticipated Sept. 11? Easy for you to say.
The Cops Are Watching You
Police departments are creating, rebuilding or strengthening intelligence units and antiterrorism squads. Ironically, all this is occurring in the complete absence of any actual terrorist activity.
Spying At Home
No one at the FBI had the job of strategic analysis — i.e., of connecting the dots.
Tech & Science
The Founders' Copyright
This case is the best hope, perhaps the last best hope, for putting the brakes on the perpetual extension of copyright.
Seclusion Has Left Lucas Out Of Touch
To be blunt, "Star Wars" doesn't need Lucas behind the camera any more than the James Bond series needed original 007 director Terence Young to survive.
When Le Film Hits Le Fan
In Cannes, days sand, smoke and serious cinema.
Want To Be A Male Model? Wear A Real Face
The cultural viability of the male model was born in the late 1970's and early 80's, and it is safe to assert that it has diminished to the point of near evaporation.
One Rail Trip, Many Sides Of Norway
The train from Oslo to Bergen rolls up and down snowy mountains and into a colorful port city.
You Read Your Books And I'll Read Mine
Literature takes root in a rich and stubborn particularity, not in some powdery notion of communal uplift.
Hegel was wrong, Max said to his mother, to his sister, to his track coach, to his literature Professor Salomon, to his girlfriend Julie, to anyone from a dwindling circle of those who would still listen. He didn't stop there. Art wasn't dead, he told Julie. Art flourished, it was Hegel who was gone. Religion wasn't the answer.
Monday, May 20, 2002
Tech & Science
Do Fingerprints Lie?
The gold standard of forensic evidence in now being challenged.
The Business Of Making The Trains To Auschwitz Run On Time
Nazi documents contained in the U.S. National Archives and Polish eyewitness testimony make clear that IBM's aliance with the Third Reich went far beyond its German subsidiary.
A Drought In Shanghai
Once known as the Hollywood of China, the city is now a conservative center that's inhospitable to filmmakers.
Lock Up The Analysts And Throw Away The Key
An investor who followed expert advice lost $100,000. He wants vengeance, but history suggests he's not likely to get it.
The Talk Of The Book World Still Can't Sell
The most talked-about book in America, which raises the specter that women who sacrifice families for careers might wake up childless at 45, is hardly selling at all.
What 'Friends' Has That 'X-Files' And 'Ally' Lacked
There are no rules for how to keep a series alive except one: the show has to maintain the essential connection between the viewers and the characters on screen.
Sunday, May 19, 2002
Oh, say can you hear, a singer ruining that noble song?
A Bittersweet Leave-Taking
An era is passing for Japanese Americans who once found livelihoods in gardening.
After The First 15 Minutes
As a critique of high, not low, culture, Andy Warhol's work is just as relevant today.
End Of The Trail
When she heard her uncles were selling the Wyoming ranch that had been in the family for eight decades, she knew she had to be there for the final sheep drive.
Life Inside The Bubble
The place that some have taken to calling the bubble, or even the Taj Mahal — the place where recovery workers can get a cup of coffee, a little comfort and even a hot shower after a day grappling in Hell — is slowly winding down.
Saturday, May 18, 2002
Tech & Science
Some Language Experts Think Humans Spoke First With Gestures
Gestural theorists contend that long before early human spoke they jabbered away with their hands.
The Man Who Retired
Ten years ago, the king of late night went away for good, vanished. The Garbo of American comedy. But now, just one last time, here's Johnny.
Mission San Jose, so named for the shrill white church that proudly sits at the base of the hills, is nothing like the suburbs of the American imagination. Rather, it's a welcoming global village in the middle of the burbs.
I used to ask myself what I could have done to save Eddie. Now I realize: I was asking the wrong person.
The Case For The Empire
The truth is that from the beginning, Lucas confused the good guys with the bad. The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.
Art With Whine & Cheese
We all have our rituals. Popcorn and a movie. Cracker Jack and baseball. Wine and cheese at art openings. But now we might have to hold the wine.
The Weight Of An Anchor
In the twilight of Brokaw, Jennings and Rather, it is not at all clear that the nightly news program is history. Why network news still matters.
Why so many women are going all the way and saying no to pubic hair.
Friday, May 17, 2002
Romancing The Source
The reporter-source relationship can blossom into something more intimate and more troubling, as evidenced by the Suzy Wetlaufer-Jack Welch affair. But other types of close ties between journalists and newsmakers can also pose nettlesome problems.
Tech & Science
The company that launched a thousand rips may be dead, but the movement it launched continues to thrive — and to make a mockery of the music industry's pathetic online offerings.
The Iron Chef - Raw Talent
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto knows what he likes and it's the opposite of comfort food. In fact, the intense, Hiroshima-born gastronmic genius is the mortal enemy of anything remotely conventional in the kitchen or dining room. This makes it somewhat surprising that Morimoto's new restaurant in Philadelphia is attracting large crowds of diners who are probably mor efamiliar with the city's signature "cheesesteak" than with Morimoto brainstorms like Crab Brain Dip.
How Our Age Dumbed Down Even Invective
The hateful things people say when words aren't allowed to hurt.
The Turth Is, Um, Where, Exactly?
With 10 episodes down and only the two-hour finale to go, the promise has not only gone unfulfilled but is also starting to look like a downright hoax.
In A Galaxy Far From Hollywood
George Lucas is a paradox: an independent moviemaker with billions to finance his own projects, a mom-and-apple-pie nostagic best known for creating futuristic fantasies. He's a visionary who abandoned Hollywood just when it most enthusiastically offered him the keys to the kingdom.
New York's Wildest Love Affairs
It's springtime again, and the curious mating habits of New Yorkers can be observed all over town.
In Praise Of Balance
Isn't what presents itself as balance—in relations between the sexes, in politics, and in ultimate questions—really a mask for complacency or pandering or failure of nerve?
Thursday, May 16, 2002
What We Don't Know Won't Hurt Us
I am not arguing for ignorance. History, like most knowledge, is inherently pleasurable. But I reject the alarmist notion that ignorance threatens our social cohesion or democracy by cutting us off from the roots that define the American experience.
Rescue Efforts Lift Poets' Voices From Fraying Tapes
At poetry centers around America, disintegrating tapes are being transferred to digital format in an effort to preserve recordings of many of the greatest 20th-century poets.
Cooking Like A 3-Star Chef In Your Own Home (Almost)
Not even a chef can cook like a chef outside his restaurant, no matter how accomplished a lsicer and dicer or how visionary an artist.
A Very American Movie
"Star Wars" is authentic junk — or rather, it's an American melting pot.
The Art Of Suffering
Few knew that for hte last 12 years of his life Alphonse Daudet, the popular 19th-century French novelist, was wracked by the effects of syphilis, which he described in a notebook.
The Royal We
The mathematical study of genealogy indicates that everyone in the world is descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone of European ancestry is decended from Muhammad and Charlemagne.
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
A Year Of Trouble
Because Timothy Thomas perished in the manner he did—an unarmed African-American, shot by a white police officer, the fifteenth black person killed by Cincinnati policemen during a six-year period in which non white suspects died—he has exerted a forceful and resonant influecne over subsequent events in that city, soemthing he hardly seemed destined to do while he was alive.
Why Does John Malkovich Want To Kill Me?
As journalists, our lives are now forfeit to the internet haters. If we want a quiet life, we will just have to toe the line, stop criticising Israel or America. Or just stop writing altogether.
Tech & Science
The Next Newton?
Recluse, maverick physicist and Mathematica developer Stephen Wolfram claims to have revolutionized science with his new, computer-based theories.
Moon's Dust Hides A Throbbing Heart
It takes two and a half seconds for a laser beam to flash from Earth to the Moon and back again. But it has taken 33 years of doing such experiments for scientists to glimpse what may be the Moon's greatest secret: that far beneath its cold craters and rocky landscape lies a heart that is warm and yielding.
Healthy Fast Food — For Adults
Not surprisingly, given public pressure and Subway's success, the other major chains have stepped up to the plate with health-conscious items of their own.
Squeezing In The Arts
Bolstered by strong research that proves that learning occurs in many ways, school admnistrators look to nonprofit groups for the arts teaching and expertise squeezed by a generation of cramped budgets and new test-based priorities.
In the competitive world of online dating, singles brand themselves as sexy commodities. But what happens when the wrapping comes off?
The Rise Of The Creative Class
Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race.
At The Wheel, Laura Bush Shows She Can Shift Gears
Rather than being led by the West Wing, Mrs. Bush sticks to her chief passion, education, then uses her personal empathy over public tragedies to guide her actions.
Who's May Birth Father?
Canadians conceived with donated sperm are demanding to know their genetic roots — but Ottawa isn't making it easy.
Establishing an artistic identity may be essential for an architect, but it doesn't always result in better architecture.
Good Enough For Us
It was the beginning of the holiday weekend, when my father sat down and told me the truth.
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
Tech & Science
What's In Those Nuggets? Meat Substitute Stirs Debate
Quorn, a meat substitute based on a fungus has taken Europe by storm and its manufacturer claims health benefits for it. Scientists aren't so sure.
A young first novelist meets his new peers.
When it comes to sex, filmmaking is in an era that some call flat-out prudish. But a vanishing breed of directors is keeping the sin in cinema.
"24": Split Screen's Big Comeback
From Fox's "24" to Destiny's Child videos to Hollywood, the splintered aesthetic of multichannel storytelling — once the province of the '60s avant-garde — is suddenly everywhere.
The new, sensitive incarnation of the Webbed Wonder reminds us how America likes its superheroes: human.
Despite the attacks on the World trade Center, buildings are reaching for the sky — at least in Asia and Europe. The trend is leaving U.S. developers in the lobby.
Choking At The Bowl
Why do men have trouble urinating at ballparks?
Columnist Andrew Sullivan Bites Paper; Paper Bites Back
Andrew Sullivan, the confrontational conservative columnist, has been attempting the high-wire act of writing for the New York Times while frequently whacking the Times for liberal bias on his Web site. Now the tightrope has snapped.
An Industry Insider's Gloomy Book Report
The publishing industry, Michael Cader says, " is in a mathematical death spiral."
A 'Lucky Man' Puts His Celebrity To Work
Michael J. Fox talks about his Parkinson's disease and the foundation he started to help find cures and treatments.
Monday, May 13, 2002
Tech & Science
Museum's Cyberpeeping Artwork Has Its Plug Pulled
An Internet-based artwork in an exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art was taken offline on Friday because the work was conducting surveillance of outside computers.
Mother's Day Is No Rip-Off
There are many good reasons for Mother's Day, despite the naysayers who bemoan its commercialization.
The Obscure History Of Mickey Mouse
The man who first drew Disney's iconic character is not exactly a household name. But Ub Iwerks' granddaughter is out to change that.
Big Networks Show 'Sopranos' Respect
A number of highly anticipated new offerings from cable television stations are being seen by the broadcast networks as real competitors.
Don't Get Angry At This Artist. He's Kidding. Seriously.
Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian Neo-Coceptual artist, aims to generate confusion with his life-size wax figures of a pair of policemen, propped upside down along a wall.
Sunday, May 12, 2002
'Censorship Review — New Guidelines Needed'
The review of censorship should examine fundamental questions about the issueinstead of becoming just a poll of public opinion, said David Lim.
Remarks To The Graduating Class
A message of hope and encumberment.
You Call This A Vacation?
With American families increasingly spread out, many are using vacations to stay connected.
Manhanttan Mecca For Art Lovers
With its cobblestone streets and scattering of early-19th-century buildings, the meat-packing district can feel like working-class Paris, and it has a few bistros to match.
The Merits Of Meritocracy
Can self-fulfillment build character?
The de-humanizing of the country's best classical-music radio show.
Saturday, May 11, 2002
Why The Evening News Is Worse Than "O'Reilly."
If the network news divisions think they are producing an evening broadcast so nobole that it deserves to be defended from the corporate huns, they're kidding themselves.
The relentless march upward of the American shoe size.
Hallmark Of A Poet
At 74, Maya Angelou greets a new line of verse and many old fans.
Old-fashioned trams rumble along Melbourne's streets, passing modern skyscrapers, and restaurants sport globally ethnic menus.
Friday, May 10, 2002
Tech & Science
Hollywood's Way Out
New distribution platform is solution for copyright theft.
How Do You Design A "Keep Out!" Sign To Last 10,000 Years?
The Department of Energy is creating vast monument to scare future trespassers away from the radioactive waste sites. Their plan: A granite Stonehenge thing with warnings in Navajo!
Tiny Triumph For Science
Light and a single molecue are combined to make a machine.
The Journal's Shrinking Violets
What's with the editorial page's annoying new tic?
Stirrups For Sissies
The "Dummies" series is reborn on television.
At Yale University, Ivy Vs. Grass Roots
Every spring, Yale alumni elect one of their own to the university's decision-making body. The process is typically smooth and decorous. But once in a while, a democratic mess rears its head.
Pavarotti And Borrowed Time
If Luciano Pavarotti sings on Saturday night in "Tosca" (he canceled on Wednesday), it may be his farewell to the Metropolitan Opera and to staged opera.
Where Trains Rolled, Bicyclists Now Roam
Since the mid-1980's railroad rights of ways all across the country have been transformed into trails teaming with cyclists, in-line skaters and people in wheelchairs.
Thursday, May 9, 2002
Two Cheers For Colonialism
Colonialism, I freely acknowledge, was a harsh regime for those who lived under it. My grandfather would have a hard time giving even one cheer for colonialism. As for me, I cannot manage three, but I am quite willing to grant two.
Tech & Science
A Visual Rather Than Verbal Future
With all due respect to fellow computing gurus around the world, the University of Maryland's Ben Shneiderman doesn't think speech will ever become the main way people communicate with computers. He's convinced our eyes will do better than our voices at helping us control the digital machinery of the 21st century.
Streaming Onto The Movie Screen, With Nary A Scratch
Today there is a technology that can bring near-perfect movie quality to theaters everywhere: digital projectors.
We don't tell people they can't vote because they keep choosing losing candidates. Democracy requires full partiicpation. Knowledge is the same.
He Totally Got It
Ad man Jay Chiat spoofed and celebrated pop culture with a hip, West Coast style.
The Art Of Office E-Mail War
They don't call it a "killer app" for nothing. E-mail is corporate culture's favorite new weapon.
Top Ten New Copyright Crimes
Watching PBS without making a donation. You know who you are, you cheap...
Driving Miss Tallulah
A daughter resists the back seat.
New Yorker, American
The character is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but like any true archetypal hero, he always shows up just the right time with the right message.
Our Past, Cobwebs And All
Bless this mess of a museum. It's the stuff of history.
Steak Endures In Argentina's Lean Time
Times are hard in Argentina, but parts of Buenos Aires, which used to style itself "the Paris of Latin America," still twinkle like the City of Light.
Clearing Things Up
Third-time novelist Steve Lopez left his heart in Philly.
Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Tech & Science
A Human Touch For Machines
The radical movement of affective computing is turning the field of artificial intelligence upside down by adding emotion to the equation.
The Matrix Reloads
It's high kicks, high tech and high concepts, as we peek inside the two Matrix sequels now shooting Down Under.
Hottest Food Trend In Marin Is Cuisine That Keeps Its Cool
The Bay Area has a haute cuisine restaurant so hot it doesn't have a stove.
It is an odd dance of democracy, these spontaneous shout-o-ramas that break out at public rallies. Do they ever result in minds changed, or budged, or anything close to constructive exchanges of views? Ever?
When Giving Birth, Opting To Go It Alone
A close-knit network of parents are choosing do-it-yourself deliveries, demonstrating a dissatisfaction that many women perceive with obstetrics today.
Tuesday, May 7, 2002
PBS perpetuates stereotypes of Islam — and rightly so.
Tech & Science
Camera Is Left Behind To Zoom In On North Pole's Weather
An automated digital camera is linked by satellite to the Web, allowing the researchers — and anyone else — to keep track of conditions at the top of the world.
"Invisible Man" At 50
African-American intellectuals are still criticizing Ralph Ellison for his refusal to make art serve politics. And they're still wrong.
Playing The ID Card
Americans have never had to "show papers" to move around. Now they must choose betwen privacy and security.
And The Beat Goes On
Jane Scott, the oldest living rock music critic, rolls into retirement at 83.
How To Build Skyscrapers
Like Aristotle's helmsman, today's traditionalist architects are responsible for the loss of the ship by abandoning the tiller.
Monday, May 6, 2002
The Legal Battlefield
Will America lose the war on a technicality?
Tech & Science
Paranoia, Stupidity And Greed Ganging Up On The Public
If you are reading this column in the newspaper, but did not read every article and look at every advertisement in previous sections, stop now. You must go back and look at all of that material before continuing with this column.
Playing Games With Free Speech
A federal judge says computer games don't deserve First Amendment protection. His decision is wrong, stupid and dangerous.
What's Wrong With Being A Nice Guy? Plenty, According To A Local Therapist
The end result is that a lot of male baby boomers and Gen-Xers grew up adopting a "female perspective on masculinity."
The 70's Are So 90's. The 80's Are The Thing Now.
Pop cult revivals tend to arrive punctually after roughly 20 years, and the 80's ar ejust far enough away now to acquire the charm of remoteness.
Who's Ugly Now?
Americans are more compassionate and law-abiding than violent and cynical Europeans.
Fight For Prime Times Bad For TV
It's all about counterprogramming, which is a fancy way of saying each network is trying to stick it to the others. We suffer the results.
A Narrator Leaps Past Journalism
When I was writing a memoir, I discovered I needed a narrator who was me and at the same time not me.
Is Deceptive Portrait Tied To Shakespeare?
Research findings about an Elizabethan portrait has reawakened speculation over the possible bisexuality of William Shakespeare.
Sunday, May 5, 2002
The Oaxaca Connection
Immigrants from southern Mexico have brought real moles, clayudas and avocado leaf barbacoa to L.A.
Cracking the dress code for a movie premiere.
I Am A Racially Profiling Doctor
Illness isn't colorblind. So why is it taboo for doctors to take note of a patient's race?
Lighter Loads For Traveling Readers
Electronic books, which so far have been a boon mostly to ophthalmologists and other ministers to be weary eyed, have improved to become useful tools for some travelers.
Harry Potter And The Quest For The Unfinished Volume
Although writers missing deadlines may be nothing new, with a phenomenon like Harry Potter even the failure to publish can be a momentous event.
Saturday, May 4, 2002
Some Chinese Se The Future, And It's Capitalist
The question that captivates leading minds in China is the same one that engaged at the end of the 19th century: how to make the country modern.
Some argue that the convention of men paying for women is a harmless gallantry, like holding a door open. I beg to differ.
The world is falling out of love with celebrity chief executives.
The End Of British Invasion
Why can't Britpop crack the Billboard Hot 100 anymore?
Blueprint For Ground Zero Begins To Take Shape
Crucial components of what will occur at ground zero appear to have already been settled upon by city and state officials.
Timeless Wyoming, At A Gallop
On a rugged trip into the Old West, riders camp in snug tepees, test their stamina and learn to break the rules.
Tobey Maguire got the big bucks, but Dan Poole got to Spider-Man first.
No one who has endured the agony of self-employment as a scribbler can possibly afford not to read George Orwell's "Confessions of a Book Reviewer."
Friday, May 3, 2002
The curtain drops on the 1990s.
Crazy For Dysfunction
Somewhere along the line, we traded the Cleavers for the Osbournes. Family angst and social stigma are new tickets to fame and fortune.
On The Sidewalks Of New York
Like many natural beauties, New York is effortlessly photogenic. It has fabulous bones and hardly any bad angles.
The Prior's Room
Anna Meehan, an American girl seated at lunch with a French father and son, is basking in this common but blissful discovery: what happens sometimes, when you disobey your mother, is that the world turns inside out.
Thursday, May 2, 2002
The Fall Of The Libertarians
Sept. 11 might have also brought down a political movement.
Tech & Science
Silicon Pets, But The Pride Is Real
Aibos, the first mass-produced entertainment robot, have grown in popularity in the three years since they were introduced. The reason for their appeal lies in large part in their petlike appearance and behavior, and in the software that allows them to "mature" emotionally.
10 Years Of Jay Leno Makes One Weak
A great platform goes to waste.
My Father's Brain
What Alzheimer's takes away.
Stop Eating, Get High
Feeling toxic? War and bloat and Bush got you down? Maybe you should try fasting.
Bye-Bye, Dancing Baby
Sure, she was scary-skinny and her skirts were too short. But don't blame the unfiltered neuroses of "Ally McBeal" for the crisis contemporary women (and men) face.
Roads Way Too Much Traveled
Why would Robert James Waller, author of the phenomenally successful "Bridges of Madison County," push his luch by publishing a sequel? Let's do the math.
Suburbs In A New Light
The notion that suburbs are the key battlegrounds of American politics has become so accepted it is almost a cliche. But the anatomy of suburban life and suburban elections remains much harder to define.
Pitchers At The Fair
This weekend's national booksellers convention, the sales-pitch happening of the year, will highlight the importance of the publicist.
Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Wealth Distribution And The Role Of Networks
It's an old question still in search of an answer. Why does inequality in wealth distribution repeat itself so consistently from country to country? New research suggest that network effects may be more in play here than the backgrounds and talents of citizens.
Being Green At Ben & Jerry's
Some enviromental policies are feel-good indulgences for an era of energy abundances.
The architect of Manhattan's World Financial Center — and of the world's tallest towers — discusses ground zero, the future of skyscrapers and how New York's skyline is handsomer than ever.
The F5: Mother Nature's Massive Twist Of Fate
You can't determine that a tornado is an F5 — the most violent ever seen — by directly calculating its wind speed. You measure it by the destruction it leaves.
He Chose Cheese Steak Over Fancy
Life, the saying goes, is what happens while you're making other plans. Having figured this out, Gary Thompson, whose story has been shaped by World War II, Vietnam and most recently by Sept. 11, has stopped making plans and started making cheese steaks.
It's The End Of The Modern Age
The theme is simple. It has to do with conscious thinking. We have arrived at a stage of history when we must begin thinking about thinking itself.
This Dark World
It's a funny business, going blind. Not literally, of course. Or at least it's funny peculiar, rather than funny ha-ha. Perhaps the old school would call it rum. To be clear: it is interesting, but does not make me laugh.
D'oh: Are 'The Simpsons' Leaving Soon?
"It becomes increasingly difficult as the years go by to keep on not only surprising the audience, but surprising ourselves."