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Thursday, October 31, 2002


Consumers' Last Hurrah?
by Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post
Let us contemplate and celebrate the true heroes of the U.S. and world economies: American consumers.

On Playing Hunches
by William Safire, New York Times
Do I know something the pollsters don't know? Nope. Just a hunch generated by wishful thinking. The creative gridlock wouldn't be so bad for the country.

No Contest
by William Saletan, Slate
The solemnity of death and the grace of Midwestern humor are overshadowed tonight by the angry piety of populism.

Tech & Science

Dead But Awake: Is It Possible?
by Daithi O hAnluain, Wired News
Despite mounting anecdotal evidence, conventional scientists still reject the notion that a person can remain conscious after being clinically deceased. Now a pair of researchers want to prove them wrong.

To The Liberal Arts, He Adds Computer Science
by Steve Lohr, New York Times
Tall and slender with a flowing beard, dressed in a gray sweater and jeans, Brian Kernighan works his audience with a fast patter and a ready smile. The challenge he has set for himself is to demystify computing for a classroom full of liberal arts undergraduates at Princeton.


Reel World Domination
by Damien Cave, Salon
If young film buffs choose Tarantino over Antonioni, are they culturally illiterate? Some of their elders, self-appointed guardians of the cinematic canon, think so.

Ferreting Out Weasels Where They Work
by Don Oldenburg, Washington Post
"You know you're in a weasel bubble when historians are making stuff up, and when movie studios are writing their own movie reviews, and ice-skating judges are fixing the Olympics, and priests are having a better sex life than you are."


Only A Thing
by Antonya Nelson, New Yorker
You could compare a certain kind of love affair to a car wreck.


Getting A Driver's License Is A Royal Pain In Britain
by Sara Calian and Steve Stecklow, Wall Street Journal
Think driving on the left side of the road is difficult? Try getting a British driver's license.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Tech & Science

Keeping Hope On Ice
by Raja Mishra, Boston Globe
The science of freezing a woman's eggs is still in its infancy.


The Ever-Expanding American Restaurant Tip
by Sara Dickerman, Slate
Part gift, part sales commission, and part salary, the tip is a peculiar artifact.

A Dorm For Dreamers
by Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post
Rather than disregard the ambitions of its entrepreneurial students, the University of Maryland is encouraging them with the kind of amenities that earlier students could only dream about.

Big Eaters, Sure, But This Is Absurd
by Amanda Hesser, New York Times
Spurred in part by Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest in Coney Island, eating contests have popped up across the country, from reindeer-sausage events in Alaska to conch fritter matches in Key West, Fla.

Writers Hone Words Of Praise For A Treasured Mentor
by Stephen Kinzer, New York Times
When contemporary American authors debate the age-old question of whether writing can be taught, the name of Nicholas Delbanco is apt to be mentioned.

Art Groups And Artists Find Angels: Universities
by Karen W. Arenson, New York Times
As artists and arts organizations find themselves facing yet another brutal decline in financial support, they are increasingly turning to a small but growing corps of universities that are quietly helping fill that gap.

David Lodge Thinks...
by Scott McLemee, The Chronicle Of Higher Education
The British novelist of ideas takes on the literary implications of 'consciousness studies.'


Prelude To Lying About My Ex-Husband
by Laurie Blauner, Slate


Scientists Plan To Shake Hands Via Internet
by Reuters
In a technological first, the scientists will use pencil-like devices called phantoms to recreate the sense of touch across the Atlantic.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002


Senior Minister Jiang?
by Tom Plate, San Francisco Chronicle
The Chinese are eager for a seamless, global confidence-building transfer of power.

In Russia - Old Habits Die Hard
by Giles Whittell, The Times
As Moscow obsesses round hospital beds, the wider world is entitled to ask again: is Putin serious about turning his country to the West, and if so, can he deliver?

Axis Of Execution
by Richard Cohen, Washington Post
While it is true that death will not bring the 10 victims back to life, and life in prison is, really, an awful punishment, I recommend, sir, that you merely stick to your guns — an unfortunate turn ofphrase, maybe, but one that sums up our entire position.

Saturated With Violence
by Bob Herbert, New York Times
We don't know what to do about all this violence. We don't know how to process it. We don't even know how to cover it. We sensationalize it, glamorize it, eroticize it.

Enjoying A Leftist Lunch
by J.P. Zmirak, FrontPage Magazine
There's something almost insane about attempting to use a one-dimensional spectrum to describe something as complex as political philosophy.

Tech & Science

by Hank Stuever, Washington Post
Is the death of the cassette as sweetly sad as the death, years ago, of the vinyl record?

Don't Blame Columbus For All The Indians' Ills
by John Noble Wilford, New York Times
The general health of Native Americans had apparently been deteriorating for centuries before 1492.

A New View Of Our Universe: Only One Of Many
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
Some cosmologists now say the realm we call the observable universe could be only a small patch of a vast bubble or "pocket" in a much vaster ensemble bred endlessly in a chain of big bangs.


Network Tries To Foil Ad Skipping
by Bernard Stamler, New York Times
Television networks, dreading a future in which digital devices hand viewers the power to skip commercials automatically, have responded by increasingly integrating ads into the programs themselves.

This Dad Demands Final Cut
by Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
I might be more sympathetic to the DGA's case if someone were willing to acknowledge the vast abandonment of artistic principles that occurs daily in the movie business.

The Newseum That Fits
by Benjamin Forgey, Washington Post
The design of the new Newseum is a brash study of contrasts with the august architecture surrounding its prominent Pennsylvania Avenue address. It is almost all glass where its neighbors are almost all stone. It's transparent where they are opaque, light where they're heavy, breezily informal where they are attired for a decorous sit-down dinner.

On Your Day's To-Do List, Is Reading The Paper A Must?
by David Shaw, Los Angeles Times
How can newspaper be relevant on routine, personal issues — while simultaneously trying to explain terrorism, global warming and a faltering economy?

by Michael Getler, Washington Post
The Times and The Post, intensely competitive in every way, were always an odd couple. Yet the marriage worked, at least for readers. That is, until last Tuesday, when the Times started divorce proceedings.

A Writer Most At Home Out In The Open
by Bill Janz, Journal Sentinel
Reed retains humor, style as he faces cancer.

Nobel By Association: Beautiful Mind, Non-Existent Prize
by Yves Gingras, OpenDemocracy
Is the Nobel Prize for Economics as real as the Loch Ness monster? A fascinating story of how, when the global public was looking the other way, strategy and snobbery brought a symbolic currency to life.


Coke Sign Goes Dark In The Heart Of Times Sq.
by New York Times
After 11 years of teasing parched New Yorkers, the animated Coca-Cola sign in Times Square is dark. Eventually it will be replaced by a more advanced-looking Coke display, the company said.

Monday, October 28, 2002


The Moderate Majority
by Karim Raslan, Time
Southeast Asia's progressive Islam can be a strong weapon against extremism.

Dodging The Bullet
by Karen Tumulty and Viveca Novak, Time
Even in the wake of the sniper slayings, Democrats are shying away from gun control.

No House Slave Here
by William Raspberry, Washington Post
After a string of policy-debate losses that had some of us urging principled resignation — an interim state for Palestine, reengagement with North Korea, a containment approach to Iraq — I'm thinking that Powell may finally have won one by getting the president to work through the United Nations.

Tech & Science

Improvements In Bra Technology
by Teresa Riordan, New York Times
A bra design can pose engineering challenges as formidable as those encountered in building a bridge or a skyscraper.

A Fibonacci Fountain
by Ivars Peterson, Science News
The year 1202 saw the publication of one of the most famous and influential books in mathematics.


The Luster Of Vienna's Treasures Endures
by Robert Campbell, Boston Globe
It's truly an embarrassment for an American to visit a city like this and experience public services so much better than anything we're accustomed to.

Needed: A Stirring National Anthem
by Joan Ryan, San Francisco Chronicle
I am not the first to advocate scrapping "The Star-Spangled Banner" as our national anthem. But seeing as how, despite calls for change, it is still the national anthem, there is work yet to be done.

Miss America's Stealth Virginity Campaign
by Lara Riscol, Salon
With the coveted tiara firmly in her grasp, beauty queen Erika Harold quickly unveiled plans to promote her pet cause: Abstinence-only sex education.

When A Judge Is Forced To Play God
by Dana Parsons, Los Angeles Times
In a better world, no judge would have to pass judgment on a person who can't talk, feel, move or breathe on his own. No judge would have to decide whether a 14-month-old child, whose most constant companion has been a ventilator, should live or die.

A Heated Mc-Culture Clash
by Richard Boudreaux, Los Angeles Times
In a city that holds fast to tradition, McDonald's wants a spot in the historic main square.

The Ultimate Reality TV
by Howard Kurtz, Washington Post
Fox News is asking the United Nations for permission to send reporters and camera crews along if U.N. weapons inspectors return to Iraq.

A Writer's Tale Is Victorian; His Past, Gothic
by Sarah Lyall, New York Times
Something terrible happened a long time ago to Michel Faber, the author of "The Crimson Petal and the White."

A TV House Divided
by Dvaid D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
The future of television has finally arrived — really. Now begins the haggling over who gets control, and negotiations with the highest stakes are taking place inside AOL Time Warner.

The Angry Appeal Of Eminem Cuts Across Racial Lines
by Lynette Holloway, New York Times
Not only is Eminem accepted as a supremely skillful practitioner of rap, many say he is the salvation of an art form that they say has been corrupted by a focus on Bentleys, yachts and Cristal Champagne.

Sunday, October 27, 2002


Life, And Death, In An Abortion Culture
by George F. Will, Washington Post
Abortion kills something. What is it?

Lessons From Japan About War's Aftermath
by John Dower, New York Times
Does America's successful occupation of Japan after World War II provide a model for a constructive American role in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq? The short answer is no.


The Ninth Hawaiian Island
by Lisa Leff, Los Angeles Times
What could possibly lure so many people from a real tropical paradise to the conjured mirage of Las Vegas?

Saving Uncle Phil
by David Maraniss, Washington Post
Phil Cummins, quirky and beloved, happened to live in his parents' basement. The author only learned the truth years later, in a cache of old letters.

Supermom Fictions
by Margaret Talbot, New York Times
No surprise ending: Women just have to live with ambivalence about work and home.

Not Quite Right For Our Pages
by Charles McGrath, New York Times
The rejection letter in Ian McEwan's "Atonement" is a masterpiece of the form.

Fare Idea Returns To Haunt Airlines
by Saul Hansell, New York Times
By disseminating their Web fares so widely on Orbitz, the airlines have created another way to ratchet fares even lower when they can least afford it.

There's Sheer Wizardry In Us Muggles
by Chris Mooney, Washington Post
Harry Potter may be fiction, but Rowling's depiction of Muggles is clearly a commentary on reality.


Capitol Hill's Alternative To The Mall
by Jake Batsell, Seattle Times
It doesn't have a food court, acres of parking or the usual lineup of chain stores, but a new mall has arrived on Capitol Hill.

Saturday, October 26, 2002


What Al Qaeda Learned In D.C.
by Frank Rich, New York Times
There are good reasons why the sniper siege terrified Americans who were far from the line of fire, but they're not the reasons that have dominated the media babble.


The Writing Life
by Beth Kephart, Washington Post
Winter can't come too soon for a writer who gets her inspiration from the ice beneath her feet.

Reinventing The Cooper-Hewitt
by Linda Hales, Washington Post
New director wants the museum to include the present with the past.

So Many Books, So Little Space
by Colette Brooks, New York Times
At some point, even ardent bibliophiles begin to view their beloved books as a burden.

Friday, October 25, 2002


Has China Become An Ally?
by Kenneth Lieberthal, New York Times
American relations with China have improved in a way that few could have imagined when the Bush administration entered office and declared China a "strategic competitor." Now signs of serious cooperation are everywhere.


The Fear Factor
by Andrew Huang, Far Eastern Economic Review
Be afraid—an Asian wave of horror at the movies is fast making its way around the world.

Tee Hee
by The Economist
British self-regard on the subject of humour is hilarious.

Small Card, Big Spender
by Thomas Hine, New York Times
While we may have vague misgivings about what we'll do when the bills arrive, in the meantime we embrace every innovation that lets us shop as fast as we can.

Thursday, October 24, 2002


For Bush, Facts Are Malleable
by Dana Milank, Washington Post
Statements on subjects ranging from the economy to Iraq suggest that a president who won election underscoring Al Gore's knack for distortions and exaggerations has been guilty of a few himself.

Tech & Science

A Palmtop For The Prosecution
by Jennifer 8. Lee, New York Times
The rise of the organizer as a criminal tool has bred a new category of forensic scientist: the Palm reader.


Is This The Famous Original Grand Sichuan?
by Eric Asimov, New York Times
Here was an incipient riddle that still might be answered: Where are all the Grand Sichuan restaurants coming from, and are they connected?

Two Writers Under One Roof
by Martin Arnold, New York Times
There's something quite glorious and strangely romantic about the intimacy that two writers can bring to a marriage.

Titles Can Run Longer Than The Shows
by Donna Freydkin, USA Today
What's in a name? Quite a bit if you're a TV show trying to find an audience.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


The Anti-Liberal Anti-War Case
by Michael Kelly, Washington Post
The anti-warriors of the left would rather see Iraq continue as a slave state under Saddam Hussein. Well, it's a point of view. But you might have a hard time convincing the average Iraqi torture victim that it is a liberal one.

Tech & Science

How I Destroyed The New Economy
by John F.X. Sundman, Salon
Dot-com visionary David Wetherell could do no wrong — until he started building a mansion on an ancient Indian burial ground.


The Language Of Exile
by Imre Kertesz, The Guardian
Wherever he writes, in whichever language, the writer of the Holocaust is a spiritual fugitive, asking for spiritual asylum, invariably in a foreign tongue.

Now That's What I Call Music
by Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
A chance of listen to every British number one for the past 50 years?

Age-Old Culinary Quesitons Still Stir A Fire
by R. W. Apple Jr., New York Times
More than 300 people, mostly Southerners, some more knowledgeable than others, gathered on the campus of Ole Miss last weekend to praise barbecue, argue about barbecue and gorge on barbecue, which one overexcited speaker described as "the only truly American food."

Canadian Writer Wins A Revamped Booker Prize
by Alan Cowell, New York Times
Yann Martel, a Canadian writer, won the newly renamed Man Booker Prize tonight for his novel "Life of Pi," the magical fable of a young man shipwrecked in the company of a Bengal tiger.


by Michael Ryan, Slate

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


How The American Media Can Help South-East Asia
by Kumar Ramakrishna, Straits Times
Given the reach and power of the US media to shape the perceptions, and by implication the decision, of Western policy-makers and investors, a little additional nuance in its reporting would be no bad thing.

There Really Is A Monster Under The Bed — Big Brother
by Jonathan Turley, Los Angeles Times
In Texas, they like their barbecue hot, their oil sweet and their sex straight. Of course, only one of these preferences is set by law: sex.

So Long, Fellow Travelers
by Christopher Hitchens, Washington Post
George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as "evil." Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism.

Tech & Science

The Universe Seems So Simple, Until You Have To Explain It
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
In the end, it wasn't the strange science fiction sounding ideas animating cosmology these days that defeated me, but the simple ones.

Using Technology To Add New Dimensions To The Nightly Call Home
by Maggie Jackson, New York Times
Inspired by the dizzying array of portable devices on the market and a growing emphasis on home and family, frequent business travelers are taking the traditional nightly call home to new levels.

First Proof Of Jesus Found?
by Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery
The first archaeological evidence of Jesus' existence has come to light, literally written in stone, according to one of the top world experts in deciphering ancient Near East inscriptions.


'Harry Potter' To Battle 'Lord Of The Rings,' Again
by Rick Lyman, New York TImes
On the surface, it's deja vu. But there are significant differences this time as the films square off.

They Have The Money, Stupid
by Natasha Mann, The Times
Older people hold 80 per cent of all wealth and 75 per cent of all stock portfolios. Yet 95 per cent of all promotional campaigns in Europe last year were targeted at the under-fifties.

Witness The Emancipation Of The Little Woman
by Al Martinez, Los Angeles Times
Women are everywhere today. Well, they always were, but now they've invaded occupations where they were never expected. They are becoming, God help us all, just like men. Andy Rooney is just going to have to accept that.

TV Puts Its Mark On Sniper Story
by Paul Farbi, Washington Post
For the TV networks and stations covering the sniper case, it's also a splendid opportunity to promote the stations and their coverage.

A Media Mouse That Roared
by Jill Stewart, Los Angeles Times
I look out on the media landscape of Los Angeles and I mourn not merely the passing of a great, gutsy newspaper but also the state of the media in the country's second-largest city.


Travis, B.
by Maile Meloy, New Yorker

Monday, October 21, 2002


Candidates Uncovered!
by Howard Kurtz, Washington Post
Why, with both houses of Congress up for grabs, has the election seemingly been relegated to back-burner status? Is this campaign a bust — and are the media partially to blame?

The Loss Of A Safe Place
by Thomas Keneally, New York Times
Suddenly Bali had become an alien and bitter place to die in.

They Want To Kill Us All
by Mark Steyn, The Spectator
Forget the 'root causes'. The massacre in Bali was part of the continuing Islamofascist war against the West, adn those who ignore it are sleepwalking to national suicide.

Tech & Science

A Merger Taken AO-Ill
by Alec Klein, Washington Post
Financials, culture, ideology divide Time Warner and its new-media partner.

A Boon For Nonprofits With Software Needs
by Laurie J. Flynn, New York Times
CompuMentor, a nonprofit organization founded by Daniel Ben-Horin, has created a software store for other nonprofit groups.


Comedy Club
by Virginia Heffernan, New Yorker
Life after "Seinfeld."

Day Strippers
by Mark Singer, New Yorker
Clothing-optional swimmers get into trouble with the natives.

Dilbert's A Weasel And So Are You
by Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon
The dot-com bubble was tough for cartoonist Scott Adams. But now that things suck again, it's boom time once more for disillusioned cubicle droids.

Egers' Trail Of Broken Hearts
by Shawn Hubler, Los Angeles Times
The Bay Area goes gaga for the local boy who wrote 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.' And his aversion to publicity only feeds the frenzy.

The Gatekeeper For Literature Changes At New Yorker
by David Carr and David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
For decades, the fiction editor of The New Yorker has controlled the velvet rope at the gateway to literary stardom, welcoming a fortunate few into the prestigious inner circle of short story writers and a career of lucrative book contracts.

The Poison Ivy Is Beautiful This Time Of Year
by Jim Yardley, New York Times
The Canadian Fall Foliage Festival began nearly 50 years ago, and if the event has not put Vermont out of the leaf business, it has become popular in a land of few trees.


The First Ten Months
by Patricia Brodie, Potpourri Magazine

First And Last
by Jonathan Willers, The Richmond Review


Who Is The Sniper? Blogs Tell All
by Noah Shachtman, Wired News
Conspiracy theories have long been an Internet staple. But a dearth of evidence about the sniper — and the phenomenal explosion of blogs — have brought online speculation to a screeching crescendo.

Giant Mystery Bird Spotted In Alaska
by The Anchorage Daily News
A giant winged creature, like something out of Jurassic Park, has reportedly been sighted several times in Southwest Alaska in recent weeks.

Sunday, October 20, 2002


Our Children Will Get Through This
by Laurel Holliday, New York Times
It's important to remember that every child is unique, and each will quite naturally find his or her own ways of coping with overwhelming feelings.

Scared Senseless
by Ann Patchett, New York Times
We are always looking to make some sort of sense out of murder in order to keep it safely at bay. But what happens when there is no description, no place, nobody?

What Now?
by Susan Long, Straits Times
After the carnage in Bali, life will never be the same again for South-east Asians. They now hold front-row seats in an ever more menacing theatre of terror. Shrapnel has killed and maimed hundreds; the damage to morale and ailing economies is uncountable. The region, Singaporeans included, must stop being spectators and join the battle against terror, together.


A Latin Jolt To The New York Skyline
by Herbert Muschamp, New York Times
The redevelopment of Times Square has finally produced a building worth talking about: the new Westin Hotel on Eighth Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

With Egg Roll, You Might Get Advertisement
by Alan Feuer, New York Times
At least one Chinese restaurant in Manhattan is sending out delivery orders in cartons adorned not with the traditional "Thank You, Enjoy," but with something a bit more jarring: an advertisement for Cingular Wireless.

The Remote Controllers
by Marshall Sella, New York Times
It is now standard Hollywood practice for executive producers to scurry into Web groups moments after an episode is shown on the East Coast.

Business Plans Without A Dot-Com
by Abby Ellin, New York Times
These days, young people are working with more traditional products, using, say, chocolate chips instead of microchips.

Saturday, October 19, 2002


Honoring Nation-Building
by James P. Rubin, Washington Post
Despite a controversial history in Somalia and Vietnam, the idea of the United States as nation-builder is back in vogue.

A Grand Strategy
by John Lewis Gaddis, Foreign Policy
President George W. Bush's national security strategy could represent the most sweeping shift in U.S. grand strategy since the beginning of the Cold War. But its success depends on the willingness of the rest of the world to welcome U.S. power with open arms.

Tech & Science

Researchers Say Science Is Hurt By Secrecy Policy Set Up By The White House
by William J. Broad, New York Times
The administration's policy of restricting the publication of federally financed research it deemed "sensitive but unclassified" threatened to "stifle scientific creativity and to weaken national security."

Saving The Planet Saves Money
by John Whitfield, Nature
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is good for the pocket.


A Lover Of Literary Puzzles
by Celestine Bohlen, New York Times
Umberto Eco is something of a practical joker. He is also Italy's best-known living novelist and, almost as famously, a philosopher who writes about matters ranging from "Peanuts" to Kant, and a semiotician who says he learned his excellent English by reading Marvel Comics and "Finnegans Wake."

Sniper Coverage: Is It Too Much?
by Suzanne C. Ryan, Boston Globe
While industry observers seem to agree that the story has not been overplayed, considering the intense public interest, some have questioned whether the content of some coverage, particularly on cable, is actually helping the sniper.


Booker Prize 'Winner' Named By Mistake
by Reuters
Organizers of Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for literature were red-faced Thursday after they accidentally named one of the short-listed candidates as the winner.

Friday, October 18, 2002


The Logic Of Irrational Fear
by The Economist
The reaction to the sniper reveals a lot about Americans' perception of risk.

Even After 9/11, Media Bungled The Bali Blast
by Barbie Zelizer, Newsday
News coverage of the horrifying explosions in Bali last weekend shows that not much has changed in journalism since Sept. 11.


Dread Reckoning
by Kevin Merida and Hamil R. Harris, Washington Post
In these unsettling times, anxiety is becoming a way of life.

Digital Magic On Broadway
by Jesse McKinley, New York Times
Little more than a decade after a helicopter first landed onstage in the musical "Miss Saigon," theatrical designers are stretching the boundaries of what is possible with a variety of new digital tools that allow them to coordinate and control dozens of independent elements from a keyboard.

The Red And The Brown
by Ronald Radosh, Boston Globe
With his new magazine, Pat Buchanan links the old right to the new left.

Thursday, October 17, 2002


Saddam In A Landslide! Florida Ballots Not Yet Counted
by David Montgomery, Washington Post
Let this be a call to arms for the Bush 2004 campaign.

Tech & Science

Cancer Survival Rates 'Underestimated'
by Jeremy Laurance, Independent News
Survival rates for cancer have been seriously underestimated, discouraging doctors and depressing patients, a study suggests today.


What Is This, A Wine List Or A Stickup?
by David Shaw, Los Angeles Times
Wine prices — especially California wine prices — have skyrocketed over the last decade, and not just in restaurants.

90 Years Of New Poems
by Martin Arnold, New York Times
Poetry magazine — which has published new works by more than 4,000 poets, from Yeats to Billy Collins — is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month.

Films With War Themes Are Victims Of Bad Timing
by Anne Thompson, New York Times
A cataclysmic event can change the fate of a movie. One example is "The Quiet American," which following Sept. 11, 2001, morphed from hot Oscar prospect to problem child.

Books For The Asking
by Eric A. Taub, New York Times
In the same way that the home computer gave users the ability to create documents that looked good, even if they didn't necessarily read well, print-on-demand services now enable people to publish a book with ease, regardless of whether anyone else would want to read it.

The Blessed Version
by Peter Rojas, Village Voice
While directors and film studios have wrangled for decades over final cut, the advent of cheap and easy video editing technology may just wrest control from both parties and place it firmly in the hands of consumers.

'The Rollercoaster Champion Of The World'
by Andrew Martin, Granta
As a child, Richard Rodriguez was afraid of rollercoasters.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Tech & Science

by Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian
In just eight years he has made Amazon the world's leading online sales operation — it's even showing a profit. No wonder Jeff Bezos, emperor of e-commerce, is so pleased with himself.


The Congo Sound
by Susan Orlean, New Yorker
How a record store in Paris became a center of African music.

Ambrose Told The Stories From History That We Needed To Hear
by Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
These days, much of the American press is more often than necessary a school for scandal. Hence, the begrudging quality of so many of the obituaries for historian Stephen Ambrose, who died this week at 66.

Finishing Each Other's Sentences, And Seminars
by Linton Weeks, Washington Post
In the brothers bausch, a fraternity of two writers.

Bless Butter, Cream And Simple French Fare
by Nigella Lawson, New York Times
French cooking pays homage to the cook, not the food.

Uncertain Times: Impulse Buyers Replace Ticket Subscribers
by Robin Pogrebin, New York Times
The season subscription plan, which for generations has balanced the books of symphonies, nonprofit theaters and opera and ballet companies, seems to be losing favor with audiences around the country as single-ticket sales increase in popularity.

Dutch Designs For Cities Built On Ideas And What-If's
by Jlie V. Iovine, New York Times
For a small country, the Netherlands packs a wallop on the architectural scene worldwide.


Lullaby In Steerage
by David Barber, Slate

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


Politics And TV Can Mix
by Tom Rosenstiel and Dave Iverson, Los Angeles Times
Faulty surveys are one reason for lack of coverage.

Tech & Science

How Science Solves Crimes
by Jeffrey kulger, Time
From ballistics to DNA, forensic scientists are revolutionizing police work—on TV and in reality. And just in time.

On Scientific Fakery And The Systems To Catch It
by Kenneth Chang, New York Times
In some ways, the pivotal figure in the research misconduct case at Bell Labs was not Dr. J. Hendrik Schˆn, the scientist fired last month for fabricating and manipulating data, but Dr. Bertram Batlogg, the man who hired him in 1998.


It's A Particular L.A. Kind Of Pilgrimage
by mary McNarnara, Los Angeles Times
Angelenos are making the trek to North Hollywood to satisfy their cravings for granite.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Tech & Science

Help, I Need Somebody
by Charles Arthur, Independent News
The laptop maker saved the money on producing a manual, and I saved the money calling a helpline. I didn't solve the problem, but I know it wasn't total idiocy on my part.


The Homeless Blogger
by Noah Shachtman, Salon
Kevin Barbieux sleeps in abandoned buildings or shelters — and writes a daily journal that has made him an Internet celebrity.

Sunday, October 13, 2002


The Scope Of Shared Tragedy
by Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
Simple tools, complex crimes.

If The Economy Mattered
by David S. Broder, Washington Post
Suppose, for a moment, that Iraq and the war on terrorism were not occupying the headlines and competing with the everyday economic issues for the attention of voters. What would the campaign debate look like?

Tech & Science

Oil And Water: Why Prizes And Science Don't Mix
by George Johnson, New York Times
Trying to decide who instead of just what deserves recognition opens the door to the same kind of speculation and subjectivity that surrounds Britain's contentious Booker Prize for the year's best novel.


Up All Night In New York
by Jonathan Kandell, Los Angeles Times
The premise was simple enough: New York prides itself for being "the city that never sleeps," and having spent much of our lives here, my wife, Joan, and I decided we would finally prove it ourselves.

The Mystery In Box D366
by Peter Katel, Washington Post
Sir Timothy Clifford was sure he'd discovered a Michelangelo in a museum storage room. The hard part was making everyone else believe it.

The Myth Of '18 To 34'
by Jonathan Dee, New York Times
Since the day an ad exec came up with the notion of the targeted demographic, advertisers' fetishizing of this audience block has transformed our culture. But the business premise behind it is bunk.

Men Behaving Badly
by Margaret Talbot, New York Times
Sexual-harassment law is well intentioned, but it's intellectually incoherent. Nothing illustrates this better than strange new cases involving men victimizing men.

Your Call. Everybody's Business.
by Matt Richtel, New York Times
Let us proudly tell the world (and the people riding with us in the elevator): "Yes, I have a cellphone. Yes, my wife wants me to bring home a quart of milk. And, yes, we secretly like to dress up like Santa and Mrs. Claus."

For Love — And Money
by Jeet Heer, National Post
In this world, "selling out" is the ultimate insult. The trick has always been to become popular, but not too popular.

The Drift To Thrift
by Tamsin Blanchard, The Observer
We've all grown used to living with the threat of redundancy, failing pensions and mortgage rip-offs. But the no-frills economy has had one positive effect. It's put prudence back on the map. Conspicuous consumption has been replaced by cheap chic, and canny shoppers now expect their pound to go further.

Saturday, October 12, 2002


Anywhere But Here
by Alkman Granitsas, Far Eastern Economic Review
Once it embodied Asia's spirit of can-do capitalism. Now Hong Kong is mired in economic and social gloom. Many in the middle class now believe the only way is out.


Campuses Awash In Junk Foods
by Dan Kimber, Los Angeles Times
At the high school where I teach, the day begins with the sound of semi trucks offloading tons of junk food for the daily consumption of our students.

A Short History Of A Small Island
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Times
New Yorkers, celebrate! Governors Island is ours again and to be put to our purposes.

Single Girls: Sex But Still No Respect
by Phoebe Hoban, New York Times
Two new books suggest that despite compelling images of the single woman in contemporary culture, single women are still perceived as a special-interest group.

Generation Wrecked
by Noshua Watson, Fortune
The so-called slackers are complaining (again) about the economy. This time they have reason to whine.

Friday, October 11, 2002


Sudden Death Of The Arts & Letters Daily
by Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
Thus with a few lines of legalese came the death of a blog beloved by highbrows and by anyone, really, who appreciates incisive articles on a variety of cutting-edge topics from Freud to french fries, from evolution to Elvis.

Thursday, October 10, 2002


False Choices On Gun Safety
by Jonathan Cowan, Washington Post
With more than 500,000 gun-related crimes each year, America cannot focus exclusively on punishing people once they commit gun-related crimes. It must also attempt to stop guns from falling into the wrong hands in the first place.

Fighting Terrorism With Democracy
by Richard Rorty, The Nation
Civilization is now threatened not just by rogue states like Hitler's Germany or Milosevic's Serbia but by people who are not exactly enemy combatants and not exactly criminals.

Tech & Science

Ports Have To Go With The Flow
by Adam Thierer, Los Angeles Times
Our docks need new technology, not Luddites.

A Nobel That Bridges Economics And Psychology
by Daniel Altman, New York Times
Two Americans have won this year's Nobel award in economics for trying to explain idiosyncrasies in people's ways of making decisions, research that has helped incorporate insights from psychology into the discipline of economics.

Guerrilla Warfare, Waged With Code
by Jennifer 8 Lee, New York Times
"They are computer scientists who have principled causes. They are developing technologies not for commercial purposes, but for political purposes."

Goodbye To A Friend
by PC Magazine
Sad news comes to us today from Austin, Texas. Longtime PC Magazine contributor and friend Jim Seymour passed away suddenly yesterday.


Where Every Loin Is Girded For War
by Tina Brown, The Times
What America needs now is a good sex scandal. The strain of sustained sobriety in the midst of sabre-rattling is wearing everybody down.

by Rob Walker, Slate
How Friends wins advertising friends.

Author Could Use Some Magic In Summoning Book 5
by Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
With another delay in publishing, J.K. Rowling is on the defensive with fans.

Wired, But Drawing The Line
by Katie Hafner, New York Times
It is often those who occupy themselves most intensively with technology who have put the most thought into its role in defining who they are.

Forum Asks, Who Owns A Dance?
by Jennifer Dunning, New York Times
When works from earlier eras were revived, how much of the original were dancers performing and audiences watching?

Art: What's Original Anyway?
by Kendra Mayfield, Wired News
An upcoming art exhibit teases the bounds of legality by incorporating copyright-protected images, sounds and words. Organizers timed it to coincide with a landmark Supreme Court copyright case.

Rethinking The Think Tanks
by Curtis Moore, Sierra Magazine
How industry-funded "experts" twist the environmental debate.

Wednesday, October 9, 2002


Does The United States Start Wars?
by David Greenberg, Slate
Would an American invasion of Iraq be unprecedented?

The Reassuring Routine Of 'No-News' Briefings
by Paul Farbi, Washington Post
Why hold a media briefing at all when there's so little to report? And why bother reporting it as if something is happening?

A Just War?
by Jean Bethke Elshtain, Boston Globe
Many of the country's leading ethicists oppose a strike on Iraq. But a look at the centuries-old theory of just war suggests that military action may be in fact be morally necessary.

Tech & Science

Sex And Death
by Jim Holt, Slate
The awful existential significance of cellular suicide.

Japanese Masters Get Closer To The Toilet Nirvana
by James Brooke, New York Times
Japan's toilet wars started in February, when Matsushita engineers here unveiled a toilet seat equipped with electrodes that send a mild electric charge through the user's buttocks, yielding a digital measurement of body-fat ratio.

South Korea's Real Rage For Virtual Games
by Howard W. French, New York Times
The burgeoning broadband gaming industry in South Korea, critics say, is creating millions of zombified addicts.

The 9-11 Lottery Coincidence
by John Allen Paulos,
Analysis shows such coincidences aren't so unusual.


Something About 'SpongeBob' Whispers 'Gay' To Many Men
by Sally Beatty, Wall Street Journal
He lives in a pineapple under the sea, in a town called Bikini Bottom. His best friend is an exuberant pink starfish named Patrick. His name is SpongeBob SquarePants, the absorbent yellow star of the most highly rated kids show on TV.

Still In The Greasy-Spoon Era
by Mary Ann Sieghart, The Times
We should thank heaven for Starbucks, Coffee Republic, Pret a Manger and Cafe Nero.

Tina KOs Remnick
by Tunku Varadarajan, Wall Street Journal
Whose New Yorker would you rather read?

The New Standards
by Candy Sagon, Washington Post
If a shopper buys organic lettuce from California and organic tomatoes from Virginia, are they both equally organic?

Breakfast As The New Cure-All
by Alex Witchel, New York Times
Mollie Katzen, author of the hippie classic "Moosewood Cookbook," has a new book: "Mollie Katzen's Sunlight CafÈ," a collection of breakfast recipes.

The Truth About My Dinner Party
by Amanda Hesser, New York Times
For an avid home cook, the idea of traveling to the suburbs to shop sounded like sleeping with the enemy.


Original Face
by Henri Cole, Slate


LTA Says No SEX On Roads
by Channel NewsAsia
The Singapore Land Transport Authority has decided against the issue of SEX licence plates for cars.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002


Ripple Effect Of Dockworkers' Strike Could Turn Into Tsunami
by David Helvarg, Los Angeles Times
Globalization makes a world of difference in port labor disputes.

Too Close For Comfort
by Ken Ringle, Washington Post
The scariest thing is we're going to get used to this.

Tech & Science

Jealous? Maybe It's Genetic. Maybe Not.
by Erica Goode, New York Times
Two new papers question evidence, assembled by evolutionary psychologists, for the notion that jealousy evolved differently in men and in women.

Biology Vs. The Blank Slate
by Ronald Bailey and Nick Gillespie, Reason
Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker deconstructs the great myths about how the mind works.


Follow The Yellow Page Road
by Mark Lewis, Slate
How an old-economy business is bailing out the new-economy telecoms.

An Iraqi Man Of Letters
by Nicholas D. Kirstof, New York Times
We in the West tend to have a two-dimensional image of the man we're about to go to war with. So I roamed Iraq looking for that third dimension.

Cable Conquered, What's Next For 'The Sopranos'?
by Bill Carter, New York Times
Especially tantalizing to its producers is the fact that "The Sopranos" is now attracting broadcast network-size ratings even though only a third of the nation's television audience subscribes to HBO, the pay-cable channel that reaches 30 million homes.

Can J-School Be Saved?
by Jack Shafer, Slate
Professional advice for Columbia University.

Monday, October 7, 2002


The Power Paradox
by Christopher Layne, Los Angeles Times
History teaches that holding a monopoly on might—as the United States now does—is likely to provoke a backlash.

Tech & Science

Love Online
by Henry Jenkins, Technology Review
Online relationships aren't virtual, and they aren't revolutionary. Shakespeare knew it, and so does my son.

Hollywood Gets The Big Picture With DVDs
by Frank Ahrens, Washington Post
The DVD is changing more than Hollywood's bottom line. It is influencing what kinds of movies get made and when they are offered for sale and rental.

Obscure Show With Small Products
by Barnaby J. Feder, New York Times
Trade shows do not get much more obscure than Sensors Expo and Conference. The semiannual gathering assembles scores of little companies — or little-known divisions of large ones like General Electric — that make devices to measure heat, pressures, speed, voltage, acceleration and scores of other conditions that are vital to machines and people.


Miss America — More Than A Beauty Queen?
by Kate Shindle, Newsweek
Until organizers decide what the title represents, the public will go on thinking it means very little.

May You Never Know Your Place
by Justin Davidson, Salon
My son believes New York is his town, and the world is his oyster cracker. Is he entitled to feel entitled?

Oh, Ottawa? Oh, Yes.
by Bill O'Brian, Washington Post
Canada's surprising capital.

Naughty Victorians Find New Takers
by Ruth La Ferla, New York Times
Unlike previous flirtations with the period, which emphasized the stereotype of Victorians as a stuffy lot, today's crop of books, museum shows and runway fashions reflect the latest scholarship about the era.

Sunday, October 6, 2002


The Day After Saddam
by Richard Leiby, Washington Post
Five Iraqis who are preparing to rebuild their homeland.

The Diffcult Balance Between Liberty And Security
by Jeffrey Rosen, New York Times
Unfortunately, based on the justices' past rulings, it may be a mistake to rely on the Supreme Court to restore some sense of balance.

Tech & Science

Girls Need To Learn To Run Like Boys
by Dennis Thompson Jr., HealthScoutNews
It's an age-old taunt, but sports medicine experts have discovered that if female athletes are trained to run, jump and pivot like males, they can prevent serious knee injuries.


Rise Of The Home Office
by David Lansing, Los Angeles Times
A space dedicated to work has become as important as any room in the house.

Jazzy Language For Complicated Times
by Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
Against a background of political tensions, Quincy Troupe gives his first reading as the state's poet laureate.

The De Facto Capital
by Frank Rich, New York Times
They got it right the first time. New York was the capital of the nation at its birth.

How Do You Say Fushion In Paris? Unlike Anywhere Else
by Patricia Wells, New York Times
The French always manage to do it their way, and when it comes to the growing trend of fusion fare in Paris restaurants, the chefs are calling the shots.

A Collage In Which Life = Death = Art
by Michael Kimmelman, New York Times
Ray Johnson made no distinction at all between art and life, or in his case, between art and death.

Saturday, October 5, 2002


Miami Vice
by Paul Goldberger, New Yorker
Is this the ugliest building in New York?

Seeking Campus Dialogue, Not Diatribe
by Felicia R. Lee, New York Times
Amid tensions on campuses, a group that includes leading academics, spiritual leaders and students has created a new organization they hope will dampen the ill will and tone down the angry rhetoric of supporters of Israel and of the Palestinians by acknowledging the legitimacy of both sides and by emphasizing a common humanity.

Friday, October 4, 2002


The President's Real Goal In Iraq
by Jay Bookman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman.


The Sky's The Limit
by Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal
Rebuilding downtown New York shouldn't mean blotting out the sun.

The Wrong Truck
by Washington Post
Drivers of delivery vehicles brave stares and police stops as the hunt for a killer gears up.

Forbes ASAP, Magazine Of New Market, Shuts Down
by David Carr, New York Times
In what has become a familiar story, a magazine formed to cover the rise of the digital economy has been done in by its decline.

Weblogs And THe Mass Amateurization Of Publishing
by Clay Shirky
This destruction of value is what makes weblogs so important. We want a world where global publishing is effortless. We want a world where you don't have to ask for help or permission to write out loud.

Thursday, October 3, 2002


"Tiny Steps... Almost Real"
by Mark Halperin, Elizabeth Wilner and Marc Ambinder, ABCNews
Will Democrats today take two steps forward or two steps back?

Tech & Science

Going To The Top For Help
by Katie Hafner, New York Times
Tech moguls still get calls from friends and family members who are having problems with their home computers.


Lunching In New York
by Tina Brown, The Times
Half my lunch partners are doing the perp walk or "exploring new opportunities", ie, getting fired.

New Wave, Old Problem
by Gavin Lambert, The Guardian
The early 60s was a brief heyday for British cinema. So where did it all go wrong?

Brainiacs Heat Up Screen At CineMath
by Tim Gnatek, San Francisco Chronicle
Go figure — the nerds are having their revenge, as mathematics becomes pop culture's hottest new trend.

Ask The Pilot
by Patrick Smith, Salon
By popular demand: The full, unexpurgated story of what happens when dry ice is mixed with blue toilet acid at 33,000 feet.

N.J. Poet Laureate Defends His 9/11 Work
by Washington Post
"I will not apologize and I will not resign."

CNN News Gettin' Jiggy With Da Jive Talkin'
by Washington Post
"This is CNN Headline News, the dopest news network."

Old Boys' Club Meets Its Match
by Martin Arnold, New York Times
Trifling with a woman's self-perception is never a good idea. But mocking a literary woman is truly unwise, as evidenced by 3,200 pages and nearly 12 pounds of anthology of Irish women's writing that has just been published here and in Ireland.

Brides Pay Princely Sum To Be Cinderellas
by Leslie Earnest, Los Angeles Times
Opulent weddings are nothing new for the well-to-do. But in recent years, more people of modest means have been springing for ever more lavish ceremonies.

Scientific American Meets Vanity Fair In New Glossy
by Charles Mandel, The Globe And Mail
Seed, the newest entrant into the science magazine market, might best be described as anti-ant-farm.

Why Is It So Hard To Get A Cab In This Town?
by Brad Newsham
A longtime taxi driver tells all.

Deflating Self-Esteem's Role In Society's Ills
by Erica Goode, New York Times
Recently, some psychologists have begun debunking the notion that a poor self-image is the malady behind most of society's complaints ó and bolstering self-esteem its cure.

The Obsolescence Of The American Intellectual
by John Lukacs, The Chronicle Of Higher Education
In sum — God forgive me — I often looked down on intellectuals, even though I at times enjoyed their company.


RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music
by The Onion
"It's criminal," RIAA president Hilary Rosen said. "Anyone at any time can simply turn on a radio and hear a copyrighted song. Making matters worse, these radio stations often play the best, catchiest song off the album over and over until people get sick of it. Where is the incentive for people to go out and buy the album?"

Wednesday, October 2, 2002


A Vote That Counts
by Sven Eberlein, San Francisco Chronicle
Imagine casting a vote for a party you like rather than voting for the lesser of two evils. Imagine one of every 11 people doing the same.

White House Economic Policies Are Bankrupt
by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Los Angeles Times
Although the economy was slowing even before President Bush took office, he has made the situation much worse than it had to be. What could have been a mild and brief recession has instead turned into a prolonged downturn likely to last more than two years.

Can Hillary Upgrade?
by Maureen Dowd, New York Times
The arena is full of powerful men in touch with their powerless inner women. And yet, surrounded by famous men puddling under pressure, American girls are still doubtful about the prospects of a woman becoming president.


What Does Life Teach Us About Love?
by Susan Crosland, The Times
With experience, I have learnt more about give and take.

A Great Restaurant's Secret Ingredient
by Karen Stabiner, Los Angeles Times
Here's a hint: It's nowhere on the menu.

Tales Of The Walking Wounded
by Maria Elena Fernandez, Los Angeles Times
For Ava Chin, writing about being a child of divorce and compiling others' feelings was cathartic and revealing.

Classical Music: Why Bother?
by Joshua Fineberg, Salon
A composer and Harvard professor wonders whether his craft has been left behind by a world with no patience for Great Art.

Extinction Of Blondes Vastly Overreported
by Staff Writer, Washington Post
The World Health Organization says there is no such study — and that most journalists didn't call to check.

American Grapevines Set Cooks Buzzing
by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, New York Times
After long indifference, native grapes are being slowly rediscovered by chefs, who appreciate their emphatically fruity flavors.

A Literary Review At Bellevue? Believe It
by Dinitia Smith, New York Times
Bellevue may be the only municipal hospital in the country to have a literary review. It has attracted well-known writers despite not paying its contributors.


Drummond & Son
by Charles D'Ambrosio, New Yorker
Drummond opened the shop every morning at seven so he and his boy could eat breakfast while the first drop-offs were coming in.

Stil Life With Moving Figure
by James Richardson, Slate

Tuesday, October 1, 2002


Dealing With W
by Paul Krugman, New York Times
Bad as Japan's policy has been, it's possible that the United States will do even worse.

Tech & Science

Internet Draws The Prying Eyes Of The Voyeur
by Kathleen Kelleher, Los Angeles Times
For a voyeur whose behavior qualifies as a paraphilia, the Internet is the equivalent of a drug to an addict.

Seeking Deeper Meaning In The Babbling Of Babies
by Mary Duenwald, New York Times
If the baby babbles mainly on the right, the researchers say, it means that babbling is a form of language.


Radio Killed The Radio Star
by Todd Spencer, Salon
Consolidation has resulted in 10,000 layoffs, the demise of a beloved trade magazine, and a decline in programming quality. But industry execs are fat and happy.

Thailand Like A Local
by K.C. Summers, Washington Post
In this country rich with exotic traditions, you can't see it all. But with a resident as a tour guide, one visitor got a closer view.

Digital Artworks That Play Against Expectations
by Matthew Mirapaul, New York Times
With more than 16,000 members, Rhizome is among the most popular virtual communities devoted to the digital arts.

Hotels Are Doing Business On A Last-Name Basis
by Drew Limsky, New York Times
It has long been common for corporate travelers at luxury hotels to be addressed by name when they call the front desk, the concierge or valet parking. But now many elite hotels are doing such "guest recognition" programs one better, by instructing employees to greet guests by name in hallways, in elevators, even in the gyms.

Carry On
by Nick Paumgarten, New Yorker
How to take your Emmy Award aboard an aircraft.

Panning For Gore
by Howard Kurtz, Washington Post
With friends like the New Republic...

One Man, One Big Identity Crisis
by Johanna Neuman and Randy Trick, Los Angeles Times
Should the media refer to Iraqi president as 'Saddam' or 'Hussein'?

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