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Friday, January 31, 2003


The Bond Of Language
by Jim Mann, Los Angeles Times
U.S. reliance on English-speaking allies may lead to isolation.

How To Get Inside A Student's Head
by Steven Pinker, New York Times
In a world with complexities that constantly challenge the abilities nature gave us, serious thinking about trade-offs in education cannot be responsibly avoided ó by scientists, educators or policy makers.


On Film And In Print, 'The Quiet American' Still Fascinates
by Martin F. Nolan, New York Times
The book endures, having served as a journalistic guidebook, a prophecy and even a tourist icon.

What's In A Name? Plenty For 'Redskins'
by John Levesque, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
We're supposed to be dispassionate, fair and careful not to distort the truth. If there's a team out there called the Redskins, our readers ought to be aware of it, no? But my inner citizen, who clearly has seen too many Keith Jackson telecasts, is thinking, "Whoa, Nellie! If the Pekin Chinks were still around today, would we use the team nickname in the paper?"

A Beautiful Life - And A Beautiful Death
by David Beresford, The Observer
In this moving account David Beresford, long opposed to the idea of euthanasia, tells how his partner's mother chose to end her life after a long and painful battle against bone-marrow cancer.

Thursday, January 30, 2003


Echoes Of 1991
by David S. Broder, Washington Post
Twelve years later we are back in the gulf, facing imminent war. And with far fewer allies this time.

The Mourning After
by William Safire, New York Times
Both sides of the debate are furiously positioning to cover themselves in case the other side proves right.

Desert Caution
by Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post
Onec "Stormin' Norman," Gen. Schwarzkopf is skeptical about U.S. action in Iraq.

Tech & Science

Light Particles Are Duplicated More Than A Mile Away Along Fiber
by Kenneth Chang, New York Times
Employing a facet of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein called "spooky action at a distance," scientists have taken particles of light, destroyed them and then resurrected copies more than a mile away.


Remake Of A Classic
by Maria Elena Fernandez, Los Angeles Times
Sure, theyíve been talking about improving Hollywood and Vine for decades. Now itís really happening, and the changes are everywhere.

Bereft Writers Are Used To It
by Martin Arnold, New York Times
Inured. That best describes much of book publishing to the changes and rumors of changes swirling about it. What used to be considered catastrophic now seems routine. Live by a volcano and smoke becomes just part of the atmosphere.

For The Mix Tape, A Digital Upgrade And Notoriety
by David F. Gallagher, New York Times
This may be the golden age of the mix CD. Of course, this is also the golden age of copyright infringement, and the music industry is using technological and legal measures to crack down on piracy.

Goodbye, Mr. Chipstein
by Joseph Epstein, Commentary
My interest in university teaching was initially aroused by the leisure it promised.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003


Here Comes The New Europe
by Anne Applebaum, Washington Post
Although all concerned vociferously deny it, Europe is indeed beginning to divide — slowly, unevenly but perceptibly — into two very distinct camps.

Making A Case
by David Remnick, New Yorker
What is most unfortunate about the President's lack of public engagement in the argument for force is that the objections to it are answerable.

Tech & Science

The War And The Web
by Kevin Bedell, O'Reilly Network
We have an opportunity to have history write itself. If we capture and save the news stories, remarks and organizing e-mails, then later generations will have the best account ever created for what actually happened in the run up to a war.


The Bean And Me
by Emily Green, Los Angeles Times
It was a contentious relationship, until she learned to love them.

Challenging Chefs With Odd Cuts
by Amanda Hesser, New York Times
A small revolution is building: farm-raised, high-quality meats are showing up on special menus around town.

War Of The Words At Hip-Hop Magazines
by Lola Ogunnaike, New York Times
Editors of two hip-hop magazines, XXL and The Source, are engaged in a nasty feud, attacking one another in print and in rap verse.


On Deciding To Fire My Chiropractor
by Lynne McMahon, Slate

The High Divide
by Charles D'Ambrosio, New Yorker

Tuesday, January 28, 2003


Just The Facts
by Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal
George W. Bush is being told by some pundits and others that ringing oratory is what he most needs in his State of the Union address tomorrow night. That is exactly wrong.

Anti-Europeanism In America
by Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review Of Books
You might say that to highlight "American anti-Europeanism," as I have done in this essay, will itself contribute to the downward spiral of mutual distrust. But writers are not diplomats. American anti-Europeanism exists; and its carriers may be the first swallows of a long, bad summer.

Tech & Science

What Science Can (And Cannot) Tell You
by Richard Dawkins, The Times
Science has no methods for deciding what is ethical. That is a matter for individuals and for society. But science can clarify the questions being asked, and can clear up obfuscating misunderstandings.


High Priest Of Low-Life America
by Tim Adams, The Observer
Loved by Hollywood and lionised by fellow writers, Elmore Leonard still can't see what all the fuss is about.

How 'Jack' Hopped Away With A PG Rating
by Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
The "Kangaroo Jack" rating is another nail in the coffin for a ratings board that has shown itself to be wildly out of touch with parents.

A Bookworm As A Child, Now The Talk Of The Town
by Robin Finn, New York Times
Right after The New Yorker magazine named Deborah Treisman, a West Villager with lifelong ties to the literati, as its fiction editor, a job that in the vivid imagination of fiction writers carries clout equivalent to St. Peter's at the Pearly Gates, a frisson of apprehension shot through the literary milieu. Ms. Treisman felt it, too.

A Horse-Whisperer's Tale Trails Dominick Dunne
by Felicity Barringer, New York Times
A slander suit brought by Gary Condit against Dominick Dunne for repeating an unsubstantiated tale raises the question of whether journalists can traffic in rumor.

A Goal For Ground Zero: Finding An Urban Poetry
by Herbert Muschamp, New York Times
Sometimes we actually do acknowledge poets to be legislators of the world. One of those rare moments may be here.

Come To LeBow Country
by Joshua Davis, Wired
Maverick tycoon Bennett LeBow wants to help the world stop smoking. By selling genetically modified tobacco. Grown by the Amish.

Everybody's A Critic
by Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
Why is there such a disconnect between those who watch movies as an escape and those who view them for a living?

Grand Old Protest
by Paul Boutin, Slate
A Republican web site that even Bush-bashers can love.

Monday, January 27, 2003


Affirmative Action: Goal Vs. Issue
by William Raspberry, Washington Post
How can a concept such as affirmative action split Americans into so many warring factions?

Falling Into The Gap
by Bob Herbert, New York Times
The Miami area is the most extreme example of the economic inequality that is becoming more and more evident throughout the U.S.

Tech & Science

Health Data Monitored For Bioterror Warning
by William J. Broad and Judith Miller, New York Times
To secure early warning of a bioterror attack, the government is building a computerized network that will collect and analyze health data of people in eight major cities, administration officials say.

Immortal Code
by Martha Baer, Wired
The CEO goes to trial. The programmers hit the street. And yet sometimes a piece of code is so elegant, so evolved, that it outlasts everything else.

Why VHS Was Better Than Betamax
by Jack Schofield, The Guardian
VHS won because "the whole product" did what people wanted at a price they were willing to pay. And when people use the VHS v Beta analogy, they are not indicating a market failure but their own ignorance.

by Carey Goldberg, Boston Globe
Just by pointing his super-magnets at the right spots on your head, Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone can make you go momentarily mute or blind.


Variations For Four Hands On A Theme By Tocqueville
by Peter Jennings and TOdd Brewster, New York Times
It's hard for many people to imagine two authors writing together. What happens when they disagree? What if one likes long sentences, the other short?

Sunday, January 26, 2003


America's Dreams Of Empire
by Pervez Hoodbhoy, Los Angeles Times
It is time for people in my part of the world to ask themselves a question: Why are the streets of Islamabad, Cairo, Riyadh, Damascus and Jakarta empty? Why do only fanatics demonstrate in our cities? Let us hang our heads in shame.

Reagan's Son
by Bill Keller, New York Times
Bush's seeming invincibility to bad news may be exasperating to Democrats, but it was no surprise to Michael Deaver, the shrewd public relations man who played Karl Rove to an earlier president, Ronald Reagan.

Now 'No' To Agreement, Later 'No' To Independence?
by Chua Lee Hoong, Straits Times
The twists and turns of the Singapore-Malaysia dispute over water have been more complex and surprising than even the best episodes of the X-Files.

Sense And Censor-Bilities
by Ong Sor Fern, Straits Times
Censorship has existed in societies throughout the ages. The only difference has been the degree of its influence. In the 21st century, censorship must now balance the competing demands of pluralistic and multicultural societies. While a secular society is probably the best protector of freedoms in the modern world, it also has to protect the interests of particular groups against others - via censorship - to keep the peace. There can be no system that will accommodate every wish.

Tech & Science

The Race To Kill Kazaa
by Todd Woody, Wired
The servers are in Denmark. The software is in Estonia. The domain is registered Down Under, the corporation on a tiny island in the South Pacific. The users — 60 million of them — are everywhere around the world. The next Napster? Think bigger. And pity the poor copyright cops trying to pull the plug.


Lust-See TV
by Bob Thompson, Washington Post
The shocking story of a diehard television resister who hops into bed with the tube.

Book 'Em
by Jason Epstein, New York Times
Getting the secrets of top chefs onto the page takes a gut reaction.

How To Write A Catchy Beer Ad
by Chris Ballard, New York Times
Football, guitars ó and twins ó turned a commercial into a phenomenon.

Is PowerPoint The Devil?
by Julia Keller, Chicao Tribune
Is PowerPoint changing not only the way we do business and educate our young, but also the way we think?

Saturday, January 25, 2003


Why Bush Won't Wait
by Bill Keller, New York Times
President Bush says he has not yet decided whether to go to war with Iraq, but this week the signs were that he had all but given up on peace.

Tech & Science

If A Machine Creates Something Beautiful, Is It An Artist?
by Dylan Loeb McClain, New York Times
Chess could be relegated to the realm of a complex math problem if computers ever "solve" the game ó- figure out all the possibilities and know the result regardless of what moves are played.

The Civil War Inside Sony
by Frank Rose, Wired
Sony Music wants to entertain you. Sony Electronics wants to equip you. The problem is that when it comes to digital media, their interests are diametrically opposed.


Reality TV Alters The Way TV Does Business
by Bill Carter, New York Times
Not only will reality shows continue to flood network's schedules next fall, but television executives are also predicting such developments as an end to the traditional television season.

Unbleeped Bleep Words Spread On Network TV
by Jim Rutenberg, New York Times
Broadcast television, under intensifying attack by saltier cable competitors, is pushing the limits of decorum further by the year, and hardly anyone is pushing back.

A Blitz Of Super Commercials
by Andrew Ratner, Baltimore Sun
Super Bowl advertising is a high-tech art form unto itself; Witness the spot pitting Michael Jordan at 23 against MJ at 39.

A Super Sunday For Football And For Madison Avenue
by Stuart Elliott, New York Times
As Madison Avenue gears up for Super Bowl Sunday ó the biggest day of the year for both advertising and football ó marketers and agencies are adopting a strategy torn from a gridiron playbook: get big or go home.

Friday, January 24, 2003


Sex- And Death-Crazed Gays Play Viral Russian Roulette!
by Andrew Sullivan, Salon
Rolling Stone claims that a full quarter of new HIV infections stem from morbid thrill-seeking. Sean Hannity is swallowing the story — should you?

Where's The Bang For The Buck?
by Jeff Madrick, New York Times
What we have here is a huge tax cut for the rich without a commensurate bang for the buck for the economy.

AIDS Panel Choice Wrote Of A 'Gay Plague'
by Ceci Connolly, Washington Post
Views of White House commission nominee draw criticism.

Why We Know Iraq Is Lying
by Condoleezza Rice, New York Times
The world knows from examples set by South Africa, Ukraine and Kazakhstan what it looks like when a government decides that it will cooperatively give up its weapons of mass destruction. The critical common elements of these efforts include a high-level political commitment to disarm, national initiatives to dismantle weapons programs, and full cooperation and transparency.

Tech & Science

Exhibitionist Technology
by Erik Sherman, MIT Technology Review
Hungry for eyeballs, museums go high techó-and face a rogueís gallery of costs and costly mistakes.

The Guilt-Free Soldier
by Erik Baard, The Village Voice
New science raises the specter of a world without regret.


How To Manage A Dream Factory
by The Economist
Harder times are reminding the industry of the critical importance of creating good content. But that means managing the tensions between artists and suits.

Only Art Can Make Us Human
by Michael Tanner, The Spectator
The complex issue of art and the Holocaust.


Lucky Segway Winners Are Scooting Into History
by Christine Frey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"People are more likely to say 'Hi' to you when you are on one of these things."

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Tech & Science

Fickle Evolution: Winged, To Wingless, To Winged
by Carol Kaesuk Yoon, New York Times
An international team of researchers reports evidence that wingless stick insects have re-evolved wings at least four times in the history of the group.

Master Key Copying Revealed
by John Schwartz, New York Times
A security researcher has revealed a little-known vulnerability in many locks that lets a person create a copy of the master key for an entire building by starting with any key from that building.

Because It's There: Putting Everest Online
by Nancy Gohring, New York Times
This year, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's first ascent of Everest, climbers on the mountain will have the chance to connect with the world below by e-mail. That is because Tsering Gyaltsen, the grandson of the only surviving Sherpa to have accompanied Hillary on that famed climb, is planning to build the world's highest Internet cafe at base camp.

The Reality Of Race
by Sally Lehrman, Scientific American
There's hardly any difference in the DNA of human races. That doesn't mean, argues sociologist Troy Duster, that genomics research can ignore the concept.


No Purebreds In Publishing
by Martin Arnold, New York Times
Lingering questions after the upheaval at Random House last week: What constitutes literary publishing?

Meanwhile: On The Queen's English, The Sun Also Sets
by Sunanda K. Datta-Ray, International Herald Tribune
When younger Singaporeans do say something in English, they often mean something very different.

Deep Thinkers Missing In Action
by Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor
Even at elite campuses, some students and faculty fret over anti-intellectualism.

Blondes Prefer Gentleman
by Michelle Cottle, The New Republic
Forget romance. The obvious purpose of this show is to confirm all the worst stereotypes about the shallow, bitchy, gold-digging, back-biting ways of women.


I Miss My Pants
by Gavin Williams, Rocketpack
I miss my pants.
They appear to be somewhat lost.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003


In Abortion Rights Fight, A Pause For Celebration
by Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post
As celebrations go, last night's party marking the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade was decidedly bittersweet.

The Class President
by Maureen Dowd, New York Times
The Bushes see the world through the prism of class, while denying that class matters.

The Cold Test
by Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker
What the Administration knew about Pakistan and the North Korean nuclear program.

Why Feminism Is AWOL On Islam
by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal
As news of the appalling miseries of women in the Islamic world has piled up, where are the feminists? Whereís the outrage?


The Big Time
by Charles Perry, Los Angeles Times
The Super Bowl deserves nothing less than a massive menu. We're game.

It's Not Totally Bankrupt
by Mimi Avins, Los Angeles Times
"Joe Millionaire" is, surprisingly, not all mean, thanks largely to Evan Marriott.

The Zen Of Briasing
by Robin Kline, Washington Post
Braising is an art, but one that requires no advanced degrees to master — just simple, often inexpensive cuts of meat and lots of time.

Norman Mailer Ruminates On Literature And Life
by Julie Salamon, New York Times
Not five minutes into the interview, Norman Mailer put in his hearing aid. "I'm a little deaf," he said. "If I'm at all vague in my replies, it means I didn't hear you. I'm usually not vague."

How Indie Was The International Herald Tribune?
by Jack Shafer, Slate
Newspapers should serve their readers, not their employees.

A Few Airlines Remain Finicky About Food
by Joe Sharkey, New York Times
All of the publicity in the last year about domestic airlines' deteriorating food service, even in first- and business-class cabins, has opened up marketing opportunities for competitors.


by Alan Shapiro, Slate

Tuesday, January 21, 2003


Failed College Math
by Richard Cohen, Washington Post
Americans do not support affirmative action. Even many blacks do not support it.

The More Pernickious Bias Is Less Substance, More Fluff
by David Shaw, Los Angeles Times
The way I see it, the problem with the media's political coverage isn't bias. It's shrinkage. And superficiality.

War Stories
by David Folkenflik, Baltimore Sun
Even with greater access, can the media overcome military pressure and its own foibles to make war coverage meaningful?

Tech & Science

Motion-Picture Windows: Soon On A Wall Near You?
by Daniela Deane, Washington Post
Spending lots of time staring out your window? Soon, that could become a different experience.

Mathematicians Find Path Less Travelled
by Philip Ball, Nature
Simulation of Grand Canyon rafting helps manage overcrowding in the wild.


The Actor's Cut?
by Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal
If film stars could see the big picture, they'd be better directors.

Southern Magazine Is Revived In New Home
by Stepen Kinzer, New York Times
This might not be the best time to revive a collapsed regional magazine devoted to fine writing and cultural criticism. Editors of The Oxford American, however, are trying.

Salon Clings To Dot-Com Swagger
by Michael J. Ybarra, Los Angeles Times
Now in what may be a last-ditch effort to stay alive, Salon is about to dramatically change its business model.

Monday, January 20, 2003


You Can Look It Up, America
by Tom Wheller, Los Angeles Times
Documents matter in a democracy.

Selling Dubyanomics
by Kenneh T. Walsh, U.S. News
Across America, unease over the president's plan.

Abortion Foes Attack Roe On New Research
by Aaron Zitner, Los Angeles Times
As the nation approaches the 30th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade on Wednesday, the reasoning that the Supreme Court used to define a constitutional right to abortion is facing sharp and novel challenges.

Tech & Science

Gone Ape
by Charles McGrath, New York Times
What does it mean that orangutans have "culture"? That, like us, they just want to play.

Why? The Neuroscience Of Suicide
by Carol Ezzell, Scientific American
New research addresses the wrenching question left when someone ends his or her own life.


by Michael Dirda, Washington Post
In which our columnist imagines his ideal literary magazine.

Ahoy. Now Put That Out.
by Cindy Loose, Washington Post
On a tobacco-free cruise, a smoker faces a week without cigarettes.

On Media Giantism
by William Safire, New York Times
Media needs regulation before merger mania afflicts TV and film the way it is has local radio.

Where's The Proof?
by Christine Gorman, Time
Why we keep hearing so much about alcohol's supposed health benefits.

Cheating Uncle Sam For Mom And Dad
by Diana Conway, Newsweek
Why do so many otherwise honest citizens think itís OK to take Medicaid money they donít deserve?

by Nelson Handel, Los Angeles Times
Discovery the family of man, one shrimp dish at a time.

The Buddy System
by Laura Sessions Stepp, Washington Post
Sex in high school and college: What's love got to do with it?

A See-Through Library Of Shifting Shapes And Colors
by Herbert Muschamp, New York Times
The design for a Brooklyn arts center by EnrÌque Norten/TEN Arquitectos is a masterwork for New York.


by George Saunders, New Yorker


Flying In The Face Of Infertility
by Kirsten Philipkoski, Wired News
Infertile fruit flies injected with a human gene are now able to produce viable sperm — a key step toward treating infertility in men as well as developing a male contraceptive.

Saturday, January 18, 2003


The Antiwar Route
by David Montgomery, Washington Post
Wait a minute — today's antiwar march is turning its back on the Capitol and marching east, toward the Anacostia River?


Homeless Couple Drive Home The Point Of An Ad
by Doug Leigh, Los Angeles Times
This month, I had the opportunity to help in the production of a 30-second public service announcement produced by Women in Film for the Women's Care Cottage.

See Paris, If You Get Around To It
by Daisann McLane, New York Times
A world traveler finally visits Paris, and warms to its legendary charm.

Forgotten Stars Show Up On Reality TV
by Alessandra Stanley, New York Times
There has never been a better time to be a has-been.

Suspicious Minds
by Jedediah Purdy, The Atlantic
Too much trust can actually be a bad thingó-a polity of suckers is no better than a nation of cynics. But Americans' steadily declining faith in one another is a warning.

Friday, January 17, 2003


Clemency Without Clarity
by Scott Turow, New York Times
Perhaps the best argument against capital punishment may be that it is an issue beyond the limited capacity of government to get things right.


Opting Out Of Hypermass
by Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal
Modern culture creates its own escape routes.

In Berkeley, Strollers Find Art With Curb Appeal
by R.W. Apple Jr., New York Times
More than anyone, Arts and Crafts architect Bernard Maybeck made Berkeley one of the nation's architectural treasure-troves. Much of his extraordinary work still stands today, on and near the campus of the University of California and in the hills above it.

Please Don't Bite The Star
by James Gorman, New York Times
Some of the old-style shows, like "Nature" on PBS, are still on, but Animal Planet and some newcomers like the National Geographic Channel have no bounds and know no shame.

Penguins Get A New Will To Swim
by Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times
The week's most riveting celebrities are 52 Magellanic penguins at the San Francisco Zoo, who have spent the last three and a half weeks swimming round and round a shallow pool in a mysterious marathon.

My Disappearing Daughter
by John George, Salon
I watched my confident teenager head off to college. A few months later, I greeted a fragile, frightened apparition — 35 pounds thinner than when she'd left. A story of anorexia, guilt and understanding.

Circle The Block, Cabby, My Show's On
by Marc Santora, New York Times
Half a billion eyeballs were left with nothing to do except look out the window. It was only a matter of time before television came to the taxi.

At CNN, It's All Problems, All The Time
by Verne Gay, Newsday
Why can't CNN get its act together? Here lies one of the most pressing — and perplexing — questions in all of television journalism.

With Incessant Postings, A Pundit Stirs The Pot
by Noah Shachtman, New York Times
Being a law professor, author, husband, father, part-time record producer and space policy wonk would have been enough to keep most people busy. But Glenn Reynolds needed more.


Love Work
by Gardner McFall, The Atlantic

Landscape With Deer And Figure
by Henri Cole, The Atlantic

by Robert Wrigley, The Atlantic


Who Says Science Can't Be Fun?
by Karlin Lillington, Wired News
At MIT's Media Lab and its offshoot, Media Lab Europe, engineers don't take their work too seriously. Often, they find that useful inventions can spring from a whimsical approach to tackling complex problems.

Thursday, January 16, 2003


Blue Movie
by Thomas Byrne Edsall, The Atlantic
The "morality gap" is becoming the key variable in American politics.

The United States Of America Has Gone Mad
by John Le Carre, The Times
America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War.


Disco Kings
by Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
Forget the big hairstyles and the bad dress sense — the Bee Gees made wonderful music.

Why Shakespeare Is For All Time
by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal
Those problems, he knew, are ineradicably rooted in our nature; and he atomized that nature with a characteristic genius never since equaled: which is why every time we moderns consult his works, we come away with a deeper insight into the heart of our own mystery.


Happy Hour
by Alison Baker, The Atlantic
Late in the day we go out to the Home for happy hour. It's a little custom we have when I'm on the Cape now. I buy a nice bottle of Chardonnay, or one of Beaujolais, and round about four o'clock I pack my aged mother into my rented car and we drive to the edge of town, where the handsome, gleaming Home houses the ancient and the crippled.

Liberation Spectrum
by Cory Doctorow, Salon
Wi-Fi radio and Indian sovereignty make for a potent mix — even without antsy venture capitalists mucking things up.


Come Again, Monsieur?
by Hugo Rifkind, The Times
France's Education Minister says pupils are "bored as dead rats". Our correspondent seeks other meaningless translations.

Check It Out: If You Borrow A Book In Blue River, You'll Never Have To Worry About A Due Date, A Fine Or Library Card
by Bob Keefer, The Register-Guard

Wednesday, January 15, 2003


Is This The Last Stand For Media Diversity?
by Brian Lowry, Los Angeles Times
Assuming that the government further relaxes rules that were previously eased in 1996, you can bank on even fewer media companies owning or controlling more of what we see and hear.

Just Whose Presidency Is This?
by Fred Wertheimer, Washington Post
Nearly 30 years ago, Americans resoundingly said the presidency belongs to the people — and the White House was taken off the auction block. The time has come to do it again.

Study Explodes Myth Of Area's 'Hypersegregation'
by Bruce Murphy, Journal Sentinel
For nearly four decades, researchers across the country have savaged the reputation of Milwaukee and other Northern cities, ranking these metro areas as the country's most segregated. That assessment is dead wrong.


The Burger Takes Center Stage
by Ed Levine, New York Times
New York, my research has documented again and again, is a hamburger heaven.

Don't Pay To Play
by Steven Johnson, Slate
Why grown-ups shouldn't spend money on video games.

BBC Honcho Smirks At U.S. Copycat Shows
by Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle
You want to see what American networks will be doing in the next year or two, look to Britain. More specifically, look to the BBC.

Free Speech Takes A Hit In Our Nation's Newsrooms
by Mary Jo Melone, St. Petersburg Times
We're super-sensitive. We're afraid. In trying to be what we think is fairminded, we have plain and simple gone too far.

Content Is Crap
by Arnold Kling, Tech Central Station
Creative Commons is based on a naive ideology that believes that raw content is gold, which then gets stolen by the evil media companies. In reality, the economics of content are that most of the value-added comes from the filtering process, not the creation process.

The Curse Of Pooh
by Devin Leonard, Fortune
Sure, kids love him. But he's made everyone close to him miserable. Just ask Disney, which is locked in a billion-dollar battle over his rights.


The Pet
by Cate Marvin, Slate


The Formula For Happiness
by BBC News
Happiness = P + (5xE) + (3xH)

Tuesday, January 14, 2003


by Matthew Engel, The Guardian
If there is a Watergate scandal lurking in this administration, it is unlikely to be Woodward or his colleagues who will tell us about it. If it emerges, it will probably come out on the web. That is a devastating indictment of the state of American newspapers.

Don't Hide The Truth About AIDS
by Michelangelo Signorile, Newsday
Much of the American press seemed to lurch back toward the early '80s two weeks ago, while reporting on the death of the famed celebrity and fashion photographer Herb Ritts.

Tech & Science

In Transit
by The Economist
Astronomers use a hot new technique to discover the hottest known planet.


Newspapers Seek Alternative Survival Strategies
by James T. Madore, Newsday
Faced with the twin threats of declining circulation and less free time among readers, daily newspapers are beginning to think outside the box.

Monday, January 13, 2003


Remember The Fear
by Bob Herbert, New York Times
It can be easy to say that the budget demands a reduction in policing. Sometimes it's not so easy to live with the consequences.

The Triumph Of Hope Over Self-Interest
by David Brooks, New York Times
Every few years a group of millionaire Democratic presidential aspirants pretends to be the people's warriors against the overclass. They look inauthentic, combative rather than unifying. Worst of all, their basic message is not optimistic.

An Unnecessary War
by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy
This war would be one the Bush administration chose to fight but did not have to fight.


Local Bounty
by Calvin Trillin, New Yorker
A New York-San Francisco showdown.

The War Against Movie Critics
by Charles Taylor, Salon
So the editor of Variety thinks film criticism is pointless elitism. Does he speak for the moviegoing public — or the Hollywood studio execs and corporate media bigshots who'd like to ditch the critics?

Is TV News Being Driven Out Of The Chase Business?
by Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times
Memo to the TV news staff: Don't despair.

All Too Real
by Tom Shales, Washington Post
With 'reality' TV, the networks are embarrassing teary, cringing Americans in record numbers. And those are just the viewers.

A Storyteller's Starter Kit, Stocked With Family Memories
by Richard Price, New York Times
Verbal heirlooms, inspired by old family photos, had been the starter kit for 30-odd years of writing.


The Card Trick
by Tessa Hadley, New Yorker
It was 1974: not a good year, clotheswise, if you were an eighteen-year-old girl, tall and overweight, with thick, curling hair and glasses.

Ojos Nuevos
by Silvia Brandon Perez, Poems Niederngasse


A Novelist Who Walks The Walk
by Paul Boutin, Wired News
An award-winning science fiction writer and digital rights activist has persuaded the publisher of his first novel to make the book available free online for anyone to read, print or even republish on paper.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Tech & Science

You've Got (A Lot Of) Mail
by Don Aucoin, Boston Globe
Baby boomers and Gen Xers persuaded their folks to go online. Now life at the office will never be the same.

If Chickens Are So Smart, Why Aren't They Eating Us?
by William Grimes, New York Times
PETA has started a worldwide "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" campaign, but are chickens really as intelligent as dogs or cats?


Urban Scrawl
by Robert Campbell, Boston Globe
Is Boston's obsession with history stifling new architecture, making it timid, dull, and sometimes downright ugly?

Of Age And Attitude
by Lucille deView, Los Angeles Times
I'm 82, and I'll conduct my own interview, thanks.

Affordable Access To Asia
by Jerry V. Haines, Los Angeles Times
Too much of a good thing is wonderful on a low-cost airline pass trip to Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Taiwan

Nightmare On Constitution Avenue
by Jim Myers, Washington Post
The logistical horror of making movies in Washington is getting worse. Just ask Carol Flaisher, the capital's location queen.

Crafting Hope
by Phil McCombs, Washington Post
The journey of a human soul from dust to dust can be a bumpy ride, and so it's been for Beverly Reighard of the little town of Jersey Shore, Pa.

Prison Is A Member Of Their Family
by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, New York Times
Toney and Lolli are one of the growing number of couples trying to raise kids, pay bills and fall in and out of love with bars between them.

Los Angeles Becomes A Base For Cutting-Edge Performance
by John Rockwell, New York Times
Today, seemingly all of a sudden, theater, dance, music and strange hybrids thereof are cropping up all over the Los Angeles basin.

Where The Girls Aren't
by Karen Stabiner, New York Times
Computer science has become the new math — boys only. Is it nature or conditioning?

A Different Drum
by Ariel Dorfman, The Guardian
With the world on the brink of war, the need for stories of peace is paramount.

Saturday, January 11, 2003


'Racism, Injustice, Humiliation'
by Hanna Rosin, Washington Post
For weeks, Kamal Nawash's clients were asking him: Should I do it or not?

The Secret War On Condoms
by Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times
Three thousand years ago an amorous Egyptian couple (probably libidinous liberals) experimented with a linen pouch, producing the world's first known condom. Some right-wingers still haven't gotten over it.

Tech & Science

Scientists Find Clues To The Earliest Objects
by John Noble Wilford, New York Times
Peering deep in space and time, astronomers have seen what they think are some of the earliest known objects in the universe, including the most distant quasar ever detected.

'Gadget Printer' Promises Industrial Revolution
by Duncan Graham-Rowe, New Scientist
The idea of printing a light bulb may seem bizarre, but US engineers are now developing an ink-jet printing technology to do just that.

Remembrance Of Dot-com Idiocy Past
by Andrew Leonard, Salon
At least Enron and WorldCom went down because of greed. But as James Ledbetter's "Starving to Death on $200 Million a Year" reveals, the Industry Standard pissed away a fortune out of mere carelessness.


Writer Finds Something He Can't Sell On eBay: His Family
by Karima A. Haynes and Stephanie Stassel, Los Angeles Times
"You hae patrons of the arts, museums and charities. I wanted a patron for my family."

Portable But Posh
by Roy Rivenburg, Los Angeles Times
Increasingly, glitzy outdoor events like weddings and golf tournaments have equally upscale mobile restrooms.

To Your Helath: Good News For Booze
by Stephen A. Crockett Jr., Washington Post
Thanks, French people. Thanks, researchers. Thanks, beer!

U.S. TV Shows Losing Potency Around World
by Suzanne Kapner, New York Times
Want to catch the latest episode of the CBS hit "C.S.I." in France? Tune in Saturdays at 11 p.m. How about the CBS show "Judging Amy" in Singapore? Try weekdays at midnight.

Skipping Ads? TV Gets Ready To Fight Back
by Bill Carter, New York Times
A leading television producer and two major advertisers have joined forces to present a live variety show with no commercial interruptions. Instead, the advertising messages will be incorporated into the show.

Elvis Again
by Greil Marcus, Threepenny
He had changed the world, but he had become a creature who could not be changed by it.

Friday, January 10, 2003


The IMF Strikes Back
by Kenneth Rogoff, Foreign Policy
Slammed by antiglobalist protesters, developing-country politicians, and Nobel Prizeñwinning economists, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has become Global Scapegoat Number One. But IMF economists are not evil, nor are they invariably wrong. Itís time to set the record straight and focus on more pressing economic debates, such as how best to promote global growth and financial stability.

Thursday, January 9, 2003


The American Edge
by Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post
History offers no guarantees. But history does suggest that there's something to that worn cliche "the American spirit."


Road Outrage
by Arianna Huffington, Salon
How corporate greed and political corruption paved the way for the SUV explosion.

A Skewed Vision
by Thane Rosenbaum, Wall Street Journal
What's wrong with Holocaust movies.

A Family Tracks Down Outback Memories
by Catherine Gandel, Los Angeles Times
We had added memories to our family album, and I had managed to hold on to my children for another brief moment.


Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom
by Cory Doctorow
I lived long enough to see the cure for death; to see the rise of the Bitchun Society, to learn ten languages; to compose three symphonies; to realize my boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World; to see the death of the workplace and of work.

I never thought Iíd live to see the day when Keep A-Moviní Dan would decide to deadhead until the heat death of the Universe.

Wednesday, January 8, 2003


Exceeding Expectations
by Jonathan Karl, Wall Street Journal
An insider account of how Sept. 11 transformed President Bush.

After The Storm
by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
In the end, 9/11 will have a much bigger impact on the Arab and Muslim worlds than it does on America.


Radio: Where's The Diversity?
by Michael Grebb, Wired News
In the wake of radio deregulation, consumer groups and industry executives lock horns over how to solve the problem of the same songs blaring over the airwaves. Policy makers are eager to enter the fray.

Taking $5 Wine Seriously
by James Ricci, Los Angeles Times
Thanks to a glut, the bargain bins are overflowing — and you can't judge a bottle by its price anymore.

The Tastemakers
by James Surowiecki, New Yorker
Instead of competing for a share of an existing market, Starbucks invented its own.


Elegy For The Saint Of Letting Small Fish Go
by Eliot Khalil Wilson, Slate

Tuesday, January 7, 2003


All News Media Inc.
by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, New York Times
Without much notice, the federal government is moving toward the most sweeping change ever in the rules that govern ownership of the American news media.

Human, But Not To A Fault
by Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal
Why do people like President Bush? It isn't complicated.

Tech & Science

The Universe, As A Babe Of 400,000 Years
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
Using a radio telescope chilled to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero at the South Pole, astronomers have produced what they say are the most detailed pictures yet of the infant universe.


Subterranean Blues
by Catesby Leigh, Weekly Standard
Washington digs itself into a hole.

An Exhibition That Borrows Brazenly
by Chris Nelson, New York Times
The exhibition "Illegal Art" (and its accompanying CD and Web site) asserts that American copyright laws are overly restrictive and outdated.

Confessions Of A Magazine Junkie
by Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post
The habit of buying glossies off the rack is addictive — and expensive.

All Things Considerate
by Brian Montopoli, Washingotn Monthly
How NPR makes Tavis Smiley sound like Linda Wertheimer.

In Praise Of Clutter
by The Economist
Leave my desk alone. It works.

Judgment Day
by Kim Clark, U.S. News
It's survival of the fittest as companies tighten the screws on employee performance reviews.

If You're Thinking Of Living In...
by Robert Sullivan, New Yorker
"I thought, Hob Nob? What the hell does that mean?"


Gallatin Canyon
by Thomas McGuane, New Yorker
The day we planned the trip, I told Louise that I didn't like going to Idaho via the Gallatin Canyon. It's too narrow, and while trucks don't belong on this road, there they are, lots of them.


Study: Online Polls Skew To Right
by Reuters
Democrats and Republicans alike turned to the Internet for news during last fall's elections, but conservatives were more likely to weigh in on online polls, according to a study released on Sunday.

Monday, January 6, 2003


Doctors Belong In Hospitals, Not Courtrooms
by Lloyd M. Krieger, New York Times
I went to medical school to become a doctor, not to become a moderately knowledgeable legal hack.

Movies & Metaphors
by Jonah Goldberg, National Review
Metaphors burn away all sorts of relevant facts leaving behind only tiny nuggets of understanding.


Can Wal-Mart Get Any Bigger? (Yes, A Lot Bigger... Here's How)
by Bill Saporito, Time
Welcome to Wal-Mart in China, where the late Sam Walton has a new image: the Mao of retailing.

New Line For Lowly Phone Booth
by Nick Schulz, Los Angeles Times
It's outdated, sure, but a personal vice just might keep it alive.

Call It The City Of Darkness, And Give It Vitamin D
by Elaine Sciolino, New York Times
These are dark days in the City of Light.

Sunday, January 5, 2003


The Lies We Are Told About Iraq
by Victor Marshall, Los Angeles Times
Pentagon propaganda got us into the first Gulf War. Will we be fooled a second time?

The Jury Room Is No Place For TV
by George F. Will, Washington Post
Televising the deliberations robs jurors of an important part of the right of free speech — the right not to speak publicly.

The Burden
by Michael Ignatieff, New York Times
Yet what word but "empire" describes the awesome thing that America is becoming?

It's His Party
by David Frum, New York Times
Mr. Bush is more than a strong president: he dominates his own party in a way that few modern presidents ever have.

Without Protest, Americans Are Giving Up Freedom
by Glen T. Martin, Roanoke
Do we have the courage and integrity to speak out now, before it is too late? Or will we continue to freely shop in our large department stores for gifts for family and friends — as they did in Nazi Germany.

Now COrporations Claim The "Right To Lie"
by Thom Hartmann, Common Dreams
It's not their "say" they're asking for: it's the right to deceive people.


Higher Expectations
by Linda Matchan, Boston Globe
Colleges complain that parents are overinvested in the admissions process. But the urge is simply irrepressible.

The Agony And The Agony
by Jeanne marie Laskas, Washington Post
Friendship can be such a pain.

Destiny's Child
by Bharati Mukherjee, New York Times
I've always known that I would die at 63. I'm now 62.

Fissilingual Predictions
by Matt Smith, SF Weekly
Chewing on the past and future is a New Year's clichÈ that no word-loving breedbate can resist.

Global Media
by Benjamin Compaine, Foreign Policy
Big media barons are routinely accused of dominating markets, dumbing down the news to plump up the bottom line, and forcing U.S. content on world audiences. But these companies are not as big, bad, dominant, or American as critics claim. And company size is largely irrelevant to many of the problems facing today's Fourth Estate.

Saturday, January 4, 2003


Group Therapy At Ground Zero
by Frank Rich, New York Times
The broader political climate carries the same aura of unreality as the ground zero architectural debate.


Father Of Our Country Wouldn't Recognize It
by Sally Stewart, Los Angeles Times
I can imagine living at Mount Vernon a whole lot easier than I am able to come to grips with our government employing people to search children for weapons.

New Era Succeeds Years Of Solitude
by Nicole LaPorte, New York Times
Latin American writers of a younger generation turn to Big Mac culture.

Friday, January 3, 2003

Tech & Science

Scientists Say Orangutans Can Exhibit 'Culture'
by Carol Kaesuk Yoon, New York Times
Orangutans, those red-haired knuckle-dragging apes, are loping today into the upper echelons of the primate hierarchy. According to research reported in the journal Science, they exhibit what was until very recently considered a uniquely human attribute, culture.


Howell Raines, Pussyfooter
by Jack Shafer, Slate
Why can't the New York Times executive editor come clean about his plans for the International Herald Tribune?

A Dash Of Ego In The Race
by David Montgomery, Washington Post
What makes people like John Edwards think they can lead?

Against Humanity
by Philip Langdon, American Enterprise
The rise and fall of anti-social architecture.

Thursday, January 2, 2003


The Boys In The Bubble
by James Ledbetter, New York Times
A full reckoning of hte Enron-WorldCom era must also take into consideration the ways in which the business press failed, too.

Tech & Science

Unsettling, Maybe, But Not Unethnical
by Richard Cohen, Washington Post
The word that keeps getting attached to cloning is "unethical." It's a powerful word, but in the case of cloning it merely gets asserted, never proved.

All Clones Are Not The Same
by Gregory E. Kaebnick, New York Times
Distinctions that require explanations tend to get lost in public debate, and the controversy over cloning is a perfect example.

Feeling Blue? This Robot Knows It
by Louise Knapp, Wired News
By processing information sent from physiological sensors the human counterpart wears, the Vanderbilt robot can detect when its master is having a bad day and approach with the query: "I sense that you are anxious. Is there anything I can do to help?"


What Should I Do With My Life?
by Po Bronson, Fast Company
The real meaning of success — and how to find it.


Total Commercialization Awareness
by Katharine Mieszkowski and Farhad Manjoo, Salon
Al-Qaida online, Slashdot sells out and Yellowstone National Park gets renamed: Salon's top 10 technology and business predictions for 2003.

First Light
by Jim Powell, Slate

by Kristy Bowen, The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

Waiting For The Perfect Note
by Peter Klein, The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

Wednesday, January 1, 2003


140th Anniversary Of The Emancipation Proclamation; Slavery's Lingering Legacy
by William B. Gould IV, San Francisco Chronicle
New Year's Day marks the 140th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom for slaves in the 13 states that were in rebellion.

Tech & Science

The Case For Drinking (All Together Now: In Moderation!)
by Abigail Zuger, New York Times


Butter Is Back — And Other Ideas That Will Change Your Diet In 2003
by Candy Sagon, Washington Post
Did you hear that sound? It's the diet pendulum, slowly but surely swinging back the other way.

Architects Criticize Ground Zero Publicity
by Julie V. Iovine, New York Times
While architects have publicly proclaimed the World Trade Center site proposals displayed at the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan as the greatest architecture show ever, many have privately expressed reservations about the designs' details, the handling of the competition and even the spotlight in which the contestants now stand.

Chefs Who Have Only Themselves To Blame
by Andrea Strong, New York Times
Most chefs share cooking responsibilities with a seasoned team of knife-wielding colleagues. Yet there are, around the country, stalwart individualists who go it alone, and like it.

The Year, From First Blush To Last Gasp
by Peter Carlson, Washington Post
In magazines, 2002 was the year when even the parakeets got patriotic.


Make No Mistake About It, Some People Sure Get Upset By Cliches
by Reuters
Overused cliches, wordy redundancies and hyperbolic phrases — including the Bushism "make no mistake about it" — were declared banished today by the overseers of an annual list of "banned" words.

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