Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Now, before you sigh and throw up your hands, please recall what a different country this was three years ago.
Tech & Science
Simple Science Fairs Go The Way Of The Dinosaurs
The simple fair of times past, when parents wielding encyclopedias turned the kitchen sink into a makeshift laboratory to help their children, has become a research extravaganza in which students armed with computers, electron microscopes and other powerful instruments explore ever more ambitious terrain.
Got Mustard? An Angeless Pleasure Between The Rye
Pastrami is deli food, and deli food is something New Yorkers have argued about ? and loved ? for as long as there have been delis in New York.
How Following The Rules Can Be Disastrous
Noble, yes, but is "women and children first" really such a good idea?
Iraq War 'Souvenir' Stories Reawaken Guilt
I long ago lost track of the "mementoes" I brought back. While they clearly had little monetary value and hardly could be thought of as national treasures, it bothers me to think of how readily I accepted items that had been stripped from the bodies of dead soldiers as souvenirs of war. And it worries me to think that, a generation later, so little has changed about the way some journalists view war.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Realizing The U.N.'s Promise
No nation, mighty or modest, can combat terrorism, manage a tax system, provide clean air, fight the drug war and prevent AIDS without the cooperation of others.
'Am I Happy? I Work On It Every Day'
After experiencing divorce, her child's death and a lifelong search for a soulmate, Annie Lennox is finally coming to terms with being alone.
Monday, April 28, 2003
The Meaning Of A Skull
We can get rid of the sculptures of Saddam with one tug, but our job is to build a regime in Iraq that won't produce any more battered human skulls.
Rolling Back The 20th Century
George Bush II may be as shallow as he appears, but his presidency represents a far more formidable challenge than either Reagan or Gingrich.
Tech & Science
From China's Provinces, A Crafty Germ Spreads
Can the lessons of prevention learned in a tiny, authoritarian country like Singapore be applied elsewhere, particularly in a vast, chaotic place like China, with far more cases and a highly mobile population?
The People On The Bus
The way we ride now.
How To Save The Game
Want to save America's pastime? Start by saving the baseball card.
The Power To Change Young Lives
There is a reader-writer connection in the category of "young adult literature" that simply does not exist in sports journalism, movies, television news and documentaries, and novels for older adults.
One Thing At A Time, Please
Multi-tasking is not only annoying, it may be killing us.
Where to find comfort in dark times? There's no place like home.
Le Commute: How Far Would You Go?
If Kent County Council and Eurotunnel have their way, bemused residents of the Pas de Calais could soon have 10,000 English neighbours commuting to work by Eurostar.
The evening sun was a giant peach in the rearview mirror, apocalyptic and gaseous as it burned toward the horizon. The daily paradox of Los Angeles: toxic beauty. But, for once, Ann Ponders was grateful for the pollution; it capped an argument that she had been making for months.
Saturday, April 26, 2003
The Truth About Jihad
With the campaign to liberate Iraq victorious, it is, perhaps, time for Muslims to review the improper use, not to say outright abuse, of the term "jihad.
The Empire Slinks Back
Why Americans don't really have what it takes to rule the world.
Friday, April 25, 2003
Does he really run China?
I never thought the United States would need a Franco-American Anti-Defamation League. But who would have imagined that guilt of being French-by-association would become the stuff of McCarthyism-lite in 2003?
Time To Turn TV On Again?
Who needs a state broadcaster when networks provide the propaganda?
Tech & Science
Toying With Music
MIT's Tod Machover creates instruments so children can contribute to his symphony.
Death Rate For Global Outbreak Rising
The death rate for the worldwide outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, which has fluctuated for months, has recently begun what looks like an ominous rise.
Home, Sweet Home
In these uncertain times, staying in to cook and entertain is gaining popularity.
Las Vegars 2003: Forget The Chips, Try The M&M's
For children learning about geography for the first time, Las Vegas is an exhilarating but confusing scramble. I kept having to explain to my 4-year-old, Allegra, that you can't really walk to Paris from Manhattan.
Helen Honig Meyer, Who Led Dell Publishing, Dies At 95
Helen Honig Meyer, one of the first women to break into the men's club of publishers, rising from a 16-year-old clerk to be president of Dell Publishing, died on Monday.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
City Without Fear
Life without cities was not worth living.
Tech & Science
Epidemics Of Fear And Mistrust
Ugly reactions to a 1924 Los Angeles plague outbreak offer a lesson for fight against SARS.
The End Of Human Nature
Bill McKibben bravely explains why designer babies are a very bad thing.
Finding Opportunity In Baggage Woes
Promoting themselves essentially as long-haul bellhops ó- one, in fact, calls itself Virtual Bellhop ó- they show up at your house or office, take your bags and ship them to the hotel or wherever else you will be staying, before you get there.
In Our Democratic Age, Experts Are Scorned As Elitists. But Isn't Knowledge A Useful Thing?
Once you develop a taste for the good stuff, whether in art, music, literature or cognac, it's hard to go back. If giving a damn makes me an "elitist," then so be it.
New Fox Reality Show To Determine Ruler Of Iraq
"It is great that Fox will play a vital role in post-war Iraq," Paul Wolfowitz said. "Heck, we didn't really know what we were going to do."
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Will SARS Be The Chinese Chernobyl?
Soviets suffered for their cover-up. Now Beijing risks a backlash in disease outbreak.
Bollinger's vision amounts to snob journalism: journalism by an elite for an elite.
Embedded Reporter Comes Away From Front Lines Torn
Did we sell our souls as journalists for access to the death and destruction at the front lines?
The Press And Freedom: Some Disturbing Trends
Public officials are measured by how well they perform in times of crisis. If they canít take the heat, they should be in another line of work. It should be the same way with journalists. We cannot take a dive just because the country is at war. Indeed, our responsibility grows in times like these. It is not unpatriotic to expect the best from our leaders. Likewise, the public should expect no less than the best from us.
Tech & Science
The Citizen-Scientist's Obligation To Stand Up For Standards
A democracy, like science, functions best only when all actions are open to question, and when we require the highest levels of accountability. If there is a risk that politics is being placed above empirical truth on issues of vital national importance, inaction by scientists may be unethical.
Every Unhappy Family Has Its Own Bilinear Influence Function
Researchers propose a mathematical model of marriage.
The Salad Eaters
Perhaps more than any single culinary idea, the salad is the most pervasive contribution California has made to the world. And after 100 years, the creativity hasnít stopped.
New York Has A Number To Call: 311
The telephone operators at the city's 311 center had the alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules down pat. They knew what to do with a complaint about a broken traffic light. Marriage license issue? Loud car alarm? Recycling laws? Check! Check! Check!
The Curse Of Count Dracula
The prospect of a tourist bonanza from a Dracula theme park in Transylvania excites some Romanians, but opponents see only red.
There's An Art To Baring It All In Public
"I just feel so lucky to be one of the few who did it."
To mark International Turn-off TV Week, a victim of television dependancy makes their confession.
300 Reasons Why We Love The Simpsons
Find a space on the sofa and read why, in 14 years, Matt Groening's show has become the world's best TV programme.
Online, Some Bloggers Never Die
The messengers are gone, but their messages live on. The final posts from webloggers now deceased have become a popular topic of discussion on some weblogs.
Potter Books Must Reappear In Library, Judge Rules
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Harry Potter books back onto an Arkansas school district's library shelves, rejecting a school board's claim that tales of wizards and spells could harm schoolchildren.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Reconstruction Time Again
Amid the shock over the plunder of priceless artworks from Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities, relatively little attention has been paid to the burning last week of Iraq's libraries. While the extent of the loss is not yet fully known, two great libraries, with priceless ancient collections, have been burned, and at least two others looted.
Why has the Bush administration stopped fighting Beijing's human rights abuses?
A Media Empire's Injustices
Since 1917 the Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded to encourage excellence in journalism. I happen to think that more could be accomplished with a prize for the worst in journalism. It should be called the Murdoch. The first Murdoch would go to Rupert Murdoch himself.
Tech & Science
'Slow Quakes' May Lay Ground Work For Big Ones
This spring, as people in the Pacific Northwest have gone about their usual drizzly business, an earthquake has been going on for weeks beneath their feet, unbeknownst to everyone but a very few, very excited scientists.
Emerging Biotech Field Uses Genetics To Predict Drug Reactions
Several companies and medical laboratories are developing rapid genetic tests to determine who is likely to respond poorly, or not at all, to standard doses of common medications.
Docs Wrangle Over SARS Death Rate
The fatality rate for severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, has been widely reported as 4 percent. But many experts take issue with the way the CDC is calculating the death rate — and say that the infection may be much more, or less, deadly.
Not All Parking Garages Are Created Alike
At the Grove, electronic display boards tell how many spaces are open, two SUVs can use ramps side-by-side and angled parking is extra wide.
Every time an executive gets fired for screwing up, the corporation puts out a press release that he is leaving because he "wants to spend more time with his family."
The Revolution Will Be Photographed
Fotolog combines the community-creation powers of the Internet with the ease of digital photography. The result: Everyone's an artist.
Patience Is A Virtue We Must Relearn
The faster the world gets, the faster we need it to be. The race is between the quick and the dead.
Can Kasparov Be King Of The Castle Again?
The chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov was once regarded as invincible. But after defeats by a computer and a woman, he has taken a more measured view. That's not to say that he isn't still competitive or combative.
Monday, April 21, 2003
Crossroads Of Culture
The golden age that Arab fundamentalists refer to was achieved only because Baghdad was wide open to foreign influences, much as the United States at its birth imported ideas of the Enlightenment from Europe and made more of them than did the Old World.
Tech & Science
With technology and a global mission, scientists nailed this bug in seven weeks. Curing it will be much harder.
Turning Over An Old Leaf
Used-book sellers battle national chains and the Internet to carve out their literary niche.
As A Novel Rises Quickly, Book Industry Takes Note
The success of "The Da Vinci Code" by a little-known writer has caught the attention of an industry mired in a dismal retail economy.
Ready For A Reality Movie?
Reality, the trend that ate television, now hopes to make a meal out of the multiplex.
Deliberately Distorting The Digital Mechanism
Since 1994 Ms. Heemskerk and Mr. Paesmans, collaborating under the name Jodi, have created a series of Internet-based artworks that deliberately cause computers to do the wrong thing.
Can AN Old Leopard Change Its Silk Pajamas?
Playboy magazine, which once defined a certain kind of cool to millions of young men, is in danger of becoming the dad in the basement at a party for teenagers ó- amusing, but not really part of the party.
A Reluctant Millionaire
Yann Martel doesn't care about money. So, what is he doing with his Booker Prize cash?
Sunday, April 20, 2003
Tech & Science
Wielding A Big Stick, Carefully, Against SARS
According to experts in the history and law of quarantine, the most draconian laws are seldom needed because frightened citizens usually cooperate.
Was Einstein Wrong?
The idea of a variable speed of light, championed by an angry young scientist, could one day topple Einstein's theory of relativity.
When Skies Were Friendlier, They Were Its Caretakers
Before the threat of terrorism, air rage, flights without meal service and bankrupt airlines, boarding a plane was almost as exciting as getting wherever you were going.
The Internet: A Novel Approach
As a writer, I've often wondered what it would have been like to live during the Great Age of the Novel.
The sublime emptiness of Washington's National Mall stands for nothing less than democracy. If the nation's politicians won't protect it, the public must.
Care For A Drink Before Your Meal? Sure, But Hold The Meal
Underscored by the economic moment, which is bad, meeting for drinks has produced a new version of the old night out ? not the prelude to the evening, but the main event.
Jon Stewart's Perfect Pitch
Throughout the war, Jon Stewart has turned his parodistic TV news show into a cultural force significantly larger than any mere satire of media idiocies.
Back At Work, Iraqis Discover Offices In Chaos
Thousands of public employees reported for duty at the start of the workweek today, yearning for normalcy but finding in the debris of their charred and looted offices few clues of how to begin.
Saturday, April 19, 2003
"I'm Right, You're Wrong, Go To Hell"
Religions and the meeting of civilization.
Tech & Science
The temporary loss of liberty that might come with quarantine for SARS, while painful, is a pill that I would find easier to swallow.
I Feel, Therefore I Am
Lately, scientists have begun to approach consciousness in more Spinozist terms: as a complex and indivisible mind-brain-body system.
Roberts' Rules Of Romance
And the secret to being a world-famous romance writer is...
A Special Kind Of Poverty
Infertility treatments cost thousands of dollars. So, what do you do if you are poor, can't conceive and really want to have a baby?
No Saturday Matinee
An unbroken multi-year diet of Saturday-matinee, Grade B westerns at the now-gone Mott Theater in the city's West End convinced me and my childhood friends that fistfights, shootings and killing could be, well, sorta fun. What else were we to think?
The Day The Traffic Disappeared
Livingstone has just begun the world's most radical experiment in reclaiming the city from the tyranny of the automobile, a power struggle that cities have been losing in humiliating fashion for more than half a century.
A Scholar Follows Her Family's Dusty Footprints
Louise N. Leakey grew up with bones.
Friday, April 18, 2003
Memories Don't Die So Easily
Civilians shot at a checkpoint, a comrade killed by friendly fire. These are images that troops would rather leave behind but can't.
Oil, Food And A Whole Lot Of Questions
Whatever Mr. Annan's reasons for wanting to reincarnate the operation, before he makes his case there's something he needs to do: open the books.
Trading Truth For Access?
When ''the name of the game'' becomes ''keeping on good terms'' with the world's most evil men, journalism turns into something awfully hard to distinguish from collaboration. It didn't start with Eason Jordan, and it didn't end in Baghdad.
The Sounds Of War
Rating the news networks' theme music.
A Conduit For Life
Alice Walker ceased writing, then started anew. Don't ask, just appreciate wisdom gained.
Demise Of The Concorde Could Not Have Come Fast Enough
The possibilities for this new Age of Slow are endless. We just need the time to think about it.
Where Time Has Paused
Now that spring is here, from time to time when I'm in town I'll eat my lunch on the steps of the New York Public Library, a semiregular habit throughout the summer of 1968, when I was 16 and had my first job, at Fownes Brothers, a glove company at 411 Fifth Avenue. It's still there, on the northeast corner of 37th Street; I can even now see its second-floor showroom windows from the lower portion of the library's steps, four blocks up.
In Memoriam: The Foolish And The Brave
As the climbing season gets under way, and in this anniversary year, eager crowds jostle for their moment of glory on the summit, it is only to be hoped that all the remaining spaces on the Everest Memorial will not find themselves filled up in one fell swoop.
CNN Postings Send Some To Early Graves
Rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated, one could say, when CNN accidentally made publicly available obituaries of several international figures who are in fact still among the living.
Thursday, April 17, 2003
A City On The Ropes
Nineteen months after Sept. 11 there's still a gaping hole in the heart of Lower Manhattan, and New York City over all is still hurting. Instead of moving forward, the city is going backward.
Pentagon Was Told Of Risk To Museums
In the months leading up to the Iraq war, U.S. scholars repeatedly urged the Defense Department to protect Iraq's priceless archaeological heritage from looters, and warned specifically that the National Museum of Antiquities was the single most important site in the country.
Second-Guessing CNN? Look In The Mirror
Obtaining and then reporting on information is a gray, muddy process. As much as we'd like to believe that journalists and journalism should be completely objective, the world doesn't work like that.
Tech & Science
On The Ground In Iraq, The Best Compass Is In The Sky
In the Iraqi desert, satellite technology -ó specifically the Global Positioning System, or G.P.S. -ó has become a fundamental and pervasive navigation tool for ground forces.
For Diners In The Dark, A Taste Of Mystery
The lighting in this restaurant is not subdued, shaded or hiply shadowed. It's nonexistent.
Sci-Fi Shrine For Seattle, Complete With Aliens
Paul G. Allen, a billionaire businessman and co-founder of Microsoft, is planning to build a "cultural project" in Seattle that will seek to draw visitors into the science-fiction experience.
A Good Country
I always said this was a beautiful country, a good country. I'd said it to my husband, Shwe Thant, many times during the four years since the Lutheran church workers had taken us from a noisy Burmese refugee camp in Thailand and settled us here in Pine Grove, Wisconsin. And it was what I was thinking as I squatted in my kitchen garden, picking the last of the herbs for the fish soup I was making for Shwe's evening meal.
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Why has the business cycle gone topsy-turvy?
Baghdad's Buried Treasure
Despite skeptical opinions to the contrary, history indicates that civil society and democracy can be restored in Iraq.
Tech & Science
Not just a staple of science fiction, other universes are a direct implication of cosmological observations.
Finding Reason In An Age Of Terror
Author Don DeLillo surveys a landscape forever changed by violence and anxiety.
Super-Sizing The Gluttony
We can't blame McDonald's for Americans who won't try new food even as their waists expand. Well, maybe we can.
Sprigs Of Spring
Don't underestimate the versatility of fresh mint, a true wonder of the herb garden. It can add an enticingly sweet lightness to everything it touches.
Back On The Laugh Track
Ready to laugh yet? The entertainment industry is hoping — perhaps even saying a little (probably secular) prayer — that you are.
Set In Stone
From a tranquil lap pool to a rustic vegetable patch, two artists frame their outdoor space with rock.
Once Sweet And Heavy, Now Dry And Desirable
Over the last decade, the kosher wine industry has worked to change people's minds.
Go On, Repress Youself
Victims of trauma may be better off forgetting their bad experiences rather than examining them in therapy. The "stiff upper lip" can be an effective coping strategy.
How Will The Artists Get Paid?
Throughout history there have been a variety of ways that artists have gotten paid so they can create their work:Through an ecosystem which looks to a mixture of amateur, performance, patronage, and commission forms of payment.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Democrats In A Dilemma
The campaign for president is still taking shape, but divisions in the Democratic ranks over the war have already made 2004 look a little like the Democrats' nightmare year of 1968.
Lawsuits By AOL Escalate Fight Against Junk E-Mail
America Online Inc. has launched an intensified legal assault on junk e-mail by filing five lawsuits against more than a dozen individuals and companies accused of being major purveyors of "spam."
Behind Our Backs
As long as the nation is at war, then, it will be hard to get the public to notice what the flagwavers are doing behind our backs. And it just so happens that the "Bush doctrine," which calls for preventive war against countries that may someday pose a threat, offers the possibility of a series of wars against nasty regimes with weak armies.
Free To Do Bad Things
War leaders are trying to damp down bad news coming out of post-invasion Iraq.
Tech & Science
Celebrated Math Problem Solved, Russian Reports
A Russian mathematician is reporting that he has proved the PoincarÈ Conjecture, one of the most famous unsolved problems in mathematics.
Nobody Shakes Hands Any More
What is it like living with the daily fear of contracting Sars? As secondary school children in Singapore return to classes, our correspondent discovers that the virus is still affecting every facet of life there.
Food For Thought
Our response to the taste and smell of food has far less to do with the basic building blocks of taste -ñ bitter, sour, sweet and salt -ñ and rather more to do with what is happening inside our heads.
Nightly News Feels Pinch Of 24-Hour News
With the most televised war in history winding down, executives at TV news organizations are noticing one startling detail in how Americans are watching the coverage: viewers are increasingly tuning out the broadcast networks' evening newscasts.
Monday, April 14, 2003
Hong Kong: A City In Mourning
As foreigners flee and residents venture outside only when they must, this is a city filled with fear, anger, and quiet heroism.
Iraqi leaders had agreed to show no serious resistance against the U.S.-British troops in return for a guarantee that Saddam and his close relatives could leave Iraq unharmed.
Tech & Science
Keep Us Human
If we're truly smart, we'll refuse to foolishly tamper with our DNA.
Are Quarantines Back?
The practice has been used around the world for centuries. SARS is putting it back in the public consciousness and raising questions about its effectiveness.
Segway Gives An Easy Ride, But It's The Best On Sidewalks
The Segway isn't for everyone, and it probably won't change the world soon. But it's a very cool new way to get around.
Snatching "Victor" From The Jaws Of Defeat
My film opened on Sept. 11. My friend's movie, "Raising Victor Vargas," opened during the war with Iraq. We talk about timing — and how to put politics in movies without becoming Michael Moore.
Let Slip The Poets Of War
From Homer to Langston Hughes, battle has been a boon to verse.
Real Frsutrations Traverse A Fictional Realm
My stepfather was psychologically complex, and his character raised questions worthy of art.
What You Pawn I Will Redeem
One day you have a home and the next you donít, but Iím not going to tell you my particular reasons for being homeless, because itís my secret story, and Indians have to work hard to keep secrets from hungry white folks.
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Tech & Science
In Travel To Singapore, Suspicion Is A Form Of Defense
Singapore's aggressive approach may not be welcomed by travelers, but it has been applauded by the World Health Organization as a reason SARS has not spread as fast here as it has in Hong Kong and China.
My Father's Tuxedo
Suits don't talk. But if you listen closely, sometimes they tell stories.
Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum Of Its Treasure
The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed.
Saturday, April 12, 2003
Books and the movies can also show us things that the networks (except for Al Jazeera perhaps) prefer to ignore: not just casualties but also fear, panic, confusion and stupidity, which are the very fabric of war.
Eating The Movies
What the chains have in common is a love of drama. They're not selling food, they're not even selling the room, not really. They're selling somebody else's story and you get to guest-star for the price of a not-bad meal at a not-bad price.
Today, in an era when American productivity is several times what it was then, most Americans find it hard to get all their work done in 40 hours. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are without work, even as many others are working mandatory overtime or far longer than they would if they had a real choice in the matter.
What record industry slump? Independent labels say business has never been better.
Friday, April 11, 2003
My First Day Of Freedom
Most of us want to live in a world of democracy. Now I ask the United States to live up to the fullness of its promise; it should not favor the crooks among the opposition leaders simply because they are American allies, since that would create another Saddam Hussein.
The News We Kept To Ourselves
I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.
Hold Your Applause
It's hard to smile when there's no water. It's hard to applaud when you're frightened. It's hard to say, "Thank you for liberating me," when liberation has meant that looters have ransacked everything from the grain silos to the local school, where they even took away the blackboard.
Follow Asia's Example
Each successful transition to democracy involved intimate and prolonged US involvement.
Tech & Science
Bullet Time was just the beginning. F/x guru John Gaeta reinvents cinematography with The Matrix Reloaded.
Worst Foot Forward: A Guide To Foreign Insults
In this ever-shrinking garden of cross-cultural pollination, it's not a bad idea to know that various societies have varying notions of insultitude. If we're ever going to get along, we should at least try to understand each other's snipes and slights.
'I'd Frantically Write, After Dark, On Lager'
He is on Granta's prestigious Best Young British Novelists list, and his first novel is receiving huge critical acclaim. So why has Dan Rhodes declared that he will never write again?
The Story Not Worth Dying For
If my editor asked me to become a war correspondent again, my response this time would be clear: absolutely probably not.
Sony Leads Charge To Cash In On Iraq
Japanese electronics giant Sony has taken an extraordinary step to cash in on the war in Iraq by patenting the term "Shock and Awe" for a computer game.
Goodbye To Column, Hello To Political Reporting
I often found the requirement to form an opinion and express a point of view to be limiting — an enforced bias that required the marshaling of facts to suit your own needs.
Expat Bloggers Big In Japan
The most active bloggers in Japan seem to be expats writing about what it's like to be an expat in Japan, but Japanese bloggers are slowly getting into the act.
Iraqi Currency Hot On eBay
The Iraqi dinar — a currency so hyper-inflated as to be virtually worthless in the real world — is gaining fresh value among collectors. In the three weeks since the start of war in Iraq, sellers of bank notes have seen a surge in demand from collectors for currency containing images of Saddam Hussein.
Hong Kong In Hot Flush Over Ad Blunder
With the burgeoning Sars epidemic spreading fear among travellers worldwide, the Hong Kong tourist board must be ruing the day it commissioned a series of magazine ads telling readers a visit to the city will "take your breath away".
Thursday, April 10, 2003
National styles of pulling down statues.
Spoils Of War
The war against Iraq has become one of the clearest examples ever of the influence of the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned against so eloquently in his farewell address in 1961.
Embeds From Smaller Papers Take Different Approach
Embeds from smaller papers have delivered up-close looks at the lives of soldiers to the people who need them most — their families.
The Last Refuge
For years to come, then, this country may be, in some sense, at war. And all that time, if Mr. Racicot and his party are allowed to set the ground rules, nobody will be allowed to criticize the president or call for his electoral defeat. You know what? If that happens, we will have lost the war, whatever happens on the battlefield.
The True Clash Of Civilizations
The cultural fault line that divides the West and the Muslim world is not about democracy but sex. According to a new survey, Muslims and their Western counterparts want democracy, yet they are worlds apart when it comes to attitudes toward divorce, abortion, gender equality, and gay rightsñwhich may not bode well for democracyís future in the Middle East.
Sharing Advice, And Pills, For Woes Of Jet Lag
It is not surprising that for tips on combatting two of the most maddening afflictions of business travel, insomnia and jet lag, business travelers turn to other business travelers.
Uncompromising In Poetry Since A First Example At 16
Paul Muldoon, the winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for poetry, says he writes difficult poetry for a difficult age.
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
Resisting Superpowerful Temptations
Can the Bush administration follow its brilliant military campaign in Iraq with a smart political and diplomatic campaign after the war? It can if it avoids some dangerous temptations.
Dances With Wolfowitz
Victory in Iraq will be a truly historic event, but it will be exceedingly weird and dangerous if this administration turns America into Sparta.
Dissonance: March Madness
Letís do a reality check. If youíre in the peace movement and your secret hope is that an arrogant George W. Bush will get his comeuppance in Iraq, that the war will go awry and that it will sink into a bloody I-told-you-so quagmire, then you better have a long, soul-searching meeting with yourself.
Saddam's Regime Is A European Import
In the Western world, knowledge of history is poor — and the awareness of history is frequently poorer.
Tech & Science
How Could We Identify Saddam's Body?
If human remains are recovered from the smoldering ruins of Baghdad's al-Sa'aa restaurant, how will scientists be able to verify whether or not they belong to Saddam?
Asian Offiicals Say SARS May Be Here To Stay
Health officials in Hong Kong and Singapore warned their citizens today that the agent that causes a mysterious respiratory disease has spread so far in their communities and abroad that it will be hard to bring under control any time soon, if ever.
Why Wine Costs What It Does
Why does one bottle of fermented grape juice cost $135, and another just $15?
Letter To And From Home: 1918 And 2003
In the First World War, Richard Cork's grandfather wrote passionate letters home from the Balkan Front. In the Iraq conflict, the e-bluey has transformed this vital link.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Real-Time War, With Real-Time Confusion
The history of news is a story of technology, machines and devices moving information ever faster, until it is now instantaneous. You can't get any faster than that.
In Indonesia, A Wary Worldview
Indonesians evince a deep skepticism these days toward the U.S. government and, by extension, the Western media. And in a country struggling to establish strong journalistic institutions five years after the end of President Suharto's 32-year authoritarian reign, the media are grappling, too, with how to cover an unpopular war for viewers in the world's largest Muslim country.
Is Fear Spreading Faster Than SARS?
An obsession with risk not only creates disruption but also diverts attention from dealing with ever present health and safety issues that in human as well as statistical terms are far bigger threats to life.
Tech & Science
New Fusion Method Offers Hope Of New Energy Source
With a blast of X-rays compressing a capsule of hydrogen to conditions approaching those at the center of the Sun, scientists from Sandia National Laboratories reported today that they had achieved thermonuclear fusion, in essence detonating a tiny hydrogen bomb.
Middle Ages Were Warmer Than Today, Say Scientists
Claims that man-made pollution is causing "unprecedented" global warming have been seriously undermined by new research which shows that the Earth was warmer during the Middle Ages.
Good Women Hard To Find?
Studios obsessed with action flicks and teen comedies have little room for female directors.
Heart Of Japanese Animation Beats In A Robot Boy
Tokyo may not yet have flying cars, but Astro Boy's official birthday on Monday marks the coming of age of Japan's animation industry.
TV's Boldest News Show
OK, it's fictitious — but so is our presidency. Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" pulls the pants down on the fakes and fanatics who are leading us into the future.
Hey, You Guys, What's Saddam Funny?
Late-night quipsters have fun with the war, but are they on target?
Monday, April 7, 2003
The Reasonableness Test
Mightn't the justices consider a little affirmative action themselves?
In Japan, A Veteran Sees History Repeat
Bush administration's "policy of 'anticipatory self-defense' is alarmingly similar to the policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor," when Japanese leaders concluded the United States had to be attacked as a potential threat to their national interest.
Why We May Never Regain The Liberties That We've Lost
Liberties ebbed and flowed in America's past. Leaders curbed liberties, with the public's often ignorant endorsement, in times of crisis. But the rights tended to come back when the crises ended.
"Sesame Street" Cred
After 33 years, Snuffleupagus isn't imaginary and Elmo gets too much airtime, but the best kids' show ever still educates with honesty, humor and loads of charm.
The Cruelest Month
You are a high school senior applying to college. Your nerves are shot, your energy is drained and your family is deeply split. So it's probably April, by far the worst month in the process.
TV In A Taxi: Not Everybody Is Hailing It
The companies that market and install the rear-seat video-viewing systems are convinced that the taxi-riding public will love them. And just in case they're wrong, the screens are bulletproof.
There Is Much To Be Said For The Man Who Changes His Mind
I am fascinated not by the grisly act of killers but by the banal details of their ordinary lives.
'The Best Possible Life'
Michael died for two things he believed in: Journalism and ridding the world of jackboots.
Sunday, April 6, 2003
Thinking Small At Harvard
In headier days, the college's student government debated global issues like trade with Burma and workers' rights. But today's more pragmatic council tilts local, from cafeteria food to shuttle service.
Firefight At The Pentagon
America's 220-year experiment in civilian control of the military is a recipe for friction.
The Big Fix?
The question is no longer whether expanding gambling in Massachusetts is morally tolerable, but whether it can ease the state's budget crisis. Meanwhile, lines are forming for a piece of the action.
A Tropical Smorgasbord In Honolulu
Mango, taro root, guava, fresh vanilla, seaweed, pineapple, coconut and superb local seafood all contribute to a cuisine that is wonderfully varied and evocative of these lush islands.
Saturday, April 5, 2003
Don't Count Me In
I've always been perfectly willing to do my duty when the phone rings during dinner and it's the Gallup folks asking me to speak for millions of other people so someone can write a headline the next morning purporting to tell America what it feels. But please don't call and ask me about this war.
How Books Have Shaped U.S. Policy
Books by historians, philosophers and policy analysts have played a significant role in shaping and promulgating the administration's thinking about foreign policy, America's place in the world and the war against Iraq.
Rumsfeld And The Generals
So when aggrieved officers and former officers suggested that Mr. Rumsfeld was mismanaging the war, it was a delicious story. But was it true?
Tech & Science
Maths Gets Into Shape
Is it a starfish? Is it an orchid? No, it's Superformula.
When Technology Fails
The sophisticated technology and weaponry that the U.S.-led forces are using to fight Iraqi troops are being touted as a major wartime advantage. But this technology sometimes fails, leading to deadly mistakes.
The Dia Generation
The artists of the 60's and 70's are among the best America has ever produced. Now an eccentric foundation has built a monumental home for their work in a cracker-box factory in bucolic New York.
Visions And Revisions Of Child-Raising Experts
Ever since the science of child development was invented in the beginning of the 20th century, experts have offered parents a goulash of advice on how to raise the little marvel (or monster), creating as much anxiety and confusion as they are supposed to assuage.
Daniel Barenboim is an Israeli and a world-famous conductor, Edward Said a Palestinian, renowned advocate of his people and a professor of literature. They tell about their unlikely friendship and their shared passion — music.
Friday, April 4, 2003
Plan B — For Baghdad
The miracle having not happened, we are now fighting a conventional war. And winning — thanks to the Franks plan and its flexibility, and despite the carping of those who, in conflict after conflict, see Vietnam in anything short of immediate immaculate victory.
How To Think About This War If You're Against It
I hope for a U.S. victory with minimum bloodshed and maximum freedom for the Iraqi people. But I also want the cakewalk conservatives to pay for their hubris politically.
The War Americans Don't See
he Arab press -ó like Arab public opinion as a whole -ó predominantly opposes the British and American attack on Iraq, and does not hesitate to say so in its front page headlines, articles and photographs. Yet the press is neither monolithic nor uniformly anti-American.
CNN Was Right On Target In Guessing War's Start Date
Here's a nagging question: Did CNN know the war in Iraq was going to start March 19?
Tech & Science
An Early Warning System For Diseases In New York
What was remarkable about that episode was not so much the city's response, but that it was detected at all.
Is It Nature Or Nurture That Makes Spring Menus Sing?
Spring is in the air, and wild foods from around the United States are staging their annual return to New York restaurant menus. But what exactly is a wild food?
Cents And Sensibility
The surprising truth about sales of classic novels.
Another Rite Of Spring: Will They Or Wont' They?
One of Washington's favorite guessing games — whether the giant pandas at the National Zoo will produce a cub — resumed yesterday in a nation's capital sorely in need of a happy diversion.
Thursday, April 3, 2003
On Rewarding Friends
Nations have alliances, based on short-term strategic or economic interests. But peoples have friendships, based on memories forged in times of trial. These are the times that make and break friendships among peoples.
India's Big Dig: Will It Settle Or Inflame A Controversy?
Archaeologists are hoping to restore India's interfaith harmony by finding proof, or disproof, that a Hindu temple once stood at Ayodhya.
The End Of Civilisation
Iraq is one huge world heritage site, a unique storehouse of art and archaeology. Now the war threatens to destroy it all.
SARS: Take A Deep Breath
Yes, we should take precautions. But we should keep perspective — and most important, we should consider it a vital wake up call for the public health establishment.
How presidential candidates try to impress reporters with their reading lists.
Tech & Science
Prisoners Of Digital Television
A misadventure in high-tech regulatory policy — and a Harry Potter Fix.
The Madonna Video You Can't See
A bootleg copy of her bomb-throwing "American Life" video proves provocative — but not nearly as disturbing as her decision to yank it.
Books Can't Stay Apace Of The War
Some publishers are rushing into print with topical titles while others are taking the longer view.
With Self-Checkout, It's Life In The Fast Lane
Automated checkout lanes are intended to augment staffed checkout lines, not replace them, say the supermarkets. Still, their use is on the rise.
Cable News Networks Bring In The Snipers
War has broken out between MSNBC and Fox News Channel.
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
A Country Of Fear
Iraq will be better off after the war. But will America?
Saddam's Greater Game
Many observers of the war with Iraq are focused on the looming battle for Baghdad in anticipation that it will be the culminating event of the conflict, and it may in the end be so from an American perspective. But in the view of the Iraqi leadership, it may be only the end of a first stage in a greater Iraqi plan.
Come The Revolution
To read the Arab press is to think that the entire Arab world is enraged with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and to some extent that's true. But here's what you don't read: underneath the rage, there is also a grudging, skeptical curiosity -ó a curiosity about whether the Americans will actually do what they claim and build a new, more liberal Iraq.
TV War Reporters Increasingly Seem Part Of The News
After 12 days of war, the media have made nearly as many headlines as the fighting in Iraq. At this pace, CNN will have to embed a reporter with NBC just to keep up on the shifting media war.
Market Reform: Lessons From New Zealand
On these South Pacific islands of a little under 4 million people has been distilled the political dynamics of market-based reform and the countervailing forces opposed to it. Does reform create or consume political capital? To what extent is reform reversible, or does it create new constituencies and permanently change the terms of political debate? Has reform reached a natural frontier at the fortress gates of big-government social welfare programs?
Tech & Science
Written In The Genes
The study of DNA allows us to unravel history, but it also tells us that we can forge our own future.
April Foo's Pranks Target Security Industry
Several security-related April Fool's Day hoaxes began floating around the Internet Tuesday, several of which ruthlessly satirized the security industry and its denizens.
Staff Of Life
Through the ages and especially now, one food has sustained body and spirit: bread.
On A Clear Day I Can Eat Forever
As a diner, critic and epicure, I applaud the new antismoking law. I loathe cigarette smoke, in the same way that classical concertgoers loathe the sound of coughing and real soccer fans loathe hooligans. Smoking is the enemy of food. It distorts or disguises flavors. It dulls the taste buds. It has no place in a restaurant. Yet a primitive voice deep inside me wants to yell no.
Singing As An Antidote To Horror
If you want your spirits raised ó- and God knows, most of us need that today ó- just go and sing your heart out somewhere with a bunch of other people. Itís cheaper, healthier, less fattening and much more fun than getting drunk.
Commercial Tie-Ins, Product Promos Invade MTV
Strapped for cash, major record labels have been sneaking marketing messages into videos.
Fox News Channel and CNN are often depicted as desperate rivals locked in a death match. In fact, the cable networks arenít even playing the same game. Thereís no reason they both canít flourish.
TV Quiz Coughing Scam Trial Delayed — By Coughing
The trial of a British army major accused of cheating in the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" TV quiz with the help of a coughing accomplice was adjourned on Monday — because of an outbreak of coughing among the jury.
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Speaking With THe Enemy
Mr. Arnett's firing is more than a personal setback. With him gone from the airwaves, Americans have lost an eye on Baghdad that had proved a valuable addition to our knowledge of a mysterious enemy.
Casualty Of A Ratings War
The termination of Arnett fuels the view of many Arabs that the Western media present a tailored account of events; feigning objectivity while maintaining the pro-U.S. company line.
'Terror' As The Ultimate Excuse
For now, with the savagery of war on newspaper front pages, the bitter lesson is that "terror" has been turned into an amoral category defined for the convenience of the purveyors of violence — whether fanatical "irregulars" or leaders of the most powerful nation on Earth.
Iraq Goes Offline
The latest round of bombs appears to have finally cut off Iraqi access to the Internet.
'Embed' World: Hostilities, Humanity
From my perspective, I'm probably fifth-row center. The 1/10 has been in every fight that the Third Infantry has waged so far, and I flinched during close-range, hostile fire each of my first three days in Iraq.
Tech & Science
The Army's Desktop Jockeys
Can information technology help the military win the war?
Why Epidemics Still Surprise Us
This is the first real test of the W.H.O. global response program ó- and it's easy to see where the flaws are. Let's hope we don't have to wait for a bigger threat ó- like a bioterrorist attack ó- before we create a system that really works.
Weather Satellites Can Be Better Used
Weather satellites could be even more effective forecasting and charting climate change if the agencies that run them keep up with the latest technology.
The Poker Of War
How military strategy was born at the gaming tables.
How On Earth Was This Image Made
This image shows the Earthís surface, apparently from space. But is it really a photograph?
Mum's The Word
The bleak humour, the poetry, the despair, courage and honesty with which she portrays the shell-shocked, elemental first months with a new baby, for which no amount of feminist theory, education or good intentions of equality could have prepared her, divided critics more vehemently than she could have imagined.
We need our April 1 pranks more than ever this year.
The Protest Songs, They Are A-Changin'
Some of the strongest songs to emerge so far are quiet, simply sung statements rather than raging screeds.
Microsoft Word 5.1 For Mac OS X
Word 5.1a that preserves most of the features and all the look and feel of the highly popular Word 5.1.
The Security Flag In The IPv4 Header
If the bit is set to 1, the packet has evil intent.
Language Inspired By Orwell Set To Fool Hackers
Dubbed NewCode, the language promises to revolutionise software development, as the language makes it impossible to express a security vulnerability in a program's source code.
Skynet CPU Back On Track
Apple engineers have used a prototype of the Skynet CPU to render a Photoshop image five million times faster than the Pentium 4, sources said.
Microsoft Now Owns Open Source
Sources close to Microsoftís legal department claim that the company has purchased the rights to an obscure patent that effectively gives it control of the entire open source movement.