Saturday, May 31, 2003
Constitutionally, A Risky Business
Drafting a constitution is often the first step in transforming a country to democracy, but the questions seem to be endless.
Tech & Science
When The Snow Melts, The Earth Will Quake
Japan was hit by yet another earthquake this week. Could snow be to blame?
Science's Big Query: What Can We Know, And What Can't We?
The 20th century saw an explosion of scientific knowledge. It also brought the first hints of fundamental, inherent limits on the knowable.
TV's News Central: One Source Fits All
The "local" news — direct from suburban Baltimore? It coul dbe the news of the future.
The Call Of The Word
I believe nothing of any beauty or truth comes of a piece of writing without the author's thinking he has sinned against omething — propriety, custom, faith, privacy, tradition, political orthodoxy, historical fact, literary convention, or indeed, all the prevailing community standards together. And that the work will not be realised without the liberation that comes to the writer from his feeling of having transgressed, broken the rules, played a forbidden game without his understanding or even fearing his work as a possibly unforgivable transgression.
Friday, May 30, 2003
Monopoly Or Democracy?
When you lose small businesses, you lose big ideas.
Waggy Dog Stories
The administration has just derived considerable political advantage from a war waged on false premises.
Ronald McDonald Is So Busy, But Just How Does He Do It?
When it comes to Ronald McDonald, McDonald's doesn't clown around. It won't even admit that there is more than one Ronald.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
The people now running America aren't conservatives: they're radicals who want to do away with the social and economic system we have, and the fiscal crisis they are concocting may give them the excuse they need.
Tech & Science
Behind The Six Degrees Of SARS
The concept that each person on the planet is just six handshakes removed from very other person has frightening implications when it comes to a highly communicable disease like SARS.
Lightning In A Bottle
Imagine a movie studio that produces nothing but blockbuster films, wins lots of Academy Awards, and controls its actors with the push of a button.
Blogs Opening Iranian Society?
"Until there is a free press in Iran again, weblogs will flourish."
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Memo To Bush: Europe Is Listening
Instead of dreaming up ways to be rude to Gerhard and offensive to Jacques, the presidnet should concentrate on the people who are going to elect their successors.
Americans are stuck with the burden of empire without having chosen it. No wonder they're feeling truculent.
Tech & Science
Way Out There In Arp 299, A Factory For Supernovas
Penetrating thick dust where two galaxies are colliding, radio telescopes have observed the fireworks and afterglows of stars exploding at such an extraordinary rate that astronomers are calling the turbulent region a "supernova factory."
Why Not Put The Bombs In Rerun Slots?
Pilots, even uproariously bad ones, are worth seeing, especially if the alternative is multiplexing or repurposing or whatever idiotic term cable officials have dreamt up that simply means filling time with network reruns.
A Dating Game With No Straight Answers
Imagine a TV dating show in which a gay guy has the hots for another gay guy, only the producers have fooled him and it turns out the other guy is straight.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Tech & Science
A Journey To Bridge Math And The Cosmos
A conversation with Arlie Petters.
Scientists Struggling To Make The Kilogram Right Again
In these girth-conscious times, even weight itself has weight issues. The kilogram is getting lighter, scientists say, sowing potential confusion over a range of scientific endeavor.
City Lights Illuminates The Past
For 50 years, the bookstore of the Beats has been at the heart of San Francisco's literary life. Its founder hopes to ensure it survives him.
Shakespeare And The Spice Girls
Who's more clueless, college students or their professors?
Cut By Criticism
We know what reviewers think. But how do artists fell when judgment has been passed? Some benefit, others feel angry, anxious or, in one case, suicidal.
Monday, May 26, 2003
Does The Public Really Believe?
I don't mean this to be a smart-aleck question, but I do wonder: Do Americans really believe what they say they believe? Or to put it more honestly, do those people — meaning people who disagree with me — really believe what they say?
A War Without End
We now have another generation who has been forced into the ambiguities, the moral questions and the suffering that combat entails. And we think of them today.
Roy Lee brings Asia to Hollywood, and finds some enemies along the way.
The Last Stand
Very old trees offer a glimpse into our past and clues to our future. But are they worth saving?
Doting Husbands And Sugar Daddies
Some great female writers have had male muses. Lucky them.
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Ill-Suited For Empire
Those who openly welcome the idea of an American empire mistake the underlying nature of American public opinion.
Rooting For The Robot
In the battle between man and machine, which has more soul? Science fiction has disturbing answers.
The Writing Life
I am possessed by the great gnawing fear of every writer, that if anatomize the craft of fiction writing, I might never write another word of fiction again. Writing travel. I can talk about that. I have certain guidelines.
It's time for an update on the British art world, which, as far as I can tell, exists mainly to provide me with materials.
Just because they're common doesn't mean potatoes can't be special.
There's No Exit From The Matrix
The genius of the P.R. strategy was its exploitation of the original film's geeky cult status as a thinking kid's kung fu extravaganza.
Prospecting For Gold Among The Photo Blogs
Thousands of photo bloggers post their work on the Internet, hoping that strangers will come look at them and comment.
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Tech & Science
Study Sheds Light On Dark Matter
Astronomers have made the most direct measurement yet of dark matter, some of the most prevalent stuff in the universe — about which almost nothing is known.
Where Nothing Is Fun
By definition, aimlessness mus tbe the cornerstone of a "Seinfeld Club."
Friday, May 23, 2003
Government can't deliver a free lunch to the country as a whole. It can, however, determine who pays for lunch. And last week the Senate handed the bill to the wrong party.
Tech & Science
How Does Dyson Make Water Go Uphill?
James Dyson's uphill water feature has been the striking image of this year's Chelsea Flower Show. But how did he do it?
Jokes Spring Eternal: Celebrating Bob Hope's Century
On Thursday Bob Hope turns 100. He is too frail to have attended the celebration of his career last night at the Library of Congress. He's not delivering two-beat quips much in public anymore. But the jokes live on. They are immortal.
Can A Wild Turkey Find Success And Happiness In The Canyons Of Manhattan?
A mysterious wild turkey has been flying over Manhattan and has been sighted in some unusual places.
The Art Crowd
What's wrong with blockbuster museum exhibits? Too many people.
As Oxford's history faculty enters an eminent professor in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, our correspondent sneaks a preview.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
The Big Blackout
Surprise, surprise: The TV networks that will benefit from the new FCC rules on media ownership have been keeping their viewers in the dark about the changes.
Tech & Science
Shocking New Jacket Hits Street
A new anti-assault device for women wards off potential assailants with an 80,000-volt electric shock.
'Shrek 4-D' Breaks The Mold
The idea of a theme-park attraction based on the movie "Shrek" seems absurd. After all, "Shrek" earned many of its laughs mocking theme parks, an irony apparently lost on the creators of the new Shrek 4-D attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. But a nod to that irony is the only thing missing from this entertaining romp.
'Black Men Are So Much More Beautiful Than White Men'
Nobel laureate Nadime Gordimer talks about writing at 80, cheeky questions and mixed-race couples in the park.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Fear Of SARS, Fear Of Strangers
Without the mitigating influence of sound thinking, excessive fear of this new disease can lead to discrimination against Asians, something that is not without precedent in this country.
Haunted By Journalist Who Broke Trust
In journalism school, if we misspelled someone's name, we got an "F" on the paper or the test. It was an inflexible rule. We have to get it right. That's our trust. That's why what Blair did to you hit us in the gut.
Literary Theory And Historical Understanding
As we look back at the theory years today, now that the fierce polemical passions have waned, the transformation of literary studies through several phases in a single generation sems astonishing.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Tech & Science
Telescopes Of The World, Unite! A Cosmic Daabase Emerges
What some astronomers are calling "the world's best telescope" is built of terabytes of data collected by dozens of telescopes on earth and in space.
Fangs For The Memories, Buffy
Theologians, psychoanalysts and academics from all disciplines are drawn to the show like vampires to blood banks. Not that you have to have a degree to fall for the slayer and the Slayerettes.
Reviewing A Fraud: Critics' Dilemma
Should [book editors and critics] review [Stephen Glass'] novel, thereby rewarding his bad behavior with the media attention he and his publisher so deeply crave? Should they treat the book as a news event about the re-emergence of a fallen star/ Or should they punish Glass for his bad behavior and ignore the book altogether?
Monday, May 19, 2003
In Media, Goliath Edging Out David
Diverse media, however imperfect, are essential to us all.
What It Will Take To Transform China
The SARS crisis in China shows that economic development alone is not enough to bring democracy to my country.
The Obsessions Of Kim Jong Il
It would be dangerous for America to believe that it has negotiated successfully with Kim Jong Il's kind before. Mr. Kim is not a Stalinist in any relevant sense, and his party's "juche" ideology has nothing in common with the Soviet-style communism his father espoused during the Korean War.
Where Did My Raise Go?
Everyone knows about unemployment. But millions of working Americans are now facing a less familiar and perhaps more troubling problem: shrinking wages.
The Doors To Women's Locker Rooms Slam Shut On Sportswriters
Do I really need to be in a women's locker room? That isn't the question. It's one of equal access, isn't it? I wouldn't want to make a federal case out of it.
Why has Bill Gates stashed millions of the greatest images of the 20th century under a mountain in Pennsylvania?
The All-American French Chef
A Frenchman by birth. An American by choice. Michael Richard brings the best of both cuisines to the table. Now that's diplomacy.
Hot Market For A Magazine Not Yet For Sale
Media executives all over New York are hungrily circling a magazine that is barely profitable, has low recognition outside Manhattan, and oh, by the way, is currently not for sale.
A New Brand Of Journalism Is Taking Root In South Korea
OhmyNews [in South Korea] is transforming the 20th century's journalism-as-lecture model, where organizations tell the audience what the news is and the audience either buys it or doesn't, into something vastly more bottom-up, interactive and democratic.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Because the United States Senate is not a bunch of "yes persons" who "rubber-stamp" every bill that comes down the pike. And so the Senate, exercising its constitutional responsibility, took a hard look at the bill to pay for the war in Iraq, and discovered a shocking omission: There was nothing in there about sea lampreys.
Bush And God, Church And State
We worry when national leaders assume a mantle of divine destiny. The worry is based on history, not faith.
Tech & Science
Is Math A Young Man's Game?
No. Not every mathematician is washed up at 30.
With water supply restrictions, conservation campaigns and the threat of drought, the time is right for growing indigenous plants.
Single Occupancy Indeed
My goal was a simple one: to spend the night in one of the city's grand luxury hotels, to see what it was like after the World Helath Organization's SARS advisory on April 2 recommending that people defer all but essential travel to Hong Kong.
The State Of American Singing As Heard On 'I-I-I-I-I-I-Idol'
Vocal showboating is to be expected in a high-stakes singing contest with a repertory that leans toward florid pop ballads. But what is notworthy about "American Idol" is the similarity between its young hopefuls and the reigning royalty of Billboard's pop and rhythm and blues charts.
Child-free residential zones are bringing solace to stressed-out fortysomethings. No kidding.
The Night Shift
For most of us, sleep can be blissful interlude of unconsciousness. But for an increasing number, however, it is a time of dark terrors and incomprehensible fears.
Time Capsule Mystery Stumps Portland, Ore.
In 10 days, this city plans to revisit the moment 100 years ago that President Theodore Roosevelt rode into town in a horse-drawn carriage, gave a rousing speech about the great pioneers of the Pacific Northwest and put a copper box into the cornerstone of a towering monument to Lewis and clark... That is, if anyone can find the box.
Saturday, May 17, 2003
The Truth About Jessica
Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for — and doctors had already tried to free her.
God And George W. Bush
Is President Bush a religious zealot, or does he just pander to that crowd?
Why Will Wireless Camera Phones Revolutionize The Photography Industry?
Carrying a combined cellular phone and camera is a totally differnet mindset than meandering around making pictures with a typical camera.
They're Reinventing The Marshmallow
Marshmallows have grown up. Handmade — some in beautiful pastel colors and a mouthwatering array of flavors — marshmallows are now available at upscale markets.
She Has Arrived
Sabina Murray's latest journey, from unknown writer to award-winning author, has put her on the literary map.
Dating A Blogger, Reading All About It
In the rush to publish, many bloggers are running headlong into some of the problems conventionally published memoirists know too well: hurt feelings, newly wary friends and relatives, and the occasional inflamed employer.
More Students In Writing Programs Expect (And Get) Hollywood Offers
Like it or not, creative writing programs have become forces on the literary landscape.
People in Seattle don't seem to like the idea of Rem Koolhaas building them a new library. But they haven't seen it from the inside yet.
How Architecture Rediscovered The Future
The best new buildings no longer steal from the past or surrender to their surroundings. They express a vision of where the world is heading.
Big Sponge On Campus
From afar, [Simmons Hall] looks like a three-letter word that I can't quite read, rendered in sci-fi letters against the sky. It's only as I get closer, walking over the springy grass of M.I.T.'s athletic fields, that I notice the small square windows that pock just about every surface of the new dorm. M.I.T. hired a maverick architect, Steven Holl, to create a groundbreaking desgin. He says his inspiration for the building was a sea sponge.
Friday, May 16, 2003
David Nelson, Could You Step Aside For A Few Moments?
If your name is David Nelson you can expect to be hassled, delayed, questioned and searched before being allowed to board aircraft anywhere in the United States for the foreseeable future.
Tech & Science
Fishing For Clarity In The Waters Of Consciousness
Do fish feel pain? It all has to do with the notion of "nociception," and is somehow a matter of consciousness.
Plenty More Fish In The Sea?
The ocean's great predator fish are disappearing fast. Numbers have dropped by 90% in just 50 years. Time to give up those swordfish steaks.
Tickets? Lifestyle Guru? All Set
It may seem like indulgence to the nth degree, but in some echelons of society, where a $1,000 handbag is considered a bargain and conversations about Iraq are conducted over dinner at Jean Georges, a trusted expert is a necessity.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Tech & Science
Have You Flown A Ford Lately?
Flying cars already exist. So why can't you drive one?
Fighting Women Enter The Arena, No Holds Barred
As vastly improved technologies enable electronic game characters to look, sound and move in a more lifelike way than their forebears, action-adventure and fighting games are taking on new sexual dynamics, mesmerizing some people and disturbing others.
The Writing On The Wall
9/11 mural near ground zero outrages some New Yorkers.
A Carnivore Finds Joy, Meatlessly
You do not have to be vegetarian to appreciate the pleasure to be gained from these dishes.
Descartes For The 21st Century, Jesus With Cool Shades And A Beltful Of Guns
What is the value of not being deceived — why does knowledge matter?
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
The China Syndrome
Consier the paradox. The BBC is owned by the British government. However, it tried hard — too hard, its critics say — to stay impartial. America's TV networks are privately owned, yet they behaved like state-run media.
Now In Open, 'Empire' Talk Unsettling
We are a healf-hearted empire, pleased with the power and prestige it brings but unwilling to spend the money, time and manpower to manage it. And half-hearted empires have a very short life expectancy.
Tech & Science
It Came From The Gene Lab
Faster-growing salmon? Aquarium fish that glow in the dark? Regulators are at a crossroads over bioengineered animals.
Why Psychology Has Got It Wrong
Psychoanalysis was one of the "backbone" sciences of the 20th century, yet depression and behavioural problems are rife today.
Confessions Of A Chess Dad
How to console your son after checkmate.
Soda Adds Pop To Some Students' Lives
What is it about the taste that makes so many students reach for Coke instead of coffee first thing in the morning?
As Funds Disappear, So Do Orchestras
Nearly a dozen orchestras across the country have either closed or are in danger of doing so. Orchestra administrators blame their woes on the weak economy, but critics say many of them have failed to adapt to changing times.
Diversity Had Nothing To Do With Reporter's Deceit
Blair's career wasn't fueled by his race, but by stories that were too good to be true.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Tech & Science
Doing Science At The Top Of The World
In a place where sea-ice runways crack apart, even the simplest setback can threaten ambitious research and, potentially, the researchers themselves.
Studios' Latest Special Effect: Budgets Out The Window
This time, instead of simply cloning the famous "Matrix" fight choreography and "bullet-time" visual effects, other filmmakers are outpacing their own extravagant spending patterns as the Wachowskis throw down a can-you-top-this fiscal dare.
Lenoard Michaels, Writer, Dies At 70
Leonard Michaels, a novelist and short-story writer whose precise, highly literary style illuminated weirdly realistic human predicaments, died on Saturday in Berkeley, Calif. He was 70 and had homes in Italy and Berkeley.
Search For Klingon Interpreter Called Off
Sorry, potential Klingon interpreters. Officials have said they won't be needing your services, after all.
Monday, May 12, 2003
The Oily Americans
Why the world doesn't trust the U.S. about petroleum: A history of meddling.
How To Hurt Castro
A genuine get-tough policy with Cuba would export something Americans know a little about: freedom. Let's get rid of travel license applications altogether.
Tech & Science
Lost In Translation
Gene testing is proving to be a challenge: In one broad screening, results have been difficult to interpret, creating unintended risks.
Military Hardware Is Adapted To Fight SARS
Authorities in Singapore have adapted devices originally developed for a military purpose — seeing enemies in the dark — to help combat the spread of SARS.
A mother's mother's day musings.
A Dearth Of Successful Sitcoms
There have been three great comedy droughts in the history of network television, and this is one of them.
Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail Of Deception
A staff reporter for The New Yrok Time3s committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent months, an investigation by Times journalists has found. The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.
Qapla'! Hospital Seeks Klingon Speaker
The language created for the "Star Trek" TV series and movies is one of about 55 needed by the office that treats mental health patients in metropolitan Multnomah County.
Sunday, May 11, 2003
When Will People Pay Attention?
Another international crisis is quietly escalating in the world today. It is hunger, and millions of people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of starvation.
... The Cat Will Play
In classic children's literature, nothing interesting ever seems to happen until Mom's out of the picture. Are generations of great writers trying to tell us something?
How Does A Piano Get To Carnegie Hall?
It will take 8 months from start to finish to produce Steinway piano No. K0862, but it will take longer than that to figure out if the piano is great, or merely good.
Work Without Worry
Many working mothers, confronted by a stubbornly ambivalent society, continue to believe that they are shortchanging their children. They shouldn't.
The Great San Francisco Bubble
Life in America's last great progressive cocoon, as conservatives snicker and pule.
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Tech & Science
Turn Off The Lights
A campaign against light pollution has been launched today by countryside lovers and astronomers.
Parenting On A Dare
I had a child at 16 because I wanted to prove the world wrong. I was going to raise an extraordinary daughter and still live my life the way I pleased.
There was a time when television introduced unknown artists, showed writers in close-up and directors in full flow. That age is lost — but, history might have a lesson for us.
For such a tiny vegetable, peas sure provoke intense reactions.
Why Is Jonathan Simms Still Alive?
As a result of mad-cow disease, this 18-year-old lost the ability to move or speak, and his doctors said he would soon lose his life. But his father had other ideas.
My Lingerie, A Story In 3 Acts
I don't have the body of a lingerie model, but I have the underwear drawer of one.
Friday, May 9, 2003
The End Of Civil Service?
If Congress and the president move ahead with reform, they need to provide the dollars to make it work. Why bother otherwise?
I Loathe America, And What It Has Done To The Rest Of The World
I hate feeling this hatred. I have to keep reminding myself that if Bush hadn't been (so narrowly) elected, we wouldn't be here, and none of this would have happened. There is another America. Long live the other America, and may this one pass away soon.
Like Mother, Like Son — In The Kitchen
On the benefits of cooking up some love on mothers day.
A Mom Makeover
Today's mothers are confessing to fallibility even as they display fierce love.
Obsession, Not Proportion, Still Drives Television News
Instead of showing us architects of history, TV encourages carpenters with fast hammers.
We All Die Alone
News flash: Having children won't save you from a lonely old age.
Who's To Blame For Birtney?
When people talk of the dumbing-down of our culture, they invariably make a scapegoat of the media. But high art is everyone's responsibility.
Don't Write Off The Net
Now, with the internet firmly placed in the majority of homes in the English-speaking world, the web is seeing a burst of old-fashioned literary endeavour. Writing, it seems, is very much alive and well on the web.
Thursday, May 8, 2003
The War, As Told To Us
If the world is ever going to close the fatal cracks opening up between nations and peoples, it's crucial that we start questioning the omnipotence of our mainstream media, for all of us to ask for more searching queries about the true effectiveness of war and occupation, and to demand — of our media, our writers, our scholars and leaders — a narrative of Iraq and the United States that is more than a small sliver of the true story.
Man On Horseback
There was a time when patriotic Americans from both parties would have denounced any president who tried to take political advantage of his role as commander in chief. But that, it seems, was another country.
Tech & Science
A Hotbed Of SARS Warfare
Mass temperature testing is just one of the tools that the autocratic city-state of Singapore is wielding in its winning assault on the disease.
Gulp! Just Look At That Tab
Even as restaurants lower menu prices to match the times, the cost of cocktails is rising. And so is the entertainment value.
Asian Markets Go Super
From peanut butter to kimchi to canary beans, these multicultural stores have something for everyone.
The Zen Of Tornado Survival
Tornadoes lashed the Midwest and South this week, killing 18 in my state and more than a score elsewhere. But in spite of all the horror ó- and it is horrible ó- there's a calm in this storm that you can't see in the newspaper and television pictures of sudden powerful destruction. People continue to shop, they make mad dashes to the store, cover their flowers, phone friends. It's a paradox: take cover, but first cover what you can.
Women In Place
Although I have always been drawn to what is hidden, especially concerning womenís experiences, I couldnít say for certain that I would have recognized the secluded diaper-changing scene at Disney World as a possible subject until my daughter, Emma, was born.
It's Not In Our Nature To Nuture
Most people have a powerful wish, a yearning, for children. My wife and I don't.
Mother's Day, USA
Growing up, I was proud of how original my mother was ... it made her a great conspirator and ally.
Why It's OK Not To Like Modern Art
Modern art's duty to shine an aesthetic light on the soul has been eclipsed by commercialism, says the founder of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.
Just Stop Teasing Us, Please
Now, an entire TV show can serve as an ad — for itself in the lucrative DVD market.
Gerry Volgenau Starts A New Journey
What good is a great meal when eaten alone?
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
Cultural Globalization Is Not Americanization
If critics of globalization were less obsessed with "Coca-colonization," they might notice a rich feast of cultural mixing that belies fears about Americanized uniformity.
Tech & Science
It's A Ball. No, It's A Pretzel. Must Be A Proton.
Ask four physicists a seemingly simple question ó- Is a proton round? ó- and these might be their responses: Yes. No. The first two answers are both correct. What do you mean by "round"?
Could Bill Bennett Really Break Even Playing Slots?
Over the long run, of course, the house always wins, thanks to a mathematical principle known as the Law of Large Numbers. Simply put, the larger the number of plays, the more likely that the fixed probability will catch up with the player. Bennett may have had a lucky night here or there, but after untold thousands of spins, the fixed nature of the slots likely caught up with him: Bennett almost certainly lost between 2 percent and 10 percent of the millions he bet.
In California, A New Kind Of Continental Cuisine
You may occasionally hear the word "dude," but a handful of significant new Los Angeles restaurants are all European in tone and execution.
Big News, Little Paper
Read all about it: High school sports, a plant explosion and the columnist's beard.
A Right Muggle
Two copies of the forthcoming Harry Potter book were found in a field. How did they get there?
Tuesday, May 6, 2003
The Left's Weapons Of Mass Distraction
The war over words and how they're used by our society has become the new battleground of the Left. The primary tool in their arsenal is an effort to change the conventional meanings of words used in our daily communication. The morphing of our language is now the front line of the war on our culture and a powerful means for gaining political ground for the Left.
Road Map Vs. Reality
Nothing is ever straightforward in the Middle East, and the "road map" finally presented last week is no exception. The plan has no hope of being implemented, and yet it is crucial that its implementation be pursued.
Tales From A Redbaiter's '50s Fishing Expedition
The ghost of Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy was exhumed for a new century yesterday as the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs released five volumes of long-secret testimony from 160 closed hearings held during McCarthy's red-baiting heyday half a century ago.
Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?
Tech & Science
Prehistoric Images Threatened By Fungi
Will the French let 17,000 year-old cave paintings be damaged?
An Orchid By Any Other Name: An Asparagus?
Now, scientists say, studies of the DNA of orchids are revealing a host of surprises, chief among them, that orchids are actually part of the asparagus group, closer kin to these vegetables than to the other, flashier, flowering plants they had been placed with before.
Tiny Capsule Could Fight Fat
As a noninvasive alternative, Burnett came up with a capsule made of a patent-pending polymer that expands in the stomach, causing patients to feel full sooner.
Warned, She Wrote It Anyway
Friends tried to wave Suzan-Lori Parks away from fiction, but the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright knew better.
Seldom has such a small building occasioned as much fuss as the bright orange studio MVRDV built for the graphic-design firm Thonik in a secluded courtyard in Amsterdam.
We're Older So We Can Be Bolder
Freed from the tyranny of youth and fashionable good taste, women of a certain age can revel in their stylish eccentricity.
Death Of A Chef
The changing landscape of French cooking.
Walter John Harmon
When Betty told me she would go that night to Walter John Harmon I didnít think I reacted. But she looked into my eyes and must have seen somethingósome slight loss of vitality, a momentís dullness of expression. And she understood that for all my study and hard work the Seventh Attainment was still not mine.
Monday, May 5, 2003
As a new era dawns in Baghdad, life goes on — sometimes, just barely.
A dozen years after the Soviet Union crumbled, nuclear weapons have not receded to the margins of our interest, as many expected. On the contrary, in this second nuclear age, such weapons govern our foreign policy more than they have in decades.
Tech & Science
Aggressive Steps Help U.S. Avoid SARS Brunt
The U.S. has escaped the full fury of the SARS epidemic, in part because of aggressive public health measures and in part because of sheer luck.
A Humanist's Sojourn Among Scientists
The nature of our work makes it easy to open our doors and share that work. We can start doing so in the simplest way: by being nicer.
A Small Token Of Our Affection
The finale was, to be honest, a bit anticlimactic. No grand gestures or valedictories as Saturday turned to Sunday and a 50-year transit tradition vanished.
Please Pass The Trichinosis
My wife and I concur on most things -ñ money, household priorities, politics, movies, restaurants, vacation spots. Yet after 29 years of marriage, we still don't agree on how long to cook a piece of pig meat. One man's pink, it seems, is another woman's poison.
Our Baby Daughter Came From China
It was a long haul, both geographically and emotionally, before the family could meet their adoptive little girl. This contributor kept a diary on the journey to collect Xiu Yan from Nanchang.
Sunday, May 4, 2003
Whither The Lawn
What Southern California's booming population and looming water crisis mean for the great green carpet of suburbia.
In Miami, A Bus Stop For Broken Marriages
Need a transfer to singlehood? Go to the end of the line.
Saturday, May 3, 2003
Is a teaching assistant an apprentice scholar or an exploited worker? That question is at the center of a heated battle between graduate students and administrators over unionizing.
The cities themselves remain woebegone, in part because so much of their potential taxable wealth lies in the suburbs, beyond their reach.
Executives In Singapore Chafe At SARS-Related Travel Bans
In the middle of a long May Day holiday weekend, many executives are chafing at the travel restrictions imposed by their companies, which are keeping them stuck here unable to visit clients, let alone fly off to one of the tropical resorts nearby to shake off what has been a trying month.
SARS In China Creates A Limbo For U.S. Families Eager To Adopt
As the SARS epidemic grew, one small group of Americans stubbornly kept their travel plans to China. They were adopting babies there, and nothing would stop most of them. But during the past week, complications — from closed offices to crippled transportation systems — have begun delaying some trips, leaving families, who have waited more than a year for ths moment, in limbo.
Why Are They Now?
On deficits, Republicans in Congress haven't just changed their mindsóthey've lost their brains.
Tech & Science
Writing As A Block For Asians
A better understanding of Asian writing systems has not stopped Western experts from making grand claims about their virtues and limitations.
With Censors Gone, Books Reemerge
Vendors at a Baghdad market that once was a magnet for the Mideast's bibliophiles are eager for a revival. But they know it will take time.
Have It Their Way
Today's chefs whip up tomorrow's fast food.
The Futures Of Food
If the postwar food utopia was modernist and corporate, the new one is postmodern and oppositional, constructing its future from elements of the past rescued from the jaws of agribusiness.
Everybody Gets A Cut
DVD's give viewers dozens of choices ? and that's the problem.
The Road To 1984
George Orwell's final novel was seen as an anticommunist tract and many have claimed its grim vision of state control proved prohetic. But, Orwell had other targets in his sights.
So It's Goodbye To Janet And John
Once upon a time children?s books were as safe as the houses they were set in. Sex didn?t exist and vice happened only if it came with a Message. How different it is now.
Cover Stories: A Grand Slam For Media Monotony
Imagine the surprise when, like a quadruple slot machine coming up with all cherries, each publication had the same image to illustrate the epidemic: a single person wearing a surgical mask.
Poetry Is Dead. Does Anyone Really Care?
If youíre like me, untangling symbol and allusion seems as irrelevant now as it did in high school.
Friday, May 2, 2003
Blaming The Victim
Newt Gingrich came back from the political grave to say the State Department is broken. He should know. He helped break it.
It's Harry Potter with guns.
Their Goal: Conquer
Australian winemakers are taking the world by storm. Their strategy is simple: Topple California.
Say No To Nudity
You can't open a paper these days without being confronted by hundreds of people stripping off in the name of art. Whatever happened to good old British reserve? In an attempt to restore some decency in these debauched times we invited Guardian readers to pose for our own Spencer Tunick-style artwork on Brighton beach yesterday. The only qualification: at least three layers of clothing.
Ending Up Venerated But Unread Must Be A Book's Worst Fate
Most people, when they first come into the house and realise that every cupboard is crammed full of books, tend to recoil a bit. What everyone says sooner or later is: ?And have you actually read all these books??
Thursday, May 1, 2003
'Gay Case' Should Worry Straights Too
The Texas case is only superficially about sodomy. It's really about the right to privacy and the moral standard by which that right should be applied.
Tech & Science
Outbreak: In Epidemics, Is Fear A Good Thing?
In a world that is growing ever more connected, at an ever faster pace, the distant has become near, and the burdens of others have become our burdens. Under those circumstances, it's OK to be a little afraid?in fact, our fear may be what saves us.
K-Y Jelly, We Hardly Knew Ye
The venerable lubricant with the kinky associations is getting a brand makeover. But will it be able to maintain market penetration?
For Better Or Worse: Marriage By The Numbers
In defiance of good sense and most love poems, people in long-term relationships do continually (if not always consciously) perform calculations, tallying up the household chores and kid errands, for instance, or estimating the risk of missing the Friday dinner versus the Saturday barbecue. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before the professionals got involved.
Light In The Wilderness
Margaret Atwood grew up partly in Canada's woods, and decided to become a writer while at high school. After international success she became a human rights activist but continued to write, winning the Booker prize. In her new novel, Oryx and Crake, she uses a male narrator to describe a genetically engineered future.