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Monday, June 30, 2003


The Bedroom Door
by William Safire, New York Times
I used to fret about same-sex marriage. Maybe competition from responsible gays would revive opposite-sex marriage.

Welcome To The Machine
by Nicholas Confessore, Washington Monthly
How the GOP disciplined K Street and made Bush supreme.

Tech & Science

Saving Lives With Living Machines
by Peter Fiarley, MIT Technology Review
Hybrid devices that are part machine, part living cells, offer new hope to patients for whom purely artificial treatments like dialysis aren't good enough.

Doctors Unite To Separate Conjoined Twins With Care
by Erika Niedowski, Baltimore Sun
They've studied life-sized models of hte patients' heads, pored over animated graphics showing the intricacies of their brains and reherased surgical strategies that will either make medical history or lead to a family tragedy.


Katharine Hepburn, Spirited Actress, Dies At 96
by Caryn James, New York Times
Katharine Hepburn, the actress whose independent life and strong-willed movie characters made her a role model for generations of women and a beloved heroine to filmgoers for more than 60 years, died yesterday at her home.

Book Buyers Stay Busy But Forsake Bookstores
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
The good news is that millions of consumers bought books last month. The bad news is that a lot of them skipped a trip to the bookstore, where they may have bought even more books.

Did Harry Have To Grow Up?
by Marina Warner, The Observer
Something about Harry growing up has taken away Rowling's own sense of fun and, with it, Harry's hopes and high spirits.

The (Not So) Secret Diary Of A Blogger
by Damian Whitworth, Michael Gove and David Rown, The Times
The first inkling that there was something out there, beyond my understanding, lurking in the depths of cyberspace, came early in the 21st century.

Sunday, June 29, 2003


Love Me
by Garrison Keillor, The Atlantic
I took a train up to Halifax to write about Canada. I thought Canada would be good for me. Get me out of my slump, which had been going on for more than a year now. But it rained a lot for three days, and I wound up sitting in a bar and drinking Rusty Nails with a Canadian who had a grudge against the United States.

Some Cipro With That Burger?
by Madeline Drexler, Los Angeles Times
McDonald's antibiotic policy may not be perfect, but it's better than the FDA's.

His Moment Of Truth
by Michael Leahy, Washington Post
Joe Lieberman condemned Bill Clinton on national TV, and was anointed his party's moral conscience. Now he'll learn if that's a blessing or a curse.

Affirmed... For Now
by Glenn C. Loury, Boston Globe
The Supreme Court's decision made affirmative action resoundingly legal. Now comes the hard part—making it unnecessary.

Once Hailed, Soldiers In Iraq Now Feel Blame At Each Step
by Edmund L. Andrews, New York Times
After riding into Iraq on a wave of popular euphoria, American and British forces are unexpectedly finding themselves the brunt of criticism for everything that goes wrong these days.

Tech & Science

Programming A Hunt For Computer-Animated Hits
by Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times
The success of 'Nemo' and others ignites a new boom. But is the need for strong stroies being overlooked?


That Was 'Joy Luck,' This Is Now
by Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
Anger, realism and irreverence distinguish the "second generation" of Asian American novelists.

Taking Liberties With Harry Potter
by Tracy Mayor, Boston Globe
Thousands of spinoffs of J.K. Rowling's novels — many steamy with graphic sex — can be read on the Internet. But why is this fan fiction, often of questionable legality, allowed to flourish?

College Rivalry
by Patrick Healy, Boston Globe
Universities will do almost anything these days to land a star professor who can bring instant prestige, attract large donors, and, oh yes, even do some teaching.

How To Kill Orchestras
by Bernard Holland, New York Times
The free-enterprise system, which worked so admirably to bring the American city its new wealth, transferred poorly to the performing arts.

A Star Is Born (And Swimming In Singapore)
by Wayne Arnold, New York Times
With its preposterously bulbous forehead and garish markings, the luohan, a 6- to 8-inch-long fish, has become so widly pouplar among this city's ethnic Chinese majority that in some households there are more luohan than people.

Harry Potter And The International Order Of Copyright
by Tim Wu, Slate
Should Tanya Grotter and the Magic Double Bass be banned?

The Hungriest Critic Of Them All
by A. O. Scott, New York Times
"I'm trying to open up new opportunities, which is probably crazy at my age. But there are other things I can do yet."

The Executioner's I.Q. Test
by Margaret Talbot, New York Times
Death-penalty opponents cheered when the Supreme Court ruled it wa sunconstitutional to execute the retarded, but the decision has added a new element of arbitrariness to a system that is already arbitrary in the extreme.

Freindship Envy
by Ann Patchett, New York Times
It was this very maelstrom of talk, this bright and complicated intimacy, that first caught me up in "Sex and the City."

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Tech & Science

Calculating The Irrational In Economics
by Stephen J. Dubner, New York Times
The field of behavior economics blends psychology, economics and neuroscience to argue that emotion plays a huge role in how people make economic decisions.

Thursday, June 26, 2003


Delusions Of Empire
by Fred Kaplan, Slate
How is Paul Wolfowitz keeping a straight face these days?

The Poor Like Globalization
by David Dollar, YaleGlobal
But it requires international and national actions — including enhanced market access for developing countries, improved investment climates, and effective delivery of health and education.


They're Good To Go
by Regina Schrambling, Los Angeles Times
Forget the takeout bags. Picnics are about easy eating, and these big sandwiches stack up.

New York's Secret Gardens
by Susan Spano, Los Angeles Times
Surprising, serene refuges soften the city's hard-edged corners, cacophony and crowds.

Ice Cream's Big Dipper
by Libby Copeland, Washington Post
Taster John Harrison gives the scoop on frozen flavors.

Scotland's New Chefs Take Its Riches To Heart
by R. W. Apple Jr., New York Times
With the country's prime raw materials, heart-stirring landscapes and ambitious chefs at their disposal, Scotland's restaurants are on the rise.

The Fine Print Of Travel
by Francine Parnes, New York Times
A look at all the latest hidden fees, unexpected commissions and ridiculously high charges business travelers face on the road.

'Drew' — ABC's Very Own Albatross
by Brian Lowry, Los Angeles Times
The term "buyer's remorse" usually applies to unworn clothes or unwise real estate deals. Then there's the more grandiose, television variety — such as the regret ABC officials are feeling, having committed nearly $80 million for another season of "The Drew Carey Show," a series they no longer want.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003


How To Save Africa
by John Pollock, Acumen Journal Of Sciences
The invisible hand, AIDS, and the developing world.

Tech & Science

Pixar's Unsung Hero
by Peter Burrows, BusinessWeek
President Edwin Catmull isn't widely known, but he's theunwavering force behind the studio's success.

Landing A Job Can Be Puzzling
by Amit Asaravala, Wired News
With the depressed economy supplying dozens — if not hundreds — of qualified applicants for each job, companies increasingly use riddles and puzzles in interviews to narrow the options. However, whether questions like these actually yield important information about candidates is still up for debate.


What I've Learned: Alex Trebek
by A. J. Jacobs, Esquire
"It's very important in life to know when to shut up. You should not be afraid of silence."

Tumult In The Newsroom
by Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker
Why chroic insecurity is every Times reporter's lot.

Dave's No Angel, But He's Earned His Wings
by Tom Shales, TelevisionWeek
Is Dave losing heart? Is Dave depressed? Is Dave, God forbid, thinking about chucking it and going fishing for the rest of his life?


Harvey's Dream
by Stephen King, New Yorker

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


Big Macs Mean Different Things In Boston And Beijing
by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, Straits Times
There is more to keep in mind about globalisation than a divide between the worlds of mass-produced Lexus cars and individuated olive trees.

Tech & Science

The Clocks That Shaped Einstein's Leap In Time
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
Einstein's relativity has long been regarded by scholars as a monument to the power of abstract thought. But if Dr Peter Galison is right, physics and Einstein have flourished more in their connections to the world than in any ivory tower aloofness. And one clue to the origin of relativity can be found in something as mundane and practical as a 19th-century train schedule.


The Next Great American Newspaper
by David Gelernter, Weekly Standard
For a generation this country has needed a whole new set of institutions, and today they are finally (albeit obliquely) arriving and taxiing in.

Seeing Red
by Scott McLemee, Chronicle Of Higher Education
Philip Foner influenced a generation of young labor historians, but critics call him a plagiarist who helped himself to their research.


Questions At One O'Clock
by Wesley McNair, Slate

Monday, June 23, 2003


Sweep Of Reason
by Darrin M. McMahon, Boston Globe
Critics say the Islamic world needs its own Enlightenment. But just how enlightened was our own?

Bush May Have Exaggerated, But Did He Lie?
by David E. Rosenbaum, New York Times
A review of hte president's public statements found little that could lead to a conclusion that the president actually lied.

Tech & Science

Shedding Light On Shyness
by Elena Conis, Los Angeles Times
Brain imaging is revealing differences between timid and outgoing people. The findings may lead to improvements in psychiatric diagnosis.

No Nemo: Anemones, Not Parents, Protect Clownfish
by John Roach, National Geographic News
The true protectors of clownfish in the ocean are not parents but rather pirckly, stinging sea anemones that live on reefs.


Women Try To Preserve A Place Of Their Own
by Julie Flaherty, New York Times
New Words Bookstore, which last year ended its run as one of the oldest and largest feminist bookstores in the country, is not acting the way a failed business should.

Right Or Wong, We're Journalists
by Dave Barry, Miami Herald
How did we get into this situation? Without pointing the finger of blame at any one institution, I would say it is entirely the fault of The New York Times.

Language Barriers
by Peter Jones, Spectator
The universities are becoming factories of jargon and illiteracy.

Sunday, June 22, 2003


Affirmative Action: The Sequel
by Orlando Patterson, New York Times
No issue better reveals the American tension between principle and pragmatism than the debate over affirmative action.


Signals From Nowhere
by Walter Kirn, New York Times
Radio from nowhere produced by nobodies eventually makes you nod off at the wheel.

Saturday, June 21, 2003


Fighting The FCC
by Cynthia L. Webb, Washington Post
It was a case of the politicians versus the media barons.

If Sanity Is Forced On A Defendant, Who Is On Trial?
by Daphne Eviatar, New York Times
How does one define free thought and individual identity in an age when technology has provided the tools to radically alter them? What is the dividing line between the mind and body?

Tech & Science

Isolation, An Old Medical Tool, Has SARS Fading
by Keith Bradsher with Lawrence K. Altman, New York Times
Reassuringly, SARS appears to have been controlled mainly through one of the oldest of medical tools: isolation.


Correct Me If I'm Wrong
by Jack Shafer, Slate
Errors and the culture of correction in American newspapers.

Hold The Mayo, But Nothing Else: Trillin's In Town
by David Shaw, Los Angeles Times
Calvin Trillin, longtime New Yorker writer and author of "Feeding a Yen," is in L.A. to promote his book. And he's hungry.

Real Men Wear Girls' Jeans
by Michael Quintanilla, Los Angeles Times
"Not all of us guys have big bulging thighs and a big butt."

It Must Be Magic. The Whole World Is Reading.
by Linton Weeks, Washington Post
Harry Potter has changed the world. You just can't say that about many books.

The Year Of No Money
by Paul Auster, Guardian
It was 1972, the Year of No Money. I had just turned 25 and had been living in Paris for 16 months.

Friday, June 20, 2003


A Blogger's Big-Fish Fantasy
by Catherine Greenman, New York Times
Because one of the fundamentals of blogging involves referring to information on other blogs, the question of how to attract readers inevitably enters a blogger's mind.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Tech & Science

Scientists Report Hottest, Densest Matter Ever Observed
by Kenneth Chang, New York Times
Experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory have created the hottest, densest matter ever observed, recreating conditions a fraction of a second after the birth of the universe, scientists announced today.

We're All Gonna Die!
by Gregg Easterbrook, Wired
But it won't be from germ warfare, runaway nanobots, or shifting magnetic poles. A skeptical guide to Doomsday.


President's Tumble Off A Segway Seems A Tiny Bit Suspicious
by Kevin Maney, USA Today
What we've got here is a clever conspiracy — a pre-emptive strike to save the oil industry from a technology that could sap its power.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Top Stories

Now, A Column From Our Sponsors
by Brian Lowry, Los Angeles Times
So, in our ongoing efforts to stay on the cutting edge, we bring you a column from our sponsors.


Affirmative Ambiguity
by Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post
Most Americans detest racial and ethnic preferences. But most Americans also don't want a closed society and recognize that past discrimination, particularly slavery and segregation, leaves a heavy legacy. It's this predicament, I think, that inspires so much ambivalence about affirmative action.

Bush's 9/11 Coverup?
by Eric Boehlert, Salon
Family members of victims of the terror attacks say the White House has smothered every attempt to get to the bottom of the outrageous intelligence failures that took place on its watch.

Former Aide Takes Aim At War On Terror
by Laura Blumerfeld, Washington Post
Five days before before the war began in Iraq, as President Bush prepared to raise the terrorism threat level to orange, a top White House counterterrorism adviser called his wife: I'm quitting. Rand Beers' resignation surprised Wsahington, but what he did next was even more astounding.


The Grim Reader
by Russ Smith, Wall Street Journal
Needed: a magazine about death.

Now, A Column From Our Sponsors
by Brian Lowry, Los Angeles Times
So, in our ongoing efforts to stay on the cutting edge, we bring you a column from our sponsors.

Dog Fight On Sidewalks Of New York
by Alex WItchel, New York Times
Chicago-style hot dogs in New York? Let the debate begin.

A Nose Job Just Scratches The Surface
by Alessandra Stanley, New York Times
What is most interesting about television is not how it exploits a cultural trend, but rather how it can do that and simultaneously accommodate a more old-fashioned variation on the theme.

For Lonely Travelers, TV Is A Faithful Companion
by Susan Stellin, New York Times
There is a dirty little secret harbored by many business travelers. It is about how much television they watch while holed up alone in their hotel room: apparently, way too much. Some even say they feel powerless to turn it off.


Work Week At The Prep School
by Bruce Smith, Slate

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Tech & Science

'Nano' Suddenly A Gigantic Label
by Noah Shachtman, Wired News
Nanotechnology has become one of the hottest areas in scientific research, pulling in billions of dollars in government, corporate and foundation cash. But the scientist who coined the term "nanotechnology" says a lot of what passes for nano is just plain ol' science, gussied up with a fancy name to rake in the bucks.


Monumental Folly
by Christopher Benfey, Slate
A look at telling absences in art history tells us why not to build a monument at the WTC.

How To Be The Perfect Parent (And Drown Yourself In Guilt)
by Howard Markel, New York Times
Child-rearing problems and solutions, of course, have changed considerably over the last century. But one thing has not: in each era, the baby experts have inadvertently inspired a great deal of anxiety among parents already uncertain about their ability to be parents.

Orwell And Me
by Margaret Atwood, Guardian
Lots of countries have had their versions of it — their ways of silencing troublesome dissent.

Our Perfect Summer
by David Sedaris, New Yorker
One day, it seemed the right time to have a beach house all our own.

The TV Dinner Turns 50
by Thomas Nord, Courier-Journal
After five decades of frozen feasts, should we really be celebrating?


Original Beauty
by Heather Clay, New Yorker
There aren't any bathrooms near the pool, and Mitz has to go. As a kid, she felt blessed with an unspoken permission to pee underwater and did so without shame, relishing, even, the warm brush of urine against her thighs as she treaded. Now she knows better. She's eleven—she and Georgette can't believe defilers who pee and swim at the same time.

Love Lessons, Mondays, 9 A.M.
by Lara Vapnyar, New Yorker
The principal, Maria Petrovna, was a tall, heavy woman, well over two hundred pounds, with a bottom half that was heavier than the top. The students had nicknamed her the Pear.

City Of Clowns
by Daniel Alarcon, New Yorker
When I got to the hospital that morning, I found my mother mopping floors. My old man had died the day before and left an outstanding bill for her to deal with. They'd had her working through the night.

Monday, June 16, 2003


Don't Separate Mosque And State
by Amitai Etzioni, Los Angeles Times
U.S. should stop trying to export its secular system to Iraq.

Regulate The F.C.C.
by William Safire, New York Times
The effect of the media's march to amalgamation on Americas' freedom of voice is too worisome to be left to three unelected commissioners.

Tech & Science

Steve Jobs And Jeff Bezos Meet "Ginger"
by Steve Kemper, HBS Working Knowledge
The story behind Dean Kamen's Segway scooter, and his combustive meeting with the kingpins of Apple and Amazon.


New Sign On Harry Potter's Forehead: For Sale
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
J. K. Rowling, the author of the series, has often said she wanted to protect her stories from becoming encrusted with marketing pitches and merchandising plugs, but she may have finally lost the battle.

A Tale Of Two Fish
by Paul Greenberg, Boston Globe
Since the 19th century, well-heeled fishermen have come to Martha's Vineyard in search of the noble striped bass. Why can't its lowly rival, the bluefish, get any respect?

Down And Out In White-Collar America
by Nelson D. Schwartz, Fortune
Professionals have never had a tougher time finding a job. It's not just the economy; the rules of the game are changing.

Sunday, June 15, 2003


Past The Point Of Justifying
by John McCain, Washington Post
It is too early to declare final victory in Iraq. But we're well past the point of knowing that our war to liberate Iraq was right and just.

Fast Forward Into Trouble
by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy, The Guardian
Four years ago, Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan's first crime wave — murder, fraud, drug offences.

Saturday, June 14, 2003


The Dark Side Of Innocence
by David Feige, New York Times
The obsessive focus on innocence runs the risk of eclipsing what should be the central issue of the criminal justice system — protecting the rights of everyone.

Tech & Science

The Chimp Genome
by Carl Gierstorfer, The Spectator
According to the latest estimates, we share 98.8 per cent of our DNA with the chimpanzees. What distinguishes us from our closest living relative is due to a 1.2 per cent genetic distance.


Construction Projects
by Jonathan Reynolds, New York Times
The definition of sandwich has become so liberal over the centuries that its mythic inventor, John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, might not recognize its hundreds of varieties.

On Being An Anchorman
by David Brinkley, New York Times
The anchor's role is difficult to assess, because there is nothing to compare to it.

Hawthorne And Son
by Nathaniel Hawthorne, New York Times
When the writer was left to care for his 5-year-old, he stumbled through one misstep after another.

Father And Son, Soaking Up Affection
by Amy Wallace, New York Times
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have a superhero for a father, Mack Kenny, son of the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, could fill you in.

American Bioscience Meets The American Dream
by Carl Elliott, American Prospect
Here and abroad, the road to self-fulfillment is lined with drugs and surgery.

The Ghostly Salt City Beneath Detroit
by Patricia Zacharias, Detroit News
Like a Jules Verne fantasy, a ghostly city with its own network of four lane highways lies deep beneath the industrial heart of Detroit, its crystalline walls glittering and gleaming in the flickering light. It is a world of no night or day. It is a world of salt.

Friday, June 13, 2003


Read My Lips
by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
When you shrink government, what you do, over time, is shrink the services provided by federal, state and local governments to the vast American middle class. I would suggest that henceforth Democrats simply ask voters to substitute the word "services" for the word "taxes" every time they hear President Bush speak.


So Long Suburbs, Hello Halibut Burgers
by Judith Weinraub, Washington Post
Anyone who got a message from Susan Callahan in the past month saw a tantalizing tag line at the end of her e-mails: "Can a middle-age woman from the suburbs survive in the wilds of Alaska?"

Journalism's Gentleman Giant
by George F. Will, Washington Post
To have worked alongside David Brinkley on television is to have experienced what might be called the Tommy Henrich Temptation.

Playing At Pixar
by Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Pixar is not just the technology, not just the building, not ust the studio. Pixar is its people."

David Brinkley, Elder Statesman Of TV News, Dies At 82
by Richard Severo, New York Times
David Brinkley, whose pungent news commentaries, delivered with a mixture of wry skepticism and succinct candor, set the standard for network television for generations, died at his home in Houston late Wednesday. He was 82.

Bra Salesman Knows His ABCs (And Beyond)
by Michael Vitez, Philadelphia Inquirer
"I carry 60 sizes. Sixty! Who else is carzy enough to do that?"

Thursday, June 12, 2003


Lost From The Baghdad Museum: Truth
by David Aaronovitch, The Guardian
So, there's the picture: 100,000-plus priceless items looted either under the very noses of the Yanks, or by the Yanks themselves. And the only problem with it is that it's nonsense. It isn't true. It's made up. It's bollocks.

Who's Accountable?
by Paul Krugman, New York Times
I'll tell you what's outrageous. It's not the fact that people are criticizing the administration; it's the fact that nobody is being held accountable for misleading the nation into war.

The Free-Speech Follies
by Stanley Fish, The Chronicle Of Higher Education
Sure there are free-speech issues on campus — just not that many.

Tech & Science

Van Gogh Was Here, But When?
by Leander Kahney, Wired News
In a marriage of science and art, three astronomers have pinpointed the precise time and date of a painting by Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh based on calculations of the moon's position in the picture.


The Purloined Letters
by David Mehegan, Boston Globe
With writers under increased scrutiny, why do so many resort to stealing others' words?

Hey, Wanna Score Some Cheese?
by Katy Mclaughlin, Wall Street Journal
Even as America guards its borders against threats from abroad ranging from terrorism to mad cow disease, one intruder is proving particularly difficult to keep out: illegal cheese. The stinky French kind.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Here Comes The Cake (And It Actually Tastes Good)
by Julia Moskin, New York Times
A new generation of pleasure-loving pastry chefs have set out to rescue the wedding cake from its state as a ceremonial white elephant and turn it back into what cake should be: dessert.

For Mrs. Clinton, One Day, 200,000 Copies
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir apparently set a record for first-day sales of a nonfiction book, selling about 200,000 copies on Monday, according to its publisher, Simon & Schuster.

Driving Down The Highway, Mourning The Death Of American Radio
by Brent Staples, New York Times
Radio stations where unknown bands might once have come knocking at the door no longer even have doors.

What Helen Keller Saw
by Cynthia Ozick, New Yorker
The making of a writer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003


Ashcroft's Attitude Problem
by Richard Cohen, Washington Post
A cavalier attitude toward civil liberties, an inability to concede mistakes, a refusal to see imperfections in the criminal justice system, a zealously irrational belief in the death penalty — and pretty soon you can read between the lines of that Justice Department report. The attorney general is far more dangerous than any of the immigrants he wrongly detained.

Tech & Science

What Really Happens When Fruit Flies Fly?
by James Gorman, New York Times
In the early 1870's, Eadweard Muybridge produced the first stop-action images of trotting horses, proving that at one point in the gait of a fast trotting horse all four feet were off the ground. Now scientists who study biomechanics are using high speed digital video to track more fleeting movements like the stutter-step flight of butterflies and the frenetic skitter of cockroaches.


Life's Full Participant
by Suzanne Mantell, Los Angeles Times
Jane Juska, single as she approached 70, opened herself to romance. That labor of love has become the memoir 'A Round-Heeled Woman.'

Monday, June 9, 2003

Tech & Science

In Gold Ink On A Chip, The World's Tiniest Book
by Julie Flaherty, New York Times
To the naked eye, it looks like a fleck of tile decorated with the Greek letters alpha and omega. But when it is magnified by a factor of 600, its true nature becomes evident — the world's most portable copy of the New Testament.


As Poetry, Is It Defensible?
by Renee Tawa, Los Angeles Times
Humorist Hart Seely has put togther a book of quotations from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that contains some, uh, real gems.

Sunday, June 8, 2003


Deja Vu
by Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
After Pearl Habor, 8,000 Japanese immigrants were detained in the U.S. as enemy aliens, among them Yoshitaka Watanabe. Sixty years later, amid a similar climate of suspicion, his family learns why.

Have I Got Mail
by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
Two themes stood out: One is how much people are now interested in foreign policy, in the wake of 9/11 and Iraq. The other is that many, many people are worried about how alienated America is becoming from the world.


All Work And No Play
by Joe Robinson, Los Angeles Times
Spending too much time on the job? Don't expect relief any time soon.

Get Real
by Laura Boswell, Washington Post
What kind of woman would humiliate herself for a chance to compete for a strange man on national TV? You'd be surprised.

Tasting Shanghai
by Alison Arnett, Boston Globe
The food of Shanghai is intriguing. Designed to highlight the distinct flavors of fine ingredients, it is more refined that that of some other regions of China and always look beautiful.

Moving On From Memphis
by Michael Bracewell, The Guardian
Lisa Marie Presley was nine when Elvis died and she inherited a crushing legacy of global fame. Ever since she's been struggling to find a reality of her own.

Saturday, June 7, 2003


Suddenly Popular
by Stephen J. Dubner, New York Times
You've just inherited a fortune, making you part of the largest transfer of private wealth in history. Now everyone wants a piece of you.

At Gender's Last Frontier
by Ginia Bellafante, New York Times
How precisely, did we get here — to a point where the midsection has supplanted all other parts of the female anatomy as the one most eroticized in the culture's image bank?

Friday, June 6, 2003


Weapons Of Mass Deception
by Jake Tapper, Salon
The Bush administration goes into full spin mode and Tony Blair battles to save his political life, as charges mount that they lied their way into war.


Pixar: The Geniuses Behind Finding Nemo Are The Next Disney. Uh-Oh
by Chris Suellentrop, Slate
Pixar needs Disney because that's how it outsources its Evil.

Sound Familiar? A Leak, An Uproar And Talk Of A Suit
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
The pre-publication reports of some emotional details from the memoir of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton sent her publisher scrambling yesterday to protect its carefully calibrated marketing plans.

Thursday, June 5, 2003


Gag Rules? Blogers Report Anyway
by Leander Kahney, Wired News
At a tech conference last week, journalists in attendance were told anything they heard at panel discussion was "off the record." But bloggers posted away. Time to rethink the rules?

Wednesday, June 4, 2003


Because We Could
by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
The "real reason" for this war, which was never stated, was that after 9/11 America needed to hit someone in the Arab-Muslim world.

Imperialism Of Neighbors
by Michael Hirsh, Washington Monthly
A new paradigm for the use of American power.

Tech & Science

Killer Virus
by David Brown, Washington Post
Few people alive today remember the Spanish flu firsthand. But the global epidemic lives vividly in the collective memory of medicine and public health. It's the distant mirror in which today's epidemic of SARS is reflected.


The End Of History
by Fred Kaplan, Slate
How e-mail is wrecking our national archive.

Chefs Bite Back
by Candy Sagon, Washington Post
So who's right? The trained chefs who feel their expertise is being ignored? Or the paying customers who want what they want — no matter the reason.

Iraqi Name Droppers
by Peter Slevin, Washington Post
All over the country, Saddam Hussein's government glued his name to schools, neighborhoods and institutions of every description. But now that his government has fallen, Iraqis are renaming institutions with glee.

Why God Should Matter In Social Science
by Rodney Stark, The Chronicle Of Higher Education
If it is hard to believe that conceptions of the Gods are ignored in most recently written histories, it is harder yet to understand why Gods were long ago banished from the social-scientific study of religion.


Chamberland Road
by Joyce E. Peseroff, Slate

Tuesday, June 3, 2003


The Cult Of ID
by Christopher Hitchens, Slate
Our strange obsession with driver's license photos.

Standard Operating Procedure
by Paul Krugman, New York Times
It's long past time for this administration to be held accountable.

The News Is Out There
by Dennis Roddy, Post-Gazette
The tragedy of the Jayson Blair incident will soon become that readers will get a lesser story because journalists around thenation proved unable to tell the difference between covering the news and covering their tails.

Tech & Science

Playing Music As A Toy, And A Toy As Music
by James Gorman, New York Times
Is there anything wrong with the lure of electronics and computer technology, the easy pleasure of video games, and electronic musical toys?

Better Babies?
by Steven Pinker, Boston Globe
Why genetic enhancement is too unlikely to worry about.


The Computer Or The Cradle
by Dani Shapiro, Salon
As a novelist and new mother I despaired: How could my book be a serious work of literary fiction and contain the word "poopy"?

Epidemic Of Fear
by Charles P. Pierce, Boston Globe
How the SARS scare played into America's culture of panic — and then, just as quickly, faded from the headlines.

These Days, Business Risk Is Often The Journey
by Francine Parnes, New York Times
Business travelers today, facing deterrents like terror threats and a flimsy economy, may not want to contemplate a brush with life-threatening illness or injury on the road, but frequent fliers would be well advised to do so.

Can Culture Save Us?
by Andy Beckett, The Guardian
Does pouring money into cultural landmarks actually regenerate run-down areas?

Salam Pax Is Real
by Peter Maass, Slate
How do I know Baghdad's famous blogger exists? He worked for me.

Come On Over The Water's Lovely
by Mark Steyn, Telegraph
There's no dysentery or cholera, no sign of a human catastrophe, the roads and medical centres are empty and the countryside charming. Yes, there's no place like Iraq for a holiday.

Monday, June 2, 2003


In TV News, Taking Credit Is Called Business As Usual
by Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times
Many television newsrooms are surely puzzled by what happened to Rick Bragg at the New York Times. Either that or they're having a big laugh about it.

Bylines, Datelines And Fault Lines At The N.Y. Times
by Howard Kurtz, Washington Post
How did one of the world's greatest newspapers wind up in a civil war?

More News, Less Diversity
by Matthew Hindman and Kenneth Neil Cukier, New York Times
While regulation must remain flexible to account for technological change, the Internet shouldn't be invoked to justify diluting existing safeguards.

Tech & Science

Wheelchair Users Take Flight
by Karlin Lillington, Wired News
An experimental mix of virtual reality and input devices tailored for people with disabilities is helping children express themselves artistically.


Scholars Who Blog
by David Glenn, The Chronicle Of Higher Education
The soapbox of the digital age draws a crowd of academics.

Music This Beautiful Is Something To Share
by Leo Harris, Newsweek
Thousands of black children will grow up without ever hearing beethoven—unless I get to them first.

Light And Darkness In Canada
by John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Photographer Lincoln Clarkes found beauty in Vancouver's female drug addicts. He didn't know he was also documenting murder.

Success Translates
by Lewis Beale, Los Angeles Times
Foreign crime writers such as Scotsman Alexander McCall Smith and Russia's Boris Akunin are riding a mini-wave of great reviews and booming sales in America.

Ali's In Wonderland
by Harriet Lane, The Observer
When she was voted one of the UK's best young novelists, Monica Ali's first book was only a manuscript. Now she's being hailed as a new Zadie Smith.


The Folklore Of Our Times
by Haruki Murakami, New Yorker

Sunday, June 1, 2003


Dr. No And The Yes Men
by Matt Bai, New York Times
Howard Dean has cast himself as the one true Democrat in opposition to Bush. And he doesn't care if he takes those mushy, moderate mollifiers right down with him.

A Theory Of Everything
by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
After 9/11 people wondered, "Why do they hate us?" speaking of the Muslim world. After the Iraq war debate, the question has grown into, "Why does everybody else hate us?"

The Slave History You Don't Know
by Scott McLemee, The Chronicle Of Higher Education
A scholar's startling study of hte Southwest wins unprecedented acclaim.

Tech & Science

Mob Software: The Erotic Life Of Code
by Richard P. Gabriel and Ron Goldman
I've got good news: That way of hacking you like is going to come back in style.


A Safe Place: Finding An Alternative Universe In Books
by Leonard Chang, San Francisco Chronicle
And then you find your voice.

A Few Words On Sex
by Dean Kulpers, Los Angeles Times
Pop culture's saturated, but fiction writers have yet to find a language to describe its complexity.

The Game Of Life
by David Von Drehle, Washington Post
Can an inept golfer improve his score by improving his soul?

They Shall Not Pass
by Tony Saint, The Observer
At Heathrow, they know how to spot an asylum-seeker — he'll be in dodgy shoes and flying in on a Sunday.

The Never-Ending Story
by Abigail Young as told to Harriet Brown, New York Times
Everyone told Brian he's a miracle boy, and he's proud of that. But on some level he's got to know that he went through something nightmarish. That it wasn't just a miracle. It was terrible.

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