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The other things in life

Sunday, August 29, 2004


How Long Can The Country Stay Scared?

A terrorist alert that instills a vague feeling of dread or panic, without giving people anything to do in response, is ineffective. Even worse, it echoes the very tactics of the terrorists.


Nature, Putting The 'Augh!' In August

Getting bitten: It's worse than a paper cut, slightly better than death. Thinking you're about to get bitten: That's a little worse still. Ever been in a fourth-grade classroom when a bee flies through an open window? The screams are loud enough that teachers from other classrooms come running to see who's dead, and who can still be saved.

The Season Of My Life

The experience of summer, more than of any other season, is interlaced with memory, so that as we live through it, we're also recalling and living in the summers of our past.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Tech & Science

Why Are Killer Bees So Slow?

Aren't they supposed to be here already?

Thursday, August 26, 2004


Stolen Art Can Reappear In Unexpected Ways

If they are recovered at all, stolen art masterpieces like "The Scream" and "Madonna," the two Edward Munch paintings torn from the walls of an Oslo museum on Sunday, can come to light at unexpected times and in unexpected places.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


The State Of The George W. Bush Joke

Back then, the president was teased about poor syntax and low I.Q. Now many Bush jokes portray the president as an irresponsible, duplicitous menace. In part, this change is due to an increasingly unpopular war and an unsteady economy. It also may be that all comedy has become harsher in recent years. But partly it is because, since Mr. Bush took office, the left has belatedly rediscovered humor as a political tool.


Fear Itself

Learning to live in the age of terrorism.

Remembrance Of Terror Past

After 34 years, I was standing once again at the house in Amman where, as a 17-year-old, I was held hostage by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Technology Vs Torture

Psychopharmaceuticals and brain imaging could make prisoner interrogation more humane. Should we use them?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Bag It

Is it wise to trust the T.S.A. to make air travel safe when it has a hard time protecting Americans from its own agents?

Tech & Science

We Own What You Think

For seven years, programmer Evan Brown has been fighting his former employer for ownership of an idea he came up with.


What Julia Really Taught Us

For those who had the privilege of knowing Julia Child, her life was a grand lesson in how to live.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tech & Science

Save The Whales! Then What?

Some whale populations are on the rebound. Can they be both protected and eaten?


And The Band Played Scared

Outdoor summer concerts fueled my ambition as a teenager. When I first played them myself, I had a very different feeling: fear.

How To Read Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

Six recipes Julia Child would want you to make.



The Ractious South

Monday, August 16, 2004


No Pain, No Gain

Can shoe designers take the hurt out of height?

Sunday, August 15, 2004


Blog Interrupted

When Jessica Cutler put her dirty secrets on the web, she lost her job, signed a book deal, posed for Playboy — and raised a ton of questions about where America is headed.

Saturday, August 14, 2004


No-Rush California

Rail fans savor Amtrak's leisurely route along the Pacific.

Transparency Begets Trust In The Ever-Expanding Blogosphere

The openness of weblogs could help explain why many readers find them more credile than traditional media. Can mainstream journalists learn from their cutting-edge cousins?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Tech & Science

New York Unplugged, 1889

The nation's first blackout struck Manhattan on Oct 14, 1889, when New Yorkers stepped out into a bleak, rainy dusk to find what was called "A Night of Darkness — More than One Thousand Electric Lights Extinguished."

All Thumbs, Without The Stigma

Since the beginning, humans have made big use of their thumbs — for grasping sticks, hitching rides, rating movies and so on. Now, for millions of people, the thumb has evolved into a preferred mode of 21st-century communication.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Gardens In The Air Where The Rail Once Ran

A team of New York-based architects has been selected to design a master plan that would transform an abanonded section of elevated freight track into a public park that would weave its way north from the meatpacking district to Hell's Kicthen, two stories above the city.

Racist Like Me

Why am I the only honest bigot?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004



Jane and I spent 10 years discussing whether to have a child. Like many straight couples, we finally decided to leave it to the fates. But in our case the fates held a speculum, a catheter and a vial of sperm.

A Vacation With Ghosts

My first six summers were American suburban, filled with the familiar thrills of Slip 'N Slides and sprinkles, the smell of gasoline lawnmowers and the tickle of grass blades sticking to my skin. Then, the summer I was 7, my mother took me to Japan to visit my grandmother.

Style: A Pleasure For The Reader, Or The Writer?

How odd it is that style in writing is so overlooked in popular, contemporary books that purport to be about style in writing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Vanishing Act

Monday, August 9, 2004


Flag Relay

For Olympians in training, flexibility is everything. Especially when it comes to citizenship.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Tech & Science

What Dreams Are Made Of

New technology is helping brain scientists unravel the mysteries of the night. Their work could show us all how to make the most of our time in bed.


Buyer's Remorse

There are two things at which Americans have always excelled: One is generating almost unimaginable material wealth, and the other is feeling bad about it.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Tech & Science

The Temple Of Doom

Why do gamers worship John Carmack?


Don't Look For A Sign

Some New York City bars, restaurants and clubs have recently adopted the contradictory tactic of attracting business by eschewing a sign.

How Not To Buy Happiness

Considerable evidence suggests that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods — such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job — then the evidence paints a very different picture.

Friday, August 6, 2004


Dixie Chicks

A new kind of Democrat is emerging in the South — and she's no shrinking violet.

Tech & Science

Tech '54, Where Are You?

How much has technology really changes our daily lives? We asked a highly wired writer to spend 10 days in the big city living with the technology of 50 years ago. No Web, no cell, no laptop, no ATM card.


To: Co-Workers Subject: Postcard From The Edge

So you've tweaked your automatic e-mail response to let me know that you are not just out of the office, but out of the office on vacation. Until Sept. 7. Thanks for the extra information. We're all just so dee-lighted to know that you're on vacation.


Florence Of Arabia

Thursday, August 5, 2004


California's SUV Ban

The Golden State has outlawed big SUVs on many of its roads but doesn't seem to know it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004


The Statue Of Security

There's no way to ignore the loss of what was the main attraction: tourists can no longer knock themselves out by climbing those storied 354 steps.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Tech & Science

Songs Of The Galaxies, And What They Mean

Another black hole is singing, although it seems a little tone-deaf.



Monday, August 2, 2004


On The Sidewalk, High Art Gets Down

A good sidewalk chalk drawing is like a good creme brulee. It takes hours of work to get the color, texture and balance perfect. And when that's finally done, you have a few minutes, maybe, to step back and admire the result before it's gone: absorbed, digested, a fragment of memory.

New Year's Resolutions, Seven Months Later

January 2nd brought a new, less arrogant resolution: "I will smoke only cigarettes I did not pay for." Unfortunately, I hadn't anticipated how easy it would be to steal them at the 7-Eleven.



I never could stomach Adams and then one day he's standing in my kitchen, in his underwear. Facing the direction of my mids' room! So I wonk him in the back of the head and down he goes. When he stands up, I wonk him again and down he goes. Then I roll him down the stairs into the early-spring muck and am like, If you ver again, I swear to God, I don't even know what to say, you miserable fuck.

Sunday, August 1, 2004


Poll Position

Whether you think the 2000 election was stolen or won fair and square, a close look at the way our opinions fluctuated four years ago says a lot about polls, and more than a little about what's ahead.

The Case Against George W. Bush

We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government.


The Risk Of Reading

Reading is indeed nearly boundless in its promise. It can effect changes for the greatest good. But it is worth bearing in mind that reading's promise is tied up with some danger, too.

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