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The other things in life

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tech & Science

Blue Screen Of Death

Why your computer still crashes.


Entr'acte: For Arstists And Critics, Pride And Prejudice

In reality, while critics are meant to be informing the public at large, their most avid readers are usually those they are writing about.

How Frugal Is Gourmet?

A practical new cookbook from the famously extravagant magazine.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tech & Science

Quake Hits California 11 Years Late

More than 11 years after scientists predicted it would occur, a strong earthquake rocked the Central California town of Parkfield on Tuesday morning.


Macdougal Street Old-Law Flat

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Tech & Science

Solving A Riddle Written In Silver

Modern imaging techniques have revealed some new information about the earliest biblical passage ever found in ancient artifacts.


NBC Blows A Golden Opportunity

Everything that's wrong with television these days, and with NBC in particular, is reflected in tonight's stunning disregard for TV history, tradition and quality.

The Sky Is Always Falling

As the world awaits the passing — or crashing — of planetold Toutails, thoughts on the doomsday tradition and our own end-times culture.


The Dressmaker's Child

Monday, September 27, 2004

Tech & Science

Free To Clone

Does the First Amendment protect scientific research? If so, the debate over cloning will have to begin all over again.


The Director's Director

Wong Kar-wai makes emotionally exquisite, formally adventurous films that other filmmakers can't help cribbing from — even if his method borders on madness.

Fear And Laptops On The Campaign Trail

The bloggers covering the presidential race are maverick, funny, mostly partisan and always hypercaffeinated. Are they ruining political journalism or recharging it?

Friday, September 24, 2004


The God Gap

How religion divides the Democrats.

Breaking The News, Then Becoming It

A veteran newsman is in the twilight of a long and distinguished career. He just wanted to taste that sweet medicine one more time.

Goodbye, Pension. Goodbye, Helath Insurance. Goodbye, Vacations.

Welfare capitalism is dying. We're going to miss it.


The Politics Of Funny, Or Vice Versa

Work-a-day comedians in shows all across New York City are making hay with political jibes.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tech & Science

They Are Sleuths Who Weigh Prose

The firestorm over the memos that figured in the CBS News report on President Bush's National Guard record featured a parade of expert document examiners who weighed in on font types, proportional spacing and superscripts. That kind of scrutiny is common enough that those who perform it have an occupational name: questioned-document examiners.

The Womb As Photo Studio

It's a rite of passage for many expectant parents: baby's first ultrasound. The fuzzy images of the fetus, produced during an examination in an obstetrician's office, are prized by couples, passed around proudly among friends and relatives. Now, trying to capitalize on this phenomenon, a number of companies are selling elective ultrasounds that have little to do with neonatal health.

From Storage, A New Fashion

The USB flash drive — the portable memory device also known as a thumb or keychain drive — has become both essential utility and fashion object.


Food Fright

Today's pregnant women are afraid to eat sushi, tuna, peanut butter, aioli, coffee, bologna, and more. Was it always this way?

The Endangered Status Of The R.S.V.P.

They don't write. They don't call. What's a partygiver supposed to do?

Cool Hand Lau

Will American moviegoers fall for the slyly seductive Hong Kong star of "Infernal Affairs"?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Free Press: Truth's What You Choose To Believe

Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, the late Senator Patrick Daniel Moynihan used to say. But what you are not entitled to are your own facts. That distinction is being rapidly forgotten in the new American media dispensation.


As All-American As Egg Foo Yong

A new exhibition at the Museum of chinese in the Americas in Chinatown offers the ultimate road map to the Chinese restaurant's extraordinary trek across the American landscape.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Old Media And New Media

Like it or not, they're partners.


Tosca With Man In Bedrock

Hanwell In Hell

I am looking to enter into correspondence with anyone who remembers my father, Mr. — Hanwell, who was living in the central Bristol area between 1970 and 1973. Any details at all will be gratefully received by daughter trying to piece together the jigsaw. Please write back to P.O. Box 187.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Tech & Science

What To Eat On The Way To Mars

Think it's tough figuring out what to whip up for dinner? Try figuring out what to eat during a two-and-a-half-year trip to Mars and back. Food scientists have some solutions on the plate.


You Say Prosciutoo, I Say Pro-SHOOT, And Purists Chringe

The Italian spoken by many New Yorkers or New Jerseyans make Italian teachers, the purists who love the language just as Dante wrote it, wince.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


When To Hold 'Em

The U.S. should detain suspected terrorists — even if it can't make a case against them in court.


Not-So-Light Reading

Giant-size books are a feast for the eyes — but tough on the back.

Party Line

A decade after capitalism began, descending into Moscow's Metro is like entering a subterranean time warp, a shadowy network of stations and tunnels that crisscross the city like a communist catacombs.

$28.95 For That?

Crab ravioli? Sablefish? Spaghettini? This ain't your grandfather's Boston when it comes to dining out. Boston is officially a foodie's paradise, for better and for worse, because as our hungry writer discovers on his culinary tour of the city, the plates have gotten bigger while the portions have gotten smaller, all great meals for two suddenly cost at least $100, and understanding menus requires multilingual reading skills. Just who are these chefs trying to impress?

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Cultivating The Cape's Famous Oysters

The more you talk to oyster connoisseurs, the more you hear the language of wine experts.

Obsoletely Fabulous

Its fashion equal may be the polyester leisure suit, but the 8-track stays in play with collectors who love its quirks.

Friday, September 17, 2004


Mall's Finite Space Holds Infinite Dreams

Is there any space left on the Mall? The officials in charge of Washington's main savanna have hoisted a "No Vacancy" sign. Advocates of pending big museums beg to differ.


The Sixth Borough

Once upon a time, New York City had a Sixth Borough. You won't read about it in any of hte history books, because there's nothing — save for the circumstantial evidence in Central Park — to prove that it was there at all. Which makes its existence very easy to dismiss.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Tech & Science

They're Robots? Those Beasts!

Researchers developing robotic lobsters, flies, dogs cockroaches believe that machinese inspired by bilology will be able to operate in places where today's robots cannot go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


He'll Always Have Paris

A recent trip to Frane leaves a restaurant lover longing for more affordable times.

I'm Cooking As Fast As I Can

I have a new, nonnegotiable demand. I want solid, one-star dining in my home. That means a respectable two- or three-course meal, with dessert every night. And I don't want to spend a lot of time preparing it. As it happens, there is an entire industry catering to home cooks like me.

At The Gift Shop: Souvenirs Of Buchenwald

In a move that aims to confront the challenge of passing the solemn lessons of the Holocaust on to future generations, the Buchenwald Memorial began working with design students at Bauhaus University in Weimar last spring to create what until now had been taboo: concentration camp souvenirs.



Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Tech & Science

'Excuse Me. May I Have Your Seat?'

Thirty years ago, first-year graduate students boarded a crowded train and ask someone for a seat. What happens when you repeat the experiment?


Picasso's Buried Treasure

Using X-rays and Silicon Valley technology, conservators have discovered a previously unknown painting behind the artist's "Rue de Montmartre."


No Name For Hush-Hush Magazine

What would you call a magazine with no newsstand sales, just five articles, four ads, and an unknown, very small, number of subscribers?

Monday, September 13, 2004


The End Of 'Network News'

What happened this summer, and particularly last week, is likely to be recalled as the end of the era of network news. At the very least, mark this as the moment when the networks abdicated their authority with the American public.


Three Cheers For Reality TV

Pundits can tut-tut all they want, but reality shows rule television for a simple reason: The best of them are far more compelling than the worn-out sitcoms and crime dramas the networks keep churning out.


Spider Boy

"There are places in the world where people vanish." His father had said this. His father had spoken flatly, without an air of mystery or threat.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Sure, It's Real! Real Fake.

In the edifice of art, copies forge a niche.


When authors want to uncover secrets from the lives of John Adams and other notables, they make a trip to this Boston treasure trove.

The Lessons Of Classroom 506

What happens when a boy with cerebral palsy goes to kindergarten like all the other kids.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


From Cold War To Code Red, The Aura Of Fear

Back then, there were blacklists. Now, we've got no-fly lists. Then, we had the Doomsday Clock. Now, we've got the looming Code Red terror alert.

How To Remember, How To Forget

There is no war against terrorism. There can be no such thing against an enemy that remains dormant most of the time and is almost never visible. It's simply another of life's inevitable troubles, and all we can do as we continue to combat it is repeat Cervantes's famous phrase, "Paciencia y barajar": "Have patience, and keep shuffling the cards."


Growing Up Grieving, With Constant Reminders Of 9/11

All of the children of Sept. 11 are bound by at least one thing: the burden of mourning a private loss that is, at least for this country, historic in stature.

Will Power

Why Shakespeare remains the necessary poet.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Tech & Science

Baked Alaska

In the Arctic, where flowers are madly blooming, trees are growing to mutant sizes and the snowpack is thinning, researchers are getting an incontrovertible view of global warming.


The New Trend In Spending

Listen to the jobs debate carefully, and you might get the idea that the problem with the economy is that Americans just are not materialistic enough.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Tech & Science

The Evolution Will Be Mechanized

Inside the unfathomable superhuman future after the "singularity."

Wednesday, September 8, 2004


The Homework That The Student Ate

As the members of Generation X deliver their firstborn children into the school system, some resourceful parents have conspired to keep the bag lunch on the school grounds.


Enormously Sad

Tuesday, September 7, 2004


Homes Of The Stars

A high-profile suburb for the Hamptons.

A City Grasps At The Last Traces Of Summer

The summer, escaping with every passing minute, would not be released without a fight.



Lasat night the two of us had a conversation. I doublt you will remember it.

Monday, September 6, 2004


Even In An Age Of Terrorism, Towers Are Sheathed In Glass

Defying concerns after the attack on New York three years ago that post-9/11 construction would be dominated by brute concrete bunkers, the designers of significant new public and private buildings in the city are turning again and again to glass facades.

Sunday, September 5, 2004


A World-Stopping Moment Lost In The News Buzz

It's a photograpic conceit that people in pain speak to us. It's a conceit of television that the world flows in and through some process that mirrors the average viewer's conscience.


The New New York Skyline

For the last three years, our collective focus has been on ground zero. Meanwhile, some of the world's most prominent architects have been quietly pressing ahead with plans that will remake the city's skyline on a level not seen since the World Trade Center was built in the 1970's.

Check It Out!

Libraries are looking for readers, the younger the better.

Safe And Sound

Rituals are magical. Riding a bike through Central Park every summer morning while listening to Maria Callas on my iPod, then coming back two hours later along the sunswept trees of Riverside Drive and finding Callas exactly where I'd left her. Listening to Brahms's intermezzos at Satrbucks every afternoon while indulging my new addiction, iced grande skimmed lattes. Such rituals give greater luster to random things I already love.

'Airline' Reality TV At BWI

On your average day, not a lot of Southwest Airlines' passengers are particularly unruly, unkempt, drunk or romantic — in other words, hardly worthy of a reality TV show. But consider the material.

Hearts And Minds

Will a group of Arlington teenagers renounce the siren call of pizza, PlayStation 2 and the Internet after witnessing bypass surgery and learning the risks of coronary disease?

Saturday, September 4, 2004

Tech & Science

How Does Bypass Surgery Work?

What they'll do to Clinton's heart.


A Confession

Friday, September 3, 2004


The M Line And The Hemline: Miniskirt Protocols

When hemlines that fall just centimeters below one's bottom became all the rage this summer, young women who dared found a way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Tech & Science

Miracle On Probability Streeet

The Law of Large Numbers guarantees that one-in-a-million miracles happen 295 times a day in America.


Art's Appreciation


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