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The other things in life

Monday, February 28, 2005


Now Everyone Lies In The Townships

In South Africa, say the residents of Dainfern, it's no longer about colour — just money. Their money buys them a space in an idyllic carefree community protected by guards and a four-metre high electric fence. Their servants — all black — live in the slum next door.

SoftPower, Hard Choices

China is emerging as a major economic power, but will that translate into a military threat? Taiwan will be the test.


Martha Breaks Out

After five months in prison, Martha's primed and ready for her next act: two TV shows and a marketing blitz stage-managed by a new A-list team. Inside the Martha Makeover Machine.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Like Father, Like Son

Can restoring Georgetown to the glory days of John Thompson Jr. be as easy as one, two, III?

And The Loser Is...

Maybe it was the worst Oscars show ever produced. But it changed the way the Oscars have been produced ever since.

The Way We Eat: Tex Macs

McDonald's is creating its own worst enemy: a healthy burrito.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


See No Gannon, Hear No Gannon, Sepak No Gannon

Why has the mainstream media ignored the White House media access scandal?

Tech & Science

Kilogram Poses Weighty Problem

If several scientists get their way, a 2.2-pound hunk of metal — the international prototype of the kilogram — may soon be out of style.

Behind Its Seawalls, Japanese Isle Debates Their Value

Seen from a 19-seat airplane in its descent toward Okushiri, the walls seem to have been intended to turn the island into a fortress.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Southern France Makes Pizza Its Own

Pizzas from Provence highlight not only the local cheeses, but local sauces and custom-made ovens.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Starving Amtrak To Save It

The only way to improve our passenger rail is to put it on the same footing as other types of transportation — a federal-state partnership to plan, build and maintain the physical aspects of the system while allowing Amtrak and other train operators to do what they do best: operate trains.

Tech & Science

Mysteries Of The Mind

Your unconscious is making your everyday decisions.


The Resurrection Of Indie Radio

FM never sounded so freaking good. How the coming digital boom — and Big Radio's bottom line — is driving the new golden age of multichannel, microniche broadcasting.


The Situation Is Dangerous


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tech & Science

Tiny Is Beautiful: Translating 'Nano' Into Practical

In the hip science of ultrasmall nanotechnology, fantastical future possibilities like rampaging nanorobots captured the most atention, but the first fruits of the field have been more mudane: tiny bits of mostly ordinary stuff that just sit there. Yet these bits — nanoparticles — gain wondrous new capabilities simply because they are so small.


The Thompson Style: A Sense Of Self, And Outrage

Of all of the so-called parctitioners of New Journalism, Mr. Thompson was the one who was willing to insert himself and his capacious reserve of outrage into the middle of every story.

Why Stevie Can't Spell

After more than three decades of mangling words, a mortified writer sets out to get some answers.

From Here To Eternity

If we never grow old, tilld eath do us part could take a very long time.

Gonzo Gone

Sonny Barger, Rosalynn Carter, Ben Fong-Torres and others remember the wild life and times of Hunter S. Thompson.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Tech & Science

Time Bandits

What were Einstein and Godel talking about?

When Does Autism Start?

Scientists are now looking for the earliest signs of the mysterious disorder as desperate parents hunt for treatments that may improve their children's lives.


The Conductor

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Tech & Science

Unintelligent Design

Of course, proponents of intelligent design are careful not to use the G-word, because, as they claim, theirs is not a religiously based theory. So biology students can be forgiven for wondering whether the mysterious designer they're told about might not be the biblical God after all, but rather some very advanced yet mischievous or blundering intelligence — extraterrestrial scientists, say. The important thing, as the Pennsylvania school administrator reminded them, is "to keep an open mind."


Disney's Next Hero: A Lion King Of Kings

The pros at Disney are wrestling with a special challenge: how to sell a screen hero who was conceived as a forthright symbol of Jesus Christ, a redeemer who is tortured and killed in place of a young human sinner and who returns in a glorious resurrection that transforms the snowy landscape of Narnia into a verdant paradise.

Uncaptive Minds

What teaching a college-level class at a maximum-security correctional facility did for the inmates — and for me.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Revenge Of The Right Brain

Logical and precise, left-brain thinking gave us the Information Age. Now comes the Conceptual Age — ruled by artistry, empathy, and emotion.


The Norton Anthology Of Lost D.C. Poetry

Friday, February 18, 2005


Chinese Sweatshops, Manhattan-Style

Why your clothes are made in China.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Activists Put Their Minds In The Toilet

Women and men urinating in the same room? Preposterous!

The Chefs' Club About Nothing

Washington's unlikely, laid-back, late-night culinary crew.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Tech & Science

Freudian Quips

Mathematicians' jokes betray a deep-seated anxiety about the size of their proofs.


The Point Of Miss Gould's Pencil

I never met Miss Gould. But deep in a box at home are the proofs of articles I once wrote for The New Yorker, and in the margins is the handwriting of Eeanor Gould Packard — the magazine's venerable arbiter of style, who died on Sunday at 87. I thought I knew a lot about the English language at the time. But it was clear from Miss Gould's annotations — her very direct strictures — that a few details of syntax, usage and logic still needed to be fixed.

The Real Lincoln

Who was the man behind the myth? New research delves into Abe's early years.

A Whizz With WOrds

For too many of us, reading has become a rushed affair.


I, Robot

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


The Collar Of Money In New York Dog

At first, I figured New York Dog was an over-the-top parody of dog magazines, perhaps published by the folks who put out the Onion.

Gospel's Got The Blues

It would be more than a cultural disaster to forever lose this music. It would be a sin.

The Comeback Of A Cutlure Of Rivalry

We are becoming addicted to the concept of winners and losers.

A Reality Waiting To Happen

The ultimate stunt: avoiding a genre-killing accident.

Arthur Miller: Death Of A Legend

Mr. Miller's career had its share of misfires, but on the strength of his best plays, he seems as destined for immortality as his most famous character was for obscurity.

Brute Force For Brain Teasers

Puzzle contests are becoming less a solitary pursuit and more a group-think challenge. Is it fair? That depends.

Olmsted Vs. Christo

Why the architects of Central Park woul dhave vetoed "The Gates."



Sunday, February 13, 2005


Love Lit 101

For Valentine's Day, I decided to get some lucky guy the books from A to Z that would help him better understand me.

I Do. (Now What?)

It's supposed to be bliss. A honeymoon. No kids. No pressure. Lots of sex. So why is the first year of marriage so hard? One yound couple let us inside theirs for an intimate and revealing look.

The New Arranged Marriage

There are a lot of people out there who are willing to pay a lot of money to find their partners. But if you sign on with a modern-day matchmaker, you'll have to toss away your idealized notions of soul mates and embrace the romance of no romance.

Sighed And Sealed

Unlocking the secrets of the love letter.

You Can Tell Everybody This Is Your Song

Tired of buying the woman in your life the same old chocolate, perfume, and lingerie? Tom Mahan was. So when Christmas came around in 2003, he decided to do something different for his wife of 20 years.


My Career In Bumper Stickers

One day it struck me that I could write my own messages, and pretend they were real.

Once More, With Feeling

It's a scary thought that when I'm gone, my family's traditions will disappear with me.

Making The Extra Pass

American basketball has lost its way. A game born of teamwork became a celebration of individual prowess. Now a growing number of NBA franchises are trying to turn back the clock.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Tech & Science

Tech Does It Better

For women working in the sex industry, whether prostitution or prnography, technology just might be replacing men — the middlemen, that is.


A Little Anthology Of Love Poems

What to read your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

A Fairy Tale For Grownups

And so, a happy ending for two crazy fifty-somethings — with castles, servants and a mother-in-law who really does have the last word. No fairy tale, but a messy, real-life love story.

What Is A Princess Consort?

No one knows. Camilla will be the first.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Fake News, Fake Reporter

Why was a partisan hack, using an alias and with no journalism background, given repeated access to daily White House press briefings?

Thursday, February 10, 2005


The Well-Tempered Wok

Wok hay is what happens when excellent ingredients — like ginger, noodles shrimp, walnuts or Chinese chives — meet a wok crackling with heat. It is both a taste and aroma and something else, too, a lively freshness that prickles yournose and makes you impatient for that first tste, like the smell of steak just off the grill or a tomato right off the vine in August.

Photos That Look Good Enough To Eat

A camera is just a visual notebook to me, but I see more and more amateur eaters and serioius cooks also using it to preserve their food memories in a digital age.


The Vise

Wednesday, February 9, 2005


Twilight Of The Jedi

The May 19 premiere of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which is less than 100 days away, will be for many a bittersweet event.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005


Freedom's Not Just Another Word

We English-speakers are possibly unique in having both "liberty" and "freedom" in our ordinary speech. The two words have blurred together in modern usage, but the old tension between them persists like a coiled spring in our culture.

Stories From The Inside

The Bush administration has turned Guantanamo into a place that is devoid of due process and the rule of law. It's a place where human beings can be imprisoned for life without being charged or tied, without ever seeing a lawyer, and without having their cases reviewed by a court. Congress and the courts should be uprooting this evil practice, but freedom and justice in the United States are on a post-9/11 downhill slide.

Tech & Science

The Power of Make-Believe

Parents may worry about a child's imaginary friends, but a nwe study finds much to love about them.


How Bill Gates Cured My PMS

My Irrational Bitch side was wreaking havoc with my life — until I told my computer to remind me that it was that time of month.

Your Table Is Ready

I had been trying to get a reservation at Masa since 1987, seventeen years before it opened, as I knew that one of the prerequisites of dining there was a knowledge of the future.


Up North

Sunday, February 6, 2005


Crying And Digging

For centuries in America, we tended to our dead. This changed, incrementally, during the Civil War, when others were paid to undertake the job of transporting the bodies of soldiers killed far from home; this is when formaldehyde as an embalming agent was first used. But it was only 100 years ago that we began routinely to hand over our dead to the undertakers. Soon the gravely ill as well were deemed too taxing, and moved to hospitals to die. Within decades, what had for millennia been familial responsibilities were appropriated by professionals.

Textbook Message

With a sendup of social-studies textbooks that is not merely for students, Stewart and the "Daily Show" satirists have a lesson for champions of "civic renewal": thanks to all the partisan pugilism, kids are being served sanitized pablum in school — and that's hardly a recipe for energizing our citizenry.

Saturday, February 5, 2005


All Tomorrow's Partisans

The culture war after the 2004 election.

Tech & Science

Letter From Sri Lanka

On the tsunami's aftermath, and the roles of science fiction and technology in predicting future disasters.


Fly The Frugal Skies

How low-cost airlines have transformed Europe — and what it means for America.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Tech & Science

Scientists Find Missing Matter

A new study has revealed the existence of baryons in at least two giant, intergalactic clouds of super-hot gas 150 million and 380 million light-years from our planet.


The Wired Generations

Frothy coffees and sweet energy drinks make caffeine a drug for all ages.

Lemons, Yes, But Please! Don't Squeeze

For over a century lemons came in only one model in the United States. But lately, some flashy new styles have arrived.

The Waiter You Stiffed Has Not Forgotten

What evil lurks in the hearts of waiters? Now you can find out. But can you stomach the results?

Seeing Is No Longer Believing

Manipulating digital images has never been easier or faster. But there's a fine line between 'improving' a photo and altering it.

Bohemian New York

Reading New York.

Thursday, February 3, 2005


Raphael's Other Woman

WHo is the mystery lady in La Fornarina?

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Tech & Science

Evolution Takes A Back Seat In U.S. Classes

In districts around the country, even when evolution is in the curriculum it may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow the issue.


Carson's Long Late-Night Shadow

It would be nice if the late Johnny Carson could be remembered a little less reverently; then perhaps some other talk-show host could shake up a format that has not been altered or improved upon since Mr. Carson retired.

Promied Seat On Air Shuttle Is Perk Of Past

Generations of East Coast travelers have been comforted by a reliable guarantee that dnagled at the other end of a harried cab ride: there would always be enough seats on the hourly shuttles connecting New York to Boston and Washington, even if another plane had to be rolled out to accommodate them. Starting yesterday, the era has ended.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Tech & Science

After Tomorrow

Ignoring global warming doesn't change the science; it just leaves us unprepared for the consequences.


Blue Oyster Cult, Playing Along With 'More Cowbell'

"Guess what? I got a FE-ver, and the only prescription... is more cowbell!"

Doubting Darwin

How did life, in its infinite complexity, come to be? A controversial new theory called 'intelligent design' asserts a supernatural agent was at work.


Suspension Bridge

The Roads Of Home

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