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The other things in life

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Ding Dong, The Craze Is Dead

At the height of the fad, 9.1 percent of Americans were on a low-carb diet. Today the number is 4.4. If you're one of the millions embracing good things again, have we got some recipes for you.

The Greatest Stories Ever Told

JK Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson top the bestseller lists. Businessmen and teenagers alike devour Harry Potter and His Dark Materials. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much talent out there that this is a truly extraordinary era in children's literature.

Trying To Get Buses To Crawl A Little Faster

After watching New York City bus speeds struggle to the point where some Manhattan buses crawl at 4 miles per hour — only slightly faster than the average human walks — transportation planners now think that if they can make buses move even 10 percent faster, they can revolutionize travel in the five boroughs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


When Marriage Kills

President Bush's abstinence program in Africa is misplaced, since it is marriage, more than promiscuity, that kills young women there.

Evolving Standards Of Decency

"Evolving standards of decency" saved Christopher Simmons's life; they weren't enough to save Terri Schiavo.

Tech & Science

Life On Mars? Could Be, But How Will They Tell?

If life exists, how to find it?

When Science Switches Shores

Life science offshoring is increasing; what it means for jobs is still unclear.


Online, Anything And Everything Can Be A Museum Piece

The age of MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art, is over. The age of MoOM, the Museum of Online Museums, is upon us.

Tales Of The Underworld

London's 19th-century sewer system is a testament to Victorian genius. But now global warming, dodgy plumbing and fast food threaten to overwhelm the capital's bowels.

For Long-Term Guests, Hotels Are A Second Home

As extended-stay hotels continue to proliferate across the country, some business travelers are spending so much time in them that they practically form families away from home with fellow guests.


The Strike

Our Reds

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


A Ghost Story Turns Very Scary For Malawi Journalists

Two reporters face possible criminal charges after using quotes that implied Malawi's president feared ghosts.


Farewell To Newspapers

Will increased news options on the web lead to the death of newspapers?


Now, Can You Find Its Square Root?

An eye surgeon in Germany has discovered the world's largest known prime number — or at least his computer did.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Phuket Traders Sell Tsunami Souvenirs

Three months after the tsunami, entrepreneurs in the Thai resort of Patong, on the island of Phuket, have found a new source of income: selling graphic photographs of the after-effects of the storm including explicit shots of dead bodies.

Tech & Science

Secrets Of The Shy

Why so bashful? Science finds something complex — and cunning — behind the curtain.



Medicine's money problem.



Sunday, March 27, 2005


America At 70 mph

A rented Chrysler. A ton of maps. An irrational plan to visit the 48 contiguous United States in 16 days of driving. Better buckle up.

The Future Of The 30-Second Spot

The television commercial — a blunt instrument that often reaches as many disinterested people as desired ones — is beginning to behave like a smarter version of direct mail. Ads can be customized, not just by neighborhood, but ultimately by household and perhaps by viewing habits.

TiVo's Ripple Effect: Water-Cooler Chill

As more Americans buy into DVR technology, they turn a deaf ear to morning-after gabfests — and that can be an issue.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


MyAppleMenu Is On Hiatus

This website is taking a break, and there will be no updates until Monday, 28 March 2004.

What am I doing? I'll be back in the army for my reservist duty — 4 days, 3 nights. After that, I'll just relax and think about the future of this website. (If you have any suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me.)


Hong Kong's Seedy Neighbour Hits The Jackpot At Last

With mobsters jailed and foreign investors pouring money into its gaming industry, Macau is enjoying a spectacular boom.

In Life On The Mekong, China's Dams Dominate

China's ravenous appetite for hydroelectric power at home and its thrust southward into Southeast Asia in search of trade is changing the very character of the Mekong. This is true not only in China itself, but also for the five nations and 60 million rural people downstream for whom the great river serves as their life's blood.


Sexy Yawns

Don't drop off at the back there — yawning is really interesting.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Tech & Science

13 Things That Do Not Make Sense

There are many scientific observations that simply defy explanation.


Muslim Group Is Urging Women To Lead Prayers

As they do every Friday, Muslims will answer the call to prayer at mosques around the city today. But in a bold move, some plan to break with convention and attend a service led by a woman at a conference hall on the Upper West Side — an act that has stirred a modest but fierce debate about the role of women in Islam.

Rough Trade

When it comes to the eviction business, the company loves misery.

McDonald's Commands A Real Estate Empire In Russia

Today, buying land in central Moscow is nearly impossible, and McDonald's prevailed by getting in early and working closely with the city.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Tech & Science

Human X Chromosome Coded

Sequence confirms how sex evolved and explains some male-female differences.

Charity Begins At Homo Sapiens

There appears to be something deep within us that drives us to help others — even strangers.


Shake Wine, And Look What's Stirred Up

If you want to start a fight, mention the documentary "Mondovino" to people in the wine business and step back.

What $3 Billion, More Or Less, Buys: A Hotel Fit For Kings

At roughly $3 billion, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, which just opened to the public, is said to be the most expensive hotel ever built. A billion won't buy what it used to, of course, but three seems to do just fine.

One Show's Unexpected Lessons In Reality

The two women featured in tonight's episode say that perhaps their most valuable lesson concerned the creative liberties involved in assembling a show that is in the vanguard of the latest wave of so-called reality television.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Is The Empire Striking Back?

The United States is right to be concerned with the growing military might of China, and America should honor its commitment to peace and democracy in the region. The United States is also right to encourage Japan to take a more assertive role in world affairs, as it has in Iraq. But there are parts of the world where Japan's history is too much of a burden, where it may not be in America's national interest to align itself with Japan too closely. East Asia is such an area.


The Feminine Technique

Men attack problems. Maybe women understand that there's a better way.

No Need To Stew: A Few Tips To COpe With Life's Annoyances

Life can involve big hardships, like being fired or smashing up your car. There is only so much you can do about them. But far more prevalent — and perhaps in the long run just as insidious — are life's many little annoyances. These, you can do something about.

For Airline Frills, Check Out The No-Frills Carriers

If Delta is cutting services to the bone, you might think its low-cost subsidiary airline, Song, would be charging even faster down the no-frills path. But Song evidently has other ideas.


Don't Read Da Vinci Code, Says Cardinal

If you are not among the millions who have already read The Da Vinci Code, an Italian cardinal has a plean for you: don't read it and don't buy it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


The $600 Billion Man

The argument over Social Security privatization isn't about rival views on how to secure the program's future — even the administration admits that private accounts would do nothing to help the system's finances. It's a debate about what kind of society America should be.

How Electronics Are Penetrating North Korea's Isolation

New ways of thinking are stealing into North Korea, perhaps corroding the steely controls on ideology and information that have kept the Kim family in power.


Warm Canto

I don't know how to behave
in the face of ultimate things.

Monday, March 14, 2005


The Unbranding

Can the Democrats make themselves look tough?


Late Night Raises The Burr

CBS's Craig Ferguson brings Brit wit — and a spot of tea — to the table.

Rhyme And Reason

Critics can no longer read, poets can no longer write, and the unacknowledged legislators of our age are writing advertising jingles for peanuts.

Anxious To See How It Ends? So Are The Writers

"Lost" and "The O.C.," along with "24" and "Desperate Housewives," are high-profile serials with substantial, devoted audiences, but no one — not writers, not network executives and not viewers — knows exactly how they will end their seasons.

Blogging Beyond The Men's Club

Since anyone can write a weblog, why is the blogosphere dominated by white males?


Men Of Ireland

Sunday, March 13, 2005


The Restoration

His childhood home, a place of so many unhappy memories, was falling into ruin. Could he redeem it?

The Sky Is Falling

TV forecasters can hype even a single snowflake. Isn't that what viewers want?

The Woman Behind The Centerfolds

For 40 years Marilyn Grabowski has defined what's sexy on the pages of Playboy.

The Quality Cure?

We should focus on improving the quality of care rather than on reducing our consumption of it.

Shades Of Black Humor

Lewis Black, in middle age, is a regular on "The Daily Show" (well, almost), has written his memoirs (up to age 27) and has stand-up gigs all across the country (that's 250 nights a year on a bus). Success (finally) is so great. (Right.)


Bad News — We Are Way Past Our 'Extinct By' Date

After analysing the eradication of millions of ancient species, scientists have found that a mass extinction is due any moment now.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


'I Have A Nightmare'

When environmentalists are writing tracts like "The Death of Environmentalism," you know the movement is in deep trouble.


Plot Twists In Store

"Nearly everyone who publishes a book quickly realizes that if they want to publicize their work, they better take matters into their own hands."

The World's Biggest Book Market

After a decade in China, I thought I'd seen it all: murder, jail, aliens, rodeo. But nothing prepared me for its publishing industry, in puberty.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Meet John Doe

The RIAA runs its lawsuits as a volume business, and sometimes downloaders just gotta settle.

This Land Is My Land

Lots of property owners have profited from the gentrification of near-downtown neighborhoods in the District. The Robinson brothers came close to cashing in on their land, too. Instead, theyíre sitting on it.

Why Is Captive Breeding So Hard?

Don't animals like to breed?



Thursday, March 10, 2005


Who Is A Journalist?

There's a big problem with journalist shield laws. How do you decide who is a journalist?


A First Draft Of History?

Call the rewrite man!

Stirring Commentary: A Food Blog For Every Taste

Internet-savvy food enthusiasts sought something more quirky or writerly or lavish or esoteric or weeknight-friendly or fill-in-the-blank. Enter the food blog.

Africa Makes Fine Films. Of Course, Projector May Fail.

For African cinema, these are the best of times and the worst of times.

New York Menus: Read 'Em And Weep

The five scariest words that a New York diner can hear have nothing to do with failed health inspections, bungled reservations or eccentric concoctions. The five scariest words are: "Let me explain the menu."

Do You Have An Office Wife?

She knows you better than anyone. She'll listen to your problems, laugh knowingly at your jokes, and most important, mock coworkers with you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Tech & Science

Can You Count Your Chickens?

Imagine life without numbers. Science as we know it would be impossible and, indeeed, so would modern civilization. Yet, some societies get along jsut fine without numbers greater than four or five.


Many Restaurants Put The Din In Dinner

"Can you hear me now?" is a question associated with spotty cell phone service, but it's becoming more and more applicable to sitting down to dinner in New York.


The RIddle Of The Shrink

Tuesday, March 8, 2005


Sex, Lies And Spies: This Isn't News?

The lack of cverage plays into the hands of the White House.


I Shopped Them All

Sometimes I feel as though my life has been defined by the department stores I have known and loved, but these stores may soon exist only in my memories.




Editing Proverbs

I was writing an email and went to say "don't count your chickens before they've hatched" and then my internal editor kicked in. The ghost of WIlliam Strunk leaned over my shoulder and whispered "omit needless words!"

Monday, March 7, 2005


At Home, I Am A Tourist

Strap on the travel goggles and Oswestry can exist in the same exotic sphere as Phuket.

Showing Off A Little (Inner) Cleavage

Who are we, the women who have traded breasts for the chance to live? We are the true beauties.

Queer Eye For Straight TV

They're gay. But these writers are producing some of today's most compelling, and popular, series about heterosexuals.

The Rich Are Different, And So Is Their TV Network

Plum TV is television for the rich, or at least the comfortably vacationed. In direct contrast to every other television network, Plum derives its appeal largely from its exclusivity.

Sunday, March 6, 2005


A Rebel In The Emperor's Court

Can a first-time legislator named Long Hair loosen Beijing's grip on Hong Kong?


What A Rush

There are almost 6,000 lane-miles of freeways in the Greater Los Angeles area and for most commuters not an inch of redemption anywhere.

Young + Brilliant, Blessed + Cursed

They are barely into their teens, yet they are declared the next Mozart or even a modern Messiah. But child prodigies are often both misunderstood and openly ostracized, and, as adults, they struggle under the burden of their astonishing intelligence.

Goodbye Too Soon

The fetus might make it to term or die in the womb. Either way, it wouldn't survive for long afiter birth.

A Fairy Tale For Grown-Ups

What Charles and Camilla can teach us about love.

Transmission Impossible

There's nothing too controversial in Channel 4's new Banned season. But the forbidden TV in other countries? Now that really is shocking.

Saturday, March 5, 2005


Going Global At A Small-Town Canadian Drugstore

Setting up shop at the intersection of global capitalism, Internet arbitrage and America's health care problems was controversial.

Taking A Big, Fat Chance (For The Time Being)

It was not a good time in Kirstie Alley's life. A little over a year ago, she owed the taxman all sorts of money, the paparazzi were laying siege by the gate, and she was fat. Very fat. So she went to bed for seven days and cried under the covers. Byt he time she emerged, bedraggled but clear-headed, she knew what to do: make a sitcom about being fat. And — why beat around the bush? — call it "Fat Actress."

Friday, March 4, 2005


God Is A Centrist Democrat

Hillary Clinton moves self, whole party into the religious middle.


Waitstaff Confidential

You know how you leave a restaurant and talk about the servers? The server talk about you, too.

What Martha Really Ate In Prison

The incarceration diet explained.


Portable Peeing For The PC-Bound

You're in the middle of a frenzied fragfest when it hits: You gotta pee — bad. Whatcha gonna do?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Tech & Science

To Know Science Is To Love It

The more a person knows about science, the more he or she tends to support scientific endeavours.


Here's A Switch: Tips From The Delivery Guys

At the end of the day New York's delivery rules are pretty basic: Watch your dog. Have your money ready. TIp well, and do it in cash. And wear your nicest boxers.

In New York, The World Is Brought To Your Door

Judging by the volume of menus crammed into kitchen drawers around the city, it may seem as if delivery food were as old a feature of New York as the Brooklyn Bridge. But it's a relatively recent phenomenon, becoming a significant part of the restaurant business only in the last 20 years or so.

Who's Killing The Great Wines Of France?

Facing a crisis, the French wine industry is finally forced to loosen its grasp on tradition.

The Line Starts Here

Waiting 10, 20, 30 hours outside the House or the Senate, holding a place in line so some well-pressed lobbyist can sit upfront at a congressional hearing and bat eyes at all the right people — this is democracy, or something like it. More importantly, it's a job.

We No Longer Need Public Television

Public television is akin to the body politic's appendix: It is vestigial, purposeless and occasionally troublesome.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005


Sport Of Kings (And Queens)

Why so few women chess masters? America's top female player ponders the question.


The Gorge


German Discovers Longest Prime Number

Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Was The War Pointless? China Shows How To Bury It

The silence that prevails at the veterans' cemetery is fitting for a war that is deliberately forgotten in China.

Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore Stays Close To Home While Making A Point About Privacy

"Are they just bascially saying we just can't travel without identity papers? If that's true, then I'd rather see us go through a real debate that says we want to introduce required identity papers in our society rather than trying to legislate it through the back door through regulations that say there's not any other way to get around."

All Of A Sudden, Egypt's Taboos Begin To Crumble

Taboo breaking in Egypt appears to be catching on at the very top.

Tech & Science

The Next Einstein? Applicants Welcome

Einstein's modest beginnings are a perennial source of comfort to parents who would like to hope, against the odds, that their little cutie can grow up to be a world beater. Buit they haunt people like me who hanker for a ringside seat for the Next Great Ting and wonder whether somewhere in the big haystack of the world there could be a new Einstein, biding his or her time running gels in a biology lab, writing video game software or wiring a giant detector in the bowels of a particle accelerator while putting the finishing touches on a revolution in our perception of reality.


Snow News Is Good News: A Blizzard Of TV Coverage

Before it snows, the sign on screen should read, "Snow on the Way?" If we get 1 to 2 inches, it's "Snow Emergency!" Three to 7 inches: "Killer Storm!" Anything more, we run with "Avalanches, Cannibalism Feared."

Here Is New York, Right Where We Left It

In a city that is constantly razing the old to erect the new, or at least slapping on new paint and jacking up the price, there are quite a few places like Rose's, places that have remained quietly, stubbornly, implausibly the same for decades.


True Confessions

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