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The other things in life

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Long Fight Back For Malaysia's Invisible Man

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's leading opposition figure, launched a series of rallies and speeches across the country at the weekend — but you would not know it from reading the newspapers.


for Train Riders, Middle seat Isn't The Center Of Attention

Because commuters would rather stand than occupy a middle seat, transit systems are reworking trains' seating arrangements.

Watching New Love As It Sears The Brain

Now for the first time, neuroscientists have produced brain scan images of new love.


Blues In Half-Tones, 3/4 Time

Monday, May 30, 2005


America, A Symbol Of...

In much of the world, the image of the U.S. under Mr. Bush morphed from an idealized champion of liberty to a heavily armed thug in camouflage fatigues.

Ground Zero Is So Over

Perhaps it was inevitable we'd end up at pure unadulterated farce.


Pitfalls For Parents

International adoption has become big business, but regulation still lags.

Face To Face With Death

The funeral industry is opening up to newcomers who want to comfort families in mourning.

In Defense Of Certainty

It's trendy to be suspicious of people with "deeply held views." And it's wrong.

The Hill Still Resonate

In hindsight, a compelling case can be made for "The Sound of Music," as the last picture show of its kind, a triumph of craftsmanship and the apogee of the studio system that produced the kind of entertainment that dominated mid-20th-century mass culture.

Mama Warned Us About Fast Food And Fast Women

Everything had to come together for such a button-pushing masterpiece to succeed.


A Mouthful Of Cut Glass

Sunday, May 29, 2005


How Do You Cure A Broken Heart?

When Karen Schillings learned that her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law had died in a freak boat accident, her strong heart threatened to stop beating. Fortunately for her, doctors from Johns Hopkins knew just what to do.

Baby Steps

Medical breakthroughs don't happen overnight. They come only after a few pioneering patients go first, sometimes at great risk. When Brian and Jennifer Deffaa learned their baby would be born with a damaged heart, they had a choice: accept the standard but imperfect fix or let doctors try a radical, unproven procedure. This is the story of one family's agonizing decision and the human cost of medical progress.

How Did House Bands Become A Filipino Export?

A story of pop, minicry, globalization and one extremely ambitious manager.

A Mothers' War

Mothers nationwide who have children fighting in Iraq are connected by Tracy Della vecchia, who runs a web site for them — a clearinghouse of pride and fear and anger and grief.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Give Peace A Chance

You would never guess it from the news, but we're living in a peculiarly tranquil world.


The Choirboy

As head boy at a legendary choir school, Lawrence Lessig was repeatedly molested by the charismatic choir director, part of a horrific pattern of child abuse there. Now, as one of America's most famous lawyers, he's put his own past on trial to make sure such a thing never happens again.

When Toddlers Get Fired

My 2-year-old son was booted out of his preschool for biting — and now my wife and I are facing a summer of hell.

Friday, May 27, 2005


A Crescent Of Water Is Slowing Sinking Into The Desert

In this desert oasis where East once met West and that is home to one of the world's greatest shrines to Buddhism, the water is dissapearing.

James Dean: What Would He Have Grown Up To Be?

Morbidity has always been at the heart of the James Dean cult.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Salon's Balancing Act

By combining subscriptions with rich advertising, the opinionated news site finds a way to cut through the clutter of online ads,and is even closing in on profitability.

Loud, Proud, Unabridged: It Is Too Reading!

Fewer Americans are reading books than a decade ago, but almost a third more are listening to them on tapes, CD's and iPods.

It's All In How The Dog Is Served

So what constitutes a great hot dog?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tech & Science

Natural-Born Liars

Why do we lie, and why are we so good at it? Because it works.


China, New Land Of Shoppers, Builds Malls On Gigantic Scale

Chinese have started to embrace America's modern "shop till you drop" ethos and are int he midst of a buy-at-the-mall frenzy.


Satyr WIthout Desire

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tech & Science


Why intelligent design isn't.


Anti-Doctor And Anti-Death. What's A Guy To Do?

I'd like to say I am braver now, but the simple fact is that when push comes to shove I am more afraid of death than of the doctor. So I'll do what they say.


The Crossing

The Russian Riviera

Monday, May 23, 2005

Tech & Science

Inside The Korean Cloning Lab

An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the laboratory that leads the world in the creation of human embryonic stem cells.


The Future Of Television

Screens so small they fit inside coffee cups. Marriages arranged by TiVo. Production facilities on Mars.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Tech & Science

Can You Catch Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Science now does its thinking in public, with each incremental advance readily available online. And those waiting for answers are less patient and more involved. They don't ask their doctors; they bring their own suggestions. They don't want to wait for the results of a two-year double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial before they act. Which means that they often find themselves acting before all the facts are in.


Blood Feud

Robert Frost said good fences make good neighbors. He never knew John Ames and Perry Brooks.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Starbucks Aims To Alter China's Taste In Caffeine

What is striking about these efforts, by McDonald's and KFC as well as Starbucks, is that they have made few concessions to Chinese tastes, instead cultivating in China an appetite for Western favorites, like Big Macs and grande lattes.

Critical Condition

Once almighty arbiters of American taste, critics find their power at ebb tide. Is it a dark time for the arts, or the dawn of a new age?

Office Culture

Practitioners of social anthropology have traditionally flocked to exotic spots: examining the sexual mores of Polynesian islanders; studying disappearing tribal cultures in the Amazon jungle; wandering with Nuer herders in Sudan. But in the past few years, some have headed off to places such as accountancy firms and technology companies.

What Makes Sherlock Holmes The Supersleuth?

Sherlock Holmes has enjoyed what must surely be the most extensive afterlife of any character in fiction.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Tech & Science

Definitional Drift: Math Goes Postmodern

A baker knows when a loaf of bread is done and a builder knows when a house is finished. Yogi Berra told us "it ain't over thill it's over," which implies that at some point it is over. But in mathematics things aren't so simple. Increasingly, mathematicians are confronting problems wherein it is not clear whether it will ever be over.


The Butchers Are Back

In a city that's hungry for premium cuts, old-fashioned, full-service meat counters are ready to take your order.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Cold War Chess

The rise and fall of chess in the 20th century was intimately linked with the cold war and the Soviet Union's giant investment in the game. But deprived of the atmosphere of menace that characterised that era, chess has dissipated much of the capital it built up over more than a century.


At The Chelsea Hotel, Married, With Kids

The Chelsea Hotel may be a good place to meet artists and eccentrics, but it is hardly viewed as a family setting. Yet Sally Singer, the fashion news editor at Vogue magazine, and her husband, Joseph O'Neill, an Irish novelist and lawyer, are raising their three sons in an eighth-floor suite that deftly mixes glamour and domesticity.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Not A Pretty Picture

Looking this war in the face proves difficult when the press itself won't even put in an appearance.

Tech & Science

Why Today Is The Perfect Day To Change The Rest Of Your Life

Today could be the perfect day to turn over a new leaf, acquire a new skill and step forward to a bright new future. Apparently, May 18 is the ideal time of year to make that New Year resolution you would not have kept if you had made it on January 1.


When Death Means The Loss Of An Archive

Joe Nash's vash archive on black dance in America made him a leading figure in the dance world. It also may have helped kill him.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tech & Science

A Critic Takes On The Logic Of Female Orgasm

Women can have sexual intercourse and even become pregnant — doing their part for the perpetuation of hte species — without experiencing organsm. So what is its evolutionary purpose?


The Top 50 Things Every Foodie Should Do

So much to eat, so little time. But there are some things we simply must make time for, if not immediately, certainly before we leave this earth. But what is really worth doing, and what can be happily left on the side of the plate?



Monday, May 16, 2005


To Infinity And Beyond

Can a band of true believers blast America's manned space program out of low Earth orbit into a stellar future?

Let The Music Play

Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, Joan Baez. They all performed here. Street musicians can turn a drab city block into an impromptu concert. After 100 years of being badgered or silenced by an uptight city, they are finally free to play. So why aren't they celebrating?

Russian Icons

Soviet architecture of the 20th century began with utopias and ended with kitsch. Soon the best of it may be gone altogether.

A Really Big Idea

Burger King's CEO has turned around the chain with a radical notion: give people what they want.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Scott Adams, Drawing The Line

Dilbert's creator can't always make his hand follow directions. But he's found a work-around.



Monday, May 09, 2005


How Good Was The Good War?

On May 8, 1945, the war against Hitler's Third Reich was won — and some of the victors' most cherished myths were born.


Remember: You Can't Swat A Fly With A Computer

Some evil force is causing people to stop reading newspapers.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Minimal Updates On MyAppleMenu Between May 8 - 15

Tomorrow, I'm going off to Guangzhou (China, if you didn't recognize that) for a business trip. One week of meetings, programming, and tons of bugs-fixing.

As such, I will probably not be updating this web site too much, if at all. The amount of updates will depend on whether I have the time, the internet connect, and the access to my online tools (Bloglines, Google, etc) and news sites (New York Times, Washhington Post). But, it is probably be safe to say, updates will be less than normal.

Normal updates will resume on May 16th.


We Must Not Forget How War Was Won

It was the Soviet and Chinese sacrifice that made victory possible.


Celebrating The U.S.S.R. In Song, Uncle Joe And All

Oleg M. Gazmanov makes no apologies for putting the leading figures of Russian history, artists and mass murderers alike, on an equal plane.

Thursday, May 5, 2005


Now That's What I Call Democracy

The godless knowabout of British democracy felt like a breath of fresh air. And even ROusseau would have approved.


M Is For The Many Meals She Made

My grandmother, stil serving her Sunday best.

Do Parents Matter?

The most interesting conclusion is one that many modern parents may find disturbing: Parenting technique is highly overrated. When it comes to early test scores, it's not so much what you do as a parent, it's who you are.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005


Torture's Tortured Cultural Roots

In the real world, we're all doing a soft-shoe over the oversize primate in the courtroom.


Forget The Specials, Explain The Restroom

I couldn't figure out why, in restaurant after restaurant, the attempt to relieve oneself turned out to be anything but a relief.

The Woodpecker In All Of Us

Among its gifts to us, the ivory bill can help us see ourselves as we really are, torn between our own desire to be free — to shoot and develop and cut down and expand — and the desire to live among free things that can survive only if we are less free.

When Did We Get "Cold Feet"?

The Germans had 'em first!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Tech & Science

When Do They Call An Animal Extinct?

They used to wait 50 years.


Dwarfs, Little People And The M-Word

Words that cause pain should be retired.

Ugly Children May Get Parental Short Shrift

Parents would certainly deny it, but Canadian researchers have made a startling assertion: parents take better care of pretty children than they do ugly ones.



Monday, May 2, 2005


Does The Future Beong To China?

A new power is emerging in the East. How America should handle unprecedented new challenges, threats — and opportunities.


Along The Highways

Sunday, May 1, 2005


At Los Alamos, Blogging Their Discontent

A blog rebellion among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos.


Vaudeville's Brief, Shining Moment

It was the most democratic popular art in American history. To get onstage, all you needed was chutzpah and moxie. If you had the right stuff, you picked up the dance steps, the vocak style, the comic timing that coud make you a star — maybe even one of the Marx Brothers.

Display It, Don't Spray It

Japan is the world's second-largest market for cosmetics but one of the smallest for perfume; what is more, on fundamental cultural level, the Japanese have been known to go out of their way to avoid the stuff.

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