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The other things in life

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Tech & Science

Where Belief Is Born

Scientists have begun to look in a different way at how the brain creates the convictions that mould our relationships and inform our behavior.

Can You Ever Really Erase A Computer File?

What if you use Evidence Eliminator?


Burgers Without Borders

With these recipes for grilled ground meats from around the world, an all-American classic takes on a foreign accent.

The Edible Schoolyard

For years doctors, nutritionists and parents have deplored the eating habits of American kids. Visionary chef Alice Waters is actually doing something about it.

On Way To Life In Britain, With A Year's Airport Layover

After nearly 13 months at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Sanjai L. Shah can safely drop his protest and leave. He is not about to, though.

The Second Coming Of Sartre

His philosophy inspired a generation, then drifted out of fashion. Now, 100 years after his birth, the life and work of Jean-Paul Sartre are once again highly relevant — and bitterly controversial.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Women Writing Novels Emerge As Stars In Iran

Over the past decade, Iran's best-selling fiction lists have become dominated by women, an unprecendented development abetted by recent upheavals in Iranian society.

Confessions Of A Mask

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The New York Times Shafted My Father

Silence, from Melvin Barnet and then the paper he worked for, destroyed his career.


Original Concept? Sorry, We'll Pass

Why in a time of so much dazzling technological innovation, from the iPod to the cellphone camera, were so many gifted filmmakers retreating into the past, devoting their time to remaking flimsy old TV shows and movies?



Monday, June 27, 2005


Reading, Writing, Retailing

Most teachers love teaching, but teaching is often not so easy to love.

Our Laughter Will Doom The Royals

The Queen's spending leaves her open to ridicule, and that is lethal.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


The Opening

Follow Brian Lesser as he launches a Back Bay trattoria, going from blueprints to braised rabbit in just over a year. He dreams of packing the place and turning a buck. Can he and his team pull it off?


In recent years, mankind has devised means of information transmission so vast and so rapid and so efficient that they would seem to challenge the natural order. But our capacity to communicate nonetheless seems, for some mysterious reason, to have diminished radically.

Their Unexpected Adolescence

Over the last decade, the revolution in medical treatment of H.I.V. has created a generation of young people whose unexpected maturation is both a miracle and an extraordinary challenge. The idea that any H.I.V.-infected child could reach adolescence without knowing he or she has the disease threatens to beggar belief.

The New Fragility Of Marriage, For Better Or For Worse

The current rearrangement of both married and single life is without historical precedent. When it comes to the overall place of marriage in society and the relationship between husbands and wives, nothing in the past is anything like what we have today, even if it may look similar at first glance.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


The Race To Alaska Before It Melts

To some visitors who fear that global warming is toblame for the accelerated pace of change, theer is a sense of urgency in their travel planning. They seem to be fearful that if they don't get to Alaska soon, they will never see the full glory of the state's frozen magnificence.

Friday, June 24, 2005


We Are All French Now?

Lordy, it is fun poking fun at France. But wait... wait... what is that noise I hear coming from the U.S. Congress?


Here Comes Jack

The rise of Jack means that the industry understands it has to innovate. What's unclear is whether it comprehends just what sort of innovations are in order.

Michael Houellebecq's Weekend In L.A.

You dine with Michel Houellebecq at your peril — just ask Oliver Stone.

Big Ideas, Little Books: What A Concept!

All books should be exactly as long as they need to be. There is no ideal length. But like mainstream Hollywood films, nonfiction books have shown a tendency to expand in recent years, for no particular reason.


The Guests

Pyramid Scheme

Thursday, June 23, 2005


What Native Peoples Deserve

What should be done about endangered enclave societies in the midst of a modern nation?


Flight Suits

It's the beginning of another summer travel season, and passengers at some of the busiest airports look little different than if they were shopping at a mall, their increasingly casual wardrobe of T-shirts and shorts have eclipsed any remnants of the golden era of travel, that time before airline deregulation led to cheap tickets, when dressing for the airport meant dressing up.

Exploring Inroads For Tysons Foot Traffic

Refashioning North Varginia hub into a downtown faces a major roadblock: Route 7.

Reader, I'm A He

When novels by 'Yasmina Khadra' first appeared, literary France thought it had at last found the authentic voice of the Arab woman. But then she turned out to be a man — and not just a man but a veteran Algerian army officer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tech & Science

Inconstant Constants

Do the inner workings of nature change with time?


Still Love At First Bite

Oh, the absolute thrill of being 25! The dots before you, waiting to be connected. Or gobbled. Oh, to be Pac-Mac!

For This Author, Writing Is Only The Beginning

Janet Evanovich has transformed herself from a failing writer into a mini-industry.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tech & Science

Plain, Simple, Primitive? Not The Jellyfish

New research has made scientists realize that they have underestimated the jellyfish and its relatives. Beneath their seemingly simple exterior lies a remarkably sophisticated collection of genes, including many that give rise to humans' complex anatomy.

Orgasms: A Real "Turn-Off" For Women

For women, it seems, sex is a big turn-off, reveals a brain scanning study. It shows that many areas of the brain switch off during the female orgasm — including those involved with emotion.


Consumer Vertigo

A new wave of social critics claim that freedom's just another word for way too much to choose. Here's why they're wrong.



Monday, June 20, 2005


Crisis Of Confidence

The tradeoff is simple: the Red Cross is given free access to prisoners around the world as long as it doesn't go public. But as atrocities mount up, it is increasingly difficult to keep silent.

The Last Frontier

Almost anything goes these days — but you still can't oppose the Communist Party. Will China ever really be free?

Tech & Science

Buried Treasure

With the help of new fossil discoveries and new technologies, scientists are learning how dinosaurs lived — and died.


A Muslim Woman, A Story Of Sex

An erotic novel written under a pseudonym might normally struggle to find a mainstream publisher and a wide readership. Not so, it seems, when it is penned by a Muslim woman living in a traditional Arab society.

Enjoying Dad's Altared State

I guess he's not soo good at hiding how he really feels.

A Critique Of Stinginess

Pop art has evolved, creating an ever more fertile fusion of high spirits and purposefully lowbrow aesthetic.



In the space in between clients, I sit cross-legged on the floor, recharging the crystals that sit unobtrusively at the each corner of my consulting room. Less of a risk than they used to be, now that New Age is 'in'. Just a calming and dampening spread, setting a safe environment for my clients. The relief they broadcast as they leave brings me peace, too. For a while, I breathe deeply to banish images of fire and screaming. My parents' faces flicker before me, their pale features contorted as the flames reach the platform where they stand tied together around the obsidian post. It should have been me.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Dad: The Periodical

Such were the experiences that set the stage for publication of the Grampaland Journal, a four-page quarterly newsletter, now in its second year. It has a circulation of 18 — children, grandchildren and a few other relatives.

Cooks On Fire

When you walk into a busy Denny's or an IHOP — at 1 p.m. or 4 a.m. — it all seems so brightly lit and inevitable, so orderly and obvious. So easy. But back in the kitchen, war is raging.

The Measure Of A Woman

The scale was Grandma's link to the world.

What's Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage? (It's The Gay Part)

Maryland's anti-gay-marriage crusaders share this with organizers nationwide: They say they are fighting a disease.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out

If the "Star Wars" movies are remembered a century from now, it'll because they are such exact parables for this sate of affairs.

Tech & Science

Recent Series Of Earthquakes In California Foreshadows The Big One. Or Maybe Not.

Just as medicine can produce differing opinions, seismology is not always as precise as some might hope.


The Doofus Dad

Yes, Homer Simpson may want to duck out for a beer sometimes, but when he sits on that couch with his family he does not look like a man longing to escape. He is at peace. Fatherhood has created on more happy doofus.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Separation Of Church And Hate

Local clergy discuss religion and homosexuality.

Disneyland In China Offers A Soup And Lands In A Stew

It all began when Hong Kong Disneyland, a new theme park scheduled to open on Sept 12, announced that it would serve shark's fin soup — a chewy, sinewy, stringy dish that has been a Chinese favorite for two centuries.


In Dreams She Is Permitted To Return To A Room

The Lover Of Maps

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tech & Science

Can We Trust Track & Field Records?

How accurate are they?


Sampling The Store, Bite By Bite

They say that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but "they" must not be shopping at the right grocery stores.

For 20 Bucks, Is It Worth It?

Fewer menu choices, extra costs and smaller portions all make New York's Restaurant Week a blood sport that not every restaurant wants to play.

A Tabloid Story Told In The Face Of Perversity

The camera is, of course, essential to the making of celebrities, but it can also break them with extraordinary speed and efficiency.

Silence At LACMA Would Be A Sour Note For Everyone

The museum's new image may be to blame for its plan to cut back its music programs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


No Exit

A persuaive new theory explains why Kerry beat Bush in Election Day exit polls. Just don't expect those still crying "fraud" to believe it.


So, You Want To Start A Film Festival... Don't.

If you're thinking of running a film festival: don't. It will ruin your life. It will clean out your bank account. It will drive away your friends. By the first fabulous day of your event you will wish you were dead.

New Sight In Chernobyl's Dead Zone: Tourists

And now there are tourists, participating in what may be the strangest vacation excursion available in the former Soviet space: the packaged tour of the CChernobyl exclusion zone, scene of the worst civilian disaster of the nuclear age.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tech & Science

Are You A Prosumer? Take This Hand Quiz

Prosumers are passionate about the technology they use for their creative pursuits.


Black America's Musical Links To Scotland

On the face of it jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie would seem a little out of place on a website devoted to Scottish heritage.


Riding Westward

Monday, June 13, 2005

Tech & Science

Mother Nature's DNA

The Human Genome Project has not cured any diseases yet — but it's revolutionaizing science in surprising ways.


And Next To The Bearded Lady, Premature Babies

It cost a quarter to see the babies, and people came again and again, to coo and to gasp and say look how small, look how small.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Interrogating Ourselves

If there has been a housecleaning, to how much of the shadowy counterterrorism edifice constructed since Sept. 11 does it now apply?


Clear And Present Danger

Building something as moumental as the new Wilson Bridge can kill you. It can also give you a reason to live.

The Dad Redefined

Why Ward Cleaver would no longer cut it.

Not Ready For Their Close-Up

Celebrities are considered attractive at least in part because they're suited to the technology of the age.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


One Nation, With Niches For All

We used to be one nation, undivided, under three networks, three car companies and two brands of toothpaste for all. Today we are the mass niche nation.


All Embarrassment, No Riches

I have a problem with the meek — doctrinally.

In Russia, A Young Man's Dream Is Dodging The Draft

"They say you serve your motherland — you defend it. Well, it is a difficult question. You have to live here a while to understand it."

Conscription Of The Past

Don't try to turn history teaching into a simple-minded morality play.

Friday, June 10, 2005


High Fidelity

From A to B and back again: this is your correspondent, running out of mix tapes.

How To Make A Book

This is the story of one of those September books, a 135-page comic novella entitled The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, published by orion, priced £7.99, ISBN number 0297848852, which Gideon Defoe worte, according to the jacket blurb, "to impress a girl."

Tuesday, June 7, 2005


Minimal Updates For The Rest Of The Week

I'll be in Guangzhou, again, on a business trip. Updates will be minimal. Sorry.

Monday, June 6, 2005


A Long Shadow

Understanding Deep Throat: Why a source took on a president then, and how Nixon's fall shapes us even now.



When it's time to change your seat.

When You Wish Upon TV

Need surgery? Can't afford college? House too small? If you've got a sad story, the networks would love to help.

The Season Of Second Chances

Summer reruns, like forest fires, are a clamity with a good side — nature's way of balancing the ecosystem of television.


An Ex-Mas Feast

Sunday, June 5, 2005


Revenge Of The Amateurs

If a handful of overachieving basement dwellers armed with a consumer-qualty digital camera and some inexpensive 3D animation and video-editing programs can produce such a finely lacquered bit of sci-fi cinema, what precisely do we need Hollywood for?

Not So Star-Struck

We're a little funny when it comes to giving people the star treatment here. Chefs and newscasters, jocks and furniture salesmen, professors and pols — these are our biggest celebrities. Is something wrong with us? Maybe we're the only ones getting it right in these celebrity-obsessed times.

The Woman Who Went To The Front Of The Mosque

Feminist faces ostracism — or worse — for praying among men.

Question Authorities

Why it's smart to disobey officials in emergencies.

Saturday, June 4, 2005


Democratic Cuba

How serious is President Bush about this spreading-democracy business?

Lies, Guts & Deep Throat

Quaint as it seems, this is called courage. It's not surprising that contemporary Washington wishes to devalue it.


The Arts Matter — And So Does Drawing Crowds

"Crisis" may be too easy a word to throw around, when it comes to the perennially dicey business of arts funding, but things are at a pretty bad pass now.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Tech & Science

How Do Space Pictures Get So Pretty?

Photoshop, of course.


Seasoned Collector

Some people collect antiques. Some collect restaurant matchbooks or anything decorated with cows. Janet Cam collects salt.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Tech & Science

You've Got One Of Those Four-Hour Erections...

Now what?

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