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The other things in life

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Think Global, Eat Local

The sustainable food movement that began with Berkeley chef Alice Waters has blossomed in Portland, Ore. Are its proponents just dreaming? Or is a real revolution underway?

The Last Of The Indies

Although he bristles at the title — his expression hardens, and his face starts to resemble a cloudy day with tunder threatening — Jim Jarmusch is the last major truly independent film director in America.

Under The Covers

I don't consider myself particularly prudish or scolding. But "Rainbox Party" did startle me a bit. Because it is extreme, yes, but also because it represents a shift in children's publishing.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Editing

What kind of changes do we suggest — and why? What kind of changes do we insist on — and why? When do we stay out of the way? And the hardy perennial: do we edit articles to make them adhere to a particular point of ivew?

Saturday, July 30, 2005


You Can't Fight Terrorism With Racism

Tech & Science

Planet Or Not, Pluto Now Has Far-Out Rival

Add a tenth planet to the solar system — or possibly subtract one.


Some Ask If The Disney Magic Is Slipping

"What kind of Mickey Mouse operation is this?"

In China, A Musical Star is Waiting To Be Born

Dai Yichen's dream is to one day perform on a Chinese equivalent of Broadway, though one does not yet exist.


Museum Offers Free Entry To Visitors Who Undress

Vienna's prestigious Leopold Museum is usually a pretty buttoned-up place, but yesterday some of the nudes in its marble galleries were for real.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Tech & Science

Why Are Power Lines So Deadly?

Aren't they insulated?


The Church Of Latter-Day Singles

Every time Janna Taylor goes to church, she sees babies, wedding rings, and pregnant women — all reminders of what she's missing.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Reading Between The Lines Of Used Book Sales

All in all, it looks like the used book market creates a lot more value than it destroys.

Yes, The Kitchen's Open. Too Open.

There was a time when much of the point of fine dining was to be liberated from the frenetic, clangorous, sweaty making of a meal, to have it magically appear, an unlabored gift from unseen elves. Not these days. Not even close.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


43 Years Of Tips, Taken And Given

Long before the cheesecake was famous at Junior's, the Brooklyn restaurant, Mary blevins was a popular item.

The Desire For Tallest Building Persists

For all the talk about jitters deterring potential tenants of a future Freedom Tower, the 9/11 terrorist attack ahs done little or nothing to diminish a global appetite to touch the sky.


Harry Potter Is A Wizard In Other Languages Too

The series is popular around the world, but the translations are more difficult than a flick fo the wand.

Spring Forward, Cut Back?

Does daylight-saving time really save energy?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Londoners Grappling With Pervasive New Foes: Fear Ans Suspicion

It's a new geography for a new London.


Learning Words They Rarely Teach In Medical School: "I'm Sorry"

There is nothing in the Hippocratic Oath that tells doctors what to do when they make a mistake with a patient. Nor is there much on this subject in medical school curriculums or in residency training programs. But there should be.

Whose Work Is It, Anyway?

The use of 'orphan works' of art and literature, whose creators cannot be identified, puts scholars and artists at odds over changes in copyright law.

Tragedy Of The Airport

Why you get stuck for hours at O'Hare.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Mmm, Chocolate Bars

When you've overdosed on cappuccino and it's too early for drinks, there's no sweeter place to meet.


Awaiting Orders

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Words On Paper

Sometimes that's all a constituion is.

The Story Behind A New York Billboard And The Interests It Serves

When you hear someone howling about freedom, it is worth asking whose freedom he means.

Tech & Science

What's The Big Idea?

Dinosaur jets, eternal life, the end of poverty; the world's biggest brains met in Oxford last week to pitch schemes that really could change the world.


Hong Kong's Poet Of Regret

Witness to relentless change, director Wong Kar-Wai contemplates memory and missed opportunities.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Tech & Science

Sex And Drugs

Men and women seem to perceive pain in different ways. That may mean they sometimes need different pain-relief drugs.


There Are Only So Many Fish In The Sea

Fresh seafood is, like oil or gold, a valuable and volatile commodity — and one that loses its value fast. As the top restaurants scramble to get their hands on the very best, what's left for the rest of us?

Where Have All The Jockstraps Gone?

The decline and fall of the athletic supporter.

Along With That Caffeine Rush, A Taste Of Seattle

The hottest cafe in the Ethiopian capital is not a Starbucks at all but a knockoff, the creation of a Starbucks devotee who tried to bring the real thing to Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, by many accounts. But she had to settle for a look-alike after the Seattle coffee giant rebuffed her partnership request.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


When It Comes To TV Stats, Viewer Discretion Is Advised

Ultimately, it doesn't matter much.

The Slowest Food

Why American chefs have taken up sous-vide cooking.

Mini Explosion

They may be tiny, but these tomatoes are bursting with flavor. And now they're everywhere.

Tattooed Fruit Is On Way

Laser coding could mean the end of those tiny stubborn stickers that have to be picked, scraped, or yanked off produce.

Beethoven (1.4m) Beats Bono (20,000) In Battle Of The Internet Downloads

Music industry forced to take note as composer's complete symphonies outshine rock acts in online chart.

Stacks' Appeal

Teachers increasingly find it difficult to get students to consult printed materials, and yet we are making those materials even harder to obtain.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Life's Highway

Along a well-traveled road, a young widow marks the spot where her memories lie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tech & Science

Hunting For Life In Specks Of Cosmic Dust

Teams of astronomers are staying up all night in the breath-fogging cold of the high-altitude desert of Chile and in the oxygen-starved heights of Hawaiian volcanoes, deciphering downloaded pixels from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telecopes over soggy pizza, and then upstaging one another's news conferences, all in the search for the smallest, dimmest crumbs of creation, the most mundane specks of dust that may be circling some garden-variety star.


Starbucks: The Daily Grind

This isn't a particularly easy thing for me to admit, but then dark confessions so rarely are.


Then This, From The Lost Sister


Monday, July 18, 2005


Reworking Work

What happens when employees punch their own clock? They're happier — and more productive. An inside look at Best Buy's bold experiment.

If MSG Is So Bad For You, Why Doesn't Everyone In Asia Have A Headache?

To begin to answer this we must go back to Japan a century ago.

Holding Forth

I have never failed to feel a thrill of genuine anticipation when someone calls for silence and rolls out the magic words: "Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking."

Eye Vs Eye: Inside The Photo Wars

This much the stars and the paparazzi can agree on: The streets of Los Angeles have become a battleground. But just who is at war is an unsettled question.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Little Terrors: Kids' Stories Aren't Afraid Of The Dark

Ah, sumer. The glory of childhood, its angelic idyll. Let's consider three massively popular tales out this week that impressionable young children can't get enough of.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Thin Pickings

Tough times for America's restaurants.

It's A Bird. It's Plain: It's Super

If you've got a comic book, movie, card game, action figure, video game or other entertainment item you hope to sell to the youth market, you'd better be here.

Rumblings At A Bus Stop: The Revolution Is Running Late

Mexico City's Metrobus experiment has had a bumpy start, yet plenty of passengers have been won over.

On The Buses

It is easier to fall in love with London when on eis looking at its buxom charms, rather than being moleishly buried beneath.

Using Fiction To Sell Fiction

Book publishers create fake web sites, offer free downloads to promote titles.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Something's Brewing In Office Coffee

Throughout the region, more workers are drinking upscale coffee in the workplace.

Stop Testing Our Endurance And Give Us A Break

Excess of interval can be a curse, but rightly judged and placed, it can have aesthetic as well as utilitarian benefits.

Rachael Ray

Why food snobs should quit picking on her.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Building In Iceland? Better Clear It With The Elves First

Polls consistently show that the majority of the population either believes in elves or is not willing to rule out their existence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Driving Upstream: A Road Trip With Stops For Salmon

The idea was to drive a cool car north from Seattle, ripped on strong coffee and the smell of rain, and eat some salmon. The idea was to eat so much salmon, in fact, that driving would become difficult.

A City's Traffic Plans Are Snarled By China's Car Culture

Enormous sums were spent on spectacular bridges, elevated highways and a brand-new subway system. But today, it is hard to escape the impression that Shanghai, at least for now, is losing its bet.




Growing Pains

Monday, July 11, 2005


If You Care About Palau, This Is A Good Place To Be

For Stuart J. Beck, a Manhattan television company executive, becoming an ambassador at the United Nations was not the problem it can be for Americans with diplomatic ambitions.

Selling Rapture

The rise of the Christian right in American politics has added impetus to an already huge and growing market in evangelical fiction.

What If... No, Don't Go There

"What if" history is very much in fashion at the moment.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Tech & Science

Will Any Organ Do?

The issue, although freighted with monetary and bio-ethical complexities, can be boiled down to one deceptively simple question. Should transplant surgeons be using organs from nearly anyone?

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Tech & Science

The Mysteries Of Mass

Most people think they know what mass is, but they understand only part of the story.

The Coming Boom

Big Pharma has made billions pumping up the male population. Now neuroscientists are reverse engineering the female orgasm.


Swimmers Insured For £1m Against Loch Ness Monster Bites

a hefty but undisclosed premium has been paid by organisers of Scotland's biggest triathlon in case the swimming stage of the event tempts the mysterious (and possibly non-existent) creature from the lake's depths.

Friday, July 8, 2005


I Do. I Do. We're Done.

The ceremony itself lasts a little over a quarter of an hour, leaving fewer than 15 minutes for photos before the next couople arrives. Then it's three escalators back down and into married life.

The Culler Of Money

Late-night infomercial clown Matthew Lesko has authored nearly 100 books on government grants. His formula? "I don't write," he says. "I plagiarize."


It's All In How You Take The News

The tone of BBC coverage could be described, finally, as adult. To watch the BBC handle this crisis was to sense a network not nearly so paranoid as its American counterparts that the viewer might be about to switch the channel, surfing for better video.

Thursday, July 7, 2005


Dad's Empty Chair

Black kids would be tremendously better off if the cultural winds changed and more fathers felt the need to come home.

Sesame Street Forever

A serious consideration of an estimable discography — because it's time.

One Way To Get Around L.A. And Still Beat Traffic

Lisa Salem is covering the city by foot while recording her experiences on a blog.

Scent Of A Woman

Equal-opportunity marketing for stinky women and puny men.

Daedalus And Icarus Revisited

The debate enshrined in Daedalus and Icarus suggests that today the great increase in our powers co-exists with a diminished capacity to think about them with any kind of moral realism.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005


Hallowed Grounds: Singapore's Coffee Culture

Coffee drinkers share a common ground whether holding a Styrofoam cup from Dunkin' Donuts or sipping from a delicate porcelain espresso cup in Italy.

Ballroom Dancing Is Hot To Fox Trot

It's the summer of the rumba, the summer of the cha-cha, the summer of the waltz. The summer when you — yeah, you, the guy over there snickering — wondered: Why ballroom dancing? Why now?
Why not?


Kingdoms Of Slow Days


Contest Winner Declines 'Free' Airline Tickets

In today's cut-rate airline pricing environment, American's valuation is far more than a winner would likely pay if he or she simply bought the tickets. The result: the tax bill could be higher than the tickets actually sell for.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Tech & Science

Straight, Gay Or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited

A new study casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men.


When Theater Becomes Propaganda: The Problem Of Political Art

This necessarily places a heavy burden on the political artist, who must ot only be a good artist but also a competent reporter and researcher.

A Mini-'Magic Flute'? Mozart Would Approve

You can imagine no one being more excited by the idea of enticing children to opera house with an abridged version of "The Magic Flute" than Mozart.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Tech & Science

The Mall That Would Save America

A real-estate developer's vision of an environmentally correct shopping-and-tourist megalith.


Presidential Books: A Space On The Shelf

Now, George W. Bush is mulling his own book.

Hello, May I Speak With A Human?

When calling someone in the modern era, you never know who will answer.

Question Celebrity

Finally we're enjoying a golden era of Hollywood women speaking truth to power.


Long-Distance Client

Saturday, July 2, 2005


Media: The PBS Paradox

If it's already sinking, why not rock the boat? Do it hard enough and a little water just may drain out.


Musicians Forced Into Fakery

Officials at the New York Pops may now be thinking, "Be careful what you wish for."

Why Are Pop Singers So Samey And Sexless?

Nowhere, it seems, is there a Frank Sinatra — and please, please don't try to sell me Robbie Williams in this context.

Friday, July 1, 2005


A Philosopher's Humanity

The desire to portray great thinkers as disembodied argument machines remains a powerful force in analytic philosophy.

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