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The other things in life

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Panel By Comic Panel, A Retail Clerk Exacts His Revenge

Revenge comes in many forms. For Norm Feuti, it is a comic strip.

Bitter Brew

I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life.

Ah, Those Innocent Days Full Of Magic


Long Time, No See

Friday, December 30, 2005


Three Generations, One Vacation

Maybe that's the secret. Maybe multigenerational vacations are one of those practice-makes-perfect things.

Nick's Cultural Revolution

Viacom and other media giants are betting that China will change and develop a taste for some of the same hyperactive programs that are so attractive to young people in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world.

Brooklyn Angel

Joanna Angel builds a New York porn empire one sex comedy at a time.

In The Land Of The Brother Leader

Vacation in Libya? Totalitarian tourism and the search fo truth... and a good meal.

Yeah, But The Book Is Better

When it comes to making a movie based on a book — or ultimately watching that movie — being too invested in the integrity of the novel is probably a bad idea.

It's Like 'Sex And The City,' Only The City Is Moscow

As much as modern-day Moscow can seem like New York, what with fast-paced lifestyles, pressure-cooker careers and comlicated relationships, Vera, Alla, Sonia and Yulia are not quite Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Pen Vs. Sword

Editor Iryna Vidanava is pushing change in Belarus. The government is pushing back.

Chowing Down With The Hound

Jim Leff, a founder of the food-obsessed website CHowhound, explores the culinary delights of Framingham and Worcester.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


The Lost Strudel

I don't mean food as habit, food as memory, food as biography, food as metaphor, food as regret, food as love, or food as in those famous madeleines people like me are constantly referring to as if they've read Proust, which in most cases they haven't. I mean food as food. Food vanishes.

Ensnared: Intenet Creates New Group Of Sexual Addicts

Adding 200 sites a day, internet pornography seduces with never-ending variety.

For A City Unafraid Of A Little Public Snooze

The capital of "keep moving, keeping moving" is inviting its residents to kick back, relax and watch the rivers run.



Fate has a dark sense of humor, but I shall have the last laugh because destiny has armed me with the greatest weapon of all — knowledge.

In The Rose garden

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Fear Destroy What Bin Laden Could Not

Never would I have expected this nation — whch emerged stronger from a civil war and a civil rights movement, won two world wars, endured the Depression, recovered from a disastrous campaign in Southeast Asia and still managed to lead the world in the principles of liberty — would cower behind anyone just for promising to "protect us."


Looking Back

Monday, December 26, 2005


Mealhada, Portugal: This Little Piggy Is A Tasty Lure

Suckling pig is to Mealhada, a town in central Portugal, what cassoulet is to Toulouse: a culinary specialty that it calls its own.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Wish List: No More Books!

Cavalierly foisting unsolicited reading material upon book lovers is like buying underwear for people you hardly know.

Calendar Of Dreams

A week is too short, a season too varied. But a month, roughly spanning the progress of he moon from null to full, turns out to match perfectly the human need to divide time into psychic units.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


The History Behind Munich

Separating truth from fiction in Spielberg's movie.


A City Bereft Without Its Living Room

In most cities in the world, refurbishment of a hotel would barely register with long-term dwellers. But in Hong Kong, news that the lights at the Mandarain will go dark to allow for refurbishment has caused consternation and disappointment among the bankers, lawyers, ladies-who-lunch and, if truth be told, journalists who make up the expat community.

Family Values

Capitalism and sex-toys in China.

Friday, December 23, 2005


The Semi-Free State

When it comes to gay and lesbian families, Virginia's loss is Maryland's gain.

Finding God On Broadway

It's a show with little advertising, no stars and a bok that is much older than your average matinee audience. But every Sunday evening, the 6 o'clock Mass at St. Malachy's, the Roman Catholic church on West 49th Street known as the Actors' Chapel, draws a regular crowd of religious-minded actors and other theater professionals who come seeking something that not even the applause of thousands of strangers can provide.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Transit Strike Throws Off The Meter Of N.Y.

The first transit strike in 25 years was timed for maximum impact, just days before Christmas, when the city is full of touriss. Great news for the 12,778 taxicabs circulating throughout New York, right? Well, it isn't.

It Will Lunge Towards You If You Stray Too Close, Or Try To Snatch Anything You Put In Its Mouth. Now It Has Become The Most Terifying Beast Of All - This Year's Must-Have Christmas Toy.

How did a plastic dinosaur with a brain the size of a pocket calculator take over the planet?

A Land Of Northen Lights, Cybercafes And The Flat Tax

Estonia, one realizes after a few days in the abiding twilight of a Baltic winter, is not like other European countries.

With Pastries, They Pass Along Italian Tradition

Three generations of the large Italian-American Scavotto family gather at Diane and Jeff Kehoe's house every year to make cannoli.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tech & Science

Defending Science By Defining It

When evolution's defenders find themselves tongue-tied and seemingly bested by neo-creationists — when they believe they have the facts on their side but do not know where to find them — this 139-page document may be the thing they turn to.

Survival Of The Unfittest

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that intelligent design is not fit for science classes. But I.D. remains rooted in U.S. schools, where science teachers are pressured to address God int he classroom.


A Christmas Chronicle

How I learned the secret of Santa Claus' annual visit.


The Practice Of Physiognomy

Dead Load

I stood on an iron girder up top of the Carquinez Bridge, a line circled around my legs, and looked down to the water of the strait, a couple hundred feet below. From such a height, the waves looked like a blue, wind-whipped field of wheat. When Hernandez told me to go on and jump, I tried to give myself to the sky, to the goddamned beautiful mirage of wheated water. But my body wouldn't budge.

Psalm, 1950 DA*

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Just Another Displaced New Yorker

Though Santa's home may no longer be in Manhattan, his spirit remains here, in the city so influential in his creation.

Lolita At 50

Is Nabokov's masterpiece still shocking?

The War On "Munich"

Neoconservatives launch a preemptive strike on Spielberg's latest, which dares to break the rules of post-9/11 political correctness.


The Albanian Writers' Union As Mirrored By A Woman

Pregnancy Diary

The Word

Monday, December 19, 2005


They Can't Just Refill The Chairs

Raging technology has forced the networks to rethink anchors' roles and the concept of nightly news.

Worlds Collide

Who needs duck a l'orange when there are fajitas, and a Frenchman in a cowboy hat, just around the corner?

Sunday, December 18, 2005


New World Economy

It makes little sense to blame one company for the pain caused by a profound economic transformation. What would be more constructive, probably, is a total reimagination of the basic contract between government, businesses and workers.


Paradise Lost

After years of hiding their love, Barbara Kenny and Tibby Middleton found a place where they felt comfortable being a couple — until Virginia's lawmakers chased them across the Potomac.

The Late, Late Corner

Craig Ferguson can't speak for the nation the way Jonny Carson once did. He certainly can't outperform Leno or Letterman. But he can (and does) deliver late-night TV's most daring and inventive monol.

Lutes + Synthesizers + Rock Beats = America's Most Popular Christmas Music?

"Chip Davis owns Christmas. He is the Christmas king."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tech & Science

Unwed Numbers

The mathematics of Sudoku, a puzzle that boasts "No math required!"


Pursuing The Scarcer Moviegoers

With evidence increasing that the American moviegoing habit is in decline, theater owners are undertaking a concerted campaign to bring it back.

The Tannenbaum Equation

Are holiday tree sales a leading economic indicator?

Friday, December 16, 2005


Finding The Perfect Tree Can Become A Perfect Outing

Even if you'd rather save the picnicking for a football game, cutting your own Christmas tree feels festive.

King Kong's Monkey Love

Intimacy on the primate family tree.

The Great Xbox Shortage Of 2005

Never attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Native Grounds

Any honest European must ruefully admit that our experience of absorbing immigrants into the community over the past 60 years compares in many ways unfavorably with the American experience. What went wrong?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Sirens Of Small-Town Finance

Quick, Slow, Slow

Draft Of A Letter

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tech & Science

Children Learn By Monkey See, Monkey Do. Chimps Don't.

We don't appreciate just how automatically we rely on imitation, because usually it serves us so well.


Becoming Mary Poppins

P.L. Travers, Walt Disney, and the making of a myth.

A Storybook Beginning

Like most winners of a big prize, Jeanne Birdsall is bemused, stunned, and happy. But winning the 2005 National Book Award last month for her first children's novel, "The Penderwicks," seems not to please her as much as bonding with her lifelong literary heroes.

Japan Loves Its Little Villages, But Wants Fewer Of Them

Tokyo is resorting to a financial sleight of hand that is largely invisible to visitors to the countryside. It is cutting the numbers of towns and villages nearly in half.


Twenty Grand

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tech & Science

That Placebo Punch

Scientists are learning to harness the power of sham treatments — without the trickery.

Science Project

After 175 years, the Museum of Science is embarking on a mighty mission: to get schoolschildren excited about engineering and technology, help the US compete in the global economy, and, oh yes, make field trips more fun.

Madness About A Method

How did science become so contentious and policized?


How Do You Say 'D'oh!' In Arabic?

'The Simpsons' travels to the Middle East and undergoes a few changes along the way.

Sesame Street Goes Global: Let's All Count The Revenue

The makeovers — in places like Bollywood, Paris, Tokyo and South Africa — are transforming what it means to be a Muppet.

'Tis The Season To Obsess About Food

Thanksgiving yams, Chanukah latkes, Christmas cookies... for me, they all add up to a holiday-size serving of self-hatred.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Questions Of Faith

What should you tell your children about God?

From "Toy Story" To "Chicken Little"

The introduction of digital technology has transformed animated films. But will computer-animated humans ever look realistic on screen?

Saturday, December 10, 2005


It's A McWorld After All

A writer and a photographer visit 30 families around the world to show us what the world eats — and how industrial food is creeping into every corner of the globe.

The Price Of Motherhood

Ready to have a baby? You'll earn 10 percent more if you wait a year.

Friday, December 9, 2005


Baccarat For Lovers

Winning is a high, a buzz, a rush. It never feels random, even when it is. You're special, the chosen one, the fucking prom queen. Add to that the thrill of falling in love, and I was on one serious roller coaster.

Smithsonian Trades Its Cachet For Cash

If the Smithsonian bigwigs have really decided that money can be front and center in how they fill their spaces, then all sorts of options open up.

When Christmas Falls On Sunday, Megachurches Take The Day Off

Some of the nation's most prominent megachurches have decided not to hold worship services on the Sunday that coincides with Christmas Day, a move that is generating controversy among evangelical Christians at a time when many conservative groups are battling to "put the Christ back in Christmas."

Thursday, December 8, 2005


Real Food Doesn't Hold Still

It's impossible to forget that mealtime was once sacrosanct, that life revolved around food and the family dinner table. The love of beautiful cookbooks is evidence that people still appreciate these values.

Could A New Reading Scheme Turn Britain's Children Into Bookworms?

Synthetic honics can teach children how to read, but getting them to enjoy reading is the next challenge. An American method, currently being tried out in Britain, does just that.

Found: Old Wall In New York, And It's Blocking The Subway

Depending on which archaeologist you ask, it was built in the 1760's or as lolng ago as the late 17th century.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Tech & Science

A Scientist, Gazing Toward Stockholm, Ponders 'What If?'

"What ifs" are as plentiful in medicine as any other field. In conducting research, doctors are guided by a number of philosophical questions: is the aim to create a new paradigm? To try to disprove a well-accepted theorem? Or to refine existing understandings? Most scientists say they settle on making minor advances.

Albert Einstein As A Philosopher Of Science

Einstein's philosophical habit of mind, cultivated by undergraduate training and lifelong dialogue, had a profound effect on the way he did physics.


When We're Treated Like Criminals, Not Victims

The tension between progress in women's equality and backlash is evident in our atitudes to sexual violence.

Some Advice To Katie: Look Before You Leap

Couric's desire to move into the nightly news slot appears to be a case of chasing a dream that no longer exists.

Constant Travelers Wear Their All-Nighters As A Badge Of Pride

Most travelers view insomnia as an affliction.


A Myth Of Innocence

Tuesday, December 6, 2005


Germans Told To Cheer Up. 'Why Should We?' Some Say.

A broad campaign is Germany is trying to cheer up the presumably gloomy population, nudging Germans toward an unaccustomed optimism.

The Stay-At-Home Mystique

A new magazine, Total 180, is targeted at moms who have "opted out." But its papers are full of despairing screams, no sex, and women who are "let out" weekly by husbands.

Japan's Kamikaze Pilots And Contemporary Suicide Bombers: War And Terror

Ritualized violence and brutality as exemplified by suicide attack may constitute the most negative manifestations of a human being's desire to let one's own people live by sacrificing one's own life. However, war and violent conflict inevitably brutalize not only suicide attackers, but all human beings.

Why You Need Me

Some of us still need columnists.


La Conchita

Monday, December 5, 2005


Sex, Please — We're Young And Chinese

A generation after Mao suits, China is coping with an epidemic of free love.

Not Really A Morning Person?

It's a tough choice for the networks: Nighttime has the prestige; daytime's where the money is.

The Soul Of Sundance's Machine

The festival has become so famous it is practically synonymous with independent film, but until now, the process by which films are selected has remained a mystery within the industry.

Sunday, December 4, 2005


The End Of Shopping

Will the high-tech perfection of shopping mean the end of shpping?

Friday, December 2, 2005


Blogging L.A.

The view from the web offers a different perspective on Southern California, whether it's politics, relationships or neighborhoods.


The 7-Year-Old Lush

The Janitor

Pigtown By Blue Light

Double Shot


Love Is...

Thursday, December 1, 2005


Our Brilliant Blues

Creamy, rich and intense, the new American farmstead blue cheeses are uniquely linked to the land.

Cocktails: Raising The Bar

Are you ready for a Pumpkin Martini? How about an Evil Banana — or a Qince Mustard Margarita? Imbibers of the world, raise your glasses to the new golden age of the American cocktail.

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