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The other things in life

Friday, March 31, 2006


Shoot The Beasties

The Beastie Boys gave 50 strangers a camera — and ended up with a whole new type of concert movie.

Secret Fiction

So you finally wrote the book. Now what?

:-) !!! )-: !!!!!! (-: What's All This? Admission Angst

College and graduate school applicants awaiting the good, or bad, news from admission offices — some already in hand, some coming any day now — have discovered the addictive joys of chronicling their experiences in excruciating and often embarrassing detail online in blogs and on forums.

Getting Fresh With Mozart

He wrote about 650 pieces; why do we always hear the same old six?

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Hail Caesar

America cannot get enough of the Caesar salad.

Four Hot Meals, And Hold The Dazzle, Please

At any restaurant, who comes first, the chef or the customer? Is it unreasonable, at least sometimes, to want to eat dinner instead of worshipping at the altar of the resident genius?

Celebrity Death Watch

Could the country's insane fame fixation maybe, finally — fingers crossed — be coming to an end? One hopeful sign: Paris Hilton.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


A Plan To Replace the Welfare State

The government should give every American $10,000 — and nothing more.


After A Shelluva Life, Had He Seen Enough?

Addwaita the tortoise may have lived longer than the whole history of the United States.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Relatively Deprived

How poor is poor?


A Love Affair, Dumplings On The Side

It's a yin-yang kind of thing.

The True Price Of Disposable Chopsticks

China's appetite for disposable chopsticks eats up 25 million trees each year. With forests fast disappearing, now the pressure is on for people to adopt less wasteful eating habits.

Presto! A School For Magic Creates Hope Out Of Thin Air

With a little sleight of hand, race and class divisions in South Africa can vanish, at least for a moment.

The Finnish Line

Sub-zero temperatures. Sunlight for just five hours a day. Centuries of Russian aggression. The people of Finland have a word for their renowned fortitude and resilience. Could an outsider get in on their secret?

Maximum Cities

London, Paris and New York are dying — the 21st century belongs to the fertile chaos of the third-world metropolis.


A Better Angel

Monday, March 27, 2006


My Saudi Arabian Breakfast

How to wake up each morning and consume a quart of crude oil and two and half pounds of coal.

Tech & Science

Searching For Dummies

Can better information in the classroom produce the literate,numerate society the web once promised?

Peer Review And 'Media Science'

How do we tell good science from bad? By looking at how it is published.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Adopted In China, Seeking Identity In America

Molly and Qiu Meng represent the leading edge of this coming-of-age population, adopted just after the laws changed and long before such placements became popular, even fashionable.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Getting Off The Bus After 76 Years Of Work

After working for 76 years at public transit agencies, bus maintenance attenant Arthur Winston celebrated his first day of retirement and his 100th birthday Wednesday at a party in the cavernous Los Angeles MTA garage named after him.

Supreme Indifference

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says America may be sliding toward a dictatorship. Why don't American newspapers consider that news?

Text Messaging

With a photocopier and a pencil, Molly Springfield draws meaning from the printed page.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Like Movies? Join The Club

While industry experts ponder the myriad reasons behind dwindling box-office attendance, organizers of film clubs — cliques in which film lovers can bond over movies in a mre controlled environment than the neighborhood multiplex — say their associations are growing in popularity.

After Katrina, Cookbooks Top The Best-Seller List

When the city's bookstores began opening after Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters receded, the first volumes residents bought to replace their waterlogged,moldy collections were often beloved cookbooks.

Literary Novels Going Straight To Paperback

A growing number of publishing companies are adopting a different business model, offering books by lesser-known authors only as "paperback originals," forgoing the higher profits afforded by publishing a book in hardcover for a chnace at attracting more buyers and a more sustained shelf life.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Attack Of The Pandas

Wil Taiwan's wary, pro-independence governemnt succumb to a pair of China's most adorable ambassadors? History says yes.

Tech & Science

Why You Should Choose Math In High School

Math is a sharp knife for cutting through thorny problems. If you want a sharp knife in your mental tool chest — choose math!


If Newspaper Markets Are So Different, Why Do Most Papers Look So Much Alike?

USAToday succeeded because it offered real innovation — it's truly an original. The real McPapers are the ones copying each other.


The Hole


Why Cupid's Arrow Takes A year To Hit Its Target Of True Love

Researchers have concluded that "consummate love" takes around 12 months to develop in a relationship.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


In The Workplace, Every Bleeping Word Can Show Your Rank

Profanity is a barometer of corporate culture because cussing up a blue streak may be taboo to some companies and expected in others.

Where The Roads End

I feel strangely hopeful for our forests because there is, in most of us, a yearning to follow a 10-year-old into terrain where there are no roads at all. There is also a yearning to know, even if we cannot go there ourselves, that such untrammeled places still exist. And above all, there is a yearning to cherish forever the roadless realms of our hearts.

Airline Workers Are Left At gate, Mourning A Perk

Through deep pay cuts, shrunken pensions and longer hours, airline employees who survived the endless rounds of layoffs knew they could still count on one thing: free flights. But that perk, a touch of jet-setting glamour is an increasingly dreary line of work, is now much harder to use because so many flights are full.

Freud In Our Midst

On his 150th birthday, the architect of therapeutic culture is an inescapable force. Why Freud — modern history's most debunked doctor — captivates us even now.

Fear Factor

Cable is not a medium for providing information, and it is not going to become one anytime soon. Cable is the world that Bill O'Reilly made. National politics will change long before that does.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Where Showing Skin Doesn't Sell, A New Style Is A Hit

All these young women dream of is a sporty hijab, one that covers them but doesn't cramp their style.

Taco Bell Nation

Look around any of these fast-food franchises, and you'll see the mosaic of people we've become Maybe a little too portly. And way too ignorant of what a real chalupa is.

Wanted: A Few Good Sperm

Tired of waiting for the right guy to come along, more and more women are just looking for the right sperm. But for a woman trying to have a child alone, choosing a donor is only the beginning.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tech & Science

Africa's New Ocean: A Continent Splits Apart

Normally new rivers, seas and mountains are born in slow motion. The Afar Triangle near the Horn of Africa is another story. A new ocean is forming there with staggering speed — at least by geological standards. Africa will eventually lose its horn.


A Nation Of Non-Readers

A strange and costly disregard for books.

Friday, March 17, 2006


A Candid Dutch Film May Be Too Scary For Immigrants

This is not exactly a run-of-the-mill homework assignment: watch a film clip of an attractive woman sunbathing topless, and try not to be shocked.


Girl Uninterrupted

Dspite my harsh critique of Winona's tongue, I really am on her side. I'd love her to find a way out the impasse of youth culture. I'd love to see her convincingly tackle some roles where she just has to be a normal, unkooky, confident woman. And I'd love to see her knuckles going white round the knees of an Oscar. But does she want to grow up? I don't know.

Where The Buses Run On Time

The lure of incentive pay.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Was It Good For You, Too?

Because, in the end, it's the warmth of human contact that makes the sex so pleasurable. In the end, it's about using all your senses.

Mao's Lost Children

In 1934, hundreds of thousands of communists were driven from southern China by nationalists fighting against a socialist state. Only a fifth of them survived the 8,000-mile 'Long March.'

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


William Safire And Art That's Good For You

It used to be fairly easy to draw the political battle lines over art in Amercia.


Lot's Wife

Upon A T-Shirt

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tech & Science

Time Too Good To Be True

Without wishing to cause unnecessary distress, I would like to call attention to a couple of issues concerning time. The first is merely calendraic but the second concerns the future of time itself.

Far Out, Man. But Is It Quantum Physics?

Do we have to indulge in bad physics to feel good?


Rewriting Handwriting

At a time when the computer is king and toddlers type, some educators believe it's even more imperative to teach a speedy handwriting tecnique that others can read. Enter italic, a zippy hybrid of print and cursive that Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay consider a simple,elegant solution to the massive modern handwriting malaise.



Monday, March 13, 2006

Tech & Science

'If There Had Been A Little Man Waving Back From Mars, We Would Have Been Right There. But there Was Just A Rock.'

Have we really lost our enthusiasm for space, or are we simply waiting for the discovery of some proper aliens?


Getting Nowhere

Diehard singles, we commute, clog, stall, rage and refuse to change.

A Wrongful Birth?

The technology of prenatal care has been shifting rapidly, and our ethical responses to the information provided has been shifting as well.

Roe For Men?

The National Center for Men filed suit to establish reproductive rights for men. Is a father's right to choose an idea worth debating, or just a distraction?

American Culture Has Always Warmed To What's Cool

Thinking about contemporary American culture brings me back to grammar school.

Can This Man Save The Movies? (Again?)

In the digital era, is film dead? As audience gravitate to DVDs, Hollywood wonders if the movie theater can survive. The rebels are surging. Can the Empire strike back?

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Harvard's Crowded Course To Happiness

The most popular course at Harvard this semester teaches happiness.

Friday, March 10, 2006


The Plan To Nowhere?

The region's ambitious 10-year timetable to end homelessness is in serious trouble, undercut and underfunded. The Bush administration is sending mixed signals, and things are about to get worse.


Stop The Presses

One of Seattle's two daily newspapers is going to die — probably the 'P-I.' And that' snot a bad thing in the internet age.

Bum Wrap

On the night of the city's homeless census, street people count.

Absolution In Your Cup

The real meaning of Fair Trade coffee.

Thursday, March 9, 2006


The Best Picture Misses The Big Picture

Thank you, "Crash." Thank you, Academy.

Yes, Sushi's On The Meal Plan

The last decade has brought huge changes to many campus dining halls, as collegesramp up the quality and variety of food to atract an increasingly sophisticated — and picky — generation of students.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Tech & Science

Elephantine Theory Stirs Misty Waters Of Loch Ness

So maybe the Loch Ness monster was actually a circus elephant.


My Flight From Fantasy

There's no getting round it: travel really does broaden the mind, but it also knackers the planet.

Open Adoption, Broken Heart

I knew it would be hard for my daughter's birth mother to give her up. I just didn't exepct to feel so guilty for taking her.


The Worker

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Tech & Science

Linguists Find The Words, And Pocahontas Speaks Again

A small yet growing number of linguists and anthropologists has been busy in recent years recreating dead or dying Indian speech.


Why Good Punctuation Makes For Bad Writing

Good punctuation is mourned as a lost art. But the best writing is full of mistakes — and that's why it's exciting.

Publish Or Panic

The credibility of books is in a million little pieces. The web is stealing readers. But publishers are fighting back.


The Trench

Monday, March 6, 2006


Sins Of The Fatherland

Domestic law punishes individuals who commit crimes, not families, villages, or ethnic groups. Why should international law punish states?


The Raw Facts

Allow me to spear the notion that it's good to eat only what is uncooked.

Bedtime Stories

Erotic fiction has been languishing on the top shelf for years, but a new generation of women writers is moving it from the fringes to thel iterary mainstream.

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

There will never be an Oscar for Most Correct English, but that doesn't keep us from grumbling about movie titles that seem to be vying for the Least Correct prize.

Sunday, March 5, 2006


Diplomatic Baggage

The past is another country, they say, and it is hard to find your way back. What they don't tell you is that if you carry a diplomatic passport you can pretty well forget ever crossing that particular frontier again.

Saturday, March 4, 2006


Oscar Nominees You Didn't See

In watching a film before the hype, critics get a very differnet picture.

Friday, March 3, 2006


Emirate Wakes Up Famous. Thank You, America.

As Dubai emerges as a power on the global economic stage, it has much to learn about the "soft" aspects of business, from politics to public relations.


Casting About

More than 100 hopefuls. Three weekends of auditions. Just a handful of parts.

Thursday, March 2, 2006


Clinton's Guantanamo

How the Democratic president set the stage for a land without law.


The Joke Is On Katrina

Many in New Orleans lost everything but their sense of humor. Have you heard the one about the evacuee who was out on a date?

'Social Order' Takes The Life Out Of Night Life

Increasingly, going out on the town in Bangkok has become more of a hassle than checking in for an international flight.

Breaking The Rules

Red wine can go swimmingly with fish.

The Vocabulary Of e-English Doesn't Bust Grammar Mold

Computer-speak is not just a dialet or vocabulary — it has grammatical principles all its own.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


A One-Hour Commute To Another World

It takes barely an hour to drive from downtown Seoul to the other side of the demilitarized zone, but the culture shock is such that you might as well be commuting to the moon.


Ode To Hangover

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