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The other things in life

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


In My Own Words

Stephen King, Agatha Christie and Evelyn Waugh have all put fictional authors into their works. Is it escapism or egotism?

Kitchen Chemistry Is Chic, But Is It A Woman's Place?

Gender differences in professional cooking probably go back to the hunters and gatherers — more precisely, to the day it first occurred to the hunters to award four stars to themselves and none to the gatherers. But rarely have the differences seemed as stark as they do now, when the chefs winning some of the most bedazzled press coverage in memory belong to a breed of culinary artists who are overwhelmingly male.


History Of A Disturbance

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


America Tortures (Yawn)

In just a few years we've grown distrubingly comfortable with the fact that the U.S. practices torture.

Growing A Third Party

Somewhere in America, there are 35,000 people looking at the preliminaries to the 2008 presidential race from a different perspective than that of millions of their fellow citizens.


Ciao, Cookbooks!

With food blogs multiplying like weeds and millions of recipes available with a simple keystroke, has the internet made the cookbook obsolete?

Beneath The Burqas

The world's largest Muslim country is ground zero for a fledgling literary movement whose topi is sex and whose practitioners are women.


November Symphony

Steve Kronen's laest collection is Splendor. He is a librarian in Winter Park, Fla.

Monday, February 26, 2007


A Clock And Ball Story

Entertainment for the modern man.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Agenda

The word on Chinese art right now is "Buy!" but I'm not convinced that we Westerners really understand what's going on there.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Long Iraq Tours Can Make Home A Trying Front

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and loved ones have endured long, sometimes repeated separations that test the fragility of their relationships in unforeseen ways.

Chefs Are Putting New Accents On Sushi

non-Japanese workers feed popular demand in learning iconic craft.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tech & Science

For The First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons For Hunting

Chimpanzees living in the West African savannah have been observed fashioning deadly spears from sticks and using the tools to hunt small mammals — the first routine production of deadly weapons ever observed in animals other than humans.


Mom's Mad. And She's Organized.

A generation of mothers who are largely perceived as postfeminist in every way, from sex to economic discrimination, has begun a consciousness-raising that is almost old-fashioned were it not for the technology involved.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Disney World, Orlando Beyond Disney

When people tell the story of Orlando's stunning transformation from swamp and sinkhole to 21-st century metropolis, they begin, inevitably, with the man and the mouse.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Autumn And The Plot Against Me

By now I know the name of this particular wallpaper or background or whatever it is: Autumn. Moving to the desk and gazing more closely, I see a vague, dark, summoning something at the end of the path. A cabin? A covered bridge? A barn? I want to be there, for real, on that path, under those maples, moving slowly toward that dark, summoning something.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tech & Science

Flame First, Think Later: New Clues To E-Mail Misbehavior

The emerging field of social neuroscience, the study of what goes on in the brains and bodies of two interacting people, offer clues into the neural mechanics behind flaming.


Outrageous Fortune

For five decades the fortune cookie, a true immigrant success story, has been the crunchy, cryptic completion to any Chinese-American restaurant meal.

Monday, February 19, 2007


The Good Old days Of The Cold War

Don't wax too nostalgic — the world was once a much more dangerous place.

Tech & Science

Sizing Up The Universe

In physics, the really big things come in small packages.


Free Beer

*Well, as in 'free software.' Bringing the open source movement to brewing.

Advantage Britain

What sets the English apart from our actors? It's more than just a way with words.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


With One Word, Children's Book Sets Off Uproar

The word "scrotum" does not often appear in polite conversation. Or children's literature, for that matter. Yet there it is on the first page of "The Higher Power of Lucky," by Susan Patron, this year's winner of the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children's literature.

The Awakening Of Hanoi

I thought about why I had come to Hanoi — to see a country I knew only from history books and vaguely remembered images from the nightly news in the 1970s. Thirty years later, I found myself experiencing an enormous disconnect.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Live From New York, It's Cold People Waiting In Line

As I learned while standing my way into every studio I could, the price for those free seats is time. And in deep winter there is another cost: the price of long johns. And something to protest tender ears from bitterly unfunny gusts.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tech & Science


If proof is a magic wand that works only in the hands of wizards, what is its utility to the rest of us?

Why The Petri Became Science's Favorite Dish

Julis Petri invented a dish.


Brazil Nuts

Tales of a bikini waxer.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


He Cooks. She Stews. It's Love.

True, life with an alpha cook can mean sitting back and watching while someone else prepares restaurant-quality wild mushrom risotto on a quiet Tuesday night. But it can also mean putting up with small culinary humiliations and an unending patter of condescending remarks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Great Poems About Sex

Here is Slate's little anthology of love poems for Valentine's Day, once again trying to have it both ways: accepting the traditional association of love with verse but going light on the sugar. This year, let's look at sex.

Chinese Welcome New Year In A Whole Fish Way

For home cooks with access to a Chinese supermarket — or any market that sells whole fish — Chinese New Year dinner isn't an overwhelming task. The most challenging part of serving a whole fish is gutting it. That's done before you leave the store.

Say Everything

As younger people reveal their private lives on the internet, the older generation looks on with alarm and misapprehension not seen since the early days of rock and roll. The future belongs to the uninhibited.

In Travel Writing, Even Vacation Is Work

I envy business travelers for whom a business trip is a business trip, and a vacation is a vacation. As someone who edits a travel site, my business trips are business trips, and my vacations are — business trips.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


What The West Can Learn From Islam

The muffling of critical opinion should be of immediate concern to all freethinking individuals. To accept such a state of affairs is to accept that the United States, in the name of the "global war on terror" and national security, requires all citizens to think the same way.

Tech & Science

Faces, Faces Everywhere

Why do we see faces everywhere we look? Compelling answers are beginning to emerge from biologists and computer scientists who are gaining new insights into how the brain recognizes and processes facial data.


Flashy Libraries? I Prefer To Get My Adventure Out Of The Books Not The Building

I like my libraries stable, durable, serene. I am looking for adventure in the books, rather than in the building.


Lightning Stirke In Paradise

Andrew Hudgins teaches at the University of Cincinnati. His most recent book of poems is Babylon in a Jar.

Monday, February 12, 2007


The Needle And The Damage Done

Lethal injections are often botched and sometimes painful. Doctors don't want to administer them. Is it time to kill this form of execution?


The Swan

The Exact Distance

The Last Stop

Pita Delicious


Little Russia

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Ah, Paris — The Romance, The Food, The Airport, The Agony

I don't think our family can again face the gantlet of security forces one must go through to get in and out of this country. Or in and out of Los Angeles for that matter. Perhaps the terrorists have won after all.


Well, zut alors! A distinguished French literary professor has become a surprise bestselling author by writing a book explaining how to wx intellectual about tomes that you have never actually read. Obviously, I haven't read this book; but it is in the spirit of his oeuvre that I shall proceed to write about it anyway.

How Green Was My Wedding

People in the wedding business say the eco-friendly or "green" wedding has arrived, its appeal having expanded to spur a mini-industry of stores and web sites offering couples biodegradable plates made of sugar cane fiber and flowers grown according to sustainable farming practices.

What Are You Laughing At?

You could spend a lot of time exploring the differences between British and American comedy only to reach the conclusion that, ironically, they're pretty much the same.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tech & Science

Wind Chill Blows

It's time to get rid of a meaningless number.

Friday, February 9, 2007



Feb 6, 1985, the night he fled prison, Orlando Boquete, 30 years old, had already spent two years behind bars for a sexual assault and burglary he had nothing to do with, the victim of a victim who mistook him for the man who climbed in her window. Ahead of him, as far as the eye could see, were mountains of time: five decades. He bolted.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Tech & Science

Can Ageing Be Stopped?

Gerontologists consider the maximum lifespan for humans to be about 120 years. But with rising evidence for a genetic "death programme," which in principle could be amended, some researchers are starting to believe the limit could be extended.


The Truth About Beauty

Beauty exists, and it's unevenly distributed.

Time For Reading

The role of literature is to mess with time, to establish its own time, its own rhythm. A new agenda for literary studies should open up the time of reading, just as it opens up how the writer establishes his or her rhythm. Instead of rushing by works so fast that we don't even muss up our hair, we should tarry, attend to the sensuousness of reading, allow ourselves to enter the experience of words.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Tech & Science

Orbiting Junk, Once A Nuisance, Is Now A Threat

Today, next year or next decade, some piece of whirling debris wil start the cascade, experts say.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Major Third

Jeffrey Bean is the 2006-08 Axton Fellow in Poetry at the University of Louisville.

A Tranquil Star

Translated, from the Italian, by Ann Goldstein.

Monday, February 5, 2007


The Unsinkable Suzanne Somers

How a 'dumb blond' turned her life crises into a commercial juggernaut.

Orwell's "Catalonia" Revisited

Now that Marxist Communism as a ruling doctrine has all but disappeared from the face of earth (though its effects certainly live on), Orwell's most celebrated books have lost some of their urgency. It is even possible that generations to come, historically uninformed and uninterested, will wonder what on earth they were all about. By then, of course, Newspeak will have become so deeply entrenched that no one will realize that he is talking it, for it is the fate of satire in the modern world to become prophecy.

Applauding The Relaxing Of Rules Of Clapping In Classical Concerns

As concert-hall etiquette evolves, many musicians say they don't mind premature clapping.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


Sharp Bites

There is a new food game in the city that never stops grazing. A proliferation of blogs treating every menu revision, construction permit, clash of egos and suspiciously easy-to-get reservation as high drama is changing the rules of the restaurant world and forcing everyone from owners to chefs to publicists to get used to the added scrutiny.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


The New Yovaguers

Wherein six Minnesotans brave the Mekong River, whirlpools, and dysentery in a leaky boat with a lawnmower engine held together by toothpaste and cardboard and live to tell about it.

The Loneliest President

What's going on in George Bush's mind? A psychopolitical survey.

That's Handy

Recently I have realised that powerful women carry either small bags or no bag at all. As far as I can tell, this is a relatively new thing.

Friday, February 2, 2007


Now That A Penny Isn't Worth Much, It's Time To Make It Worth 5 Cents

How dumb do you have to be to mint money at a loss? In the latest only-in-Washington episode, we find that the government may have lost as much as $40 million coining pennies and nickels last year.

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