MyAppleMenu Reader: Archives

You are here in the archive: MyAppleMenu Reader > 2007 > November

November 30, 2007

Dan Rather's Last Big Story Is Himself

by Joe Hagan, New York Magazine

This is Dan Rather's last big story, his crusade to save his reputation as one of the late-twentieth century's great TV newsmen. But with much unproved, Rather's claims have left him standing alone.

The Hard-Boiled Bard

by Richard B Woodward, Guardian

Film noir plots often hinge on secrets and guilt, sexual fixation and ambiguity, and these same elements riddled Raymond Chandler's life in the view of biographer Judith Freeman.

James Fenton: 21St Century Renaissance Man

by Paul Quinn, Telegraph

James Fenton has been shot at, kidnapped, forced to eat his own dog and even dabble din West End musicals. He's also the most talented poet of his generation.

What A Bunch Of Losers

by Josh Levin, Slate

Engraving "N/A" onto a crystal football might look ridiculous. What's far sillier is the sports world's fixation on looking out for No. 1. Consider: The pulitzer boar doften decides that no play, novel, or syphony is deserving of its yearly honors. The Nobel Prize also on occasion goes unawarded.

November 29, 2007

The Original Political Vision: Sex, Art And Transformation

by Terry Eagleton, Guardian

Dissent and emancipation were holy for William Blake. He could teach our prime minister so much about how to be radical.

More 'Sex,' And The City Is Happy About It

by Melena Ryzik, New York Times

Though the television series ended its six-year run on HBO in 2004, many viewers follow it on DVD or in syndication here and abroad. For them "Sex and the City" is a continuing affair, one that still envelops New York with the promise of liberation through trapeze lessons, bottomless cosmopolitans and will-they-or-won't-they sex.

Langewiesche Unveiled

by Dorsey Kindler, San Francisco Chronicle

As the international correspondent for Vanity Fair, Langewiesche is one of the best magazine journalists at work today.

November 28, 2007

A History That Stands The Test Of Time

by Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

Published, astonishingly, almost exactly two years after the stock market crash of October 1929 that wrote a conclusive finis to the decade, the book "Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's" immediately proved at once a useful antidote to '20s romanticism and proof positive that this was indeed a remarkable and unique period in U.S. history.

Enter Sandman

by Rachel Aviv, Poetry Foundation

Who wrote "Footprints"?

Hunting Grounds For The Lost

by Ingrid Chung, 2River View

Dairy Maid And Cyclops

by Lynne Potts, 2River View

Ars Poetica, Or Keeper-Of-The-Water

by Joanne Dominique Dwyer, APR

November 27, 2007

Twenty-First Century Exhibit

by Tomas Q. Morin, Slate

The Power Of The Tower

by Jonathan Glancey, Guardian

The New York Times Building isn't just a striking new home for the paper - it's the city's best skyscraper in 40 years.

Alba Red

by Richard Kenney, New Yorker

The Visitor

by Marisa Silver, New Yorker

Darwin's Surprise

by Michael Specter, New Yorker

Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?

The Pathos Of Things

by Seamus Heaney, Guardian

An economy of means, a sense of stillness and transience, Japanese poetry shares many of the qualities of Old Irish verse. English poetry had much to learn from both traditions.

Pleased To Be Here

by Walter Kirn, New York Times

Run down to the bar and rouse the culture editor: the imposible has happened. n the dispiriting age of Bush and Britney, with our military still bogged down in Baghdad and our media stil lbewitched by Beverly Hills, an accomplished, respected American writer (a recent National Book Award Winner, in fact) has published a serious patriotic novel.

A Good Mystery: Why We Read

by Motoko Rich, New York Times

Is all hope gone, or will people still be drawn to the literary landscape? And what is it, exactly, that turns someone into a book lover who keeps coming back for more?

From Vienna, A Killer In A Cowboy Suit

by Janet Maslin, New York Times

In his awkward new book abotu a particularly unapetizing criminal, John Leake struggles to make a case for the egomaniac he has studied.

Calling Dr. Lee

by Sandy Boucher, San Francisco Chronicle

There are three Dr. Lees in my life.

Menagerie, Not Museum, For Words That Live

by Edward Rothstein, New York Times

The newly published Sixth Edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary reflects the transformations unfolding in the unabridged third edition of the O.E.D.

Is Race Dying?

by Gary Kamiya, Salon

More than a third of black Americans no longer believe that blacks are a single race. This finding has alarmed some — but it could help America out of its racial mess.

November 26, 2007

Subject, Verb, Object

by James Richardson, New Yorker

November 24, 2007

No More Reading The Readers

by Meghan Daum, Los Angeles Times

Thanks to a new electronic device, it may become impossible to judge people by their (book) covers.

'I Like Chicken McNuggets'

by Jan Moir, Financial Times

Chef Alain Ducasse on why he's fond of McDonald's, steamed tofu and serving raspberries in November.

Feast And Famine

by The Economist

A history of British food.

November 23, 2007

Where The Votes Are, So Are All Those Calories

by Jodi Kantor, New York Times

Running for president is like entering a competitive eating contest and a beauty pageant all at once. Candidates are expected to eat local specialities often and with gusto, yet still look attractive and fit.

What Makes Us Moral

by Jeffrey Kluger, Time

If the entire human species were a single individual, that person would long ago have been declared mad. The insanity woul dnot lie in the anger and darkness of the human mind—though it can be a black and raging place indeed. And it certainly wouldn't lie int he transcendent goodness of that mind—one so sublime, we fold it into a larger "soul." The madness would lie instead in the fact that both of those qualities, the savage and the splendid, can exist in one creature, on person, often in one instant.

I Went To Africa And All I Got Was Malaria

by Jennifer Yael Green, The Stranger

But I read a great book about Africa while I was there.

November 22, 2007

Dream Food

by David Mas Masumoto, Los Angeles Times

A organic farmer has some food fantasies. One of them is quality over quantity.

Superman Comes To The Supermarket

by Norman Mailer, Esquire

In November 1960, Norman Mailer first tried his hand at a genre that would come to define his career. This is Mailer's debut into the world of political journalism, a sprawling classic examining John F. Kennedy.

In Some Households, Every Day Is Turkey Day

by Kim Severson, New York Times

It is one thing for the president of the United States to pardon a pair of turkeys every year and then send them off to live out their days in Florida. It's quite another to save a turkey from the Thanksgiving table by inviting it to live with you.

The Divine Sound Of Silence

by Kevin Berger, Salon

Britain's No Music Day offers a welcome hush over a noisy world. It can't come to America soon enough.

November 21, 2007

The Economic Consequences Of Mr. Bush

by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Vanity Fair

When we look back someday at the catastrophe that was the Bush administration, we will think of many things: the tragedy of the Iraq war, the shame of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the erosion of civil liberties. The damage done to the American economy does not make front-page headlines every day, but the repercussions will be felt beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this page.

November 20, 2007

Definition Of Stranger

by Idra Novey, Slate

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

by Keith Phipps, Slate

Take a closer look at Close Encounters, particularly if you haven't seen the movie in a while, and you realize the movie has a rather un-Spielbergian subtext.

Denial Makes The World Goes Round

by Benedict Carey, New York Times

Recent studies from fields as divserse as psychology and anthropology suggest that the ability to look the other way, while potentially destructive, is also critically important to forming and nourishing close relationship.

Ordinary Life

by Adam Zagajewski, New Yorker

Alvaro Rousselot's Journey

by Roberto Bolano, New Yorker

No, But We Saw The Movie

by Nora Ephron, New Yorker

When they got home that night, she went to get the book. She'd ordered it earlier in the week and meant to read it before they went to the movie, but it was a hard week and things got away from her. THis was happening more and more.

Maybe if we look in the book we'll be able to figure it out, she said.

American Empire, Going, Going...

by Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

Great empires were extraordinarily pluralistic, argues Amy Chua, until they frayed into xenophobia and decline. Can the U.S. steer another course?

November 19, 2007

First Snow

by Louise Gluck, New Yorker

This Is Janet. This Is John... All Over Again

by Finlo Rohrer, BBC News

Forget the modern updates, this Christmas you may find yourself getting a little literary slice of the 1950s.

Woody Talks

by David Kamp, New York Times

Eric Lax's new book of interviews with Woody Allen, along with recent collections of Allen's fiction and prose, helps burnish the director's legacy.

Sweeping The Clouds Away

by Virginia Heffernan, New York Times

Nothing in the children's entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hoppped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times.

The Sleep-Industrial Complex

by Jon Mooallem, New York Times

Sleep may finally be claiming its place beside diet and exercise as both a critical health issue and a niche for profitable consumer products.

November 17, 2007

Wake-Up Call

by Erica C. Barnett, The Stranger

Roads and transit is dead. Long live light rail!

One Day In America

by Nancy Gibbs, Time

But if the perfect average is a mirage, you can still learn something by comparing yourself to the crowd.

America's Vulnerable Economy

by The Economist

Recession in America looks increasingly likely. Can booming emerging markets save the world economy?

November 16, 2007

Dropping Off My Daughter, At A New Life

by Beth Quinn Barnard, New York Times

With all those miles to drive and five whole days to do it, I figured letting go of Nellie would be a breeze.

Hello, Vacation: It's The Boss

by Lisa Belkin, New York Times

It's offiical: nothing is sacred. At least two insurers have added the "cancel for work reasons" option to a travel insurance plan.

Savoring Pez's Sweet History

by Daniel Terdiman, CNET

If it wasn't for Pez, the theory goes, there would be no eBay.

21st-Century Cowboys

by Robert Draper, National Geographic Magazine

Conditions are tough, the pay is lousy, and there is no quittin' time. So why do cowboys love their job?

November 15, 2007

Did I Steal My Daughter? The Tribulations Of Global Adoption

by Elizabeth Larsen, Mother Jones

The answers are never easy when you enter the labyrinth of global adoption.

November 14, 2007

On Myth

by Marina Warner, The Liberal

Writers don't make up myths; they take them over and recast them. Even Homer was telling stories that his audience already knew.

How Science Is Rewriting The Book On Genes

by David Brown, Washington Post

Everyone who goes to medical school hears this story at some point. Graduation day comes and the new doctors assemble to get their diplomas. The dean gazes out and announces sheepishly: "I'm sorry to tell you that half of what we taught you is wrong. The problem is, we don't know which half."

Nowhere has this been more evident than in genetics.

The Secret? It's Not The Potatoes

by Julia Moskin, New York Times

Having recently mashed 32 pounds of potatoes over a three-day period, I can say that they are good cooked in plain water, in salted water and in water mixed with milk, wine or chicken stock.

Meals On Reels

by Feargus O'Sullivan, The Guardian

What is the most famous food scene in all cinema? Could it be Samuel L Jackson interrogating the men he's been hired to kill about European hamburgers and the metric system in Pulp Fiction? Or might it be Debbie Reynolds jumping out of a cake to do the charleston in Singin' in the Rain? Hannibal Lecter's serving suggestions for humanliver in The Silence of the Lambs is among Hollywood's best-remembered lines, while dedicated foodies might plump for any of the scenes celebrating food connoisseurship or gluttony in Babette's Feast or La Grande Bouffe. Ever since I learned as a teenager that the blood spiralling down the plughole in the shower scene from Psycho was actually chocolate sauce, I've been intrigued by the way food is portrayed on screen.


by Michael Longley, New Yorker

Or Else

by Antonya Nelson, New Yorker

November 13, 2007


by Frank Bidart, Slate

The Real Thing

by Tama Janowitz, New York Times

One thing I figure, whether adopted, mixed race, religious, non-religious, whethe ryour child is biological, whether you send her to Hebrew school or piano lessons — there is no one who does not resent his or her parents. We all have this in common. Indeed, it may be what makes us human.

From Ants To People, An Instinct To Swarm

by Carl Zimmer, New York Times

If you have ever observed ants marching in and out of a nest, you might have been reminded of a highway buzzing with traffic. To Iain D. Couzin, such a comparison is a cruel insult — to the ants.

Ameicans spend a 3.7 million hours a year in congested traffic. But you never see ants stuck in gridlock.

November 12, 2007

Picketing But Still Punchy

by Rachel Axler, New York Times

Before I leave, I take care not to tidy my desk too much. I even leave a cup of water by the keyboard. Not like it'll have time to evaporate! Monday morning I'll be back here and we'll all laugh at our paranoia. Laugh and laugh and laugh.

Visiting The Library In A Strange City

by Franz Wright, New Yorker

Don't Look Away

by Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Getting loudly outraged over blackface may allow us the luxury of feeling superior to our ancestors, but it's the easy way out. More difficult and more necessary is actually looking at a practice with roots deep in American history, one that had different meanings to the white mainstream, to immigrants, and to the African-Americans who turned it to their own expressive purposes. Only by understanding blackface can we recognize where we haven't progressed; only then can we see the places where blackface still thrives in our culture, disguised and still potent.

What Comes After

by Liza Mundy, Washington Post

THey lost their daughters in the deadliest cmpus massacre in U.S. history. Now one parent thinks a lawsuit might be the only way to hold someone accountable for her death, while the other believes it would only prolong their pain.

Googling Her Birth Parents

by Annie Kassof, San Francisco Chronicle

I couldn't help reflecting on my new version of the symbolism of this nightly routine.

Easy Out

by Alison Lobron, Boston Globe

Ok, maybe not easy. But today's gay high schoolers are discovering that declaring their homosexuality — and doing it at younger and younger ages — brings little of the stigma and complications that earlier generations faced.

November 11, 2007

The Tables Turn For Dilbert's Creator

by Brad Stone, New York Times

Scott Adams, the "Dilbert" creator and the progenitor of the multimillion-dollar Dilbert empire, is now a pointy-haired boss himself.

Norman Mailer

by Louis Menand, New Yorker

No one would say of Norman Mailer, who died on November 10th, at the age of eighty-four, that he oarded his gift. He was a slugger. He swung at everything, and when he missed he missed by a mile and sometimes endd up on his tush, but when he connected he usually knocked itout of hte park. He was immodest about his failures and modest about his successes, which is a healthy trait for a writer and probably a healthy trait for life. He left a huge footprint on American letters.

November 10, 2007

Keeping Up With Gisele

by Chrystia Freeland, Financial Times

Living in a time when it is OK to show footage of a cavorting model in a bikini and call it business news does pose a couple of challenges for the ordinary working girl.

Howling At The Moon

by The Economist

America should keep its cool about the technological threat posed by China and India.

November 9, 2007

Happy Ever After?

by Emma Campbell Webster, Guardian

Romantic comedies often close with a wedding, implying that marriage is 'the end' of all adventure. Does this message encourage women to stay single?

Need A Life? She'll Arrange One

by Deborah Schoeneman, New York Times

Looking for someone to curate your life? Need a personal concierge whose expertise is not picking up dry-cleaning but helping chose your wardrobe, your tastes, your friends? Ms. Storr calls herself a personal manager, but her duties go far beyond that. Her clients, all of them men, pay monthly fees of $4,000 to $10,000 to have her be their personal decider in nearly all things lifestyle-related.

Indecent Exposure

by Carla Power, Time

Reams have been written on the differences between Islamic and Western societies, but for sheer pithiness, it's hard to beat a quip by my former colleague, a Pakistani scholar of Islamic studies. I'd strolled into his office one day to find him on the floor, at prayer. I left, shutting his door, mortified. Later he cheerfully batted my apologies away. "That's the big difference between us," he said with a shrug. "You Westerners make love in public and pray in private. We Muslims do exactly the reverse."

A Billion-Dollar Romance Novel Industry, And Its Lnely Black Author

by Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly

Between the kitty litter and the toothpaste, on a lonely aisle of your supermarket, they cry out for love. Highlander Untamed! Unleash the Night! To Pleasure a Prince! The Boss's Wife for a Week! Willingly Bedded, Forcibly Wedded! Carrying an average price of $7.42, these paperbacks are cheap and hardly literary, yet carefully crafted by an industry that annually produces some 6,000 titles.

November 7, 2007

Food 2.0: Chefs As Chemists

by Kenneth Chang, New York Times

Chefs are using science not only to better understand their cooking, but also to create new ways of cooking.

Finding Zhao Gu

by Jeff Gammage, New York Times

When my wife and I arrived in Gansu Province to adopt our second daughter, Zhao Gu, we were shocked to find two bits of tantalizing information — one a hope, the other a mystery — embedded in the paperwork.

Death By Political Correctness

by Charlotte Allen, Weekly Standard

Who killed Antioch College?

November 6, 2007

A Wedding At Cana, Lebanon, 2007

by Tom Sleigh, Slate

The Panorama

by Yusef Komunyakaa, New Yorker

Brooklyn Circle

by Alice Mattison, New Yorker

Dangerous Minds

by Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker

Criminal profiling made easy.

Rethinking What Caused The Last Mass Extinction

by John Noble Wilford, New York Times

The discovery of thriving communities of survivors at the end of the Cretaceous is giving some scientists second thoughts about the extinction's causes and effects.

November 5, 2007

A Firefighter's Theorem

by Liz Widdicombe, New Yorker

"It's simple, but the originality is to recognize that it's happening."

The Japanese Garden

by Jean Valentine, New Yorker

The Lost Art Of Leftovers

by Denise Winterman, BBC News

We waste too much food and should return to the way we lived during the war, says a new campaign. It would save us money and help save the planet.

Bio Engineering

by Rachel Donadio, New York Times

Few major living authors have a biography in progress. And that's just what most writers — and many biographers — prefer.

November 4, 2007

Watch 'Em And Weep

by Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Let the credits and the tears roll. Aren't movies — sniff — grand?

The Limits Of Language

by Nicholas Lemann, Los Angeles Times

Orwell thought that better writing would lead to better politics; he was partially right.

Civil Discourse, Meet The Internet

by Clark Hoyt, New York Times

How does the august Times, which has long stood for dignified authority, come to terms with the fractious, democratic culture of the internet, where readers expect to participate but sometimes do so in coarse, bullying and misinformed ways?

November 3, 2007

The Invincible Man

by Joel Garreau, Washington Post

Aubrey de Grey may be wrong but, evidence suggests, he's not nuts. This is a no small assertion. De Grey arguest that some people alive today will live in a robust and youthful fashion for 1,000 years.

Warren Buffett, Adjust My Bra

by Belinda Luscombe, Time

The women of America need you. Badly. Have you ever been in the changing room of the lingerie section of a major department store? O.K., don't answer that. But I've been there, and I'll tell you, it ain't pretty.

Suicide Food

by Lindy West, The Stranger

"Suicide food" is any depiction of animals that act as though they wish to be consumed," explains Ben Grossblatt in the mission statement of Suicide Food (, his blog and mild ethical obsession. "Suicide food actively participates in or celebrates its own demise. Suicide food identifies with the oppressor. Suicide food is a bellwether of our decadent society. Suicide food is not funny."

How Oprah Ruined The Marathon

by Edward McClelland, Salon

America's competitive spirit has been wrecked by feel-good amateurs like Oprah whose only goal is to stagger across the finish line.

November 2, 2007

Literature's Antidote To Hate

by Amos Oz, Los Angeles Times

I believe in literature as a bridge between peoples. I believe curiosity can be a moral quality. I believe imagining the other can be an antidote to fanaticism. Imagining the other will make you not only a better busnessperson or a better lover but even a better person.

November 1, 2007

Stick Figure

by Henry Petroski, Slate

The marketing genius who brought us the toothpick.

What's Wrong With Sports Illustrated

by Josh Levin, Slate

An avid sports fan can now read Sports Illustrated without learning anything new.

By Heng-Cheong Leong