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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

David McCann Wrote His First Sijo On A Restaurant Napkin Two Years Ago. Three Of His Poems:

by Boston Globe Tweet

The Puzzle Of Spaces That Soothe

by Abigail Zuger, New York Times

After all, if your brain can make you miserable in your living room, think how much worse things are likely to be in a standard-issue hospital room, surrounded by noise, confusion, bad smells and highly unscenic views. You would think that a science so adept at scanning the brain could figure out how to soothe it with equal dexterity. Tweet

Monday, June 29, 2009

Priced To Sell

by Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker

Is free the future? Tweet

The Way We Love Now

by Ross Douthat, New York Times

These irrepressible passions make a fascinating counterpoint to the complaint, advanced this month by two of the nation’s finest essayists, that modern relationships have been drained of danger and purged of eros. Tweet


by Lorrie Moore, New Yorker Tweet

A Dream

by Jorge Luis Borges, New Yorker Tweet

Twin Cities

by Carol Muske-Dukes, New Yorker Tweet

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sands Shift In Summer Reading

by Lisa Kocian, Boston Globe

While area schools constantly tweak their lists and debate what deserves a spot, a consensus is growing that students should be enticed to read, even if that leads them to books that haven’t yet stood the test of time. Tweet

Living For Cinema, And Through It

by A. O. Scott, New York Times

And then there is Agnès Varda, the only female filmmaker associated with the Nouvelle Vague at its high-water mark and now, at 81, an artist of undiminished vigor, curiosity and intelligence. Tweet

Think Like A Fish

by Salvatore Scibona, New York Times

Unlucky fishermen are all alike: We don’t know how to see. My friend Jud has outfished me in all but one or two of the hundred times we’ve gone to the ocean and bay beaches and kettle ponds on Cape Cod. By both study and exercise, he knows the culture of striped bass better than I know my own nose. But to call him “lucky” would begrudge him a talent that I have never seen in anyone else and that lives underneath skill or knowledge. Tweet

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Postmodern Me

by David Gates, New York Times

The best Hemon’s characters can hope for is an occasional random intersection of private fictions. His readers may have no better hope in their real lives, but in Hemon’s stories they can observe the strange, lonely artistry of the individual imagination from a distance that seems like no distance at all Tweet

I Love You, Man (As A Friend)

by Douglas Quenqua, New York Times

The kinship between gay men and straight women is familiar to the point of cliché (see: “Sex and the City,” “Will and Grace,” Kathy Griffin’s audience, etc.), but friendships between gay and straight men have barely registered on the pop culture radar, perhaps because they resist easy classification. For every sweeping statement one can make about such friendships, there is a real-life counter example to undermine the stereotypes. And as with all friendships, no two are exactly alike. Tweet

Help Wanted

by Richard Dorment, Esquire

How hard is it to find a job these days? Esquire's guy applied for more than three hundred over several weeks — and ended up with eight interviews. Real jobs, real interviews, real pain in the... Tweet

The Overextended Family

by Peggy Orenstein, New York Times

The very technology with which we choose to communicate in a relationship has become a barometer of our willingness to reveal ourselves within it. Tweet

Friday, June 26, 2009

How McDonald's Conquered France.

by Mike Steinberger, Slate Magazine

The fast-food chain's most surprising success. Tweet

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exit The Dragon

by Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

Now let's jump into the way-back machine and return to the beginning of this decade, when Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" grossed $128 million and won four Oscars, blowing the old paradigm of possibility for foreign-language movies to smithereens. A new era of globalized East-West cinema seemed to be here. Just nine years later, "Asian movies are dead in America and no one cares," says Grady Hendrix, co-director of Subway Cinema, which runs the NYAFF. "We're right back where we started."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beating Hearts

by Jessa Crispin, The Smart Set

Finally, a consideration of love that doesn't end with marriage, routine, or cliche!

Why Your Marriage Sucks

by Amanda Fortini, Salon

Passion has died, argues author Christina Nehring, taking domestic bliss with it. But is romance really in crisis?

The Nike Experiment: How The Shoe Giant Unleashed The Power Of Personal Metrics

by Mark McClusky, Wired

Using a flood of new tools and technologies, each of us now has the ability to easily collect granular information about our lives—what we eat, how much we sleep, when our mood changes.

The Gay Generation Gap

by Mark Harris, New York

Forty years after Stonewall, the gay movement has never been more united. So why do older gay men and younger ones often seem so far apart?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Baby And I, And Doodle Pads

by Lisa Unger, New York Times

I was once a streamlined business traveler. I was efficient, rarely checking a bag. I never had a hair out of place or a wrinkle in my blouse. I would breeze through security. Now, I look like a refugee fleeing a burning village, with all of my belongings on my back.

The reason: I travel with my 3-year-old daughter, Ocean. And my husband comes along for the ride, too.

So Many Vampires, So Little Time

by Laura Miller, Salon

A guide to a literary genre in which Buffy's spirit lives on, with young heroines battling demons -- and adulthood.


by Daniel Gross, Slate

It struck me that while Esperanto may be dead, the language of food may have replaced it as one that transcends borders and can be universally understood.

Monday, June 22, 2009


by Stephen O’Connor, New Yorker

The new girl sat at the computer in the corner playing Ziggurat, Panic!, and U-Turn. This was in the pine-panelled section of the Labyrinth, which is where the Minotaur had been hanging out lately, mainly because he didn’t remember ever having been there before, and he liked sleeping on the pool table.

The new girl was smaller than most of the others. Peanut-colored. Her shoulders shook. Her fingers twitched on the computer keys, making noises like munching rodents. Her eyes were filled with rhomboids of white, then blue, then red. Yellow. Then red again. Lots of red. And they were separated by two wrinkles that said to the Minotaur, Go away! I’m too busy for you!

The “World-Famous” Lipizzaners

by Julie Bruck, New Yorker

Five Houses Down

by Christian Wiman, New Yorker

A Car of One’s Own

by Andrew O’Hagan, London Review Of Books

This was the day General Motors came to the end of the road. I once asked a Sudanese politician to name the thing that in his eyes proved a nation was a nation. He didn’t hesitate: ‘The ability to make cars.’ Britain was a nation because it made Jaguars. Germany was a nation because of Volkswagen. America ran the world because of General Motors. Italy made Fiats and France made Peugeots, Japan made Toyotas, and even the Russians, struggling along the highway towards modernity, had the easily underestimated Lada. Was making cars once an indicator of national self-sufficiency? Is it still?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Location Is Key In Novels, Neighborhood

by Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

Salesmen have a trick. It's a well-known trick, but even though you know it's coming, it really works: They use your name over and over again in their spiel. Hearing your name operates as a sort of verbal aphrodisiac.

My Father’s Words

by Doug Glanville, New York Times

Despite living the dream of so many Americans and reaching its highest level, I have no doubt that he would be even prouder of what I am doing with my words. Words that I can leave for my son to day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Capitalist Manifesto: Greed Is Good (To A Point)

by Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek

No economic system ever remains unchanged, of course, and certainly not after a deep financial collapse and a broad global recession. But over the past few months, even though we've had an imperfect stimulus package, nationalized no banks and undergone no grand reinvention of capitalism, the sense of panic seems to be easing. Perhaps this is a mirage—or perhaps the measures taken by states around the world, chiefly the U.S. government, have restored normalcy. Every expert has a critique of specific policies, but over time we might see that faced with the decision to underreact or overreact, most governments chose the latter. That choice might produce new problems in due course—a topic for another essay—but it appears to have averted a systemic breakdown.

The Newsweekly’s Last Stand

by Michael Hirschorn, The Atlantic

As The Economist demonstrates, week in and week out—is that niche is sometimes the smartest way to take over the world.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jodi Picoult And The Anxious Parent

by Ginia Bellafante, New York Times

Picoult’s message is at once cautionary and subverting. As much as her novels underscore the hazards of parental shortcomings, at a certain level they seem to exist to make a mockery of the cherished idea that we ought not to have any. To read them is to feel that hoisting a toddler into one of the Humvee strollers of the current age is like applying an exfoliant to a malignant tumor in the hope that it can be scrubbed away.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Next Frontier Of The Stem Cell Debate

by Jessie Beauchaine, Village Voice

"Snowflake" babies, embryo "adoption," and being pre-born again.

Zipper Rippers

by Heather Harris, Baltimore City Paper

Women write gay male romance novels for women.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

With This Burger, I Thee Wed

by Laura M. Holson, New York Times

As the wedding season gets into full swing, many brides and bridegrooms are taking a decidedly down-home approach. Bring on the grilled steak, sweet potato fries and Rice Krispie treats (not to mention the checkered tablecloths). It’s enough to have the most sophisticated bride scrambling for her grandmother’s Betty Crocker cookbook.

Beach Chairs In Times Square

by Tom Vanderbilt, Slate Magazine

How closing Broadway to cars could solve a century of traffic woes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last Words

by Jane Shore, Slate Magazine

Save That Old TV - There's A Message In The 'Snow'

by Paul Saffo, San Francisco Chronicle

That snow you saw wasn't noise; it was the universe whispering it's secrets to you while you dozed in it's gentle glow.

Titlenomics, Or Creating Best Sellers

by Patricia Cohen, New York Times

Capitalizing on popular titles has a long pedigree in the publishing industry. A well-turned phrase can give birth to dozens of offspring.

New Glimpses Of Life’s Puzzling Origins

by Nicholas Wade, New York Times

The origins of life on Earth bristle with puzzle and paradox.

Monday, June 15, 2009


by Tim Gautreaux, New Yorker

Hubris At Zunzal

by Rodney Jones, New Yorker


by Kevin Young, New Yorker

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Secret Lives Of Strangers

by M. Miller, Washington Post

In search of free stuff, I got more than I bargained for.

How To Talk About Abortion

by Frances Kissling, Salon

President Obama wants supporters and opponents of choice to find "common ground." Can that really happen?

A (Radical) Way To Fix Suburban Sprawl

by Lisa Selin Davis, Time

Some 120,000 people work in Tysons Corner, Va., but only 17,000 live there. To transform this hotbed of suburban gridlock into a green, walkable city, a soon-to-be-adopted plan-as envisioned by our artist-calls for as much as tripling the current square footage by expanding upward, with the tallest buildings located next to four new train stations, which should be completed by 2013.

Why Old Dogs Are The Best Dogs

by Gene Weingarten, The Week

They can be eccentric, slow afoot, even grouchy. But dogs live out their final days with a humility and grace we all could learn from.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Table For Few At T.G.I. Friday's

by Craig Fehrman, Salon

Casual-dining execs talk about innovation, evolution and, yes, a few failures; they parrot the rhetoric of "never letting a serious crisis go to waste." But, honestly, what can they change?

China's Dictators At Work: The Secret Story

by Jonathan Mirsky, The New York Review of Books

Twenty years ago, just before the Tiananmen killings on June 3 and 4, 1989, Zhao was thrown out of office for sympathizing with the students; until his death in 2005 he spent almost sixteen years under house arrest. Born in 1919 and a member of the Communist Party since 1938, once he achieved great power he was a political loner, with only—a big only—Deng Xiaoping to back him. But when Deng decided to smash the Tiananmen demonstrations, he also smashed Zhao. When Zhao died in 2005, he was nearly forgotten; but the state was still put on high security alert.

The Same-Sex Future

by David Cole, The New York Review of Books

What explains the apparent trend toward legal recognition of same-sex marriage or civil unions? And how should we understand the sharp discrepancy between the law and the politics of same-sex marriage?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lights, Camera, Contraction!

by Malia Wollan, New York Times

The thousands of online childbirth videos, garrulous mommy chat rooms and endless pregnancy blogs are changing the dynamic between pregnant women and their attendant medical professionals.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Safety Sealt Is Ruining American Family Life In Your Metal Death Box

by Tom Scocca, Underparenting

The safety seat is ruining American family life and the automotive experience.

In The Cafe

by Louise Glück, Slate

One Sock On, One Sock Off

by Jim Powell, The Threepenny Review

In That Tucked Tail, Real Pangs Of Regret?

by John Tierney, New York Times

As new reports keep appearing — moping coyotes, rueful monkeys, tigers that cover their eyes in remorse, chimpanzees that second-guess their choices — the more I wonder if animals do indulge in a little paw-wringing.

Duck, Duck, Goose

by Jesse Smith, The Smart Set

Celebrating deception at the bird carving world championship.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Examined, and Exhibited, Life

by Brad Leithauser, Slate Magazine

Updike was the consummate stylist with a blogger mentality.

Lands Of Erotic Fantasy And Their Complex Reality

by Simon Winchester, New York Times

Richard Bernstein’s provocative and intriguing book examines the notion of the East as a sensual and sexual paradise.

The Joy Of Less

by Pico Iyer, New York Times

In New York, a part of me was always somewhere else, thinking of what a simple life in Japan might be like. Now I’m there, I find that I almost never think of Rockefeller Center or Park Avenue at all.

Zoom Shot

by Stephen Joiner, Air & Space Smithsonian

One day in L.A., a helicopter changed television news forever.

The Great Breath Of Hell

by Algis Valiunas, The New Atlantis

What is madness, and how is a civilized liberal society to treat the mad among us?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Secret Of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability

by Steven Levy, Wired

AdWords analyzes every Google search to determine which advertisers get each of up to 11 "sponsored links" on every results page. It's the world's biggest, fastest auction, a never-ending, automated, self-service version of Tokyo's boisterous Tsukiji fish market, and it takes place, Hal Varian says, "every time you search." He never mentions how much revenue advertising brings in. But Google is a public company, so anyone can find the number: It was $21 billion last year.

Halal: Buying Muslim

by Carla Power, Time

Time was, buying Muslim meant avoiding pork and alcohol and getting your meat from a halal butcher, who slaughtered in accordance with Islamic principles. But the halal food market has exploded in the past decade and is now worth an estimated $632 billion annually, according to the Halal Journal, a Kuala Lumpur-based magazine. That's about 16% of the entire global food industry. Throw in the fast-growing Islam-friendly finance sector and the myriad other products and services — cosmetics, real estate, hotels, fashion, insurance — that comply with Islamic law and the teachings of the Koran, and the sector is worth well over $1 trillion a year.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Econs And Humans

by Lawrence M. Mead, The Claremont Institute

The ethos of modern economics is at war with the moral basis of capitalism.

Cloned Species

by Tom Mueller, National Geographic

Bringing extinct species back to life is no longer considered science fiction. But is it a good idea?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Excuse Me, Do You Speak Klingon?

by Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

A delightful journey through the realm of invented languages and its cast of dreamers, weirdos and obsessives.

In Vino Veritas: I'll Drink To That

by Roger Scruton, Standpoint

Wine intoxicates; but we should distinguish intoxication from drunkenness.

Bullets Over Beijing

by Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times

So, 20 years later, what happened to that bold yearning for democracy? Why is China still frozen politically — the regime controls the press more tightly today than it did for much of the 1980s — even as China has transformed economically? Why are there so few protests today?

Reluctant Dad Fesses Up To Becoming Smitten Softy

by Janet Maslin, New York Times

Michael Lewis’s “Home Game” is meant for the man who has everything — including a grudging attitude toward raising his own children. Affecting a curmudgeonly stance that owes something to Professor Henry Higgins, Mr. Lewis writes of how he deigned not just to let a woman into his life, but also three children.

Big Food Under Fire

by Tom Laskawy, Slate

Industrial agriculture shouldn't worry about the government. Mother Nature is a far more potent foe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bar? What Bar?

by William Grimes, New York Times

On a nondescript block in Williamsburg, not far from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a new bar and restaurant called Rye opened last week.

Try to find it.

Bringing Flavor Back To The Ham

by Harold McGee, New York Times

Have you ever placed a vanishingly thin morsel of rosy meat on your tongue and had it fill your mouth with deepest porkiness, or the aroma of tropical fruits, or caramel, or chocolate? Or all of the above?

In Tales Of The Cashier's Tape, Writers Tap The Till For Inspiration

by Cecilie Rohwedder, Wall Street Journal

Workers take pen in hand to register opinions of those who are always right.

Show Or Tell

by Louis Menand, The New Yorker

Should creative writing be taught?

The Puffington Host

by Isaac Chotiner, The New Republic

The many versions of Arianna Huffington, and their consequences.

Live Your Best Life Ever!

by Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert, Newsweek

Why health advice on 'Oprah' could make you sick.

The Last Empire: China's Pollution Problem Goes Global

by Jacques Leslie, Mother Jones

Can the world survive China's headlong rush to emulate the American way of life?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


by Jason Shinder, Slate

Rethinking The Mall

by Allison Arieff, New York Times

At a convention for shopping mall designers and developers, a glimpse of the future and, unfortunately, the past.

See Dick Pay Jane: Chaste Dating For Cash

by Emily Brady, The Village Voice

Recession desperation produces a quaint throwback.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't Do That

by Stephen Dunn, The New Yorker

Good Neighbors

by Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker


by Sherman Alexie, The New Yorker

The Elephant In The Room

by Jesse Smith, The Smart Set

Zoos were once full of compelling architecture. What happened?

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Data-Entry Supervisor

by Alain de Botton, Boston Globe

If a proverbial alien landed on earth and tried to figure out what human beings did with their time simply on the evidence of the literature sections of a typical bookstore, he or she would come away thinking that we devote ourselves almost exclusively to leading complex relationships, squabbling with our parents, and occasionally murdering people. What is too often missing is what we really get up to outside of catching up on sleep, which is going to work at the office, store, or factory.

By Heng-Cheong Leong