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Friday, February 3, 2017

Time Is Contagious, by Alan Burdick, Nautilus

At the end of the gallery, in one long case, were two dozen ballerinas in various states of motion or repose. One dancer was examining the sole of her right foot; another was putting on her stocking; a third stood with her right leg forward and her hands behind her head. Arabesque decant—tilted forward on one foot, arms outstretched, like a child imitating an airplane. Arabesque devant—upright on left leg, right leg pointed forward, left arm overhead. Their motion was frozen yet still fluid; I felt as though I had wandered into a rehearsal and the dancers had paused just long enough for me to appreciate the mechanics of their grace. At one point a group of young men wandered through whom I also took to be dancers. Their instructor said, “Quick, which one are you right now?” and they each picked out a bronze to emulate— the man nearest me with his right leg forward and his hands on his hips, elbows winged backward. “I like that you picked that one, John,” the instructor said.

How Psychologists Determine Whether Someone Is Faking Insanity, by Thomas MacMillan, New York Magazine

So how do psychologists tell whether someone has a real mental disorder, or whether they’re trying to pull a fast one?

The strange questions that I heard in court are part of a test called the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, second edition. It’s one of the most widely used of a number of evaluation tools designed to detect fabrication or exaggeration of symptoms. Richard Rogers, the psychologist who created the SIRS test in 1992 and updated it in 2010, told me how forensic psychologists use tests and interview techniques to find the fakers.

The Not-So-Lost Generation: Books About Modern Paris, by Nikkitha Bakshani, Ploughshares

If Paris is a moveable feast, then let’s feast on it with more recent works that describe Paris as it is today, without ignoring the city’s multifaceted history.

The Man Who Cooked For Italy. And His Gorgeous Restaurants., by Deborah Needleman, New York Times

If you can, picture a marriage between exquisite old-guard Parisian outposts like Le Voltaire or Le Grand Véfour and lively English restaurants like the Wolseley or Wiltons. In creating an atmosphere of a Milan from days gone by, Sartori Rimini and Peregalli wove through some of the elements of French taste that were influential in northern Italy at the end of the 19th century, along with ornate Victorian details found in English clubs. From England one can trace the dark polished wood paneling with pilasters and arches, antique mirrors, brass details and stucco ceilings. From France one gets the hand-painted cotton and velvet fabrics, the rare books, the Coromandel screen and oil paintings. Studio Peregalli custom-designed the tables, chairs, lights and tableware and sourced whatever details they didn’t draw, from the antique sugar pots to the glass goblets.