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Larry Ellison Bought an Island in Hawaii. Now What?

All of Lanai's owners have sought, in one way or another, to refashion the island into a paradise on earth. Former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison hopes to transform it into the "first economically viable, 100% green community."
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 25, 2014 - 17 comments

"distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car"

"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.

Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 20, 2014 - 29 comments

The Trouble with Amicus Facts

When the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case, they often receive dozens of amicus briefs, or "friend of the court" briefs; SCOTUS "opinions are increasingly studded with citations of facts they learned from amicus briefs." "The trouble with amicus facts... is that today anyone can claim to be a factual expert."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 2, 2014 - 20 comments

“not that many guys knew about stretching.”

The Rise of Beefcake Yoga. (slnyt) Not the trend piece the title suggests, instead a very particular story centered around Diamond Dallas Page.
posted by PMdixon on Aug 13, 2014 - 14 comments

"This is a book for both the new and experienced reader."

Deep Chords: Haruki Murakami’s ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’ [New York Times] Patti Smith reviews Haruki Murakami's latest novel. Book Trailer
posted by Fizz on Aug 12, 2014 - 40 comments

The King of Paper Dolls is dead. Long live the art of Tom Tierney!

On a visit to Smithville, Texas, in 2012, the blogger behind My Big Gay Ears found himself talking with a local artist about paper dolls. The artist turned out to be Tom Tierney, a major force in reviving the tradition of drawing famous people in their skivvies (or swimsuits) and providing them with a 2-D wardrobe. He died last month at his home in Smithville (NYT obituary), leaving behind a memorable and varied body of work. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Aug 8, 2014 - 20 comments

Comatose Potato Salad

"Since first opening in 1934 in a converted sheepfold off 67th Street, on the western edge of Central Park, the storied franchise (which is still licensed by the Parks Department) has been a reliable hit. Joe Baum put the restaurant on the national culinary map during the 1960s, and when Warner LeRoy doubled the capacity several years later and added the famous Crystal Room, it became one of the great circus-dining destinations in the world. LeRoy’s heirs ran the profitable old production for years (in 2006, it was still the second-highest-grossing restaurant in the USA, behind Tao Las Vegas), until the great crash of 2008 brought their company to its knees. Now, after years of drama and delay, Tavern on the Green has opened its doors once again, this time under the direction of a hospitality operation originally from Philadelphia called the Emerald Green Group. " So begins Adam Platt's zero star review of the re-opened Tavern On The Green. Others have not been glowing. Even the Post got a few kicks in. Peter Wells' scathing takedown in the New York Times might be better experienced with some happy sheep.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 27, 2014 - 69 comments

a series of "whoas" strung together

The success of “24” was just one innovation of the ‘00s that helped change the TV landscape into what we’re living with today. Another was the rise of the premium cable drama. “The Sopranos” wasn’t HBO’s first original series, but it was its first to draw comparisons to Shakespeare. Broadcast networks, seeing all that prestige flowing higher on the dial, started pushing the boundaries of what kind of language and imagery they could get away with in order for network series to be as dark and transgressive as premium-network fare. Or at least, I assume that’s how I came to see a human corpse turned into a cello on NBC’s “Hannibal” last year.
Tara Ariano on Why Jack Bauer Is to Blame for ‘Bonkers TV’
(Article contains some SPOILERs for Game of Thrones, Salem, Scandal, and American Horror Story.)
posted by Atom Eyes on Jul 25, 2014 - 55 comments

The Weird, Scary and Ingenious Brain of Maria Bamford

Sara Corbett profiles comedian Maria Bamford for The New York Times Magazine.
posted by Lorin on Jul 18, 2014 - 32 comments

Fear is the highest fence.

After years of debates, notoriously contentious public meetings, and the looming specter of a civil rights lawsuit, a federal mediation agreement between the Town of Hamden and the City of New Haven, Connecticut resulted in the removal of a 10-foot chain-link fence that separated New Haven's West Rock public housing projects from Hamden's Woodin Street neighborhood for nearly half a century. NYT's Benjamin Mueller reports: In Connecticut, Breaking a Barrier Between a Suburb and Public Housing. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 14, 2014 - 9 comments

Glamour Shots 2.0

The NYT Style section reports that "image-conscious digital natives" are paying for expensive and elaborate portrait sessions to get one-of-a-kind shots to use in social media profiles and on professional websites. These photos (which the Times incorrectly calls "glamour selfies") are not your professional headshots; instead the subjects are depicted in a warehouse, in a field, in a pickup truck, etc. The motivations? Enhancing a personal brand, celebrating a milestone birthday... and, of course, getting lots of "likes" on Facebook. Slate's XX Factor blog defends the trend (if you can call it a trend) by suggesting that the portrait subjects are trying to avoid age discrimination.
posted by trillian on Jul 11, 2014 - 101 comments

I Am the Real Nick Cave

An NYT profile on Nick Cave's career and the new film about his life, 20,000 Days on Earth.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 5, 2014 - 22 comments

Why am I screaming for Ice Cream again?

NYT Dining & Wine's Ice Cream Issue:
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jul 2, 2014 - 59 comments

Blackwater threatened to kill State Department investigator

Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007 (Previously on Metafilter), the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq”. Embassy officials ordered the investigators to leave Iraq immediately, and no charges were ever pressed. [more inside]
posted by anemone of the state on Jun 29, 2014 - 65 comments

Pants just don't 'get' us.

NYT Minus Context (SLTwitter) -- Does exactly what it says on the tin.
posted by schmod on Jun 24, 2014 - 6 comments

Balls

The World's Ball - the NYT reviews the design evolution of the soccer/football from 1930 to the present
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 15, 2014 - 23 comments

War Gear Flows to Police Departments

In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 9, 2014 - 128 comments

With reference to the recently leaked NYT memo

How Naspers CEO Koos Bekker beat the New York Times at its own game by Michael Moritz [more inside]
posted by infini on May 26, 2014 - 12 comments

"None of the people are known to be troublemakers"

Purportedly anti-terrorism Fusion Centers allowed police, military and "private sector partners" to share material about surveilling the nationwide Occupy protests [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on May 23, 2014 - 34 comments

“an issue with management in the newsroom"

Yesterday, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson - the first woman to hold that position for the paper - was unexpectedly fired, reportedly because she attempted to bring on a new co-managing editor without consulting the managing editor already at the paper or the publisher, though there is also a persistent rumor that it was because she addressed a pay gap between herself and her predecessor. Today, the first woman managing editor for French paper Le Monde resigned, claiming that she was being undermined, drawing more attention to journalism and media's woman problem. [more inside]
posted by troika on May 15, 2014 - 138 comments

"I want to make sure that I answer your question correctly."

Verbatim: What is a Photocopier? (NYT SLV)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Apr 28, 2014 - 56 comments

*The New York Yankees were removed to make this map possible.

Up Close on Baseball's Borders is a detailed, zoomable interactive map which uses data from Facebook to present the team preferences of baseball fandom in the United States. Around the end of March, Facebook had released a map using the same data which despite being touted as most accurate ever, had significant problems. The most notable of these issues was a colorshift introduced as the main graphic went viral, rendering the map illegible. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Apr 24, 2014 - 183 comments

3 levels of lasers. It's rescanning the udder and looking for the teats

Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves. Rise of the Milkbots.
posted by cashman on Apr 23, 2014 - 89 comments

“I was assigned to her and fell in love with her,”

The Toddler Who Survived, And the Cop Who Became Her Mom: [New York Times]
As a baby, Christina Rivera survived a massacre in Brooklyn whose 10 victims included her mother. Police Officer Joanne Jaffe was assigned to care for her that night, a task that was the first link in a bond that led Ms. Jaffe to adopt Christina. [Image]
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 13, 2014 - 12 comments

If I get killed, please don't bury my soul.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie. No grave site, no photograph. Forget that — no anecdotes. This is what set Geeshie and Elvie apart even from the rest of an innermost group of phantom geniuses of the ’20s and ’30s. Their myth was they didn’t have anything you could so much as hang a myth on.
posted by oinopaponton on Apr 12, 2014 - 42 comments

Abyssmal odds

The depth of the problem - this WaPo infographic hints at the immense challenges that Australian and Chinese search teams will face in recovering the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 black box from its suspected location at the bottom of the Indian Ocean
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 8, 2014 - 188 comments

Microsecond mercenaries

It used to be that when his trading screens showed 10,000 shares of Intel offered at $22 a share, it meant that he could buy 10,000 shares of Intel for $22 a share. He had only to push a button. By the spring of 2007, however, when he pushed the button to complete a trade, the offers would vanish. In his seven years as a trader, he had always been able to look at the screens on his desk and see the stock market. Now the market as it appeared on his screens was an illusion.
In an excerpt/adaption of his new book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Michael Lewis follows Brad Katsuyama from uncovering evidence of high-speed electronic front-running to the founding of the IEX exchange intended to discourage it. The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street (SLNYT).
posted by figurant on Mar 31, 2014 - 153 comments

"In Iran, the government insists that all women wear it."

Veiled Truths by Hossein Fatemi [New York Times] [ Photo essay.] Photographs of women in Iran — who still face censure for insufficiently modest dress — through their hijabs.
posted by Fizz on Mar 30, 2014 - 10 comments

Another view of Kitty Genovese

The original story of Kitty Genovese’s death, first promulgated by the New York Times in a front-page article 50 years ago today—young single woman brutally murdered while 38 strangers watched and did nothing—was incorrect in almost every particular.
posted by latkes on Mar 28, 2014 - 41 comments

Bi

The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists [New York Times]
How a new breed of activists is using science to show — once and for all — that someone can be truly attracted to both a man and a woman.

posted by Fizz on Mar 21, 2014 - 81 comments

Monocles: Not Just for the New Yorker's Mascot

In its constant endeavor to identify emerging trends, the New York Times has uncovered a boom in monocle wearing... again. But they're not the only ones ever to be manipulated by the Monacle Lobby. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Mar 9, 2014 - 48 comments

They endured.

The Men of Atalissa
PBS's POV collaborates with the New York Times on a 35-minute documentary about the intellectually disabled men exploited for thirty-five years by Henry's Turkey Service in Atalissa, Iowa. (The documentary at the NYT or embedded in a Q&A with the journalists at PBS's POV.) [more inside]
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich on Mar 8, 2014 - 11 comments

New Age Revival

For New Age, the Next Generation. [more inside]
posted by naju on Feb 14, 2014 - 54 comments

The Tragedy of the Diluted Commons [SLNYT]

Extra Virgin Suicides is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
posted by Mad_Carew on Jan 27, 2014 - 71 comments

'Builders' and 'Firefighters'

"The Art of Presence" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 21, 2014 - 7 comments

It's no Flavortown

The first time I ate at Villard Michel Richard, the latest restaurant to dance among the frescoes and marble pilasters of the Villard mansion in Midtown, I strongly suspected that I was in an awful hotel restaurant. This seemed like a connect-the-dots conclusion. It’s a restaurant. It’s in a hotel, the New York Palace. And it was awful.
posted by Chrysostom on Jan 15, 2014 - 42 comments

Deadly Mix in Benghazi: False Allies, Crude Video

A new piece of investigative reporting by the New York Times would suggest vindication to some degree of the U.S. government's original explanation of the 2012 Benghazi Attack, which proposed that the attack developed from a spontaneous protest in anger over the anti-Islamic youtube video, Innocence of Muslims. Despite this being the explanation that the intelligence community found most probable given their quick, initial analysis of the empirical data, the government faced much criticism for it. Susan Rice, who might have otherwise became the new Secretary of State, was one individual who got caught in the crossfire. Senator McCain once remarked that, "she has proven that she either doesn't understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face. There is no doubt five days later what this attack was and for." But as the NYT indicates, what truly happened there in Benghazi is, "murkier and more complex than initially believed."
posted by SollosQ on Dec 28, 2013 - 25 comments

Let It Dough

A sweet little graphic story by Christoph Niemann in The New York Times: Let It Dough.
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 26, 2013 - 18 comments

Plastic Beads of Fish Food

    "Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes are slipping through water treatment plants and turning up by the tens of millions in the Great Lakes. " (NYT)
This new environmental threat is particularly worrisome because the beads float and look like fish's normal food. The toxins in the beads tend to degrade slowly, so they bioaccumulate and are passed up the food chain. The majority of the beads appear to enter the lakes when storms cause wastewater treatment plants to overflow.
posted by DoubleLune on Dec 20, 2013 - 54 comments

FDA to Require Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Are Safe

F.D.A. to Require Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Are Safe - SLNYT
posted by Evilspork on Dec 16, 2013 - 96 comments

“People don’t go nowhere in Brooklyn”

The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000 people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2013 - 112 comments

Monday Morning Robocoach

Watching one of the exciting snow-bound football games yesterday, the thought may have occurred to you: If I was a coach, would I go for it on this 4th down? This bot from the New York Times will tell you, and maybe even add a little attitude to the answer, which is usually much more aggressive than NFL coaches.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 9, 2013 - 74 comments

A Cold War Fought by Women

A Cold War Fought by Women Intrasexual competition among women (SLNYT).
posted by The Blue Olly on Nov 19, 2013 - 111 comments

Social Network Analysis Collaboration Knowledge Service (or, SNACKS)

No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A.
posted by crossoverman on Nov 3, 2013 - 38 comments

Mud, Concrete, Glass, Home

A Short History of the Highrise A four-part NYT interactive documentary by Katrina Cizek on apartment buildings through the ages, part of the National Film Board of Canada's HIGHRISE project (Previously).
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 8, 2013 - 5 comments

"...somewhere where no one was asking me for anything.”

Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear (slnyt profile, via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 3, 2013 - 29 comments

Harsh realm.

The year was 1992. Grunge had hit the cultural mainstream, and the New York Times, overdue for a trend piece, printed an article featuring a "Lexicon of Grunge Speak." Their list featured terms such as wack slacks for old ripped jeans, harsh realm for bummer, and bloated, big bag of bloatation for drunk. [more inside]
posted by duffell on Oct 2, 2013 - 76 comments

I am my beloved's, and my beloved trades commodity futures

Wedding Crunchers: An n-gram analysis of wedding announcements in the New York Times going back to 1981. See, for example, the decline in elite prep schools, how well the five boroughs are represented, or the rise (and fall) of hedge fund managers among the newly wed. The site's creator offers a more detailed look over at Rap Genius.
posted by Cash4Lead on Sep 5, 2013 - 12 comments

A salt assault

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater - a brief story of the humble bag of saline solution given intravenously at ERs and hospitals, and how one unit of it can be marked up from 86 cents to $91 when given to patients
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2013 - 69 comments

I was impatient for love, but not that impatient.

Modern Love: A Dollar a Day, for Only 20 Years (SLNYTimes)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 8, 2013 - 10 comments

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