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He's Got a Way

Billy Joel on Not Working and Not Giving Up Drinking
posted by MattMangels on May 25, 2013 - 103 comments

SHROOM TRIP ARIA

SHROOM TRIP ARIA Italiano [6m48s] is a music video of a section of Joseph Keckler's one-man show I Am An Opera. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Moving Offal Brings Recycling On

The voyage of the MOBRO. "It was 1987. A small town businessman had what seemed like a promising idea, to transport New York trash by barge to a landfill in North Carolina, where it would be converted into methane to heat homes."
posted by Xurando on May 6, 2013 - 16 comments

“It destroyed two vintage T-shirt stores and a banjo”

The Hipster – a lexicon from the NYT.
posted by timsteil on Apr 30, 2013 - 95 comments

Eight Writers and the Walks That Inspired Them

Lovely illustration from the New York Times
posted by holmesian on Apr 22, 2013 - 12 comments

Oy Vey, Christian Soldiers

Maud Newton, who grew up as a Charismatic Christian in a heavily Jewish community, asks: What could be wrong with Bible-believing evangelicals giving their son a bar mitzvah? [slnyt, mostly] [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Mar 24, 2013 - 112 comments

Life Imitates Rap Perhaps

First they did the crimes. Then they made a rap video of the crime. Then they went down for the crimes with the video used as evidence to convict them. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Mar 23, 2013 - 25 comments

The Inscrutable Brilliance of Anne Carson

Famous writer Anne Carson on ice bats: "I made up ice bats, there is no such thing." (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 14, 2013 - 34 comments

"The fact that this happened is a big problem for us."

In a meticulously planned raid that took barely five minutes to execute, armed men disguised as police officers drove onto the tarmac at the international airport in Brussels on Monday night and stole diamonds worth around $50 million as they were being loaded onto a plane bound for Switzerland, officials said. (SLNYT)
posted by Elementary Penguin on Feb 19, 2013 - 58 comments

The First Lady of Hip Hop

There was no way to anticipate that the reliably malfunction-free Beyoncé arriving in New Orleans for her turn at immortality would be a vulnerable one. At the presidential inauguration ceremony last month, she sang the national anthem over a prerecorded vocal track, leading to a minor scandal, putting her on the defensive. Beyoncé, bionic, isn’t used to having her reputation impugned. Vulnerability is not her bag. She is, though, up to the challenge — in this case, the conundrum of how to make her Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which she had been planning for months, not only a spectacle in its own right, but also a conclusion to the messy affair. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Feb 5, 2013 - 67 comments

The Spy Novelist Who Knows Too Much

"De Villiers has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction (with their own names carefully disguised), and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere. Other pop novelists, like John le Carré and Tom Clancy, may flavor their work with a few real-world scenarios and some spy lingo, but de Villiers’s books are ahead of the news and sometimes even ahead of events themselves." (SLNYT)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 31, 2013 - 26 comments

"This bout brought in about 2,000 people…in a town of 3,000 people"

Journalists miss the real ($60M) roller derby story. Every time.
posted by iamkimiam on Jan 12, 2013 - 46 comments

the end of history illusion

Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be (NYT): "When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same... They called this phenomenon the “end of history illusion,” in which people tend to “underestimate how much they will change in the future.”" (via exp.lore) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 6, 2013 - 34 comments

Beate Sirota Gordon, 1923-2012; "The Only Woman In The Room"

Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 4, 2013 - 20 comments

Just Another Six Months

"When I visited China in 1998, Mbantu, the cabbie who drove me from the airport, couldn't stop telling me about how he had to take a fourth job because of the high cost of transportation. I caught up with Mbantu in Shanghai last year. Thanks to China's reformed approach toward transportation, Mbantu has enough money in his pocket to finally be able to afford a playground for his kids."--Thomas Friedman column generator
posted by bardic on Dec 29, 2012 - 31 comments

NYT's new cutting edge tech for longform journalism

The New York Times is previewing their latest technology in the longform journalism piece Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (username: avalanche/password: preview). Scroll down slowly to enjoy all the photos, slideshows, and movies that go along with the piece, which looks to be adding new chapters to the story over time.
posted by mathowie on Dec 19, 2012 - 47 comments

Christmas, cancelled.

The Puritan War on Christmas
posted by cthuljew on Dec 16, 2012 - 66 comments

Make Babies

"Older parenthood will upend American society." "Is waiting to have kids a big mistake?" "Why do women believe they can delay children for so long?" "Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age."
posted by vidur on Dec 12, 2012 - 162 comments

The cool people are everywhere; somehow, they've even made the weather rainier

Simpsons series 24 episode 7 (The Day The Earth Stood Cool) aired last night, being the hipsterification of Springfield, complete with urban nomads, artisanal donuts, Homer's new attire, the Decemberists, Marge being confused by The Onion, and gentrification. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 10, 2012 - 109 comments

Netcom competitor

The history of AOL as told through New York Times crossword clues.
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 10, 2012 - 37 comments

Any yokel with a computer can have a college football ranking system

He is not the only one. Computer rankings are proliferating, said Kenneth Massey, a professor of math at Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn., who has been ranking teams since 1995. “When I started, there were six or seven,” he said. “But every year, it gets bigger and bigger.” Massey currently tracks more than 100 college football rankings.

With so many competitors, what is the appeal of creating one’s own rankings?

“It’s kind of a nerdy hobby,” Massey said. “It combines sports with math and computers, three things that don’t ordinarily go together.” [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Dec 7, 2012 - 20 comments

Great Wealth Is A Public Trust

Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 7, 2012 - 68 comments

Oh those crazy kids!

"For a few months in 1922, throngs of America’s youth — from schoolkids to shopgirls — were swept up in a leaderless pyramid scheme that promised “something for nothing” and encouraged promiscuous flirtation. These were the “Shifters.” This is their (brief) story." (NYTimes link) Previously on the flappers and flapper slang: 1, 2.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 6, 2012 - 43 comments

American Science Language

[LydiaCallisFilter] Signing Science
posted by cthuljew on Dec 5, 2012 - 14 comments

The New York Times - Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980

The New York Times examines how American taxes have changed since 1980
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2012 - 105 comments

social impact bonds

Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services? "Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 20, 2012 - 29 comments

"challenging Casanova"

Guys don't want casual sex: "This stereotype 'tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships... This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex.'... the Wake Forest University professor lays out the current data on young men’s sexual desires and behavior to make a case against this insidious stereotype." Salon interviews Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male. [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 19, 2012 - 122 comments

Out of the Closet and Into a Uniform

For their club’s big debut this semester, the cadets at the United States Air Force Academy hammered out talking points, printed fliers and hung their logo, a rainbow-colored globe, in their booth in Arnold Hall. Then they held their breath.

On the day known as Blue Rush, when incoming freshmen learn about extracurricular activities, Lydia Hill and Brandon Reams were making history, introducing their fellow cadets to Spectrum, the academy’s first club for gay, lesbian and bisexual students and their straight friends and supporters.
[SLNYT]
posted by hippybear on Nov 19, 2012 - 20 comments

Does Vanilla Equal Not Spanked As A Child

Are spanking fetishes now mainstream sexual behavior or are they an untreated response to childhood trauma? "I think that avoiding raising one's children to be spanking fetishists is a good reason not to spank children. It is not that I view some particular set of sexual semiotics as intrinsically inferior to any other. It is because I believe that at least some forms of spanking fetishism are the direct result of traumatic repression caused by childhood spankings. Hence, to say "don't spank your kids because you might turn them into fetishists" is really just an abbreviated way of saying "don't spank your kids because this can evoke unintegratable emotions of hatred which your child will be forced to repress and which they may then cope with by eroticizing your spankings and spending the rest of their lives feeling frustrated because their pool of available sexual partners is so small, and feeling guilty and ashamed because of how your maltreatment of them made them hate you back when they were helpless and dependent upon you." NSFW previously
posted by Xurando on Nov 11, 2012 - 62 comments

A theorem concerning corporate headquarters

If you are Rackspace, then your corporate headquarters are located inside a dead shopping mall in a suburb of San Antonio. (SLNYT)
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 1, 2012 - 64 comments

Put your money where your mouth is

Intrade is a Prediction Market, where you make predictions by buying and selling shares on the outcome of real-world events. These events are always defined on Intrade as a YES/NO proposition. Shares are bought at some point between $0.00 and $10.00, based on whether the buyer believes the event will or won't occur (which correspond to $10.00 and $0.00 respectively). Most popular propositions at the moment are election related, though this week the market for the Best Picture opened. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Oct 25, 2012 - 43 comments

"...how great it could still be.”

"Is she O.K.?" a customer asks.
"My mom?" asks Kristy, the waitress.
"Yes," the customer replies.
"No."


Since Sunday, the front page of the New York Times has been featuring a portrait in five parts of Elyria, Ohio (pop: 55,000), seen mostly through the lens of a local diner. (Second link is to a full multimedia feature, but direct links to the five individual articles can be found within.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 18, 2012 - 42 comments

Gay In The South: Uncle Poodle Speaks Out

It all started on Sept 27, when Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Lee "Poodle" Thompson made his first appearance on the show. Not a week had passed before Karen Cox's October 3rd op-ed for the New York Times using him as an example for the encouraging state of being gay in the South. October 8th, Jonathan Capehart wrote his own op-ed column for the Washington Post taking Cox to task for painting too rosy a picture of what GLBT life is like in the South, and calling for Uncle Poodle to speak out. Finally, October 10, Lee Thompson did speak out, in a profile column with the GA Voice, Georgia's gay newspaper. And what he had to say is getting positive attention.
posted by hippybear on Oct 17, 2012 - 57 comments

"I would not choose to be any one else, or any place else."

"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.
In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 17, 2012 - 62 comments

Sinking.

How Venice's 1% put an end to social mobility, and what the US can learn from it - SLNYTOP
posted by The Whelk on Oct 14, 2012 - 50 comments

More jobs than we knew

According to a revision by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent more jobs were created over the 12-month period concluding with March 2012. The new numbers would increase the monthly pace of job creation during that period to about 194,000 a month, up from a pace of 162,000 jobs a month. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 27, 2012 - 33 comments

It's a Happening, Who Cares About Book Theives?

John Locke builds, installs, and creates libraries in payphone booths in New York City. “There aren’t a lot of people out,” he said. “You can just go down, find a good booth, carry it out, latch it in. It takes seconds. And then just fill it up with books and let’s wait and see what happens.”
posted by Xurando on Sep 8, 2012 - 48 comments

FEAR THE ARTICHOKE KING

The History Of New York In 50 Objects (NYT)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 5, 2012 - 29 comments

"There's nothing more aggravating in the world than the midnight sniffling of the person you've decided to hate." ― Shannon Hale, Book of a Thousand Days

The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 2, 2012 - 209 comments

Bird Brains

Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2012 - 33 comments

Look Ma I Can't Ride

The transportation reporter for the New York Times, Scott Flegenheimer, outs himself. “Hey, one boss said to another after my ill-advised confession. Did you know our transportation reporter can’t ride a bike? He knew then, of course, and now you do, too. I cannot ride a bike." He is not alone. Adult bicycling lessons are offered everywhere.
posted by Xurando on Aug 10, 2012 - 42 comments

Cutting canyons below Second Avenue

The upcoming New York Times Magazine cover story is about the excavation of the Second Avenue Subway line below the East Side of Manhattan. It features some stunning photography and a video that explains how the work is done. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Aug 2, 2012 - 68 comments

Big Data On Campus

Big Data On Campus (NYTimes) “We don’t want to turn into just eHarmony,” says Michael Zimmer, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he studies ethical dimensions of new technology. “I’m worried that we’re taking both the richness and the serendipitous aspect of courses and professors and majors — and all the things that are supposed to be university life — and instead translating it into 18 variables that spit out, ‘This is your best fit. So go over here.’ ”
posted by OmieWise on Jul 23, 2012 - 23 comments

Art’s Sale Value? Zero. The Tax Bill? $29 Million.

What is the fair market value of an object that cannot be sold? When art dealer Ileana Sonnabend passed away in 2007 at the age of 92, she left her children an art collection estimated to be worth $1,000,000,000. Over a forty year career, Sonnabend, along with her first husband and business partner Leo Castelli, worked with many of contemporary art world's best known artists, including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg & Andy Warhol. One of the inherited paintings, Robert Rauschenberg's Canyon has become the center of a dispute between the Sonnabend's children and the I.R.S.
posted by R. Mutt on Jul 22, 2012 - 91 comments

Thus began my descent into the world of acronyms...bewildered doctors, frustrated psychologists, and a three-ring circus of pharmaceutical adventures.

The dining room was jammed to the fleur-de-lis wallpaper with red-faced white guys in blue suits and harried looking waiters in penguin costumes. Not my crowd. I remember hearing a muffled “linguine Alfredo” and the clinking of glasses at another table, and then the film snaps. This, as I’ve come to think of it, was the moment my first life stopped, where the film broke and the reel spun around and around, flogging itself.
Jokers Wild: Author Paul Vandevelder's contribution to the NYT(online)'s Anxiety series, featuring an illustration by Finnish artist Tommi Musturi.
posted by obscurator on Jul 17, 2012 - 5 comments

Dispatch from San Serriffe

The semicolon sat there in my literary utensil drawer like a cherry pitter, theoretically functional, but fussy and unloved and probably destined for the yard-sale table. Semicolons: A Love Story [NYT]
posted by obscurator on Jul 14, 2012 - 47 comments

"And so if elites have a culture today, it is a culture of individual self-cultivation."

The New Elitists (NYT) - "...omnivores seem highly distinct and their tastes appear to be a matter of personal expression. Instead of liking things like opera because that’s what people of your class are supposed to like, the omnivore likes what he likes because it is an expression of a distinct self. Perhaps liking a range of things explains why elites are elite, and not the other way around. By contrast, those who have exclusive tastes today — middle-class and poorer Americans — are subject to disdain. If the world is open and you don’t take advantage of it, then you’re simply limited and closed-minded. Perhaps it’s these attributes that explain your incapacity to succeed." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 9, 2012 - 128 comments

"Last Sunday night I spent a good five minutes lying face down on my couch..."

Thank you for killing my novel - A negative review in the NYT sparks a dialogue between an editor there and a fictional character from the book in question. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2012 - 46 comments

"Shelagh would have thought this was stupid perfect"

Shelagh was here - an ordinary, magical life: The Toronto Star dedicated unprecedented coverage to the funeral of 55-year-old Shelagh Gordon – interviewing more than 100 of her friends and family – to show how a modest life can have a huge impact. "She didn’t have a great job, she wasn’t married and never had children, so she wasn’t successful in either the traditional male or female sense, Ms. Porter said. But people would keep telling stories about her kindness. 'She had a lot of magic in her life, and that’s reassuring... That you can live a full, interesting, ordinary life.'" The link includes an extensive interactive photograph of stories from those at Shelagh's funeral, and a video with clips from the memorial as well. Via the NYT: Redefining Success and Celebrating the Unremarkable. (previously: you are not special)
posted by flex on Jul 3, 2012 - 17 comments

Interview with the Jew hating Elmo.

Central Park Elmo is not a fan of the Jews, to the extent that he was carried away for psychiatric assessment yesterday. Today the NYT has an interview with Adam Sandler, the man behind anti-Semitic Elmo.
posted by Cosine on Jun 28, 2012 - 142 comments

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