Mapping the Republic of Letters is a cartographic tool designed by students and professors at Stanford that seeks to represent the Enlightenment era Republic of Letters, the network of correspondence between the finest thinkers of the day, such as Voltaire, Leibniz, Rousseau, Newton, Diderot, Linnaeus, Franklin and countless others. Patricia Cohen wrote an article about Mapping the Republic of Letters as well as other datamining digital humanities projects in The New York Times. The mapping tool is fun to play with but I recommend you read the blogpost where Cohen explains how to use Mapping the Republic of Letters.
Chasing Pirates: Inside Microsoft’s War Room - From the special thread that Chinese factories counterfeit in mile-long spools that adorns software authenticity stickers, to near-perfect bootleg discs leaving microscopic evidence of their factory origins, to Mexican and Russian gangsters who are dealt with very carefully, the NYT covers Microsoft's multi-pronged, international war on piracy.
A Year at War: One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
Robert Thompson of Syracuse University has provided pop-culture expertise in 150 New York Times stories over two decades. Today's spaghetti-taco article makes Helene Stapinski the 78th reporter to interview Thompson.
Is this just another version of the minstrel show? The Pendleton Round-up is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Part of its attraction is the performance of a "American Indian" dance pageant, whose participants are compensated traditionally. "A century later, the mill still provides blankets, and families are still paid to appear, $5 per person each day at the arena. Beef and vegetables are provided, as are tokens for other food. The winner of the “Best Dressed Indian Award” at the parade gets 50 silver dollars. The winner of the “Oldest Indian Couple Award” gets 100 silver dollars in a pouch."
Best selling authors Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult speak out about how the New York Times treats "chick lit": "when a man writes about family and feelings, it's literature with a capital L, but when a woman considers the same topics, it's romance, or a beach book - in short, it's something unworthy of a serious critic's attention." [more inside]
The Web Never Forgets. Are youthful indiscretion verboten in this digital age? As we grow and move forward - we make mistakes, we say things we later regret, or we change our mind about stuff all the time. But in era where even the things we actrually mean to say, can be taken out of context, posted, and used as a political weapon, is there room for just being silly online anymore?
"The Journalist as Programmer" is an academic, ethnographic case study (pdf), which considers whether the New York Times' Interactive Newsroom Technologies unit, source of the paper's Open Source Developer Network, should be thought of as a template for the future of Web Journalism. Slide Deck. (Previously on MeFi.) NYMag profile of the INT team from '09: The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady. ("What are these renegade cybergeeks doing at the New York Times? Maybe saving it.")
While it should not come as a surprise that some chefs get high, it’s less often noted that drug use in the kitchen can change the experience in the dining room.
The Sunday Magazine - Every Friday, David Friedman (of Ironic Sans) posts the most interesting articles from the New York Times Sunday Magazine from 100 years ago that weekend. [more inside]
The New York Times covers a 'new celebrity trend', Unshaven Women, Free Spirits or Unkempt?
Single Link NYT Post: A Tax-Form For The Marginally Employed.
"With job openings scarce for young people, the number of unpaid internships has climbed in recent years, leading federal and state regulators to worry that more employers are illegally using such internships for free labor." (via)
Bringing New Understanding to the Director’s Cut (NYT) Art imitates life? Neuroscientists studying vision have observed a 1/f distribution in the natural scenes we encounter everyday. A new study shows movies have a similar 1/f distribution of scene pacing as natural scenes we encounter in daily life.
Have you ever spit your gum on the sidewalk. Did you know it's a social problem? New York City is dealing with it. Mexico DF is having a hard time with it. Instead of spitting you can swallow it or make a flower. [more inside]
Valentines from E.B. White, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, E. E. Cummings, Alexander Hamilton, and Zero Mostel. From libraries and archives around NYC, via the NYT (more info here).
Double Full Full Full, annotated (NYT video, reg REq'd) U.S. Olympic Team aerial skier Ryan St. Onge and a science reporter describe via video the physics going on as he executes a triple backflip with four twists. Also, the snowboard halfpipe. (Don't ask me why a triple backflip with four twists is called a "double full full full")
Frank Serpico testified before the Knapp Commission in October 1971, becoming the first police officer in the United States to voluntarily give evidence against a fellow policeman. You probably have seen the movie. Frank Serpico returns. “I still have nightmares,” he said. “I open a door a little bit and it just explodes in my face. Or I’m in a jam and I call the police, and guess who shows up? My old cop buddies who hated me.”
Dissertations on His Dudeness. (SLNYT) Descriptions of a new book of academic essays on The Big Lebowski such as: "“ ‘The Big Lebowski’ and Paul de Man: Historicizing Irony and Ironizing Historicism”
Sick leave. In some countries it's taken for granted. In the USA it's controversial. A bill before congress would mandate 5 days of paid sick leave a year for businesses with over 15 employees. Some without sick leave are going to work sick. I'm sure you have never done this.
The Year in Ideas from the New York Times Magazine.
Happy Thanksgiving, MetaFilter! If you have friends from different parts of the U.S., you might have wondered why they consider certain dishes to be an essential part of a Thanksgiving feast, when you've never even thought of them as remotely Thanksgiving-related. Now you can see what dishes were popular searches on allrecipes.com in various states thanks to a series of infographics in the New York Times.
“I think sometimes that being overly type-sensitive is like an allergy,” : The New York Times on the perils of being a font nerd.
Does american football unavoidably lead to brain damage over time? Does a culture favoring perseverance at the expense of well being begin in high school?
Nina Sankovitch is about to finish reading a book a day for a year. She not only reads them, she reviews them too. "You can’t go from ‘Little Bee,’ by Chris Cleave, which is about this young woman who witnesses torture and herself is a victim of abuse in Nigeria — a really great book, but you’re just crying or your stomach is clenched — to another book like it the next day,” she said. “If I read a book like that every day, I would have collapsed a long time ago.” Other 365 day projects have included this, this, and this.
25 years ago today, Vicki Dunbar Nelson and Jean Hepner played the longest tournament rally in tennis history, lasting 29 minutes and 642 shots (SLNYT). [more inside]
An Iwo Jima Relic Binds Generations. (SLNYTTJ - single-link new york times tear-jerker.)
About three months after her son's birth, Ms. Roscoe asked to see a psychiatrist. She was given a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D. — a mental illness more often associated with surviving war, car accidents and assaults, but now being recognized in parents of premature infants in prolonged intensive care. (nyt)
Three female US soldiers talk about their experiences in the military. (sound starts automatically) [more inside]
Can the New York Times and Washington Post survive on a pay-wall business model if they do it together?
In a new essay entitled Build the Wall, David Simon (who was a Baltimore Sun reporter before he produced The Wire) argues that if the larger newspaper industry is to survive, The New York Times and Washington Post must start charging readers for access to their websites (preferably done as a single action in concert with each other) — John Gruber, Dave Winer, and the folks at Gawker disagree, and Steven Berlin Johnson argues that while the future for newspapers might be quite bleak, the future for journalism and high quality analysis is actually quite bright. Meanwhile, the Times is currently doing market research to see if it's readers would be willing to pay $5 a month for online access, and the Associated Press announced it's intent to build a new news DRM system that will enable users to “consume, mash up and share AP content based on rights”.
Do you let your small children run around naked? "The sexual component of nudity — and a fear of pedophiles — is what makes some adults object entirely to letting children be naked. Jenny Louie said her husband is so uncomfortable when their 4-year-old daughter, Rebecca, is naked that, even if she is alone in her bedroom, in Los Angeles, he will immediately close her shutters."
Yesterday was self government day in Greenland. The last step before complete independence from Denmark. They played the Greenland National Anthem.
The 50 words that generate the most click-throughs to the dictionary from the New York Times. The Nieman Journalism Lab reveals the words that sent NYT readers running to the Merriam-Webster. Key fact: Maureen Dowd is overly fond of the word "louche." If the post is TL;DR for you, here's the list in Wordle.
Parents can no longer support their hipster children's lifestyle. Oh, the humanity. I realize that schadenfreude is a particularly ignoble emotional response, but how am I expected to control myself after reading: [more inside]
[E]ven if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of [vacation money] from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.After a year and a half of living in the Netherlands, American writer Russell Shorto compares the Dutch "welfare state" to the tax, health care and social security systems of the United States.
But does the cartoon image of [the Dutch system] — encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb — match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? [...] I think it’s worth pondering how the best bits might fit.