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Benjamin Franklin is FAT!!!1 :ROFL:

The War on Franklin (Orig. from the NYTimes). It's only fitting as we approach the tercentennial of the birth of the First American, Benjamin Franklin, that there is an ongoing debate as to whether we should "sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety" and if we deserve either. To be sure, Franklin is likely the seminal Colonial American, who's philosophy, inventions, self-determination, self-improvement, entrepeneurship, and witicisms underpin most elements of modern American society, politics, and culture, as well as having edited our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. But Franklin the man was also self-involved, a neglectful spouse and parent, and (likely) a serial philanderer, as well as having never held elected office. (History erases many of the sins of the Foundering Fathers). Surely increasing criticism of both the man and his relavency is soon to follow. Perhaps we can all strive to emulate Franklin's greatest skill - the art of compromise.
posted by rzklkng on Jan 5, 2006 - 75 comments

Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep

Locked in a Timeless Embrace: A third possibility. First documented gay couple (manicurists to the King) or just a case of conjoined twins? Same-sex closeness in historical Egypt.
posted by Jikido on Dec 21, 2005 - 21 comments

Rodney Whitaker Is Dead

The author Rodney Whitaker is dead, taking along with him Trevanian, Nicholas Seare, Benat Le Cagot, and several of his other pen names. Under the name Trevanian he wrote The Eiger Sanction (1972) (which became a Clint Eastwood movie of the same name), Shibumi (1979), The Loo Sanction (1973), The Summer of Katya (1983), The Main (1976), Incident at Twenty-Mile (1998), and others. In real life, Whitaker was the Chairman of the Radio, Television, and Film Department at the University of Texas. He was believe to be 74 years old, and died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Dec 17, 2005 - 14 comments

2005 - The Year in Ideas

2005 - The Year in Ideas. From Accredited Bliss to Zombie Dogs, the NY Times runs through the year's scientific, cultural, and academic developments.
posted by ph00dz on Dec 11, 2005 - 13 comments

Conservative Blogs Rock!

Conservative Blogs Rock! NEW YORK In an argument sure to be challenged in certain sectors of the blogosphere, a story in The New York Times magazine coming up this Sunday declares that conservative blogs continue to best liberal blogs in political and electoral influence.
posted by Sagres on Dec 9, 2005 - 51 comments

Is Maureen Dowd necessary?

Is Maureen Dowd necessary? Asks Katie Rolph (Slate). I'm not sure... but from a big article in the NY Times Magazine section last Sunday, to a spread in New York Magazine this week, all to support her new book release, she sure as hell seems to be everywhere these days. Rolph sums up Dowd pretty nicely, though:
... Dowd is extremely fond of clever stereotyping. But this strategy is better-suited to satirizing a real person (say, President Bush) than it is to offering insights into the already cartoonish "war" between the sexes. In Are Men Necessary? she gravitates toward quotes like this: "Deep down all men want the same thing: a virgin in a gingham dress," or "if there's one thing men fear it's a woman who uses her critical faculties..."
Her shallow insights are sometimes amusing in the context of 250 word op-ed, but a whole book, press junket and PR tour? The woman who suggests that oedipal conflict is at the root of current US foreign policy speaks out on feminism and culture, and we're supposed to care? Strangely enough, I do. I must be hypnotized by the red hair.
posted by psmealey on Nov 4, 2005 - 218 comments

South Park As Cultural Signpost

"But nine seasons on, South Park is a bona fide cultural phenomenon that has risen above its own raunch to become an up-to-the-minute social commentary on some of the most controversial issues of the day." A NY Times piece on SP as a significant cultural signpost.
posted by JPowers on Oct 19, 2005 - 60 comments

Goodbye Krugman, Friedman, et c.

NY Times will be going pay-only for access to columns by Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, and Maureen Dowd. On the 19th of Sept! And I assume the others like Herbert and Frank will drop behind the iron curtain as well. These are obviously some of the most blogged about and emailed content on the NYT site. Do you think it will be worth $49.95 year (it does come with 100 archive articles, which is admittedly pretty sweet)? Do you think that bloggers will stop linking to those columnists? Is this the end of free?
posted by zpousman on Sep 13, 2005 - 85 comments

Your papers please...

Attention Citizens of New York: The illegal searches begin tomorrow. And Congress also voted to keep the PATRIOT ACT indefinitely. I can't say I'm not surprised, but I have to say I'm very disappointed.
posted by Tlahtolli on Jul 21, 2005 - 165 comments

All the High School That's Fit to Print

Paul Krugman and Daniel Okrent get into a pissing match. In his final column as New York Times ombudsman, Okrent stated that Krugman, the New York Times columnist, "has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults." The paper gave the two of them some webspace to discuss the matter. The result is catty and entertaining, but the tone is certainly more vicious than I'd expected. They really don't seem to like each other very much.
posted by Tin Man on May 31, 2005 - 70 comments

In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths

From the folks who brought you Abu Ghraib, new information from Afghanistan. More torture of "terrorists," more deaths of prisoners, more untrained interrogators pummeling instead of interrogating—facts direct from a leaked Army investigation.
posted by Mo Nickels on May 20, 2005 - 83 comments

Modernist design and architecture

Design Observer and the New York Times (reg. req'd) on modernism.
posted by Tlogmer on May 16, 2005 - 4 comments

The Tao of Skinny-Dipping.

The Tao of Skinny-Dipping. [nytimes reg required] After long days spent defending their positions atop New York's most competitive fields, Manhattan's alpha males need to unwind. From mistresses to treadmills, these men have as many forms of relaxation as sources of stress. But some of the city's titans have a secret. They meet around private pools in private clubs and swim together, naked.
posted by jba on Apr 28, 2005 - 27 comments

H.P. Lovecraft

"It is here, however -- perhaps 50 pages into this 800-plus page anthology -- that something begins to shift, and what was supposed to be sublime (but is actually ridiculous) becomes something that was supposed to be ridiculous, but is actually sublime."
Why H.P. Lovecraft is scary after all.
posted by Tlogmer on Apr 19, 2005 - 40 comments

NYTimesBlogAnnotation

The Blogger Annotated New York Times
posted by srboisvert on Apr 6, 2005 - 17 comments

Here There Be Monsters

Thomas L. Friedman, award winning NY Times columnist and author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes, and From Beirut to Jerusalem, will publish his fourth book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, this week. An article adopted from the book, "It’s a Flat World After All", was printed in the NY Times Magazine today:

In 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail for India, going west. He had the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. He never did find India, but he called the people he met 'Indians' and came home and reported to his king and queen: 'The world is round.' I set off for India 512 years later. I knew just which direction I was going. I went east. I had Lufthansa business class, and I came home and reported only to my wife and only in a whisper: 'The world is flat.'
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Apr 3, 2005 - 52 comments

More to the story?

More to the story? So what are the chances that the whole Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert thing is about more than partisan media manipulation?
posted by kgasmart on Feb 11, 2005 - 64 comments

Mostly good riddance

Goodbye and good riddance to William Safire. Though, yes, admittedly not good form to post a link to an Op-Ed piece, let alone several, Safire's retirement from the Times' Op-Ed pages is something of a landmark event, even to those of us who grew up reading his On Language pieces (which will continue) and did not yet know of his past as a speechwriter for Richard M. Nixon. His opinions were sometimes aggravating, and other times, infuriating, but they were always well-written. [many NY Times links]
posted by psmealey on Jan 25, 2005 - 19 comments

Blogs help reform in Iran

Blogs contribute to political reform in Iran (New York Times): Former vice-president of Iran, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, said that he learned through the Internet about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation. "We do not understand each other and cannot have a dialogue," he said. "As government officials, we receive a lot of confidential reports about what goes on in society. But I have felt that I learned a lot more about people and the younger generation by reading their Web logs and receiving about 40 to 50 e-mails every day. This is so different than reading about society in those bulletins from behind our desks."
posted by hoder on Jan 16, 2005 - 7 comments

Autism & Animal Behavior

In her new book written with Catherine Johnson, Animals in Translation (NYTimes), Dr Temple Grandin, an animal behavior expert and inventor of the squeeze machine, uses her experiences with autism to explore the intricacies of animal behavior. She argues that animals do have consciousness, that language is not a prerequisite and other theories that bring insight into both animal and human behavior. (More)
posted by effwerd on Jan 11, 2005 - 34 comments

Dillard's How-To

Do you want to be a writer? "Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?... Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles. The problem is structural; it is insoluble; it is why no one can ever write this book. Complex stories, essays and poems have this problem, too -- the prohibitive structural defect the writer wishes he had never noticed. He writes it in spite of that." Luminous and wise writing advice from Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, one of the most beautiful books written in the last hundred years (published when Dillard was 29). As a writer myself, I am often asked by younger folk how to become one. Dillard says best what I would tell them.
posted by digaman on Jan 10, 2005 - 67 comments

2004 Year in Pictures

The NYTimes 2004 Year in Pictures.
posted by bluedaniel on Dec 29, 2004 - 23 comments

An Executive Order Along Torture's Path

Request for guidance regarding the OGC's EC regarding detainee abuse, referring to “interrogation techniques made lawful” by the “President's Executive Order.” comes from Records Released in Response to Torture FOIA Request.
Smoking Gun ? asks the ACLU--or just another stepping stone from Torture's Path ? As Ex-Military Lawyers Object to Bush Cabinet Nominee, and in Torture begins at the top, Joe Conason suggests that a recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that "marching orders" to abandon traditional interrogation methods came from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld himself and all the while Guantánamo torture and humiliation still going on, says shackled Briton. (more inside)
posted by y2karl on Dec 20, 2004 - 35 comments

Firefox ad on the NY Times.

Firefox ad on the NY Times. The long-awaited 2-page ad for the open source browser is finally out, complete with the 10,000 names of donors.
posted by arrowhead on Dec 16, 2004 - 79 comments

39 Across

A New York Times crossword puzzle printed on November 5, 1996, election day, was designed to predict the winner of the election, no matter who won. That takes some skill to design.
posted by BradNelson on Dec 16, 2004 - 20 comments

The 'Acting White' Myth.

The 'Acting White' Myth. When smart black kids try hard and do well, they are picked on by their less successful peers for 'acting white.' But it isn't true.
posted by Lisa S on Dec 12, 2004 - 45 comments

Movies

"A glance at this list, and at the daunting array of actors who have worked with him over the years, many repeatedly, suggests that Mr. Nichols is not only smart but also the cause of intelligence in others. One of the reasons his movies reliably yield pleasure in spite of their limitations is the quality of the acting on display." It seems that Mr. Nichols is also able to inspire profoundly interesting reviews such as this one in the NYT.
posted by semmi on Nov 28, 2004 - 3 comments

Art

Mr. Lippy, 41, is single-minded about the need for a general-interest magazine that is not dumb (NYT). The result is Esopus.
posted by semmi on Nov 13, 2004 - 4 comments

The Road To Abu Ghraib

The Road To Abu Ghraib A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq... It was a direct—and predictable—consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration, by senior White House officials and lawyers, in the weeks and months after 9/11. Yet the administration has largely managed to escape responsibility for those decisions; a month from election day, almost no one in the press or the political class is talking about what is, without question, the worst scandal to emerge from President Bush's nearly four years in office... Given the particular conditions faced by the president and his deputies after 9/11—a war against terrorists, in which the need to extract intelligence via interrogations was intensely pressing, but the limits placed by international law on interrogation techniques were very constricting—did those leaders have better alternatives than the one they chose? The answer is that they did. And we will be living with the consequences of the choices they made for years to come.
posted by y2karl on Oct 27, 2004 - 33 comments

The (Non) Issues

Why this election is so disappointing... Opposite today's New York Times' 30-column-inch endorsement of John Kerry, Thomas Friedman makes a good case that several of the most important issues are not being talked about by either candidate in any serious way.
posted by MattD on Oct 17, 2004 - 27 comments

Without a Doubt

Withoug a Doubt (NYT, reg. req'd). My overwhelming reaction to this lengthy but startling Ron Suskind piece was just a tremendous sadness. A sadness that the greatest nation in the history of the world could be governed on the basis of faith rather than fact. How can dismissing the "reality-based" and relying instead on instinct result in anything but disaster?
posted by kgasmart on Oct 16, 2004 - 131 comments

Science

In terms of our genes, we humans are all the same -- except for the ways in which we're different. Pharmacogenomics has for years been touted as the ultimate benefit of the genomics revolution. But to many, this revolution has a troubling side.
posted by semmi on Oct 13, 2004 - 6 comments

Rollback 4 years...

A classic snapshot of the last election. Against the current backdrop of alltime high oil prices and soaring deficits.
posted by H. Roark on Sep 28, 2004 - 13 comments

Ads and icons

The results are in (NYT - rr). To follow-up on this thread, the favorite ad icons and slogans have been chosen, as well as the recipients of the "Stars of Madison Avenue" award. And I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say...Derek Jeter?!?
posted by braun_richard on Sep 20, 2004 - 12 comments

First the NYTime, then CBS. Who will face reality?

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. First the NYTimes, then CBS. Who will face reality?
posted by HTuttle on Sep 20, 2004 - 113 comments

George Bushes's military record: critical analysis

George Bushes's Military record: a critical analysis This pdf file is about as definitive a look as we are likely to get on the Bush military record. Clearly most post4ers/readers of Metafilter do not support Bush, but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics
posted by Postroad on Sep 8, 2004 - 64 comments

Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) - one of the greatest poets of the 20th century - passed away on Saturday in Krackow, Poland. I want to remember him here with this: "Conversation with Jeanne"
posted by lilboo on Aug 16, 2004 - 8 comments

Terrorist Alert Level: Red Herring!

Terrorist Alert Level: Red Herring! The New York Times reported today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert in New York and Washington D.C. is actually three or four years old and that authorities have no evidence or recent communications indicating an upcoming terrorist attack. George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg, who are both speaking at the upcoming Republican convention, are making political hay off of people's fears of another 9/11. Some New Yorkers are worried about the enormous cost of the alert to the local economy, as bridge traffic snarls to a crawl.
Who needs foriegn terrorism when we can just make our own! Are we scared yet?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 3, 2004 - 150 comments

Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.

Correcting the Record. In meticulous detail the 9/11 commission's report found that the hijackers had repeatedly broken the law in entering the United States, that Mr. bin Laden may have micromanaged the attacks but did not pay for them, that intelligence agencies had considered the threat of suicide hijackings, and that Mr. Bush received an August 2001 briefing on evidence of continuing domestic terrorist threats from Al Qaeda.
posted by the fire you left me on Jul 25, 2004 - 57 comments

Well. of course.

The dog ate my service records. The Pentagon has announced that the payroll records for National Guard service for three months between 1972 and 1973 have been accidentally destroyed. These three months coincidentally cover the disputed period of George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. (Similar Google link here, via dKos)
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jul 9, 2004 - 71 comments

The Times and Iraq

Finally the NYT offers up an analysis of its pre-war coverage. "But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge."
posted by raaka on May 26, 2004 - 35 comments

Google to Search Your PC For You

The John Markoff of the New York Times [registration required] reports that Google plans to roll-out a text and file search tool code-named Puffin for finding information stored on PCs. The move is seen as a defensive one; Microsoft plans to include PC searching in its new operating system, scheduled to be released in 2006 (at the earliest).
posted by tranquileye on May 19, 2004 - 7 comments

A prosecution under the patriot act

"The Patriot Act defends our liberty, is what it does, under the Constitution of the United States" A saudi national is being prosecuted for maintaining web sites that advocated violent jihad. [nytimes, reg. req.]
posted by rdr on Apr 27, 2004 - 22 comments

North Korean nukes

North Korean Nuclear Devices. "Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear technology around the world, has told his interrogators that during a trip to North Korea five years ago he was taken to a secret underground nuclear plant and shown what he described as three nuclear devices."
posted by homunculus on Apr 13, 2004 - 5 comments

newsfilter!!! ; >

Hourly Cruft -- created triptychs from images found on the NYTimes home page. At 15 minutes after each hour, a new one is generated. From Robert Spahr, who also makes premise cruft, which takes images and headlines from CNN once every 8 hours. see here for more
posted by amberglow on Apr 9, 2004 - 3 comments

Shia Uprising

Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Shiite Uprising Occupation Forces Battle Cleric's Followers As Widespread Demonstrations Erupt in Iraq
A Young Radical's Anti-U.S. Wrath Is Unleashed For months, as American occupation authorities have focused on a moderate Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a radical young Shiite cleric named Moktada al-Sadr has been spewing invective and threatening a widespread insurrection. On Sunday, he unleashed it. At his word, thousands of disciples, wearing green headbands and carrying automatic rifles, stormed into the streets of several cities and set off the most widespread mayhem of the occupation. Witnesses and occupation officials said the disciples occupied police stations, fired rocket-propelled grenades at American troops and overran government security in Kufa, the town in south central Iraq where Mr. Sadr lives. "The occupation is over!" many yelled. "We are now controlled by Sadr!"
posted by y2karl on Apr 4, 2004 - 166 comments

I just want what's mine!

The file-sharing fight continues.
Recording industry associations in Denmark, Germany, Italy and Canada have filed lawsuits or taken other legal action, aiming mainly at heavy users accused of offering a large number of songs online.

In other news, A study of file-sharing's effects on music sales says online music trading appears to have had little part in the recent slide in CD sales.
posted by ashbury on Mar 31, 2004 - 9 comments

Bastards... simply bastards...

"You love life and we love death" Al Qaeda video found in Spain claims responsibility for Madrid bombings. (NY Times on first link.) How can we tell if a group claiming a terror act actually were the bastards who did it?
posted by zaelic on Mar 14, 2004 - 17 comments

Tom Friedman's T-shirt employment guru

Tom Friedman, well meaning NYT columnnist lunkhead, gets job outsourced In a stunning development, Tom Friedman - until recently the famous NYT op-ed columnist who has downplayed the outsourcing of American jobs, finds his job has been outsourced due to an egregious factual error concerning T-shirts. "[ BANGALORE, India ] I am delighted to write to you today as the new foreign-affairs columnist for the New York Times . My name is Tam Veeraraghavan. Ah, you say, you've never heard of Tam Veeraraghavan, but the name sounds vaguely Indian. Well, I am an Indian. I live in Bangalore. And I'm now the pundit you read in this newspaper. Now some of you might think that I'm an example of how outsourcing is hurting American workers. Well let me introduce you to Yamini Narayanan, an Indian-born 35-year-old with a Ph.D. in economics....."
posted by troutfishing on Mar 11, 2004 - 41 comments

I, Mel, absolve your bloody entrails

Mel Gibson wanted Frank Rich's bloody entrails on a stick, wanted to kill Rich's dog. But now... In the buildup to his new film, Mel Gibson said, about Frank Rich, "I want to kill him. I want his entrails on a stick I want to kill his dog" (The New Yorker, September 15) . Any american non-celebrity teenager who uttered such threats would have been immediately arrested, interrogated, and forced to submit to lengthy counseling. Yet to right wing US press media, it seems, the "entrails" threat was immaterial. Indeed, chirps WorldNet's Barbara Simpson, "Gibson is the bravest man in Hollywood. Perhaps, he's the bravest in the country....Gibson's hell has been very public. " Now, on Leno, Mel has granted Rich forgiveness and absolution for Rich's sin of criticizing "The Passion" : "You try to perform an act of love even for those who persecute you", said Gibson to Leno.
posted by troutfishing on Mar 7, 2004 - 39 comments

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