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"And I’m going to keep doing it, unless you pay me to stop."

Don’t Want Me to Recline My Airline Seat? You Can Pay Me [New York Times]
"...airline seats are an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem. This is an economic theory holding that it doesn’t matter very much who is initially given a property right; so long as you clearly define it and transaction costs are low, people will trade the right so that it ends up in the hands of whoever values it most. That is, I own the right to recline, and if my reclining bothers you, you can pay me to stop."

posted by Fizz on Aug 27, 2014 - 355 comments

Public Corruption Unit

Rick Perry Indicted on Charges of Abuse of Power
posted by box on Aug 15, 2014 - 146 comments

"— a fixer who knew just what to do."

PAPER BOYS: The Dark World of Debt Collection [New York Times] In the murky world of unpaid bills, a banker and an ex-con can make a fortune — if they don’t run into too many crooks.
posted by Fizz on Aug 15, 2014 - 16 comments

Where We Came From, State by State

A New York Times interactive graphic feature charting how Americans have moved between states since 1900.
posted by MoonOrb on Aug 14, 2014 - 28 comments

"I've gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself"

The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who's Buying Up All the World's Vinyl Records. By age 30, he had about 30,000 records. About 10 years later, his bus company expanded, making him rich. Not long after that, he split up with his wife, and the pace of his buying exploded. "Maybe it’s because I was alone," Freitas said. "I don't know." He soon had a collection in the six figures; his best guess at a current total is several million albums.
posted by soundofsuburbia on Aug 8, 2014 - 14 comments

Stoned in the Mountains

Weddings in the era of legalization Before Jennifer Beck, 27, and Chase Beck, 24, were married on May 3, also at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch, they briefly discussed serving THC-infused cupcakes in addition to traditional ones...[they] ultimately decided not to include the special cupcakes, in part because it was springtime, the season when the rivers are raging with snowmelt and the bears are coming out of hibernation — not the ideal moment for anyone to be stoned in the mountains.
posted by the young rope-rider on Jul 26, 2014 - 83 comments

How Much Does "Does Poetry Matter" Matter?

This Weekend, The New York Times went all in for poetry. In addition to six — count ‘em — articles about poetry in the Review, the Times also included an entire panel in its “Room for Debate” section in which the mostly white and mostly male panelists responded to the essentially rhetorical question “Does Poetry Matter?” with some version of the expected answer: yes. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 25, 2014 - 38 comments

Re: Applicability of Federal Criminal Laws and the Constitution

In May, David Barron was confirmed as a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, after a half-hour filibsuter by Rand Paul, and opposition stemming from a confidential memo (previously) he wrote, justifying the use of targeted drone strikes against terrorists, e.g. Anwar al-Awlaki (previously).
After a court ruling in the FOIA lawsuit filed by the ACLU and New York Times, Court Releases Large Parts of Memo Approving Killing of American in Yemen. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 25, 2014 - 27 comments

This place is full of Raphaels

"I was a nervous wreck because I was about to betray my beloved grandmother and visit her darkest secret. Her secret had a name, and I was going to see him." (SLNYTimes: Modern Love)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 23, 2014 - 14 comments

Reporting a Rape, and Wishing She Hadn't [SLNYT]

The New York Times examines the case of a student raped by football players at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The colleges are under investigation by the Department of Education [Not Alone, previously] [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jul 13, 2014 - 64 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

Baptism by fire

A 36 year old FDNY "probie" fights his first fire (SLNYTimes interactive)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 22, 2014 - 10 comments

Pulitzer winner. Lefty hero. Plagiarist.

Christopher Ketcham of the New Republic accuses Chris Hedges of widespread plagiarism.
The trouble began when Ross passed the piece along to the fact-checker assigned to the story. As Ross and the fact-checker began working through the material, they discovered that sections of Hedges’s draft appeared to have been lifted directly from the work of a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter named Matt Katz, who in 2009 had published a four-part series on social and political dysfunction in Camden.
[more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar on Jun 12, 2014 - 71 comments

Hugs and kisses.

In advance of the HBO release of "The Normal Heart", Frank Bruni writes about Larry Kramer in today's New York Times.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 27, 2014 - 4 comments

Harmonized data sets with varying sample sizes....

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest. The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. Comparing income by country. About the data.
posted by blue_beetle on Apr 23, 2014 - 38 comments

“Hollywood wives have a tendency to go into my closet without asking,”

Enough About Me. Like My Portrait? [New York Times]
posted by Fizz on Apr 11, 2014 - 27 comments

"The filmmaker Jim Jarmusch is old school."

This Time, Jim Jarmusch Is Kissing Vampires [New York Times] [Profile]
posted by Fizz on Apr 7, 2014 - 24 comments

The World They Made

Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
Interesting day— NSC mtg. with President— As [it] ended he asked to see me alone… After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone He was at his desk— He talked about the meet Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2014 - 89 comments

You may find that even your rock-bottom expenses aren’t met

Can you live on the minimum wage? NYTimes.com has provided you with a handy calculator to find out.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 10, 2014 - 80 comments

“Car for criminals!” said Vlad

Two guys try to drive from Moscow to Sochi in a Lada Niva, the "automotive version of the Russian soul". Hilarity ensues. [SLNYT]
posted by Itaxpica on Feb 8, 2014 - 15 comments

When Artworks Crash

In 1994, Douglas Davis [personal blog] created The World's First Collaborative Sentence. Last summer, The Whitney Museum faced a new challenge: what happens to digital art when the technology becomes obsolete? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 19, 2014 - 31 comments

The Online Avengers[SLNYT]

Why set down the weapon of Anonymous if you believe you can master it?
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 15, 2014 - 18 comments

Fired? Speak no evil.

Fired? Speak no evil. "[A] termination agreement pinged into my inbox. Much of it set forth standard-issue language resolving such matters as date of termination, the vesting of options, the release of all claims against the company, and the return of company property. I think I get to keep last year’s Christmas gift of an iPad, and the previous year’s bottle of wine has long been drunk, but I must send back any company files in my possession. So far, so good. What brings me up short is clause No. 12: No Disparagement. 'You agree,' it reads, 'that you will never make any negative or disparaging statements (orally or in writing) about the Company or its stockholders, directors, officers, employees, products, services or business practices, except as required by law.' If I don’t agree to this nondisparagement clause, I will not receive my severance — in this case, the equivalent of two weeks of pay."
posted by SpacemanStix on Jan 3, 2014 - 109 comments

2013: Year of the Big Fine

Do big fines actually prompt corporations to mend their ways? Or is it just the cost of doing business? (SLNYT+video) (previously/similarly)
posted by Obscure Reference on Jan 2, 2014 - 53 comments

"No negative thoughts, he told himself. Stay positive. Stay strong."

A Speck in the Sea [NYTimes.com]: John Aldridge fell overboard in the middle of the night, 40 miles from shore, and the Coast Guard was looking in the wrong place.
posted by Fizz on Jan 2, 2014 - 28 comments

Which Came First, the Depression or the Insomnia?

Insomnia causes depression as much as depression causes insomnia: Three surprising points from a fascinating episode of KQED Forum [audio, no transcript] with guest Dr. Michelle Primeau of the Stanford School of Medicine.
  • Insomnia has long been taught to be a symptom of depression, but in many cases is a cause of depression.
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is an effective treatment for both insomnia and depression.
  • CBT can be more effective and longer lasting than sleeping pills
For those averse to audio (like me, normally), the NYT also covered the research in print:
  • First story: Treating Insomnia to Heal Depression,
  • Follow up a couple of days later: Double Effectiveness of Depression Treatment by Treating Insomnia,
  • Two readers (both psychiatrists) respond, and
  • A NYT editorial.
  • [more inside]
    posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail on Dec 5, 2013 - 22 comments

    The Transfiguration of Arthur C. Danto

    Last month, we lost one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. Arthur C. Danto was perhaps the most eminent voice in contemporary aesthetics. Always on the cutting edge, Danto shined a light on aesthetics in the post-art world. [more inside]
    posted by Lutoslawski on Nov 27, 2013 - 8 comments

    “Mascara is an incredible hassle,”

    William T. Vollmann: The Self Images of a Cross-Dresser [New York Times] From a profile on William T. Vollmann, in The New York Times. The profile centers around Vollmann’s latest book, The Book of Dolores.
    posted by Fizz on Nov 17, 2013 - 20 comments

    With the tropical sun blasting down on it, the ship was ravaged by rust.

    In a remote corner of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles from the Philippines, lies a submerged reef the Filipinos call Ayungin. In most ways it resembles the hundreds of other reefs, islands, rock clusters and cays that collectively are called the Spratly Islands. But Ayungin is different. In the reef’s shallows there sits a forsaken ship, manned by eight Filipino troops whose job is to keep China in check... It was hard to imagine how such a forsaken place could become a flash point in a geopolitical power struggle. Jeff Himmelman (words) and Ashley Gilbertson (images). A Game of Shark and Minnow [SLNYTimes interactive, (calm) autoplaying audio]
    posted by Chutzler on Oct 25, 2013 - 21 comments

    A "Protest with Every Purchase."


    ︻╦╤─

    Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
    posted by Fizz on Sep 29, 2013 - 242 comments

    404 No More

    A new study from Harvard Law School (get the full paper here) reports that nearly half of the links cited in Supreme Court opinions are rotten (sometimes cleverly so). A new web-service built through collaboration by many of the largest libraries in the world, Perma, currently in Beta, will enable users to create citation links that will never break.
    posted by Lutoslawski on Sep 24, 2013 - 19 comments

    The 50mm is exactly what the human eye sees, without any distortion

    The Lens Is Standard, the Photos Anything But Jerome Delay has been on a quest for simplicity while covering some of the most important stories in Africa for The Associated Press. For the last year he has relied almost exclusively on one camera, and one lens, a 50-millimeter F1.4.
    posted by ColdChef on Sep 19, 2013 - 41 comments

    Sex on a moving subway train

    Kenneth Leedom and Peter Cott have been together for 58 years. In a NYTimes article, they discuss their lives, from encounters with other men during World War II, gay bath houses in the 1970s, the AIDS epidemic, and their 2011 wedding, at the ages of 86 and 87.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 8, 2013 - 17 comments

    Etymologically, the opposite of “suffering” is, therefore, “apathy”


    “They feel like they were tricked or betrayed.”

    Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt
    "The church is grappling with a wave of disillusionment among members who encountered information that sabotages what they were taught about their faith."
    posted by andoatnp on Jul 21, 2013 - 135 comments

    Quiet place on the river to enjoy a lobster roll

    Finding the Quiet City. Related Article and all 728 submissions
    posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 12, 2013 - 6 comments

    The Decline of North Carolina


    Beyond the Finish Line

    The NYTimes tracks the recovery of Jeff Bauman, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
    posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 8, 2013 - 15 comments

    I Know What You Think of Me

    "I’ve also been written about, in ways I could find no fault with but that were nonetheless excruciating for me to read. It is simply not pleasant to be objectively observed — it’s like seeing a candid photo of yourself online, not smiling or posing, but simply looking the way you apparently always do, oblivious and mush-faced with your mouth open. It’s proof that we are visible to others, that we are seen, in all our naked silliness and stupidity." -Tim Kreider writes about finding out what people really say about you, and how it's all okay.
    posted by smock smock smock on Jun 18, 2013 - 46 comments

    Punk is Not Dead ... yet

    PUNK: Chaos To Couture is an exhibit running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Reactions have been mixed. [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 14, 2013 - 53 comments

    It was sad—every bit of it, and in so many freakish ways.

    The most recent wave of Hawaiian-monk-seal murders began on the island of Molokai in November 2011. An 8-year-old male seal was found slain on a secluded beach. A month later, the body of a female, not yet 2 years old, turned up in the same area. Then, in early January, a third victim was found on Kauai. The government tries to keep the details of such killings secret, though it is known that some monk seals have been beaten to death and some have been shot. Who Would Kill a Monk Seal? [New York Times Magazine]
    posted by DaDaDaDave on Jun 13, 2013 - 32 comments

    "How Not To Be Alone"

    "How Not To Be Alone" Author Jonathan Safran Foer touches on loneliness and empathy in an era of "iDistractions" during his commencement address at Middlebury College. (SLNYT)
    posted by raihan_ on Jun 9, 2013 - 40 comments

    Apple's Web of Tax Shelters


    Rose-Colored Ribbons

    Our Feel-Good War On Breast Cancer (SLNYT)
    posted by Diablevert on Apr 29, 2013 - 63 comments

    "the current system is the most practical and 'seems to work'"

    "Despite her pedigree, success came slowly," the story bravely ventured. This slowness was maybe not so apparent to several thousand other 24-year-olds who want to be actresses, but who haven't even figured out how to get to a reading for Law & Order to fail at it. Tom Scocca on Nathaniel Rich, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet, and cultural nepotism. (Related: How David Carr Became the Daddy of Girls)
    posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 24, 2013 - 42 comments

    Even Nixon & Reagan and the NRA once dabbled in gun control.

    The ghost of gun control revisits the history of gun control in the US. (SLNYTOPED)
    posted by Obscure Reference on Apr 22, 2013 - 130 comments

    Lake Erie is sick.

    Spring Rain, Then Foul Algae in Ailing Lake Erie: [New York Times]
    "A thick and growing coat of toxic algae appears each summer, so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually."

    posted by Fizz on Mar 24, 2013 - 17 comments

    “The important thing,” he said, “is moving.”

    Becoming the All-Terrain Human: [New York Times]
    "Kilian Jornet Burgada is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. In just eight years, Jornet has won more than 80 races, claimed some 16 titles and set at least a dozen speed records, many of them in distances that would require the rest of us to purchase an airplane ticket. He has run across entire landmasses­ (Corsica) and mountain ranges (the Pyrenees), nearly without pause. He regularly runs all day eating only wild berries and drinking only from streams."

    posted by Fizz on Mar 23, 2013 - 24 comments

    “What you cannot do, a Cossack can.”

    The Cossacks Are Back. May the Hills Tremble. [New York Times]
    "In his third term, President Vladimir V. Putin has offered one clear new direction for the country: the development of a conservative, nationalist ideology. Cossacks have emerged as a kind of mascot, with growing financial and political support."

    posted by Fizz on Mar 17, 2013 - 14 comments

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