408 posts tagged with NewYorker.
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I’m sweet, I’m red, and I plop out of a can.

"...judging from the looks on all of your faces, I seem to be the only one who thought there was a problem. Am I correct? Wow. All right. Unbelievable." The Cranberry Sauce Has Something To Say (SLNewYorker)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 26, 2015 - 35 comments

The Space Doctor and his Big Idea

A man who draws pictures for the computer explains the space doctor's big idea about time and space using only simple words. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Nov 19, 2015 - 29 comments

"I wanted to go to Heaven.”

[Megan] Phelps-Roper spent the summer and the fall in an existential spiral. She would conclude that everything about Westboro’s doctrine was wrong, only to be seized with terror that these thoughts were a test from God, and she was failing. “You literally feel insane,” she said. Eventually, her doubts won out. “I just couldn’t keep up the charade,” she said. “I couldn’t bring myself to do the things we were doing and say the things we were saying.” - How a prized daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church came to question its beliefs. (content warning : extreme homophobic & anti-Semitic language)
posted by nadawi on Nov 16, 2015 - 64 comments

“The aims of life are the best defense against death.”

The Art of Witness by James Wood [The New Yorker] How Primo Levi survived.
“Primo Levi [wiki] did not consider it heroic to have survived eleven months in Auschwitz. Like other witnesses of the concentration camps, he lamented that the best had perished and the worst had survived. But we who have survived relatively little find it hard to believe him. How could it be anything but heroic to have entered Hell and not been swallowed up? To have witnessed it with such delicate lucidity, such reserves of irony and even equanimity? Our incomprehension and our admiration combine to simplify the writer into a needily sincere amalgam: hero, saint, witness, redeemer.”
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Nov 2, 2015 - 8 comments

“That one is ridiculed by its fellow-birds for its stupidity”

The improbable emergence of Nell Zink.
posted by holmesian on Oct 25, 2015 - 9 comments

It started with bedtime. A coldness. A formality.

"Cold Little Bird," a very good and very disturbing story by Ben Marcus. [SLNYer]
posted by gottabefunky on Oct 23, 2015 - 77 comments

"If this was the law of Nature, why waste any time in awe or pity?”

Thoreau was kind of a dick. Actually, more than "kind of." He was, in fact, a huge, total dick. (OK, he was a strident and powerful abolitionist. But somehow he managed to be a dick about that too.) [more inside]
posted by neroli on Oct 13, 2015 - 111 comments

“Nobody ages like anybody else.”

What old age is really like. Getting beyond "Generic Old Man" and "Eccentric Old Woman" by examining literature by 'natives' of old age.
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Oct 2, 2015 - 6 comments

Hi, I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

A New Caption That Works for Every New Yorker Cartoon (SLTheAtlantic). (via Frank Chimero). [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Sep 22, 2015 - 49 comments

Take *that*, assholes

A Modest Proposal - David Sedaris talks about the pros and cons of getting hitched
posted by a lungful of dragon on Sep 21, 2015 - 30 comments

Inside Apple's design studio with Jony

Ian Parker from the New Yorker managed to secure time with and access to Apple's chief designer, Sir Jonathan Ive so as to write this extended profile of the man, his obsessively secretive workplace - and his dislike of orangey-brown..
posted by rongorongo on Sep 10, 2015 - 44 comments

I guess they thought that amassing land was important.

My Nephew Has Some Questions (Jesse Eisenberg in The New Yorker)
posted by davidjmcgee on Sep 3, 2015 - 33 comments

The Birds: Why the passenger pigeon became extinct

"One hunter recalled a nighttime visit to a swamp in Ohio in 1845, when he was sixteen; he mistook for haystacks what were in fact alder and willow trees, bowed to the ground under gigantic pyramids of birds many bodies deep." In his new book about the passenger pigeon, the naturalist Joel Greenberg sets out to answer a puzzling question: How could the bird go from a population of billions to zero in less than fifty years? (SLNewYorker.) [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Sep 3, 2015 - 48 comments

The New Markov

The Verge has developed a way to game the New Yorker cartoon caption contest (previously: 1 2 christ what an asshole 4), in the sense that roulette and chuck-a-luck are games.
posted by BiggerJ on Aug 30, 2015 - 31 comments

Istanbul’s city planners have a problem: too much history

If fifteen houses are built on top of one another, which one is the most important? The Big Dig, a long read about shipwrecks under Istanbul, archaeological "surplus", Neolithic footprints, elephants fed to lions, and the collision of modern city planning imperatives with a glut of priceless antiquities. SLNewYorker. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen on Aug 26, 2015 - 16 comments

“Turtles are allowed, but no photography.”

What do an alpaca, a turtle, a snake, a pig, and a turkey have in common? They're all animals that New Yorker writer Patricia Marx passed off as emotional support animals, with varying results.
posted by carrienation on Aug 9, 2015 - 67 comments

Shirley Jackson on writing

The New Yorker has recently put online three short essays on writing by novelist and short story writer Shirley Jackson, author of The Lottery and The Haunting of Hill House. They are Memory and Delusion, On Fans and Fan Mail and Garlic in Fiction, where she sets out her methodology of writing fiction. You can read one of Jackson's short stories on The New Yorker's website, Paranoia, and an interview she did with her son.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 4, 2015 - 12 comments

Learning to Speak Lingerie

"Days start late, and nights run long; they ignore the Spring Festival and sell briskly after sundown during Ramadan. Winter is better than summer. Mother’s Day is made for lingerie. But nothing compares with Valentine’s Day, so this year I celebrated the holiday by saying goodbye to my wife, driving four hours to Asyut, and watching people buy underwear at the China Star shop until almost midnight." Chinese lingerie merchants in Egypt. (New Yorker via Longform)
posted by pravit on Aug 3, 2015 - 10 comments

Ronald Reagan and Reading Proust

"Maybe the story is the difference between the writers on the panels and the writers in the audience. That story is the creation of a celebrity class. That story is the fine line between jealousy and envy: I want everything you have versus I want everything I can have. Or is the story simply vanity?" Choire Sicha of the Awl reports on (and attempts to schmooze through) the two-day New Yorker literary festival
posted by The Whelk on Jul 28, 2015 - 4 comments

"Poets of the world, ignite! You have nothing to lose but your brains!"

Joe Gould died well over half a century ago after having been gone from his haunts in Greenwich for half a decade. He had been a fixture in the Village for decades, friend to famous writers and artists, living in penury while saying he was working on a massively long work called Oral History of Our Time (coining the term [pdf] "oral history" in the process) from which only a few short pieces were ever published. In the 40s he became famous thanks to a profile called "Professor Sea Gull" written by star New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell. After Gould's death, Mitchell wrote another profile in 1964, "Joe Gould's Secret", where Mitchell said that the Oral History only existed in Gould's mind. After that article, Mitchell never published again in his lifetime despite being on The New Yorker's staff until his death in 1996. Since then, various further secrets have been unearthed about Gould, diaries from the 40s, the identity of Gould's mysterious patron, and now New Yorker writer Jill Lepore has written about Gould's whereabouts in the last years in his life, and much else, in a sad profile called Joe Gould's Teeth. [Joe Gould previously]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 21, 2015 - 10 comments

Cascadia Subduction Zone

An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.
posted by Artw on Jul 13, 2015 - 269 comments


Megasoid started in the winter of 2006/2007 as a Montreal-based mobile soundsystem making aggressive street-bass and remix music. For the following 3 years Vaughn Robert Squire and Hadji Bakara spent their time playing their music out of vans, throwing amps in basements for live sets, lugging modular synths to rooftops of hotels, and setting up big PAs under bridges and at after-hours spots [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 10, 2015 - 6 comments

No. 21: Who is making all this coffee?

What I Assume Honoré de Balzac Thought After Drinking Each of His 50 Daily Cups of Coffee (SLNewYorker) [more inside]
posted by joechip on Jul 9, 2015 - 50 comments

The roads of Chittenden County

Until this year, Vermont had never formally decommissioned any roads. Ever. This has had some implications.... [via jessamyn's Twitter]
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 1, 2015 - 24 comments

Made of the Same Metal

The Families Who Negotiated With ISIS - "Until recently, they had not known of one another, or of the unexpected benefactor who had brought them together. They were the parents of five Americans who had been kidnapped in Syria." [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Jul 1, 2015 - 6 comments

"I think we have to respect when people say, 'No—that is enough.'"

Euthanasia for psychiatric patients was rare in the early years of the law, but patients complained that they were being unfairly stigmatized: psychic suffering, they argued, was just as unbearable as physical pain. Like cancer patients, they were subjected to futile treatments that diminished their quality of life. Dirk De Wachter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Leuven and the president of the ethics commission for the university's psychiatric center, said that he reconsidered his opposition to euthanasia after a patient whose request he had rejected committed suicide. In 2004, she set up a camera in front of a newspaper office in Antwerp and set herself on fire.
Rachel Aviv traveled to Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, to report on the complications and consequences that surround the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia for psychiatric patients: The Death Treatment.
posted by divined by radio on Jun 22, 2015 - 52 comments

Off Diamond Head

To be thirteen, with a surfboard, in Hawaii.
posted by ellieBOA on Jun 22, 2015 - 17 comments

This is why we can't have nice things

All Possible Humanities Dissertations Considered as Single Tweets
posted by nebulawindphone on Jun 10, 2015 - 45 comments

Bibliography of Obscure Sorrows: The therapeutic benefits of books

"Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect. ... Today, bibliotherapy takes many different forms, from literature courses run for prison inmates to reading circles for elderly people suffering from dementia. Sometimes it can simply mean one-on-one or group sessions for “lapsed” readers who want to find their way back to an enjoyment of books. [Ella] Berthoud and her longtime friend and fellow bibliotherapist Susan Elderkin mostly practice “affective” bibliotherapy, advocating the restorative power of reading fiction." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Jun 9, 2015 - 4 comments

Less Marc Jacobs More Jane Jacobs

Why is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in NYC full of shuttered storefronts?
posted by The Whelk on May 29, 2015 - 140 comments

I’m a woman who writes about rock and roll

"The record store, the guitar shop, and now social media: when it comes to popular music, these places become stages for the display of male prowess. Female expertise, when it appears, is repeatedly dismissed as fraudulent. Every woman who has ever ventured an opinion on popular music could give you some variation (or a hundred) on my school corridor run-in, and becoming a recognized 'expert' (a musician, a critic) will not save you from accusations of fakery." The World Needs Female Rock Critics, by Anwen Crawford for the New Yorker. Discussed in the piece is Jessica Hopper's new collection of essays, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, which has been greeted with glowing praise. Here's an interview she did with Hazlitt: 'Am I Womansplaining To You?' And here she speaks to Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy: "Being a fangirl is all the qualification you need. And don't wait for anyone to give you permission. They won't. And you should do it anyways." [more inside]
posted by naju on May 26, 2015 - 11 comments

“Being unseen is devastating, and so is not seeing.”

The Inexplicable by Karl Ove Knausgaard [The New Yorker] Inside the mind of a mass killer.
It was out of this world that the thirty-two-year-old Anders Behring Breivik stepped when, on the afternoon of July 22, 2011, he set out from his mother’s flat in Oslo’s West End, changed into a police uniform, parked a van containing a bomb, which he had spent the spring and summer making, outside Regjeringskvartalet, lit the fuse, and left the scene. While the catastrophic images of the attack, which killed eight people, were being broadcast across the world, Breivik headed to Utøya. That was where the Workers’ Youth League had its annual summer camp. There Breivik shot and killed sixty-nine people, in a massacre that lasted for more than an hour, right until the police arrived, when he immediately surrendered.
posted by Fizz on May 20, 2015 - 40 comments

Playground Purgatory

ANNA: I’m always so happy when I’m here, and never feel strange or despondent.
SARA: Me, too. So happy. The sound of all the kids laughing and screaming is so joyous, and doesn’t sound anything like nails on a chalkboard.
ANNA: I’ve never cried behind that tree.
SARA: Me neither.

posted by Metroid Baby on May 14, 2015 - 48 comments

Life Lines

For an artist with amnesia, the world takes place through her pencil.
posted by ellieBOA on Apr 20, 2015 - 1 comment

The hows and whys of invisibility

A Beginner's Guide to Invisibility by Kathryn Schulz: "with invisibility, as with so many forces, what matters is who gets to wield it. If you choose to be invisible, it's a superpower; if it's forced upon you, it's a plight. The same goes for being visible. We typically speak of visibility as an asset—but the subjugated are not always overlooked, and they do not always want to be seen." (via; previously)
posted by kliuless on Apr 12, 2015 - 18 comments

"No, yes", "No, totally", and the "no" prefix as conversational element

"At first blush, 'no' does not appear to be the kind of word whose meaning you can monkey with." Kathryn Schulz dissects the use of "no" at the beginning of conversational turns, and discusses how it may be a reaction to the loss of our previous "four-form system of negation and affirmation" that included "yea" and "nay".
posted by brainwane on Apr 7, 2015 - 61 comments

"We can all feel good about deploring it."

Carbon Capture by Jonathan Franzen [New Yorker] Has climate change made it harder for people to care about conservation?
And so I came to feel miserably conflicted about climate change. I accepted its supremacy as the environmental issue of our time, but I felt bullied by its dominance. Not only did it make every grocery-store run a guilt trip; it made me feel selfish for caring more about birds in the present than about people in the future. What were the eagles and the condors killed by wind turbines compared with the impact of rising sea levels on poor nations? What were the endemic cloud-forest birds of the Andes compared with the atmospheric benefits of Andean hydroelectric projects?
posted by Fizz on Apr 1, 2015 - 43 comments

submitted 2 months late, one letter grade off.

This State of the Union address will address the union about the state of the economy, foreign policy, and the general state of this country.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Mar 24, 2015 - 13 comments

“The dead, the dead, the dead—our dead—or South or North—ours all,”

The Long Twentieth Century by Drew Gilpin Faust [The New Yorker]
The American Civil War anticipated transformations often attributed to the years between 1914 and 1918.
This essay is adapted from the Rede Lecture, which was delivered, earlier this year, at Cambridge University.
posted by Fizz on Mar 14, 2015 - 13 comments

Mother Nature is most ruggedly, thornily savage.

Los Angeles should be buried. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Mar 14, 2015 - 54 comments

Veronica Lake and Gooseneck Trailers: McPhee Ponders Points of Reference

In an essay for the New Yorker, John McPhee (previously, previously, and previously) reflects on the points of reference writers choose in order to illuminate their topics, sometimes to the annoyance of readers. "Mention Beyoncé and everyone knows who she is. Mention Veronica Lake and you might as well be in the Quetico-Superior." Frame of Reference: To illuminate—or to irritate? [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Mar 11, 2015 - 56 comments


Since the late 19th century, the amount of her writing we have access to has more than doubled and our views of sexuality have changed, leading to constant modern reexamination of one of the greatest poets the world has ever seen: Who was Sappho? And just how much does her sexuality and her personal life matter to a discussion of her work?
Some ancient writers assumed that there had to have been two Sapphos: one the great poet, the other the notorious slut. There is an entry for each in the Suda. The uncertainties plaguing the biography of literature’s most famous Lesbian explain why classicists who study Sappho like to cite the entry for her in Monique Wittig and Sande Zeig’s “Lesbian Peoples: Material for a Dictionary” (1979). To honor Sappho’s central position in the history of female homosexuality, the two editors devoted an entire page to her. The page is blank. . . . Even as we strain to hear this remarkable woman’s sweet speech, the thrumming in our ears grows louder.
Previously: Metafilter (awesomely) tackles the newly discovered "Brothers Poem" in real time.
posted by sallybrown on Mar 9, 2015 - 41 comments

"Oh, how I mourn her passing"

Traces of Mavis. David MacFarlane writes about the life and work of Mavis Gallant for Canadian magazine The Walrus.
...an aspiring novelist once pressed Gallant for advice, which she stubbornly refused to give. She could have said something—anything, almost—to satisfy the would-be writer. But she wasn’t the kind of person who did that. ... How to write? This was not, as far as Gallant was concerned, an uncomplicated question. It was also a question that, were it to be answered meaningfully, would require more soul-searching, more thought, more self-analysis than she would want to undertake in front of a stranger. It’s easy to imagine how the question could come across as rude or impossible to answer—or both. Besides, she firmly believed that writing could not be taught. But the young author persisted. “All right,” Gallant finally said. “Here’s some advice: never drink cheap wine.”
posted by jokeefe on Feb 18, 2015 - 5 comments


The Last Man game is an annual competition to be the last person in the United States to know who won the Super Bowl.
Most of the runners [...] found themselves waking up each day in a cold sweat. “I feel like I’m being sequestered for the stupidest jury trial in modern history,” one competitor said. “It’s gotten to the point where three things may end me: recklessness, homesickness, or sheer boredom.” Several players eventually said that they couldn’t take it anymore and quit. “I’ve spent way more time avoiding the Knowledge than I’ve ever spent thinking on it in the past,” one said, committing seppuku with Twitter as his sword.
posted by frimble on Feb 16, 2015 - 86 comments

No Pain, No Gain

The global appeal of the novel has led some fans to hallow it as a classic, but, with all due respect, it is not to be confused with “Madame Bovary.” Rather, Fifty Shades of Grey is the kind of book that Madame Bovary would read.
Anthony Lane reviews Fifty Shades of Grey.
posted by jenkinsEar on Feb 13, 2015 - 214 comments

How Chris McCandless Died, An Update

An update to an update to Into The Wild.
posted by deadbilly on Feb 11, 2015 - 54 comments

R U There?

A new counselling service harnesses the power of the text message. Depression is common among teens, and its consequences are volatile: suicide is the third leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of ten and twenty-four. In that same age group, the use of text messaging is near-universal. The average adolescent sends almost two thousand text messages a month. They contact their friends more by text than by phone or e-mail or instant-message or even face-to-face conversations. For teens, texting isn’t a novel form of communication; it’s the default.
posted by ellieBOA on Feb 10, 2015 - 45 comments

"Was it a bad shoot? Or a good shoot?"

Your Son Is Deceased The shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, looked almost routine to people in Albuquerque. The city has one of the highest rates in the country of fatal shootings by police, but no officer has been indicted. Of the sixty-three officers who joined the Albuquerque police force in 2007, ten eventually shot people.
posted by joedan on Jan 28, 2015 - 39 comments

Does she get any respect?

Serena Williams, America's greatest athlete (New Yorker)
... But it’s not enough to say that Williams would be more uniformly adored if she were a white woman, or a man. Instead, the failure to fully appreciate her importance is perhaps evidence of our inability to appreciate the stubbornly unfamiliar narrative arc of her career. Williams is underloved because, at times, she has been unlovable and, in the end, mostly unrepentant about it—something that might be admired as iconoclastic in a male athlete, but rarely endears women to a wide audience. ... [T]he great crisis in her public persona came later, in 2009, when she was penalized the final point in her U.S. Open semifinal against Kim Clijsters after berating a line judge over a foot-fault call on the previous serve. Williams is indeed singular: she is likely the only person ever to utter on a professional tennis court, “I swear to God, I’m fucking going to take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat, you hear that? I swear to God.” (Of course, John McEnroe said things that weren’t so different, and he is beloved for it.)
Just the other day, she was asked to twirl in front of male reporters during an interview.
posted by Melismata on Jan 22, 2015 - 218 comments

Where is the Internet’s memory, the history of our time?

“Every time a light blinks, someone is uploading or downloading,” Kahle explains. Six hundred thousand people use the Wayback Machine every day, conducting two thousand searches a second. “You can see it.” He smiles as he watches. “They’re glowing books!” He waves his arms. “They glow when they’re being read!”
The Cobweb: Jill Lepore on whether the internet can be archieved, the Wayback Machine, the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, the complications of attempting to put a time dimension on a two dimensional medium and the almost destruction of the footnote. Featuring a cameo by MeFi's favourite archivist, Jason Scott.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 20, 2015 - 7 comments

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