In his meticulous diaries, written from 1846 to 1882, the Harvard librarian John Langdon Sibley complains often about the withering summer heat: “The heat wilts & enervates me & makes me sick,” he wrote in 1852. Sibley lived before the age of air-conditioning, but recent research suggests that his observation is still accurate: summer really does tend to be a time of reduced productivity. Our brains do, figuratively, wilt. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle
on Jul 23, 2013 -
This was not the act of a fringe contingent. The letter—which, until now, has never been published in its entirety—is signed by 154 staffers, including J.D. Salinger, Calvin Trillin, John McPhee, Jamaica Kincaid, Saul Steinberg and Janet Malcolm. There are a few notable abstentions, including John Updike and Charles McGrath, who would soon be named Gottlieb's deputy. At the bottom, it reads "cc: S. I. Newhouse." The Letter: Robert Gottlieb's Tenure as the New Yorker's Managing Editor
, Elon Green, The Awl
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jul 11, 2013 -
Today The New Yorker
, a service that allows sources to share information with TNY journalists securely and anonymously. As explained in this infographic
, Strongbox relies on the Tor network, a dedicated server, PGP encryption, VPNs, and multiple laptops and thumb drives to prevent files from being intercepted or traced. The codebase
, which is open source, was designed by the late Aaron Swartz (Previously
). Kevin Poulsen, one of the organizers of the project, chronicles
how Swartz developed the code and how the project managed to carry on after his death. TNY hopes
that Strongbox will help the magazine continue its long tradition of investigative journalism.
posted by Cash4Lead
on May 15, 2013 -
The New Yorker takes on the MOOC
: “One of the edX
people said, ‘This is being sponsored by Harvard and M.I.T. They wouldn’t do anything to harm higher education!’ What came to my mind was some cautious financial analysts saying, about some of the financial instruments that were being rolled out in the late nineties or early two-thousands, ‘This is risky stuff, isn’t it?’ And being told, ‘Goldman Sachs is doing it; Lehman Brothers is doing it.’ ” Previously
posted by oinopaponton
on May 13, 2013 -
The Secretary of Agriculture stepped forward with a big briefcase. "Sir, I’ve spent years working to develop a synthetic coffee substitute for just such an emergency." He pulled out a big test tube filled with liquid. "This little concoction is the answer. It’s just as good as real coffee."
The room was silent.
"It’s orange," said the President.
"Yes. That can’t be changed."
"Does it have any other shortcomings?"
"It has been known to cause occasional... body-death."
The room was silent.
"But it tastes like coffee?" the President finally asked.
Everyone in the room nodded solemnly. It would have to be.
The Day Coffee Stopped Working
, by John Bailey Owen
posted by davidjmcgee
on Apr 10, 2013 -
"Brain training games don't actually make you smarter.
" Looking at recent meta-analyses and replication attempts of studies showing increased cognitive abilities gained from brain-training games, the New Yorker article comes to the conclusion that the results are suspect and these games haven't been shown to improve cognitive abilities broadly. Currently, brain training is a multi-million-dollar business.
posted by tykky
on Apr 9, 2013 -
"This volume stands alone as the only Sendak picture book—that is, a book he both wrote and illustrated—that isn’t designed for children. Not coincidentally, the Blake-inflected illustrations for a 1996 edition of Melville’s “Pierre,” which is certainly not kiddie stuff, bear a similarity to the look of “My Brother’s Book.” It seems that Sendak had an even more specific audience in mind for this one: Kushner told me that Sendak made this book for those adults who had grown up with his stories."
Avi Steinberg on Maurice Sendak's My Brother's Book, in The New Yorker. [more inside]
posted by chavenet
on Mar 12, 2013 -
"Oh, Anne! With your small head and pert nose and oversized, ready smile and glossy pixie cut and squeakily tuneful speaking voice, uttering lines like “It came true!” as you gaze at your newly won Oscar with moistened doe-eyes, wearing a powder-pink Prada gown adorned with diamonds and bows: Why are you so annoying?
posted by vidur
on Feb 28, 2013 -
The Turn Against Nabokov [newyorker.com]
"The author, whose novels thrum with ironic recurrences, might have been perversely pleased with this: thirty-six years after his death and twenty-two years after the fall of the Soviet Union with all its khudsovets, Vladimir Nabokov is, once again, controversial."
posted by Fizz
on Feb 28, 2013 -
“What I’m about to show you,” he says, “you can’t tell a soul about it. If you did, it would be major trouble. Trouble with a capital ‘T.’ ” He sips his drink and tugs the quilt away.Shirley Temple Three
Mawmaw takes a step back. She’s looking at some kind of elephant. With hair.
“Don’t worry. She’s not dangerous,” Tommy says. “Bread Island Dwarf Mammoth. The last wild one lived about ten thousand years ago. They’re the smallest mammoths that ever existed. Cute, isn’t she?”
The mammoth is waist high, with a pelt of dirty-blond fur that hangs in tangled draggles to the dirt. Its tusks, white and pristine, curve out and up. The forehead is high and knobby and covered in a darker fur. The trunk probes the ground for God-knows-what and then curls back into itself like a jelly roll.
“What’s a goshdern Bread Island Dwarf Whatever doing in my yard?” Mawmaw asks.
by Thomas Pierce
posted by y2karl
on Dec 18, 2012 -
I asked whether the behavior of Brooks and others at News Corp. wasn’t a reflection of the corrupted journalistic values that Elisabeth had taken issue with in her lecture. She collected her thoughts, folded her arms, and said, “Yes is the quick answer. But, at the same time, I’m a champion of the plurality of voices and diversity of audience, and I think that doesn’t mean that in certain cases behaviors cannot match one’s values.” The New Yorker on Elisabeth Murdoch
, in the wake of her lecture at MacTaggart
, which was openly critical of both her brother James
and her father's infamous News Corporation
posted by Rory Marinich
on Dec 10, 2012 -
For the past two years, in a loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles, Craig Thornton has been conducting an experiment in the conventions of high-end American dining. Several nights a week, a group of sixteen strangers gather around his dining-room table to eat delicacies he has handpicked and prepared for them, from a meticulously considered menu over which they have no say.
posted by Egg Shen
on Dec 1, 2012 -
I will tell you it cost $42 million just to print Newsweek. Before you’ve even engaged one writer, or one copy editor, or one picture editor. Forty-two million dollars.
Long, wide-ranging interview
of Tina Brown by Michael Kinsley.
posted by Chrysostom
on Nov 20, 2012 -
"The Wenzhou crash killed forty people and injured a hundred and ninety-two. For reasons both practical and symbolic, the [Chinese] government was desperate to get trains running again, and within twenty-four hours it declared the line back in business. The Department of Propaganda ordered editors to give the crash as little attention as possible. “Do not question, do not elaborate,” it warned, on an internal notice. When newspapers came out the next morning, China’s first high-speed train wreck was not on the front page." [How a high-speed rail disaster exposed China's corruption
posted by vidur
on Oct 15, 2012 -
You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say.
"Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits just by looking at the person's shoes." Virginia Postrel responded
: "The study made a solid contribution to research on first impressions, but it was hardly earthshaking. By getting so much attention, however, it demonstrated a sociological truth: People love to talk about shoes. Even those who dismissed the research as silly often felt compelled to call radio stations or comment on websites, providing details about their own choices. Why this fascination with footwear? " [more inside]
posted by flex
on Oct 15, 2012 -