A New Yorker Faces His Phobia, One Stroke at a Time [New York Times]
With Intensive Swim Lessons, a Man Attacks His Fear of Water
"Traumatized by childhood incidents, Attis Clopton was deathly afraid of water, so he attacked his phobia by enrolling in a program of swimming lessons."
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."
For a century and a half, The New York Times has been earnestly—and hilariously—defining the evolving language of cities.
We marveled at the way these expressions—the ones we understood, anyway—captured the spirit of the era in which they were defined. It makes sense, for instance, that the Times defined acid ("a slang term for the drug LSD") in 1970, grunt ("a slang word for an infantryman") during the Vietnam War, diss ("a slang term for a perceived act of disrespect") in 1994, and macking ("a slang term for making out") in 1999. [more inside]
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.
- For the legendary expats of Tangier, a life devoted to beauty reaches full flower in this North African hothouse of history and hedonism.
After years of debates
, notoriously contentious
, and the looming specter of a civil rights lawsuit
, a federal mediation agreement between the Town of Hamden and the City of New Haven, Connecticut resulted in the removal of a 10-foot chain-link fence that separated New Haven's West Rock public housing projects from Hamden's Woodin Street neighborhood for nearly half a century. NYT's Benjamin Mueller reports: In Connecticut, Breaking a Barrier Between a Suburb and Public Housing
. [more inside]
The NYT Style section reports
that "image-conscious digital natives" are paying for expensive and elaborate portrait sessions to get one-of-a-kind shots to use in social media profiles and on professional websites. These photos (which the Times incorrectly calls "glamour selfies") are not
your professional headshots; instead the subjects are depicted in a warehouse, in a field, in a pickup truck, etc. The motivations? Enhancing a personal brand, celebrating a milestone birthday... and, of course, getting lots of "likes" on Facebook. Slate's XX Factor blog
defends the trend (if you can call it a trend) by suggesting that the portrait subjects are trying to avoid age discrimination.
NYT Dining & Wine's Ice Cream Issue:
Yesterday, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson
- the first woman to hold that position for the paper - was unexpectedly fired
, reportedly because she attempted to bring on a new co-managing editor without consulting the managing editor already at the paper or the publisher
, though there is also a persistent rumor
that it was because she addressed a pay gap between herself and her predecessor
. Today, the first woman managing editor for French paper Le Monde resigned, claiming that she was being undermined
, drawing more attention to
journalism and media's woman problem
. [more inside]
Inside, please find a list of twenty-eight movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Errol Morris
and two movies about Errol Morris, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. [more inside]
Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves. Rise of the Milkbots.
At first, the new Jerry Seinfeld show seemed reassuringly like the old one. Spontaneous coffees with friends. Mindless chatter that occasionally verged on the hilariously brilliant. But look closer and you see that this show isn’t that show, and that new realities are upon us in America. Anand Giridharadas
editorializes about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
: Seinfeld, His Show, and Inequality
The Toddler Who Survived, And the Cop Who Became Her Mom: [New York Times]
As a baby, Christina Rivera survived a massacre in Brooklyn whose 10 victims included her mother. Police Officer Joanne Jaffe was assigned to care for her that night, a task that was the first link in a bond that led Ms. Jaffe to adopt Christina. [Image] [more inside]
Veiled Truths by Hossein Fatemi [New York Times] [ Photo essay.]
Photographs of women in Iran — who still face censure for insufficiently modest dress — through their hijabs.
The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists [New York Times]
How a new breed of activists is using science to show — once and for all — that someone can be truly attracted to both a man and a woman.
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:
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 [?]
It's well known among the small world of people who pay attention to such things that the liberal-leaning reporters at The Wall Street Journal resent the conservative-leaning editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. What’s less well known—and about to break into the open, threatening the very fabric of the institution—is how deeply the liberal-leaning reporters at The New York Times resent the liberal-leaning editorial page of The New York Times.
The New York Observer reports that the journalistic staff of The New York Times is in "semi-open revolt"
against the opinion pages. Chris Bray asks:
"When was the last time you were surprised by something in the opinion pages of the New York Times, leaving aside the moments you were surprised by how awful something was?"
A sweet little graphic story by Christoph Niemann in The New York Times
: Let It Dough
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
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]
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]
This is the story
of Charlie Rowan, an undistinguished cage-fighter who faked his own death
to start his life anew. What could go wrong?
An n-gram analysis of wedding announcements in the New York Times going back to 1981. See, for example, the decline in elite prep schools
, how well the five boroughs are represented
, or the rise (and fall) of hedge fund managers
among the newly wed. The site's creator offers a more detailed look
over at Rap Genius.
Nate Silver will move FiveThirtyEight
to ESPN when his contract with the New York Times expires
in late August. Silver's new site will look to Bill Simmons' Grantland
as a model for existing under ESPN's umbrella. His new move could be "genius,"
with a role at ABCNews and a larger audience, but did the New York Times know what it had in Silver? ESPN press release & Nate Silver 2.0 quote
"Great war novels inevitably follow great wars
, and in literary circles following World War II, everyone was wondering what would be the successors to A Farewell to Arms
and All Quiet on the Western Front
— and who would write them. But when John Horne Burns, age 29, in his small dormitory suite at the Loomis School in Windsor, Conn., on the night of April 23, 1946 (Shakespeare’s birthday, at that), finished The Gallery
— 'I fell across my Underwood and wept my heart out,' he later recalled — he was convinced he had done just that, and more. ‘The Gallery
, I fear, is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century,' he wrote a friend." (SLNYT) (via
) [more inside]
Cheetahs’ Secret Weapon: A Tight Turning Radius [New York Times]
"Anyone who has watched a cheetah run down an antelope knows that these cats are impressively fast. But it turns out that speed is not the secret to their prodigious hunting skills: a novel study of how cheetahs chase prey in the wild shows that it is their agility — their skill at leaping sideways, changing directions abruptly and slowing down quickly — that gives those antelope such bad odds."
"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)
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of Swann's Way
, the New York Times
is publishing a series of blog posts
on In Search of Lost Time
) [more inside]
The Krugman Times,
the beloved liberal economist version of Malkovich Malkovich
SHROOM TRIP ARIA Italiano
[6m48s] is a music video of a section of Joseph Keckler's one-man show I Am An Opera
. [more inside]
Lauren DiCioccio uses a simple needle and thread on cotton muslin to mummify and honor an endangered artifact– the printed newspaper
"There isn’t a style book for this stuff," Tom Bodkin, design director of the Times explains
. "There’s no consistency."