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“Oh, this is where the science I like is.”

How Long Does It Take to Get to Tatooine? [The New Yorker] "We use much more brainpower on subjects that interest us."
posted by Fizz on Sep 20, 2014 - 17 comments

"our healthy but preposterous need to make lists"

The Perfect Beat is an article by The New Yorker's music critic Sasha Frere Jones where he lays out the reasoning behind his "Perfect Recordings" project, essentially a list of 200 songs that fit his personal criteria for perfection. The lists are available as Twitter timelines (volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5), Spotify playlists (volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) or as one 200 song Rdio playlist. Frere-Jones answered some questions about the project and spoke about a few individual songs in The Guardian.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 8, 2014 - 45 comments

"...that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow."

Why Walking Helps Us Think: [The New Yorker] In a variety of ways, going for a stroll keeps our brains on their toes.
posted by Fizz on Sep 6, 2014 - 25 comments

“...every angel has a past and every sinner has a future.”

Staten Island’s Pill Problem: [The New Yorker] "New York City is the heroin capital of the country, and the epidemic has hit its most tranquil borough the hardest."
posted by Fizz on Sep 1, 2014 - 18 comments

A heart rather than a phone call.

A Memoir Is Not a Status Update by Dani Shapiro [The New Yorker] "What would have become of me if I had come of age as a writer during these years of living out loud?"
posted by Fizz on Aug 18, 2014 - 20 comments

To her, an editor’s life was one of constantly renewed fulfillment.

More than any other editor except Harold Ross himself, Katharine White gave The New Yorker its shape, and set it on its course. -- William Shawn. Almost 20 years ago - and almost 20 years after her death - the New Yorker profiled its legendary editor in Lady with a Pencil. [more inside]
posted by julen on Jul 27, 2014 - 5 comments

"Publishing the best work possible remains our aim."

Today, The New Yorker announces a redesign, temporary free access to their archives for all web visitors, and a soon-to-be implemented paywall, modelled on that of The New York Times. The New Yorker website--which now publishes 15 original stories a day--has been steadily expanding their offerings (and increasing their traffic) under online editor Nicholas Thompson. Perhaps TNY seeks to finally answer the question: what's an old magazine to do on the internet? Capital NY digs into the history of the relaunch and how striving for timeliness on the web may affect the publication. Others maintain that a remaining problem is Andy Borowitz, whose vague satire accounted for 6% of traffic to the website last year.
posted by youarenothere on Jul 21, 2014 - 46 comments

The best job application ever!

Eudora Welty at 23
March 15, 1933
Gentlemen,
I suppose you’d be more interested in even a sleight-o’-hand trick than you’d be in an application for a position with your magazine, but as usual you can’t have the thing you want most.
posted by Stewriffic on May 23, 2014 - 22 comments

The New Yorker Jigsaw Puzzle

The New Yorker Jigsaw Puzzle. Unjumble the covers.
posted by feelinglistless on May 5, 2014 - 7 comments

My name is Galt -- I'm a cop.

Years ago, a central banker killed my partner..... [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol on Apr 5, 2014 - 82 comments

An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Or Gone

"All of the Pleasure. None of the Guilt," an article from this past Sunday's NY Times Magazine, was inspired in part by a similar article posted recently on the New Yorker's Page Turner blog, "Against 'Guilty Pleasure.'" It has, in turn, inspired another article in the Los Angeles Times: "The art of the guilty pleasure." All author's opine, "Is it time we retired the idea of 'guilty pleasure(s)'?" [more inside]
posted by eric1halfb on Feb 12, 2014 - 82 comments

Could Unlimited Phone Surveillance Have Prevented 9/11?

The FBI could have stopped 9/11. There was no need for a metadata-collection program. What was needed was cooperation with other federal agencies.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 12, 2014 - 57 comments

Let Me Finish

Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers. Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Ring Lardner, and Damon Runyon. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn on Dec 10, 2013 - 10 comments

One more drink and I'd have been under the nymphet

Edmund Wilson was a friend [Vladimir] Nabokov shared with many people in American literary circles—including Dorothy Parker. Wilson had first learned about Nabokov's Lolita in the summer of 1953, when he was contemplating an article about Nabokov and asked the novelist whether he had a new project in the works.... A year later, Nabokov offered to let Wilson read his new novel, which he said he considered "to be my best thing in English."

In November, while in New York talking to Straus about his own projects, Wilson got the Lolita manuscript and was a bit less discreet than Nabokov would have wanted.


--How Edmund Wilson may have leaked the plot of Nabokov's Lolita to Dorothy Parker, who then published in the New Yorker a story titled "Lolita," about a middle-aged man in love with a teenage girl, three weeks before the novel came out.
posted by Cash4Lead on Nov 23, 2013 - 7 comments

The Devaluation Myth

Tim Quirk, former singer for Too Much Joy and now Head of Global Content Programming at Google Play, gave a speech at the 2013 Future of Music Summit: "[Y]ou can't devalue music. It's impossible. Songs are not worth 99 cents and albums are not worth precisely $9.99." [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Nov 5, 2013 - 39 comments

"We were not asked for our approval, and we did not give our approval."

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 (SLTheAwl)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 11, 2013 - 12 comments

"I hated Joni Mitchell - and then I loved her."

Some Notes on Attunement: A voyage around Joni Mitchell (or pdf). Author Zadie Smith discovers Joni Mitchell.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks on Jun 17, 2013 - 62 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

Probably more secure than the Drafts folder on a shared Gmail account

Today The New Yorker unveiled Strongbox, 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 - 34 comments

Brain games are bogus

"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 - 61 comments

Literary magazine throwdown

n+1 picks a fight with: [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Jan 8, 2013 - 23 comments

"Who needs to read one more mediocre book?"

"At the end of his life, the boxer Joe Louis said, ‘I did the best I could with what I had.’ It’s exactly what I would say of my work: I did the best I could with what I had.” [The New Yorker] "The writer Philip Roth announced his retirement in a little-noticed interview with a French magazine [Les Inrocks] and said that Nemesis, which was published in 2010, would be his last book."
posted by Fizz on Nov 10, 2012 - 29 comments

I will do everything in my power to help him through the transition process

"We discussed the danger of partisan division, and the need for us, all of us, to come together and find common ground after a very rough and divisive couple of weeks. ... It is no secret that Brad and I had two very different visions for you and whom you date. Tonight, you have spoken, and Brad has prevailed." --- The American People Have Spoken About Our Relationship
posted by New Frontier on Nov 7, 2012 - 19 comments

Ira Glass Makes Balloon Animals, Discusses Blow Jobs

At the request of Tavi (wiki) and his wife Anaheed, This American Life host and MetaFilter favorite Ira Glass has contributed an Ask A Grown Man segment (NSFW audio) (AAGM previously) to Rookie. As an added bonus, he instructs viewers on how to make balloon animals, based on a pamphlet he used as a young man entertaining at parties. When not dispensing balloon advice in this clip, he discusses Buffy & Angel's age discrepancy and blow jobs. (via)
posted by knile on Oct 23, 2012 - 12 comments

The Cheesecake Factory as a model for the American health care system

A new model for the American health care system: The Cheesecake Factory
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 6, 2012 - 96 comments

No Surrender: Springsteen at Sixty-Two

"I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago..." The New Yorker's David Remnick profiles Bruce Springsteen.
posted by MonkeyToes on Jul 24, 2012 - 67 comments

Janet Flanner

Janet Flanner began her career at The New Yorker composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe, writing nearly seven hundred Letters from Paris under the nom de plume Genêt, from 1925 to 1975. In between these, she contributed Profiles, Reporter at Large dispatches, and other Letters from around the globe. In a Postscript published after she died, in 1978, editor-in-chief William Shawn wrote of his prolific correspondent: "Her eye never became jaded, her ardor for what was new and alive never diminished, and her language remained restless. She was a stylist who devoted her style, bedazzling and heady in itself, to the subtle task of conveying the spirit of a subtle people." [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 15, 2012 - 7 comments

The Caging of America

The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.)
posted by Trurl on Jan 24, 2012 - 102 comments

Justice Clarence Thomas v President Barack Obama

"The Justices all sit in high-backed leather swivel chairs, and Thomas has set his so that he can recline so far that he appears almost to be lying down. He stares at the ceiling. He rubs his face. He does not appear to be listening. He closes his eyes and sometimes appears to be asleep. The over-all effect is rude, if not contemptuous." The New Yorker profiles Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Ginni's Tea Party connections and what they might mean for the inevitable SCOTUS ruling on Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and looks back on his confirmation hearings. Previously, Justice Thomas and Ginni; Obama and healthcare; SCOTUS.
posted by reductiondesign on Aug 24, 2011 - 124 comments

"Be Gentle. It's My First Time."

Cartoonist and teacher James Sturm takes a crack at The New Yorker. Via [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Aug 24, 2011 - 45 comments

Joseph Mitchell

Joseph Mitchell was a reporter. It's tempting to say his beat was the waterfront, but though he's certainly the poet laureate of the Fulton Fish Market, this would be too literal-minded and geographically limiting. His beat was the margins, including the metaphysical margin of life itself. Mitchell invented a temporal dimension for his stories, a strange and twilit place—Mitchell Time—where a density of historical fact and the feeling of whole eras fading from view are sharply juxtaposed with scenes of cinematic immediacy related in the present tense. A cozy aura of death pervades his work, which often features oldsters experiencing the chilling fear of its approach while gleefully playing hide-and-seek with the reaper. - The Village Voice [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 10, 2011 - 6 comments

I’m pregnant in a tree.

The Monkeys You Ordered : Literally titled New Yorker cartoons.
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 7, 2011 - 75 comments

The New Yorker profiles Shigeru Miyamoto

There are generally two approaches to thinking about games: narratology and ludology. The first emphasizes story, the second play. The next time I played Super Mario, on the Wii (you can order all the vintage games), I found myself in a narratological mode. Mario reminded me of K. and his pursuit of the barmaid Frieda, in Kafka’s “The Castle,” and of the kind of lost-loved-one dreams that “The Castle” both mimics and instigates.

The New Yorker profiles the father of modern video games, Shigeru Miyamoto. (via Kotaku)
posted by incomple on Dec 13, 2010 - 37 comments

Well, he was smilin’ like a vulture as he rolled up the horticulture

Out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’

What a surprise to read that couplet on "The New Yorker's" website, in an article about Jay-Z's new book. It also discusses Adam Bradley's "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop," an academic study that respects rap lyrics as serious poetry. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Dec 4, 2010 - 82 comments

"My friend from Michigan says if you pushed all the Great Lakes together they'd be as big as the Mediterranean. I say, why bother?"

Scans of all three issues of Army Man Magazine, the legendary late 80s humor zine put together by future Simpsons' writer George Meyer (an excellent New Yorker profile of Meyer) which also included material from Jack Handey, John Swartzwelder, Bob Odenkirk, among many others. Another contributor, Ian Frazier, talks about Army Man in a Believer Interview. Sadly the scans are small (but the jokes are still big) and of poor quality. For a non-eyestraining introduction, Maud Newton transcribed a good bit of material and posted it at the end of an appreciation of Army Man on her blog.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 17, 2010 - 25 comments

Ahmet Ertegun profiled by George W. S. Trow in 1978

Ahmet Ertegun was profiled by George W. S. Trow in The New Yorker in a classic piece back in 1978. Ertegun was the son of the Turkish ambassador to the US and he remained behind in D.C. studying medieval philosophy at Georgetown. Instead of devoting himself to his studies he founded Atlantic Records with his friend Herb Abramson. Trow charted how Ertegun moved from tramping through muddy, Louisiana fields in search of hot new sounds to the whirl of Studio 54. Below the cut are links to the songs mentioned in the article, as best as I could find, in the order in which they appear. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 17, 2009 - 25 comments

Keep your hands to yourself.

Jonah Lehrer in The New Yorker profiles Walter Mischel, whose recent research indicates a child's ability to delay gratification can predict the child's academic success. Mischel was previously mentioned in a thread on behavorial economics. He is best known for the marshmallow experiment in the 1960s. (via)
posted by shadytrees on May 11, 2009 - 25 comments

Selling snake oil

An unexpected corollary of the modern marketing-and-distribution model is that films no longer have time to find their audience; that audience has to be identified and solicited well in advance. The Cobra - The New Yorker on the art and science of movie marketing.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 21, 2009 - 36 comments

The New Yorker: The Gerbil's Revenge

Tourists black out reflective retinas in snapshots before printing them, and millions of people refer to strangers they’ve never spoken to as friends, because they’ve connected through a social-networking platform. [...] It should come as no surprise, then, that singers sometimes choose to correct recorded flaws in pitch with modern software, like Antares’s Auto-Tune.

Sasha Frere-Jones on auto-tuning, in The New Yorker. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 10, 2008 - 98 comments

Those who appear to be a little too happy will be asked to leave.

How I Want To Be Remembered by Jack Handey. He was fabulously wealthy, but he would pretend to be broke, and often tried to borrow cigarettes and money from people. Little did they know that those who gave him stuff would later be rewarded in his will, with jewels and antigravity helmets. You may know Jack Handey from his Deep Thoughts which first gained fame on as filler between sketches on Saturday Night Live. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker (scroll down this page for his other essays).
posted by amyms on Mar 31, 2008 - 57 comments

essays and short stories in the New Yorker and "Best American" series

Here are the essays and short stories originally published in The New Yorker that were later collected in Houghton Mifflin’s annual “Best American” anthology series (1915-present). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 20, 2008 - 7 comments

Race and Intelligence, Redux

About a month ago, a MeFi FPP on this article sparked a controversy here on the usefulness of the concepts of IQ and race in determining whether some ethnic groups can be shown to be intrinsically less intelligent than others. Now James Flynn, discoverer of the Flynn effect, has written a book, What is Intelligence?, that settles many of the issues of this controversy. In this week's New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell summarizes Flynn's arguments succinctly in a review entitled "None of the Above: What IQ doesn't tell you about race."
posted by ubiquity on Dec 16, 2007 - 85 comments

What is poetry? And does it pay?

Are bad dreams good? Is "Bad Dreams Are Good" good? Is Joni Mitchell a poet?
posted by oldleada on Sep 11, 2007 - 49 comments

That's right, Ishmael Twist.

The Compleat Steve has a number of articles written by Steve Martin. I especially liked A Public Apology, How I Joined Mensa, and Writing Is Easy!
posted by supercrayon on Apr 18, 2007 - 60 comments

What war looks like.

What war looks like. Susan Sontag has written an important essay on the intricate relationship we have with images of human suffering (e.g., war photography) in the December 9 issue of The New Yorker. A sample:
Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering of this extreme order [i.e., gruesome combat horrors] are those who could do something to alleviate it – say, the surgeons at the military hospital where the photograph was taken – or those who could learn from it. The rest of us are voyeurs, whether we like it or not.
The essay is not online but there is an excellent introduction with links to other galleries of the imagery discussed. With a new war likely on the way, her essay provides a timely set of insights into wartime suffering and how it is usually depicted, often manipulated, and never understood.
posted by skimble on Dec 6, 2002 - 43 comments

The Law of the Mental Mirror Image.

The Law of the Mental Mirror Image. We write what we are not. It is not merely that we fail to live up to our best ideas but that our best ideas, and the tone that goes with them, tend to be the opposite of our natural temperament. --Adam Gopnik on Popper in The New Yorker
posted by semmi on Mar 30, 2002 - 9 comments

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