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Kill Inveterate Gambler Ping: Macau and "The God of Gamblers"

The files of the God of Gamblers case can be read as a string of accidents, good and bad: Siu’s run at the baccarat table; Wong’s luck to be assigned an assassin with a conscience; Adelson’s misfortune that reporters noticed an obscure murder plot involving his casino. But the tale, viewed another way, depends as little on luck as a casino does. It is, rather, about the fierce collision of self-interests. If Las Vegas is a burlesque of America—the “ethos of our time run amok,” as Hal Rothman, the historian, put it—then Macau is a caricature of China’s boom, its opportunities and rackets, its erratic sorting of winners and losers.
Evan Osnos on a real-life "God of Gamblers" and the rise of Macau, The New Yorker
posted by jng on Apr 6, 2012 - 13 comments

Does Football have a future? Or, perhaps, should Football have a future?

Does Football have a Future?: Football players are anywhere from five to nineteen times more likely than a member of the general population to suffer from a dementia-like illness. This is likely a result of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (picture), neurodegeneration caused by receiving multiple concussions or even subconcussions that are not detectable around time of impact. CTE has been linked to other mood and behavior changes, including suicidal depression (a great review of the medical literature generally), and has been found in football players as young as 21. And, of course, there is the sometimes debilitating physical disability (either acutely or later in life) from playing a hard-contact sport. The NFL has a long history of adjusting safety standards in bits and pieces (e.g., legalization of the forward pass) to meet public concern over potential injury and disability from playing the sport, though still to some degree publicly denies a connection between football and brain damage. New Yorker writer Ben McGrath talks to football players (past and present), their families (often left behind by untimely death or dementia-twilight), franchise heads, and doctors to explore this history, the crushing legacy of sports injuries, and the question of whether it is possible to reform the rules to minimize the risk of concussion and thus the risk of CTE (if any such risk is acceptable). Would it still be football if such changes were to tone down the violence? (Yes, No [from iconoclast Buzz Bissinger]) And, uncomfortably: is the sport of football unethical for its players, even if entered into on their own volition? (previously in the New Yorker; previously on MetaFilter 1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by Keter on Feb 13, 2012 - 117 comments

Barack Obama, Post-Partisan, Meets Washington Gridlock

Barack Obama, Post-Partisan, Meets Washington Gridlock. The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reviews major domestic policy decisions from the first two years of the Obama administration, based on internal White House memos. Some key decisions: [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Jan 23, 2012 - 50 comments

Dilatant Compound 3179

We went into the Doubleday bookshop at Fifth Avenue and Fifty Second Street the other day, intending, in our innocence, to buy a book, and found all the clerks busy selling Silly Putty, a gooey, pinkish, repellent-looking commodity that comes in plastic containers the size and shape of eggs.
How an item in the August 26th, 1950 New Yorker's Talk of the Town column turned a marketing consultant into a millionare by Christmas. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 22, 2011 - 31 comments

John Updike's book reviews

All told, Updike has published more than a million words on books. ... In Picked-up Pieces (1975), Updike’s second collection of essays, he lists his rules for reviewing... Without coyness, Updike renders a stern judgment based on telling quotation. He builds toward his findings in plain sight, earning him an authority that is based on his presentation of a plausible case. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 11, 2011 - 6 comments

A.J. Liebling

[A.J.] Liebling didn’t invent The New Yorker’s fascination with work, with letting its interview subjects explain what they did for a living. But he did it very well, and his pudgy hand sits comfortably on the shoulders of the next generation, writers like Roger Angell or John McPhee. They are all of them purveyors of non-essential information, and the enormous pleasure we take in them is in inverse proportion to any actual need we have to know.
posted by Trurl on Nov 3, 2011 - 10 comments

“Today we have a new group of satirists who, at the same time that they bite the bourgeoisie, use only their lips, but not their teeth”

While he was contributing to the New Yorker as Syd Hoff, he was also contributing to the Daily Worker and New Masses as A. Redfield — the pseudonym he adopted for his radical work, The Ruling Clawss (Daily Worker, 1935) a collection of surprisingly relevant cartoons.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 29, 2011 - 21 comments

Jean Paul Gaultier

"Jean Paul Gaultier's World of Inspiration" - a profile by Susan Orlean [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 19, 2011 - 6 comments

Jean-Jacques Beineix's "Diva"

The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience. - Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 16, 2011 - 33 comments

Scientology Strikes Back!

"The New Yorker": Tabloid of Record [more inside]
posted by emhutchinson on Sep 1, 2011 - 64 comments

We Deserve Tim Ferriss

Every generation gets the self-help guru that it deserves
posted by vidur on Aug 28, 2011 - 141 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

Management consulting isn't a science, it's a party trick.

"Taylor always said that scientific management would usher in a "mental revolution," and it has. Modern life is Taylorized life, the Taylor biographer Robert Kanigel observed, a dozen years back. Above your desk, the clock is ticking; on the shop floor, the camera is rolling. Manage your time, waste no motion, multitask: your iPhone comes with a calendar, your car with a memo pad. "Who is Schmidt?" journalists wanted to know, a century ago. Vell, ve are." [The history of management consulting]
posted by vidur on Aug 7, 2011 - 30 comments

Dog Days

In Focus: Dogs featuring canine photography from Isabella Rozendaal - On Loving Animals :: Irina Werning - Chini Project :: Dietmar Busse - Dogs of New York :: Bernd Opitz - Dogviews :: John Divola - Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert :: Robin Schwartz - Pets and Strays :: Sean Ellis - Kubrick the Dog :: Nadin Maria Rüfenacht - Nature Morte
posted by puny human on Aug 6, 2011 - 5 comments

Until this is fixed, I’m afraid I won’t be checking in on Your creation.

Comments on God's blog
posted by NoraReed on Aug 4, 2011 - 55 comments

Details about the raid on Osama Bin Laden

In the New Yorker: Getting Bin Laden, What happened that night in Abbottabad. The writer, Nicholas Schmidle, spoke with NPR about the article and gives a short audio account of the raid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 1, 2011 - 72 comments

Europe on fifteen hundred yuan a day.

Evan Osnos joins a tour group from China as they traverse Europe. In the front row of the bus, Li stood facing the group with a microphone in hand, a posture he would retain for most of our waking hours in the days ahead. In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. “Everyone, our watches should be synchronized,” he said. “It is now 7:16 P.M.” He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. “We flew all the way here,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.” [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Jul 28, 2011 - 71 comments

'Lad' and 'lady' are more than just a letter apart

Only 13% of articles in the New Republic, 22% of articles in The Atlantic and 30% of articles in the New Yorker are by women. ThinkProgress' Alyssa Rosenberg wonders why men's magazines underserve women and women's magazines underserve journalism. Anne Hays is boycotting the New Yorker for publishing too few women. Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks it's about old-fashioned class norms. Are the "female stars of long-form journalism" the solution to the problem or a red herring?
posted by Apropos of Something on Jun 17, 2011 - 70 comments

Meno male che Silvio c’è

Thank God Silvio Exists! A beautiful blond woman, standing in a grocery store beside a pile of bananas, sings, “There’s a big dream that lives in all of us.” A throng of women belt out the chorus together under a cloudless sky: “Menomale che Silvio c’è”— “Thank God there’s Silvio.” Other women in various settings pick up the tune: a young mother in a pediatrician’s office, surrounded by nurses; a brunette in a beauty parlor, dressed for work in a camisole that barely covers her breasts. To American eyes, the ad looks like a parody, or perhaps some new kind of musical pornography that’s just about to erupt into carnality. (from a New Yorker blog post) [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jun 5, 2011 - 43 comments

Capote profiles Brando

"The Duke in His Domain" - a profile of Marlon Brando by Truman Capote, published in The New Yorker, November 9, 1957
posted by Trurl on Jun 3, 2011 - 22 comments

Cowboys and Pit Crews

The public’s experience is that we have amazing clinicians and technologies but little consistent sense that they come together to provide an actual system of care, from start to finish, for people. We train, hire, and pay doctors to be cowboys. But it’s pit crews people need. - Atul Gawande’s commencement address at Harvard Medical School.
posted by AceRock on Jun 1, 2011 - 18 comments

Janet Malcolm

The public pillorying of Janet Malcolm is one of the scandals of American letters. ... why is it Malcolm, a virtuoso stylist and a subtle, exciting thinker, who drives critics into a rage? What journalist of her caliber is as widely disliked or as often accused of bad faith? And why did so few of her colleagues stand up for her during the circus of a libel trial that scarred her career? In the animus toward her there is something almost personal. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 1, 2011 - 27 comments

The Dirty Talk Of The Town

The Awl compiles a history of profanity at The New Yorker. Padgett Powell once said that the usage rules used to be so restrictive, he was forced to change "big-butt sheriff" to "big-bubba sheriff" in "The Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping" (1991; great story).
posted by maud on May 31, 2011 - 13 comments

About as funny as it ever is

After 107 submissions, Roger Ebert wins The New Yorker cartoon caption contest. Ebert's earlier blog about captioning. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 26, 2011 - 103 comments

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean's short essays for The New Yorker have an air of effortlessness to them, as if they were something she just tossed off while taking a break from her more important subjects, but their brevity reveals a true mastery of form, and at their best, they are brimful of surprisingly elegant sentences, self-deprecating wit and a kind of warmly feminine, disarmingly sly charm: On Adopting a Stray Cat :: The Difficulties of E-mail :: The Joys of Snooping :: Books That Changed Her World :: World War I :: Heat Wave :: Fear of Flying :: Chickens
posted by puny human on Apr 12, 2011 - 21 comments

HOLLYWOOD SHADOWS

A cure for blocked screenwriters "Michels also told the writer to get an egg timer. Following Michels’s instructions, every day he set it for one minute, knelt in front of his computer in a posture of prayer, and begged the universe to help him write the worst sentence ever written. When the timer dinged, he would start typing. He told Michels that the exercise was stupid, pointless, and embarrassing, and it didn’t work. Michels told him to keep doing it."
posted by puny human on Apr 1, 2011 - 43 comments

A Murder Foretold

"My name is Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano and, alas, if you are hearing or seeing this message it means that I’ve been murdered by President Álvaro Colom, with the help of Gustavo Alejos." Rosenberg went on, "The reason I'm dead, and you're therefore watching this message, is only and exclusively because during my final moments I was the lawyer to Mr. Khalil Musa and his daughter Marjorie Musa, who, in cowardly fashion, were assassinated by President Álvaro Colom, with the consent of his wife, Sandra de Colom, and with the help of . . . Gustavo Alejos."
posted by vidur on Mar 28, 2011 - 48 comments

Bike Lane Backlash, Backlash'd

"When the city introduces a bike lane on a given street, it removes dozens of parking places." John Cassidy, staff writer on economics at The New Yorker, blogs his feelings about bike lanes in New York City. [more inside]
posted by everichon on Mar 10, 2011 - 162 comments

This one particular boy’s goal was to be able to press his lips to every square inch of his own body.

Backbone, by David Foster Wallace. (SLNYorker)
posted by HumanComplex on Mar 1, 2011 - 36 comments

The Tripping Point

Generate the next Malcolm Gladwell book. Perhaps soothing if one is annoyed at Gladwell's piece in the New Yorker last week regarding the nonimportance of twitter in Egypt's turmoil.
posted by angrycat on Feb 8, 2011 - 46 comments

"I Make Monster Porn"

Show The Monster : "Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen." Video: Monsters in the Making. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jan 31, 2011 - 42 comments

Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?

The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 28, 2011 - 34 comments

Wiliam Finnegan

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan (The New Yorker, 1992, long) is probably the best article on surfing ever written.
posted by puny human on Jan 28, 2011 - 5 comments

"Don't you know the house, the Love God's marketplace of passions, the dusk where the dark clears and yet is not clear?" - Annamayya

Devadasi are women in southeastern India who were dedicated in their youth to the goddess Yellamma. When they reach puberty they are forced into sex work. Once they were women of high status, but now they've been relegated to the outskirts of society. The devadasi practice goes back a long way in history, and was once celebrated in poetry. When God Is a Customer, a collection of translated classical Telugu poems about the devadasi, is free to read online. Their modern life is described by William Dalrymple in The New Yorker and in a video interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron which includes clips from her documentary Sex, Death and the Gods. The devadasi have been targeted by exploitative Western media for a long time, but have recently started to hit back, using the internet to disseminate their views.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 22, 2011 - 14 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

Science is hollow, and he's got a pin

Has something gone wrong with the scientific method? That's the big question Jonah Lehrer (pr-e-vi-ous-ly) raises in his new New Yorker piece on the Decline Effect. (Sub required; check the summary here, or pdf here.) Dave Bry at The Awl uses Lehrer's revelations to start and extended riff on how much science one really needs; Lehrer himself goes into more detail about why he wrote the article in a lengthy blog post at Wired, and as for me --- well, I think I'm just going to spend a few days being a little less certain that we can prove very much about how a few extra X chromosomes affect corporate bottom lines, whether you can tell dick about the nature of liberalism or conservatism by where and how people glance at things, or even what the hell is going on with that damn burger.
posted by Diablevert on Dec 10, 2010 - 51 comments

At the party, the mix worked like a charm.

This year, as the holiday season approached, we were in a celebratory mood, and I decided to create a playlist* for our holiday party composed of one song from every year of the magazine’s existence. [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton on Dec 10, 2010 - 16 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

We'll need to declaw that cat.

Airport-security cartoons from The New Yorker’s archives (1938 - present).
posted by gman on Nov 23, 2010 - 28 comments

I've got my pipe because we’re going to speak about schoolish kind of things

In 2007, Beck, then the host of “Glenn Beck,” on CNN’s Headline News, brought to his show a John Birch Society spokesman named Sam Antonio, who warned of a government plot to abolish U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, “and eventually all throughout the Americas.” Beck told Antonio, “When I was growing up, the John Birch Society—I thought they were a bunch of nuts.” But now, he said, “you guys are starting to make more and more sense to me.”
A secret history of Glenn Beck, by way of Robert Welch, Willard Cleon Skousen and the John Birch Society. From the New Yorker.
posted by gerryblog on Oct 15, 2010 - 41 comments

"He has fun when people say horrible things about him."

Eustace Tilley lifts up his monocle to peer curiously at Nick Denton and the Gawker Media empire.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 11, 2010 - 23 comments

Knight of the Round Table

Are you feeling blue? Suffer from insomnia? Need career advice? Have dietary concerns? Want to know more about sex? Wonder how the market is doing and your finances? Never fear, Sweet Old Bob is here
posted by timsteil on Oct 10, 2010 - 15 comments

Calvin Trillin's food writing

Calvin Trillin has attempted to compile a short history of the buffalo wing, stalked the barbecued mutton, and reported on crawfish eating contests in Louisiana.   [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 3, 2010 - 45 comments

The Dungeon Master short-story

"The Dungeon Master", a short-story about Dungeons and Dragons by Sam Lipsyte in this weeks New Yorker.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 27, 2010 - 69 comments

The Face of Facebook

“A lot of people who are worried about privacy and those kinds of issues will take any minor misstep that we make and turn it into as big a deal as possible,” he said. “We realize that people will probably criticize us for this for a long time, but we just believe that this is the right thing to do.” With David Fincher's scathing film The Social Network set to hit theaters on October 1st, reticent Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is interviewed by Jose Antonio Vargas of The New Yorker.
posted by cmgonzalez on Sep 12, 2010 - 67 comments

Behind that Curtain

"He leaped from one rooftop to the next, like a “human fly.” When he reached for his whip, thugs scattered and miscreants wept. He once arrested forty gamblers in their lair, single-handed. He was a master of disguises..."
Chang Apana, the real Charlie Chan.
posted by griphus on Aug 8, 2010 - 7 comments

Heat Waves in a Swamp

Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield. "Burchfield’s primary subject was landscape, often focusing on his immediate surroundings: his garden, the views from his windows, snow turning to slush, the sounds of insects and bells and vibrating telephone lines, deep ravines, sudden atmospheric changes, the experience of entering a forest at dusk, to name but a few. He often imbued these subjects with highly expressionistic light, creating at times a clear-eyed depiction of the world and, at other times, a unique mystical and visionary experience of nature." I recommend the slide show in the first link as the best introduction. More audio slide shows from Peter Schjeldahl here.
posted by puny human on Aug 5, 2010 - 8 comments

Spot The Differance

Kanye West's entertaining Twitter feed re-imagined as a series of New Yorker Cartoons
posted by The Whelk on Aug 3, 2010 - 46 comments

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