Charles C. Mann writes for The Atlantic
This perspective has a corollary: natural resources cannot be used up. If one deposit gets too expensive to drill, social scientists (most of them economists) say, people will either find cheaper deposits or shift to a different energy source altogether. Because the costliest stuff is left in the ground, there will always be petroleum to mine later. “When will the world’s supply of oil be exhausted?” asked the MIT economist Morris Adelman, perhaps the most important exponent of this view. “The best one-word answer: never.” Effectively, energy supplies are infinite. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 29, 2013 -
Why are owls so wise? Perhaps it's because they're utter badasses.
Ferocity is essential for a bird whose frigid, spotty range extends across northeastern China, the Russian Far East and up toward the Arctic Circle, one that breeds and nests in the dead of winter, perched atop a giant cottonwood or elm tree, out in the open, in temperatures 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Dr. Slaght’s colleague Sergei Surmach videotaped a female sitting on her nest during a blizzard. “All you could see at the end was her tail jutting out,” Dr. Slaght said.
The New York Times Science section
gives an update on some current owl research. [more inside]
posted by medusa
on Feb 28, 2013 -
More and more companies residing (typically) in Silicon Valley are getting $1 billion+ valuations. Are we in the midst of another bubble?
Link to the NYT graphic
describing some of these companies.
According to the article, a bubble doesn't exist, as the previous internet bubble is still fresh in people's minds.
are trying to copy this Silicon Valley phenomenon, but is it worth it / sustainable?
posted by JiffyQ
on Feb 5, 2013 -
has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction (with their own names carefully disguised), and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere. Other pop novelists, like John le Carré and Tom Clancy, may flavor their work with a few real-world scenarios and some spy lingo, but de Villiers’s books are ahead of the news and sometimes even ahead of events themselves." (SLNYT)
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jan 31, 2013 -
"For a few months in 1922, throngs of America’s youth — from schoolkids to shopgirls — were swept up in a leaderless pyramid scheme that promised “something for nothing” and encouraged promiscuous flirtation. These were the “Shifters.” This is their (brief) story.
" (NYTimes link) Previously on the flappers and flapper slang: 1, 2.
posted by OmieWise
on Dec 6, 2012 -
"Is she O.K.?" a customer asks.
"My mom?" asks Kristy, the waitress.
"Yes," the customer replies.
Since Sunday, the front page of the New York Times has been featuring a portrait in five parts
of Elyria, Ohio (pop: 55,000), seen mostly through the lens of a local diner. (Second link is to a full multimedia feature, but direct links to the five individual articles can be found within.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 18, 2012 -
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.
In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein
wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity
, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 17, 2012 -
The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT
] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian
] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan
on Sep 2, 2012 -
Big Data On Campus (NYTimes) “We don’t want to turn into just eHarmony,” says Michael Zimmer, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he studies ethical dimensions of new technology. “I’m worried that we’re taking both the richness and the serendipitous aspect of courses and professors and majors — and all the things that are supposed to be university life — and instead translating it into 18 variables that spit out, ‘This is your best fit. So go over here.’ ”
posted by OmieWise
on Jul 23, 2012 -
I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know. Like most writers, I feel like a reprobate who does not deserve to live on any day that I do not write, but I also feel that four or five hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day. On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon, and in the evening I see friends, read or watch a movie. This, it seems to me, is a sane and pleasant pace for a day.
Tim Kreider: The ‘Busy’ Trap
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jul 1, 2012 -
"Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. [...] The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
posted by reductiondesign
on Apr 22, 2012 -
'Bike Thief' [NYTimes]
The filmmaker Casey Neistat conducts an experiment in New York City, where he locks up his own bike and brazenly tries to steal it, to determine whether onlookers or the police would intervene. [More]
posted by Fizz
on Mar 14, 2012 -
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.
New York Time Op-Ed. March 14th 2012:
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. [more inside]
posted by Skygazer
on Mar 14, 2012 -
In a first-person tale of woe, a beleaguered New Yorker stranded in the Land of Lard related his struggle to find adequate vegetarian options
[NYT link, featuring obligatory pic of sullen, obese Midwesterners]. Reactions came swiftly, albeit indirectly
[also NYT] since, curiously, the article itself lacks a comment section. Best comment: the one touting the multiple and tasty options, including veggie dogs and veggie chili on coney dogs, at the dive bar just across the street from the KC Star.
Despite an apparent unfamiliarity with such staples as grilled cheese sandwiches, the cub reporter's failure probably won't keep him down for long. [more inside]
posted by Madamina
on Jan 11, 2012 -
Newspapers have two principal sources of revenue, readers and advertisers, and they can operate at mass or niche scale for each of those groups. A metro-area daily paper is a mass product for customers (many readers buy the paper) and for advertisers (many readers see their ads.) Newsletters and small-circulation magazines, by contrast, serve niche readers, and therefore niche advertisers — Fire Chief, Mother Earth News. (Some newsletters get by with no advertising at all, as with Cooks’ Illustrated, where part of what the user pays for is freedom from ads, or rather freedom from a publisher beholden to advertisers.)
Paywalls were an attempt to preserve the old mass+mass model after a transition to digital distribution. With so few readers willing to pay, and therefore so few readers to advertise to, paywalls instead turned newspapers into a niche+niche business. What the article threshold creates is an odd hybrid — a mass market for advertising, but a niche market for users. Clay Shirky on the economics of newspaper paywalls and why article thresholds seem to be the way of the future.
posted by storybored
on Jan 10, 2012 -
Anatomy of a Stump Speech.
The NY Times has been killing it of late with interactive features. This one is particularly good -- an annotated breakdown of the text and video of Republican stump speeches by four candidates. "Revisionist history alert: Mr. Gingrich is recasting his tempestuous tenure as House speaker..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell
on Jan 3, 2012 -
There was still talk of snipers, of a counterattack by Qaddafi’s men, of a fifth column of “sleeper cells” lurking inside the capital. Victory had come too easily. Only weeks earlier, the rebels seemed in disarray, and Qaddafi’s forces, having withstood more than four months of NATO air strikes, seemed poised to hold out for many more. Then, on Aug. 20, a planned uprising broke out in Tripoli, as the ragged rebel army converged on the city from various directions. The final battle, expected to last weeks, was over in two days. Qaddafi and his top lieutenants fled almost immediately. Now it was hard to know who was a killer and who a mere dupe.[...]
The Surreal Ruins of Quaddafi's Never-Never Land
, Robert F. Worth
(Note: nytimes. Via longform.com)
posted by JHarris
on Sep 22, 2011 -