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Eight Writers and the Walks That Inspired Them

Lovely illustration from the New York Times
posted by holmesian on Apr 22, 2013 - 12 comments

The Guardian's global page.

The Guardian's global page. Everything published on the newspaper's website each day in one long unfiltered list. Also useful, The New York Times Wire.
posted by feelinglistless on Mar 29, 2013 - 7 comments

The Inscrutable Brilliance of Anne Carson

Famous writer Anne Carson on ice bats: "I made up ice bats, there is no such thing." (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 14, 2013 - 34 comments

It's Not in Your Brain, It's in Your Genes

The psychiatric illnesses seem very different — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, major depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A study funded by the NIMH and published in The Lancet, as reported by the New York Times indicates that five seemingly-different psychiatric diseases share several genetic glitches. [more inside]
posted by kinetic on Mar 1, 2013 - 49 comments

"Everyone loves owls. Even mammalogists love owls."

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 - 46 comments

More and more people are (paper) rich. Another internet bubble?

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. Many places are trying to copy this Silicon Valley phenomenon, but is it worth it / sustainable?
posted by JiffyQ on Feb 5, 2013 - 62 comments

Significant hacking activity targeting journalists at large newspapers

The New York Times has detailed a successful 4-month hacking campaign by China, infiltrating its computer systems and acquiring passwords for reporters/employees. The campaign was likely in retaliation for the NYT investigation of the wealth amassed by relatives of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Following the NYT announcement, the Wall Street Journal announced that it too was hacked last year. The Washington Post may also have been infiltrated. Slate asks if this could have a chilling effect on journalists writing about China. [more inside]
posted by gemmy on Feb 1, 2013 - 102 comments

The Spy Novelist Who Knows Too Much

"De Villiers 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 - 26 comments

The Lives They Lived

The New York Times Magazine's latest issue, The Lives They Lived, is a tribute to cultural icons that have died in 2012. Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA of the Beastie Boys, is featured on the cover. [more inside]
posted by danny the boy on Dec 31, 2012 - 19 comments

“This is also the limits of photography in that sense; it only goes so far in understanding what’s in front of you,”

New York Times' Lens blog: Looking at the Tangled Roots of Violence in Northern Nigeria highlights the work of Benedicte Kurzen. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 10, 2012 - 2 comments

Oh those crazy kids!

"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 - 43 comments

American Science Language

[LydiaCallisFilter] Signing Science
posted by cthuljew on Dec 5, 2012 - 14 comments

Help Wanted, Autist

Most occupations require people skills. But for some, a preternatural capacity for concentration and near-total recall matter more. Those jobs, entrepreneur Thorkil Sonne says, could use a little autism.
posted by Obscure Reference on Dec 1, 2012 - 22 comments

The New York Times - Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980

The New York Times examines how American taxes have changed since 1980
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2012 - 105 comments

"...how great it could still be.”

"Is she O.K.?" a customer asks.
"My mom?" asks Kristy, the waitress.
"Yes," the customer replies.
"No."


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 - 42 comments

Gay In The South: Uncle Poodle Speaks Out

It all started on Sept 27, when Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Lee "Poodle" Thompson made his first appearance on the show. Not a week had passed before Karen Cox's October 3rd op-ed for the New York Times using him as an example for the encouraging state of being gay in the South. October 8th, Jonathan Capehart wrote his own op-ed column for the Washington Post taking Cox to task for painting too rosy a picture of what GLBT life is like in the South, and calling for Uncle Poodle to speak out. Finally, October 10, Lee Thompson did speak out, in a profile column with the GA Voice, Georgia's gay newspaper. And what he had to say is getting positive attention.
posted by hippybear on Oct 17, 2012 - 57 comments

"I would not choose to be any one else, or any place else."

"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 - 62 comments

More jobs than we knew

According to a revision by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent more jobs were created over the 12-month period concluding with March 2012. The new numbers would increase the monthly pace of job creation during that period to about 194,000 a month, up from a pace of 162,000 jobs a month. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 27, 2012 - 33 comments

On Being Nothing

"... bitterness, instead of a form of disillusionment, is really the refusal to give up your childhood illusions of importance" - Brian Jay Stanley
posted by mrgrimm on Sep 17, 2012 - 100 comments

"There's nothing more aggravating in the world than the midnight sniffling of the person you've decided to hate." ― Shannon Hale, Book of a Thousand Days

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 - 209 comments

Cutting canyons below Second Avenue

The upcoming New York Times Magazine cover story is about the excavation of the Second Avenue Subway line below the East Side of Manhattan. It features some stunning photography and a video that explains how the work is done. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Aug 2, 2012 - 68 comments

Big Data On Campus

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 - 23 comments

La Dolce Far Niente

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 - 107 comments

Marriage may have changed, but love has not. It still makes people say crazy things. And it’s still a glue that no one has control of.

The New York Times' "Vows" column is turning 20. Lois Smith Brady revisits some of the first couples covered in the column which she has written since its inception (alone for the first decade, and as one of several writers in its second). A companion article describes how the column came about and how it (and the couples it covers) have changed over the years. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on May 20, 2012 - 16 comments

What's inside of me

"To coincide with his new book, “Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy,” Will Oldham is again releasing a new batch of his own oldies — a six-song EP called “Now Here’s My Plan,” made up of fresh versions of songs from the Prince Billy catalog. Among the recordings is an impossibly upbeat rendition of “I See a Darkness,” the beautifully bleak song off his 1999 album of the same name that was later covered by Johnny Cash." The video for the new version, shot in Glasgow Scotland, is now posted on the New York Times website. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 10, 2012 - 14 comments

The End of a Wave

"Net migration from Mexico to the United States has come to a statistical standstill, stalling one of the most significant demographic trends of the last four decades." The full report from Pew Research Center. This interactive map [NY Times] puts America's many historical immigration trends in perspective. (previously).
posted by Defenestrator on Apr 24, 2012 - 29 comments

Widespread corruption and bribery by Wal-Mart in Mexico

"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 - 46 comments

"Why should anyone steal a watch when he could steal a bicycle?" ~Flann O'Brien

'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 - 64 comments

A Vampire Squid with Muppets

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 - 150 comments

A Treasure House of Photographs

An archival photo from The New York Times shows news pictures being sorted in the newspaper’s photo “morgue,” which houses millions of images. Here they are — several each week — for you to see. Welcome to The Lively Morgue. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 27, 2012 - 7 comments

Wall Trampoline!

Awesome weird gymnastic wall coolness! Neat article from the NYT on new quasi-sport, Wall Trampoline. Bonus points for mentioning the school in Quebec where Cirque du Soleil kids train. Enjoy!
posted by Lipstick Thespian on Jan 30, 2012 - 25 comments

The Widening of the American Commuter

Transit Agencies Face the New Calculus of Broader Backsides
posted by Renoroc on Jan 16, 2012 - 51 comments

Duh.

The New York Times Public Editor asks "Should the Times Be a Truth Vigilante?" As of this writing, 98% of registered commenters are saying (often in all-caps) "Yes".
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 12, 2012 - 169 comments

Food reporting from the Stephen Bloom School of Journalism

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 - 99 comments

Another brick in the paywall

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 - 15 comments

Anatomy of a Stump Speech

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 - 26 comments

"Furtive Movements"

Young, black, and frisked by the NYPD: a grim rite of passage for the city's black and Latino youths.
posted by hermitosis on Dec 19, 2011 - 242 comments

Never talk to a Style reporter!

Gawker: How the NYT Style section trolls their readers.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 2, 2011 - 69 comments

The Times, they have a-changed

Tom Wicker, Times Journalist, Dies at 85 (obvious NYT link), best known and most often noted for covering the assassination of President Kennedy, but also a columnist for 25 years and 6 Presidents as contrasted with today's NYT columnists by the always-critical NYTimes eXaminer.
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 26, 2011 - 7 comments

Bullish

Can the Bulldog Be Saved? (SLNYT)
posted by box on Nov 24, 2011 - 65 comments

Violence and Madness

"During my career, I kept my mouth shut. This now, speaking out, it’s about telling you my life. There’s no agenda, no vendetta. This is what football is really like." Kris Jenkins’s View of Life in the N.F.L. Trenches.
posted by cashman on Nov 22, 2011 - 82 comments

A Queens Garbageman and an Endangered Language

Ed Shevlin Polishes His Irish While Collecting The Trash
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 23, 2011 - 30 comments

The Surreal Ruins of Quaddafi's Never-Never Land

[...]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 - 13 comments

Baltimore Lead Study

An experiment done in the 1990s exposed children to various levels of lead. The lawsuit filed in 2001 by the parents of over 100 participants accuses the Kennedy Krieger Institute that the scientists knowingly used the kids as test subjects in toxic dust control study. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Sep 19, 2011 - 51 comments

Matrimonial Moneyball

"Every Sunday, the New York Times publishes the wedding announcements of the most promising, wealthy, talented — and only very occasionally inbred — couples in the whole wide world. (Oddly enough, two-thirds of them hail from within a 30-mile radius of Manhattan.) If life is a contest, these people are already winning. But by how much, and in what order?"
posted by SkylitDrawl on Sep 7, 2011 - 67 comments

A Profile in Courage

“You’re from The New York Times,” he said. “How can I be sure you’ll be objective and accurate?”
posted by Renoroc on Jul 27, 2011 - 68 comments

Two Years Too Early

Telex and VideoText in the United States. What 1982 thought of the internet. (via Kottke). [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Jun 28, 2011 - 21 comments

Historic preservation as gentrification and discrimination

[Urban planning] allows discrimination but dresses it up as discriminating taste. So says an opinion piece in Reason magazine titled Urban Design Hipsters are Evil. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jun 15, 2011 - 59 comments

"F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
posted by Trurl on Jun 13, 2011 - 46 comments

"Liking Is for Cowards, Go for What Hurts"

Jonathan Franzen's essay, excerpted from his commencement speech at Kenyon College says, among other things "To speak more generally, the ultimate goal of technology... is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes ... with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self." [more inside]
posted by dubold on May 30, 2011 - 71 comments

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