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Plastic Beads of Fish Food

    "Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes are slipping through water treatment plants and turning up by the tens of millions in the Great Lakes. " (NYT)
This new environmental threat is particularly worrisome because the beads float and look like fish's normal food. The toxins in the beads tend to degrade slowly, so they bioaccumulate and are passed up the food chain. The majority of the beads appear to enter the lakes when storms cause wastewater treatment plants to overflow.
posted by DoubleLune on Dec 20, 2013 - 54 comments

FDA to Require Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Are Safe

F.D.A. to Require Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Are Safe - SLNYT
posted by Evilspork on Dec 16, 2013 - 96 comments

“People don’t go nowhere in Brooklyn”

The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000 people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2013 - 112 comments

Monday Morning Robocoach

Watching one of the exciting snow-bound football games yesterday, the thought may have occurred to you: If I was a coach, would I go for it on this 4th down? This bot from the New York Times will tell you, and maybe even add a little attitude to the answer, which is usually much more aggressive than NFL coaches.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 9, 2013 - 74 comments

A Cold War Fought by Women

A Cold War Fought by Women Intrasexual competition among women (SLNYT).
posted by The Blue Olly on Nov 19, 2013 - 111 comments

Social Network Analysis Collaboration Knowledge Service (or, SNACKS)

No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A.
posted by crossoverman on Nov 3, 2013 - 38 comments

Mud, Concrete, Glass, Home

A Short History of the Highrise A four-part NYT interactive documentary by Katrina Cizek on apartment buildings through the ages, part of the National Film Board of Canada's HIGHRISE project (Previously).
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 8, 2013 - 5 comments

"...somewhere where no one was asking me for anything.”

Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear (slnyt profile, via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 3, 2013 - 29 comments

Harsh realm.

The year was 1992. Grunge had hit the cultural mainstream, and the New York Times, overdue for a trend piece, printed an article featuring a "Lexicon of Grunge Speak." Their list featured terms such as wack slacks for old ripped jeans, harsh realm for bummer, and bloated, big bag of bloatation for drunk. [more inside]
posted by duffell on Oct 2, 2013 - 76 comments

I am my beloved's, and my beloved trades commodity futures

Wedding Crunchers: 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.
posted by Cash4Lead on Sep 5, 2013 - 12 comments

A salt assault

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater - a brief story of the humble bag of saline solution given intravenously at ERs and hospitals, and how one unit of it can be marked up from 86 cents to $91 when given to patients
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2013 - 69 comments

I was impatient for love, but not that impatient.

Modern Love: A Dollar a Day, for Only 20 Years (SLNYTimes)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 8, 2013 - 10 comments

The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero

Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. At 26, he wasn’t just Pete Best, the guy the Beatles left behind. He was Pete Best twice. Then again, he wasn’t remotely. What Everman did afterward put him far outside the category of rock’n’roll footnote. He became an elite member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, one of those bearded guys riding around on horseback in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.
posted by Rangeboy on Jul 2, 2013 - 49 comments

Because 7 Minutes Was Too Much for You Candy Ass Sissies

Well, all you lazy butt people who couldn't manage 7 minutes, here's hope. Norwegian researchers have discovered an even shorter and effective workout. Straight off the heels of the 7-minute workout (which really was more of a 21 minute workout), the 4-minute program (but designed to be done 4 times, so 16 minutes of HIIT total) is said to contain the minimum amount of exercise required to develop appreciable endurance and health gains.
posted by kinetic on Jun 19, 2013 - 64 comments

=^..^=

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."

posted by Fizz on Jun 13, 2013 - 34 comments

we are bacteria all the way down

Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
It is a striking idea that one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal fermentation. Having recently learned to manage several external fermentations — of bread and kimchi and beer — I know a little about the vagaries of that process. You depend on the microbes, and you do your best to align their interests with yours, mainly by feeding them the kinds of things they like to eat — good “substrate.” But absolute control of the process is too much to hope for. It’s a lot more like gardening than governing. The successful gardener has always known you don’t need to master the science of the soil, which is yet another hotbed of microbial fermentation, in order to nourish and nurture it. You just need to know what it likes to eat — basically, organic matter — and how, in a general way, to align your interests with the interests of the microbes and the plants. The gardener also discovers that, when pathogens or pests appear, chemical interventions “work,” that is, solve the immediate problem, but at a cost to the long-term health of the soil and the whole garden. The drive for absolute control leads to unanticipated forms of disorder.
[more inside]
posted by ninjew on Jun 1, 2013 - 24 comments

Her hair color ....varies from blond to brunet across the collection

"Fabiola has been a beloved subject for countless painters, most of them amateurs. The portrait’s format is almost always the same: Fabiola is seen in profile facing left, her head covered by a rich red veil. Mr. Alÿs, who was born in Belgium in 1959 and moved to Mexico City in 1990, began collecting Fabiola paintings — as the genre is called — about 15 years ago, buying them at thrift shops, flea markets and antiques stores primarily in Mexico and Europe. He has previously shown his collection three times, when it was much smaller; the current presentation includes more than 300 works. Photos of the exhibition
posted by The Whelk on May 30, 2013 - 18 comments

Bridge Over Troubled Waters No More

Do you have Gephyrophobia? Are you afraid to cross that scary bridge? Now there's a service to help you get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge instead of going miles out of your way to go around. "Some people go miles out of their way to avoid crossing the George Washington Bridge — for example, driving to Upper Manhattan from Teaneck, N.J., by way of the Lincoln Tunnel, a detour that can stretch a 19-minute jog into a three-quarter-hour ordeal. Other bridge phobics recite baby names or play the radio loudly as they ease onto a nerve-jangling span — anything to focus the mind. Still others take a mild tranquilizer an hour before buckling up to cross a bridge."
posted by Xurando on May 26, 2013 - 66 comments

He's Got a Way

Billy Joel on Not Working and Not Giving Up Drinking
posted by MattMangels on May 25, 2013 - 103 comments

SHROOM TRIP ARIA

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]
posted by hippybear on May 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Moving Offal Brings Recycling On

The voyage of the MOBRO. "It was 1987. A small town businessman had what seemed like a promising idea, to transport New York trash by barge to a landfill in North Carolina, where it would be converted into methane to heat homes."
posted by Xurando on May 6, 2013 - 16 comments

“It destroyed two vintage T-shirt stores and a banjo”

The Hipster – a lexicon from the NYT.
posted by timsteil on Apr 30, 2013 - 95 comments

Eight Writers and the Walks That Inspired Them

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

Oy Vey, Christian Soldiers

Maud Newton, who grew up as a Charismatic Christian in a heavily Jewish community, asks: What could be wrong with Bible-believing evangelicals giving their son a bar mitzvah? [slnyt, mostly] [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Mar 24, 2013 - 112 comments

Life Imitates Rap Perhaps

First they did the crimes. Then they made a rap video of the crime. Then they went down for the crimes with the video used as evidence to convict them. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Mar 23, 2013 - 25 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

"The fact that this happened is a big problem for us."

In a meticulously planned raid that took barely five minutes to execute, armed men disguised as police officers drove onto the tarmac at the international airport in Brussels on Monday night and stole diamonds worth around $50 million as they were being loaded onto a plane bound for Switzerland, officials said. (SLNYT)
posted by Elementary Penguin on Feb 19, 2013 - 58 comments

The First Lady of Hip Hop

There was no way to anticipate that the reliably malfunction-free Beyoncé arriving in New Orleans for her turn at immortality would be a vulnerable one. At the presidential inauguration ceremony last month, she sang the national anthem over a prerecorded vocal track, leading to a minor scandal, putting her on the defensive. Beyoncé, bionic, isn’t used to having her reputation impugned. Vulnerability is not her bag. She is, though, up to the challenge — in this case, the conundrum of how to make her Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which she had been planning for months, not only a spectacle in its own right, but also a conclusion to the messy affair. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Feb 5, 2013 - 67 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

"This bout brought in about 2,000 people…in a town of 3,000 people"

Journalists miss the real ($60M) roller derby story. Every time.
posted by iamkimiam on Jan 12, 2013 - 46 comments

the end of history illusion

Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be (NYT): "When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same... They called this phenomenon the “end of history illusion,” in which people tend to “underestimate how much they will change in the future.”" (via exp.lore) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 6, 2013 - 34 comments

Beate Sirota Gordon, 1923-2012; "The Only Woman In The Room"

Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 4, 2013 - 20 comments

Just Another Six Months

"When I visited China in 1998, Mbantu, the cabbie who drove me from the airport, couldn't stop telling me about how he had to take a fourth job because of the high cost of transportation. I caught up with Mbantu in Shanghai last year. Thanks to China's reformed approach toward transportation, Mbantu has enough money in his pocket to finally be able to afford a playground for his kids."--Thomas Friedman column generator
posted by bardic on Dec 29, 2012 - 31 comments

NYT's new cutting edge tech for longform journalism

The New York Times is previewing their latest technology in the longform journalism piece Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (username: avalanche/password: preview). Scroll down slowly to enjoy all the photos, slideshows, and movies that go along with the piece, which looks to be adding new chapters to the story over time.
posted by mathowie on Dec 19, 2012 - 47 comments

Christmas, cancelled.

The Puritan War on Christmas
posted by cthuljew on Dec 16, 2012 - 66 comments

Make Babies

"Older parenthood will upend American society." "Is waiting to have kids a big mistake?" "Why do women believe they can delay children for so long?" "Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age."
posted by vidur on Dec 12, 2012 - 162 comments

The cool people are everywhere; somehow, they've even made the weather rainier

Simpsons series 24 episode 7 (The Day The Earth Stood Cool) aired last night, being the hipsterification of Springfield, complete with urban nomads, artisanal donuts, Homer's new attire, the Decemberists, Marge being confused by The Onion, and gentrification. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 10, 2012 - 109 comments

Netcom competitor

The history of AOL as told through New York Times crossword clues.
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 10, 2012 - 37 comments

Any yokel with a computer can have a college football ranking system

He is not the only one. Computer rankings are proliferating, said Kenneth Massey, a professor of math at Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn., who has been ranking teams since 1995. “When I started, there were six or seven,” he said. “But every year, it gets bigger and bigger.” Massey currently tracks more than 100 college football rankings.

With so many competitors, what is the appeal of creating one’s own rankings?

“It’s kind of a nerdy hobby,” Massey said. “It combines sports with math and computers, three things that don’t ordinarily go together.” [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Dec 7, 2012 - 20 comments

Great Wealth Is A Public Trust

Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 7, 2012 - 68 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

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

social impact bonds

Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services? "Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 20, 2012 - 29 comments

"challenging Casanova"

Guys don't want casual sex: "This stereotype 'tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships... This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex.'... the Wake Forest University professor lays out the current data on young men’s sexual desires and behavior to make a case against this insidious stereotype." Salon interviews Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male. [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 19, 2012 - 122 comments

Out of the Closet and Into a Uniform

For their club’s big debut this semester, the cadets at the United States Air Force Academy hammered out talking points, printed fliers and hung their logo, a rainbow-colored globe, in their booth in Arnold Hall. Then they held their breath.

On the day known as Blue Rush, when incoming freshmen learn about extracurricular activities, Lydia Hill and Brandon Reams were making history, introducing their fellow cadets to Spectrum, the academy’s first club for gay, lesbian and bisexual students and their straight friends and supporters.
[SLNYT]
posted by hippybear on Nov 19, 2012 - 20 comments

Does Vanilla Equal Not Spanked As A Child

Are spanking fetishes now mainstream sexual behavior or are they an untreated response to childhood trauma? "I think that avoiding raising one's children to be spanking fetishists is a good reason not to spank children. It is not that I view some particular set of sexual semiotics as intrinsically inferior to any other. It is because I believe that at least some forms of spanking fetishism are the direct result of traumatic repression caused by childhood spankings. Hence, to say "don't spank your kids because you might turn them into fetishists" is really just an abbreviated way of saying "don't spank your kids because this can evoke unintegratable emotions of hatred which your child will be forced to repress and which they may then cope with by eroticizing your spankings and spending the rest of their lives feeling frustrated because their pool of available sexual partners is so small, and feeling guilty and ashamed because of how your maltreatment of them made them hate you back when they were helpless and dependent upon you." NSFW previously
posted by Xurando on Nov 11, 2012 - 62 comments

A theorem concerning corporate headquarters

If you are Rackspace, then your corporate headquarters are located inside a dead shopping mall in a suburb of San Antonio. (SLNYT)
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 1, 2012 - 64 comments

Put your money where your mouth is

Intrade is a Prediction Market, where you make predictions by buying and selling shares on the outcome of real-world events. These events are always defined on Intrade as a YES/NO proposition. Shares are bought at some point between $0.00 and $10.00, based on whether the buyer believes the event will or won't occur (which correspond to $10.00 and $0.00 respectively). Most popular propositions at the moment are election related, though this week the market for the Best Picture opened. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Oct 25, 2012 - 43 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

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