My Saga, Part 1 By Karl Ove Knausgaard [New York Times] Following the trail of the first Europeans to set foot in America, the first of two parts. Previously. Previously. [more inside]
Lights Out in Nigeria by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [New York Times]
"LAGOS, Nigeria — WE call it light; “electricity” is too sterile a word, and “power” too stiff, for this Nigerian phenomenon that can buoy spirits and smother dreams. Whenever I have been away from home for a while, my first question upon returning is always: “How has light been?” The response, from my gateman, comes in mournful degrees of a head shake. Bad. Very bad.Previously.
A Twist in the Murder of a 97-Year-Old Man: He Was Knifed 5 Decades Ago: [New York Times]
The New York medical examiner determined that an operation after a stabbing in the 1950s led to Antonio Ciccarello’s death in September at 97. The police have opened a murder investigation.
Céline Unveils Its Latest Poster Girl: Joan Didion [New York Times]
“I don’t have any clue,” said the 80-year-old author of well-thumbed classics such as “The White Album,” “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and “The Year of Magical Thinking,” reached by telephone on Wednesday at her Upper East Side residence (where the photo, by Juergen Teller, was taken). “I have no idea.” Whose idea was this? “They got in touch with me,” Ms. Didion said, as crisp as one of Phoebe Philo’s cotton tunics."[The Céline ad featuring Joan Didion.] [more inside]
Poynter's List of the Best (and Worst) Corrections, Retractions and Apologies in Media in 2014 Previously. Previouslier.
First editions, second thoughts: [New York Times] "On December 2, Christie's will auction 75 first-edition books, each of which is a unique object that has been annotated with words and/or illustrations by its author. Proceeds from the auction will benefit PEN American Center."
Closing a Chapter of a Literary Life [New York Times] Ahead of the American publication of his latest work, “The Book of Strange New Things,” Michel Faber discusses it and why it will be his last novel.
Exquisite Corpse [New York Times]
Taking their cue from the Surrealist parlor game, 15 renowned authors take turns contributing to an original short story.[more inside]
To Lure Young Readers, Nonfiction Writers Sanitize and Simplify: [New York Times]
"Inspired by the booming market for young adult novels, a growing number of biographers and historians are retrofitting their works to make them palatable for younger readers."
‘The Giving Tree’: Tender Story of Unconditional Love or Disturbing Tale of Selfishness?
Anna Holmes and Rivka Galchen reconsider Shel Silverstein’s classic, published 50 years ago.
Jean-Claude Duvalier, ‘Baby Doc’ of Haiti, Dies at 63: [New York Times]
"Jean-Claude Duvalier, a former president of Haiti known as Baby Doc who ruled the country with a bloody brutality and then shocked the country anew with a sudden return from a 25-year exile in 2011, died on Saturday."
A New Yorker Faces His Phobia, One Stroke at a Time [New York Times] With Intensive Swim Lessons, a Man Attacks His Fear of Water
"Traumatized by childhood incidents, Attis Clopton was deathly afraid of water, so he attacked his phobia by enrolling in a program of swimming lessons."
Don’t Want Me to Recline My Airline Seat? You Can Pay Me [New York Times]
"...airline seats are an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem. This is an economic theory holding that it doesn’t matter very much who is initially given a property right; so long as you clearly define it and transaction costs are low, people will trade the right so that it ends up in the hands of whoever values it most. That is, I own the right to recline, and if my reclining bothers you, you can pay me to stop."
PAPER BOYS: The Dark World of Debt Collection [New York Times] In the murky world of unpaid bills, a banker and an ex-con can make a fortune — if they don’t run into too many crooks.
Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:[more inside]Interesting day— NSC mtg. with President— As [it] ended he asked to see me alone… After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone He was at his desk— He talked about the meet Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
William T. Vollmann: The Self Images of a Cross-Dresser [New York Times] From a profile on William T. Vollmann, in The New York Times. The profile centers around Vollmann’s latest book, The Book of Dolores.
In a remote corner of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles from the Philippines, lies a submerged reef the Filipinos call Ayungin. In most ways it resembles the hundreds of other reefs, islands, rock clusters and cays that collectively are called the Spratly Islands. But Ayungin is different. In the reef’s shallows there sits a forsaken ship, manned by eight Filipino troops whose job is to keep China in check... It was hard to imagine how such a forsaken place could become a flash point in a geopolitical power struggle. Jeff Himmelman (words) and Ashley Gilbertson (images). A Game of Shark and Minnow [SLNYTimes interactive, (calm) autoplaying audio]
Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
"How Not To Be Alone" Author Jonathan Safran Foer touches on loneliness and empathy in an era of "iDistractions" during his commencement address at Middlebury College. (SLNYT)
"Despite her pedigree, success came slowly," the story bravely ventured. This slowness was maybe not so apparent to several thousand other 24-year-olds who want to be actresses, but who haven't even figured out how to get to a reading for Law & Order to fail at it. Tom Scocca on Nathaniel Rich, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet, and cultural nepotism. (Related: How David Carr Became the Daddy of Girls)
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]
“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]
"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.
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.’ ”
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]
[...]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)
The Surreal Ruins of Quaddafi's Never-Never Land, Robert F. Worth (Note: nytimes. Via longform.com)
Just because you put on a fucking safari helmet and looked at some poop doesn't give you the right to insult what we do.
Page One: Inside The New York Times is a brilliant new documentary from Andrew Rossi, director of Eat This New York and Le Cirque: A Table In Heaven. Starting in November 2009, Rossi spent a year filming the NYT Media desk: "I’d just arrive daily, go up to the third floor and ask what they’re working on today and can I follow you. At first many were shy, but over time I remained patient and waited for things to happen." [more inside]
"In 2006, Mr. Snow had Stage 3 melanoma, a disease usually found in people three decades older." A short New York Times piece on a young couple going through the end of a cancer diagnosis. Make sure you watch the video in the multimedia column.
The New York Times, World's Newspaper of Record, Closes Its Doors Forever. "In this edition of the New York Times, our usual 14 verticals (known for 141 years as 'sections') have been collapsed to 3. The reason is a marked lack of reporters and hence reportage." Former National Lampoon editor Tony Hendra launches a biting satire of the NYTimes, where the owners may have 'torched' the building for insurance money, Maureen Dowd has been on vacation since 1997, and William Shortz melts down.
The New York Times launches digital subscriptions, only for Canadians at the moment and on March 28 for everyone else. Packages start at $3.75/week. Readers will be allowed 20 free articles a month sans subscription. (previously, previously)
Standards editor Philip Corbett at the New York Times (allegedly) issues memo officially discouraging use of the word "tweet." [more inside]
Al Jazeera releases a new (as of yet unauthenticated) tape in which the terrorist leader accuses the US and other large nations of inaction. Osama suggests boycotting the American dollar and quotes Noam Chomsky. [more inside]
Damon Winter is a photojournalist who has worked for The Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Times and now works for The New York Times. His work on a more sports-focused beat in Dallas lead to his update on athletes from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as part of the 2008 Olympics coverage. As a photographer with The New York Times, he won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography, for his first time out on the road, covering campaigns (narrated slideshow, 3min 19sec). Currently, he is sharing his photos and writing from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which are included in NY Times Lens Blog (prev. Lens Blog features: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). If that's a bit heavy, check his photographers journal (narrated slide show, 2min 34sec) and his article on creating double-exposure juxtapositions from days or weeks of shooting large-form film. [more inside]
A Day in the Life of nytimes.com Visualizations of traffic to the website of the New York Times on June 25, 2009, the day that Michael Jackson died, from the website's Research and Development team.
The Year in Ideas from the New York Times Magazine.
Artist/Designer Ilisha Helfman makes clothes for her custom made paper dolls every week from the cover of the New York Times Magazine.
How are Americans spending their time? An informational graphic from The New York Times.
Murder: New York City. A map pinpointing murders in the five boroughs of NYC from 2003-09. Broken down by time of day, weapon used, age, sex and ethnicity of both victim and perpetrator. Not surprisingly, in the heat of summer the body count rises. [more inside]
When is reading reading? Or, rather, when is it good for you? The New York Times looks at how the internet is changing the ways we think and how we learn.
Slow news day: One properly used semicolon inspires paroxysms of joy in the NYT.
In the wake of Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the Wall Street Journal, several of the paper's top reporters have left for safer ground. Among them is Tara Parker-Pope, who joined the New York Times on October 3rd. Her blog, Well, currently accounts for three of the paper's top ten e-mailed stories: in addition to number 1, Five Easy Ways to Go Organic, she has number 5, Shhh...My Child Is Sleeping (in My Bed, Um, With Me), and number 8, Drug-Resistant Staph: What You Need to Know. Touché Rupert.
Commentary Magazine's Gabriel Schoenfeld suggests that the New York Times has violated the Espionage Act of 1917. Slate's Jack Shafer remarks that the case is not too far-fetched, while noting that Scott Johnson of The Weekly Standard seems to have anticipated the Commentary article. via
Locked in a Timeless Embrace: A third possibility. First documented gay couple (manicurists to the King) or just a case of conjoined twins? Same-sex closeness in historical Egypt.
From the folks who brought you Abu Ghraib, new information from Afghanistan. More torture of "terrorists," more deaths of prisoners, more untrained interrogators pummeling instead of interrogating—facts direct from a leaked Army investigation.
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