06.17.2012 New York Times Digest

1. “How Depressives Surf the Web

“Students who showed signs of depression tended to use the Internet differently from those who showed no symptoms of depression.”

2. “This Is the Way the World Ends

“These are anxious times. We need a doomsday we can believe in.”

3. “That’s Amore: Italy as Muse

“If you stop all the noise and color and glamour, and look very, very closely, you have to understand that death is ever-present. That was a very important idea for me.”

4. “You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome

“It peers deeper into American life than the F.B.I. or the I.R.S., or those prying digital eyes at Facebook and Google. If you are an American adult, the odds are that it knows things like your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams – and on and on.”

5. “To Stay on Schedule, Take a Break

“A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity – and that skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion.”

6. “Buddhists’ Delight

“The fundamental insight of the Buddha (the Awakened One) is this: life consists of suffering, and suffering is caused by attachment to the self, which is in turn attached to the things of this world. Only by liberating ourselves from the tyranny of perpetual wanting can we be truly free.”

7. “First Theater, Then Facebook

“Status updates and emoticons: Rousseau saw it all.”

8. “The Making of the President” and “The First Lady’s Family

“Michelle Robinson Obama happens to descend from people once enslaved in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky. She can peer at American history from that far side of the looking glass. Her husband, with no slaves in the family, may not see America in quite the same way.”

9. “Who Made That Soy-Sauce Dispenser?

“It took three years for Ekuan and his team to arrive at the dispenser’s transparent teardrop shape. More than 100 prototypes were tested in the making of its innovative, dripless spout (based on a teapot’s, but inverted). The design proved to be an ideal ambassador. With its imperial red cap and industrial materials (glass and plastic), it helped timeless Japanese design values – elegance, simplicity and supreme functionality – infiltrate kitchens around the world.”

10. “Cocaine Incorporated

“In its longevity, profitability and scope, it might be the most successful criminal enterprise in history.”

11. “How to Read a Racist Book to Your Kids

“Much of the great old children’s material, like so much of the great old adult material, is either racist to the core or at least has seriously racist bits.”

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