3.9.2008 New York Times Digest


1. “Brain Enhancement Is Wrong, Right?”

“An era of doping may be looming in academia, and it has ignited a debate about policy and ethics that in some ways echoes the national controversy over performance enhancement accusations against elite athletes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.”

2. “Batman’s Burden: A Director Confronts Darkness and Death”

“Mr. Nolan, for his part, said he felt a ‘massive sense of responsibility’ to do right by Mr. Ledger’s ‘terrifying, amazing’ performance. ‘It’s stunning, it’s iconic,’ he said. ‘It’s going to just blow people away.’”

3. “Man, Godard and Nature (and Bardot, Too)”

“Jean-Luc Godard’s radiant, ambiguous, serenely perverse Contempt, 45 this year, is being revived again, in startling color and elegant, ribbony CinemaScope, for the second time in just over a decade, and it’s beginning to look like one of those movies we can’t do without for very long: a classic.”

4. “Prelates and Rappers Strike a Pose”

“As with the clerical figures in his studio, the rappers sport their typical vestments: jeans, Louis Vuitton backpacks, flashy watches and diamond-encrusted medallions and crosses. Mr. Melamid has rendered each figure larger than life with loosely expressionistic brush strokes against a dark abstracted background in a style that recalls the court portraits of Velázquez.”

5. “A Glossy Rehab for Tattered Careers”

“‘A cover on Vogue or Bazaar, I think of it as the new celebrity rehab,’ said Liz Rosenberg, the publicist for Madonna. ‘Some people go to Utah,’ she said, a reference to the Cirque Lodge detox program, where Ms Lohan was treated. ‘Others go to Smashbox and do a photo shoot.’”

6. “Text Generation Gap: U R 2 Old (JK)”

“Children increasingly rely on personal technological devices like cellphones to define themselves and create social circles apart from their families, changing the way they communicate with their parents.”

7. “Book Lovers Ask, What’s Seattle’s Secret?”

“Though the big publishing houses are still ensconced in New York, the Seattle area is the home of Amazon, Starbucks and Costco, three companies that increasingly influence what America reads.”

8. “They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know”

“We usually do not have the opportunity to overhear Microsoft’s most senior executives vent their personal frustrations with Windows. But a lawsuit filed against Microsoft in March 2007 in United States District Court in Seattle has pried loose a packet of internal company documents.”

9. “Hormones, Genes and the Corner Office”

“Pinker quotes a female Ivy League law professor: ‘I am very skeptical of the notion that society discourages talented women from becoming scientists,’ the professor writes. ‘My experience, at least from the educational phase of my life, is that the very opposite is true.’ If women aren’t racing to the upper echelons of science, government and the corporate world despite decades of efforts to woo them, Pinker argues, then it must be because they are wired to resist the demands at the top of those fields.”

10. “The Medium and the Message”

“Ah, those great enemies, Word and Image! Their battle rages on in a thousand editorial offices, through the pages of newspapers and glossy magazines. The partisans of Word denigrate their adversaries as dumbers-down, seeking to replace depth and nuance with cartoons and dingbats, encroaching ever farther on their precious line counts and column-inch real estate. The champions of Image cast their rivals as condescending literalists, unwilling to recognize that there are things their precious verbiage is inadequate to express. Occasionally some do-gooder will point out that the two work best together, but page space and attention is limited, and the temptation to battle over the word-to-picture exchange rate — pegged long ago by literary bankers at a thousand to one — is too great.”

11. “Amis and Islam”

“On the phone last month, Amis conceded his original comments in The Times were ill-considered, but held fast to the uneasiness that informed them. ‘When I made this rather stupid suggestion, or talked about the urge to make the stupid suggestion to make Muslims put their house in order, I was at the peak of my anger’ about the aborted plot to blow up airliners. ‘Everyone else’s anger gets respected all over the place but not that of a normally very peaceful British novelist.’”

12. Magic Man: Wladimir Klitschko”

“The heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko originally wanted to be an ear-nose-and-throat specialist; instead, he settled for a Ph.D. in sports science and philosophy. (His dissertation was on ‘the pedagogic control over young athletes, ages 14 to 19, in the old Soviet system.’)”

13. “Indiana Jeans”

“‘Denim is like a canvas that paints itself through time,’ he explained. ‘A 1950s jean bought secondhand will outlast a 2007 jean.’”

14. “Real Men Eat Meat”

“Vegetarianism may occupy the moral high ground, but among men it’s regarded as, if not a girl thing, then at least a girlie thing — an anemic regimen for sensitive souls subsisting on rabbit food and tofurkey. Meanwhile, meat eating persists as a badge of masculinity, as if muscle contained a generous helping of testosterone, with the aggression required to slay a mammal working its way up the food chain. Although men can no longer legally exclude women from their private clubs, a new male sanctum has arisen that seems at no risk of being invaded by women: the mahogany-paneled steakhouse.”

15. “Splay It Like Beckham”

“Having survived the postfeminist generation, I allow myself a smile of satisfaction now that poster boys are being given the hypersexualized treatment meted out for so long to my own gender.”

16. “The Muckraker”

“Let’s be straightforward: there’s a huge part of the country that until 9/11 did not know the difference between an Israeli and an Arab. They thought the Middle East was just a bunch of guys with towels on their heads. Syriana was an attempt to show a world that’s still unclear to most Americans. “

2 responses to “3.9.2008 New York Times Digest

  1. Great links. I just opened them all up in new tabs. this is my kind of news! thanks!

  2. Glad you liked them. Thanks for reading.


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