5.10.2009 New York Times Digest


1. “The Romance of Teams Traveling by Train”

“The dining car was usually at the rear of the train, attached to the team’s two sleeping cars, which were sealed off from the other cars. The food was quality cuisine, especially the steaks, cooked to order by chefs and served by waiters in white jackets. Much different from the plastic burgers of today’s microwave culture on many trains.”

2. “Under the Wigs, Dodgers Face a Marketing Test”

“This is becoming a familiar predicament in baseball, with its huge salaries and its growing roster of superstars linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Five of the top 17 career home-run hitters — including Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire — have been tied to such drugs, by admission or accusation. So has Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young award winner.”

3. “A Bit of Talk Therapy Helps Rockets’ Artest Transform”

“The technique is fairly simple. Artest now talks his way through emotionally intense moments, sometimes demonstrably, but always under control. The Rockets’ approach has been to give Artest the latitude to do so.”

4. “Team Handball Has It All, Except an American Interest”

“There’s dribbling, passing, leaping, hard-throwing, off-the-ball moving and body slamming. It is the most American sport at which Americans stink the most.”

5. “Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work”

“How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms?”

6. “Data, Not Design, Is King in the Age of Google”

“And as much as it may sound jarring, the customer is not always right.”

7. “The Two Sides of Star Trek

“The original Star Trek imagined the futuristic fulfillment of John F. Kennedy’s inspirational oratory, in which his New Frontier became ‘the final frontier.’ The budget surpluses and budding space program of the early 1960s gave rise, in the 23rd century, to the utopian United Federation of Planets. On the Starship Enterprise, men and women, blacks and whites, Americans, Russians and Asians — with names like Uhura, Chekov and Sulu — worked side by side, reflecting Mr. Roddenberry’s belief that ‘when human beings get over the silly little problems of racism and war, then we can tackle the big problems of exploring the universe,’ said David Gerrold, a writer for the original Star Trek series.”

8. “Exploring the Universe, One B-Movie at a Time”

“The original series was never really about the 23rd century or outer space; and to think of it only in those terms is to misunderstand the show and ignore its real legacy. Despite its technological gimmickry — the flashing light bulbs and the transporter beams and the cafeteria dispenser that synthesizes the atomic structure of any lunch order — the series was essentially a trek around the past, and not even the real past, but the past of vintage Hollywood movies. Its fictions always had less to do with science than with popular entertainment itself.”

9. “Bunch of Guys on a Mission Movie”

“‘I’m a film guy, so I think in terms of genres.'”

10. “Separation of Church and Film”

“Movies that are genuinely interested in faith — specifically the Roman Catholic faith — tend to be simpler and to focus on mysteries that can’t be solved by breaking codes or diving from moving aircraft.”

11. “Frugal Portland”

“The crowd that first Thursday in April — the first Thursday of each month has an evening of art-gallery openings and shopping parties — was startlingly attractive, and in a very Portland way: functional but chic.”


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