5.17.2009 New York Times Digest

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1. “What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?”

“Credit-card companies are becoming much more interested in understanding their customers’ lives and psyches, because, the theory goes, knowing what makes cardholders tick will help firms determine who is a good bet and who should be shown the door as quickly as possible.”

2. “Steal This Book (for $9.99)”

“Buying music, after all, is so much cheaper now that there aren’t discs and plastic cases. Shouldn’t the same logic apply to books?”

3. “No Food for Thought: The Way of the Warrior”

“The word asceticism comes from the Greek word for exercise. And while Buddhists and early Christians made world-denying behavior a foundation of their spirituality, the Greeks as often as not viewed asceticism as a source of physical, emotional, even political power.”

4. “Legalization? Now for the Hard Question”

“The 20-something me believes marijuana could be legalized, regulated and taxed like alcohol, providing much needed revenue. But the 50-something me, the parent of three boys and a girl, ages 14 to 21, is not so sure.”

5. “Well-Rounded Boy, Meet Old Square”

“‘The shape symbolism is present in the photo frames within this shot to tell a snapshot story of Carl’s life,’ Mr. Nierva said. ‘Anytime you see Carl in a picture by himself, he’s in a square frame. And anytime you see Eleanor’ — his wife — ‘she’s in an oval frame. And anytime you see them together, we thought of a square frame with an oval matte. So all of these things help balance his world of squares and circles.’”

6. “Suze Orman Is Having a Moment”

“Orman is nothing if not a contradictory personality — someone who travels with her own healthful, organic food but who also rewards herself, after a day in which she has sold $1 million worth of her books or financial-planning kits on QVC, with a binge at Taco Bell. Karen Fonner, who works with Orman at QVC, recalls that at the end of a workday about eight years ago Orman told her that she craved a hot dog. Fonner took her to a hot-dog stand and watched — everyone in the vicinity watched — as Orman devoured six hot dogs.”

One response to “5.17.2009 New York Times Digest

  1. Thank you for pointing out and highlighting “asceticism as a source of physical, emotional, even political power.” Self-discipline is under-rated in today’s world, consequently the will to move forward despite human obstacles within needs continual nourishment–this notion of asceticism inspires and nourished me today! I am wondering it if has something to do with the word sacrifice meaning to “make holy?”

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