4.18.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “An Open Mind”

“If the mission of the university is the creation of knowledge (via research) and the dissemination of knowledge (via teaching and publishing), then it stands to reason that giving that knowledge away fits neatly with that mission.”

2. “The Paper Debate”

“The change has prompted — unsurprisingly — debate.”

3. “The Long-Haul Degree”

“In the United States, given that most students take time off, nearly a dozen years can pass between receiving a B.A. and Ph.D. About half who enter a humanities doctoral program drop out along the way. The average student receiving a Ph.D. today is 35 years old, $23,000 in debt and facing a historically bad job market.”

4. “In Los Angeles, the Saucer Is Ready to Land Again”

“The building’s modern design and references to air and space travel came to stand for a new Western city on the edge of greatness.”

5. “Marine Stayed Faithful to Dream of Playing Football”

“My path was different. I always told myself I would pursue my dream to the end to see what happened.”

6. “Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley”

“Women now outnumber men at elite colleges, law schools, medical schools and in the overall work force. Yet a stark imbalance of the sexes persists in the high-tech world, where change typically happens at breakneck speed.”

7. “Crème de la Cell: Six-Figure Phones”

“As objects go, the cellphone is increasingly more ubiquitous than those old lions of luxury, fancy pens and wristwatches.”

8. “Debunking the Myths of the Telecommute”

“I couldn’t imagine working in an office again.”

9. “Out of the Closet and Up, Up and Away”

“As I got older, I realized, ‘Oh, this is why I admire the Grecian ideal of manhood and musculature.’”

10. “D.I.Y. Culture”

“Globalism, beyond banking, climate change and warfare, has always been a dubious concept, a misleading catchall for how the world supposedly works, to which culture, in its increasing complexity, gives the lie.”

11. “Now G.I. Jane Is Somebody’s Mom”

“Demi Moore has been, at various times, less performer than cultural Rorschach test.”

12. “The Cecil B. DeMille of Movie Lists”

“He has ranked the 20th century’s 9,200 greatest movies, watching more than 7,000 of them in the process. (He plans to reach 10,000 from readers suggesting titles he has overlooked. The list is at themovielistonline.com.)”

13. “Keep Your Team Out of My Book”

“Stalin would have been a Yankees fan.”

14. “The Anatomy of Desire”

“The study involved men who had been sightless from birth. The idea was that the bombardment of visual media — of models on billboards and actresses on television and porn stars online — which may be so powerful and even dominant in molding desire, couldn’t have had any direct effect on these men, who emerged from the womb into a congenital dark. Would their tastes in women’s bodies match those of men who could see? How would their preferences reflect on the roles of nature and nurture, on the influence of evolution and the impact of experience, in forming our psyches?”

15. “Dr. Does-It-All”

“I never saw him without a portable larder of baggies, plastic containers and Thermoses of food and drink, and all of it — every crumb, every drop — was healthful: low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with brightly colored berries; spinach; slaw; raw almonds; raw walnuts, soaked in water to amplify their nutritional benefit; a dark green concoction of juices from vegetables including cucumber and parsley. Roughly every 45 to 60 minutes, as if on cue, he would ingest something from his movable buffet, but only a bit, his portions assiduously regulated, like an intravenous drip of nutrition. It was the most efficient, joyless eating I have ever seen.”

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