8.22.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “Now Playing: Night of the Living Tech”

“Change has changed qualitatively.”

2. “In Striking Shift, Small Investors Flee Stock Market”

“One of the phenomena of the last several decades has been the rise of the individual investor. As Americans have become more responsible for their own retirement, they have poured money into stocks with such faith that half of the country’s households now own shares directly or through mutual funds, which are by far the most popular way Americans invest in stocks.”

3. “A Champion Against Cancer, Now Under Siege”

“He told me his motto is Win/lose, live/die. He equates winning with living and losing with dying.”

4. “Technology Leads More Park Visitors Into Trouble”

“Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued.”

5. “The Disease: Fatal. The Treatment: Mockery”

“I think it sent a disturbing message. There was a feeling that one needed to make fun of Harvard, and be dismissive of human emotion, and that we should establish that during Week 1 — that too much tenderness would not fly in this cerebral atmosphere. It was mean-spirited.”

6. “Fixing a World That Fosters Fat”

“Unfortunately, behavior changes won’t work on their own without seismic societal shifts, health experts say, because eating too much and exercising too little are merely symptoms of a much larger malady. The real problem is a landscape littered with inexpensive fast-food meals; saturation advertising for fatty, sugary products; inner cities that lack supermarkets; and unhealthy, high-stress workplaces. In other words: it’s the environment, stupid.”

7. “$9 Here, 20 Cents There and a Credit-Card Lawsuit”

“Credit card companies do not make it easy for consumers to recognize fishy charges.”

8. “E-Books Make Readers Less Isolated”

“I think, historically, there has been a stigma attached to the bookworm, and that actually came from the not-untrue notion that, if you were reading, you weren’t socializing with other people. But the e-reader changes that also because e-readers are intrinsically connected to bigger systems.”

9. “The Poetry of Prose”

“In his chapter ‘Become your own lexicographer,’ he recommends that readers visit places like soccer clubs and gay bars to ‘listen to the specialized language’ of their patrons.”

10. “A Republic of Letters”

“Valenti has won, Jefferson has lost.”

11. “Popcorn Reverie”

“The 1950s were arguably the greatest years of the western, the period in which generic formulas were at once sustained and destabilized through psychology, revisionism, high style and the kind of grandeur that follows when the most durable clichés are reframed against classical paradigms.”

12. “What Is It About 20-Somethings?”

“The more profound question behind the scholarly intrigue is the one that really captivates parents: whether the prolongation of this unsettled time of life is a good thing or a bad thing.”

13. “Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory”

“The shoes are original. It’s just the brands that are fake.”

14. “The F Word”

“Flesh also suggests the threateningly female, moistness and blood, the hothouse clutches of a heavy-breasted mother — off-putting images for male fashion designers, who are more often than not gay. (Think of Karl Lagerfeld’s withering disdain on hearing that a German magazine would now be using only regular-size women in its fashion spreads: ‘No one wants to see curvy women…. You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.’)”

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