11.28.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “Binary Breakthrough”

“Smiley tries to render Atanasoff’s tale as a fable about the American heartland: the hard work, frugality and pragmatism of middle Americans versus the cleverness and greed of the East Coast and Old World elites.”

2. “War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat”

“The short-term benefits being derived from roboticizing aspects of warfare are likely to be far outweighed by the long-term consequences.”

3. “No More A’s for Good Behavior”

“We began to realize that many teachers had been grading kids for compliance — not for mastering the course material.”

4. “A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web”

“The owner of DecorMyEyes might be more than just a combustible bully with a mean streak and a potty mouth. He might also be a pioneer of a new brand of anti-salesmanship — utterly noxious retail — that is facilitated by the quirks and shortcomings of Internet commerce and that tramples long-cherished traditions of customer service, like deference and charm.”

5. “Adam Carolla, World-Class Complainer”

“You watch an Olive Garden ad and the food is the best-looking Italian cuisine I’ve ever laid eyes on. Whoever cooks for that commercial, that’s who I hope my chef is when I show up at the Olive Garden.”

6. “Motion, Sensitive”

“Video games are poised to become more engaging — physically, emotionally and perhaps even intellectually — than they have ever been. But they will do so not by dehumanizing players but rather by bridging the gap between media and actual personal experience.”

7. “Those Undulating Swan Arms? Not So Easy to Do”

“It’s supposed to look easy and painless and carefree and light and delicate and just pretty, and underneath it’s, like, really gruesome.”

8. “A Headlong Life”

“When the United States entered the Great War in 1917, he was half blind, overweight and already suffering from the host of ills that would combine to kill him two years later, but he nonetheless hurried to the White House without an appointment, to ask permission to raise a division of volunteers and rush them to the front in France.”

9. “Our Unlettered Landscape”

“As a reviewer, Ulin must know that books themselves make up a healthy tributary of this river of information in which we’re all drowning. The publishing industry, like every industry, needs product to push, notwithstanding the fact that a truly necessary book is a rare thing. Here is a challenging and confounding truth you won’t find anywhere in Ulin’s pages: There are too many books, and this is part of the problem. David Ulin’s intentions are beyond reproach, but his book is another distraction.”

10. “On Location With Nora Ephron”

“I have on my computer something called Freedom. You put in however many minutes of freedom you would want, and for that period of time your computer does not allow you to go on the Internet.”

11. “The Professor of Micropopularity”

“For me, the happiest place on earth is a well-run school. If I have a false nostalgia, it’s for an ongoing conversation in which anyone can say anything interesting, a conversation you have in public, and that includes people who are dead”

12. “The Incredible Flying Nonagenarian”

“What if intense training does something that allows the body to regenerate itself?”

2 responses to “11.28.2010 New York Times Digest

  1. The Freedom tool Nora Ephron refers to sounds like something I could use! I can’t seem to find it on the internet, however. Any clue as to where I might get it?

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