12.5.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “Poster Master With a Cool Hand”

“We submitted it to Kubrick, and he didn’t like it. He’s very tough, very exacting. He knows exactly what he wants. He’s brilliant and he’s got phenomenal taste. But this didn’t appeal to him. I guess it was too scientific looking. He wanted more of a flesh-and-blood violence look.”

2. “Pushing a Right to Bear Arms, the Sharp Kind”

“Arizona is now considered a knife carrier’s dream, a place where everything from a samurai sword to a switchblade can be carried without a quibble.”

3. “Destination: LAPTOPISTAN”

“I had previously been there only on weekends, when it was filled with couples sharing the Sunday paper and parents wiping brownie residue off their toddlers. That weekday afternoon it was a place transformed. Gone were the newspapers and the strollers. Laptops had colonized every flat surface. No one uttered a word; people just stared into screens, expressionless. It felt like that moment in a horror movie when the innocent couple stumbles into a house filled with hibernating zombies, and they listen, in terror, as the floorboard creaks.”

4. “The Chateau Marmont Is Ready for Its Close-Up”

“The Chateau Marmont may not be the Los Angeles area’s most expensive hotel, nor its most elegantly appointed. But it is its most storied, a hotel whose name is rarely seen in print without ‘legendary’ tacked onto it.”

5. “Cyberspace Gamble”

“When a reporter asked him a silly question — what kind of building best describes you? — he gave a revealing answer: ‘Tall and thin with no windows.'”

6. “My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead”

“A lot of modern life is exactly like slaughtering zombies.”

7. “A Book Lover’s San Francisco”

“Books, we are told, are a half-millennium-old technology on the cusp of being swept away forever. So a journey to San Francisco to immerse oneself in them might seem the cultural equivalent of going to visit the glaciers before they melt. But in San Francisco, the home of many of the very technologies that have drawn a bead on the book, visitors will find a living, historically rooted literary scene that, though it has surely heard the news of its own demise, isn’t buying it.”

8. “What Else Would $60 Billion Buy?”

“Free college, including room and board, for about half of all full-time students, at both four- and two-year colleges.”

9. “The Art of Interruption”

“Maybe we were just around the corner from something thrilling. Isn’t that the nature of a live conversation? It halts, it stutters, it doubles back, it soars.”

10. “The Joy of Lists”

“Isn’t every list in reality a ceremonial flourish against amnesia and chaos?”

11. “Visual Books”

“A graphic designer can’t have too many books of typography.”

12. “Very Good Years”

“Aside from revolutionizing the art of popular singing — which he took from strident and bravura to the most nuanced form of storytelling — Sinatra redefined prevailing notions of masculinity. His balance of tough, tender and cool made him the heterosexual male’s ultimate role model. For women, he was the ideal: a sensitive man’s man.”

13. “Scanners Gone Wild”

“Nothing can protect a body, whether from a scan or a pat-down, if you have already been made to stand in line and have nothing left, really, to choose.”

14. “Straight Outta Wesleyan”

“I want to start dressing more like a British colonialist in a red coat and maybe lighten my skin with that money.”

15. “Wasted Data”

“Why shouldn’t you have access to the traces of your own behavior that you leave behind and that others collect?”

16. “Speed-Freak Football”

“Kelly’s overarching philosophy owes to business texts, most directly, the writings of Jim Collins (Good to Great and Built to Last, among others), who argues that successful organizations coalesce around a concise, easily communicated core mission.”

17. “The Wild Bunch”

“Another aspect that can’t be overlooked is the Sopranos-like element of Mediterranean (in this case, Armenian) ethnicity; it characterizes the sisters’ brunet aesthetic and also the tone of the show, which is anything but Presbyterian-genteel. Instead it is unembarrassedly earthy, sexy, loud, honest, coarse, passionate, colorful, grotesque — you name it.”

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