4.3.2011 New York Times Digest

1. “Just Right”

“At a glance, you knew exactly what it was and exactly how to use it.”

2. “Trump for President in 2012? Maybe. Trump for Trump? Without Question.”

“Mr. Trump has a history of simultaneously talking up his presidential ambitions while promoting various Trump-branded goods. The first time was in September 1987 when he announced plans for a trip to New Hampshire ahead of the 1988 presidential primaries.”

3. “Madden Puts Concussions in New Light in His Game”

“Madden NFL 12, the coming version of the eerily true-to-life N.F.L. video game played by millions of gamers, will be realistic enough not only to show players receiving concussions, but also to show any player who sustains one being sidelined for the rest of the game — no exceptions.”

4. “In Search of the First Jump Shot”

“Jack Cooper said his father told him that the first time he tried his jump shot at the University of Missouri, the coach took him out of the game, sat him on the bench and ordered, ‘Don’t ever do that again.'”

5. “Design Well Within Reach”

“If design is a gauge of cultural mood, then how will it reflect this period of economic collapse and anxious recovery?”

6. “Unpaid Interns, Complicit Colleges”

“The unpaid internship is only part of a phenomenon that includes the growing numbers of temps, freelancers, adjuncts, self-employed ‘entrepreneurs’ and other low-wage or precariously employed workers who live gig by gig. The academy should critique, not amplify, those trends.”

7. “Erasing the Digital Past”

“In an age when a person’s reputation is increasingly defined by Google, Facebook and Twitter, these services offer what is essentially an online makeover, improving how someone appears on the Internet, usually by spotlighting flattering features and concealing negative ones.”

8. “Why Red Flags Can Go Unnoticed”

“Part of the reason is that the brain’s cognitive limits don’t let us absorb everything we encounter … so we must filter what we take in.”

9. “Our False Beliefs About Language”

“With some notable exceptions, the tone of language commentary has become more shrill even as the ‘rules’ have become ossified and hieratic. Linguists have played a part in that, by reducing these matters to a pseudo-philosophical distinction between ‘prescriptivism’ and ‘descriptivism’ that leaves little place for the fine critical discriminations that make Fowler still so instructive to read. But it doesn’t help that these days even the literati have a hazy grasp of grammatical structure.”

10. “The Definitive Slang Dictionary”

“Slender documentation is often outweighed by the charming colorfulness of such finds as ‘dyspepsia in a snowstorm’ (late-19-century hash-house lingo for an order of pie topped with powdered sugar), ‘go to Europe with Ralph and Earl in a Buick’ (ornate American student slang for vomiting) and ‘couldn’t catch a cold if they sat naked all night in an icy pond’ (a New Zealand phrase for someone who is extremely unlucky).”

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