7.3.2011 New York Times Digest


1. “Tennis by the Book”

“Somewhere between chess and boxing lies tennis.”

2. “Games People Play”

“Poke and pull this scantily clad babe all over bubble-land. You’ll be amazed by the small spaces she can fit through, and throwing her across the screen never gets old.”

3. “How Games Steer Us Through Life”

“It does nothing to teach the all-important patience and tolerance for boredom that are central to learning: how to stand in line, how to wait at baggage claim, how to concentrate on a draggy passage of text. In fact, tailored tests and self-leveling games suggest you never have to be bored.”

4. “The Lonely Polar Bear”

“In the wild, male polar bears tend to be loners, who wander long distances through sketchy weather and over shape-shifting ice, with drifting pack ice as home. They go with the floe. But for 24 years, Ida was a pal with whom Gus cavorted and related to in countless ursine ways.”

5. “For N.B.A. Owners, 1999 Labor Deal Was Win With Regrets”

“The last four champions were luxury taxpayers — a troubling trend for a league in which many small-market teams struggle to remain competitive.”

6. “The Fans Own the Magic”

“In this millennium, we like to take our stories serially and in multimedia packages.”

7. “An Experiment That Evolved Into a Tragedy”

“The amusing detail of Nim’s humanlike behavior belies his unfortunate existence: stuck in a no man’s land where he was raised like a boy but was shuttled about and confined like a beast.”

8. “We Knew They Got Raises. But This?”

“Brace yourself.”

9. “The ‘It’ Girl, Now a Woman”

“I hate going to fashion shows. I find them boring.”

10. “Talking (Exclamation) Points”

“One shudders to imagine what Twain would have made of e-mail.”

11. “A John’s Story”

“Brown, still single, realizes he has come to a place in his life where he has ‘two competing desires — the desire to have sex, versus the desire NOT to have a girlfriend.'”

12. “Aristotle and the Higher Good”

“Where the Ethics stands among the greatest of all great books perhaps no one can say. That Aristotle’s text, which explores the basis of the best way of human life, belongs on any list of such books is indisputable.”

13. “What Does Newt Gingrich Know?”

“Gingrich’s vagueness was always a problem, but the books show something more: a near-total lack of interest in the political implementation of his grand ideas — a lack of interest, finally, in politics at its most mundane and consequential level.”

14. “Married, With Infidelities”

“I acknowledge the advantages of monogamy when it comes to sexual safety, infections, emotional safety, paternity assurances. But people in monogamous relationships have to be willing to meet me a quarter of the way and acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.”

15. “A Plague of Strong Female Characters”

“‘Strong women characters’ are a canard. They refer to the old-fashioned ‘strong, silent type,’ a type that tolerates very little blubbering, dithering, neuroticism, anxiety, melancholy or any other character flaw or weakness that makes a character unpredictable and human.”

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