03.04.2012 New York Times Digest

1. “In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books

“Microfilm and microfiche were once a utopian vision of access to all information, but it turned out we were very glad we kept the books.”

2. “Star-to-Be Who Never Was

“What went wrong?”

3. “The Second Screen, Trying to Complement the First

“Many TV viewers are using a computing device of some kind while they watch.”

4. “That Seat Is So Taken

“Interests: Unpredictable and decontextualized screaming; stretching; trying to remember the lyrics to that Archies song; cracking my knuckles; licking my lips; humming; whistling; this game I made up that involves sticking my index finger in people’s mouths when they yawn and pulling it out before they bite down again.”

5. “Confessions of a ‘Bad’ Teacher

“Teaching was a high-pressure job long before No Child Left Behind and the current debates about teacher evaluation. These debates seem to rest on the assumption that, left to our own devices, we teachers would be happy to coast through the school year, let our skills atrophy and collect our pensions. The truth is, teachers don’t need elected officials to motivate us. If our students are not learning, they let us know. They put their heads down or they pass notes. They raise their hands and ask for clarification. Sometimes, they just stare at us like zombies. Few things are more excruciating for a teacher than leading a class that’s not learning. Good administrators use the evaluation processes to support teachers and help them avoid those painful classroom moments – not to weed out the teachers who don’t produce good test scores or adhere to their pedagogical beliefs.”

6. “The Indoctrination Myth

“Does attending college actually make you more liberal and less religious? Research indicates that the answer is: not so much.”

7. “Does Couples Therapy Work?

“The kind of person who tends to become a therapist – empathic, sensitive, calm, accepting – is generally not the kind of person who is a good couples therapist.”

8. “The Naughty Knave of Fashion’s Court

“If you are standing there naked, people are going to think you are an extrovert with nothing to hide.”

9. “Farewell to Youth, but Not Beauty

“With its even more bewitching Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith, this is a show that put to rest the idea that women should hold tight to a particular age, a particular look, rather than giving their faces permission to move through the life cycle.”

10. “Homeward Bound

“What both authors strongly imply is that our debates about the family, which are nothing if not debates about how people take care of one another, are nothing indeed if we lack the collective political will to take care of one another in the fullest sense.”

11. “Who Made That: Little Trees Air Fresheners

“Samann, a German-Jewish chemist who fled the Nazis, had studied Alpine tree aromas in the forests of Canada. He was interested in the technology used to transport and disseminate them.”

12. “Leader of the Pack

“Years of traveling have taught Bruce Pask exactly what to bring – and where it all fits.”

13. “Born to Run

“Running and running shoes are cool right now. But a random fashion trend this is not. These latest shoes are a result of 40 years of sneaker culture, an eon of human evolution and the eureka moment of a track-and-field star turned Nike designer named Tobie Hatfield.”

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