3.11.2012 New York Times Digest

1. “The Go-Nowhere Generation

“Sometime in the past 30 years, someone has hit the brakes and Americans – particularly young Americans – have become risk-averse and sedentary.”

2. “Lights! Cameras! (and Cheers) for a Rock Weighing 340 Tons

“We’ll never see this again in our lifetimes. I cried when I first saw it.”

3. “Everybody Wants a Piece of Nerlens Noel

“Grown men are fighting over a kid.”

4. “Beyond Mile-High Grub: Can Airline Food Be Tasty?

“Even before a plane takes off, the atmosphere inside the cabin dries out the nose. As the plane ascends, the change in air pressure numbs about a third of the taste buds. And as the plane reaches a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, cabin humidity levels are kept low by design, to reduce the risk of fuselage corrosion. Soon, the nose no longer knows. Taste buds are M.I.A. Cotton mouth sets in.”

5. “The Prestige Chase Is Raising College Costs

“Universities have responded vigorously to escalating student demands for elite degrees. Their main strategy has been to bid more aggressively for the most distinguished researchers, which explains not only the rapid salary growth for top faculty members in the last several decades, but also the fact that teaching loads at many elite schools have decreased by more than 25 percent.”

6. “A Chicken Without Guilt

“Really: Would I rather eat cruelly raised, polluting, unhealthful chicken, or a plant product that’s nutritionally similar or superior, good enough to fool me and requires no antibiotics, cutting off of heads or other nasty things? Isn’t it preferable, at least some of the time, to eat plant products mixed with water that have been put through a thingamajiggy that spews out meatlike stuff, instead of eating those same plant products put into a chicken that does its biomechanical thing for the six weeks of its miserable existence, only to have its throat cut in the service of yielding barely distinguishable meat?”

7. “When the Music Stopped for Don Cornelius

“The creator, owner, producer and host of ‘Soul Train,’ which showcased a number of black musicians and dancers in a partylike atmosphere to millions of homes around the country, was himself a loner who never thought he got the credit or support that was his due.”

8. “Can’t Help Myself

“Bad habits are overcome by learning new routines and practicing them over and over again.”

9. “Standing Alone

“It’s no more possible to explain an act of conscience than it is to dissect a dream.”

10. “Peter Marino Likes Playing Bad Cop

“Shanghai is about 23 million people. I come back here, and New York feels like Iowa.”

11. “Radiohead’s Runaway Guitarist

“Greenwood tends to wince when he walks into a room, as if in anticipation of mortification to come.”

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