Sunday 02.03.2013 New York Times Digest

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1. Raging (Again) Against the Robots

“Android anxiety has a long history.”

2. Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions

“Various studies have estimated that 8 percent to 35 percent of college students take stimulant pills to enhance school performance.”

3. In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better … It’s Brutal

“Ms. Zimmerman has fashioned her own regimen of home remedies – including eating blue cheese instead of taking penicillin and consuming plenty of orange juice, red wine, coffee and whatever else the latest longevity studies recommend – to maintain her health, which she must do if she wants to continue paying the bills.”

4. Basketball Prospector

“At his apartment in Forest Hills, Mr. Konchalski prepares the report every three weeks on a typewriter. He does not use a computer, a cellphone or an answering machine – and he has never driven a car.”

5. A Mercedes With Tenure

“It’s a marvelous piece of machinery, so uncomplicated.”

6. The Most Wanted Gun in America

“There are a lot of young men in the U.S. who will never be in the military but feel that male compulsion to warriorhood. Owning an assault weapon is a passport to that.”

7. The Boys at the Back

“Teachers of classes as early as kindergarten factor good behavior into grades – and girls, as a rule, comport themselves far better than boys.”

8. Why Police Lie Under Oath

“Are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not.”

9. Stormy Weather: Blues in Winter

“I consider philosophy my survival kit.”

10. Upside of Distraction

“It took me a long time to realize that the utter domination of my consciousness by the desire to write well was itself the problem. Monomania, a 19th-century malady to which my 21st-century immune system had developed no defenses, had crept into my soul, like gout into a poet’s foot, and spoiled it by degrees.”

11. Making Coming Attractions More Attractive

“They reveal too much. They don’t reveal enough. They’re misleading. They’re manipulative. They’re better than both the movie they’re previewing and the movie that’s about to start. They delay that movie by 20 minutes.”

12. Conceiving Frankenstein

“Was it simply spun out of the imagination of a brilliantly neurotic young author? Or is it better described as the work of a highly educated woman grappling with the darker implications of early-19th-century scientific research?”

13. Just Don’t Call It a Drone

“Dozens of colleges with aviation programs now offer courses in unmanned aerial systems, and several universities have recently added majors.”

14. Virtually There: Working Remotely

“Ms. Fitzpatrick, 20, is among a growing number of students taking on virtual internships – positions that don’t require students ever to set foot in the office.”

15. You, Too, Can Make It Work

“I always say I have a Socratic approach to most things that I do. I pummel people with questions, because I need to know what they’re thinking, what they’re trying to achieve, what they believe the final outcome is going to be. And then I try to examine their work with them, and articulate as well as I can how well they are actually achieving those goals, or whether they are in fact delusional.”

16. North Dakota Went Boom

“North Dakota has had oil booms before but never one so big, never one that rivaled the land rush precipitated more than a century ago by the transcontinental railroads, never one that so radically changed the subtext of the Dakota frontier from the Bitter Past That Was to the Better Future That May Yet Be.”

17. How to Write Yourself Into Existence

“The next Shakespeare will be a hacker possessing programming skills and A.D.D.-like gift for multitasking, which is more or less how the original Shakespeare emerged – using and stealing the technology of his time (other plays, books, oral history) and filling the Globe with its input.”

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