Posts tagged "New Yorker"
On Being a Finalist in The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest

On Being a Finalist in The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest

I recently received some of the most exciting news of my life: I am a finalist in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest this week, Oct. 21 to Oct. 27. This is kind of a big deal. So I am shamelessly begging you to go to newyorker.com/humor/caption to vote for your favorite caption (hopefully mine, please) in Contest #399 by Sunday. This isn’t just a self-promoting plug though. Since I have your attention, I am going to take the opportunity to say a few words about this famously cool albeit geeky contest whose devotees have included the likes of film critic Roger…

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From The New Yorker

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From the New Yorker

In Praise of Guilty Pleasures

In Praise of Guilty Pleasures

I brought two books with me on vacation last week: the new collection of Jonathan Franzen essays and the new Dark Tower prequel by Stephen King. One guess as to which one I read. That’s right: both books stayed shut as I inhaled 20 or so Batman comics on my iPad and caught up on Beach Boys message boards. Guilty pleasures in other words. So upon returning to the world of ‘serious’ reading I was pleasantly surprised to discover a wonderful little piece in The New Yorker last week by critic Arthur Krystal, tracing the history and appeal of literary…

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From The New Yorker

And if you’re in need of some extra comic relief – and who isn’t – Jack Handey’s (of Deep Thoughts fame) “Alexander the Great” should do the trick.

Infuriating Altruism and the Evolution of a Good Samaritan: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything

Infuriating Altruism and the Evolution of a Good Samaritan: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything

A few months ago, The Atlantic published a piece called “E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything”. The title caught my eye, but I’ll just come right out and say it: the piece was dense and confusing – or maybe it was the theory itself, I’m not sure. You could tell there was something significant being said, but what exactly required more brainpower than us non-evolutionary biologists usually care to casually expend on a pop-science article. Enter Jonah Lehrer, who profiled Wilson (and the waves he’s currently making) for The New Yorker this past week. The issue at hand is altruism, which…

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From The New Yorker

Boring Addicts and Portugese Drug Law

Boring Addicts and Portugese Drug Law

In Michael Specter’s recent New Yorker piece (Full article only available to subscribers or on the iPad app, sadly. But a great read.), he traces the history of Portugal’s attempts to deal with rampant drug addiction. After a 1974 coup ended an authoritarian rule, Portugal opened up to the world. A side effect was a massive influx in drugs and a rise in drug trafficking. By the 1980s, drug addiction in Portugal exploded. By 1999, 1% of the population was addicted to heroin alone. HIV spread rapidly; eventually, Portugal had the highest rate of drug-related AIDS deaths in the EU….

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Grace in Motherdom: Honesty and the World Book Encyclopedia

Grace in Motherdom: Honesty and the World Book Encyclopedia

As if yesterday’s post didn’t create swells enough of its own, Mothers Who Rock week continues with this gem from Patti Smith in the October 10 issue of The New Yorker. A beautiful picture of grace in practice, a story about inspired and disordered yearnings, basic guilt, the God-like authority of the parent, and indelibility of childhood lessons. It does a great job illuminating the inseparable relationship between love and honesty–a love that is fulfilled in full knowledge of our deepest (and most depraved) secrets, secrets that often have to be pulled out from under us, and goes there with…

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From The New Yorker

Another Week Ends: Parental Blindspots, Damsel Reviews, Rand Abolishing Lewis, Doublethink, Higher Ground and The Magnificent Ambersons

Another Week Ends: Parental Blindspots, Damsel Reviews, Rand Abolishing Lewis, Doublethink, Higher Ground and The Magnificent Ambersons

1. A couple of regretful if relevant instances of control backfiring when it comes to children. The first was reported in The NY Times Motherlode blog:

“A newly released poll from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital finds that parents look at their children with blinders on, while looking at other children accusingly.”

If you read the comments, you’ll find a sad litany of parental judgment/overinvolvement shutting down the lines of communication with their children, which in turn feeds substance abuse. Not that parents can ever “get this right,” just that there appears to be a relationship between inflated views…

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Another Week Ends: 9/11, Emasculated Sitcoms, 4-Hour Soul, Open Source Christians, Watch the Throne, Wilco & more Procrastination

Another Week Ends: 9/11, Emasculated Sitcoms, 4-Hour Soul, Open Source Christians, Watch the Throne, Wilco & more Procrastination

1. The Internet Monk invited us to do a guest post on 9/11 this week, and RJ Heijmen, Mbird contributor and head honcho at St Paul’s in NYC, took up the gauntlet. His reflection is entitled “In Love’s Service Only Wounded Soldiers Can Serve,” and it’s very much worth your time, and not only because he moved to NYC on Sept 14, 2001. A few poignant portions include:

As the weather began to turn cooler, my wife and I noticed dark evening rings around our throats as we pulled off our turtlenecks – dust carried from the site by the winds…

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Another Week Ends: Shiny Happy Students, Creative Psych, Coen Bros, Humilation Elation, and Ryan Adams

Another Week Ends: Shiny Happy Students, Creative Psych, Coen Bros, Humilation Elation, and Ryan Adams

1. The results of a couple intertwining and potentially encouraging little social science surveys were made public this week. The first found that religious belief correlated with increased happiness, the second with increased education. This could well be a case of numbers being cooked, but hey, I’ll take it. The second one, reported by CNN, was a bit more surprising, ht JD:

After analyzing data from a large national survey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist Philip Schwadel found that people actually tend to become more religious – by some definitions, at least – as they further their education… Schwadel found that with…

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Take Me To Your Secular World

Take Me To Your Secular World

You may have seen James Wood’s review of the The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now in the recent issue of The New Yorker. It’s a worthy overview of that most tricky of philosophical projects, namely, articulating the upside of Godlessness, the Good News of Secularism if you will, be it ethical, existential or aesthetic. I’ll say this: they’re certainly trying! Trying not only to conceptualize what a post-Christian world looks like, but to do so while steering clear of the “reductionism” of New Atheism and retaining a relatively charitable attitude toward religion. There’s not a…

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From The New Yorker