A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: June, 2013

Read — 2013/06/20

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Optimistic Fed Outlines an End to Its Stimulus“, by Binyamin Appelbaum (NY Times). The Federal Reserve announces a rough plan to unwind its position, using the unemployment rate to guide its timing.
  2. HPV Vaccine Is Credited in Fall of Teenagers’ Infection Rate“, by Sabrina Tavernise (NY Times).
  3. London Men’s Spring 2014 Accessories” (NY Times). Slide show.
  4. Shoe Battles — Going Toe-to-Toe in Stilettos“, by Eric Wilson (NY Times). The closing quotation smartly summarizes the article (even if it treads proper grammar underfoot):
  5. “A customer might like what they see,” he said, “and then she turns the shoe over, looks at the price and walks away.”

Read — 2013/06/19

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. N.S.A. Chief Says Surveillance Has Stopped Dozens of Plots“, by Charlie Savage (NY Times).
  2. Protests Widen as Brazilians Chide Leaders“, by Simon Romero (NY Times).
  3. A.M.A. Recognizes Obesity as a Disease“, by Andrew Pollack (NY Times). Despite recommendations to the contrary by the Council on Science and Public Health — which argued that “the measure usually used to define obesity, the body mass index, is simplistic and flawed” — the American Medical Association now officially recognizes obesity as a disease, a move it hopes will cause “physicians [to take] obesity more seriously, counseling their patients about it”. Opponents of the move worry that the classification “could lead to more reliance on costly drugs and surgery rather than lifestyle changes”. One also might wonder what impact the new classification will have on the cost of health care and insurance.
  4. In Bulger’s Underworld, a ‘Judas Was the Worst’“, by Katharine Q. Seelye (NY Times). The rhetoric of “honor and loyalty” remind me of the discussion in Michael Sandel’s Justice lectures.
  5. A Health Maven’s Sweet Secret“, by Martha Rose Shulman (NY Times). In a guilt-free “confession”, Shulman reveals that, in addition to being a source de plaisir in its own right, “[p]astry making has also made me a more mindful cook”. Note to self: Check out recipes by Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sherry Yard.
  6. Humanities Committee Sounds an Alarm“, by Jennifer Schuessler (NY Times). A clarion call to value the humanities as a vital component of higher education, and a push for “a healthier balance of research and teaching”.

Read — 2013/06/18

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Obama Defends Authorization of Surveillance Programs“, by Peter Baker (NY Times). The president sets out to allay concern about the recently leaked media-surveillance program and focus public attention on terror averted.
  2. Firebrand for Science, and Big Man on Campus: On TV and the Lecture Circuit, Bill Nye Aims to Change the World“, by John Schwartz (NY Times). Ever an active advocate for extending scientific knowledge, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) tackles scientific ignorance head-on. Interesting historical tidbits: Nye studied mechanical engineering at Cornell before working at Boeing, and he did some stand-up comedy before hitting big on TV. He draws praise (for his outspoken science) from such folks as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Phil Plait (author of the Bad Astronomy blog on Slate).
  3. Beyond the Brain“, by David Brooks (NY Times). A serendipitous counterpoint to the article on Bill Nye, Brooks argues that (neuro)science will never explain the mind. For a fitting counterpoint to this counterpoint, check out Dr. Paul Bloom’s Introduction to Psychology on Open Yale Courses.