May 11, 2009

Because You Have The Time...

Friends,

This week's, or is it last weeks, whatever, this issue of the New Yorker linked here is a fantastic issue and worth the newsstand price, I believe. Except for the fiction. The fiction in this issue sucks, the worst thing I've read in there, by far, but everything is so, so golden. I'll link the four stories that I particularly loved below:

How David Beats Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I can see why people like this writer and I want to check out his books from reading the two articles of his that have appeared in the New Yorker since I've had a subscription. Anyway, this article is about how underdogs win and while it isn't really a surprise or revelatory information, it's still a good read.

The Art Doctor by Rebecca Mead. Fascinating stuff here about a guy who restores contemporary art, but not like regular paintings, but the weirdo shit that has been made from, well, elephant shit in one instance. You can't read that one for free, but it's cool information and the guy profiled is interesting.

The Instigator by Douglas McGray. This one tickles that public-school teacher nerve in me about how this guy went out and took over a chunk of the Los Angeles public school and made them into better run charter schools. It goes over the commando tactics he performed to pull off the feat and provides an interesting look at what's wrong with American schools and not in a way that makes it a political platitude. This one, too, is not free.

Brain Games by John Colapinto. This one, a profile of a neuroscientist, is friggin awesome. It's worth the magazine alone for me. Kind of makes me want to become a neuroscientist, but I'm too old to start that pursuit now. This article covers really science oddities, like phantom limb pain and how this guy being profiled figured out why phantom limb pain happens (if you listen to RadioLab, you probably know about this guy already as I'm pretty sure he was on there talking about this very thing). Also they talk a little bit about this phenomenon that causes some people who are perfectly healthy crave to amputate a limb...and this guy profiled things he figured out why. It's really a great article and worth your time and dollars.

viva el mustache

1 comment:

Nathan Melcher said...

I read The Tipping Point, parts of Blink, and have a copy of Outliers waiting for me to crack it open. This video from TED Talks featuring Gladwell's talk on spaghetti sauce is great (you should be watching TED Talks regularly anyway, Brian): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiAAhUeR6Y