Slideshow: Saudi Arabian Women Defy the Driving Ban
June 18, 2011
On Friday the women of Saudi Arabia staged a protest against the nation’s unwritten but often brutally enforced rule that only men may drive. The protest was called for by activist Manal al-Sharif, a 32-year-old Internet consultant for the state-run oil company Aramco. Al-Sharif had been arrested on May 21 after posting this video of herself driving on YouTube. In late May Al-Sharif had also posted messages on Twitter and Facebook calling for a nationwide protest on June 17.
Hawk Cam: What Are We Looking for When We Watch Birds?
June 15, 2011
For the better part of this spring, as I write or look at websites or putter around at home, I’ve kept open in a corner of my screen the Hawk Cam run by the City Desk at The New York Times. The red-tailed hawks, christened Violet and Bobby—like all reality TV stars, they have both a Facebook page and a Twitter feed—built their nest over the winter on a ledge outside the office of NYU’s president; in March, Violet laid three eggs. I started watching in late April, when the City Room blog announced that the eggs were about to hatch.
Mitt Romney’s coming off quite a good week and a half. Last month’s depressing job numbers bolstered his desired narrative about being the man most suited to save the economy, his opponents have largely (and inexplicably) shied away from taking potshots at his Massachusetts health care bill, and he looked far and away the most presidential of all the candidates in Monday’s GOP debate. Yet after talking to conservative activists over the past week, I’m by no means convinced that he is in the clear.
May 28, 2011
On Tuesday, Representative Patrick McHenry called Elizabeth Warren a liar. Twice. As Obama’s advisor for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren has grown accustomed to conservative ire. But this grew personal. First, while chairing a House subcommittee hearing, the North Carolina Republican accused Warren of misleading testimony. Then, after she testified, she asked to be excused for another meeting, which she claimed to have previously discussed with the congressman’s staff.
The Love of Monopoly
May 19, 2011
Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications By Richard R. John (Belknap Press, 520 pp., $39.95) Once upon a time, some thought it obvious that competition was a bad thing, particularly in communications. As Theodore Vail, the president of AT&T, put it in 1913, “The public as a whole has never benefited” from competition. Monopoly, he said, was the better choice. The reason, he argued, is that “all costs of aggressive, uncontrolled competition are eventually borne, directly or indirectly, by the public.” Nowadays corporate executives carefully avoid expressing such sentiments.
LinkedIn vs. Facebook: Showdown
May 18, 2011
LinkedIn is the name on everyone's lips today on Wall Street. The business-focused social networking site announced it will be offering shares at an initial price of $45, with LinkedIn valued at $4.3 billion. Some market watchers think the price is too high, but others believe LinkedIn could lead another round of big internet IPOs. (When the company initially announced its IPO, observers expected a valuation of $2 billion, and in early May LinkedIn was still predicted to be valued at $3 billion; in the past week, the IPO price has gone up $10.
You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Hurl
May 18, 2011
“You know her,” Debbie Harry croons in the song that plays over the opening credits to Bridesmaids. “Her,” in this case, is Annie (Kristen Wiig), whom we’ve just seen, in the movie’s first scene, having bad sex with a pretty-boy cad (Jon Hamm) and then sneaking into the bathroom at the crack of dawn to reapply her makeup so that he’ll still find her attractive when he wakes up.
May 11, 2011
-- Michael Kazin unloads on Mitch Daniels. -- The strange fall of Sarah Palin -- The new Civilization game on Facebook sounds awful
The Long Shot
May 10, 2011
The Republican presidential race is fast resembling World War II baseball, when 4-Fs roamed the outfield, the ball lost its bounce because of the rubber shortage, and sportswriters found it hard to imagine that any team could win the World Series.
May 05, 2011
Bridges and streets. The neon like candy. Brake lights blooming in rain. Rain. Concrete. Long live the concrete of cities. Spoon. Chair. Bed, bread, and stitch. This language of the house. Blond light across the mirror. Soap. Salt shaker. The ginger of you. The cream of you. The eyes and bones. The scratch-and-sniff of you. The back. The back of the hand. Crickets and prairie. The trees standing like husbands. The gold grass moving, the pelt of earth. The fence-posts like souls. Lunch at midnight, dinner at breakfast, graveyard and swing. Machine that is the father’s pet.