New Yorker, August 29, 2005

Articles that interest me in some issue of the New Yorker that I read not too long ago even though the date on the magazine may be 10 months past. Sometimes I link to the article or let you know there is no Web version I can find. Sometimes I’m lazy and don’t look. (Hey, I own the magazine already.) [Update: I added the links that I can find or noted ‘no link’.]

Cover (“Beach Bum” by Peter de Séve) It has naked people on it including a really overweight man covered with tatoos of among other things, naked people. Guy’s a good artist and the cover is fascinating. (No frontal nudity below the waist.) (Is this considered NSFW?)

Not a Word (by Henry Alford, p. 32) Encyclopedias include false entries to protect copyright and it’s an old tradition. This piece details an investigation of the New Oxford American Dictionary to discover the false entry given the clue that it is of 3,128 “e” entries.

Right Hook (by Nicholas Lemann, p. 34) [Update: no link available] About Hugh Hewitt, “the Most Famous Conservative Journalist Whom Liberals Have Never Heard Of.” Promotes a biases journalism (because, according to him, that’s all there is) and has a blog. “Hewitt is absolutely unwilling to concede that the work of journalists isn’t deeply affected by their opinions.”

The Moral-Hazard Myth (by Malcolm Gladwell, p. 44) “The bad idea behind our failed health-care system.” An indictment of the US health-care system where we spend, per capita, almost 2.5 times ($5,267) the industrialized world’s median of $2,193 and have a life expectancy lower than the Western average. The ‘moral hazard’ of the title refers to the hazard of providing low-cost or free health coverage and risking that this might promote risky behaviour on the part of the insured person. (Like, I can run with scissors now because my insurance will cover me if I fall and get injured.) A good article as are most of Gladwell’s.

The Shroud of Marin (by Tad Friend, p. 50) [Update: no link available to the article but here is an interview with Friend discussing the piece and over here a nice summary of the piece at the Pruned blog] Tyler Cassidy and green burials in California. A strange story about death.

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