Looking Another Culture in the Eye

I try to remember that my own cultural biases continually affect my perceptions. That way, I can focus on understanding behavior in other cultures I encounter, and keep finding the bright eyes in the room. - Erin Meyer

Give Me A Shot Of Maple Syrup, Barkeep

American distillers find that they can create new whiskey drinkers, especially among women, by adding flavors of honey, fruit or maple syrup to the traditional spirit. - Robert Simonson, NYT. Photo by Matt Roth

These are not the droids you are looking for.

In choosing Mr. Thompson, a veteran of television who has spent nearly his entire career at the BBC, The Times reached outside its own company, its own industry and even its own country to find a leader to guide it in an uncharted digital future.

“We have people who understand print very well, the best in the business,” Mr. Sulzberger said in the interview. “We have people who understand advertising well, the best in the business. But our future is on to video, to social, to mobile. It doesn’t mirror what we’ve done. It broadens what we are going to do.”

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. discussing newly named New York Times CEO Mark Thompson.

(Source: The New York Times)

Sunday Brunch with Roy Choi

Roy Choi is the dharma bum of the Los Angeles food scene, a Zen lunatic bard of the city’s immigrant streets. He is a founder of Kogi BBQ, which used food trucks to introduce the city to Mexican mash-up cuisine, and the creative force behind a handful of Los Angeles restaurants that celebrate various iterations of big-flavor cooking at the intersection of skater, stoner, lowrider and Korean college-kid desire. - Sam Sifton, NYT

A Daughter of Kronos

It’s still hard to picture the ubiquitous Kronos Quartet without Joan Jeanrenaud. For 20 years there they were: three hip-nerdy guys and one willowy, glamorous woman. - John Rockwell, NYT. Photo by Annie Tritt.

At Rest.

Anthony Shadid, a gifted foreign correspondent whose graceful dispatches for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Associated Press covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict and turmoil, died, apparently of an asthma attack, on Thursday while on a reporting assignment in Syria. Tyler Hicks, a Times photographer who was with Mr. Shadid, carried his body across the border to Turkey. - Rick Gladstone, NYT, Photo-Ed Ou for NYT

Alan Lomax, the original field recorder, goes global.

The folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax was a prodigious collector of traditional music from all over the world and a tireless missionary for that cause. Long before the Internet existed, he envisioned a “global jukebox” to disseminate and analyze the material he had gathered during decades of fieldwork.

- Larry Rohter/NYT, Photo by Alan Lomax

Brilliance, At Rest.

Eiko Ishioka, a designer who brought an eerie, sensual surrealism to film and theater, album covers, the Olympics and Cirque du Soleil, in the process earning an Oscar, a Grammy and a string of other honors, died on Saturday in Tokyo. She was 73. - NYT, Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

Innovating By The Seat Of Our Pants;

In fact, it is now usually cheaper to just try something than to sit around and try to figure out whether to try something. The product map is now often more complex and more expensive to create than trying to figure it out as you go. - Joi Ito, M.I.T. Media Lab, NYT

Fewer than 2 percent of the 47,000 members of the United States Chess Federation are masters — and just 13 of them are under the age of 14.

ChesstestPosition after 37 … Bc6; click to replay

Among that select group of prodigies are three black players from the New York City area — Justus Williams, Joshua Colas and James Black Jr. — who each became masters before their 13th birthdays.

Just like giving a hand grenade to a child…

The smartphone market in the U.S. is officially blown up! - N.Y. Times

Nielsen’s third-quarter survey of mobile phone users found that 43 percent of them have upgraded to a smartphone. For mobile users below the age of 44, the smartphone is speeding toward mass adoption.

“This is a wake-up call for potential advertisers waiting for a tipping point for mobile media or for smartphones to reach the majority,” said Don Kellogg, director of telecom research and insights at Nielsen. “We’re already there with certain segments – 62 percent of those ages 25 to 34 already have smartphones. That’s critical mass.”

(Source: The New York Times)

"The Duel" - NYT

IT was a perfectly peaceful late summer evening in downtown Manhattan, but a few steps off the sidewalk on Broome Street, two swordsmen tilted heavy Spanish rapiers at each other. Each keenly focused on the other’s three-foot-long steel blade. After a circular, predatory dance, they clashed, laying into each other with a great clanking as furious overhead chops led to slices toward the torso.

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