Fascinating reading from recent New Yorkers

1) Amazing feats of Apollo Robbins, a theatrical pickpocket. My favorite part is the description of what happened when Robbins met Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller for the first time. You can also watch Robbins show his methods in this video from The New Yorker website.

2) From a profile of Dr. Oz, “America’s Doctor

“Medicine is a very religious experience,” {Dr. Oz} said. “I have my religion and you have yours. It becomes difficult for us to agree on what we think works, since so much of it is in the eye of the beholder. Data is rarely clean.” All facts come with a point of view. But his spin on it- that one can simply choose those which make sense, rather than data that happen to be true- was chilling. “You find the arguments that support your data,” he said, “and it’s my fact versus your fact.” (emphasis mine)

There is a lot wrong with medicine today but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the way to go.

3) Window washing on some of the tallest skyscrapers in New York City.

4) About the ennui of twenty-somethings:

Sliding into marriage is hardly a new phenomenon, and yet it carries different implications in an age when the alternative is free agency. Like deferring and career-hopping, it is a stay against the burden of active commitment…this trap of choice is a marked difference from the past. Sure, you made hard choices if you were twenty-five in 1976, but not so many, and not with a protracted window. (The Internet, which makes it possible to monitor basically everything going on everywhere, at every moment, doesn’t help.) As Henig puts it, “Choice overload…makes people worry about later regretting the choice they make…sets them up for higher expectations…makes them think about the road not taken…and leads to self-blame if the outcome is bad.”


5) And most interesting of all, an article about the writing life by John McPhee.

In my first three years at Princeton High School, in the late nineteen-forties, my English teacher was Olive McKee, whose self-chosen ratio of writing assignments to reading assignments seems extraordinary in retrospect…Mrs. McKee made us do three pieces of writing a week. Not every single week. Some weeks had Thanksgiving in them. But we wrote three pieces a week most weeks for three years. We could write anything we wanted to, but each composition had to be accompanied by a structural outline, which she told us to do first. It could be anything from Roman numerals I, II, III to a looping doodle with guiding arrows and stick figures. The idea was to build a form of blueprint before working it out with sentences and paragraphs.



2 thoughts on “Fascinating reading from recent New Yorkers

  1. Read some or most of all those articles; it’s what I love and love less about the New Yorker: I love the strange variety of topics, love less that some are so darn long!

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