‘A man got to have a code.’


I wasn’t causing anybody harm, unless it was people I did not like who were Communists.”

via William Stevenson, 89, Dies – Wrote About Espionage – NYTimes.com.



Here’s the bad news about all that good news.


Even if anti-aging research could give us radically longer lives someday, though, should we even be seeking them?

via On Dying After Your Time – NYTimes.com.


When the good economic news is the same as the bad.


We have, he suggested, an economy whose normal condition is one of inadequate demand — of at least mild depression — and which only gets anywhere close to full employment when it is being buoyed by bubbles.

via A Permanent Slump? – NYTimes.com.


The Sunday obituary No. 10


“A lot of people know who Jonas Salk is, but they should know William Pollack’s name, too. This disease was a major, major problem, and it’s been virtually eradicated.”

via William Pollack Dies at 87 – His Vaccine Saved Infants – NYTimes.com.


Ingenious business models


The drug will be manufactured by the same company, Alkermes, that makes a popular medication called Vivitrol, used to treat patients addicted to painkillers or alcohol. In addition, the company provides financial support to a leading professional group that represents substance abuse expert…

via Addiction Specialists Wary of New Painkiller – NYTimes.com.

“This pipe is buried under the streets of every major city in the country,”

via Jury Finds Pipe Maker Defrauded Governments – NYTimes.com.

On leadership


“I don’t even remember. Some of the stuff that you guys have seen me — the state I’ve been in? It’s a problem.”

via Toronto Mayor Admits Smoking Crack, but Won’t Step Down – NYTimes.com.

“What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers.”

via After Plagiarism Charges, Paul Announces Office Restructuring – NYTimes.com.


Getting used to getting malaria


…thanks to the immunity acquired through continuous exposure, she is much less likely to die of it. For her and millions of other adults in sub-Saharan Africa’s malaria-ridden heartland, the disease becomes something that comes and goes on its own.

via Sonia Shah | Inside the Troubled Global Campaign to Eradicate Malaria | Foreign Affairs.


Wake up!


It was only in 1956 that General Electric-Telechron released the Snooz-Alarm, which came equipped with a control bar for snoozing. Westclox released their Drowse Alarm three years later, which featured the choice between snoozing for five minutes and 10 minutes. There is so much more truth in advertising with drowse than snooze, since what you get with each interval is less like sleeping and more like drowsing—a pitiful mix of hazy, haunted wakefulness.The original Snooz-Alarm had a nine-minute snooze, which became the standard, though there is not much consensus about what dictated that arbitrary interval. There is some speculation that engineers were constrained by mechanical gears and had to choose between complicated double-digit intervals and the easier nine-minute dose. Nine minutes was the most you could get without designing a more sophisticated mechanism. For all the customizable features of modern alarms, from radio stations, specific songs, a multitude of tones, user-recorded messages, it’s surprising that no one has allowed us the freedom of timing our own snoozing for something less regulated than nine minutes.A stitch in time may save nine, but every nine minutes of snooze wastes a little slice of our lives. Since 1956, we have been confusing snooze for sleep, sacrificing our waking life nine minutes at a time. Not only do we delay the start of our days, but we compromise the very sleep we are trying to steal. The healthy, continuous sleep cycles we need are thoroughly disrupted by the snooze. When we hear the first sound of the alarm, our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that wake us, interrupting our natural sleep cycle to make us alert.

via The Devil Is in Your Snooze Button.


On epidemics


By 2030, according to the Global Burden of Disease study, road accidents will be the fifth leading cause of death in the developing world, ahead of malaria, tuberculosis and H.I.V.

via Africa’s Trauma Epidemic – NYTimes.com.


A look at what must be the saddest mice in the world.


So far, the technique has been tested only in mice, but it has managed to grow hairs on human skin grafted onto the animals.

via New Technique Holds Promise for Hair Growth – NYTimes.com.