Monthly Archives: March 2011

Stock market-centric coverage of Japan disasters

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Does anyone else feel kind of like news about the stock market not doing well because of the disaster in Japan is kind of like complaining that there’s soot on your pants while your neighbor’s house is on fire?

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: If worrying about the economy in the aftermath of Japan’s recent disasters is like worrying about the soot on your pants when the house is on fire, stop worrying about the soot and start selling fire insurance to everyone in town.

ALLISON REILLY: At least worrying about the economy is more of a rational fear than worrying about the radiation from Japan. Continue reading

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MLB Previews: Diamondbacks, Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Cubs

Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Season: 65-97, Last in NL West
CHRIS PUMMER:
It was more than a bad bullpen that sent the Diamondbacks into a death spiral last season. The starting pitching also left plenty to be desired as…

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New York Times Digital Subscriptions

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Please don’t get me wrong, I absolutely worship the New York Times. I adore the New York Times. Around 30% of the sentences that come out of my mouth begin with the phrase, “Did you see that article in the Times…?” As a New Yorker who currently lives in North Carolina, reading the New York Times reminds me of home. Not only that, but I have long felt guilty for spending many hours each weekend perusing the Times Online. “Why is this free?” I’ve moaned, to many a friend. “I feel like I’m taking advantage of them! This is top-notch, well-researched journalism. I love their columnists. Their website is fabulously well-laid-out and easy to use. I would PAY to read this newspaper online! They should be charging!”

EMILY SAIDEL:There has been a lot of discussion on the web about the New York Times’ imminent paywall. Pros, cons, and commentary abounds. Much of the con falls into two categories 1) that paywalls are anathema to the democratic spirit of the internet 2) that the pricing is too high. This second point is the far more interesting one to me. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Monkeys

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Monkeys recognize their friends in photographs!

In other news, a monkey was fired today because facebook photos it had
been tagged in showing it drinking and partying last weekend were
discovered by management.

AKIE BERMISS: are monkeys getting smarter as we get stupider? is this how the scenario for Planet of the Apes really starts? humans start watching reality television and staying on facebook all day, Monkeys wake up to enlightened consciousness and just push us aside… Continue reading

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In Briefs: Luis Castillo Released

CHRIS PUMMER: Luis Castillo released. Now what?

JESSICA BADER: A brief moment of rejoicing before going back to the reality of what a mess the Mets are. Also, hoping that Daniel Murphy can somehow handle 2nd base despite all evidence to the contrary. Continue reading

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State of the Teacher

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: The whole controversy over taking away collective bargaining rights for teachers in Wisconsin has made me realize the full extent of my naivete as far as teaching is concerned. That is to say, I always thought that teaching was a highly respected profession. How could it not be?! Teachers educate our children, our children are the future, ergo, teachers are helping to build the future.

CHRIS PUMMER: We all know that broad brushstrokes are preferred method of illustration for those with an agenda. And for some, that agenda is dismantling public education as we know it.

It’s only by drawing public servants as caricatures that this idea doesn’t seem radical and perhaps stupid. Continue reading

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The No Way To Win Diner

AKIE BERMISS: I’m no purist. Not by a long shot. But I’m not really a rebel either. This makes for a troubling situation overall, since most purists therefore view me as a rebel and most rebels view me as a purist. Its a numbers game really if you want to know where you wind up on the scale of things. That’s why dining out is hard for me, I have a lot of weird food issues and I’m a persnickety eater over all. I know its declasé to eat with your knife and fork held at the same time, that one should not mix up the various foods on the dish, that one should drink slowly and in conservative sips. And that one should order off the menu and eat it as the Chef designs it to be eaten. That’s why I stay away from the kind of restaurants featured in an article in the New York Times last week — restaurants where the Chef/barista is the law-giver and the customer has no say.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: I’m not suggesting that every restaurant (or any, for that matter) should be inflexible. To the contrary, I think any service industry establishment should be guided by the desires of its customers. Being “puritan” (or just plain unwilling to accommodate patrons) is an enormous risk. It’s less likely to succeed, in the traditional sense, than giving customers what they want. But if you let it go too far, then you risk becoming a doormat, which is also pretty bad.

NAVA BRAHE: I’ve witnessed more than my share of food proclivities over the course of my life, specifically those of my extended family. I have a cousin who is the quintessential picky eater and will likely make a scene in the most easygoing of eateries; yet she will periodically chow down on a Big Mac, fries and a Coke, and then proclaim she’s “hungry” after licking the last of the french fry salt off her fingers. Then, there’s my diabolically certifiable aunt, who’s a food hoarder of a magnitude where someone needs to dispatch an A&E camera crew to track her food-shopping exploits. Me? I eat whatever you put in front of me. I can’t remember the last time I sent back anything at a restaurant that wasn’t to my liking. Continue reading

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Arianna Huffington Vs. Bill Keller

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Bill? STFU. I didn’t even know who you were until I read your
editorial. Arianna? STFU. Your website has Justin Timberlake’s
breakup as a top headline.

AKIE BERMISS: Last week a brief news juggernaut conflagration heaved the blogosphere about for a day or so when the executive editor of the New York Times, Mr. Bill Keller, decided to write an opinion piece that cast aspersions on Arianna Huffington. My understanding is that they don’t really know each other. They’ve met in a business context, done some panels and interviews together, and are — obviously — aware of each other’s work. It was really only a boring, self-congratulatory opinion piece until Huffington decided to respond in kind from her HQ over at the HuffingtonPost. While its entertaining to see two news juggernauts lose all sense of composure and start lobbing grenades at each other — it really isn’t news. And it destroys any prestige we’d built up in our minds about what the executive editor of the New York Times — and other of his ilk — might be like. Continue reading

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Greinke Injury

CHRIS PUMMER: Basketball isn’t a safe sport to dabble in. And if I were being paid millions of dollars to play baseball, I would probably not do anything that would compromise my ability to do that.

At the same time, Greinke’s already got all the money he and his family will ever need coming to him. Maybe gambling a possible $150-200 million payday for the sake of doing whatever the hell he wants right now is just fine with him. Continue reading

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Midwest Mayhem: Wisconsin, Michigan From Here

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: You wouldn’t know it to watch our local news stations, but Michigan’s governor just appointed himself Supreme Ruler of the State. Actually, it’s not quite that bad. It just feels that bad if, like so many Michiganders, you happen to be the product of schooling that taught you America Is Great because of its Mad Democracy Skillz, which allow us to elect the “most electable” person to micromanage our lives. …Well, not anymore.

CHRIS PUMMER: The battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin might have reached a crescendo with Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican majority in the Wisconsin Senate pushing through their agenda. But the echos of discontent among those opposed might reverberate for a long time yet. Continue reading

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