Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Our Sunday Best: Top Stories from the New York Times

The best of the Sunday stories from national newspapers

After four years of procrastination at Carnegie Mellon, I learned one thing: how to read the newspaper with a discerning eye. Here's what you should be reading:

America the overfull
I visited Iowa this past weekend. As the plane crossed the Mississippi River, I stared in wonderment at the gravel roads and shorn cornfields. The neatly laid plots of land created an unending grid more perfect that a mathematical graph. In this story, Paul Theroux laments America's sprawl and its inexorable homogeneity. His prose is not irritable like the rant of a dimestore Andy Rooney, but that of a mourner seeking peace.
"The overcrowded, much noisier, more hectic, intensely urbanized and vertical world of the present can seem hostile and hallucinatory to anyone who knew America in a simpler form."

Truth, justice, abortion and The Times Magazine
Turns out the pro-lifers are right. The NYT is crazy-in-love with abortion! An April 9 story written by freelancer Jack Hitt for the Times Magazine stated that "a few" El Salvador women had been imprisoned for having abortions. Turns out Hitt's poster-child - Carmen Climaco - was not sentenced to 30 years in jail for aborting her fetus, but rather for strangling the living child she birthed. I believe the punishment given to the recalcitrant magazine editors was 30 lashings. So much for the lessons of Jasyon Blair.

Tested by hardship, the L.A. Lakers' Lamar Odom Presses on with a survivor's instinct
A talented player drafted at age 19, Lamar Odom never completely meet the high expectations set for him by fans, coaches, and teammates. But after his 6 1/2 month-old son died from sudden infant death syndrome in June, a fierce basketball player has emerged. This isn't just a story about the healing powers of immersion in one's work; it's also a story of grace and maturation.

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