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Jue Wang
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With ample reason, we often dismiss what comes out of the commercially minded dream factory of Hollywood as simplistic, candied, trivial. Yet “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Lincoln,” another of the year-end movies at the center of the unfolding Oscar race, are dedicated to the ethical ambiguities and messy compromises of governing — to the muck and stink that sometimes go into the effort of keeping this mighty country of ours intact and safe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/bruni-bin-laden-torture-and-hollywood.html?hp&_r=0

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When I visited its headquarters in Copenhagen in June, it was obvious why the company finds it useful to engage autistic consultants. Whenever cellphone makers introduce a new product, there are countless opportunities for glitches. The only way TDC can be sure of catching them is to load the software onto a phone and punch the phone keys over and over again, following a lengthy script of at least 200 instructions. The work is tedious, the information age equivalent of the assembly line, but also important and beyond the capacity of most people to perform well. “You will get bored, and then you will take shortcuts, and then it is worthless,” explained Johnni Jensen, a system technician at TDC.

Steen Iversen, a Specialsterne consultant in bluejeans and a bright red polo shirt, showed me how he tackles the task. Iversen, who is 52 and has worked at TDC for four years, laid out several phones on a desk that also held his computer, two bananas, an apple and lines of lime green Post-it notes. He picked up a phone in one hand and demonstrated his technique, his thumb landing on the buttons in quick succession. But his real advantage is mental: he is exhaustive and relentless. When a script called for sending a “long text message,” Iverson keyed in every character the phone was capable of; it crashed. Another time, he found a flaw that could have disabled a phone’s emergency dialing capability, a problem all previous testers had missed. I asked Iversen how he feels at moments like that, and he gently pumped both fists in the air with a shy smile. “I feel victorious,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/magazine/the-autism-advantage.html

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Maine and Maryland deserve a round of applause and our heartfelt thanks. They were among four states with same-sex-marriage referendums this Election Day, and if official projections are correct, they just approved it at the ballot box, where it had never succeeded before. More than that, they guaranteed an entirely different conversation from now on.

http://bruni.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/maine-and-maryland-say-we-do/

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If there’s a deep driver of the gender gap, it’s usually views about spending and the role of government. Men are more likely to be libertarian, women are more likely to be communitarian, and this creates what Wolbrecht calls a natural “divergence in preferences for social welfare policies.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/douthat-President-Obama-in-Shining-Armor.html

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An interruption takes two — one to start, the other to stop. The New Yorkers in my study assumed that a speaker who wasn’t finished wouldn’t stop just because someone else started. If she does, then she creates the interruption.

What about gender? It’s well documented that women tend to be interrupted more than men, and that women who interrupt others are seen more negatively than men who do. (Some years ago John McLaughlin showed me a tape to illustrate what he’d noticed — that Eleanor Clift was cut off far more often than the men on his show.) But it’s also been found that there are more interruptions in all-women conversations, though the talking-over may be more a talking-along in a lively free-for-all.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/opinion/in-the-debates-interruption-or-interjection.html

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http://bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com/

p.s. i am clearly late to the party here, just saw +Christina Kelly's post of this...

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“When cut,” the cheesemonger Steven Jenkins has written, “it will weep its own whey with a sweet, beckoning, lactic aroma.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/magazine/buffalo-mozzarella-craig-ramini.html

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In an interview, Dr. Gurdon said he had recovered from the setback of his biology teacher’s report with the help of his family and an uncle who studied snails. Asked how he felt about having to wait 50 years for his prize, he said, “I am lucky to be still alive.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/research/cloning-and-stem-cell-discoveries-earn-nobel-prize-in-medicine.html

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I'm pretty sure Office for Mac just exists to make Mac users hate Microsoft, and to spite Windows users for switching to Macs.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/wrap-text-around-an-object-in-powerpoint-2010-HA010338294.aspx
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