This may have been the thinnest NYTimes Magazine section of the summer, but it contained a plethora of interesting, eclectic articles. Some of my favorites are below.
The Political Brain: A great article examining Democratic versus Republican political values and if there’s anything neuroscience can tell us about the strong differences. “Why do people vote against their immediate interests? Why do blue-collar Republicans and limousine liberals exist?”
A Spoonful of Attitude: Great piece on Vitaminwater. I’ve seen people drinking this and I’ve always wondered what the back-story is. These are flavored drinks. “‘I’ve actually been in business meetings where people brought six different flavors,” Frankel says, ”and looked around and said: ‘Here, Jim, you need some Focus. And you, you need Balance.’ Bikoff, not surprisingly, has a different theory to explain Vitaminwater’s appeal. He says that the idea came to him when he was washing down a vitamin-C tablet with bottled water: Combine the two. And skip the pretense that drinking the stuff will help you medal in the decathlon. ”My sport is my life,” Bikoff says, meaning the sport of running to catch planes and make meetings; that’s the playing field most of us live on, and that’s what dictates the nutrients we need. ”Vitaminwater works,” he continues. ”It helps people get more out of their day. Nutrients. Actually. Work.”
Chickspeak – A funny On Language column…some sample definitions include: Blamestorming n. A meeting whose sole purpose is to discuss why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible. E-mauling v. Stalking someone via e-mail. Gu adj. Pronounced ”goo.” Acronym for geographically undesirable. (”Great guy and all, but totally GU — he lives all the way in Boerum Hill!”) Guyatus n. A hiatus from guys. (”Thanks, but no thanks. I’m kind of on guyatus.”) Mouse potato n. The wired generation’s answer to the couch potato. Stray n. A heterosexual male who everyone secretly thinks is gay. Whore d’oeuvre n. A slutty girl who is always the first to arrive at a party. Yellular adj. The loudness you adopt in response to a bad cellphone connection, in the misguided hope that talking louder will improve the connection. (”I’m so embarrassed. I went totally yellular at a restaurant last night.”)