Archive for March 2007

Malcolm Gladwell Comes to Town, Believing as Strongly as Ever in “the Power of a Situation.” You Can Thin-Slice. Or Tip the Point. But He Wants You to Pay Attention

Real estate salespeople hate the sight of me. Well, maybe not all of them. Just the ones who have actually arranged a purchase for Sherry and me.
The problem is my tendency to make a decision on a house’s unsuitability within a couple of seconds of getting anywhere near it. Bippa, bippa—and there I am insisting [...]

We Don’t Yet Have the Kind of Brain that Can Take the Idea of Colonizing Space Seriously. But Stephen Hawking Seems to Be Saying that We Need to Get One

I think I can understand why Stephen Hawking would be perfervidly attracted to the idea of space travel. He’s scheduled to get a smidgen of what it could be like on April 26. Zero Gravity Corporation is giving him a gratis ride above Cape Canaveral on its “vomit comet.” This is a Boeing 727-200 that [...]

The Brain Loves to Make Boxes. Which Explains Why I Discovered the Muslim Yellow Pages at My Favorite Lebanese Restaurant. And Why Box-Making Can Be Such a Dangerous Thing

My favorite menu item at my favorite Lebanese restaurant is the meze platter. It’s a little of this and a little of that: baba ghanouj, hummus, grape leaves with their soft, moist rice filling. All accompanied with fragrant, freshly baked pita bread. Um-um-good!
I was still luxuriating on the aftertaste as we exited and not paying [...]