roundup of rando ny times stories.

I’ve been neglecting the blog for a few days, but there have been several NY Times articles that I’ve wanted to post about. Let’s just do a roundup of the best ones:

  • It’s insulting — and unhealthy — to call elderly people by demeaning terms like “sweetie” and “dear.” Stick to the traditional, factual labels like “John McCain.” [NY Times]
  • An a cappella group from Indiana University has been reunited after ten years to sign a five-album record deal with Atlantic Records. Craig Killman, the chairman and chief executive of Atlantic, discovered the group on YouTube and smelled potential. The group, called Straight No Chaser, will be coming out with a holiday album at the end of October, and they may be touring with headliners like Josh Groban and Michael Bublé. Not too shabby for a group of guys who thought they’d never sing again. I’m not one of those ex-coeds who is obsessed with a cappella, I swear, but this story is worth reading. [NY Times]
  • Seriously, WHY ON EARTH would it be a bad thing for our president to be “elite”? I want my president to be about a million times smarter than me. I tend to have mixed feelings about Maureen Dowd, but she had a great column a few days ago. This paragraph alone is pure snarky genius: “Darn right. And that, doggone it, brings us to a shout-out for the latest virtuoso of Frontier Baroque, bless her heart, the governor of the Last Frontier. Her reward’s in heaven.” You betcha. [NY Times]
  • And a few days ago, this was the “On This Day in History” thinger at the end of my daily headlines: “On October 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.” I’m not going to pretend to know a lot about anything, really, but there are still lots of starving people in the world, and still a lot of livestock in America that eat shit tons of grain each day. Basically, people around the world starve because we think it’s more of a priority to feed animals that we can slaughter and eat. Yes, I know it’s not quite that simple, but it’s worth thinking about. (And no, I’m not a vegetarian, but I’ve cut back my meat-eating by about 75% in the past month.) Just take a look at this fact from the 2004 book The New Consumers, by Norman Myers and Jennifer Kent: “If each American cut his or her meat consumption by just 5% (roughly the same as eating one less meat dish a week), that would save enough grain to make up the diets of 150 million malnourished people.” Chew on that one.
[Posted by Mallory]


Filed under animals, music, news, politics, thoughts, YouTube

5 responses to “roundup of rando ny times stories.

  1. brownisgreen

    There is no grain shortage. Last year we ended up with 1.6 BILLION bushels of surplus corn. Surplus. Extra. The grain commodities market is being artificially manipulated to keep prices high. Who suffers? The world’s poor. Truly shameful. Why? More Wall St. greed. Surprised? No.
    But yes, corn to feed beef is a waste. It takes 9 lbs of corn to make 1 lb of beef, etc, blah blah…
    Check out this insanely informative audio blip. Well worth the time.

  2. Mallory

    Very interesting clip. Thanks, brownisgreen.

  3. Mya

    Wow, I didn’t know about that little fact concerning President Truman – I wonder how successful that was…

    There are many initiatives today that are asking people to voluntarily cut back on their meat consumption. I actually work for a public health campaign called Meatless Monday where we advocate going meatless to cut back on your saturated fat intake by 15% (one day out of 7) and thereby reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, four of the leading causes of death in the U.S.

    Cutting back on meat will also reduce your carbon footprint and the statistics on how meat consumption affects the environment are incredibly shocking. For instance, according to Environmental Defense – if every American replaced one chicken meal per week with a vegetarian one, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads. (

    The reason I found the story about President Truman asking Americans to cut back on meat interesting is that recently there have been questions raised as to whether initiatives based on voluntary participation will work. In fact, a report published by Surrey University in the UK calls for the government to begin rationing meat and dairy in order to slow climate change because “campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail”. (that article is here:

    Just something interesting to think about…obviously the post war climate changes circumstances and people were probably accustomed to making bigger sacrifices. Will they do the same for their own health or for the planet?

  4. Beck

    Insomniac is one of my all time favorite songs. I used to listen to Straight No Chaser’s version online all of the time… I even had it bookmarked for about 3 months sophomore year. It’s crazy that they have a record deal.

  5. Pingback: oh jesus, i am andy bernard. « six words to change the world.

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