Tagged: malcolm gladwell

The Food Truck Scourge

Los Angeles is lousy with food trucks at the moment. Thanks to a collision of social- and mass-media fawning, they’ve earned all the valuable trend labels (“hot,” “in,” etc.), transcending their utilitarian function and entering the lofty realm of Culturally Significant Phenomena. No longer do these Winnebago-sized mobile restaurants simply serve workers at construction sites...

The God Enigma

With the help of advanced telescopic technology, astronomers are now able to see into the past more deeply than ever before. What they’re finding, according to the capsule reports in the newspaper, is a universe that is larger and more crowded with Earth-like objects than previously understood. If you believe in old-fashioned notions like mathematics,...

No Free Parking

The idea behind Congestion Pricing is to charge people more to use things — city streets, toll roads, cellphones — during peak times. By raising the cost you reduce demand, freeing up more space. And if demand stays constant you earn higher revenue and then raise the price some more. Such programs are in place...

Why I Wrote “Reefer Gladness”

My new book, coming out in a couple of months, is about marijuana. Fans of my gambling and golf and dog books have been wondering what gives. Why this? Aside from not wanting to repeat myself, I sought a subject that’s moving to the forefront of our ongoing cultural conversation, a subject about which people...

Australia Going to Hell

When Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister last week she quickly earned international headlines (and a congratulatory call from President Obama). Being a woman was the easy part. Gillard overcame an obstacle far more troublesome than her gender: She doesn’t believe in God.  “No, I don’t,” she told an interviewer at Australia’s national...

Mission to Mars

It’s a big universe out there. We’ve all looked skyward, trying vainly to gauge the distance to a star, mesmerized by the immensity of space and the comically irrelevant role we play in the Grand Scheme of Things. We’ve all imagined that somewhere out there in the twinkling infinity something awaits us. We’ve gone to...

Marijuana Lies: Rebuttal Central

California could change the course of American History in November. Proponents of legalizing marijuana use, possession, cultivation, and distribution have successfully placed on the ballot a referendum that would end nearly a century of ignorance and injustice. Currently, one must be “sick” to own and use marijuana. If the law passes, everyone will be entitled...

Remix Manifesto

1. Culture always builds on the past. Whether it was composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt using Gypsy melodies in his compositions, Metallica borrowing song structures from Diamond Head or The Rolling Stones recording Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” as a “traditional, arranged by Keith Richards,” composers have always used previous works as inspiration for...

The Time to Care About Disaster Victims

President Obama sent us an email a few days ago, and this time it wasn’t to ask for monetary support of his healthcare reform boondoggle. He was asking us (and the millions of others on his OFA database) to help Haitians. He wrote: “Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home,...

Underfed and Overpopulated

For Americans drowning in super-sized sodas, bursting with high-calorie fat bombs from the Dollar Menu, and dying from generally too much of everything except self-discipline, it may be hard to understand that a large portion of the planet’s population doesn’t have enough to eat. If the projections are to be believed, it’s only going to...