Sunday, April 8
A history of the cell phone ringtone.
Many recent hip-hop songs make terrific ringtones because they already sound like ringtones. The polyphonic and master-tone versions of “Goodies,” by Ciara, for example, are nearly identical. Ringtones, it turns out, are inherently pop: musical expression distilled to one urgent, representative hook. As ringtones become part of our environment, they could push pop music toward new levels of concision, repetition, and catchiness.
Saturday, April 7
How the golfer hasn’t changed, post-scandal.
Try as his publicity squad might, it's tough to maintain—or now restore—the Tiger Image when former insiders sprout secret-sharing campaigns. "It's always a divorce," David Feherty, longtime commentator and golf-gab-show host, told me recently. "Tiger expects the curtains to remain drawn, and when somebody opens them, it pisses him off. He has appeared superhuman for so long, and it's like he feels the need to perpetuate that myth."
Friday, April 6
The complicated case of Brigitte Harris, who, after years of abuse, accidentally killed her father by cutting off his penis.
How movies, music and literature reproduce the disaster.
Why dealing with the IRS is so difficult – and the woman charged with making it easier:
[Nina] Olson noted that the IRS relied on computers to audit all but the highest-income brackets. “We’re getting to a situation where the only people who will get face-to-face audits are the 1 Percent,” she said. “For the majority of taxpayers, the IRS has become faceless, nameless, with no accountability and no liability.”
An anonymous essay on time spent in “protective custody” at a Nazi camp.
Thursday, April 5
The inside story of Pennsylvania’s governor and the fall of Joe Paterno.
He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife, and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to a bed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic.