A speech on the value of being alone with your thoughts, delivered to the plebe class at West Point.
Sunday, January 1
Notes from a wedding: In the age of digital music and the relative bargain of a single DJ, wedding singer Kenney Holmes is determined to keep it real
Because business ebbs and flows with the seasons and the economy, Holmes, who lives in Upper Marlboro, has always kept a variety of sidelines, including a job driving a limousine for nine years to put his oldest daughter through a private high school and college. These days, at gigs, he hands out a stack of million-dollar "bills" printed with his image and his current enterprises: bandleader, commercial mortgage broker, hard money lender (slogan: "Hard Money with a Soft Touch").
Saturday, December 31
A step-by-step proposal for fixing the broken economics of big-time college sports.
The writer contemplates beauty and identity following reconstructive surgery.
There was a long period of time, almost a year, during which I never looked in a mirror. It wasn’t easy, for I’d never suspected just how omnipresent are our own images. I began by merely avoiding mirrors, but by the end of the year I found myself with an acute knowledge of the reflected image, its numerous tricks and wiles, how it can spring up at any moment: a glass tabletop, a well-polished door handle, a darkened window, a pair of sunglasses, a restaurant’s otherwise magnificent brass-plated coffee machine sitting innocently by the cash register.
Friday, December 30
How an up-and-coming Boston surgeon became best known for leaving a patient on the operating table while he skipped out to cash a check.
Tim Masters becomes the main suspect in a gruesome Colorado murder; he’s eventually convicted thanks the work of a revered detective. Then the case unravels: DNA proves another man committed the crime.
The story of eight young people who died in a New Orleans squat fire.
Thursday, December 29
The transcript from an lecture presented by In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture-capital arm, on the ethics of drones, military robots, and cyborg soldiers.
On a child diagnosed with autism:
The worst part was that I knew he sensed it, too. In the same way that I know when he wants vegetable puffs or puréed fruit by the subtle pitch of his cries, I could tell that he also perceived the change—and feared it. At night he was terrified to go to bed, needing to hold my fingers with one hand and touch my face with the other in order to get the few hours of sleep he managed. Every morning he was different. Another word was gone, another moment of eye contact was lost. He began to cry in a way that was untranslatable. The wails were not meant as messages to be decoded; they were terrified expressions of being beyond expression itself.