Today, Other Magazines flips through Time, the New York Times Magazine, the Economist, Entertainment Weekly, the Believer, and the New Scientist to find out what’s worth your time—and what’s not.
The Believer runs a riotous dialogue between blind humorists Ryan Knighton and Jim Knipfel, who swap stories about getting lost in bar bathrooms, hospitals, attics, and elevators while discussing the impact of blindness on their work. Money quote: “I can’t tell you how many bar sinks I’ve pissed beneath.”—J.M.
The cover story of Time is an article on the iPhone, lauding it as the “Invention of the Year.” Unfortunately, it fails to convince why we should care about yet another media paean to this Apple gadget.—M.S.
The New York Times Magazine confronts former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton with his remark that if the U.N. building in New York lost 10 stories, nothing would be changed. Bolton responds: “Well, you could take several stories off the buildings of most U.S. government agencies and we’d all probably be better for it too.”—G.H.
The Economist’s thought-provoking editorial on the apparent re-emergence of religion in public life opens with this downer: “Next week as Britons celebrate the capture of Guy Fawkes, a Catholic jihadist, under the Houses of Parliament in 1605, they might reflect how dismally modern the Gunpowder Plot and Europe’s wars of religion now seem.”—J.M.
Best Technology Piece
The New York Times Magazine surveys the emergence of God on the Internet, including the Christian God Tube (“Broadcast Him”) and its Jewish and Muslim counterparts. It concludes with a fascinating discussion of the Internet video “The Truth About Islam,” which is, like so much on the Internet, “part atavistic race riot, part religious disputation and part earnest effort at enlightenment.”—G.H.
Fromthe Believer’sin-depth interview with graphic novelist Adrian Tomine, on the subject of readers relating with his work: “On one hand, it’s nice, but at the same time, it’s cold water in the face to realize you’re not nearly as special and unusual as you might have thought when you were an alienated teenager.”—J.M.
The Economist examines Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise and the development of his particular brand of “post-political” governing. But the piece notes that Arnold’s rise was the result of a unique set of circumstances, aided in no small part by the recall election, meaning that “post-politics” will likely end when he leaves office.—J.M.
Best Campaign Piece
Time christens the Ron Paul movement the “nerd revolution.” A Ron Paul supporter says, “He’s about something that American nerd culture can really get on board with: really knowing one subject and going all out on it. … For some people, it’s Star Wars. … For Ron Paul, it’s free-market commodity money.”—M.S.
Best Travel Piece
The Economist visits North Korea and glimpses the bizarre ways in which the isolated country is attempting to generate tourism: “Where in the free world can one see 10,000 children dancing in synchronisation, dressed as eggs?”—J.M.
Entertainment Weekly speaks with Diablo Cody, the former stripper who penned the upcoming movie Juno, about her new life as “a hero among young Hollywood women desperate to play something besides arm candy.” Cody also informs us that Lance Bass uses his MTV Music Award as a toilet paper dispenser and that salads are for “losers and Best Supporting Actresses.”—E.G.
Best Health Piece
The New Scientist reports thatresearchers have discovered why a pregnant woman’s body does not attack the fetus, which contains foreign genetic material from the father: The placenta produces hormones containing the same molecule that parasitic worms use to avoid detection by immune system. These findings may help prevent recurrent miscarriages and pre-eclampsia.—E.G.
Best Sports Piece
The Economist looks at the popularity of English Premier League football in Africa, often to the detriment of the continent’s own home-grown leagues, as a different type of “neo-imperalism” “plunders” African players to play on English teams.—J.M.
Best Photo Spread
Time presents a montage of images from America’s favorite sideline activity:tailgating. There’s a surprising variety of tailgating styles, from Ole Miss’s formal affairs with cocktail dresses and table linens to the classic ice-chest in the back of a pick-up.—M.S.
Best Thanksgiving-Table Factoids
The New Scientist reminds us of Thomas Granger, one of the first people executed in Puritan New England. Granger was put to death in 1642 for having sex with a turkey. The same issue also recounts the top 10 weirdest experiments of all time, including this portayal of the sexual predilections of male turkeys: “[T]he clueless bird waddled up to the model, let out an amorous gobble, and tried to do his thing.”—E.G.