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kottke.org posts about NY Times

Free Errol!

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2009

For some dumbcrap reason, the NY Times has redirected Errol Morris’ excellent blog about photography and the truth — formerly at http://morris.blogs.nytimes.com — to some new thing called Opinionator. They did the same with Dick Cavett, Olivia Judson, etc. Oh, all the content is still there — here’s Morris’ stuff — and permalinks redirect, but there are no author-specific RSS feeds. There is only the main feed, which started shoveling a bunch of crap I didn’t want to read into my newsreader. Come on Gray Lady, just give me Morris; I don’t care about the rest.

Update: The Times blogs are on Wordpress and with WP you can add “/feed” to any URL and get a feed. So here’s Morris’ feed…which helps you and me but not much of anyone else. (thx, mark)

Update: The Times is working on it. (thx, benjamin)

From the Babe to Matsui

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 06, 2009

Larry Granillo explores how the Yankees’ World Series victories have been covered by the New York Times through the years.

New NY Times restaurant critic

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 05, 2009

The NY Times has named their replacement for outgoing restaurant critic Frank Bruni: current Times editor Sam Sifton. This is good news for me…I look a bit like Sifton; if I’m mistaken for him and incur favorable treatment at restaurants because of it, I won’t complain.

Update: Many many updates on Sifton and his appointment: from the Times itself on the transition, on restaurant critics and anonymity, and on Sifton’s preparation for the gig (more here); Ed Levine thinks Sifton is going to be good; and Eater has a dossier on Sifton.

Best correction ever?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 20, 2009

On July 17, 1969, The New York Times issued a correction related to an editorial the paper published in 1920 that dismissed the idea of rocket travel in the vacuum of space. The editorial read, in part:

That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react — to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high school.

The correction stated:

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Issac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.

The Times regrets the error! Wish I’d written that next to a few muffed physics exam questions. Here’s a pretty good explanation of why rockets work in vacuums. (via @davidfg)

New NY Times photoblog

posted by Jason Kottke   May 18, 2009

The NY Times kicks off their new photography blog with a video that shows just how short White House photo ops are.

When a photo-op is scheduled, the photographers, camera operators and reporters gather in the colonnade outside the Oval Office and wait — sometimes it can be as long as an hour — shuffling feet and making nervous small talk until the flutter of the fingers of the young staffer who calls, “Pool.”

No vending machine for crows

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 12, 2009

Remember the story about the vending machine for crows in the NY Times Magazine’s Year in Ideas issue from December? Turns out that there were all sorts of things wrong with that story.

In addition, the article said that Klein was working with graduate students at Cornell University and Binghamton University to study how wild crows make use of his machine, which does exist. Klein did get a professor at Binghamton to help him try it out twice in Ithaca, with assistance from a Binghamton graduate student, and it was not a success. Corvid experts who have since been interviewed have said that Klein’s machine is unlikely to work as intended.

Update: I had forgotten…Klein did a talk at TED last year about his crow vending machine. I wonder if there’s a retraction forthcoming from there as well. (thx, michael)

The Year in Ideas

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 15, 2008

The NY Times has posted their annual Year in Ideas collection for 2008, packaged this year in an “interactive feature”, which is Esperanto for “no permalinks”. A favorite so far in paging through is Tokujin Yoshioka’s Venus Natural Crystal Chair, a piece of furniture grown in mineral water.

Update: Permalinks are a go. I repeat, permalinks are a go. Here’s the one for the crystal chair. (thx, everyone)

Obama is big news at the NY Times

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 06, 2008

Wednesday was the only the fourth time that the NY Times used 96 pt. type for the headline on the front page of the paper. In chronological order:

MEN WALK ON MOON
NIXON RESIGNS
U.S. ATTACKED
OBAMA

The Wednesday edition of the Times was very popular. It was sold out all over the city so people lined up outside the Times’ building to buy copies. Copies are available on eBay for $100 or more.

Update: The Times used 96 pt. type for the front page headline on at least one other occasion: January 1, 2000. I wonder if there are others. (thx, jeff)

Update: The Times is selling copies of the Nov 5 paper on their site but it’s currently being hammered by buyers so maybe try again in a few hours? (thx, matt)

NY Times endorses Obama

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 24, 2008

In a huge shocker, the NY Times has endorsed Barack Obama for President. They also have an interactive feature that shows the newspaper’s past endorsements, from Lincoln in 1860 to the last Republican candidate endorsed, Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

According to Editor and Publisher, Obama is leading McCain in newspaper endorsements by more than 2-to-1, including most of the major papers. Obama: LA Times, NY Times, Sacramento Bee, SF Chronicle, SJ Mercury, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, NY Daily News, The Houston Chronicle. McCain: San Diego Union-Tribune, Tampa Tribune, Boston Herald, New York Post, Dallas Morning News, The Detroit News.

How to solve crossword puzzles

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 19, 2008

NY Times resident crossword puzzle master Will Shortz on how to solve the NY Times crossword puzzle.

Mental flexibility is a great asset in solving crosswords. Let your mind wander. The clue “Present time” might suggest nowadays, but in a different sense it might lead to the answer yuletide. Similarly, “Life sentences” could be obit, “Inside shot” is x-ray and my all-time favorite clue, “It turns into a different story” (15 letters), results in the phrase SPIRAL STAIRCASE.

Book ads, 1962-1973

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 01, 2008

A collection of old book ads from the NY Times.

We’re going to begin this project with a look at the country’s golden age of book advertisements, which ran from roughly 1962-73. Why those dates? The books - and the ads for them - were terrific: fresh, pushy, serious and wry, often all at the same time. There was a new sense of electricity in the culture and in the book world.

The authors featured include Alice Walker, Cormac McCarthy, Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, and Susan Sontag.

NY Times = a more upscale Vogue

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2008

Paul Krugman on the how the NY Times makes its money.

The New York Times is known for its hard news coverage, but he observes that from a business perspective it’s primarily a fashion and food publication that runs a small political news operation on the side. One issue of T Magazine, he says, pays for an entire NYT European bureau.

News by geography

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2008

A map of the world as reported by the New York Times. Countries are color coded by the amount of times they are mentioned in the Times, per capita. Greenland, Iraq, New Zealand, Iceland, and Panama are disproportionally represented.

TimesMachine launches

posted by Jason Kottke   May 22, 2008

After a stutter step back in late February, NY Times releases their slick archive browser, TimesMachine. Here’s the announcement from the team that put it together.

TimesMachine is a collection of full-page image scans of the newspaper from 1851-1922 (i.e., the public domain archives). Organized chronologically and navigated by a simple calendar interface, TimesMachine provides a unique way to traverse the historical archives of The New York Times. Topics ranging from the Civil War to the sinking of the Titanic to the first cross-country auto race to women’s fashions in the 20s are just a few electronic flips away. And of course, there’s the advertisements.

Unfortunately, full access to the archives through TimesMachine is only available to subscribers. (via fimoculous)

Khoi Vinh, design director of NYTimes.com

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 21, 2008

Khoi Vinh, design director of NYTimes.com and Subtraction, will be answering questions from readers all this week. Look for Khoi’s initial responses later in the day and week.

Our collective recent history, online

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 27, 2008

In past few years, several prominent US magazines and newspapers have begun to offer their extensive archives online and on DVD. In some cases, this includes material dating back to the 1850s. Collectively it is an incredible record of recent human history, the ideas, people, and events that have shaped our country and world as recorded by writers, photographers, editors, illustrators, advertisers, and designers who lived through those times. Here are some of most notable of those archives:

Harper’s Magazine offers their entire archive online, from 1850 to 2008. Most of it is only available to the magazine’s subscribers. Associate editor Paul Ford talks about how Harper’s archive came to be.

The NY Times provides their entire archive online, most of it for free. Most of the stories from 1923 to 1986 are available for a small fee. The Times briefly launched an interface for browsing their archive called TimesMachine but withdrew it soon after launch.

Time Magazine has their entire archive online for free, from 1923 to the present.

Sports Illustrated has all their issues online for free, dating back to 1954.

The Atlantic Monthly offers all their articles since Nov 1995 and a growing number from their archive dating back to 1857 for free. For a small fee, most of the rest of their articles are available as well, although those from Jan 1964 - Sept 1992 are not.

The Washington Post has archives going back to 1877. Looks like most of it is for pay.

The New Yorker has free archives on their site going back to 2001, although only some of the articles are included. All of their articles, dating back to 1925, are available on The Complete New Yorker DVD set for $40.

Rolling Stone offers some of their archive online but the entire archive (from 1967 to 2007) is available as a 4-DVD set for $79.

Mad Magazine released a 2-DVD set of every issue of the magazine from 1952-2006.

And more to come…old media is slowly figuring out that more content equals more traffic, sometimes much more traffic.

Update: Nature has their entire archive online, dating back to 1869. (thx, gavin)

The NY Times launches TimesMachine, an alternate

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2008

The NY Times launches TimesMachine, an alternate look into their vast online archive. It’s basically an interface into every single page of the newspaper from Sep 18, 1851 to Dec 30, 1922. The advertising on these old pages is fascinating.

Update: For whatever reason, the Times has taken TimesMachine offline.

An official decision has been reached in

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2008

An official decision has been reached in the Long Bet between Dave Winer and Martin Nisenholtz of the NY Times. The bet was made in 2002 when Winer asserted that:

In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 02007, weblogs will rank higher than the “New York Times” Web site

Winer won the bet but it’s worth noting that the Times has a growing stable of good blogs itself. (via workbench)

“Where’s Andy Warhol?”

posted by Choire Sicha   Jan 14, 2008

In 1984, Maureen Dowd, now an op-ed columnist, was a reporter on the “Metropolitan staff” of the New York Times. This excerpt (from a 5112-word piece) ran in the Times magazine on November 4, 1984, with the headline “9PM TO 5AM.” (It’s behind the paywall here.)

On Monday nights, Area offers ”obsession” nights—with fixations such as sex, pets and body oddities. At a recent ”sex evening,” nude jugglers and whip dancers moved in and out of the crowd while an ex-nun heard sexual confessions in the ladies’ room and an old man played with inflatable dolls in a pool.

This evening, the theme is ”confinement,” and the club is decorated with dolls in pajamas chained under water, a caged rabbit and go-go dancers armed with guns and dressed in Army fatigues.

”Where’s Andy Warhol?” asks a young punk, dragging on a joint and scanning the crowd. ”I want to get a good look at him.”

”I think he went to Limelight,” says his friend. At Limelight, a church- turned-club on the Avenue of the Americas at 20th Street, halolike arcs of light stream from stained-glass windows.

”We should go there,” says someone else.

”We should go there immediately,” says another.

They scurry off to Limelight, unaware that their quarry, wearing corduroys and a backpack, is standing unobtrusively at the bar.

”This is the best bar in town,” Andy Warhol says. ”You could take everything out and put it in a gallery.”

Matt Dillon, Vincent Spano and Mickey Rourke, each confident in his role as a teen idol, make their separate ways through the crowd, as young girls reach out to touch their arms, backs, anything. Director Francis Ford Coppola is talking to the actress Diane Lane.

Nearby, Don Marino, an up-and-coming actor, is talking to Brian Jones, an up-and-coming director. ”L.A. is a whole different world,” the actor says. ”You go to the A party, the B party and you are home in bed by 11 for your 5 o’ clock call the next morning. In New York, you’ve got to be seen at night, you’ve got to get around.”

The young director scans the room. ”I know people Coppola knows,” he says. ”I wonder if I could go say hi.”

2007: The Year in Pictures from the NY Times.

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 03, 2008

2007: The Year in Pictures from the NY Times.

Rogers Cadenhead has beaten me to the

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 20, 2007

Rogers Cadenhead has beaten me to the punch in calculating the winner of the Dave Winer/Martin Nisenholtz Long Bet pitting the NY Times vs. blogs to see who ranks higher in end of the year search results for the 5 most important news stories of 2007. The winner? Wikipedia.

The Times has really improved their position in Google since 2005opening up their archives helped, I bet.

The Year in Ideas, 2007

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 10, 2007

The NY Times Magazine is out with its annual Year in Ideas issue. 2007 was the year of green — green energy, green manufacturing, and even a green Nobel Prize for Al Gore — and environmentalism featured heavily on the Times’ list. But I found some of the other items on the list more interesting.

Ambiguity Promotes Liking. Sometimes the more you learn about a person or a situation, the more likely you are to be disappointed:

Why? For starters, initial information is open to interpretation. “And people are so motivated to find somebody they like that they read things into the profiles,” Norton says. If a man writes that he likes the outdoors, his would-be mate imagines her perfect skiing companion, but when she learns more, she discovers “the outdoors” refers to nude beaches. And “once you see one dissimilarity, everything you learn afterward gets colored by that,” Norton says.

I’m an optimistic pessimist by nature; I believe everything in my life will eventually average out for the better but I assume the worst of individual situations for the reasons proposed in the article above. That way, when I assume something isn’t going to work out, I’m rarely disappointed.

The Best Way to Deflect an Asteroid involves a technique called “mirror bees”.

The best method, called “mirror bees,” entails sending a group of small satellites equipped with mirrors 30 to 100 feet wide into space to “swarm” around an asteroid and trail it, Vasile explains. The mirrors would be tilted to reflect sunlight onto the asteroid, vaporizing one spot and releasing a stream of gases that would slowly move it off course. Vasile says this method is especially appealing because it could be scaled easily: 25 to 5,000 satellites could be used, depending on the size of the rock.

What an elegant and easily implemented solution. But Armageddon and Deep Impact would have been a whole lot less entertaining using Dr. Vasile’s approach.

The Cat-Lady Conundrum. More than 60 million Americans are infected with Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that most people get from their cats. And it’s not exactly harmless:

Jaroslav Flegr, an evolutionary biologist at Charles University in the Czech Republic, is looking into it. He has spent years studying Toxo’s impact on human behavior. (He found, for example, that people infected with Toxo have slower reflexes and are 2.5 times as likely to get into car accidents.)

This may explain why I can’t seem to get past “Easy” on Guitar Hero.

The Honeycomb Vase is actually made by bees. One unintended consequence of having a vase made out of beeswax is that flowers last longer in it:

Libertiny is convinced that flowers last longer in them, because beeswax contains propolis, an antibacterial agent that protects against biological decay. “We found out by accident,” he explains. “We had a bouquet, which was too big for the beeswax vase, so we put half of the flowers in a glass vase. We noticed the difference after a week or so.

Prison Poker. This is a flat out brilliantly simple idea:

[Officer Tommy Ray] made his own deck of cards, each bearing information about a different local criminal case that had gone cold. He distributed the decks in the Polk County jail. His hunch was that prisoners would gossip about the cases during card games, and somehow clues or breaks would emerge and make their way to the authorities. The plan worked. Two months in, as a result of a tip from a card-playing informant, two men were charged with a 2004 murder in a case that had gone cold.

The Gomboc is the world’s first Self-Righting Object.

It leans off to one side, rocks to and fro as if gathering strength and then, presto, tips itself back into a “standing” position as if by magic. It doesn’t have a hidden counterweight inside that helps it perform this trick, like an inflatable punching-bag doll that uses ballast to bob upright after you whack it. No, the Gomboc is something new: the world’s first self-righting object.

More information is available on the Gomboc web site. You can order a Gomboc for €80 + S&H.

Update: The Gomboc is available for sale but it doesn’t come cheap. The €80 version is basically a paperweight with a Gomboc shape carved out of it. It’s €1000+ for a real Gomboc, which is ridiculous. (thx, nick)

Yanksfan vs Soxfan mines the NY Times

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 19, 2007

Yanksfan vs Soxfan mines the NY Times archive and turns up a 1914 article that mentions a youngster named Babe Ruth:

“Babe” Ruth, a youngster, opposed the Giants, who made nine hits off him. Four double plays, all started by Claude Derrick, who handled twelve outs of the thirteen chances, kept the Giants from scoring more runs.

YvS and Soccer Dad also found a series that the Times did on another youngster, Manny Ramirez, back when Manny being Manny meant hitting .650 in his senior year in high school.

Glenn from Coolfer took a spin through

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 09, 2007

Glenn from Coolfer took a spin through the NY Times recently opened online archive and highlighted some interesting news about the music industry, notably about how technology and the Internet changed the game in the late-90s/early-00s.

If someone likes an artist, they’re going to buy the CD. The number of those who download and opt against buying the CD is very small. There are plenty of libraries in this country, yet people still buy books. The Napster opponents underestimate the American fascination with ownership.

Mental Floss has an ongoing feature called

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 03, 2007

Mental Floss has an ongoing feature called The First Time News Was Fit To Print, which chronicles the first mentions of famous people, places, and events in the NY Times. Among the topics covered so far: The Simpsons, Kobe Bryant, and Starbucks.

Hometracked uncovered some musical history tidbits from

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 21, 2007

Hometracked uncovered some musical history tidbits from the archive of the NY Times, including first descriptions of Edison’s phonograph and Marconi’s radio.

First NY Times restaurant review, circa 1859?

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 20, 2007

While poking around in the newly opened archives of the New York Times yesterday, I stumbled upon an article called How We Dine (full text in PDF) from January 1, 1859. I’m not well versed in the history of food criticism, but I believe this is perhaps the first restaurant review to appear in the Times and that the unnamed gentleman who wrote it (the byline is “by the Strong-Minded Reporter of the Times”) is the progenitor of the paper’s later reviewers like Ruth Reichl, Mimi Sheraton, and Frank Bruni.

The article starts off with a directive from the editor-in-chief to “go and dine”:

“Very well,” replied the editor-in-chief. “Dine somewhere else to-day and somewhere else to-morrow. I wish you to dine everywhere, — from the Astor House Restaurant to the smallest description of dining saloon in the City, in order that you may furnish an account of all these places. The cashier will pay your expenses.”

How We Dine

Before starting on his quest, the reporter differentiates eating from dining — noting that many believe “whereas all people know how to eat, it is only the French who know how to dine” — and defines what he means by an American dinner (as opposed to a French one). Here’s his list of the types of American dinner to be found in New York, from most comfortable to least:

1. The Family dinner at home.
2. The Stetsonian dinner.
3. The Delmonican, or French dinner.
4. The Minor dinner of the Stetsonian principle.
5. The Eating-house dinner, so called.
6. The Second-class Eating-house dinner.
7. The Third-class Eating-house feed.

The remainder of the article is devoted to descriptions of what a diner might find at each of these types of establishments. Among the places he dined was Delmonico’s, where dining in America is said to have originated:

Once let Delmonico have your order, and you are safe. You may repose in peace up to the very moment when you sit down with your guests. No nobleman of England — no Marquis of the ancienne nobless — was ever better served or waited on in greater style that you will be in a private room at Delmonico’s. The lights will be brilliant, the waiters will be curled and perfumed and gloved, the dishes will be strictly en règle and the wines will come with precision of clock-work that has been duly wound up. If you “pay your money like a gentleman,” you will be fed like a gentleman, and no mistake… The cookery, however, will be superb, and the attendance will be good. If you make the ordinary mistakes of a untraveled man, and call for dishes in unusual progression, the waiter will perhaps sneer almost imperceptibly, but he will go no further, if you don’t try his feelings too harshly, or put your knife into your mouth.

According to a series of articles by Joe O’Connell, Delmonico’s was the first restaurant in the US when it opened in 1830 and invented Eggs Benedict, Oysters Rockefeller, Baked Alaska, Lobster Newberg, and the term “86’d”, used when the popular Delmonico Steak (#86 on menu) was sold out, or so the story goes. O’Connell’s history of Delmonico’s provides us with some context for the How We Dine piece:

The restaurant was a novelty in New York. There were new foods, a courteous staff, and cooking that was unknown at the homes of even the wealthiest New Yorkers. The restaurant was open for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant featured a bill of fare, which was itself new. Those who dined at inns were fed on a set meal for a set price. As a result, everyone was fed the same meal and were charged the same price, whether they ate little or much. In Paris, however, restaurants offered their patrons a “bill of fare”, a carte, which listed separate dishes with individual prices. Each patron could choose a combination of dishes which was different from the other patrons. Each dish was priced separately. Thus, the restaurant was able to accommodate the tastes and hunger of each individual. The various dishes and their prices were listed on a carte or (the English translation) “bill of fare”. Today, we call it a menu.

And from Delmonico’s developed many different types of dining establishments, which the Strong-Minded Reporter set out to document thirty years later. Contrast his visit to Delmonico’s with the experience in the “sandwich-room” at Browne’s Auction Hotel, an eating-house:

The habitués of the place are rarely questioned at all. The man who has eaten a sandwich every day for the past ten years at the Auction Hotel no sooner takes his seat than a sandwich is set before him. The man who has for the same period indulged daily in pie or hard boiled eggs (there are some men with amazing digestion) is similarly treated. The occasional visitor, however, is briefly questioned by the attendant before whom he takes his place. “Sandwich?” or “Pie?” If he say “Sandwich,” in reply, the little man laconically inquires, “Mustard?” The customer nods, and is served. If his mission be pie, instead, a little square morsel of cheese is invariably presented to him. Why such a custom should prevail at these places, no amount of research has yet enabled me to ascertain. Nothing can be more incongruous to pie than cheese, which, according to rule and common sense, is only admissible after pie, as a digester. But the guests at the Auction Hotel invariably take them together, and with strict fairness — a bite at the pie, and a bite at the cheese, again the pie, and again the cheese, and so on until both are finished.

The experience of being a regular has barely changed in 150 years. And finally, our intrepid reporter visits an unnamed third class eating-house:

The noise in the dining hall is terrific. A guest has no sooner seated himself than a plate is literally flung at him by an irritated and perspiring waiter, loosely habited in an unbuttoned shirt whereof the varying color is, I am given to understand, white on Sunday, and daily darkening until Saturday, when it is mixed white and black — black predominating. The jerking of the plate is closely followed up by a similar performance with a knife and a steel fork, and immediately succeeding these harmless missiles come a fearful shout from the waiter demanding in hasty tones, “What do you want now?” Having mildly stated what you desire to be served with, the waiter echoes your words in a voice of thunder, goes through the same ceremony with the next man and the next, through an infinite series, and rushes frantically from your presence. Presently returning, he appears with a column of dishes whereof the base is in one hand and the extreme edge of the capital is artfully secured under his chin. He passes down the aisle of guests, and, as he goes, deals out the dishes as he would cards, until the last is served, when he commences again Da Capo. The disgusting manner in which the individuals who dine at this place, thrust their food into their mouths with the blades of their knives, makes you tremble with apprehensions of suicide…

The entire article is well worth the read…one of the most interesting things I’ve found online in awhile.

Update: According to their web site, a restaurant in New Orleans named Antoine’s claims that they invented Oysters Rockefeller. Another tidbit: from what I can gather, the Delmonico’s that now exists in lower Manhattan has little to do with the original Delmonico’s (even though they claim otherwise), sort of like the various Ray’s Pizza places sprinkled about Manhattan. (thx, everyone who sent this in)

Gems from the archive of the New York Times

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 19, 2007

Now that the NY Times has discontinued their Times Select subscription program and made much more of their 150+ years of content available for anyone to read and link to, let’s take a look at some of the more notable items that the non-subscriber has been missing.

- Access to the last two years-worth of columns from the NY Times’ noted Op-Ed columnists, including Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, David Brooks, and Paul Krugman.

- The first mention of the World Wide Web in the Times in February 1993. According to the article, the purpose of the web is “[to make] available physicists’ research from many locations”. Also notable are this John Markoff article on the internet being overwhelmed by heavy traffic and growth…in 1993, and a piece, also by Markoff, on the Mosaic web browser.

- Early report of Lincoln’s assassination…”The President Still Alive at Last Accounts”.

- A report on Custer’s Last Stand a couple of weeks after the occurance (I couldn’t find anything sooner). The coverage of Native Americans is notable for the racism, both thinly veiled and overt, displayed in the writing, e.g. a story from September 1872 titled The Hostile Savages.

- From the first year of publication, a listing of the principle events of 1851.

- An article about the confirmation of Einstein’s theory of gravity by a 1919 expedition led by Arthur Eddington to measure the bending of starlight by the sun during an eclipse.

- A front page report on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, including a seismograph of the quake which the Times labeled “EARTHQUAKE’S AUTOGRAPH AS IT WROTE IT 3,000 MILES AWAY”.

- The first mention of television (as a concept) in the Times, from February 1907. “The new ‘telephotograph’ invention of Dr. Arthur Korn, Professor of Physics in Munich University, is a distinct step nearer the realization of all this, and he assures us that ‘television,’ or seeing by telegraph, is merely a question of a year or two with certain improvements in apparatus.”

- First mention of Harry Potter. Before it became a phenomenon, it was just another children’s book on the fiction best-seller list.

- Some of the output by prolific Times reporter R.W. Apple is available (after 1981, pre-1981).

- A report during the First World War of the Germans using mustard gas. Lots more reporting about WWI is available in the Times archive.

- Not a lot is available from the WWII era, which is a shame. For instance, I wish this article about the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima was available in the Times archive. Nothing about the moon landing, Kennedy’s assassination, Watergate, etc. etc. either. :(

- On The Table, Michael Pollan’s blog from last summer about food soon after the publication of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

- Urban Planet, a blog about cities from Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map.

- Oddly, The Principles of Uncertainty, an illustrated blog by Maira Kalman isn’t available anymore. Update: Kalman’s blog is probably unavailable because it’s due to be published in book form in October. (thx, rafia) Further update: Kalman’s blog is back online and wonderful. The culprit was a misconfiguration at the Times’ end. (thx, rich)

- Several other previously unavailable blogs are listed here and here.

- It looks like most of the links to old NY Times articles I (and countless other early bloggers) posted in the late 90s and early 00s now work. Tens of thousands of broken links fixed in one pass. Huzzah!

I’ll also note that this move by the Times puts them in a much better position to win the Long Bet between Dave Winer and the Times’ Martin Nisenholtz at the end of this year.

In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times’ Web site.

As of the end of 2005, the Times was not faring very well against blogs.

Update: One more: a report on the sinking of the Titanic. A small mention of the sinking was published in the paper the previous day.

No more Times Select. The NY Times

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 17, 2007

No more Times Select. The NY Times finally admits what everyone else knew two years ago and stops charging for their content. Additionally, all content from 1987 to the present and from 1851 to 1922 will be offered free of charge.

What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com.

How did that change not happen for the Times when it happened to the entire rest of the web 3-4 years ago?

John Maeda describes the process of designing

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 09, 2007

John Maeda describes the process of designing the cover for the most recent issue of Key, the NY Times occasional real estate magazine.