The New York Times' Luxury Rich Person Toilet Review: A Review

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The Numi, doing its thing.
At the New York Times, "All the news that's fit to print" sometimes translates to "All the toilets that are fit to review." And that includes the Numi, a $6,400 luxury toilet made by Kohler. The Numi is basically a spaceship for your bathroom. Only the finest commode will do for all the opulent rich one-percenters out there. It can do literally everything ever:

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The New York Times Explores the Challenging World of Tattoo Etiquette

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Never attempt to finish someone else's crossword.
In this contemporary day and age, and also, summer, now that people are wearing less clothes, and tattoos are practically, like, shirts or at least jaunty vests in some parts of town, the question of how to behave in the presence of a tattoo has apparently become top of mind in other parts of town. This, as the New York Times puts it, "raises all sorts of etiquette questions," at least enough to fill Neil Genzlinger's City Critic column today. It is a doozy of social and cultural proprieties!

Things wondered by Genzlinger:

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Another "Sex is Over" Trend Piece Rears Its Ugly Head

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Samantha can't believe this nonsense.
Again, this is happening. The "Sex is Over" trend piece is back in a new incarnation, and it still sucks. To recap: first we had the Observer, then that mind gem from Meg Wolitzer, and now another Times piece, this time by Erica Jong. "Is Sex Passé?" Jong asks, causing this blogger to laugh out loud because are they seriously trying this one again. Let us be clear: sex is not over, it is not "passé," and people are still having it. Is eating passé? Is breathing passé? Is the New York Times' opinion content passé?

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Maureen Dowd: Obama Is "Bi"

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Interesting column from Maureen Dowd this weekend, about Barack Obama. It starts off "He was born this way. Bi." Are you shuddering in anticipation yet, thinking that she will make some kind of awful biracial joke? Thankfully, she doesn't, although she had me on the edge of my seat waiting for it throughout. The content of this particular column isn't crazy -- there's some boilerplate "Obama flip-flops!" stuff and then some valid points about his refusal to truly back gay marriage -- but there are a few awfully cringeworthy turns of phrase. "On Wall Street, he assails fat cats, but at cocktail parties, he wants to collect some of their fat for his campaign." I see what you did there, but the image is gross and perhaps violent, no? Removing their fat from their bodies? "On some of the most important issues facing this nation, it is time for the president to come out of the closet." Maureen Dowd, everyone. She'll be here all week.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]


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Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Outs Himself as an Illegal Immigrant

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Vargas
In Sunday's edition of the New York Times Magazine, online today, a former Washington Post reporter and senior contributing editor for The Huffington Post, Jose Antonio Vargas, tells the story of his own life as an undocumented immigrant. Sent by his mother to the United States from the Philippines at the age of 12, even Vargas had no idea of his illegal status until a D.M.V. worker told him his green card was fake. To get work as a adult, Vargas used counterfeit documents, including at HuffPo and the Post. As if this wasn't a juicy enough media story, there's yet another (more meta) angle: Vargas planned to write his confessional tale for the Post's Outlook section, only to have them back out and kill the story; the Times Magazine scrambled to make room for it in only 48 hours. More details inside Press Clips, our daily media column! Plus, another set of insights from Bill Keller and the possibly end of the inflight magazine.

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Exploring the New York Times' Unconventional Family Infographic

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The New York Times has a pretty well-done interactive infographic this weekend, attached to a story about an unconventional Brooklyn family. Our country's demographics skew increasingly toward the non-traditional; the days of 2.4 kids and a dog are no longer. The infographic shows you how many other households in the U.S. are like yours. I toyed with it so we can visualize some uncommon arrangements.

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Sarah Palin Emails Are a Group Job; Huffington Post Passes New York Times in Traffic

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We mentioned last week that a large portion of all the emails Sarah Palin sent in her half-term as governor of Alaska are finally being made public long after a few publications requested them via open records laws back in 2008. It's now being reported that the mother-load will drop tomorrow. MSNBC, ProPublica and Mother Jones are partnering on the job of slogging through the (doubtlessly typo-ridden) emails, which total near 25,000 pages, and the combining of efforts will include a WikiLeaks-like searchable archive. So you can help too! But don't expect any compensation. Find out more in Press Clips, our daily media column, plus HuffPo's killer traffic month and the New York Times' testy response. But wait, there's more!


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Tony Hendra, Satirist Behind New York Times Spoof Site, Molested His Daughter, New York Times Reported

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Tony Hendra
A website called The Final Edition launched today as a mock version of the New York Times website with the giant headline, "The New York Times, World's Newspaper of Record, Closes Its Doors Forever." (The lead photo shows the Times building in flames.) In layout, the homepage looks exactly like the Times', but all of the sections are crossed out and other headlines include, "Canine Date Rape: An Issue That Can't Be Woofed Away." According to a press release, the site is debuting as "a no-holds-barred parody" of the Times, but will transition more generally into "a satire site with teeth," presumably to compete with The Onion. But Tony Hendra, the man behind the site and long a perpetrator of media gags, may have a special reason to target the Times directly: In 2004, the paper published a huge feature in which his daughter accused him of molesting her when she was a child. More inside Press Clips, our daily media column.

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Tim Hetherington, Restrepo Director and War Photographer, Killed in Libya

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Tim Hetherington, the director and producer behind the Academy Award-nominated film Restrepo about his time spent as a journalist in Afghanistan, was killed on Wednesday in Misurata, Libya, while working as a photographer during the conflict. Chris Hondros and Guy Martin, also journalists, were critically wounded, though Hondros, on assignment as a photographer for Getty, was not killed as was initially reported when the news broke. (Update: The Times reports that Hondros, too, has passed away.) Michael Christopher Brown, a fourth photographer, was also injured in the mortar attack, though his wounds are less serious, according to the New York Times' C.J. Chivers, who is also stationed in Libya. Hundreds of Libyans have been reported dead in the area, which "has been cut off by land from the rest of the country by military forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi," according to Chivers. More on Hetherington and the heartbreaking details inside a grave version of our afternoon media column, Press Clips.

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Is Sex a Thing Of the Past?

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Nope.
Is sex over? First the Observer said the Youngs are through with it. Now the New York Times, always on the vanguard, is exploring the notion that sometimes, people don't want to have sex. In fact, sex is sort of unfashionable now, due to the widespread availability of porn and various other random things thrown into a list ("Pepperidge Farm! Hulu!"). What's going on in the world of voluntarily celibate middle-aged women, Meg Wolitzer?More »

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