The New Yorker Digest: Sept. 10, 2012

It is another issue I read cover to cover and love every article.

First off, the cover. Noah has taken an interest in the magazines lying around the house. Sometimes, he would pick up a copy up, flip through the pages, and “read” for a few minutes. Mostly he was attached to a commercial insert of on the back covery, e.g. a close up of a classic watch, or some celebrity’s portrait. But this time he saw me reading it at the kitchen counter, and fell in love with this cover. He spent a good 2-3 minutes studying it, very seriously. ZM and I were amazed, wondering what he was thinking, what aspect of this cartoon that drew the attention of a two year old?

I started reading this issue on the night when Bill Clinton gave a speech during DNC. Naturally i started with the first article The Political Scene – Let’s Be Friends – Barack Obama and Bill Clinton reconcile. It is okay. Informative. I found the Fresh Air interview with Michael Lewis on “Obama’s Way” more interesting. Michael Lewis is the author of “Big Short” and “Moneyball”. He spent lots of time following Obama around for a few months and wrote this piece for Vanity Fair. For me, the most interesting tidbit from the interview was that Obama learned that one’s ability of decision making degrades as the number of decisions one faces increases. So he eliminated lots of trivial decisions from his daily life so he could concentrate on the decisions he had to make on the job. Trivial decisions example: which suit to wear every day (Obama get rid all of his suits except the black and blue ones),

“Check, Please” – The challenges of fine dining. It is about the owners of Eleven Madison Park a four-star ranking in the Times and three stars in the Michelin Guide. Innovation of changing restaurant protocol to meet the bottom line. Apparently the single most important factor that contributes to a restaurant’s profitability is how fast it could turn over a table to the next guest.

 – “Beyond the Matrix” – The Wachowskis take on “Cloud Atlas.” It is no longer “Wachowski Brothers. Because Larry Wachowski has became Lana Wachowski during the shooting of The Matrix III. Reading this made me so looking forward to the upcoming movie “Cloud Atlas”, and also wanting to read the 500+ pages novel beforehand.

“High Rise” – A young architect’s building boom. Profile of a Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, thirty-seven years old. He is living in NYC right now to oversee the construction of this apartment building in Downtown NY.

 As cool as this building looks. Ingels’ first apartment build “8 House” in Denmark seemed even more impressive. “a figure-eight path on the exterior ‘lets you walk and bicycle along the rowhouse gardens all the way to the 10th-floor penthouse so you get this intimate, spontaneous social interaction on all levels—just like a public street…'”