Dispatch December 2009

The Top Pop Culture Moments of the Decade

From Radiohead and James Frey to Jackass and Jersey Shore, 10 daring and sometimes inane creative acts that defined the ’00s

2007: The death of Whitney Balliett. Many great ones passed in these years, of course—Mailer, Bellow—but the four-decade achievement of New Yorker jazz critic Balliett had been so discreetly and unsprawlingly perfect that his going seemed a measurable adjustment to the universal balance of excellence. On Billie Holiday: “a dark-brown sound, sometimes fretted by growls or hoarseness, in the lower register; a pliable oboe tone in the high register; and a pushing, little-girl alto in between.”

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James Parker is an Atlantic contributing editor.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

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Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

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The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

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Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

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Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

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Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

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