Yao's Chick

Li En minced no words: in Mandarin she told the truth: "I hope to become Yao Ming's wife"

What Makes A College Good?

A new survey seeks to get behind the well-publicized—and much criticized—college rankings and measure schools by how good a job they do of actually educating their students

The New College Chaos

College admissions officers say they now have many, many more applications than they know how to handle—and, often, less reliable information to help them decide which students to admit

The Late-Decision Program

Most people have heard of early-decision programs. But there's also a little-known safety net at the other end of the process, to catch those who don't get in anywhere

American Radical

Mark Twain developed an enormous and subversive personality—but Fred Kaplan's new biography illuminates it only in flickers

Defender of the Faith

Why all Anglican eyes in London are nervously fixed on a powerful African archbishop

Their Show of Shows

Backstage with a troubled, now legendary Sondheim musical

Princess of Discrimination

Shirley Hazzard's masterly descriptions and expertly drawn characters are in full evidence in this new novel—her first in more than twenty years

Close-Up: Young Rumsfeld

The Donald Rumsfeld of thirty years ago was a lot like the man we know today—a divisive figure who relishes bureaucratic combat, aims to shake up the established order, and is tenaciously committed to his own ideas and ambitions. But he was also a social moderate and a dove

The Bias Question

In a surprising challenge to the SAT's reputation as an unbiased measure of student learning, one researcher has argued that blacks do better than matched-ability whites on the harder questions of the SAT—something he believes their scores should reflect

The Path of Brighteousness

Godless Americans launch a semantic crusade

The Selectivity Illusion

Look at the data closely, and the neat hierarchy of selectivity begins to fall apart

Primary Sources

Selections from recent reports, studies, and other documents. This month: George Bush's new report card for government agencies; the odds of terrorist attack in the coming year; why marriage and high achievement don't mix—for men

Odious Rulers, Odious Debts

Should the people of Iraq be forced to pay back money borrowed by Saddam? A Nobel laureate makes an urgent case for forgiveness

Columbia's Last Flight

The inside story of the investigation—and the catastrophe it laid bare


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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