July 2-9, 2007

1. As Apple’s resident visionary-messiah-overlord, Steve Jobs holds roughly the same fascination for tech bloggers as Zeus did for residents of ancient Greece. So naturally there was some online interest in our recent Jobs profile (Steve Jobs in a Box,” by John Heilemann, June 25). Tritone Substitution called it “the best Steve Jobs piece I’ve read in a while,” and Gizmodo described it as “dense with fresh quotes from insiders and executives [who] must have been fed truth serum before interviewing.” Others were left wanting more. “Heilemann shies away from making any real predictions on what the iPhone will do for Apple’s business—he, like everyone else, has no idea,” wrote the Racked blogger. And some readers, well, didn’t want more—including one called Fake Steve, who, in “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs,” posted a letter supposedly penned by Jobs. “Hold your noses and put on your spatter smocks, kids, because this one is a full-on hatchet job,” “he” wrote. In response, the blog Dvorak Uncensored posited an interesting counter-theory: Could Fake Steve Jobs be the real Steve Jobs? “This article had to get under Jobs’s skin,” wrote Dvorak. “Would it be sheer genius to use Fake Steve Jobs as a mechanism to blow off steam?”

2. “Wow. This is Gay Pride Month in the year 2007, right? So why does it feel like it’s 1943?” wrote Jonathan Grimm of Manhattan in response to The Science of Gaydar,” by David France (June 25). “If some Nazi scientist tries to check the rotation of my whorl at a Gay Pride march, he’s gonna get a spirit baton upside his head.” Other readers, however, noted that France’s article was intended, in part, to map the pitfalls of such scientific pursuits. “One can even find prejudice in the most well-meaning doctor’s notes,” wrote the blog Queerty. “France calls out UCLA researcher Sven Bocklandt’s casual comment, ‘Every man and woman has the genetic code for the brain networks that make you attracted to men and women. You activate one or the other—and if you active the wrong one, you’re gay.’” Michael Longacre, who described himself as “gay as a box of birds,” nonetheless “failed the hair, handedness, and digit tests—will there soon be support groups for those of us who just thought we were gay?” And at least one reader felt his own spider-sense tingling. “As for New York’s effect on this writer’s own finely tuned gaydar?” wrote blog Good As You. “Well, I can’t be sure, but I think I saw their ‘Theater’ section looking at my ass.” Guilty as charged.

Photo: Hans Gissinger

3. Fat is one subject that reliably stokes people’s emotions. Dogs are another. So we shouldn’t have been surprised by the, um, impassioned reaction to our story on fat dogs (“Fat Is a Four-Legged Word,” by Arianne Cohen, June 11). “The idea of feeding a Chihuahua tinned peaches to the point that it weighs almost four times its natural weight is the most monstrous thing I have ever heard,” wrote Jack Dunning of Manhattan. “This poor animal should be put out of its misery, and [owner] Pamela Arconti should be locked up for the negligent cruelty she has inflicted upon it.” Another reader, in response to our item on a dog-run dispute (“Running Dogs of the Upper East Side,” by Carol Vinzant, June 18), pointed to a different canine-fattening culprit: bigger, pushier dogs. “Our handbag hounds are fragile and most certainly break when trampled, thrown, pushed, pinned, or bitten by a dog five or ten times their size,” wrote Lori Light by e-mail. (Light conducted the dog census cited in the story.) “So we don’t come out—rain, shine, or ever—to the undivided 60th Street run, as any responsible small-dog owner would not.” Housebound handbag dogs plied with tinned peaches—really, did they ever stand a chance?

Those readers who were concerned, upon hearing that Peter Davis was leaving us, that we’d discontinued our coverage of classical music—“A magazine with the title New York cannot ignore such an important facet of this city,” wrote Ina Avrich—should be delighted by this announcement: New York is proud to welcome Justin Davidson as our classical-music and architecture critic. Davidson, who has written on both subjects for The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times, comes to New York from Newsday, where, in 2002, he won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He joins the magazine after Labor Day.

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Courtesy of Home Box Office

Our Most Popular Blog Items of the Week
1.Absinthe Arrives in New York, and We Start Drinking Immediately.
2. Whoopi, Paris Win Fug Girls’ Real-Life Daytime Emmys.
3. New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku.
4. Hotelier Vikram Chatwal Discovers He Likes It Raw.
5. “‘The Sopranos’ Cast on the Finale: Disbelief, and an Alternate Ending?

Correction: In “The Science of Gaydar,” the S and G labels should have been reversed on “Example C: Digit Proportions (Female),” the diagram noting the difference between the hands of straight and gay women.

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July 2-9, 2007