|"CULTURE & COMMERCE" COLUMNS, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY
The Gift-Card Economy
For some people, spending just doesn't come naturally--especially in a recession. Behavioral economists have a solution.
Economic policy makers thought they had tamed the business cycle. Not quite. Let's hope their hubris doesn't get in the way of our economic recovery.
My Drug Problem
The cancer drug Herceptin saved the author's life. It also cost $60,000. Would health-care reform put it, and other expensive new drugs, out of reach?
Defending "My Drug Problem"
Virginia Postrel's March article on the availability of cancer drugs sparked enormous reader response, much more than the print magazine's Letters to the Editor section could accommodate. Here she responds to some common criticisms from those letters.
Why asset bubbles are a part of the human condition that regulation can't cure.
The Case for Debt
Public anxiety over "excessive" consumer debt has a long, and misguided, history.
The Politics of the Retouched Headshot (online feature)
In an image-savvy culture, we're increasingly forced to consider just what constitutes a valid portrait.
October 16, 2008
A new theory of the leisure class
The Art of Healing
How better aesthetics in hospitals can make for happier--and healthier--patients
Playing to Type
A revolution in typeface design has led to everything from more-legible newspapers and cell-phone displays to extra-tacky wedding invitations.
What's in a Font? An Interview with Gary Hustwit
Why sending a man to the moon is easier than finding jeans that fit
A Tale of Two Town Houses
Real estate may be as important as religion in explaining the infamous gap between red and blue states.
On television shows like CSI and Numb3rs, scientists are still weird—but a geeky glamour has replaced the old stereotypes.
Starlight and Shadow
George Hurrell's brilliantly orchestrated photographs helped define Hollywood glamour in the 1930s.
Paint of View
The color of a house is a sign of owner individuality—and a test of neighborhood tolerance.
How an enterprising first-time publisher gave the beloved children's book Mr. Pine's Purple House a second life
Why fashion deserves its place in art museums
Once upon a time, lofts were cheap spaces for struggling artists. Today they are phony and pricey, and that's just fine.
The Truth About Beauty
It is the same in the eye of every beholder.
Up, Up, and Away
Today, air travel is just another form of mass transit. Is there any going back to the glamorous days of yore?
In Praise of Chain Stores
They aren't destroying local flavor--they're providing variety and comfort
In Julius Shulman's photographs, modern architecture became seductive, comfortable, and immortal
Once the province of Garbo and Astaire, movie glamour now comes from Superman, Spider-Man, and Storm.
Signs of Our Times
In under a century, neon signs--part sculpture, part lighting, part billboard--have gone from marketing tool to tacky trash to folk art.
The Next Starbucks?
How massage went from the strip club to the strip mall