Monday, December 27, 2004

17 pages of news in the New York Times main section?

Maybe I spent too long wading through Okrent's ramblings in the past few days or am just tired from the effort, but a main section with 17 pages of actual news (that's without counting how much space in the first 17 pages are taken up by ads) seems rather slight to me, even for a Monday.

We'll note Amy Waldman's front page story "Untild Numbers Are Missing in 6 Countries" (

The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years erupted underwater off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Sunday and sent walls of water barreling thousands of miles, killing more than 19,000 people in half a dozen countries across South and Southeast Asia, with thousands more missing or unreachable.
The earthquake, which measured 9.0 in magnitude, set off tsunamis that built up speeds of as much as 500 miles per hour, then crashed into coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and Malaysia as 40-foot-high walls of water, devouring everything and everyone in their paths.
Its force was felt more than 3,000 miles away in Somalia on the eastern coast of Africa, where nine people were reported killed.
Aid agencies were rushing staff and equipment to the region, warning that rotting bodies were threatening health and water supplies.

And Robert D. McFadden's "SNAPSHOTS: Sweeping All in Its Path: Families, Towns, Futures" ( inside the paper is worth reading. (That's the print edition headline, the online version has a slightly different headline. Regardless, we enjoy snapshots at this site. And no, that's not sarcasm.) McFadden's giving readers a brief cross-section of the people and it rounds out Waldman's excellent front page story.

We'll link to an editorial (but not comment) since there's not a great deal to the main section.
Brent Staples' "Why Some Politicians Need Their Prisons to Stay Full" ( makes for an interesting read.

We'll lastly note Jeff Leeds "$10 for a Plain CD or $32 With the Extras" ( on the front page of the business section:

Interscope Records, for example, released three different versions of U2's hit "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." The first, from $10 or less, is the basic 11-track CD. But for roughly $32, you can buy the "collector's edition," which is packaged with a DVD and a 50-page hardcover book of the bands' sketches and photos. (A medium-priced version had the DVD but no book.) "Miracle," Celine Dion's new album about motherhood on Epic Records can be had for $14, but there's also an edition for devotees that includes the CD, a 60-page book featuring pictures of Ms. Dion with sleeping newborns by photographer Anne Geddes, and a price tag of $27.

I'm not sure where Leeds is getting his information. I bought the scaled down, basic version of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (I like to think of it as the cheapo version) because I had no interest in watching music videos on a "bonus" disc.

I paid $12.99 for that and it was on sale. Checking after reading this article, I see that version (the cheapest) is on sale at Amazon for $10.99 and the regular price is $12.99 ( Not sure where Leeds is getting his information on pricing.