“The results can be surprising. The diners’ education levels? No effect on actual ratings. Population of the area? Again, not so much. But reviewers consistently gave worse ratings when it was raining or snowing outside than when it was clear. And reviewers usually liked restaurants better on warm and cool days, rather than very hot or very cold ones.”
“A secret package arrived at CIA headquarters in January 1958. Inside were two rolls of film from British intelligence – pictures of the pages of a Russian-language novel titled Doctor Zhivago” which had been banned in the USSR. Yes, it seems that The Company was instrumental in getting Boris Pasternak’s Nobel-winning novel into print.
“I do think it reveals a fundamental shift in the social contract between citizen and state. And it might be fine. We might say, ‘D’you know what, my right and my freedom to not get blown up might be worth a slight shrinking of my privacy.’ We might decide that. But we’ve not been asked.”
“Ms. Opolais, who said that she would normally be resting her voice after a night singing ‘Butterfly,’ found herself singing her second Puccini opera, and playing out her second Puccini death scene, on the stage of the Met within the space of 18 hours. While she had sung the role of Mimi at the Vienna State Opera and elsewhere, she had never done it at the Met.”
“A rugged, weather-beaten figure who was reared and educated in privilege — an advantage that left him uneasy, he said — Mr. Matthiessen was a man of many parts: littérateur, journalist, environmentalist, explorer, Zen Buddhist, professional fisherman and, in the early 1950s, undercover agent for the Central Intelligence Agency in Paris.”