Lurking Made Easy
"Lurking," in Webspeak, means reading what others are saying in discussion forums and chat rooms without joining in yourself. In "The Fray," Slate's discussion forum, we don't discourage lurkers--though we'd rather have you join in. "Fraygrants," as regular participants call themselves, live all over the world and conduct energetic discussions of everything under the sun. To give you a taste, we've started a new department called "Best of the Fray." Written by the Fray manager, who calls himself Fray Vader (and runs it from his home somewhere in Asia), it summarizes, quotes from, and links to some of the livelier ongoing discussions. If you haven't yet entered the Fray, start with Best of to get the general idea, then go and lurk a bit, then jump in.
Krugman Between Covers
The Accidental Theorist and Other Dispatches From the Dismal Science, a collection of essays by Slate's economics columnist Paul Krugman, will be published May 11 by Norton. Through the magic of publishing industry nonsense, though, copies exist now. You can order it directly from the publisher at www.wwnorton.com (or if that's more w's than you can handle, call  233-4830), or you can buy it from Amazon.com. Or you could walk into a bookstore the old-fashioned way and buy it with doubloons.
Of course if you're a real Webster you can get much of the book online without actually buying it. About half the essays originated in Paul's "Dismal Science" column for Slate and are available in our archive, "The Compost." And other Krugmaniana are available on Paul's own Web site. But we certainly don't want to discourage sales. So let us be clear that the book contains a few excellent essays not available on the Web and that it is a delightful physical object in its own right.