Disasters: Summer Fires, Take Two

As California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discussed the "unprecedented wildfire siege" that since late June has burned more than 700,000 acres in his state, a handful of Buddhist monks in the Los Padres National Forest valiantly protected their monastery while fire crews from Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the United States, including 2,000 California National Guardsmen, prepared to lend a hand to state efforts. Just another summer day in California.The Buddhists won their battle—their retreat was spared—but the war rages on. A mere month into the burning season, the toll has already eclipsed the more than $1 billion in damage sustained from fires in 2007, when the bulk of the flames stayed south, in San Diego and Orange counties. But this year, they're touring the north, and spreading to some of California's most treasured landscapes—Big Sur among them.So far nearly 20,000 personnel, in an army of planes and 1,590 fire trucks, have been deployed to stop them...

A Most Casual Addiction

Free game sites have become a furtive pastime among office workers, insomniac moms and chronic procrastinators.

From Web to Print

The pages of 8020 Publishing's two magazines are filled entirely with content submitted by readers through its Web sites.

$1 Coffee at Starbucks

To stop McDonald's and other rivals from siphoning away even more customers, the company begins testing $1 cups of coffee.

We Need You To Disperse, Por Favor

In May, Latino protesters at a rally in Los Angeles failed to heed warnings to disperse—warnings shouted at them in English from a noisy police helicopter. Hundreds were injured in the ensuing melee, which might have been prevented by the Phraselator, a handheld device that can translate 100,000 words or phrases, including crowd control messages like "We need you to move away." Created by Voxtec of Maryland, the Phraselator was designed for American cities where immigration is booming. Priced from $2,500, the device is cheaper than translators, but less effective because it works one way, like a bullhorn.Still, applications are spreading. In Lee County, Fla., corrections officers use the device to ask Spanish- and Creole-speaking prisoners yes-or-no booking questions. Rescue services are considering using the device in earthquakes, floods and wildfires. And in Los Angeles, police are programming Phraselators to translate into Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Japanese and, of course, Spanish.

Race for Life: Triathlon Camp for Diabetics

There was a time—say, the fourth grade—when I was sure my genetic destiny was to be an athlete. My father was a three-time All-American wrestler in college. My mother was a runner and a yoga teacher. At school, whenever teams were picked, I was among the first chosen, and, without exception, the first girl. But at 11 a different genetic fate revealed itself when I developed type 1 diabetes. The disease—which I and about 3 million others in this country have—develops when the pancreas stops producing insulin, which the body needs to turn glucose into energy. As a type 1, my life is a perpetual balancing act that requires me to check my blood glucose level several times a day. If it's too low, I feel shaky, tired and confused and must give myself sugar or risk passing out. Too high, and I feel listless and nauseated until I give myself more insulin. Over time, too many "highs," as I call them, can lead to the disease's nastiest complications—blindness, kidney failure and limb...

Blood, Sweat and Peers

After 10 years as a clinical endocrinologist, Dr. Matthew Corcoran, founder of the Diabetes Training Camp, was frustrated. Having seen thousands of patients—as assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and most recently as a physician in Lehigh Valley Hospital’s diabetes and endocrinology group—he wondered why more wasn’t being done to prevent the very complications he spent so much time trying to treat. So in March, the 39-year-old physician quit his job to focus full time on developing the camp—the first of its kind. This summer, 28 campers came from all over the country, ranging in age from 16 to 66. Some are competitive athletes looking to fine-tune their skills. Others just want to start an exercise program. All have type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that occurs when, for unknown reasons, a person stops producing insulin, a hormone that turns glucose into energy. Next year, Corcoran plans to add a sports camp for adolescents. Eventually he’ll...

The Ultimate Money Pit: Having a Baby

Stay-at-home mothers just got a little more ammunition against their working counterparts in the mommy wars. It seems that if homemakers were ever paid for the myriad jobs they perform—from chef to chauffeur to psychologist—they'd command a whopping $138,095 annually, several times what most working mothers earn in the workplace. This according to a new survey from Salary.com, which based its calculation on a 92-hour workweek and the median national wage for the assorted jobs that mothers must perform each day. Sure, the validation is purely symbolic, but it may come as some solace at a time when stay-at-home moms are being taken to task in the new book "The Feminine Mistake" for giving up the financial independence their ERA-era mothers fought so hard to win.To work or not to work, that is the question—for many affluent parents, at least. The answer often hinges on a cold, hard fact: having a baby is the ultimate money pit, albeit one most people wouldn't trade for the world....

Marriage & Money: What You Should Know

Tax time can tax even the strongest marriages, but newlyweds Brad and Drew Erb, who took their vows last October, should be feeling particularly in love as April 15 approaches. Over the past six months, the couple has done nearly everything possible to avoid the kind of financial conflicts that often lead to nasty fights between husbands and wives: they combined their checking and investment accounts, made each other beneficiaries of their respective 401(k)s and are bumping up their life insurance. Brad, who is now on his wife's medical plan, saves a few hundred dollars a month. Even better, filing a joint tax return this year gave them a 15 percent higher refund. "Our situation is probably luckier than a lot of people's," says Brad, a Winter Park, Fla.-based financial adviser for Edward Jones.He's right. All over the country, freshly married couples, confronting that cold 1040 "EZ" form for the first time together, are finding out the hard way that when it comes to marital stress,...