Newsweek Staff

Stories by Newsweek Staff

  • Christo's Latest

    Some people are going to say Japan is living up to its picky, no-fun stereotype. Christo, the Bulgarian-born artist who wrapped in fabric Paris's landmark bridge, Pont Neuf, five years ago, is planning to string 1,300 blue umbrellas across a Japanese valley and 1,700 yellow ones in California. But Japan, unlike California, has taken a regulatory stance and is requiring enough documentation to fill a Yellow Page-size binder. Christo, no stranger to red tape, is finding the Japanese overly fussy. But then, maybe wind-testing a 450-pound umbrella isn't such a bad idea.
  • The Bad News Bears

    When the stock market talks, everybody listens--even the frowning bad-news bears. The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new high in May, and most of the pessimists beat a retreat. Individual investors have been piling into stocks since December by buying stock-owning mutual funds. That may be bad news. Market lore says the public is always wrong. ...
  • It's Not Boring, It's High Concept

    ABC gets credit for renewing "'Twin Peaks," but blew it by nixing "Anything But Love." This is especially true given the interesting plots of next year's shows, including:(Zzz) Cop Rock, ABC A musical. Imagine cops inhaling jelly donuts, then bursting into arias. Bochco's chutzpah is appreciated, but c'mon.(Zzzzzzzzzzz) Baby Talk, ABC This spinoff of the uniquely dumb movie "Look Who's Talking" also features that comic impresario, Tony Danza, as the baby's voice.(Zzzzzz) Going Places, ABC "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was funny, but it had Dick Van Dyke. This one's about comedy writers writing a comedy show.(Zz) Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC Rapper plays a poor Philly kid dumped in moneytown. Sounds like "The Famous Teddy Z" with less Yiddish, more rhyming.PHOTO (COLOR): "Baby Talk'PHOTO (COLOR): "Fresh Prince'Subject Terms: TELEVISION programs
  • How Do Planes Differ From Buses?

    Guaranteeing that small children ride in safety--whether by airliner or school bus--hardly sounds like a controversial cause. Yet efforts to translate that desire into federal regulations have raised two hotly debated questions. Who should pay for the extra safety measures and would their costs really be worth their presumed benefits? ...
  • A Deadline For A Divorce

    Canadian Prime Minister Pierre, Trudeau surveyed the results of Quebec's referendum on independence and pronounced the separatism movement in his native province dead. But on the night of that defeat a decade ago, Rene Levesque who had led the raucous rebellion that brought Quebec to the brink of secession, took a different view. "A la prochaine, " he said. Until the next time. ...
  • The New Rules Of Courtship

    It used to be simpler. When the parents of today's teenagers were kids the rules of attraction were clear, logical, precise. Boy liked Girl. Girl liked Boy. Boy asked Girl out. Boy spent the next five months trying, often against all hope, to score. Boy, despite embarrassing failure, lied to his friends and said he scored anyway. Back then, before Prince and all that disco unpleasantness, even the most pathetic black-socks-in-gym-class loser could find someone to go out with. ...
  • Are Teens Tv Smart?

    Robert Pittman, one of the creators of MTV, thinks teens today are an audience best spoken to in pictures. "TV babies seem to perceive visual messages better" than previous generations did, Pittman wrote in a recent New York Times editorial. "They can 'reed' a picture or understand body language at a glance." ...
  • Facing The Alternatives

    Only half of sexually active teen women surveyed reported contraceptive use at first intercourse. Only 17 percent used the pill. Almost all teen pregnancies--5 out of 6--are unintended.About 40 percent of teenage pregnancies end in abortion.They account for 26 percent of all abortions performed in the United States.
  • Teens And Tv

    Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 watch TV an average of 22 hours a week. That means they spend about 3 hours a day in front of the tube. Ads consume 3 to 4 hours--about 20%--of TV watched per week.The more TV teens watch, the lower their writing ability; in one study, 17-year-olds who watched 6 or more hours of TV per week scored about 10 percent lower on a writing test than did those who watch only 2 hours per week.
  • Highs And Lows

    Grace Slick grew up in Palo Alto, Calif, the daughter of an investment banker. She attended Finch College (along with Tricia Nixon) and in 1966 joined the Jefferson Airplane. Her first album with the band Surrealistic Pillow sold 2 million copies and Slick's song, "White Rabbit," with its famous last lyric, "Feed your head," became an anthem of the psychedelic generation. Dubbed the "Acid Queen" by the press, she was said to have "the voice that launched a thousand trips." Eventually, though, it was her drinking that caught up with her. She is now a recovering alcoholic and lives in Mill Valley, north of San Francisco, with her husband, Skip Johnson. Her daughter, China, by Airplane founder Paul Kantner, is now a VJ-- video jockey--on MTV. ...
  • The Unhealthy Facts Of Life

    By March 1990 the Centers for Disease Control had counted 1,429 cases of AIDS among teenagers. Although teenage AIDS cases account for only 1% of the nation's total, the number of cases doubles every 14 months.More teenagers get the AIDS virus heterosexually than do adults.National statistics on chlamydia are not available, though experts in various locales report that between 7% and 40% of female teens have been infected.The syphilis rate for teens age 15-19 has jumped 67% since 1985.Condom use among teenagers doubled between 1979 and 1988.
  • How Many? How Bad?

    teenagers in the United States have become pregnant every year since 1973. Put another way, that's 1 out of 10 girls, ages 15 to 19, getting pregnant every year.An estimated 93 percent of the nation's high schools offer some form of sex education.
  • Prom Night Isn't What You Think

    In the movies, prom night is the night when all teenagers discover true love. In Mother's memory chest, it is the night immortalized by a dusty picture of a young girl and her long-forgotten sweetheart. In the boys' locker room it is the night for which all the girls have been saving their virginity. ...
  • Anatomy Of A Fad

    Teen Trends Follow Their Own Elusive Grapevine, Fed By Mass Media And Peer Pressure
  • Tales Of A Mother/Confessor

    My own adolescent rebellion came late. Somewhere around the age of 35. I don't recommend waiting till then. Better to drag your parents through it than your kids. I was the good child in our family. My job was to be happy, to make up for my brother, who wasn't. Even as a teen, I gave my parents little trouble. I told them only what I thought they wanted to hear. I kept the rest to myself. I played my role well, but it took its toll. My rashes were famous all over town. My aunt called me Camille. ...
  • That's No Way To End A Good Life

    Last night as I was lying awake in bed, I thought about suicide--my own suicide. I had just told my best friend's boyfriend that I wanted him to go out with me, not her. I know this doesn't seem like a very good reason for killing yourself, but there was more to it. I had asked him to go out with me only because I didn't want him to invite her to the prom. I didn't do it because I like him--I did it because I couldn't stand the thought of him stealing her away from me. I felt awful for having betrayed my friend. ...
  • Don't Expect Me To Be Perfect

    I am a 16-year-old Korean-American. My family has been in the United States for six years now. I'll be a junior next fall. ...
  • Coming Out Now

    For gay teens, life is better--and worse. They see more role models but AIDS is unrelenting. ...
  • Bring Back The Juvenile Delinquent

    Educational experts should realize that the goody-goody teens who reach their peak in high school these days only have weight problems, divorce and alcoholism in their future. It's the bad kids who healthily reject authority and suffer teen angst who build character and excel later in life. Unfortunately, few kids know how to rebel with class anymore. We no longer have juvenile delinquents--we have 13-year-old serial murderers. Somehow I doubt today's over-the-top hellcats will ever feel nostalgia for the good ole days of crack and "wilding." ...
  • This Year's Role Model

    There's no way around it: if you want to understand today's teenagers, you have to discover their heroes. Or, as the philosopher Joseph Campbell has pointed out, the people we admire are a reflection of our inner selves. Which isn't to say that pinpointing today's teen heroes is a Herculean task. Years of research have produced a scientific way of obtaining people's opinions about any number of things, heroes included. Yet in preparing this report, I didn't want to go that route. ...
  • The Patterns Of Abuse

    In a 1989 poll of seniors, 60% said they had drunk alcohol in the past 30 days; in 1980, 72% said they had. 17% of the 1989 seniors said they had smoked it once in the past 30 days; in 1979, 37% said they had.Between 1986 and 1989, the number of seniors using it decreased from 6.2% to 2.8%.Inner-cities use is still heavy, but overall use by high schoolers has fallen slightly since '87.
  • Against All Odds, I'm Just Fine

    What troubled times the American teenager lives in! Ads for Nike shoes urge us to "Just do it!" while the White House tells us to "Just say no." The baby boomers have watched their babies grow into teens and history has repeated itself: the punk teens of the '80s have taken the place of the hippie teens of the '60s. Once again the generation gap has widened and the adults have finally remembered to remember that teenagers are just no good. They have even coined a name for their persecution of adolescents: "teen-bashing." ...
  • Kids With Causes

    For a growing number of teenagers, the sentiment "I'm OK, who cares about you?" no longer prevails. Though there are no firm numbers on teen activism, many teachers and counselors predict a comeback. Granted, it's not yet a tidal wave of altruism. But in groups or on their own, teenagers are running recycling programs and peer hot lines, staffing soup kitchens and recording senior citizens' oral histories. Peter Scales, deputy director of the Center for Early Adolescence at the University of North Carolina, says, "The desire is there. We just have to tap into it." ...
  • Chance Of A Lifetime

    Aldo Gutierrez's chances of escaping the tough streets of south-central Los Angeles were no better than average. One of seven children born to Mexican immigrants, he was already a rebel and interested in gangs by the sixth grade. But at his elementary-school graduation, something astonishing happened: a wealthy California woman named Winifred Rhodes-Bea offered Aldo and his classmates a chance to escape the relentless cycle of early childbearing welfare and grinding poverty that often begins with dropping out. If they worked hard and stayed in school, Rhodes-Bea promised in the speech she delivered in the school auditorium, she would support them all the way--and pay for their college education. Aldo, now a ninth-grade scholarship student at Verbum Dei, a private Roman Catholic school, has turned his life around. "Before, I didn't really have any expectations. I used to be happy with a C," he says. "But now I want more than that." Hoping to become an engineer, Aldo will be--if all...
  • Stalking The Youth Market

    None dare call them sneakers. Sneakers is the kind of completely uncool word that parents use when they just refuse to understand. Little kids wear sneakers. Today's teenager wears what the trade calls "athletic shoes" or "fashion/casual footwear"--terms that you can stick a $150 price tag on. They are expressions of lifestyle. Tokens. ...
  • Work And What It's Worth

    Two or three days a week during the school year, 17-year-old Meta Smith headed directly from class to Mr. G's supermarket in Chicago. From 3 to 8 p.m. she bagged groceries, rang up sales and served cold cuts in the store's deli. Then she headed home for a night of homework before jumping into bed--and waking up at 6 the next morning to begin the routine anew. Her motivation: m-o-n-e-y. Most weeks, Meta earned about $90, which she used to buy make-up, clothes, jewelry and lunches. Says she: "So far it's the best job I've had." ...
  • A Much Riskier Passage

    There was a time when teenagers believed themselves to be part of a conquering army. Through much of the 1960s and 1970s, the legions of adolescence appeared to command the center of American culture like a victorious occupying force, imposing their singular tastes In clothing, music and recreational drugs on a good many of the rest of us. It was a hegemony buttressed by advertisers, fashion setters, record producers suddenly zeroing in on the teen multitudes as if they controlled the best part of the country's wealth, which in some sense they did. But even more than market power, what made the young insurgents invincible was the conviction that they were right: from the crusade of the children, grown-ups believed, they must learn to trust their feelings, to shun materialism, to make love, not money. ...
  • 1984 Michael Jackson Tour

    After months of anticipation, Michael Jackson's troubled and controversial tour has finally kicked off in Kansas City and the enigmatic star is living up to his reputation as the reluctant Pied Piper of pop.
  • Using Drugs to Fight Autism

    Brian Pingree was a beautiful child, but his mother knew something was terribly wrong. For hours, the three-year-old would sit rocking back and forth aimlessly, oblivious to his brothers and sisters who played nearby. When Carmen Pingree hugged and kissed her son, he would stiffen and turn his face away. He rarely spoke, and when he did, his voice had the flat tone of a science-fiction robot. Although he could open latches and locks with uncanny ease, he had trouble using a fork. Mrs. Pingree later learned that Brian was autistic, the victim of the most bizarre and complicated of all childhood disorders. Until recently, it was also the most misunderstood by doctors and psychologists. According to classical Freudians, autism was a severe emotional disease caused by the mother's unconscious rejection of her baby. Some experts considered autistics irredeemably retarded and urged that they be institutionalized, while others suggested that these children were schizophrenic and should be...