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  • I Want My (Web) MTV

    Digital impresario Mika Salmi is transforming Viacom's MTV Networks into a new-media powerhouse, saving it from a fate worse than death: middle age.
  • Grand as Well as Green

    Just because a hotel is luxurious doesn't mean it has to compromise the environment. Some topnotch resorts are experimenting with innovative ecological programs that aim to keep the planet's—and their own—best interests at heart. The guests like them, too. The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town is one of South Africa's finest, boasting rejuvenating spa treatments, afternoon tea and stunning views of Table Mountain. It is also home to more than 120,000 earthworms that, through Mount Nelson's Vermiculture Project, aid in transforming organic waste into fertilizer for the grounds' gardens ($504 per night; mountnelson.co.za).Animal lovers will appreciate a stay at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa in the French Polynesian islands. The grounds feature a sea-turtle rehabilitation center, which serves as a temporary hospital for injured turtles, as well as a permanent home for turtles not healthy enough to return to their natural habitats. The resort's lagoon is home to the Moorea...
  • Made In the Shade

    These lampshades shine in the spotlight. Rothschild & Bickers's ruby hand-blown glass shade with fabric trimming infuses contemporary style with a touch of Victorian decadence ($475; rothschildbickers.com). Designer Janne Kyttanen's Palm Pendant lampshade will illuminate any room with its 3-D print effect ($2,145; cameronpeters.co.uk). Tom Dixon's Twist Pendant is made of pleated and twisted laminated cotton in an hourglass design ($415; tomdixon.net). The Swan Light, true to its name, is built from feathers cast out of glass and gives off an ethereal glow ($825; hiddenartshop.com). Jasper's limited-edition lampshade features a green leaf motif digitally printed on cotton satin ($340; hiddenartshop.com). And Squint Ltd.'s bespoke shades come wrapped in antique silk, a magnificent swirl of pattern and color ($370; squintlimited.com). Even with the lights off, they all dazzle.
  • Quinn: Subprime-Loan Katrinas

    The government had plenty of power to prevent the mortgage crisis. But regulators didn't do their jobs—and still don't get it.
  • What Power Looks Like

    They ride on Gulfstreams, set the global agenda, and manage the credit crunch in their spare time. They have more in common with each other than their countrymen. Meet the Superclass.
  • Retirement Postponed

    Baby boomers who'd expected to quit work by now discover they can't afford it. Blame the meltdown.
  • Gross: Mismanagement 101

    The dollar's woes reflect the world's collective verdict on the ability of the U.S. to manage the global financial system.
  • Honey, I Shrunk The Car

    Gas costs are up. So is Third World consumer demand. The result: a new breed of cars that are cooler, cheaper and incredibly small. Goodbye, Hummer.
  • To Your Credit

    The best new card offers are reserved for small-business owners.
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot

    It's easy to find the perfect shot of espresso at a neighborhood café. But for those who prefer to drink their first cup of the day in PJs, home brewing is iffier. Thankfully, a range of new luxury machines are up to the task. They offer plenty of the pressure required to make espresso and they're also good at making the crema on top.Near the top end, Saeco's Primea Cappuccino Touch Plus prepares two cappuccinos or latte macchiatos at once using a built-in grinder to grind beans, a colorfully illuminated touchscreen and nanotechnology to clean itself ($2,900; saeco.com).The Illy Francis Francis X6 is the iconic Italian espresso machine that has added pizzazz to kitchens for 20 years. It now uses premeasured Illy paper pods (about 70 cents apiece) instead of loose grounds to make each cup ($500; illy.com).The De'Longhi Lattissima is a one-touch phenom that uses a choice of 12 espresso pods (made by Nestlé's Nespresso, about 45 cents each; nespresso.com) to effortlessly make all...
  • Endless Santa: Netflix Of Toys

    Every parent knows toddlers have short attention spans, especially when it comes to toys: they quickly tire of what they just got and want new stuff. But who can afford that? One entrepreneurial Houston mother of 15-month-old twins has a solution: BabyPlays, which applies a Netflix rental model to educational playthings aimed at the diaper set.Lori Pope pulled some $250,000 out of the oilfield supply business she already owns to launch the Web start-up last fall. With a warehouse of 6,000 toys, BabyPlays.com offers various membership plans that allow parents to rent toys as long as they want, and then send them back for different toys. At $37 a month, the cheapest plan allows families to keep four toys at a time. The most expensive plan is $65 a month for 10 toys.Pope shops for playthings she thinks are safe, stimulating and sturdy. She sterilizes and shrink-wraps each toy before sending it out. Her business plan calls for 12,000 toys by summer and profitability in 18 months, but...
  • Bigger Than At Times Square

    The advertising industry is always looking for the next big idea. So here's one that spans more than five acres: London-based Ad-Air Group is placing gigantic flat ads in deserts and farm fields adjacent to airports. Captive airline passengers who glance out the window on takeoff or landing won't be able miss them.In October, the firm unveiled its first ad, what it calls "the largest advertisement in the world," near Dubai International. CEO Andrew Ward says that the site particularly appealed to the large real-estate company that placed the ad because it's a key spot for catching the attention of people doing business in Europe and Asia. Within weeks, Ward expects to announce two new ads in London and two in Paris, and then ads this summer in Atlanta, Phoenix, Denver, Tokyo and Beijing.The huge ads, which will cost companies at least $1 million, are low tech and not expensive to produce. They're digitally printed on pieces of PVC mesh that are assembled on frames that sit a few...
  • Samuelson: OPEC's Triumph

    For nearly half-a-century, the organization has been a cartel in name only. Now it may be the real deal.
  • Does Aromatherapy Work?

    Aromatherapy adherents will tell you that basil can clear headaches and lemon can be an antidepressant. The idea that scents can be used medicinally has become so widely accepted that so-called "essential" oils, or highly concentrated plant scents, have found their way into a slew of lotions, candles, sprays and massage products promising to help you sleep, wake you up or relieve your stress. But do they work?While it's true that a pleasant smell can put you in a good mood, new research casts doubt on some of the reputed healing powers of aromatherapy. Researchers at Ohio State University found that lemon and lavender oil had no physiological effect on study subjects, despite lemon's reputation as a stimulant and lavender's as a sleep aid. They taped cotton balls that had been dipped in lemon oil, lavender oil or water to subjects' noses and conducted a variety of tests ranging from pain response (dunking feet in cold water) to mood studies (completing psychological tests). Although...