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  • 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...
  • Russia's Democratic Path

    The West underestimates the prospects for the gradual emergence of a democracy in the land of Stalin and Lenin.
  • Asia's Achilles Heel

    As China and India lose control of their economies, they are failing to provide reliable power to their citizens. How will they manage to curb carbon emissions? 
  • Affording Your Dream Kitchen

    Marc and Nicole Lombardi got a $45,000 renovation for just $7,000 by successfully auditioning for a home-improvement show. Here's how.
  • Samuelson on Stagflation

    We're not there yet, but the Federal Reserve may be steering us back to the 1970s by underestimating the danger of higher inflation.
  • Borrowers: Out In the Cold

    It's no longer just people with bad credit who are feeling the squeeze. Americans with good credit at all income levels are now caught in a full-blown credit crunch.
  • Twilight of the Media Moguls

    John Malone helped build a generation of media titans like no other—only to cut them down to size and reveal them as mere mortals. Just ask Barry Diller.
  • Not Made In Japan

    Once upon a time, the country was a leader in technology. Now it's struggling to find its place in the digital age. Can an entrenched corporate culture change?
  • Let It Snow, Let It Snow

    Betting on the weather may not sound like a business plan, but it's what farmers, ski resorts and utilities do all the time. Now they're turning to new financial products to hedge the risk. "Every November or December we get nervous," says Eliot Peyser, CEO of Manhattan's Weatherproof Garment Co. So this year he bought $10 million of insurance to protect against a warm winter.The insurance policy, arranged by weather-hedging specialty firm Storm Exchange of New York, is a step beyond the weather-futures contracts that have traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange since 1999. Those contracts track heating and cooling days, as well as snowfall, for many cities. The theory is that prices are set by a market balanced between buyers who want bad weather, like shovel manufacturers, and those who don't, like builders. The contracts have become a big business of their own: last year, $19 billion in weather contracts were traded. That's a deluge—or a windfall—depending on the hedger's...
  • Toys Go Tech...and Green

    As Toy Fair 2008 kicks off in New York City, high-tech and eco-friendly toys dominate the buzz.
  • Real Estate: Downsizing

    How moving from a 6,000-square-foot custom home to a 370-square-foot recreational vehicle helped quell one family's 'House Lust.'
  • The Market’s Echo Chamber

    In recent months, the noisiest and nastiest criticism of the Fed has come not from politicians, but from Wall Street money managers and pundits.
  • The U.S. Economy Faces the Guillotine

    America is on the road to recession, and many predict a worldwide slowdown. But it's a new economic order, and the emerging markets could take the lead.
  • How Did Rogue Trader Do It?

    French authorities have rogue futures trader Jérôme Kerviel in custody … and a lot of questions for him.
  • $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.