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  • Men on TV Are Such Wimps

    We TV is rolling out the fifth batch of its docuseries The Secret Lives of Women, which rummages through the dirty laundry of the fairer sex. Munchausen moms, phone-sex operators, and Wiccan priestesses reveal their unorthodox lives and the lengths to which they go to maintain them. There's no equivalent show for men, and if there were, even the title The Secret Lives of Men would sound silly. Men, it seems, don't have interesting secrets, and as TV fodder, they're worthless.There's no better evidence than Fox Reality's new series Househusbands of Hollywood. It's a gender-flipped version of Bravo's eminently bloggable Real Housewives franchise, and on paper, Househusbands sounds like it could be compelling. How do these men reconcile their domestic roles with the societal pressure to be the breadwinners? I had those questions going in, but as I watched the husbands—former baseball player Billy, ex-Marine Grant, sometime actor Danny, etc.—I found myself wondering what their wives...
  • China's Gambling Problem

    The Chinese take their side of paradise very seriously, and by paradise we mean the island of Hainan, a.k.a. "the Hawaii of China." The beaches are kept pristinely white (good news, especially for those brave enough to try the clothing-optional one). The hotels, such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Shangri-La, carry five stars. The tourists even act the part. Many wear colorful floral outfits that are so loud they almost pulsate. A few have become so intoxicated by the tropical scenery (and perhaps a few tropical cocktails) that they have gone charging into the ocean—only to drown because they can't swim. But as John Milton more or less told us a few centuries ago, trouble manages to find its way into paradise, and so it has in Hainan. In part, the problem is the global recession, which has eaten into the base of 20 million or so tourists who visit each year. Even worse: their void—and the money vacuum they've left behind—is being filled by gambling, and the violence that so often comes...
  • Tarantino Rewrites the Holocaust

    At the climax of Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, Inglourious Basterds, which is set during World War II and which is concerned, at least superficially, with Jews, you get to witness a horribly familiar Holocaust atrocity—with a deeply unfamiliar twist. A group of unsuspecting people is tricked into entering a large building; the doors of the building are locked and bolted from the outside; then the building is set on fire. The twist here is not that Tarantino, a director with a notorious penchant for explicit violence, shows you in loving detail what happens inside the burning building—the desperate banging on the doors, the bodies alight, the screams, confusion, the flames. The twist is that this time the people inside the building are Nazis and the people who are killing them are Jews. What you make of the movie—and what it says about contemporary culture—depends on whether that inversion will leave audiences cheering or horrified. (Story continued below...)"Inversion" is the...
  • Rosen: Think Backward About Your College Choice

    Everyone's college goal is not the same. For some students it's about experiencing college life—football games, intellectual conversations, living on campus, being away from home for the first time. For others, it's about the desire to learn about a particular area—be it art history or advanced mathematics. And for others still, it's a means to an end—a path toward a career. Many students give too little thought to what it is they really want out of college, and what kind of university can best meet their needs. And few consider whether colleges are able to meet their end of the bargain.Basing your college choice on a desired outcome can be a constructive way to approach the college-applications process. At some schools, curriculum developers actually use a process known as "backward design" to create courses by starting from the desired outcome. In other words, the curriculum is shaped and coursework selected on the basis of how well it permits a student to achieve their desired...
  • A Guide to the 2010 Newsweek-Kaplan College Guide

    By the time you reach the point of applying to college, you may feel that you've heard way too much advice from your parents, your teachers, your guidance counselors, your neighbors—even that guy who graduated from your high school three years ago whom you ran into at the movies last week. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about where you should apply, what you should study, and even what you should write in your essay. If you can stand it, here's one more piece of advice: forget everything you've heard, at least for a moment, and think about the most important person in this process: you. What do you want out of college?It's a simple question with a very complicated answer. In fact, it's the theme of this 14th annual edition of the NEWSWEEK-Kaplan College Guide. Instead of focusing on different types of schools, we began by imagining different types of students and finding an environment that would work best for each one. Veteran education reporter Jay Mathews has assembled a...
  • Learning How to Get 'Internet Famous'

    Andrew Mahon needed to get famous—fast. So he set up a Web site—famousandrew.com—asked people to give him suggestions, and acted out their fancy on YouTube. He videotaped himself getting his bellybutton pierced, dressed as a Wall Street banker begging for change—even rode his bike around Manhattan in nothing but an American-flag thong."Famous Andrew" was an experiment, but not the kind you'd think. It was actually Mahon's homework for a design and technology course. It was an unconventional learning tool, to say the least. But at Parsons, the New York City design school where Mahon is now a senior, professors Evan Roth and James Powderly, both artists, along with software developer Jamie Wilkinson, believe that learning how to spread your work on the Web can be almost as important as creating it in the first place. "I think there's this kind of romantic notion of why artists make things, and many are reluctant to admit they want people to view their work," says Roth, a graphic...
  • Bennett: Who Should You Be in College?

    Where should you go to college? you have nearly 1,500 colleges and universities to choose among—and that counts just the accredited four-year institutions. The list gets longer still (much longer) if you include community colleges and other accredited institutions that offer two-year associate's degrees. How do you choose when the choice seems to matter so much?"Is it really my choice?" you may ask yourself. "Don't I have to get in first? And isn't it hard to get into the best colleges?" True, of the 1,500 there are 100 or so that are highly selective—that have so many applicants clamoring to get in, only a lucky minority gain admission. But is one of these the best college for you just because many, many others want to go there, too? There is very little evidence that these highly selective colleges provide a more effective education to the students who do gain admission than these same students would have received elsewhere. You need to make a right choice for you, not a choice...
  • How to Develop a Strategy for Taking the SATs

    Let's recap the good news—you now have more flexibility when it comes to your SAT scores and what colleges will actually use to evaluate your application. Ideally, this takes some of the anxiety out of the test-day experience and helps ensure you get a chance to showcase your best performance to the admissions committee.But with this new set of choices, many students are reporting anxiety over how to think through this decision—should they send one score? All scores? Some scores? Which scores?The first thing to keep in mind is that most colleges genuinely want to use your highest test score. In fact, most colleges have adopted the College Board's Score Choice policy, which allows students to selectively submit their score(s). Even many schools that have "opted out" of Score Choice have suggested that they will continue to "super score" students' test scores (i.e., take the highest sectional score from each test and combine them). This means that if you're applying to a school that...
  • Why I Let Go of My Ivy League Dream

    Reaching is great, but be careful not to overlook a less-well-known winner. The more pragmatic choice might just turn out to be your ideal one, too.