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  • How to Make A Star Follow Directions

    Paul Thomas Anderson directed "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and the upcoming "There Will Be Blood" with Daniel Day-Lewis. He talked with David Ansen about working with actors. ...
  • We'll Always Have Paris, And Vienna

    Each of these Hollywood movie directors has at least two things in common: they all immigrated to the United States, and they all won a best-director Oscar (or two or three) once they got here. FRANK CAPRA: ITALY"It Happened One Night" (1934), "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), "You Can't Take It With You" (1938) WILLIAM WYLER: GERMANY"Mrs. Miniver" (1942), "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), "Ben-Hur" (1959) MICHAEL CURTIZ: HUNGARY"Casablanca" (1943) BILLY WILDER: AUSTRIA"The Lost Weekend" (1945), "The Apartment" (1960) FRED ZINNEMANN: AUSTRIA"From Here to Eternity" (1953), "A Man for AllSeasons" (1966) JOHN SCHLESINGER: ENGLAND"Midnight Cowboy" (1969) MILOS FORMAN: CZECHOSLOVAKIA"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), "Amadeus" (1984) ELIA KAZAN: TURKEY"Gentleman's Agreement" (1947), "On the Waterfront" (1954) ANG LEE: TAIWAN"Brokeback Mountain" (2005)
  • Beijing Goes Back to Confucius

    After half a century of state-enforced atheism, loosened policies in China have prompted millions to flock to traditional Eastern and Western faiths. A recent poll by a Shanghai University found that 31 percent of Chinese 16 or older are religious, putting the number of believers at 400 million, four times previous estimates.Still, a recent U.S. report on religious freedom slammed the Chinese government for restricting practice to state-sanctioned groups and registered places of worship. Only five religions are officially recognized: Buddhism, Taoism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam. The government itself is promoting a revival of Confucius—a philosopher all but purged from Chinese society by Mao. Beijing plans to establish 500 Confucius institutes by 2010. Membership in the Communist Party, though, still forbids any religious practice.
  • The Dry Facts About Water

    About 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and more than 80 countries—representing 40 percent of the world's population—regularly experience serious water shortages. Though 75 percent of the world's surface is water, less than 1 percent is readily usable by humans. The rest is in hard-to-use forms such as glaciers, vapor and deep groundwater—as well as saline seawater, of course.The average amount of water used daily by one person living in Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Gambia, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania or Uganda equals that used by someone in a developed country brushing his teeth with the tap running. The United Nations has set a goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who lack regular access to safe drinking water by 2015. In many regions the water crisis reflects poor management, not scarcity. Agriculture, for instance, accounts for more than 80 percent of the world's water consumption, but 60 percent of the water used for irrigation is lost...
  • True or False: The Major Religions Are Essentially Alike

    At least since the first petals of the counterculture bloomed across the United States in the 1960s, it has been fashionable to affirm that all religions are beautiful—and all are true. The proof text for this happy affirmation comes, appropriately enough, from the Hindu Vedas rather than the Christian Bible: "Truth is one, the sages call it by many names."According to this multicultural form of wisdom, the world's religions are merely different paths up the same mountain. But are they? Religious people do agree that there is something wrong with this world. But they disagree as soon as they start to diagnose the problem, and diverge even more when it comes to prescriptions for the cure. Christians see sin as the human problem and salvation from sin as the religious goal. Buddhists see suffering (which, in this tradition, is not ennobling) as the problem and liberation from suffering (nirvana) as the goal. If practitioners of the world's religions are all climbing a mountain, then...
  • The Fading Forests of the Sea

    Coral reefs are often called the rain forests of the sea. And like their terrestrial counterparts, they're in big trouble. Since 1980, an estimated 20 percent of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed—a number that could well triple by the end of the century. Though causes of the demise vary and are still being studied, warming ocean temperatures are a leading factor. Even in tropical climates, home to much of the world's coral, an increase of just 1 degree Celsius can throw a delicate reef system totally out of whack. The result is often "bleaching" —a process that disrupts the essential symbiotic relationship between the tiny polyps that live inside the hard calcium coral and the tinier algae that live inside the polyp tissue and give healthy reefs their vibrant colors. When temperatures get too hot, the coral polyps become stressed and expel the algae, causing the coral to bleach and eventually die, leaving behind a barren, calcium skeleton devoid of color and life (above,...
  • The Unholy Trinity of World Health

    At its last summit, the G8 pledged $60 billion to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. They aren't biologically similar; they're caused by a virus, a bacterium and a parasite. So why lump them together? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?Heart disease is scary. So is mad-cow disease. But only one of them is a good reason to give up beef. Your chance of getting heart disease next year is 1 in 250, compared with less than 1 in 10 billion for mad cow. As for the latest dread disease, XDR-TB? It's 1 in 100 million—as rare as steak tartare. GOING, GOING, GONESmallpox is the only disease we've ever eradicated. But others are on the endangered list: Guinea worm, polio and lymphatic filariasis could all be wiped out in the next few generations.
  • Diabetes: A 'Disease of Poverty'?

    Diabetes kills as many as AIDS, and is a big problem in poor countries. Dr. Martin Silink, head of the International Diabetes Federation, spoke with Mary Carmichael. ...
  • True or False: Do American Athletes Rule?

    The starry aggregate of America's "Dream Team" at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was so dazzling that even the opposition was charmed by its Magic, as well as its Larry and Michael. Two years later at the world championships, Dream Team II was an exercise in ugly Americanism. The U.S. squad laughed up and down the court, punctuating its romps with the NBA's native tongue, trash talk. But sports adheres to the law of "he who laughs last," and lately America has not been laughing. Its recent Dream Team incarnations have been smacked by a succession of nations—Argentina, Spain, Greece, Lithuania—that, not long ago, had never done anything with a big round ball except kick it. ...
  • True or False: U.S.'s Broadband Penetration Is Lower Than Even Estonia's

    Maybe our proud nation is going through some rough spots, but at least we have one shining and perpetual triumph: the Internet. People may refer to it as the World Wide Web, but its capital is Silicon Valley and the United States is the big dog tapping the global keyboard. At least that's what we thought, until the news broke in April of a report by the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that ranked the high-speed broadband adoption of 30 countries in the developed world. The United States was not first. Or second, or third. It ranked 15th.This was a continuation of a trend: only a few months ago the OECD ranked America 12th. Even more mortifying, when ranked against all countries on broadband penetration (percentage of homes connected), the United States came in 24th—behind such powers as Iceland, Finland and, yes, Estonia. In terms of the raw number of connected homes, we still hold a lead at 60 million broadband subscriptions, but China, with 56...
  • In 2009, TV Enters the Twilight Zone

    It sounds like the plot of a political-intrigue novel: television screens across the nation go blank; the government has declared an end to TV as we know it.But it's true. By law, on Feb. 17, 2009, TV transmitters in the United States will have to discontinue all analog feeds and use only digital frequencies. After that, anyone who gets his TV via antenna (about one in six households) will see only snow—until he buys a new digital TV set or a converter box (the government will chip in a few bucks for the latter). Viewers who already get cable or satellite TV won't notice a difference.The idea is to free up the crowded airwaves, and raise money for Uncle Sam. Some frequencies will be handed to emergency responders; the rest will be auctioned off to wireless service companies. As for those old rabbit ears? You can always donate them to a Playboy bunny.
  • Tech's Partying Like 1999. Uh-oh.

    Once again, the Silicon Valley is partying like it's 1999. And, once again, skeptics are warning of a big fat bubble that will inevitably pop, leaving investors in the red and geeks on the unemployment line. Are the skeptics right? NEWSWEEK's Steven Levy posed the question to Marc Andreessen, 35, cofounder of the pioneering Web 1.0 start-up Netscape in 1994, and now a founder of Ning, a Web 2.0 social-networking company. ...
  • Catch Up On Hot Blogs

    The top blog in each category by page views, as measured by Blogads and Site Meter: SECOND LIFE'S FUNNY MONEY Linden Labs' Virtual World, Second Life, has a thriving economy of its own. According to the company, there are 2.6 billion linden dollars in circulation, which players use to buy property and objects in the game. That translates to U.S. $9.8 million.
  • How to Make an '08 Campaign Ad

    In March Philip de Vellis (a.k.a. ParkRidge47) ushered in an era of voter-generated campaign ads with his Hillary "1984" spot. Want to generate buzz? Andrew Romano asked him for tips: ...
  • Rudy: 'Swift Boat-able' on 9/11?

    As Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign rolls along, there are more and more voices protesting that he's not the 9/11 hero America considers him to be. First among them: some firefighters. Many in New York City blame the former mayor for refusing to let them direct recovery efforts for their fallen brethren at Ground Zero in the weeks after the attack. (Giuliani cited safety concerns.) Others involved in the unprecedented recovery operation claim the Giuliani administration did not adequately enforce safety procedures, leaving workers exposed to harmful toxins at the attack site. (At the time, the Giuliani administration said it was doing all it could to protect workers in a stressful period.)Questions also persist about Giuliani on the day itself. As Wayne Barrett, a Giuliani biographer, has pointed out, the very images themselves of the mayor's trekking through apocalyptic ash in lower Manhattan suggest a Giuliani blunder: placing the city's emergency command center in the World...
  • Campaign 2008: Follow the Money!

    As Campaign 2008 heats up, so will fund-raising efforts. Some names and numbers to know: $4,600: That's the max individual donors can give a campaign—$2,300 for a primary, the same for a general election. It's still primary season, but some '08 candidates are taking in the full amount, thanks to a loophole that lets campaigns accept checks early. BUNDLING: To raise big bucks, campaigns hit up donors to solicit checks from their friends, family and colleagues. Elite members of Hillary Clinton's "Hillraisers" have pledged to raise $1 million apiece for her campaign. 527 GROUPS: Named for the federal tax code under which they file, these independent groups can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on the election, as long as they don't coordinate with other campaigns. One famous 527: the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which spent $22 million in 2004 to defeat John Kerry.
  • Who's in Line To Be China's Next Leader?

    With no rival in sight, Hu Jintao, 64, is easy money to win five more years as No. 1 man at this year's party plenum. But he's already grooming a whole roster of successors for his likely retirement in 2012. The two at the top of the list: Li Keqiang  The favorite, 52 in July, has law and economics degrees and a Hu-like aura of prudence. A former Youth League head (also like Hu), he's now party chief of smokestack Liaoning province. Li Yuanchao No relation, 56. Another longtime Hu aide, also trained in law and econ, the party boss in Jiangsu is known for boldness—and has even hired some former Tiananmen activists.
  • BeliefWatch: Ground Zero's 'Shrine'

    Carole Pizzolante, from Ontario, Canada, is standing in a historic church in New York City, and she is trying not to cry. Before her is a wall, plastered with the faces of people killed on 9/11. "It's all so bloody senseless, I can't get through it," she says with a wave of her hand, and then her composure falters. She pauses and says, through tears, "What could anyone gain from doing something like this?"For years, St. Paul's Chapel was an important but overlooked tourist attraction. What St. Paul's had to offer was its history—it was built in 1766—and a pew, located at the side of the church where George Washington sat and worshiped after his Inaugural in 1789. Almost no one went there, in other words, and those who did were mostly financial-district office workers who liked to eat their lunches under the shade trees in the chapel's ancient cemetery. For years and years, six people, on average, attended Sunday-morning services there, says the Rev. Stuart Hoke, staff chaplain at St...
  • Far, Far Away From Home

    Buying a villa in Tuscany is so cliché. These days, luxury consumers want their holiday refuges to be off the beaten path.
  • Suites for the Sweet

    With accommodations like these on the market, nobody should be understated all the time.
  • Q&A With Steve Carell

    Steve Carell talks about 'The Office,' about keeping the elephants happy and about how to use irony in a sentence.
  • A Kapuscinski Valedictory

    Plenty of Central European writers have been obsessed with the theme of human memory. The poems of the late Polish Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, the prose of Czech émigré Milan Kundera and the writings of countless others have focused on, as Kundera put it, how "ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten."No one fought harder against that than Ryszard Kapuscinski, the Polish journalist turned literary superstar who died last January at age 74. And nowhere is this more explicit than in his last book, "Travels with Herodotus." Like many of his works, this is a collage of sorts, part travel writing, part self-reflection. But as befits a work that feels almost like a last testament, it's far more of the latter. He describes how in his travels he took along Herodotus' "The Histories," snatching it up as soon as a Polish translation was available during the post-Stalinist thaw in 1955. He views the Greek who lived in the fifth century B.C. as his role model, someone who set out...
  • Media Ethics: Should Paris Get Paid to Talk?

    Should news organizations pay celebs for their interviews? The issue hit the headlines this week amid reports that NBC had outbid its rivals at ABC by offering Paris Hilton $1 million to dish on her 45 days behind bars for violating her parole on a drunk-driving conviction. ABC confirmed that it had made a $100,000 offer for video rights to accompany the interview, which was rejected in favor of an NBC offer. NBC said only that "we don't pay for interviews." On Friday, in the face of intense criticism, both news organizations said they had no plans to air a Hilton interview.That doesn't end the debate about media outlets paying for access. Fierce competition to secure exclusive material have led to creative deals in which companies pay for related expenses, like production materials, while shying away from paying the subjects themselves. NEWSWEEK's Alexandra Gekas spoke with Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Washington-based nonpartisan research...
  • Actress Lucy Liu Speaks Out

    Considering that she has been traveling for almost two days to get from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to London, Lucy Liu looks fresh-faced and enthusiastic. The actress—known for her roles in “Ally McBeal,” “Charlie’s Angels” and more recently on the hit show “Ugly Betty”—traveled to the DRC as a UNICEF ambassador visiting a rehabilitation center for child soldiers, a hospital for young girls who have been raped and an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. The 38-year-old actress, who has a bachelor's degree in Asian studies from the University of Michigan, has been quietly working with UNICEF since 2004. But it is not just the plight of children that she wants to spotlight. She says she chose to play the role of an HIV-positive Chinese woman in last year’s film “3 Needles” to spread awareness about HIV and AIDS across Asia. Last year she also produced a documentary, “Freedom’s Fury,” that told the story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution through the lens of the infamous...
  • David Ansen Reviews 'Sicko'

    Whatever you think of Michael Moore—and who doesn't have an opinion?—the man has an impeccable sense of timing. His newest polemic, "Sicko," takes aim at our disastrous health-care system at a moment in the national debate when even the die-hardest boosters of free enterprise acknowledge that major changes have to be made, if not the free universal health care that most Western countries offer, and that we resist.The "we," as Moore takes pains to show us, are the drug companies, the hospital industry, the bought-and-paid-for politicians and the health-insurance companies, the latter being the true focus of this alternately hilarious and heartbreaking screed. This time around, Moore spares us the spectacle of himself storming the offices of his villains, his camera ever ready to capture their clench-jawed embarrassment. He's more concerned with the victims—not the 50 million uninsured, but the much vaster numbers who have private health insurance, and suffer for it. We see their...
  • The Genius of P. G. Wodehouse

    Evelyn Waugh considered P. G. Wodehouse the greatest comic writer of his time: that would be from 1900, when he sold his first magazine article, to 1974, when his last book came out. (He died a year later, at 93.) And Waugh predicted that his determinedly escapist stories and novels “will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own.” Right on both counts. The irksomometer overloaded years ago, and on the jacket of the new Everyman’s Library anthology “The Best of Wodehouse,” Waugh shares blurb space with David Foster Wallace.Wodehouse’s most popular creation, the team of foppish, feeble-brained Bertie Wooster and his quietly omniscient valet Jeeves, is a common literary archetype: Don Quixote/Sancho Panza, Mr. Pickwick/Sam Weller, Lear/the Fool, Frodo/Sam. But Wodehouse adds a folktale element: Bertie is a descendent of those witlings and third sons who complete their quests because of their innocence. In Wodehouse, the servant not...
  • Up Close & Edible: Apples

    To peel or not to peel? For apple lovers, that is the question. An apple's peel contains many important nutrients that, according to new research, can help fight cancer. But the apple has also gotten flack for its heavy pesticide content, which can be reduced by tossing the peel in the trash. What is an apple eater to do?In general, apples are a pretty healthy—and popular—snacking decision. The average American ate just under 17 pounds of fresh apples in 2005 alone, according to the U.S. Apple Association. Nutritionally, they're making a wise choice: the apple is low in calories, high in fiber and a good source for potassium and vitamin C."In terms of getting fiber, it's a great choice," says Marisa Moore, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "It's also good for potassium, which most people don't get enough of."And there's good news about apple peels: a number of studies at Cornell University have found that that eating apples may help reduce the risk of cancer. The...
  • Egypt: The Problem With Wearing a Veil

    It was a risky—and frightening—experiment.  Taxis refused to stop for me, but male drivers kept pulling over to compliment my eyes (the only part of my body on show) and inviting me into their vehicles. Others just stared.  Why the unwelcome attention? Because I was wearing a niqab, the full face veil, on the streets of Cairo. Egypt may be a Muslim country, but its government places numerous restrictions on those who make this religious commitment. That, however, may be about to change in the wake of a decision earlier this month by Egypt’s High Administrative Court.A special chamber of the court ruled on June 9 that the American University in Cairo (AUC) could not bar a female scholar who wears the niqab from using university facilities.  That decision upheld a 2001 ruling by a lower court, which cited personal and religious freedom as the reason that Iman al-Zainy could not be barred from campus for wearing the garment. (Zainy was pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Egypt's prestigious...
  • BeliefWatch: An Atheist Uproar

    It may not be fair to call what's happening in the atheist community a backlash, since atheists have always been and continue to be one of the smallest, most derided groups in the country. In a recent NEWSWEEK Poll, only 3 percent of respondents called themselves atheists and only 30 percent said they'd ever vote for an atheist. No, what's happening in the "atheist, humanist, freethinkers" community is more like what happens to any ideological or political group as it matures: the hard-liners knock heads with the folks who want to just get along, and the cracks are beginning to show.At the center of this controversy is the humanist chaplain of Harvard University, a 30-year-old "secular rabbi" named Greg Epstein. In March, in remarks to the Associated Press, Epstein called the popular writers Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins "atheist fundamentalists." He accused the best-selling authors—he now includes Christopher Hitchens among them—of being more interested in polemics, in tearing...
  • Nancy Drew Is Back … On the Silver Screen

    Go get your flashlight—there's a mystery we need to solve. Nancy Drew, girl sleuth, who vanished from movie theaters nearly 70 years ago, suddenly reappears this week. Where has she been? And can the teenager time forgot appeal to a generation obsessed with the Pussycat Dolls? Let's get to the bottom of this.Before the new "Nancy Drew" movie, the 16-year-old crimefighter had last hit the silver screen in 1939. Back then, the Stratemeyer Syndicate's series of novels (by the pseudonymous Carolyn Keene) was just nine years old. Now, nearly 200 books later, the Nancy of the novels has traded the blue roadster for a hybrid, and she's been one of Simon & Schuster's most bankable brands since 1979, when it bought the rights from Stratemeyer. Apparently that didn't impress the movie industry, which has co-opted just about every other boomer-era character, from Inspector Gadget to the Brady Bunch. In Hollywood, Nancy Drew couldn't get, as they say, arrested.Nancy did have a short-lived ...
  • My Turn: I'm Happiest Dressed In My Birthday Suit

    I am a nudist. I am not a naturist. I am not awestruck when I see a green mountain range or a waterfall or a babbling brook—whatever that is. I love to look at tall glass buildings. I like to look at magnificent bridges. I was born in Manhattan, and when I moved to Queens, which is one of the boroughs of New York City, I was amazed that it had trees!I grew up with lustful images of Sophia Loren and Jane Russell—though I also liked Mitzi Gaynor. I used to watch Dagmar on TV and thought if I stood close to the TV I could see down her cleavage. In the 1960s and '70s, I would fantasize about women in their bikinis at the beach.Then, in 1999, I made my first visit to a clothing-optional beach in New Jersey. When I realized where I was, I tried to maintain my poise. My buddy said that he had never been there either, so this was a first for him too. We took off our shirts, but neither of us took off our bathing suits. I felt very uncomfortable wearing a suit while mostly everyone else was...
  • Does Your Child Need a Personal Trainer?

    Like many 13-year-olds, Adam Hillen likes sports. As a seventh grader in Mason, Ohio, he plays on his junior high school's football and wrestling teams. But his father became concerned when Adam began working out with his friends. "He would go to the weight room with a bunch of kids, and I just thought that invited injury," says Doug Hillen.So he took Adam to meet Doug Gibson, a personal trainer and president of Sensible Fitness in nearby Blue Ash. "I wanted Adam to learn the right way to lift weights," says Hillen. "I thought a personal trainer was the way to go."Gibson started Adam on basic strengthening moves, using lunges and leg presses to build up his leg muscles and glutes, and then eventually worked him into speed training, sprinting and lateral running drills, useful for his position as fullback on the football team. The sessions also helped him with his workouts outside the gym. "Doug teaches me a lot that I can do at my house," says Adam. More than eight weeks after Adam...
  • Kids and Injuries: Don't Go Overboard

    Kids need exercise, but how much is too much? Karen Springen asked Dr. Joel S. Brenner, a runner and pediatric sports-medicine specialist in Norfolk, Va., and lead author of "Overuse Injuries, Overtraining and Burnout in Child and Adolescent Athletes" in this month's Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. ...
  • Will: Is Fred Thompson All Charm, No Substance?

    Tulip mania gripped Holland in the 1630s. Prices soared, speculation raged, bulbs promising especially exotic or intense colors became the objects of such frenzied bidding that some changed hands 10 times in a day. Then, suddenly, the spell was broken, the market crashed—prices plummeted in some cases to one one-hundredth of what they had been just days before. And when Reason was restored to her throne, no one could explain what the excitement had been about. Speaking of Fred Thompson ...Some say he is the Republicans' Rorschach test: They all see in him what they crave. Or he might be the Republicans' dot-com bubble, the result of restless political investors seeking value that the untutored eye might not discern and that might be difficult to quantify but which the investors are sure must be there, somewhere, somehow.One does not want to be unfair to Thompson, who may have hidden depths. But ask yourself this: If he did not look like a basset hound who had just read a sad story...
  • Cracking Down on 'Murderabilia'

    It's called 'murderabilia'—the buying and selling of items connected to grisly crime scenes. And it's a brisk business online. Inside the campaign to police the murder market.
  • Design: Serious Fun

    Taking your children to the playground is a good way to fool them into getting exercise. But all playgrounds were not created equal. TIP SHEET found five that go well beyond the obligatory slide, seesaw and swing set. ...
  • Wal-Mart Heiress's Museum Unnerves Art Elites

    Alice Walton made a deal last November to buy Thomas Eakins's 1876 masterpiece "The Gross Clinic" from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia for $68 million. Walton (Sam's daughter and Wal-Mart heiress) wanted it not for her living room but to hang in the public museum she's creating in her hometown of Bentonville, Ark. "This is the holy grail of American painting," said John Wilmerding, a trustee of the National Gallery and Walton's art adviser. But Wilmerding should have remembered that the holy grail is elusive. When news of the sale broke, the City of Brotherly Love went ballistic. Thanks to a clause in the deal, Philadelphia was given 45 days to match the price. Locals turned their pockets inside out, whether it was an art student's dropping a few bucks in a coffee can or the Annenberg Foundation's rushing a $10 million gift. Anne d'Harnoncourt, director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, thought losing "The Gross Clinic" would be like Amsterdam's losing Rembrandt's "The...