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  • Online: Art Project Lets You Shoot an Iraqi

    The other night, moments after Wafaa Bilal went to bed in his Chicago pad, he had a terrifying nightmare: as he was walking down a dark set of stairs he encountered two friends who started shooting him at point blank range. “I’ve had to deal with PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder] from being chased by Saddam’s soldiers” more than a decade ago, he says. “I see the beginning of it coming back now.”You probably would, too. The Iraqi-born artist was speaking to a NEWSWEEK reporter 19 days into a grueling monthlong project that sounds, at first blush, suspiciously gimmicky: until June 4, Bilal is living his entire life inside one room at Chicago’s Flatfile Gallery, which anyone with a Web connection can log on to watch. Oh, and to shoot him. With “Domestic Tension"  Bilal has turned his makeshift living quarters into a 24-hour-a-day war zone. Viewers can peep in on him anonymously at any time, and even chat with him online. On the installation’s Web site, his audience can fight for...
  • Cannes Loses Some of Its Fun

    “I’m an auction whore!” cried Sharon Stone, slithering across the stage in silver lamé at amfAR’s 14th annual Cinema Against AIDS dinner at the famed Moulin des Mougins restaurant in Cannes on Wednesday night.And indeed she was.She raised the stakes on a luxury yacht cruise, replete with a Chanel surfboard and other choice goodies, by offering a kiss by George Clooney to the winning bid right then and there. A svelte young brunette woman won, at $350,000, and trotted up on stage before 600 black-tie VIP guests to get her bonus. “Lay it on her, George!” Stone wailed. And with a gentle swoop, arm firmly around the woman’s waist, he did.During its 60-year existence, Cannes has been known as much for its parties as for its films. Big blowouts for a thousand in rococo villas overlooking the Mediterranean, small postscreening dinners for a hundred at the beach. There’s the Vanity Fair party, a swank ‘do around the pool at the Hotel du Cap, and amfAR up in the Provençal hilltop village of...
  • Excerpt: 'When a Crocodile Eats the Sun'

    In this excerpt from Peter Godwin's 'When a Crocodile Eats the Sun,' the author recounts the post-surgical experience of his mother—a medical doctor—after she undergoes a hip replacement during a national protest strike against the Mugabe government.
  • TV: The Last of 'Lost'--So Far

    SPOILER ALERT: This commentary contains huge spoilers about the third season of “Lost.” If you haven’t watched it yet and plan to at some point, it might be a good idea to click the handy Back button on your browser.There’s good news, more good news and bad news about this “Lost” commentary. The bad news first: if you never succumbed to the labyrinthine pleasure of “Lost,” or you, like many, threw up your hands in frustration and stopped watching, I’m about to tell you that you’ve made a huge mistake. The good news is that this is not going to be one of those holier-than-thou critic screeds where I guilt the public for what they’re watching, what they’re skipping and why. I’m not going to browbeat you for watching “Criminal Minds” when you could be watching “Lost.” If brooding Mandy Patinkin is your flavor, then by all means, eat up!And if you’ve tried to watch “Lost,” really tried, but got fed up by how generous the show is with mysteries and how stingy it is with answers and used...
  • Listening In: American Idol Smackdown

    Who will take home the coveted 'American Idol' trophy: Jordin or Blake? The cases for and against—and a thorough debunking of the myth that kids today don't vote.
  • Humor: Bush Names Wolfowitz President of Al Qaeda

    In a bold move to undermine the international terror network, President George W. Bush today named former deputy defense secretary and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to be the new president of Al Qaeda.Wolfowitz, who has no experience running an international terror organization, struck many Washington insiders as an unlikely choice for the Al Qaeda job.But in a White House ceremony introducing his nominee for the top terror post, President Bush indicated that Wolfowitz’s role in planning the war in Iraq and bringing scandal to the World Bank showed that he was “just the man” to bring chaos and disorder to Al Qaeda.“I’ve seen Paul Wolfowitz in action,” said Bush, a beaming Wolfowitz at his side.  “If anyone can mess up Al Qaeda, it’s this guy.”Several key details in the president’s plan still need to be worked out, such as how exactly Wolfowitz will infiltrate Al Qaeda and rise to the top position in its ranks.“Al Qaeda closely screens all of its top officers,” said Hassan El...
  • Diabetes Drug Linked to Heart Attacks

    More than 6 million people around the world have taken the drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) to treat Type II diabetes. But a new study published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the drug is linked to a higher risk of heart attack and death. In the study, Dr. Steven Nissen and Kathy Wolski of the Cleveland Clinic analyzed the results of 42 existing trials and found that Avandia increased heart-attack risk 43 percent. In response to the study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert advising patients to talk to their doctors about whether they should continue taking the medication. Three major medical groups—the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the American Diabetes Association—also issued a joint advisory urging patients to call their doctors. "We don't feel this is an emergency or a crisis," says Dr. Sue Kirkman, vice president, clinical affairs, at the American Diabetes Association. Although it has...
  • Resources for Gender and Transgender Issues

    Debra Rosenberg: Hi everyone. I'm Debra Rosenberg, Assistant Managing Editor at Newsweek, and I wrote this week's cover story on Rethinking Gender. I oversee the magazine's coverage of health, science and social issues. I'm happy to answer your questions on gender and transgender._______________________ ...
  • Books: Philip K. Dick Joins the Club

    If there is anyone who would not understand Philip K. Dick's inclusion in the Library of America—those uniform editions of what the Library calls the "best and most significant" American literature—it would be Dick himself. It isn't that he didn't think he deserved to be taken seriously. The honor simply would not fit with the way he saw the world: in his novels, the future is always a sorrier version of the present, a copy of a copy of a copy. But there he stands, alongside Faulkner, Melville, Wharton, Twain and all the other Mount Rushmore figures of American literature.Dick, who died 25 years ago—the same year the Library of America was born—never received much serious attention during his life. He worked almost exclusively in the literary ghetto of science fiction. In Dick's depiction of the future, we do get the spaceships and the colonies on Mars, but we never shuck off being human, we never figure out what being human means—and those who search the hardest for meaning are...
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    No More Mickey Mouse: Animation for Adults

    This Friday "Shrek the Third" will swagger into theaters, its eye on the prize of seizing its predecessor's crown as the most successful animated film in history. A few days later, with far less fanfare, "Paprika," the work of Japanese animé master Satoshi Kon, will also be unveiled. It happens to be one of the most wildly (and disturbingly) inventive animated films I've seen, but will anyone notice? Unlike "Shrek," it's not conceived as fun for the whole family. "Paprika" is made for grown-ups.Great animated movies, of course, obliterate the distinction between adult and kids' movies: think of Pixar's brilliant "Toy Story" movies, Miyazaki's peerless "Spirited Away," the "Wallace and Gromit" shorts or the sassy and ebullient first "Shrek"—all of them marketed to kids, but only adults can savor them on all levels. Yet in this country we think of animation only as child's play. Is it because cartoons colonized our little minds when we were kids, and so will always be consigned to a...
  • BeliefWatch: Entombed

    In interviews with NEWSWEEK in the days before the announcement of the "Jesus family tomb" (the suburban Jerusalem cave said to contain the bones of Jesus and his relatives, a claim that later turned out to be overblown), publishers and publicists worried aloud that the public might be suffering from what they called "ossuary fatigue." What they meant was this: how many first-century bone boxes can archeologists boast of finding before people stop caring about first-century bone boxes? (Especially, one might ask in retrospect, when those discoveries often tend to be not so historically important.) The answer is: a lot. It's always cool when someone digs up a relic related to the Biblical past, and last week's alleged discovery of the tomb of King Herod is no different.This time around, it was the archeologist Ehud Netzer, a respected Israeli scholar whose lifelong dream had been to find Herod's grave. He has been excavating Herodium, the palace complex Herod built near Jerusalem,...
  • Baseball's New Color Barrier

    Dave Winfield played in 12 All Star games, won seven Gold Glove titles and helped power the Toronto Blue Jays to a World Series win during his 22-year career in Major League baseball. He won the game’s ultimate accolade as a first-ballot Hall of Famer—but his love for the game has been tempered by some profound concerns about the way the ball is bouncing. In his new book, “Dropping the Ball: Baseball’s Troubles and How We Can and Must Solve Them,” Winfield (along with coauthor Michael Levin) voices his view that baseball has been steadily losing its appeal among African-Americans—both on the field and off. If this problem isn’t addressed, Winfield and Levin write, there may soon be no more black players in the big leagues. Winfield, who now works as an executive with the San Diego Padres (the first of six teams he played for over the years), spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jamie Reno about baseball’s fading fortune among blacks, and what can be done about it. ...
  • Raising Buffalo: One Family's Wild West Adventure

    When my dad first mentioned that we would start raising buffalo on our ranch in Alberta, Canada, I imagined myself scuttling up a tree as some ice-age monster snorted and pawed the ground underneath me. I spent the first few days in abject terror, but it didn’t take too long to get used to these surprisingly gentle beasts.Buffalo ranching is different from raising cattle. The fences have to be higher for one thing—despite their bulk, a buffalo can outrun a horse and jump a five-foot fence. And buffalo are insatiably curious. When they were in the pasture around our house we’d have buffalo nose-prints on all the lower-floor windows from their spying on human life. Once when we were sledding behind our house, the buffalo formed a line along the trail to watch us as we sped down the hill. They’d try it themselves, too—when the weather got icy, they would take a running start at our driveway, lock their legs, and skid down to the bottom. We have pictures of my brothers playing toy cars...
  • My Turn: Love on a Shoestring: Our $150 Wedding

    You might call me a minimalist, or just plain cheap, but when I set out to plan my recent wedding I didn't want anything elaborate. My husband-to-be, Richard, agreed, although he did harbor a wish for a Vegas drive-through wedding with an Elvis impersonator as our witness.We both love nature and simplicity, so we could have driven 65 miles south to Colorado and married, just the two of us, in the mountains, with a license that said parties to the marriage in the space provided for the wedding officiant. No minister, no witnesses necessary. If we'd done that, we could have had a $50 wedding. But we wanted, as Richard said, "someone there to say a few inspiring words." So we decided to splurge.Splurging, of course, is relative. The average U.S. wedding now costs more than $27,000. Granted, I have been out of school for a while, but $27,000 is more than I spent on my entire college education, including two graduate degrees.How has a nearly $30,000 price tag become acceptable for a one...
  • Pope's Book: A Lifetime of Learning

    Who was Jesus, really? It has become acceptable, even fashionable, lately to speak of the Christian Lord in casual terms, as though he were an acquaintance with a mysterious past. Pope Benedict's trip to Brazil last week revived an old retelling of the Christian story in which Jesus is cast as a social revolutionary determined to overthrow the established order. The massive success of "The Da Vinci Code" reflected the hunger of millions to see Jesus as a regular person—a man with a wife and a child, a popular teacher whose true life story was subverted by the corporate self-interest of the early church. A look at any best-seller list reveals a thriving subcategory of readable scholarly and pseudo-scholarly books about the "real" Jesus: he was, they claim, a sage, a mystic, a rabbi, a boyfriend. He was a father, a pacifist, an ascetic, a prophet. In some parts of the Christian world, the aspects of Jesus' story that most strain credibility—the virgin birth and the physical...
  • Lisa Lopes: Left Eye's Fatal Vision

    Lisa Lopes was a sad, tortured person—that much was clear after the TLC singer burned down her boyfriend's mansion in Atlanta back in 1994. But until you've seen the documentary "Last Days of Left Eye" (premiering May 19 on VH1), you have no idea how miserable she was. There are the scars on her forearm that spell HATE—Lopez cut the letters with a disposable razor, in part to obscure the LOVE that she had carved before. At its height, TLC was the top-selling female R&B group, but that didn't stop Lopes from fighting with her bandmates, with the media and with her father, whom she blamed for turning her into an alcoholic. Lopes actually started the film during a 2002 "spiritual journey" to Honduras, where she'd hoped to make peace with her many demons. But bad luck seemed to follow her like a dark cloud, and it flew with her to Honduras, too. Lopes is in the passenger seat—and filming—when her car runs over a 7-year-old boy and kills him. It gets worse. A few days later, Lopes is...
  • Book Excerpt: Rebecca Mead's 'One Perfect Day'

    In the early years of this decade a new word, and a new stereotype, entered the public discourse: the Bridezilla. The creature characterized by this disparaging term was immediately recognizable. She was a young woman who, upon becoming engaged, had been transformed from a person of reason and moderation into a self-absorbed monster, obsessed with her plans to stage the perfect wedding, an event of spectacular production values and flawless execution, with herself as the star of the show. In her quest to pull off this goal she was blithely willing to wreck friendships, offend parents, harass caterers well past the point of patience, and burn through money more rapidly than a fire consumes forest in a dry August.The alleged phenomenon of the Bridezilla spawned numerous newspaper articles that recounted her exploits with gleeful censure. The New York Times told of one bride who had demanded that her attendants all color their hair the same shade of blond; another who had procured a...
  • Is Title IX Sidelining the Boys?

    In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments was made law. It requires that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” giving equal opportunity to women in school activities for the first time. But while Title IX opened doors for women in all arenas of the educational system, it was taken most literally when applied to athletics programs. Requiring that schools have an equal number of male and female players, whatever the proportion of interest, forced some schools to cut back on male athletics programs, like at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., which is being added to a suit against the U.S. Department of Education by Equity in Athletics Inc., after the university announced it will permanently cut 10 men's teams to comply with anti-sex-discrimination laws. NEWSWEEK’s Alexandra...
  • TV: 'Rob & Big' Returns for Season 2

    If there is any eternal truth to be gleaned from the squillions of reality TV hours that will air this season, it is perhaps to be found in this single statement: “Owning a barnyard animal isn’t as easy as it looks on the Internet.” Credit this singular epiphany to Rob Dyrdek, professional street skateboarder and bona fide MTV star. It comes halfway through the first episode of season two of “Rob & Big,” which airs Tuesday night.When we last saw Dyrdek, he was troubled by a nightmare that his bodyguard-cum-roommate, Christopher (Big Black) Boykin, had failed to protect him. He needn’t have worried: Big, determined to prove his loyalty, puts himself through a series of tests—a simulated car chase, a karate workout, a paintball shootout. All in a day’s work. The episode was typical of the seven that preceded it: touchingly sweet at times (Rob draws up a will and leaves much of his riches to Big Black), dementedly salty at others (don’t even ask what a “manpon” is) and consistently...
  • Q&A: Judy Blume on Censorship

    With classic children's and young adult books such as “Freckle Juice,” “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Superfudge,” Judy Blume has tapped into the hearts of young readers for decades. The author, now 69, wanted to write books she wished she could have read while growing up, and young readers continue to be attracted to her stories that dwell on the problems of physical image and self-confidence  that teens face. Recently, in acknowledgment of the book's broad appeal, Simon & Schuster published several new editions of Blume's controversial young adult novel "Forever" (Same text but with a new introduction and hard- and softcover versions for teens, another with a different jacket for adults). Not that everyone is a fan. Since 1990, "Forever" has always ranked among the top 10 on the American Library Association's list of most challenged books. In an interview with NEWSWEEK’S Heidi Richter, Blume talks about why this book about young lovers continues to be taken out of...
  • What Would It Take to Put Pete Doherty Away?

    British rocker and erstwhile Kate Moss squeeze Pete Doherty has been arrested at least 20 times on drug charges. So how come he's still a free man? An American view of the British legal system.
  • The Oval: The Last Dance for Bush and Blair

    Bush and Blair have been quite a team over the years. But their last joint appearance in Washington was a reminder that the president got more out of their union than the prime minister did.
  • Books: The Best 'Shrek!' Isn't a Movie

    If we’re generous, we must allow for multiple Shreks. In order of popularity, there is the Shrek of the movies (“Shrek the Third” opens Friday). Then there is the original “Shrek!” the children’s book with story and pictures by William Steig. Now there is an audiobook, “The One and Only Shrek,” with the title story and five other Steig tales narrated by actors Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep. The Steig book, which first appeared in 1990, is still the main event (hey, if there were no Steig story, there would be no Shrek movies), but by now millions more people know only the cuddly movie version.But why be generous? The movie versions of this story, whatever their considerable charms, fall far short of the book. As drawn by Steig, Shrek is one ugly ogre. That’s the point of the book, or at least the heart of its charm: you’re beguiled by a hideous, warty, lice-infested, fire-belching ogre. Dreamworks walked up to this idea … and blinked, so all the characters in the movies look sort...
  • My Turn: An Unlikely Ladies' Ice Hockey League

    Throughout my life, my relationships with other women have, at times, been strained. I always felt more comfortable around boys growing up. Friendships with other girls were stressful and uncertain. I found some comfort in groups of women during college, but often with an undercurrent of competition for men, grades or recognition.All that changed one winter when I strapped on a pair of skates and stepped onto the ice rink. I was working as an intern at Wolf Ridge, an Environmental Learning Center (ELC) near Silver Bay, in northern Minnesota. Not much comes easily in that part of Minnesota, especially during the long, frigid winter months. The folks who call this area home are determined to enjoy the weeks of minus-30-degree temperatures in the winter as well as the heat of summers. These families are understandably wary of the "weekend warriors" who journey north from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area to their cabins for weekends in milder seasons. The majority of naturalists who...
  • First Person: Growing Up in Falwell's Church

    My mom used to say Jerry could move mountains. Always "Jerry," never "Falwell." In Lynchburg, Va., the Hill City, there are several Falwell families, and depending on which part of the city you're from, there are either good Falwells or bad Falwells. By using "Jerry," there is no ambiguity—everybody knows exactly which Falwell you're talking about. For my family, card-carrying Moral Majority members, he was a good Falwell. And that made me a "Jerry's kid."My mom and dad fell in love with Jerry and his ministry early on. They were youth-group leaders in their Brown City, Mich., church and they took their high-school kids on cross-country tours of Bible colleges with the hopes the teens would attend Christian universities—"Christian" meaning "born-again" evangelical.  (In their strictly interpreted book, Catholicism and backsliding Protestantism wouldn’t get you where you needed to go—namely the Promised Land.) So after one such trip they decided to move all five of us kids to the...
  • Humor: GOP Courts Elusive White Males

    In a nationally televised debate last night, the 10 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination engaged in a battle royal, with each candidate staking his claim to the title of the whitest white male in the GOP race. With the elusive white male voter holding the keys to victory in the GOP nomination, all 10 candidates seemed mindful of reaching out to that often-forgotten voting bloc.The question of “who is the whitest” came up in the opening minutes of the debate held on the campus of the University of South Carolina, where hundreds of concerned white male voters gathered to hear the candidates speak.“Not only am I the whitest male in this race, I am the whitest male named Thompson in this race,” said former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson in an apparent reference to former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, who is poised to become the eleventh white male vying for the GOP nod.Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney went on the offensive when he cited his “impeccable...
  • Sloan: Why Daimler Is Paying to Dump Chrysler

    It seems only fitting that DaimlerChrysler is dumping its stricken Chrysler subsidiary onto a firm called Cerberus Capital Management, which is named for the mythical three-headed dog that guarded the gates of hell. That's because when it comes to deals from hell, Daimler-Benz's purchase of Chrysler ranks close to the top of the list.Daimler-Benz (now DaimlerChrysler, soon to be plain old Daimler) paid $36 billion to buy Chrysler in 1998. Now, like the owner of an old junker, Daimler has to pay to have Cerberus cart Chrysler away."This is definitely in the hunt for being one of the all-time deals from hell," said Robert Bruner, dean of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, a connoisseur of corporate catastrophes and author of "Deals from Hell: M&A Lessons That Rise Above the Ashes." Unfortunately for me, Bruner doesn't keep a "Ten Worst Deals" list, so it's hard to compare disasters with each other. Some deals—such as Time Warner's disastrous decision to swap...
  • Kids & All-Terrain Vehicles: Dangerous Mix

    It was supposed to be fun. hanging out with his cousin on a sunny Texas afternoon in 2005, B. J. Smith, then 15, decided to go for a spin on his uncle's new all-terrain vehicle. Even though the boys had been told not to go near the 386-pound machine unsupervised, B.J., a handsome kid with a football player's build, wanted to see what the 350cc ATV could do. With nothing but open road in front of him, B.J., who had been riding motorcycles since he was 5, reached nearly 60mph. Then a dog ran out unexpectedly and clipped the front wheel. B.J.'s life was forever altered. "He lost control of the ATV, and basically he flew 25 feet and hit the street with his head," says his mom, Kim. Blood poured from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Doctors said B.J. had only a 10 percent chance of survival. "His brain was so swollen they had to cut out a piece of his skull," recalls Kim. "He's my only child. It was absolutely horrible."With summer on its way, ATV enthusiasts are gearing up for a chance...
  • BeliefWatch: Drinkers Vs. Drivers

    Who are you for? The cabbies or the airport commission? In Minneapolis, that most open-minded of American cities, the debate has gotten vicious. This week the airport will begin imposing strict sanctions on cabdrivers who refuse to pick up passengers carrying alcohol. After two offenses, a driver can have his license—his livelihood, in other words—revoked for two years.Of the 900 drivers who service the airport at Minneapolis-St. Paul, three quarters are Somali immigrants, and most of these are observant Muslims who believe that carrying, selling or imbibing alcohol is sinful. Several years ago some drivers began turning down passengers who visibly carried alcohol—a bottle from the duty-free shop, for example. According to the airport authority, passengers were refused nearly 5,000 times over the past four years. In those cases, a dispatcher would send the driver to the back of the line and the passenger would get the next available cab.Early this year the whole thing blew up. After...
  • Trump: Who's the Boss at Home?

    He's a real-estate developer, a reality-TV star and a published author. But the job that Donald Trump doesn't talk much about? Being a dad. After raising four children from two previous marriages—Donald Jr., 29; Ivanka, 25; Eric, 23, and Tiffany, 13—the 60-year-old Trump is changing diapers again (OK, we mean that metaphorically). Last year, his wife, Melania, gave birth to a son, Barron William. Trump spoke to NEWSWEEK about the ups and downs of fatherhood. ...
  • Sloan: Is Murdoch a Force Too Hard to Resist?

    The Wall Street Journal is a journalistic giant. Alas, its owner, Dow Jones, is a stock-market pygmy. That contrast is why Dow Jones is so utterly vulnerable to the takeover bid being mounted by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., and why Murdoch seems likely to add the Journal to an empire that includes Homer Simpson, the Fantastic Four, Fox News, MySpace and the New York Post.Dow Jones's controlling Bancroft family is caught in a conflict between its obligations to shareholders (including themselves) and the stewardship of the public trust inherent in an enterprise like the Journal. It's a problem affecting lots of other family-controlled media companies, among them The New York Times Co. The newspaper industry's problems also affect private firms like Newhouse and Hearst, where the drama is playing outside public view.The Dow Jones drama, however, is a public spectacle, made possible by the way Murdoch, 76, has transformed News Corp. from a small Australian newspaper company into a...
  • Environment: Curbing Your Car

    Americans love their cars. But as gas prices are rising above $3 a gallon, how much do we really need them? TIP SHEET's Karen Springen spoke to Chris Balish, author of "How to Live Well Without Owning a Car." ...
  • My Turn: No Such Thing as An 'Average' Family

    We were an average suburban Philadelphia family—with one big difference. My father died when I was 3 1/2. There were always reminders of his absence: the class assignment to make Father's Day cards, the father-daughter dances. One time a deer ran in front of my mother's car and broke the windshield, making her late picking me up from school. I thought, things like this don't happen when dads are driving. Another time, a friend's father leaned in a bit too close to my single and very attractive mother at a dinner party, and his wife got angry. I could hear them in the kitchen—voices tense and hushed. I knew that didn't happen to families that were whole.This sense that we were a lesser form of family helped shape my life of education and research. If my town, my school and my own insecurities were telling me that being raised by a mother and two sisters isn't normal, then what is?Over time, I found people who showed me the answer. I got to know them through my doctoral research in...
  • Outdoors: Best Foot Forward

    Runners, get off your heels. Landing on the heel jars the body and saps momentum. A growing number of experts argue that the safest and most efficient way to land is on the midfoot or forefoot. Shoe companies have taken note with a range of new products.The Gravity, from Newton Running (newtonrunning.com), is a lightweight trainer with a patented rubber membrane in the forefoot that stores the energy of landing and releases it on takeoff—like a miniature trampoline.Nike's Air Zoom Elite 3 is a road shoe for average runners who want a sleek racing feel. Added forefoot cushioning encourages runners to shift their weight forward and strike with their mid-foot ($100; nikerunning.com).The New Balance 902 features an ultralight midsole foam that shaves almost an ounce from last year's version ($100; new balance.com).If trail running is your thing, the Sun Dragon (golite.com) features grabby lugs that compress to improve traction on sharp rocks.The Fanatic (merrell.com) is a hybrid shoe...
  • Can States Close the Research Funding Gap?

    Last week, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced a plan to boost the state budget for life sciences by $1.25 billion. The proposal immediately grabbed attention for its vision of a vast stem-cell bank, the world's largest, which would open up new opportunities for embryonic stem-cell research. It's a reaction, of course, to the federal government's refusal to pay for such work. But amid the excitement over stem cells, another part of Patrick's proposal got overlooked. It, too, addresses a crisis of funding at the federal level, albeit one that has gotten far less press: the stagnating budget of the National Institutes of Health, a problem that is hurting not just stem- cell researchers but biologists at large, particularly young researchers at the most vulnerable points in their careers.The NIH was once flush with money. Its budget doubled between 1998 and 2003 on the strength of enthusiastic support in Congress. Universities responded, hiring faculty and starting ambitious...
  • Review: A 9/11 Novel Worth Reading

    When the planes hit the World Trade Center, Don DeLillo was at home in suburban New York, just another man caught up in the event. But like so many other Americans, he had a personal connection to the madness of that day. "When the second tower went down, I punched the wall. My nephew and his wife and two kids were in an apartment building very near the towers," DeLillo told NEWSWEEK in an interview. "They were trapped, and they eventually were rescued. Somehow, before that, we managed to make phone contact with them. But I didn't remember any of the phone conversation afterward. I do remember that smoke was beginning to seep through the fire doors of their building."And because DeLillo is an author ("Underworld," "White Noise"), he had another personal reaction to that day—he wrote a novel, called "Falling Man." Writers as disparate as Jay McInerney, Claire Messud and Jonathan Safran Foer have worked the World Trade Center into their fiction, all with mixed results. But "Falling...
  • Film: A Marriage Torn Apart By Alzheimer's

    The easy and lazy way to describe "Away From Her" is to say that it's a movie about a woman (Julie Christie) with Alzheimer's. There's nothing factually wrong with that sentence, but it conjures up the image of a sentimental disease-of-the-week TV movie. The film that the 28-year-old Canadian actress Sarah Polley has made from Alice Munro's story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" is emotionally devastating, but its insights into the complexities of love and marriage and memory are not the sort you're likely to find on Lifetime. Its tears are earned in more honest, surprising ways."Away From Her" is the story of a marriage. Grant (Gordon Pinsent), a retired professor, and the vibrant, playful Fiona (Christie) have been together 44 years. They've achieved a remarkable closeness in this late, nearly idyllic phase of their marriage, which is when her memory starts to fail. As her condition worsens, the recent past is the first thing to disappear from her mind, leaving behind older, more...
  • Will Diet Coke Be the Same … With Vitamins?

    For most of the last century vice was defined by critic Alexander Woollcott's remark that everything he liked was "illegal, immoral or fattening." That, though, was before the invention of Diet Coke. "It's my one vice," says Amy Stensrud, a 46-year-old Seattle mother of two, who buys a 32-ounce container of Diet Coke at a 7-Eleven every morning, right after the gym. She has in effect defined vice upward as something "inconsistent with my values," which was never Woollcott's problem with bathtub gin.But now her only sin is in danger of being transformed into a virtue, as Coke rolls out a new version of Diet Coke with added vitamins and minerals. Blue-capped bottles of Diet Coke Plus will begin showing up in stores this week, empty of calories but containing 10 to 15 percent of the daily requirement of niacin, zinc, magnesium and vitamins B6 and B12. It isn't meant to replace Diet Coke, now the third best-selling soft drink in America, after Coke Classic and Pepsi; it's just a part of...
  • Quindlen: Still the Brightest

    I first met David Halberstam when he was living with one of my friends. I arrived for dinner wearing a black tunic and pants; he said I looked like a Vietnamese peasant. I wasn't even miffed. A Vietnam reference from the man who had written the book on the pointlessness of that war and won the Pulitzer, who had unmasked the government's disinformation campaign in the pages of The New York Times and "The Best and the Brightest," was like being dissed by God.We were all friends for 30 years, he and his wife, my husband and I. David loved to fish, which made sense, since, like good reporting, it requires plumbing the depths with only sporadic results. He traveled the globe with a group of anglers called the Dirty Dozen, whose stock in trade was easygoing male bonding. One night at a fishing camp in the Bahamas, David introduced an uncommonly serious note by speaking of his new book on Korea. The room fell silent, and the sunburned men listened, rapt, as he described what he had...
  • The Ultimate Money Pit: Having a Baby

    Stay-at-home mothers just got a little more ammunition against their working counterparts in the mommy wars. It seems that if homemakers were ever paid for the myriad jobs they perform—from chef to chauffeur to psychologist—they'd command a whopping $138,095 annually, several times what most working mothers earn in the workplace. This according to a new survey from Salary.com, which based its calculation on a 92-hour workweek and the median national wage for the assorted jobs that mothers must perform each day. Sure, the validation is purely symbolic, but it may come as some solace at a time when stay-at-home moms are being taken to task in the new book "The Feminine Mistake" for giving up the financial independence their ERA-era mothers fought so hard to win.To work or not to work, that is the question—for many affluent parents, at least. The answer often hinges on a cold, hard fact: having a baby is the ultimate money pit, albeit one most people wouldn't trade for the world....