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  • 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....
  • Q&A: A Prudential VP on Her Transition

    Margaret Stumpp, 54, is a vice president at Prudential Financial Inc. A 20-year veteran, she is the first openly transgender person at the firm, which has nearly 40,000 employees. Stumpp transitioned from Mark Stumpp to Maggie in February 2002, all while maintaining her position as chief investment officer for Quantitative Management Associates (a subsidiary of Prudential). When Stumpp returned to the office as Maggie, she sent this memo to her fellow employees: "From: M. Stumpp. Subject: Me." "This will be new ground for all of us," Stumpp wrote. "However, if September 11 taught us anything, it was that life is far too precious and short. Each of us must strive to be at peace with ourselves." She signed the note "Margaret."  She spoke with NEWSWEEK's Lorraine Ali. ...
  • Pope's Book: A Lifetime of Learning

    Conflicting movements, hopes, and expectations shaped the religious and political climate around the time of Jesus’ birth. Judas the Galilean had called for an uprising, which was put down by the Romans with a great deal of bloodshed. Judas left behind a party, the Zealots, who were prepared to resort to terror and violence in order to restore Israel’s freedom. It is even possible that one or two of Jesus’ twelve Apostles—Simon the Zealot and perhaps Judas Iscariot as well—had been partisans of this movement. The Pharisees, whom we are constantly meeting in the Gospels, endeavored to live with the greatest possible exactness according to the instructions of the Torah. They also refused conformity to the hegemony of Hellenistic-Roman culture, which naturally imposed itself throughout the Roman Empire, and was now threatening to force Israel’s assimilation to the pagan peoples’ way of life. The Sadducees, most of whom belonged to the aristocracy and the priestly class, attempted to...
  • Alexis Arquette on the Politics of Gender Change

    Seventeen-year-old Alexis Arquette landed her first acting role in 1986 playing a transgender in "Last Exit To Brooklyn." Eighteen years later, she went through a real transition from man to woman. Arquette, an actress, musician and cabaret drag performer, comes from a family of actors that includes siblings Patricia, David, Richmond and Rosanna Arquette, father Lewis Arquette and grandfather Cliff Arquette. She's done almost 70 films—mostly indie, some adult—but one of her most memorable roles was as the Boy George character in  1998's "The Wedding Singer." "I did play transgender characters that were comedy roles and I feel bad about that now," says Arquette, 37. "That Boy George character, it's offensive to me now."  She's now starring in a forthcoming A&E documentary about her transition, "Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother," which just debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. ...
  • Law: Paris Hilton's Appeal? Unlikely

    Last week, a judge ruled that Paris Hilton was going to jail for 45 days, after violating her probation on a previous DUI-related conviction. She couldn't use a work permit to postpone her day behind bars, scheduled for June 5. She couldn't pay extra, as some are allowed to, for a nicer jail cell. She probably couldn't even pass Go or collect $200. But then again, this is Paris Hilton—she can do whatever she wants. Right?She sure talks a good game. Over the weekend, she said to photographers camped outside her house: "I feel that I was treated unfairly and that the sentence is both cruel and unwarranted and I don't deserve this." But then the earth seemed to shift. This week, Hilton added DUI lawyer Richard Hutton to her legal defense team, and she came out with a new statement: "I am ready to face the consequences of violating probation."What happened to that petulant defiance? Apparently, Hilton finally woke up and heard what the judge said: it will be virtually impossible for her...
  • Movies: Ansen on  '28 Weeks'

    The entire population of London was wiped out by the "Rage" virus in "28 Days Later," Danny Boyle's stylishly resonant zombie freak out, but in the slick and frenetically intense "28 Weeks Later," the city is starting to come back. We learn in a series of titles that 11 weeks later, a U.S.-led NATO force entered the city, and that 18 weeks later London was declared virus free. Now reconstruction has begun, and a new imported civilian population is ensconced in a heavily fortified enclave in East London patrolled by jittery and increasingly trigger-happy Yank troops. It's referred to as the Green Zone. Hmmm. Do you smell a political metaphor here?The director's reins have been turned over to the flashy young Spaniard Juan Carlos Fresnadillo ("Intacto"), who may have Iraq in the back of his mind but is primarily interested in scaring the beejesus out of the audience. He's abandoned the grungy video look of the original for Enrique Chediak's gorgeous, more expensive-looking...
  • My Turn: A Hospice Volunteer's Reward

    Too many people die in pain and fear because their families are afraid to discuss death. How being a hospice volunteer can be life-affirming and even joyful.
  • Kids' Book Clubs Boom

    Twelve-year-old Joanna Krupp loves her monthly book-club meetings. She and her fellow bookworms tackle titles like Gloria Whelan's National Book Award winner “Homeless Bird,” about a 13-year-old girl in India whose parents arrange a marriage to a boy who is gravely ill. To go with the stories, they eat matching snacks, such as Indian food. Joanna's brother, Ben, 13, likes his father-son group, too. “It's just good to talk about the books, and I really understand them better,” he says.A generation ago, there were few, if any, organized reading groups for kids. Today, hundreds of thousands of kids belong to them, says Vicki Levy Krupp, coauthor of “The Kids' Book Club Book” (and Joanna and Ben's mom). Popular authors like Lisa Yee and Tamora Pierce include book-club information on their Web sites and even solicit e-mail exchanges with kids. And publishers like Scholastic are offering online discussion groups such as Flashlight Readers (www.scholastic.com/flashlightreaders). Last month...
  • Music: Tori Amos Returns

    On her new album, the unconventional singer creates a world of heavenly women. And they have their own blogs.
  • Sounding the Alarms on the ER Crisis

    It's a familiar story: America's emergency rooms are in crisis. But it's far worse than you think. How does the ER prepare for a terrorist attack when its medics can barely cope with the routine flow of mayhem on a Saturday night? A worried doctor traveled to Washington to sound the alarms.
  • Oval: Tornado Rouses the Ghost of Katrina

    Once again, a Democratic governor was sparring with the White House over disaster relief. Only this time, the war in Iraq was added to the Greensburg tornado equation.
  • Starr: On Roger Clemens's Return

    My pal didn’t want to be in Fenway Park on that cold, dank April night 21 years ago. He would have been far happier had he scored tickets to Boston Garden, where Larry Bird and the Celtics were playing the second game of the Eastern Conference semifinal against Dominique Wilkins’s Atlanta Hawks. Second choice would have been watching the Celtics game in the comfort of his home.But the Celtics, not the Red Sox, were the impossible ticket in those days. So with his former college roommate, a passionate baseball fan, visiting town, my friend secured two tickets to the baseball game—not a difficult get, with just 13,414 fans in the stands. They were pleased they would get to see the Red Sox’s young stud, 23-year-old Roger Clemens, who had shown flashes of brilliance in an injury-shortened season the previous year and was off to a 3-0 start.What they witnessed turned out to be a magical evening of baseball immortality. That was the night that Clemens broke baseball’s single-game record...
  • Portrait of an ER at the Breaking Point

    Gunshot wounds. Blood and brain matter. Exhausted nurses, endless wait times—and no end in sight. The only thing scarier than an average Saturday evening in the ER: What if it was forced to close? One night in Atlanta.
  • How to Stop the Bleeding

    Emergency-room health care is in a state of emergency. What the best minds in the medical community prescribe to begin to treat the crisis.