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  • Midlife Guide for Women: Heart

    My doctor says I need to watch my cholesterol, even though I'm only 47. I thought only men had to be concerned about heart disease. Does menopause change things?
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Eyes

    I've been wearing contact lenses since I was 13, but lately they feel uncomfortable. I'm constantly taking them out, cleaning them and reinserting them. Why are my eyes so dry and irritated?
  • Midlife Guide for Women: Sleep

    Lately, I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping no matter how tired I am. Is there a connection between menopause and insomnia?
  • Women As Meat

    What men consider beautiful about women changes over time. In 16th-century Antwerp, Peter Paul Rubens taught Dutch men to lust after pudgy brunettes. In 20th-century America, Hugh Hefner taught American men to lust after busty blondes, women just like Anna Nicole Smith. Any reflections on her death must first begin with deep sadness for yet another premature and needless death in our wounded world. Thirty-nine-year-old women should not die. We must also grieve for her infant daughter who, regardless of her possible fortune, is now consigned by fate to grow up without a mother—just as Anna Nicole had been forced by the same cruel fate to grow up without a father. Next we must force ourselves to remember that this front-page story is echoed by a thousand untold stories about unknown women who have died or been killed or driven to fatal addictions just because they were pretty. These women died because they were meat on the banquet table of predatory men. Their deaths must not be seen...
  • The Great Diet Debate

    I’ve known Dr. Arthur Agatston for many years. I like him very much and greatly respect his pioneering work on developing the heart scan, which is a way of screening for heart disease using a special CT scanner that can detect calcium in coronary arteries. I’ve also appreciated his books that educate people about the need to distinguish between unrefined “good carbs” and refined “bad carbs.”However, I have some concerns about his new book, “ The South Beach Heart Program ,” which claims to “detect, prevent and even reverse heart disease.” It’s based on the only published research study he authored on his program which, surprisingly, showed that LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels did not come down significantly at all on this diet. Also, the South Beach Diet has never been shown to reverse the progression of coronary heart disease and may be too high in saturated fat and cholesterol to prevent heart attacks for many people unless a lifetime of cholesterol-lowering drugs are added.These...
  • Guys, Need a Lift?

    Arnie Bautista buys designer underwear by the bunch. "For me, it's an investment," says the 31-year-old advertising executive from New York. "I like to look really good out of my clothes." He spends up to $350 a season on expensive stretchy shorts from brands like 2xist ("to exist"), Calvin Klein and Ginch Gonch, a Canadian retailer that sells little briefs with prints of stars and firetrucks. He has 50 or 60 pairs—so many, that he's run out of shelf space for all those drawers. About the only kind of undies he doesn't own? "I don't wear Fruit of the Loom," he says.It wasn't long ago that guys had only two choices in the morning: boxers or briefs, usually both in white. But in a metrosexual age, sexy skivvies in a rainbow of colors have become the hot new fashion accessory. Much like Victoria's Secret and Frederick's of Hollywood did with women's lingerie in the '80s, upstart companies like 2xist and C-in2, along with stalwarts like Jockey and Calvin Klein, are selling designer ...
  • CNN: ‘We Dropped the Ball’

    A media watchdog group today blasted the major news networks for failing to provide enough coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death in the 72 hours following the blonde bombshell’s passing.The media watchdog group, which calls itself The Media Watchdog Group, took the nation’s 24-hour news networks to task for what it called “scant coverage” of the life, death and legacy of Smith.At a press conference in Washington, Carol Foyler, a spokesperson for the group, hit hard at the all-news networks for giving the Anna Nicole Smith story “short shrift.”“Instead of staying on the Anna Nicole Smith story nonstop, the networks would sometimes cut away to coverage of the war in Iraq for seconds at a time,” Foyler said. “For a nation struggling with its loss, this was like twisting the knife.”At CNN headquarters in Atlanta, network President Jon Klein apologized for failing to provide seamless, wall-to-wall coverage of the Smith story, telling reporters, “We dropped the ball.”“I was watching our...
  • Girls Gone Bad: Celebs and Kids

    Paris, Britney, Lindsay & Nicole: They seem to be everywhere and they may not be wearing underwear. Tweens adore them and teens envy them. But are we raising a generation of 'prosti-tots'?
  • A Tribute to Miep

    In the first half of 1929, two baby girls were born to Jewish families living in and near Frankfurt, Germany. One, sweet and dark-haired, had an older sister; the other, a smiling redhead, was an only child. As they turned 4 years old, the safe worlds their parents had created for them began to crumble. Hitler had come to power, and life for every German Jew was rife with danger. The dark-haired girl’s father decided to flee the country with his wife and children to Amsterdam. Some time later, the red-haired child’s parents made the same decision, eventually making their way to New York.The dark-haired girl was Anne Frank, whose extraordinary diary, written in the years before her death at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, has made her the single most recognizable victim of the Holocaust.The red-haired girl is my mother, Brunhilde Bachenheimer, and when I climbed the narrow stairs to Anne Frank’s hiding place 30 years ago, I was overcome with the realization that my...
  • Colorblind at Last?

    Black Hollywood has been keeping a secret. For decades, African-Americans had been so consistently overlooked by the Academy Awards that a private group began sponsoring the "Black Oscars." Every year, on the night before the actual Oscars, members of the community--including James Earl Jones, Whitney Houston, Samuel L. Jackson and Will Smith--gather at a Beverly Hills hotel to honor their own. "Everyone has on their tuxes, and you see all these people you want to work with who are cheering you on," says Malcolm D. Lee, director of "Undercover Brother" and cousin of Spike Lee. "It's a great feeling, and intimate--nice."But on March 24, 2002, Halle Berry crossed the stage at the Kodak Theatre to become the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for best actress. (She also set the record for most tears shed during an acceptance speech.) Minutes later, Denzel Washington took the best-actor award, the first black man to do so in 38 years. It was, by any measure, historic. Since...
  • Nap Quest

    Print out this article and hand it to your boss. Tell them Harvard thinks you should take a nap. Honest.Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School have just released findings from a large study that shows how mid-day napping reduces one's chance of coronary mortality by more than a third. So go ahead and nap—a short daily snooze might ward off a heart attack later in life.Researchers studied 23,681 individuals living in Greece who had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer when they first volunteered. The researchers also controlled for risk factors such as diet and exercise, going beyond prior studies that have tried to explore the benefits of napping but ended up with conflicting results. More than six years later, the exemplary nappers, men and women who napped at least three times per week for an average of at least 30 minutes, had a 37 percent lower coronary mortality risk than those who took no siestas. The so...
  • Why I Broke One of My 'Cardinal' Rules

    Guns are evil. This inviolate "death and taxes" truth sustained me--a peace-loving granny, a tree-hugging liberal--through 64 years of protected, upper-middle-class subsistence. It was the one fixed point on a vacillating compass of relative morality until, one day, a tiny bird, the merest wisp of red plumage, tore away my comforting absolute and aligned me squarely with the NRA supporters, Second Amendment defenders and pro-gun crusaders I had reviled.Three years ago a male northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, began hurling himself against the windows of our solar home. His assaults commenced at dawn. Each sunrise he would alight on our greenhouse roof and slide down the glass panels, pecking furiously at his scarlet reflection. He'd attack the bedroom, living room and dining-room windows before returning to the greenhouse to repeat his loop. Bang! Click, click. Scratch, scratch.After 14 months of incessant attacks, Cardinalis held our family hostage. We tried everything to...
  • Hillary's Religious Roots

    If Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush have anything in common, it is a deeply rooted wariness of outsiders. Both the president and the woman who hopes to succeed him have always relied on a small, closed circle of friends and advisers who have been with them for years. So it's not surprising that there are so many familiar faces on Clinton's new campaign team. Ad maker Mandy Grunwald, pollster Mark Penn, strategist Ann Lewis and others are loyalists from Bill Clinton's White House.There is another person on Hillary's shortlist of confidants who goes back farther than any of them, but whom you've probably never heard of. The Rev. Don Jones, a Methodist minister who is now 75, was perhaps Hillary's earliest spiritual and political mentor. She has written of her "lifelong friendship" with him. It was Jones who first awakened young Hillary to the civil-rights movement and counseled her on questions of faith. They continued to be in touch as Hillary became a national figure. Years later,...
  • A Waking Nightmare

    The Stasi--East Germany's omnipotent and greatly feared secret police--employed some 100,000 people, in addition to the 200,000 informers who could be counted on to spy on their neighbors, their friends and their own families. The waking nightmare of this "socialist paradise," a country with the second highest suicide rate in the world, is unforgettably captured in "The Lives of Others," a German political thriller that has racked up more international awards than Helen Mirren, and this month may well win an Oscar as best foreign-language film.Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck sets his tale of betrayal, corruption and moral awakening in East Berlin in 1984, five years before the fall of the wall. The system may be rotting from within, but Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), one of the Stasi's most skilled officers, is still a true believer, rooting out the enemies of East German socialism with a ruthless precision born of genuine ideological commitment.The humorless,...
  • Newsmakers

    Belinda Carlisle will always be a Go-Go, but her new solo album is called "Voila--and it's all in French. La chanteuse spoke with Jac Chebatoris.I was approached about making an album, but I had no desire to do another pop one. It kind of came out of left field, and because of my love of French music I had a feeling I could probably do it, but I wasn't sure.That's from years of cigarettes and booze.I went to Berlitz, but that didn't help. I live between France and England, and soon Austria. When I'm there I go to French classes and I have a French tutor. I had somebody in the studio to help me along, because sometimes I needed an extra ear to kind of go, "No, it's this, it's not that."She is, by far. She's much better. I don't know how she did it because I couldn't bear the whole 24-hour surveillance thing.My name was always followed by how much I weighed. It was horrible. It really does your head in. That's why I didn't have myself airbrushed on the cover of my album. I thought, no...
  • What's Up With Stents, Docs?

    It's not often that the New England Journal of Medicine devotes most of its editorial content to a single subject—and releases the information early online. That's exactly what it did Monday with a series of five studies and several commentaries on drug-eluting coronary stents. As the editors explained, "Our motivation is the recent concern that the implantation of drug-eluting stents, as compared with bare-metal stents, may be associated with a small increased risk of late stent thrombosis, a potentially fatal complication."Drug-eluting stents were hailed as a "breakthrough technology" in 2003 and 2004, when the FDA approved the Cypher and Taxus stents, respectively. Like the bare-metal stents that preceded them, these tiny wire-mesh scaffolds were designed to prop open narrowed blood vessels (a problem known as stenosis), reducing the chest pain known as angina. Unlike bare-metal stents, however, the Cypher and Taxus devices were coated with drugs, the purpose of which was to...
  • CDC Raises Autism Estimate

    As the debate over autism's cause continues, the CDC raises its estimate of how many children are affected.
  • Let Them Eat … CSB?

    Chef Heinz Beck’s kitchen at Rome’s exquisite La Pergola restaurant is arguably one of the best in the Eternal City, serving up innovative cuisine like cannelloni with duck, foie gras in kuzu béchamel, and venison in a pistachio crust with chestnut purée and persimmon jam to a discerning international clientele. But there may soon be a new item on the menu: crème brûlée made with “CSB” and topped with pineapple gelato. Far from a trendy new acronym for the latest in haute cuisine ingredients, CSB stands for corn soya blend, the same vitamin-enriched food-ration substance that humanitarian aid workers truck through mine fields in Afghanistan and air drop from C-130s into Sudan. It is generally distributed in 25-pound canvas bags and made into mush or porridge under the dire conditions of war, famine and natural disaster. On its own, it has virtually no flavor, but it does provide crucial daily nutrition with little more than a few drops of water and even the most rustic mortar and...
  • Another Kind of Rescue

    My new neighborhood teems with cats. As I'm driving home late, I see them race up the sides of trees. Their eyes glint from the bushes. They perch on fence posts.One met me in the street, as if she'd been waiting like an old debt. No collar, no tags. I opened a can of tuna. She ate, smacking and purring, and then slid out the door like a liquid shadow.Afterward, I lay in bed and listened to the wails and shrieks of cats, fighting or mating. I should know the difference; my grandmother once owned 35 cats. She welcomed every stray that showed up, and kept her cat lodge a secret from the outside world. People might not understand, she said.Her husband, Carl, would not have understood, nor would he have tolerated the dirt, the smell or the cost of food. Carl, though, had left her for a woman he met at the power plant. My grandmother's sadness lasted the rest of her life. "How could he do me this way?" she asked me. Growing up with her in the Midwest, I had no answers. I tried to...
  • The First Champion

    The man who led the Green Bay Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls, and took home the first two Super Bowl MVP trophies, was making the rounds recently in his role as a spokesman for United Healthcare’s Secure Horizons health-care plans. Starr, still trim and fit at 73, stopped by NEWSWEEK with his wife, Cherry, for a quick chat with senior editors David Noonan and George Hackett. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: What made Vince Lombardi a great coach?Bart Starr: The thing that impressed me as much as anything occurred at our very first meeting after he came to the Packers. He said, “Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because perfection is not attainable. But we are going to relentlessly chase it because in the process we will catch excellence.” He paused for a minute and said, “I am not remotely interested in being just good.” That's how he opens the session, and God, I didn't even need a seat for the rest of the day, I...
  • That’s Entertainment!

    Spectators, I think you’re in for a heck of a show on Sunday. Above all, of course, there’s the game itself and all the outrageous ads. But there’s also the entertainment. To get a preview, I headed over to the Super Bowl Media Center for a press conference with the artists who will be performing.Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based troupe with the ethereal costumes and eye-popping stunts, will get things started with the pregame show. Given that the Super Bowl is family fare, we won’t be getting any of the erotic displays they put on in Las Vegas (bummer). This will be much more wholesome. Brazilian artist Romero Britto is collaborating on the costumes and visuals, which means lots of stripes and polka dots and blindingly bright colors. DJ Louie Vega is supplying the musical score—a fusion, he says, of “African, Caribbean, Brazilian—even marching bands.”At the press conference, a Cirque rep handed out a list of performers. There will be six stilt walkers, 29 Cirque du Soleil...
  • Media Day

    Ah, Miami. Land of palm trees, sultry weather, bare flesh and breast implants. Little wonder that the National Football League has selected the city to host the Super Bowl a record-tying nine times, including this one. For the past four and a half years, I’ve been NEWSWEEK’s bureau chief down here. I’ve covered hurricanes, election fiascoes and a variety of sordid, surreal, only-in-Florida stories. Now, thankfully, I get to cover something a little more fun: America’s premier sporting event.Starting today, and continuing until Game Day, I’ll be your roving correspondent in this football-crazed city crawling with celebrities and frenzied fans. Don’t expect sharp analysis—I’ll leave that to my esteemed colleagues who are much better equipped to deliver it. Instead, I’ll offer a daily diary of snapshots from the plenitude of events—from the cheesy to the extravagant­—building up to Sunday. Come along for the ride.It’s a ritual of every Super Bowl. On Media Day, players and the press...
  • The Media Party

    Arian Campo-Flores, NEWSWEEK’s bureau chief, continues his series of dispatches from inside the belly of the Super Bowl party machine in Miami.Miamians aren’t very good at some things—electoral democracy, driving, English—but they’re damn good at one thing: partying. This is the kind of place where you can rage continuously through the weekend, from party to after-party to after-after-party. Sure, you have to deal with French doormen with beaucoup attitude, wanna-be models with sharp elbows and crappy cocktails at $15 a pop. But hey, you get to dance to earsplitting music all night surrounded by hotties (like my fiancée!).This year’s Super Bowl features a roster of suitably over-the-top bashes. There’s the Penthouse “Goin’ Deep Super Party,” the Playboy party, featuring girls outfitted only in body paint, and the Hawaiian Tropic Party, with more than 100, presumably oiled-up, models. There’ll be performances by J. Lo, Marc Anthony, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and many more. The clubs will...
  • The Other Miami

    Someone always has to ruin the party. In the case of the Super Bowl, it’s the earnest folks at the Service Employees International Union, the Miami Workers Center, Jobs With Justice and a number of other groups determined to save humanity. They’ve decided to put a damper on all the fun by seizing on some sobering stats. Like the fact that Miami is the third-poorest city in the country, that one in five kids here live in poverty and that one in four households can’t afford a place to live. To bring these impressive numbers to life, they’ve organized a “Reality Tour” for the media—designed to, as they put it, “get a first-hand glimpse of the great disparity of wealth in Miami.”Not what I had in mind when I signed up for this diary, but, fancying myself a serious journalist, I decide to join. I board the bus at 10:00 a.m. this morning and meet a handful of other serious journalists, including a reporter from the Florida Jewish News and a Goth-looking French TV reporter who doesn’t...
  • House Of Healing

    Pennies from kids who thought they were giving a fortune. Checks written in modest amounts from ordinary families. And one eye-popping anonymous contribution of $22.5 million. It was private donations like these from more than 600,000 Americans that paid for a comprehensive new rehabilitation center for wounded troops that opened Monday at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Military brass and privates shuffling on crutches joined senators, actresses and country-music stars under a chilly South Texas winter sky at the ribbon cutting for the Center for the Intrepid, which opened along with two new Fisher House suites that house the families of the recovering troops. The pomp and pageantry, including a fighter-jet flyover and the crooning of singer John Mellencamp, was meant to pay tribute to the wounded and fallen and to the citizens who tried to repay their sacrifices with world-class medical and support facilities."Today is a celebration of life, heroism, duty, honor and commitment,"...
  • When Best Intentions Aren’T Good Enough

    I am a gym rat. And my gym, like gyms all over the country, has been really crowded lately. I used to get a little peevish about this January surge in traffic on the treadmill and Stairmaster, but I no longer do. As a regular, I know that most of these newly dedicated fitness buffs will be gone by February.This is not arrogance. I’ve had my share of relapses. The fact is, it’s really hard to keep the promises we make to ourselves, including New Year’s resolutions. Not only will the January joggers soon be drifting back to their couches, others will be restocking their liquor cabinets, tossing their nicotine patches and bingeing on Chunky Monkey—in short, giving up on all those optimistic visions of healthy living.Why are we so bad at adhering to our most well-intended commitments? Psychologists are very interested in this question, because of the obvious public-health implications, and they recently have been probing beyond the common and unhelpful answer: weak willpower. What does...
  • Please Don’T Help

    Amid reports that Iran is prepared to offer Iraq help with reconstruction and other forms of economic aid, President George W. Bush warned Tehran today that any helpfulness on its part would be met with “swift retribution” from the United States.Speaking from the White House, Bush warned Iran not to entertain any thoughts of being helpful, vowing, “No good deed will go unpunished.” The president also issued a stern ultimatum directly to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warning him against “future provocative offers of help.”“Iran can continue down this dangerous path of helpfulness, or it can resume its role as an international pariah,” Bush said. “The choice is clear.”The president appeared bent on isolating Iran to punish it for its threatened acts of helpfulness, even naming it to what he called “The Axis of Constructiveness.”In Tehran, Ahmadinejad seemed almost emboldened by Bush’s remarks, even taunting the U.S. president with threats of his own: “Iran will continue to be...
  • No Child Left Untested?

    The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced last week that it will be holding four regional summits promoting random student drug testing in public middle and high schools. The controversial program, which has already been implemented in nearly 1,000 middle and high schools across the country, requires that kids submit to random drug testing if they want to participate in competitive extracurricular activities like athletics. The Department of Education offers grants to schools that want to develop or expand a drug-testing programs for children in grades 6-12, but decisions about whether to test and which drugs to test for are made on an individual school level. The testing is usually done by a school nurse with a urine sample taken on school premises. If there's a positive result, the sample is sent out for verification by a lab. Tests can also be done with blood or saliva. Samples are generally tested for cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, opium-based substances,...
  • New Sensible Eating Rules for Kids

    Every day at 6:15 p.m., 4-year-old Payton and 7-year-old Avery Lumeng sit down for dinner with their parents, who let them eat as much or as little as they'd like. They're free to be excused when they're finished—even if it's after only 15 minutes. If they're hungry when it's not mealtime, they eat snacks—including occasional cookies and candies. "If you have all these hard and fast rules—'My children are never going to eat candy'—it makes it all the more tempting," explains their mom, Dr. Julie Lumeng of the University of Michigan's department of pediatrics and Center for Human Growth and Development. She should know: she worked on "Healthy From the Start," a new booklet on healthy eating just out from the nonprofit group Zero to Three (zerotothree.org) and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.In the booklet, Lumeng and her colleagues redefine the rules of healthy eating for kids. Faced with a childhood-obesity epidemic (about one in six U.S. kids is fat), experts are...
  • An Otherworldly Tale

    Fairy tales and religions give us our best stories, and what gives those stories their power is their vivid belief in another world just outside the world of our daily life. The other world of fairy tales is the world of imagination, and the other world of religion is the world of imagining the sacred. But both other worlds draw us in and implicate us in ways that transform us.In great sacred stories, rituals are often the arms used by the story to draw us in. The ancient story of Jesus' resurrection is not merely remembered but personally consumed in the Eucharist feast. The ancient story of the Exodus is personally consumed in the ritual of the Seder meal. In these ritual meals, the story enters us and we enter the other world where the story is born. Because fairy tales do not generate rituals, their world always remains at arm's length away. There is no ritual that helps us enter Wonderland or Oz, but when the priest says that the wafer is the body of Christ; when the Passover...
  • Hollywood Royalty

    Security was tight. For the first time, NEWSWEEK'S annual roundtable was held in public, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. We made sure to keep a few of the celebrities' names secret, and arranged for all of them to arrive via an inconspicuous side entrance to the theater. So imagine our surprise when Brad Pitt--the most paparazzi-hounded star on the planet--was dropped off on Hollywood Boulevard and strode blithely through the theater's front doors, disguised only by a pair of sunglasses. Onstage, Pitt was joined by five other remarkable actors of 2006: Cate Blanchett, Forest Whitaker, Helen Mirren, Penelope Cruz and Leonardo DiCaprio. Needless to say, the audience was buzzing. But so were the stars, who listened with obvious delight as their fellow actors discussed their lives, their craft, their passions and their fears. Pitt teased DiCaprio, who said he didn't appreciate being seen as "a piece of cute meat" after "Titanic." "That you are ," Pitt told him. Blanchett, who...
  • The Big Sleep

    Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a narcoleptic.OK, while I haven’t announced my condition with brazen acceptance to a semi-circle of strangers drinking watered-down coffee from Styrofoam cups, the term “narcoleptic” has wriggled its way onto my list of defining characteristics, right there with “recent college graduate” and “dog lover.”I’ve had the symptoms for about eight years. For years, I would routinely sleep for 14-plus hours and still nod off during “Desperate Housewives.” If my presence was not required somewhere (school, work), getting out of bed seemed pointless since I would fall asleep again within an hour. Friends knew better than trying to coax me out of bed, and even my dog learned to hold her bladder for a surprisingly long period of time. Further hindering my motivation was a diagnosis of depression pinned to my shirt at age 18.  Eventually, I resigned myself to being a chronically slothful person.I made decent grades in college, and was offered a good job at a well...
  • Mail Call: A Closer Look At Managing Menopause

    Passionate responses poured in from women who read our book excerpt on menopause. "Your illuminating article boosted me out of my menopausal cranky mood," said a 52-year-old "in the throes" of the midlife change. Readers debated hormone-replacement therapy, some saying they'd never give up hormones and others explaining they've used black cohosh and other herbal remedies to control symptoms. Many criticized the 2002 Women's Health Initiative study, while others argued in favor of bio-identical hormones. A few said they are part of the "lucky minority" who never experience hot flashes. "Indeed, it has been a cause of monthly celebration," said one. And several readers found humor in their situation. One recalled a large refrigerator at Costco with a congregation of women her age. "No need to say a word. We just had an understanding of why we hang out in places that are 40 degrees. It's a woman thing!"Thank you for your article on menopause ("The New Prime Time," Jan. 15). After my...
  • The Stage Of Grief No One Admits To: Relief

    I'm so sorry. we did everything we could." The surgeon's haggard face proved his words. My 31-year-old husband was dead, killed in a car accident on his way home from work. Doctors and nurses gathered around me, ready to catch me if I fell.Then convention took over, and I found my voice. "Thank you," I said to the surgeon, taking his hands in mine, "for everything you did to try to save him." Mechanically, I turned to the next set of hands, and the next, thanking each person as they all watched me warily. I'm sure they thought that as soon as the words sank in, I'd fall to the ground.I was in shock. But I was also aware of a bewildering mix of sadness, anger and, as hard as it was to admit, overwhelm-ing relief. The truth was, I had been unhappy in my marriage for several years and had kept up appearances as I tried to salvage our floundering relationship. I was initially very confused about what to do with the feelings I was having. I was equally aware, even in those earliest...
  • A Call For ‘Radical Change’

    President Bush’s State of the Union address may not have done much to improve his popularity. But it did succeed in jump-starting debate over one of the leading—and most contentiously lobbied issues—on his domestic agenda: health-care reform. In his speech, the president proposed offering tax subsidies to encourage more people to buy their own health insurance. The goal: to provide equal treatment to those who buy insurance on their own, and those who get it through their employers. Under the Bush plan, the administration estimates that 80 percent of workers with employer-based health plans would pay lower taxes—while 20 percent of those with more costly workplace plans (branded “gold-plated” by Bush) would see a tax hike, unless they decreased their coverage.Democrats on Capitol Hill, along with labor unions and consumer groups, pilloried the Bush plan, arguing his proposal would do little to help America’s nearly 47 million uninsured—and could wind up hastening the demise of...
  • Last Word: Frederik De Wahl

    In 2003, a Danish company called Skype changed the way we make phone calls, offering a free Internet-based communications system to users around the world. Having already established its reputation with the launch of the music-sharing site Kazaa, cofounders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis quickly attracted a solid customer base, and in 2005, eBay bought the company for $2.6 billion.Now they're entering the world of TV. Last week the brains behind the online telephony service introduced Joost, which claims to be the world's first broadcast-quality service on the Internet. Although no precise launch date has been set, the site, joost.com, is currently operating in order to inform prospective customers of the service's potential. Joost CEO Frederik de Wahl, a Swede who previously ran a peer-to-peer software business and who holds a master's degree in both electrical engineering and economics, held a press conference last week in London to announce the service. NEWSWEEK's Ginanne...
  • Travel: May I See Some I.D.?

    Attention, all snow bunnies and sun seekers. Thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, starting Tuesday, all Americans will need a passport to enter or re-enter the United States by airplane from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. (Until now, only a driver's license was required. Those traveling by boat, train or car from those destinations will be able to get back into the United States with a driver's license and birth certificate until Jan. 1, 2008.) If you don't have a passport yet--and 79 percent of us don't--go to travel.state.gov for instructions and applications that can be downloaded. The fee is $67 plus $30 for processing. Oh, and go to smartertravel.com for info about some Caribbean countries like Nassau and Jamaica that are rebating passport fees for travel this winter and spring. How's that for a break?In "May I See Some I.D.?" (TIP SHEET, Jan. 29) we erroneously referred to Nassau as a Caribbean country. It is, in fact, a city. NEWSWEEK regrets the error.
  • The Sounds Of Stories

    When celebrated Mexican film director Alejandro González Iñárritu set out to score "Babel," the final and most ambitious chapter of a trilogy that began with "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams," he had his work cut out for him. Just shooting a picture (with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) that toggles between three separate narratives unfolding on three continents and spoken in Arabic, English, Spanish and Japanese was headache enough. But who could possibly unify the strands of this intricate story in a single, coherent soundtrack? Gustavo Santaolalla, of course.The Argentina-born musician and composer is no stranger to challenging assignments. He had already taken on three other Iñárritu extravaganzas, beginning with the hypercharged "Amores Perros" (1998), transposing that throbbing triptych of tales with a mixture of Mexican pop rock, Latin hip-hop, and edgy guitar chords. Moviegoers first got wind of this nervous new sound in "The Insider" (1999), when a taut solo on the ronroco, a...
  • International Mail Call: The Politics Of Dress

    Readers of "Beyond the Veil" questioned the reasons Muslims give for covering up. "The veil is being used by women in the West as a political statement to emphasize their Islamic roots," one said. Another declared: "God does not care about the length of a woman's dress; people do."The heated debate in Europe about the higab ("Beyond the Veil," Nov. 27) is a mere fig leaf hiding broader fear about Islam, immigration and European cultural identity. These fears are largely unfounded and reflect only our own insecurities as we go through fast-paced social change in the 21st century. On its own, the higab should be a non-issue since the number of Muslim women wearing it are still a tiny minority, although by all accounts a growing one. Moreover, mature and liberal Western societies must be expected to accept the higab as much as they accept any other form of nonmainstream attire as part of the freedom of individual choice that forms the bedrock of our liberty. But those who wear the...
  • Return To The Top

    Serena Williams proved Friday night what we already knew: That when she’s playing her best, no one can touch her. In a breathtaking performance, she stomped on, whipped, flogged—the thesaurus sure is fun in moments like these—the No. 1-ranked Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open . Unseeded and ranked 81 at the start of the tournament, Serena’s own number zoomed up to 14 by its thrilling end. Sharapova retains the top slot in the computer, but last night was its own verdict.It’s been a difficult two years for Serena, since her last win in 2005. In 2003 she had surgery to fix an injured knee. Then, while she was home in Florida recovering , her half-sister, Yetunde Price, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. After that, Serena’s game has never quite been the same—the dominance was gone, the spark had flamed out. The knee kept nagging her, yes, but that seemed only half the struggle.For her fans, these last few years have been especially trying. We worried that her...
  • Learning My Instincts

    "Doll, help me get into my floral nightgown hanging there," my grandmother said, pointing toward the hospice closet.I pulled out the nightgown. It was made of an itchy, polyester blend, long, with three plastic pink buttons at the top and huge pink and blue flowers. It was something that I couldn't imagine putting on in a million years, but my grandmother adored bright colors. She thought the blacks and browns that I preferred were an unfortunate side effect of my romantic life in New York City.She slowly swung her legs over the side of the bed and prepared to sit up, laboring over every movement. Her lungs were slowly turning to stone. At least that's how I understood it. The doctors called it pulmonary fibrosis. They guessed that the disease had first taken root in her tiny body as she tended the chickens on the family farm back in Kearney, Neb., seven decades past. Now every exertion was accompanied by a quiet, but painful-sounding, inhale.Wordlessly, she pulled off her nightgown...
  • Norah Jones: Familiar But Not Predictable

    The best-selling female artist of the 21st century—that's quite a title—and quite a lot to live up to. But for singer Norah Jones, who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, it's not the kind of thing that keeps the 27-year-old up at night. What does keep her up is writing, playing and recording music like she did for her third record, "Not Too Late," her first collection of songs entirely written or co-written by the eight-time Grammy winner.As huge as she is, Jones still keeps her music and her music-making down home: her writing partner/bass player and boyfriend, Lee Alexander, produced the new CD in their home studio. Old friend Jesse Harris, who wrote the massive hit "Don't Know Why" for her 2002 debut, "Come Away With Me," shares in the work again, but this time it's by playing guitar as part of her studio band. Other players on the record are people she's known for years. Any master chef will tell you that you don't mess with a good recipe, and in this case, it's this...
  • The Latest in Battlefield Surgery

    The military has rewritten the book on wartime surgery to combat the wave of injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latest strategies for helping fallen warriors.
  • So You Want To Be A (Grrrl) Rock And Roll Star

    When the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls held a benefit auction Tuesday night at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom, items on the auction block included an electric guitar and guitar lessons, a kid-sized bass autographed by the Beastie Boys (that went for $725) and a designer handbag by Marc Jacobs. Pretty cool stuff for an auction (cool enough to raise $20,000 by the time the night was over). But what really put a big smile on the faces in the crowd was not cool merch but an electrifying performance by a duo called Magnolia. Opening for a line-up that included the indie favorite Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Zora Sicher and Hugo Orozco, both 11-years-old girls, worked through their repertoire of self-penned songs, including “What Cha Gonna Do,” with Orozco playing punk power chords over a steady beat laid down by drummer Sicher (they switched instruments midset—very rock and roll). The girls are veterans of the rock camp, and they are also its hardcore fans. They attended for the first...
  • The Threat From Within

    This may be the first generation in which children live a shorter life span than their parents. If this were caused by a new virus or pathogen, or if some madman was harming our children, there would be a call to action from most parents, an uprising and an uproar. But it's not some external germ or sinister force that's eating our young; it's what our young are eating—too much fat, salt and sugar. And it's not only what they're doing, but also what they're not doing—a lack of regular exercise.So many kids in our country are overweight, they're getting sick and dying prematurely. Overweight kids suffer disproportionately from diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and other serious health problems. A study last summer in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that being overweight at 18 is associated with an increased risk of premature death in younger and middle-aged women.Since 1970, the percentage of kids who are overweight or obese has risen almost fourfold, from 4.2 percent to 15...
  • Super Bowl: Settling The Score

    A few seconds after Tom Brady’s last-gasp pass died in the arms of an Indianapolis Colts defender, my phone rang. I figured it for the first of many condolence calls to be exchanged between my fellow lifers from section 132 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.Instead, it was my daughter on the line—ah, the swift and dexterous dialing fingers of youth—and I immediately detected the anxiety in her voice. “Are you all right, dad?” she asked. I thought, “What kind of jerk does she think that I am, that my physical and mental health couldn’t withstand the heartbreak of a New England Patriots defeat?” Then, of course, I realized: exactly the kind of jerk she’s known for the 20 years of her life.So I took a quick inventory and, a little too my surprise, discovered I was, in fact, all right—a little disappointed but not remotely devastated by the defeat. Which by the time I caught up with my buddies seemed to be the consensus. It had been a great game. We were outplayed. All those breaks,...
  • A Brief History Of Sundance Outrages

    Sundance wouldn't be Sundance if someone wasn't getting all hot and bothered about some outrageous, shocking, weird, utterly out-there movie leaping off the screen at the film festival in Park City, Utah. Among the movies getting tongues wagging this year are "Zoo," Robinson Devor's documentary about bestiality, inspired by the true story of a Seattle man who died after having sex with an Arabian stallion; the lurid Southern melodrama "Black Snake Moan," with Christina Ricci as a scantily clad white-trash nymphomaniac who gets chained to a radiator (for her own good, mind you) by Samuel L. Jackson; and another Southern Gothic tale, "Hounddog," which elicited angry protests (even though none of the protestors had seen the movie) because of a scene in which a 12-year-old girl, played by Dakota Fanning, is raped.It was ever thus. Here's a brief timeline of some of the supposedly and actually shocking movies that debuted at Sundance. A few went on to make scandalous waves in the real...