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  • Five Great Health Sites

    Researching a health condition online? Don't get sucked in by poorly run, out-of-date sites that might scare you with misinformation—or discourage you from proven treatment. Bookmark these pages for all your health and medical questions. Still have questions? Find these sites and more on the Medical Library Association's Top Ten List. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCleveland ClinicAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansMayo ClinicMedline Plus (from the National Institutes of Health)—Lisa Jones
  • A Green University

    Abu Dhabi's revolutionary new eco--school looks to a future beyond oil.
  • Drugs, Murder, Race, and Harvard

    Chanequa Campbell rose from Brooklyn's gritty Bed-Stuy neighborhood to the pinnacle of the ivy league. Then somebody died in her dorm.
  • Summers's Spin: WE DID IT!

    Top White House economic aide Larry Summers gave a major policy speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics today, but it had more to do with public relations than economics. The central message: WE DID IT! In other words, the U.S. economy has stepped back from the "abyss" of a second Great Depression, and we can thank President Obama's economic policies for turning the tide. Summers's speech may mark the beginning of a major political struggle over who or what should get credit for an economic recovery, assuming that one gets underway later this year. Summers suggested that's what will happen, but Summers notwithstanding, it isn't necessarily clear that it will.One conspicuous hole in his argument is that most of Obama's policies─proposed regulatory reforms and spending under the economic "stimulus" package─haven't yet taken effect. Most of the administration's financial reforms are still congressional...
  • The Link Between Beauty and Grades

    If you survived high school, or hope to, you probably made your peace with the fact that life is unfair: looks can compensate for a lack of brains and conscientiousness. Or to put it more bluntly, teachers give good-looking kids higher grades than homely ones, all other factors being equal, as numerous studies have found. The phenomenon is so well documented in science it even has a name: the attractiveness effect.Now sociologist Michael T. French of the University of Miami and his colleagues have discovered yet another reason for plain kids with less-than-winning personalities to feel that the deck is stacked against them. In a paper on "Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Personality and Grooming on Academic Performance in High School", to be published in the August issue of Labour Economics, they find that the three factors in their title indeed affect students' GPA in high school. (Attractiveness, personality and grooming might affect grades in K-8, as well as college, too, but...
  • Fact Check: When Did Obama Meet His Wife?

    Did President Obama make a flub today when talking about when he met his wife, Michelle? Just before his speech to a university here in Moscow this afternoon, Obama mentioned his first meeting with the future First Lady in an offhand remark. “I don’t know if anybody else will meet their future wife or husband in class like I did, but I’m sure you’ll all going to have wonderful careers,” the president said. The thing is: Obama didn’t technically meet his wife at school. Although both are Harvard Law School grads, Michelle Obama got her degree in the spring of 1988 while her future husband didn’t actually start school there until later that fall. (He graduated in 1991). The Obamas officially met in Chicago in 1989, when the future president was a summer associate at the Sidley Austin law firm and Michelle was assigned as his mentor. Was what Obama said wrong? Technically no, considering Obama was still going to school when he met his wife. But for those keeping close watch on Obama...
  • Life Without Summer Camp

    The economic downturn could be the best thing that ever happened to kids. The return of free play.
  • Breakfast Buffet, Monday, June 15

    Laid Off? Start a Business: Over half of this year's Fortune 500 firms were started in a recession or bear market.An Interview with Paul Krugman: "The risk of long stagnation is really high." Krugman has become very Cassandra-like lately but he has a Nobel Prize so we more or less have to listen to him.Checkmate at the Yellowstone Club: The tale of the Montana ski resort for the ultra-wealthy is a familiar one -- reckless borrowing, the over-reaching of the rich, overpaying for property -- but the details are fascinating and well-told.The Fed Calls the Shots: Should people who buy boats and snowmobiles be eligible for cheaper financing from the Federal Reserve?
  • Author Michael Pollan on "Food Inc." and How to Eat Well

    By Nicki GostinThe last few years have been interesting times for food and eating habits, as "slow food," locavores and farmer's markets have entered mainstream conversations about how we eat. This spring saw Michelle Obama planting the first garden on White House grounds since the era of President Roosevelt. One of the Pied Pipers leading the movement to eat more fresh, local fruits, vegetables and meats has been author Michael Pollan. In books such as In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan explains why junk food really is junky and why it's so important not to eat food that has ingredients that you can't even pronounce. Now Pollan appears in the new documentary Food Inc., a disturbing look at giant food companies in the United States, with a focus on the beef industry. NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin spoke with Pollan about whether the cost of food at farmer's markets is worth it, why Europeans eat better than Americans and the steps we can all take to...
  • Kids and War

    Since 9/11, more than a million kids have had a parent deployed. Their childhoods often go with them.
  • Breakfast Buffet, Monday, May 26

    As Goes California So Goes the Nation?: Paul Krugman, optimistic as always, worries that it might be so. He points to the shrinking and increasingly extreme ranks of the Republican party to explain why it will be especially difficult for the state to climb out of the fiscal hole--a scenario he can easily foresee playing out at the national level....
  • Liberty University Bans Democrat Club

    Liberty University's Democrat students club received notice last week that it would no longer be able to associate the University's name with any of its activities. According to a Lynchburg VA paper, the club's leadership was told "“There is absolutely no animosity at all toward any of these kids," Falwell said. “They are good, Christian kids who sit with me at ball games. I just hope they find a pro-life family organization to affiliate with so they can be endorsed by Liberty again." DNC Chair and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has weighed in on the issue, along with gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. "
  • St. Paul School Renamed After Obama

    As of last night, the school formerly known as Webster Magnet Elementary will be named Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary. Staff and students had voted on the name change earlier this month, and last night the School Board ratified their decision in a 5-1 vote. The school is in it's first year of a service learning program and the community wanted a name change to reflect the change in direction. But it sparked a heated debate among parents about whether it was premature to name the school after a President who has been in office nary four months. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:Tom Conlon, the board's lone Republican, opposed the change. The...
  • No-Stress Tests

      The resurrection of Wall Street is at hand. That isn’t quite the intended message of the results of today’s stress tests, but it’s pretty likely to be the bottom line. Led by Citigroup and Bank of America, the 19 big banks that got us into much of this trouble will, by government-orchestrated means, receive the tens of billions of dollars in additional capital they need. But that’s mainly for another rainy day (as opposed to another perfect storm). “All the banks are solvent,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today, declaring he was “very pleased with the results.”   All of which means that whatever opportunity once might have existed for fundamental change in the financial system – with its giant institutions privately trading derivatives with each other globally --is probably slipping away. Oh, the reigning authorities won’t quite say that. There is going to be all sorts of new regulatory oversight, new capital requirements, reduced leverage rules, and such. But basi...
  • Brain Scan Update: 'Our Aim Was to Educate, Not Accuse'

    In a post earlier this week on a study raising doubts about some high-profile studies in neuroscience, I was remiss in implying that the problem existed only in fMRI studies. As the paper’s lead author, Niko Kriegeskorte, reminds me, “this is not only about brain imaging (as your title suggests), but equally affects other fields of systems neuroscience,” including EEGs....
  • Is Summers Staying Up Past His Bedtime?

     For the second time in his tenure as Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Summers has nodded off in public. According to the pool report, during a meeting with credit card industry officials, "Summers appeared to be nodding off near the beginning of Obama's remarks. And then he DID nod off, doing the head on the hand and then head falling off the hand thing." Last time Summers dozed off was at the White House's Fiscal Responsibility Summit. Admittedly Summers is probably working crazy hours, and fiscal responsibility can be a dry topic, but c'mon! Maybe someone should remind him of that Seinfeld episode where George naps under his desk - that might be a more discreet solution.   Noam Scheiber of The New Republic remarked on Larry Summers' sleeping habits in his profile: "As at Harvard, Summers functions on exceedingly little sleep. (A former...
  • The Financial Crisis Hits Education

    I wonder what effect this will have on student diversity in coming years. It's certainly going to put pressure on those much lauded Ivy league programs to offer free tuition to lower and even middle income students -- Harvard had announced a free ride to students who come from families earning $60,000 or less annually a few years back. It will certainly also increase the temptation to take full fee paying students -- including more foreign students. Of course, that trend might itself be counter-balanced by the economic downturn. There's anecdotal evidence that some foreign students that once would have come to the U.S. to study are staying home because of plunging local currencies, and a lack of job opportunities in the U.S., since so many companies have hiring freezes on. Then, of course, there's the fact that the U.S. isn't the only place to get a great education these days -- the U.K., Europe, and even the Middle East and Asia are becoming more attractive hub...
  • Undercover at Falwell's Liberty University

    While most of his buddies studied abroad last year, Kevin Roose, a 21-year-old English major at Brown University, tried a different kind of cultural immersion: he spent a semester undercover at Liberty University, the college founded by Jerry Falwell. Roose joined the student newspaper, the school choir and even spent his spring break proselytizing drunk kids in Daytona Beach, Fla. Now a senior back at Brown, Roose wrote a book about his experience, called "The Unlikely Disciple." He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Jessica Bennett. ...
  • The New GI Bill

    Hey, soldier, wanna go to Harvard? Elite universities throughout the country—including that one in Cambridge, Mass.—will decide in the coming weeks whether to help veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan study for free, using their own funds to supplement the new GI Bill, which goes into effect in August. But for many universities, faced with shrinking endowments and a rising pool of financial-aid applicants, this is no easy decision. Kevin Galvin, Harvard's director of news and media relations, says the school hasn't yet reached a verdict—but he noted that much of its aid dollars have already been committed elsewhere.According to the GI Bill passed into law last year, veterans can study at the most expensive public university in their state, with the government covering full tuition and many fees, or they can apply the money to tuition at a private or out-of-state university. But veterans who choose an Ivy League school, for instance, will be left with a hefty bill. To close...
  • By the Numbers: Affected by the Financial Crisis

    A poll on the impact of the financial crisis on families shows that citizens in developing economies are feeling the worst pinch from restricted credit—and that high food prices are worrying one and all: 100 Percentage of polled countries where a majority of people say rising food costs have negatively affected them 37 Percentage where a majority say tight credit has hurt them. Mexico is worst off, with 91 percent reporting this. 71 Percentage where a majority say the crisis has hit them "a fair amount." The least affected? Germany (29 percent). 42 Percentage where a majority expect things to improve within a year. The most optimistic: Indonesia and China.
  • No Degree For You, Mr. President

    Andy Barr over at Politico is reporting that President Obama will not be receiving an honorary degree when he gives the commencement address at Arizona State University on May 13. A spokesperson for ASU told Barr that: "It’s normally awarded to someone who has been in their field for some time...Considering that the president is at the beginning of his presidency, his body of work is just beginning." But Obama will be receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame when he delivers their commencement address on May 17.If the six member panel that decides who gets honorary degrees isn't excited about Obama, ASU students are making up for it. Each graduate receives up to six tickets for the ceremony, and some enterprising students are trying to make a quick buck out of Obama's appearance. CNN reports that students are scalping their tickets for between $60 and $100 on craigslist. I guess they're just doing their part for the economy.