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  • What's O.J.'s Heisman Trophy Worth Today?

    The Juice's arrest shines a bright light on the murky world of memorabilia. Will the price of his items spike, or plunge? A veteran appraiser offers a tour of some of the market's more outlandish offerings.
  • How Hillary Won Over the Health-Care Industry

    She was persona non grata in the early 1990s, when the then-first lady's dramatic health-care reform package went down. These days Hillary Clinton is winning raves among health-care-industry groups—and attracting their campaign dollars.
  • Kitchen Kids

    If you're tired of cooking, here's an idea: teach your children to do it. Sisters Isabella and Olivia Gerasole, 11 and 9, authors of "The Spatulatta Cookbook" (Scholastic. $16.99), give some tips on how parents can encourage their kids in the kitchen. ...
  • ‘Aah,’ At Home

    Down on overpriced spa treatments? Do it yourself and save. Or invite some friends over and make a day of it. These TIP-tested products give professional results.For nails, Perfect Sense disposable hot paraffin wax treatments exfoliate and hydrate hands and feet with vitamins and minerals ($40 per three-pack at sparevolutions.com). OPI's Manicure/Pedicure Green Tea Scrub ($14.95; opi.com) uses sugar crystals and antioxidants to soften overwrought hands and feet. Top off with OPI's newest fall colors in Russian Navy, Give Me the Moon and An Affair in Red Square ($7.95 each).For hair, summer damage gets a quick fix and a shiny finish with Kama Ayurveda's Intensive Hair Treatment ($26 for four ounces at alcanz.com). For color-treated hair, Pureology's line of shampoos and conditioners ($25; pureology.com) softens the chemical frizz.Daily cleansing is important for your face, but go for a deeper weekly regimen with Nature's Gate Microdermabrasion Skin Refining System ($50 at Whole Foods...
  • Book Deals

    College students have a new alternative to shelling out hundreds of dollars for textbooks, then getting little in return when they resell them at the end of the semester: renting. Textbookflix.com lets online users rent books for a fraction of each book's retail price. The iconic "Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach," for example, which usually costs about $100, rents for $39 (plus shipping) a semester. The company keeps up with quick-changing inventories by partnering with Amazon.com and other book-swapping partners, which provide more than 2 million books for rent. Students who need an extended rental or just a quick research-paper reference can find flexibility at BookRenter.com, which has rental periods ranging from one to four months. Users return the book with a prepaid shipping label on time, or the book becomes theirs with an automatic payment of the remaining retail value. Some things to remember: both services allow minor markings, such as writing and highlighting,...
  • Luciano Pavarotti, 1935–2007

    Luciano Pavarotti was one of the biggest opera stars of the last century, but he was much bigger than opera. A lyric tenor whose remarkable voice was so honeyed and brilliant that even non-opera lovers were readily moved by its beauty, he married his natural musicality with a blatant gift for showmanship. Besides his triumphs in the world's greatest opera houses, he sold more than 50 million albums, his arena concerts were packed like a rock star's and he would happily sign autographs for his fans for hours. As he aged—and performing on the opera stage became more demanding—Pavarotti and his manager found amazing ways for him to become even bigger in the public eye, especially with the phenomenally successful Three Tenors gigs, where he joined Plácido Domingo and José Carreras: their televised concerts were seen by as many as 1.5 billion viewers worldwide. For his charity concerts and albums "Pavarotti & Friends," he roped in such singers as Bono, Elton John and even the Spice...
  • Uncle Sam’s New Welcome

    For Rodolfo Acevedo, the complicated process of becoming a U.S. citizen wasn't pleasant. The various south Florida offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that he visited were "not very friendly … and not very fit for the function they had to do," he says. Now the Argentine-born Acevedo has a chance to help fix that. He's the lead architect for four new immigration facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that aim to change the face of U.S. immigration—with less bureaucracy and more personality. The buildings, which are scheduled for completion next summer, are part of a $120 million pilot project that could serve as a model for immigration centers nationwide.Acevedo's blueprints depict settings far different from the current prisonlike complex in Miami, where lines of people snake out onto the scorching sidewalk. The new facilities will have big, comfortable waiting areas, ample light and green design elements like reflective roofing. They'll feature indoor...
  • Sharif Returns From Exile

    In 1999, during his scandal-plagued second term as prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif tried to sack his Army chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Instead, Musharraf had Sharif arrested, allowing him to leave the country only on the condition that he not set foot in Pakistan for 10 years. Sharif has unilaterally moved up his return date to this week, and he hopes to capitalize on dissatisfaction with Musharraf and another former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, who has been seeking to work out a power-sharing arrangement with the president. Sharif spoke to Ron Moreau: ...
  • Bad Casting Decisions

    Fred Thompson has announced that he wants to run the country, but he still needs to show he can establish order among his staff. Over the summer, the former Tennessee senator's would-be campaign struggled to get going amid tensions between aides and his wife, Jeri. To get his bid back on track, Thompson brought in an old friend, Bill Lacy, a respected GOP operative, to run his campaign. Perhaps inevitably, that effort is producing new casualties. Just hours before Thompson made his White House run official on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," Mark Corallo—a veteran PR hand who had been involved with Thompson's presidential effort longer than any other aide—resigned. That came just days after the exit of Jim Mills, a former Fox News producer who was hired three weeks ago as press secretary. Corallo declined NEWSWEEK's interview request. Mills trashed Thompson to NBC: "I am currently checking in with my Catholic friends to see if they can recommend any local priests who still perform...
  • A New Tape Leads To New Fears

    Judging from a new message released last week, Osama bin Laden is still alive and plotting. The latest video—the first since October 2004—shows bin Laden looking unnaturally youthful in at least one respect: the robust state of his bushy black beard, which was streaked with gray three years ago. Some intelligence officials wondered, only half in jest, whether the terrorist leader was using Just For Men, a hair dye. Other analysts believed he was wearing a fake beard. If so, that could mean he had shaved to obscure his identity, wherever he's living. Then again, he might be trying to confuse everyone about his whereabouts, which he has done for many years.In delivering his stern yet calm address, the Qaeda leader appears against a neutral background. He speaks to the "People of America," delivering his take on the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Vietnam, the evils of warmongering corporations, U.S. politics and global warming. (The footage appears with English subtitles.) "In...
  • Conventional Wisdom

    Loose Nukes Edition Bush (sideways) Surge “success” PR effort starting to gain traction, even though the numbers are phony. Thompson (sideways) Leno launch dominated headlines but ticked off N.H. voters. And stump speech underwhelming. Gore (sideways) Buzz about his running for prez subsides but buzz about winning Nobel in Oct. grows. Bin Laden (down) Mass murderer resurfaces on video with Noam Chomsky plug and Just for Men beard. Die already. Air Force (down) B-52 with live nukes flies across United States by accident. Was Homer Simpson in charge of security? Oprah (sideways) Double O ’07 endorsement could change dynamic. Can she do for Obama what she does for books?
  • Quotes in the News

    “They’re trying to use the media as a way to terrorize us.” ...
  • ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Breaks Another Couple Of Hearts

    In the movie, Jake couldn’t quit Heath. But heath Ledger could quit Michelle Williams, whom he met during filming (and who later gave birth to their daughter). The on-set-romance curse continues:• Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe: They did “Cruel Intentions,” but her Oscar may have been the cruelest cut for him.• Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman: “Days of Thunder,” “Far and Away”—how could they make it with movie titles like that?• Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton: The most famous of them all. She was Cleopatra. He was Marc Antony. Their love was so snakebitten, they had to divorce twice.
  • The ‘Law & Order’ Cabinet

    If Fred Thompson—TV Star turned White House hopeful—wins, he could do worse than install these “Law & Order” characters.ED GREEN (JESSE L. MARTIN): He’s crisp, smooth and deals well with kids. Oh, he also has gambling issues.POSITION: Secretary of EducationANITA VAN BUREN (S. EPATHA MERKERSON): Obstinate and brusque, she relishes conflict and doesn’t try smoothing it over.POSITION: Secretary of DefenseJACK MCCOY (SAM WATERSTON): The con: doesn’t usually share Thompson’s views. The pros: exacting, intense and merciless.POSITION: Attorney generalREY CURTIS (BENJAMIN BRATT): As a junior to Detective Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), he usually wound up driving the squad car.POSITION: Transportation secretarySERENA SOUTHERLYN (ELISABETH ROHM): Thompson’s character canned her, she thought, because she’s a lesbian.POSITION: In a GOP cabinet? As if.
  • Q & A: Evan Rachel Wood

    Wood will be in four movies at this week's Toronto Film Festival. But her favorite is Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe," in which she (and the cast) sing dozens of Beatles songs. Wood spoke to Ramin Setoodeh.Yeah. I have no problem telling people that it's the greatest movie ever made.I'm going to cover it up for something better.It's a strawberry with the leaves in the shape of a bird. But when people look at it, they say, "Is that a ferret sticking out of an apple?"I'm an alien. I'm young Uma Thurman. And I'm a young brunette working at McDonald's.I have to keep it blond for roles, so I could go either way. But now I can't dye my hair black, because that would mean I'm a zombie.People need to grow up about that.I think people really get off on seeing someone fail. No one is waiting for me to say something smart. An actress is stupid—that's the best news. It's on CNN. People tell me I'm immature, and Britney's crotch is on CNN. Who the hell is immature?
  • How She Would Govern

    Hillary Clinton has been in politics long enough to know the value of the word "change." In 1992, her husband's political guru, James Carville, hung a white sign in the Clinton campaign war room that read CHANGE VS. MORE OF THE SAME. Bill Clinton won the presidency that year with 370 electoral votes.Over the course of the summer, she watched her rivals for the Democratic nomination try again and again to define themselves as change and Clinton as the status quo. ("We're more interested in looking forward, not backward," Barack Obama told reporters. "And the American people feel the same way.") But she would not cede the change mantle, no matter how large her lead in national polls, not in an election where the voters were fed up and angry, not when Obama was saying "change" was what he was all about and John Edwards was running a tough populist bid. "The campaign was watching Obama and Edwards peddling this false choice of change versus experience," says someone close to the...
  • Excuse Me, Mr. Ford

    How to tell the man whose name is on the building that you're overhauling the family firm he once ran
  • How to Police a Cop-Killing

    South Florida is reeling from a spate of attacks on police--the latest on Thursday, when a gunman shot four cops. What it's like in the stationhouse when the crime victim is one of their own.
  • Clift: Top Dems Line Up for Senate Seats

    Bush's report on Iraq may have shored up his support in the Senate. But his determination to keep 130,000 U.S. troops there has left a gap for a parade of prime-time Democrats to turn Red States blue in the '08 election.
  • O. J. Simpson's 'Sting'

    The former NFL star is questioned in a Las Vegas robbery just as his 'confession' hits bookstores.
  • The Iraq War's Go-To Cliché

    Ever notice that when politicians talk about this conflict they can't get out of a sentence without uttering the phrase 'blood and treasure'? What it really means.
  • Fineman: Stumping at the Steak Fry

    Tom Harkin's annual steak fry is a key indicator of how the Iowa caucuses may play out next January. Let the Democratic jockeying begin.
  • Selling Your Children for Marriage—Online

    A controversial Web site purporting to be a place for families to sell their teenage daughters as brides is revealed to be bogus. Wait till you see what the would-be grooms wrote in--and what states actually allow.
  • Wolffe: Anatomy of a Mini-Bounce

    Republicans were running for cover. Democrats were on the march. The polls were trending against him. How Bush got a bit of his groove back on Iraq—for the moment, anyway.
  • Spy Master Admits Error

    Intel czar Mike McConnell told Congress a new law helped bring down a terror plot. The facts say otherwise.
  • A Veteran’s Loss of Innocence

    He signed up for the Marine Reserves in peacetime. Then the towers fell. The military as he knew it changed forever--as did his place in it.
  • Well-Rounded Docs

    One week into his premed classes at Washington University in St. Louis, Ryan Jacobson was rethinking his plan to become a doctor. His biology and chemistry classes were large, competitive and impersonal—not how he wanted to spend the next four years. “Sitting in a chemistry class, I knew it wasn’t the right place for me,” he says. Jacobson found the history department, with its focus on faculty interaction and discussion, a better fit. But he had no intention of leaving his medical aspirations behind. So Jacobson majored in history while also taking the science and math courses required for medical school. When he graduated last spring, he won the departmental prize for undergraduate thesis for his work on the history of race relations in Tulsa, Okla. He started medical school at the University of Illinois last month. “Historians are supposed to integrate information with the big picture,” he says, “which will hopefully be useful as a physician.”Even as breakthroughs in science and...
  • Grin and Bear It

    His story sings—a small-town boy who became a senator and a star. But does he have the requisite fire in the belly? We'll soon see.
  • Conventional Wisdom Watch

    Even before Petraeus report, Bush decides to request another $50 billion for Iraq—and doesn’t tell Secretary of Defense Gates. Beautiful. Bush (down) Another great week: A.G. out, a GOP scandal, Iraq bad as ever, Katrina anniv. is reminder of incompetence. Larry Craig (down) The “I’m not gay” stalling tactic didn’t wash. His career is in the toilet and the GOP gets flushed. A. Gonzales (down) None-too-sharp A.G. finally hits the exit. His legacy: Made us miss John Ashcroft and John Mitchell. Fred Thompson (neutral)Finally announces that he will announce WH run. An actor elected prez? That’ll never happen! Tony Snow (up) WH mouthpiece is latest to leave. The CW likes him and the way he honestly handles his illness. Leona Helmsley (down)Late “queen of mean” hotel heiress leaves $12 million to her dog, stiffs grandkids. Classy to the end.
  • Securing (Or Not) Your Right To Vote

    Next year we’ll have the second presidential election since the horribly botched one in 2000. Can we expect better? An answer comes from the highest election official in the most populated state in the Union. Worried about a string of reported vulnerabilities, Debra Bowen, California’s secretary of State, had asked computer scientists at the University of California to conduct a “top to bottom” analysis of the thousands of touchscreen electronic voting machines in use in the Golden State. Next year millions of voters will use these systems, manufactured by the industry’s largest suppliers, not only in California but in many other states as well.What did the study reveal? “Things were worse than I thought,” says Bowen. “There were far too many ways that people with ill intentions could compromise the voting systems without detection.” Some of those security holes could, in theory, allow a dirty trickster with access to a single machine to infiltrate the central vote-counting system...
  • The New Money Pit

    Walking through the gated community of Black Mountain Vista on a hill in Henderson, Nev., Thomas Blanchard offers a guided tour of real-estate woe. A row of stucco duplexes that recently sold for as much as $500,000 sit empty. “That’s a repo,” the real-estate agent says as he stands in front of 678 Solitude Point Avenue. Then he points to the adjacent houses, where yellow patches blot the spartan lawns and phone books lie on front porches, their covers bleached from weeks under the desert sun. “No. 680, repo; 684, repo. Those two at the end, repo.”Three years ago, this Las Vegas suburb was teeming with modern-day prospectors armed with low-interest mortgages, all hoping to strike it rich in real estate. Now, what started with the subprime-mortgage mess and subsequent credit crunch are turning communities like Black Mountain Vista into luxury ghost towns. Buyers who got in over their heads are being forced to abandon their homes, leaving behind empty McMansions on the California...
  • The Train To The Plain

    James Mangold’s remake of the 1957 Western “3:10 to Yuma” is a decent-enough entertainment, though it’s hardly going to breathe new life to a genre whose demise has been reported for at least 30 years. What this version offers is the chance to watch Russell Crowe and Christian Bale—two of the more charismatic, macho leading men around—duke it out psychologically, while another fine but less well-known intensity artist, Ben Foster, steals whatever scenes are left.Bale plays beleaguered rancher Dan Evans, who’s hobbled by a Civil War injury. Unable to pay his bills, he’s lost the respect of his wife (Gretchen Mol) and 14-year-old son, Will (Logan Lerman), and is about to lose his ranch. Evans glimpses a chance for both money and redemption by signing up to bring the legendary outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) to the train station in Contention, Ariz., where the 3:10 will take Wade to face justice in Yuma.Crowe’s Wade is everything the struggling rancher isn’t—suave, confident, a master...
  • Separation Anxieties

    This fall, returning students might not have to try so hard to fit in—but that’s not necessarily a good thing. According to a new report, more public schools are filled with students of the same racial and economic backgrounds than at any time in the past 20 years. The Civil Rights Project of UCLA has found that schools are resegregating at a faster rate than they have since the early ’90s, when a series of Supreme Court cases started dismantling desegregation policies.The effects of June’s court decision to limit desegregation efforts based on race won’t be felt until next year, so the future could bring even more homogenous classrooms. “All things being equal, that’s not good,” says Andrew Rotherham, codirector of Education Sector, a nonpartisan education think tank.The report shows the fastest rate of resegregation happening in the South, where the percentage of black students attending majority white schools dropped from 44 percent in 1988 to 27 percent in 2005. A 380 percent...
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply

    On July 10, Jeremy Blake returned to his downtown Manhattan apartment from a day of meetings with plans to relax with a bottle of Scotch. The 35-year-old digital artist, whose work is already enshrined in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, lived in a converted Episcopal church rectory with his girlfriend of a dozen years, Theresa Duncan, a 40-year-old writer and former computer-game designer. Before going upstairs to meet her, he stopped by the office of the church’s assistant pastor, Father Frank Morales, and invited him up later for a drink. But when Blake got to his place and opened the door, he found Duncan lying dead in their bedroom, with a bottle of bourbon, Tylenol PM pills and a suicide note next to her body. When the police arrived, Morales followed them upstairs and found Blake kicking the walls and sobbing before settling into a living-room chair. After the coroner took his lover’s body away, Blake spent the next three hours with Morales, ...
  • Brown’s The New Black

    Charlie Brown is neither tall nor skinny enough to be a model, but he’s still landing on the runway. At this week’s Fashion Week in New York, more than 20 designers are bringing the Peanuts characters to life in a charity couture show. “At first I thought, ‘Snoopy, fashion?’ ” says Jeannie Schulz, the widow of creator Charles Schulz. “But he was designing clothes that became part of the characters’ personalities, and that is what designers are looking for.”The latest gala isn’t the first time the gang has stepped in as fashion icons. A 1984 book called “Snoopy in Fashion” features beagle plush toys photographed in mini apparel from Gucci, Fendi, Armani and nearly 100 others. The pieces are still displayed in museums. In 2005, a Barcelona designer did a Peanuts-inspired collection, which was followed by a China fashion show last year. “We had to bring something like this to the States,” says Melissa Menta, vice president at United Media, which licenses Peanuts.The latest event is...
  • Talk To The Hand

    A 49-year-old traveling salesman allegedly seeking sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom in June noticed a boyish young man with short, sandy hair and an athletic build standing at a urinal. The salesman, peering over the top of his stall, motioned the young man to move to the adjoining commode. Once they were sitting side-by-side, the salesman tapped his left foot. The young man tapped back. The salesman then reached his hand under the stall divider and grabbed the young man’s leg. No response. The salesman peeked over the top of the divider. Staring back at him was Sgt. Dave Karsnia and his police badge; Karsnia had just nabbed another man allegedly seeking anonymous action in a restroom known on gay Web sites as Minnesota’s “cruisiest.” But rather than humiliate the man with a showy arrest next to the stalls, Karsnia wrote in his police report that he quietly led him away. As the man was being released after being booked and fingerprinted, he turned to Karsnia to say: “Thank you...
  • Stalin’s Tipping Point

    By mid-October 1941, most of Moscow’s residents were convinced that their city was about to be overrun by the Germans. The NKVD, as the Soviet secret police was then called, had prepared the first of what promised to be a series of pamphlets. “Comrades! We left Moscow due to the continuous attacks of the Germans,” it declared. “But it’s not the right time for us to weep.” The “Underground Party Committee” that signed the statement vowed that Moscow would be liberated. Since the city held out in the end, this admission of defeat was ultimately buried in the NKVD’s classified files rather than distributed. In fact, much of the story of how close Moscow came to falling—a defeat that would likely have transformed the course of the war—has been obscured by decades of deliberately distorted history. Now it’s a story that can be told.The battle for Moscow, which officially lasted from Sept. 30, 1941, to April 20, 1942, pitted two gargantuan armies against each other in what was the...
  • Hirsh: Rating Petraeus’s Report to the Hill

    Not surprisingly, Petraeus performed smoothly in his testimony to Congress. But an internal Pentagon report is expected to 'differ substantially' from his recommendations on withdrawal from Iraq, NEWSWEEK has learned.
  • The Digit

    30The percentage of U.K. teens ages 12 to 16 who fall asleep more than once a week to TV or music or while using other tech devices.
  • The Dems' Fight for Latino Loyalties

    The Democrats' Sunday night Univision debate was just the first step in a drive to reverse George Bush's gains among Hispanic voters. On to 'Latino Tuesday.'
  • Boating Bargains

    Fall is a great time to go cruisin’ for bargains on cruises. It’s the season when the big lines reposition their ships for winter travel: the big boats leave Europe and the Mediterranean and head for Florida and the Caribbean. Other ships leave Alaska (by way of none-too-shabby Vancouver) and head to Hawaii. There’s even one ship, from Regent Seven Seas, going from Alaska to Osaka. If you’re willing to take a block of time and travel on one of these one-way cruises, you can get a great deal—it can cost less than $100 a night—and you’ll cross the ocean in the leisurely, luxurious way it was meant to be crossed, not in some cramped airline seat. You can find a complete list of the repositioning cruises of more than 50 ships at cruising.org. You’ll find deals like Norwegian’s 15 nights from Barcelona to Miami and Carnival’s 16 nights from Rome to Miami via Portugal and Spain, each priced under $1,000. If you miss out, don’t despair. You can book early for next spring’s trip back across...
  • Beliefwatch: Memoirs

    Some experiences just inspire people to pick up a pen. Convinced that what they saw, felt or heard was profound and unique, these writers are moved to share. Jury duty is one such experience. Parenthood is another. Religious conversion, or an intense spiritual awakening, is a third. Publishers are increasingly giving those in the last camp a voice, hoping to discover at last the next Anne Lamott or Kathleen Norris—and praying, so to speak, for strong sales. This week three spiritual memoirs top The New York Times nonfiction lists. One is by the wife of a country singer. One is by a divorcée who traveled the world in search of transcendence. One is by a preacher who says he was hit by a truck, saw heaven and came back to life.As a genre, the spiritual memoir has been around since at least 397, when St. Augustine wrote his “Confessions,” the first real autobiography in Western history. In an astonishingly modern way, Augustine describes his early life and his conversion in terms that...
  • A Rush To Judgment

    On March 28, 2006, the four co-captains of the Duke lacrosse team accused of gang-raping an exotic dancer met with university president Richard Brodhead. One of the captains, David Evans, emotionally protested that the team was innocent and apologized for the misbegotten stripper party. “Brodhead’s eyes filled with tears,” write Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson in their new book on the case, “Until Proven Innocent” (420 pages. Thomas Dunne Books. $26.95). Brodhead “said that the captains should think of how difficult it had been for him.” The misbehavior of the players, said Duke’s president, “had put him in a terrible position.” Listening to Brodhead, Robert Ekstrand, a lawyer representing the captains and many of their teammates, “felt his blood starting to boil,” write Taylor and Johnson. “Here, he thought, is a comfortable university president wallowing in self-pity in front of four students who are in grave danger of being falsely indicted on charges of gang rape, punishable by...
  • Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just Viggo?

    In a David Cronenberg movie, people usually talk about the violence, such as in, well, “A History of Violence.” That probably won’t be true with his new film, “Eastern Promises.” It’s a thriller starring Viggo Mortensen as Nikolai, a taciturn chauffeur for a family of Russian mobsters living in London. The biggest scene takes place in a steam room. Nikolai is sitting there in a towel, taking a peaceful shvitz, when two rival mobsters lumber in and attack him. It’s incredibly violent, of course, but the really shocking thing is that Mortensen plays the whole four-minute fight completely naked. It’s quite possibly the longest male nude scene ever in a mainstream Hollywood film. “In this age of screen grabs, I realize people are going to obsess about it,” Mortensen says. “But it’s not gratuitous.” But wasn’t he even a little nervous about exposing himself like that? “That’s the advantage of working with a real actor as opposed to a star,” says Cronenberg, who took two entire days to...
  • Mail Call

    Readers of our cover story on Facebook were intrigued by the online behemoth, but the majority were worried by the impersonal nature of such social interaction. One said, “I’m honestly puzzled by this Internet-friendship phenomenon. I wish someone would explain the huge psychological shift by which someone can imagine he or she has thousands of personal friends.” Another added, “Real relationships require listening and talking and getting together with your friend who is going through a hard time.” Others wondered about the site’s utility beyond high-school and college communities, with one asking “how a playground for kids could create tangible value in the real world.” And another said of the social-networking site, “Instead of wasting constructive time over who’s dating whom or the latest music obsessions, today’s socially networking youth needs to be worried about more significant issues such as illiteracy and poverty.”While reading NEWSWEEK in my Current Events class, I was...
  • A Successful Balancing Act

    The riot in the credit markets confounded investors once again. The major stock markets had just clawed their way back to their levels of seven years ago. Long-term holders finally were making money. Then a string of financial IEDs, linked to shaky mortgage loans, blew up their hopes. The professionals panicked. Individuals mostly froze.You might think that buy-and-hold will get you past this crisis, too. But the message of the market has never been purely buy-and-hold. The right strategy is buy, rebalance and hold. Rebalancing is one of the principal ways of capturing profits and reducing risk. It’s especially suited to frightened markets like these, when no one knows whether to throw money in or run and hide.Rebalancers engage in what’s known as “target” or “program” investing. You set a target for how your money should be divided among stocks and bonds—for example, 60 percent stocks, 40 percent bonds. If the stock market rises so much that your stocks are now valued at 65 percent...