How Brain Scans Can Detect Suicide Risks

In the days before and after Parkland massacre survivors took their own lives, the father of a Sandy Hook victim gave a talk about brain health. He ended his own life a week later. Can brain imaging help identify people at risk for suicide?

Digging Deep

Even Remote Patches Of Oil Are Starting To Look More And More Attractive

Digging Deep

Its approach echoes across the desolate plains of northern Alberta like the Tyrannosaurus rex that ruled here 265 million years ago. But even a three-story carnivore would have been no match for the Caterpillar 797 dump trucks that dominate the area now. Each of these metal behemoths rides on four-meter tires and carries 363 metric tons of oil-soaked tar sands, scooped out by gigantic shovels nearby. Owned by Shell, the machines are transforming this barren landscape—and the way oil companies...

Culture Clash

Driving through the streets of Jerusalem for the first time, Karen Armstrong felt as if she had stepped into a myth. "Jesus had probably walked up those steps leading to the Temple Mount. He had certainly walked right here beside the Sea of Galilee," she writes in "The Spiral Staircase" (306 pages. Alfred A. Knopf). During her seven years in a British convent, Armstrong had spent countless hours in meditation, attempting to conjure up those very sights. Now as a scholar and lapsed nun, "these...

TIP SHEET

HEALTHSUMMER SLIMIn the dead of winter, who can be blamed for settling into the couch with a six-pack of beer and a plate of those brownies from the holiday party? Now, though, it's time to confront our bloated waistlines, contemplate the skimpy bathing suits we'll wear this summer and... panic. Never fear, though. Each year gives rise to new diet products and fads--some effective, others simply strange. tip sheet surveys the latest trends around the world:Exercise London boasts some of the...

The Death Of Humanity

There is little subtlety in the desolate opening pages of Yasmina Khadra's new novel, "The Swallows of Kabul" (195 pages. Doubleday). In lyrical, heartbreaking prose Algerian-born Army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul, writing under a feminine pen name to evade censors, warns his readers that the apocalyptic world they are about to enter will not be a pretty one. "The Afghan countryside is nothing but battlefields, expanses of sand, and cemeteries," he writes. "The cratered roads, the scabrous...

Is Europe Drinking Too Much?

Jemma Gunning's first drink seemed harmless enough. It was a Chocolate Mudpie, a delectable mix of Bailey's Irish and ice cream. A dozen cocktails followed, chased by "fish bowls" filled to the brim with vodka and fruit juice. That's when the 18-year-old Brit from Somerset signed up for the Bedrock Club's Monday-night Thong Contest. After all, she reasoned, she was on holiday in Faliraki, on the Greek island of Rhodes. "Nobody bats an eyelid out there," she explains, "because everybody knows...

The Dutch Go To Pot

Paul van Hoorn, 71, suffers from chronic glaucoma. His wife, Jo, 70, has painful arthritis. So every few days, the two septuagenarians shuffle to their local "coffee shop," ever watchful for robbers, to buy a little marijuana. Last week Dutch authorities decided that the van Hoorns, among many others, should change their ways--by going to their local pharmacy. Effective immediately, the government will begin dealing in Nederwiet, or Netherweed--cannabis, by another name, grown in...

'I'm Expecting To Sweep'

Usually those nominated for Golden Raspberry Awards, the "anti-Oscars," stew in silence and hope nobody will notice. (Sylvester Stallone, winner of more Razzies than anyone, has never commented on his notoriety.) But this year's top nominee has a different reaction. Hollywood funny man Tom Green's outrageous film "Freddy Got Fingered" is up for a eight awards (including worst picture, worst actor, worst screen couple and worst screenplay). And he actually seems happy about it. Green even plans...

Behind The Razzies

John Wilson was halfway to a screening at Disney Studios when his colleagues discovered his secret identity. It was his license plate, which spelled out the word "R-A-Z-Z-I-E," which gave him away. To their horror, the two production company execs realized that Wilson--by day a mild-mannered film-promo producer they had hired to do work on 1991's "Oscar"--was also the mastermind behind Hollywood's anti-Oscar awards, the "Golden Raspberry." And he was piloting his car straight to a cast...

Nothing But Music

The sun had set more than seven hours earlier over the desolate main drag of Mosfellsbaer, Iceland. But inside the town's tiny one-room tavern at about 10 p.m., the entertainment was just beginning. Seated at six long candlelit tables, customers threw back shots of schnapps and picked over the remains of a traditional Viking feast: rotted shark, lamb brains and pieces of ram's testicles. Cheers rose up as a stout, bearded middle-aged man in a tightly buttoned vest strode solemnly to the...

China's Statistics Are Fishier Than Its Oceans

The hundred or so boats anchored in a fishing port of Penglai in China's Shandong province have seen better days. Their blue paint is chipped, their equipment rusty. A handful of fishermen brave the stiff January breeze to get the boats in shape for the opening of the fishing season in March. This year they are steeling themselves for disappointment. In recent years it's been getting harder and harder to find enough fish. Many boats venture far out into international waters, bigger ones...

Red, White And What A Deal!

Cindy Gallop didn't need market research to see the mood of the country had changed. The week of September 11, her advertising agency, Bartle, Bogle, Hegarty, was putting the finishing touches on a campaign for the bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald. But when a fireball tore through the World Trade Center, it took the lives of nearly 700 of Cantor's 1,000 employees. Instead of rolling out ads, Gallop's staff helped man Cantor phone lines, comforting survivors. "It made us particularly attuned to how...

From Seattle To Doha

He was, one witness recalls, like a football coach delivering a pep talk in the final minutes of a hopeless game. It was Dec. 3, 1999, the last day of the doomed global summit in Seattle. Michael Moore was trying to save the world-trade talks from collapse. Antitrade protesters were battling police in the streets outside, raising tension among the delegates to unbearable levels. Inside the Seattle Civic Center, their talks were breaking down in screaming matches and tears. Rich nations were at...

Where The Power Lies

In the era before Sept. 11, people could say with a straight face that businessmen like Bill Gates were more important than presidents. Not now. George W. Bush is the man. He leads an international war on terror, the reconstruction of New York City, the bailout of crippled U.S. industries, the revival of American defense spending and government efforts to stave off global recession. In a world turned on its head by the suicide hijackings, it's worth recalling that it was a Democrat, Bill...

Letter From America: Burning Man, The Uptight Shed Their Inhibitions

I hadn't even gotten out of the car, but already I was having grave doubts. A pack of fat, naked, middle-aged men in body paint had just cruised by on bicycles. A bedraggled guy nearby shouted poetry. Men in animal costumes strolled casually along, trailed by a skinny, longhaired camper wearing nothing but tennis shoes. "Look at all these freaks!" muttered my new friend Matt, a fellow first-timer. "They ought to roll this place up and make it into a golf course!"We had finally arrived at...

Beautiful But Deadly

In ancient times, to eat an olive was to touch the gods. The Greeks believed it was Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, who gave mankind the divine fruit. They used it to anoint their bodies. The Romans, too, coveted the precious crop, and later the Venetians, who shipped it around the Mediterranean from Palestine to Morocco and Spain. Civilizations have changed but not our appetites. We moderns cherish the olive for our health, a staple of garden salads and organically correct cooking. But...

An Urban Revival

It used to be that Nicolas Bielma could hardly give away a tortilla. When he opened his store in Hunts Point in the early 1990s, the South Bronx was a burned-out wasteland. What use could the locals--mainly African-Americans and Puerto Ricans--possibly have for a bodega where festive, 1950s Mexican music blared from speakers and the shelves were piled high with chili peppers? It turns out Bielma was on to something: today, his storefront anchors a bustling commercial strip that includes a...

A Nuke Train Gets Ready To Roll

The "no nukes" buttons dated from the 1970s and the audience consisted of curious locals, including a 9-year-old boy and his puppy. But when Kevin Kamps brought the anti-nuke campaign to tiny Moberly, Mo., last week, he loudly sounded the alarm. Kamps, an organizer for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, a Washington-based anti-nuke group, is on the road to whip up opposition to a controversial federal plan to transport a trainload of spent nuclear fuel from New York state to Idaho....

Hip-Hop About Pol Pot

Prach Ly seems an unlikely voice for Cambodia's lost generation. The skinny 22-year-old spends his days hawking karaoke videos to middle-aged Cambodian women out of a closet-size shop on a gritty street in Long Beach, California. He wears low-slung bluejean shorts, sneakers and a backward baseball cap. And on a recent day he was more excited about meeting the town's mayor at a local protest than about events 10,000 miles away in Cambodia, his parents' homeland. So it was with some surprise that...

Bottom Feeder

Hong Kong supertycoon Li Ka-Shing has made many daring moves in a fabled career. Last week he did it again, reaching into the rubble of a decimated dot-com landscape and plucking out a $110 million stake in Priceline, the online sales giant. The buy increases Li's stake to 30 percent, at a time when many investors still regard dot-coms as fool's gold.Li has a way of conjuring the real thing. His buy into Priceline sparked a run on shares that hiked the stock price 41 percent--only the latest...

The Other Aids Crisis

AIDS is not new to India. For many years the disease was confined mostly to drug users and prostitutes, which made it easier for the rest of the country to pretend it didn't exist. And with a raging tuberculosis epidemic and periodic outbreaks of the bubonic plague, there's been no shortage of health crises. But while nobody was looking, AIDS crept into the general population. Currently 0.7 percent of all adults are thought to carry the virus; health officials consider 1 percent an epidemic....

Target: Quebec

The old city of Quebec is preparing for a siege. A 10-foot-high chain-link fence now encircles more than four kilometers of quaint cobblestone streets and stone ramparts that haven't seen action since redcoats stormed the city in the 18th century. Some 6,000 police are ready to suppress rioting protesters--with plastic bullets and tear gas, if necessary. As heads of state from 34 nations arrive this week to discuss a hemispheric free-trade zone, police expect thousands of anti-globalization...

Foot-And-Mouth Wars

Peter Mason may have the strangest commute in America. Every morning, the balding scientist with the salt-and-pepper ponytail boards a ferry for a 45-minute ride across the Long Island Sound. Signs mounted on pilings warn the public to keep out. The boat pulls up on a gray, windswept island where sinister smokestacks dot the horizon and the air smells faintly of caged animals. Mason enters the lobby of a nondescript two-story building, walks through an airlock, sheds his clothes and strolls...

Raising A Lemon

It was out of embarrassment that Hyundai decided to launch "Operation Dave or Bust." The year was 1998 and the South Korean carmaker was in big trouble. Its U.S. sales had fallen 65 percent from their peak 10 years earlier, and Hyundais had become a favorite target of America's popular late-night TV comedians. Jay Leno equated the Hyundai with the Olympic luge, "a three-foot-long vehicle that has to be pushed to get started and only goes downhill." But when David Letterman compared Hyundai to...

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