Sign Or Hit The Street

WHEN KAY BAKER WAS A TOP executive with JCPenney in 1995, she agreed to appear in a company video praising the retail giant's new plan for dealing with termination complaints.

Why Ebonie Can't Breathe

Thirteen-year-old Antonio O'Bryant knew the drill by heart. A lifelong asthma sufferer, he never left for school without an inhaler full of medicine to open his airways.

Yearning To Breathe Free

BACK IN THE DARK AGES of asthma care - like five or so years ago - ""managing'' one's asthma meant scrambling for a puff of bronchodilator as breathing suddenly became as arduous as sucking peanut butter through a straw.

Onward, Mormon Pilgrims

AS SHE MADE HER WAY WEST 150 years ago, Mormon pioneer Patty Sessions endured sandstorms and scorching sun, mosquitoes and axle-deep mud. She bore the hardships of the trail because she had to.

Halting Airbag Deaths

FIVE YEARS AGO ENGINEER TONY Corrado was busy designing smart bombs for the military. Then he heard the first reports of how the explosive power of car airbags was causing injuries and death.

A Gentler Approach To Heart Surgery

HORACE STONE IS A MINOR CELEBRITY around Roswell, Ga. No one was surprised last fall when the retired AT&T manager had to go in for a bypass operation; he had already been through a heart attack and two angioplasties when his chest started aching again.

Hey--Look Out, World, Here I Come

ELIANA, 14 MONTHS OLD, REFUSES TO WALK. SHE has never attempted to stand alone, much less take a step. The other four children in her play group, however, have all earned the right to be called toddler: they started staggering on two feet right around their first birthdays.

Scanning The Skeleton

Yes, you've had a mammogram and a pap smear. You've checked your eight, cholesterol and blood pressure. But if you're a woman over 50, don't head for the door just yet.

The Iceberg Cometh

The RMS Titaic sank 84 years ago, but there's a new wave of interest in the great ship. See the mini-series, hum the musical, buy the cookbook! WHEN EDITH BROWN HAISMAN last saw her daddy nearly 85 years ago, he was standing on deck, smoking a cigar and smiling at his wife and daughter. ""I'll see you in New York,'' he said confidently, as his family was bundled into Lifeboat No. 14.

Like Hitting A Wall

EVERY ENGINEER IS FAMILIAR WITH the Law of Unintended Consequences, the principle that almost any technological improvement will create unforeseen problems of its own.

Do You, Tom, Take Harry. . .

Ninia Baehr has concocted elaborate plans for the wedding of her dreams. Why not? She's 35 and "crazy in love." She will rent a fabulous estate outside Honolulu and string lights in the trees.

Caveat Investor On These Annuities

YOU'VE HEARD THE SAYing, "All that glitters is not gold"? Well, variable annuities glitter. U.S. investors have already salted away more than $200 billion in these special mutual funds for one reason: earnings accrue tax-deferred.

Raising The Dimple Count

When Wilson Sporting Goods decided to build a better golf ball, it turned to engineers from the aerospace industry -- to guys who'd lofted the Apache helicopter and stealth bomber.

From Moroni To Jibril, They're All Angels

YOU DON'T HAVE TO be Christian to believe in angels. From the spirit guides of Native American religions to the wingless angels of Mormonism, many of the world's faiths have angels, or at least spirits who perform angellike functions.

The King Of Cream Returns

REUBEN MATTUS, THE 80-YEAR-OLD founder of Haagen-Dazs, sat before two unmarked and equally inviting bowls of vanilla ice cream-one Haagen-Dazs. the other a new low-fat variety from his family's test kitchen.

A Marriage Made In Montvale

Only months ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton portrayed drug makers as the villains of rising health-care costs. But even before the First Lady sharpened her scalpel, pharmaceutical companies were slashing prices to cut deals with companies like Medco Containment, the mail-order pharmacy whose clients include a slew of HMOs, insurance companies and state health plans.

'Daddy, Can I Have One?'

When gift-industry mogul Russ Berrie celebrated his nuptials last month, he topped the cake with a pair of $15 baubles: bride-and-groom troll dolls. Dotting the reception tables at New York's posh Essex House were 160 more nine-inch gnomes with shocking pink and blue hair, one per guest.

The Mideast: 'Secret Files'

It was a covenant: ever since 1948, one U.S. president after another has pledged devotion to Israel. But Washington has long hedged its bets behind the scenes.

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