Rent or Buy That DVD?

A few weeks ago I slipped out for a long lunch to take my wife and two older kids to see "Curious George." Even matinee tickets cost a total of $27, but seeing my children enjoy the cartoon version of the book we've read countless times was...

Apartments: Celebration of Small

In real estate, there's one variable that buyers value nearly as much as "location, location, location": square footage. The average newly built U.S. home contains 2,350 square feet, up 57 percent since 1970.

Larry, We Hardly Knew Ye

At noon last Wednesday, several hundred Harvard students filed into a lecture hall and opened their notebooks. Harvard president Lawrence Summers had announced his resignation less than 24 hours earlier, but the students in Life Sciences 1B had an exam to prepare for.

A Shattered Family

It's a lesson taught at every police academy (and by common sense): if someone flees a crime scene, there's reason to be suspicious. And if the person hops a flight to London, leaving behind his murdered wife and daughter, and skipping their funeral, the case shouldn't require Sherlock Holmes.

Having Grape Expectations

It's a rainy day in wine country as a team of laborers works its way through the lush vineyards at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa, Calif. Carefully they prune the vines, getting the plants ready to produce the grapes whose juice will yield $125 bottles of Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

First Person: One Lawyer's Guide to Safe Skiing

Driven by heavy snowfall out west, this could be a record season for America's ski resorts. But even as more skiers don helmets, it can still be a dangerous activity: each year roughly three dozen skiers die in accidents, and dozens more suffer brain injuries or paralysis.

NASCAR's Hot Numbers

Until 2003, Stefan Kretschmann followed three sports: baseball, football and hockey. Then he watched his first NASCAR race. He was hooked. "I just love the strategy of it," he says.

Finances: The Magic Number

In his younger years, Lee Eisenberg didn't think much about the size of his portfolio. As an editor at Esquire, he was busy coining terms like "power lunch" and pioneering rotisserie baseball.

A 'Good to Great' Second Act

In certain professions, there's a standard set of ambitions. Every TV star wants to be in movies. Every teeny-bopper starlet wants to record an album. And among business-book authors, there's a universal desire to write a crossover hit, a tome that appeals to folks who prefer Us Weekly to The Wall Street Journal and couldn't tell a widget from a wedgie.

Grads: Helping Get That First Job

As marketing executives, D. A. Hayden and Michael Wilder routinely interviewed new college graduates--and they often came away appalled. "I wanted to tell them, 'If you'd only done this [differently], I would have invited you back'," Hayden says.

XXX Blue, Spending Green

It's the start of the movie-awards season--not just in Hollywood, but over the hill in the San Fernando Valley, home to the pornography industry. This week Adult Video News will announce nominees for its annual show, held in Las Vegas each January.

The Company Of Women

Leslie Varon's boss lived by a simple rule: if he was in the office, she should be, too. In the early 1990s Varon worked in finance at Xerox, and the department's VP was an old-style organization man. "You could set your watch by the hours this man worked," Varon says, recalling 12-hour days that often began at 7 a.m.

Wal-Mart Hits the Wall

Andrew Grossman was in his office at Wal-Mart Watch, opening the mail one day in September, when he came across a plain manila envelope with no return address.

Hyped Over Skype

In a back alley in London's SoHo district--amid the seedy sex shops, comic-book stores and coffee joints--you'll find the humble headquarters of one of the world's most important telecommunications companies.

Get Me Out of This Line!

When I need a rental car for a business trip, I give NEWSWEEK's travel agent a simple directive: "Whatever's cheapest." I'm not enough of a road warrior to be loyal to a particular rental brand, and I don't care whether they stick me in a Malibu or a Taurus.

IN GOOD COMPANY

Leslie Varon's boss lived by a simple rule: if he was in the office, she should be, too. In the early 1990s Varon worked in finance at Xerox, and the department's VP was an old-style organization man. "You could set your watch by the hours this man worked," Varon says, recalling 12-hour days that often began at 7 a.m.

Vote Of Confidence

As a young sociology professor, Rosabeth Moss Kanter studied life in 19th-century utopian communities. By the late 1970s, however, her focus had shifted to a less idealized environment: the modern American corporation.

Movies on The Move

Dvd's have changed the way we watch movies, but they're not perfect. To watch one, you have to plan ahead, drive to a store to pick up a copy or go online (and wait for the mail carrier).

A Movie Classic For a New Age

Given his fondness for movies, it's not surprising that Reed Hastings thinks about the future of home entertainment in terms that sound like they're drawn straight from "Star Wars." The story line, according to the founder of the DVDs-by-mail pioneer Netflix, goes something like this: as DVDs slowly give way to online movies, consumers will face a stark choice.

Just The Ticket

Given his fondness for movies, it's not surprising that Reed Hastings thinks about the future of home entertainment in terms that sound like they're drawn straight from "Star Wars." The story line, according to the founder of the DVDs-by-mail pioneer Netflix, goes something like this: as DVDs slowly give way to online movies, consumers will face a stark choice.

Getting Really Into Your Closet

Neil Balter's closet was a mess. A 17-year-old college student, Balter was sharing an apartment in Los Angeles with two friends back in 1978. To help his tiny closet better accommodate his stuff, he bought sheets of particleboard and replaced the standard single-bar-under-a-shelf setup with a customized stack of shelves, adorned with hanging bars at different levels.

Download This

DVDs have changed the way we watch movies, but they're not perfect. To watch one, you have to plan ahead, drive to a store to pick up a copy or go online (and wait for the mail carrier) to rent it from Netflix.

BOOKS: BACK TO SCHOOL

For years, anthropologist Rebekah Nathan studied life in a remote Third World village between stints of teaching at a big state university. But after years as a professor, she felt disconnected from her students.

COLLEGES: FIGHTING THE DISH

Each year, when the freshmen arrive at Boston College, the rumors spread around the cafeterias: cooks spray starch on the salad to make you fat, add laxatives to make you eat more and--gross!--use grade-D meat (there is, in fact, no such thing).

PSST! WANNA HOT DEAL?

Until a few years ago, Judy Peterson, a special-education teacher who lives near Sacramento, Calif., had never heard of Pocatello, Idaho. Nor did Peterson, 59, ever expect to own any real estate aside from her own home.

REWINDING A VIDEO GIANT

As first dates go, this one couldn't have been more awkward. Last month John Antioco, the CEO of Blockbuster, flew to Manhattan to dine with Carl Icahn, the billionaire and former corporate raider.

'TIS THE SEASON, ALWAYS

What if most of your income arrived in a single paycheck around Thanksgiving, and you had to make ends meet for the rest of the year? That's an extreme example of "seasonality." Few firms face that challenge more than American Christmas Decorations, a $6.3 million company in the Bronx, N.Y., that designs and installs trees, wreaths and other holiday displays in offices and retail stores. "The most common question I'm asked is, 'What do you do the rest of the year?'" says CEO Fred Schwam, who...

Fresh Ideas

There was a time when a business leader was someone straight from Central Casting. They were the suit-clad CEOs of the old-style blue chips--GM, Sony, Siemens--at the pinnacle of global business.

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