Advice For Martha

If Martha Stewart sees jail time (a trial date was set last week), she'll likely be sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., one of the minimum-security "prison camps," nicknamed "Club Fed." In 1988 former Wall Street Journal reporter R.

Fixer Upper

In the last year, ambitious Americans have spent nearly $120 billion remodeling their homes, according to Harvard researchers. (And, yes, they study such things.) But when it comes to renovation inspiration, episodes of "This Old House" can only take you so far.

Let's Make A (Tough) Deal

If you're in the market for a cordless phone, it's hard to beat Northwestern Bell's 900MHz model--especially during a recent promotion at OfficeMax. Earlier this month the $29.99 phone was being sold with a $19.99 instant rebate and a $10 mail-in rebate, resulting in a net price of zero.

A Big House For Martha?

It played like a scene right out of NBC's cheesy recent movie, "Martha, Inc." But unfortunately for the domestic diva, this was real life. Martha Stewart, in a crisp gray pantsuit, with a cream raincoat and coordinated umbrella, stepped past cameramen into a courthouse in Manhattan last week to face arraignment on criminal charges, including securities fraud, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

Testing, Testing

Four guys sit in a library conference room, passing a bag of Krispy Kremes and taking turns at the chalkboard. "Name the three basic numbering systems used by modern computers," one man orders another.

Brits Do It Better

When NBC unveils its new sitcom "Coupling" next fall, it'll look familiar to some viewers--the smart ones who watch BBC America. "Coupling" is just the most recent British hit to be adapted for U.S. airwaves (think "Trading Spaces," "What Not to Wear").

The Ceo's Challenge

Early one morning around Christmastime, Rick Wagoner was running on the treadmill in his suburban Detroit home, flipping TV channels. Way up the cable dial he came across an old movie he'd never seen: "Roger & Me." In the 1989 documentary, the angry populist filmmaker Michael Moore pursues General Motors' chairman, Roger Smith, attempting to lambaste him for laying off workers.

The Military: Now Families Face The Cost Of War

After the shocking news, the tears and the funerals, the families of GIs killed in Iraq face a more prosaic concern: how will they pay the bills? In today's older, career-oriented military, a far greater percentage of fallen servicemen will leave behind a spouse and children than in previous wars.

No Pc Required

Art Larson is no Luddite. He keeps an IBM laptop in his home office and a late-model Dell desktop in a nook upstairs. Larson, a tax preparer in Stow, Mass., e-mails his clients, surfs the Web and uses CD-ROMs to find answers to technical tax questions.

The CEO's Challenge

Early one morning around Christmastime, Rick Wagoner was running on the treadmill in his suburban Detroit home, flipping TV channels. Way up the cable dial he came across an old movie he'd never seen: "Roger & Me." In the 1989 documentary, the angry populist filmmaker Michael Moore pursues General Motors' chairman, Roger Smith, attempting to lambaste him for laying off workers.

Clubs: First, The Safety Spiel

Before a band takes the stage at Jaxx, a rock club in Springfield, Va., owner Jay Nedry takes the microphone for some announcements. And since last month's Rhode Island club fire, he's been starting off with a speech that sounds familiar to anyone who's been on an airplane. "Here are the exits, we have four," he says, pointing, flight-attendant style, to the front and back of the club.

Everybody's Next-Door Neighbor

Though word of his death had hit the morning news shows a few hours earlier, Fred Rogers looked as chipper as ever last Thursday as he strolled in the familiar front door.

'I'm A Church Man'

In the back of St. Ann's Catholic Church in West Bridgewater, Mass., there's a bulletin board covered with yellow Post-Its. It's the parish Prayer Wall. Most of the supplicants seek God's help for relatives who are sick.

Jobs: Going Out In Style

When Sharron Kahn Luttrell learned she was getting laid off last month, her boss insisted on throwing her one of those awkward, cake-in-a-conference-room fetes.

Lawsuits: Food Fight

New York lawyer Samuel Hirsch weighs 155 pounds, eats tuna for lunch nearly every day and, because he keeps kosher, has never eaten at McDonald's. But when he decided last summer to sue the restaurant chain on behalf of obese teenagers who blamed fast food, he was ridiculed on talk radio and by late-night comics, who said fat people should blame themselves.

Do-It-Yourself Isn't Dead Yet

There are no lava lamps in the office, no mullet haircuts or acid-washed jeans. But look closely into this second-floor suite in a brick building outside Boston and it feels as if you've stepped into a long-ago, far-away place.

Tending Tots With Tivo

When adults buy digital video recorders like TiVo or ReplayTV, they hope to avoid missing favorite shows like "The West Wing" or "The Sopranos." But some families are discovering that the devices have another great use: to manage and limit their kids' viewing. "That's a huge part of the appeal," says Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff.

Periscope

STRIKESA Wakened GiantStagnant pay and unease at the prospect of labor-market reforms are pushing Europe's largest unions toward confrontation. This summer's walkout by a million Spaniards was the country's first general strike in eight years.

Fewer Friends In Need

Betsy Isroelit has much to be thankful for. The 59-year-old resident of Hollywood, Calif., runs her own marketing company and has a loving husband and four children.

College: Nothing To Fear But The Toilet Itself

As Harvard freshmen, Stephen Stromberg, Mike Donahue and Matt Ferrante lived in a typical cinder-block dorm. Now sophomores, they're bunking in a room with a notable history, its status denoted by a wall plaque: Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived in this room, 1900-1904.

Playground Of The Rich

For months New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been investigating how brokerage houses hoodwinked investors during the great bull market. Last week Spitzer turned his spotlight onto an even more cutthroat arena: the internecine world of Upper East Side nursery schools.

Credit Cards: Dented A Rental?

For years I've used my American Express Corporate Card whenever I've rented a car. After hearing all those AmEx ads ("Membership has its privileges"), I assumed it'd give me the best insurance coverage if I ever banged up a rental.

Guilt Free TV

In The Beginning, There Was Big Bird. Now, Thanks To Intense Competition From Disney And Nick, There Are More Quality Shows For Preschoolers Than Ever.

Backwardly Mobile M.B.A.

Imagine a high-tech device that allows you to observe people's daydreams. Now fancy wheeling that instrument into a classroom at the Harvard Business School.

Reality Bites

Talk-radio hosts often chat with callers about sports or politics. Now there's a place for fans of bicuspids. Florida dentist Dr. Mitchell Josephs hosts a call-in radio show, "This Old Mouth" (www.thisoldmouth.net), now airing in 35 cities.

In The Boonies, An Oasis Of Success

At the height of the inter-net boom, Tom Mancuso kept hearing from investors who wanted to pick his brain. If Mancuso were a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, that might've been unremarkable.

Brave New Job Hunt

There was a time when Andy Sipowicz, hero of "NYPD Blue," made the perfect cop. He's tough, street-smart and knows how to squeeze a perp till he squeals. But old-school Andy lacks a skill that may soon be a prerequisite for 21st-century detective work: knowing how to glean secrets from a suspect's hard drive.

Fields Of Dreams

Geoffrey Hunt does a lousy impression of Mr. McGuire, the character in "The Graduate" who doles out cinema's most famous piece of career counsel ("Just one word... 'Plastics' ").

Jack Is Paying For This

Graef Crystal has spent years digging through chief executives' pay packages, drawing attention to excess and vulgarity. The former compensation consult-ant turned pay critic thought he'd seen it all--until former General Electric chairman Jack Welch's soon-to-be ex-wife filed court documents in their pending divorce case last week.

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