Gadgets: Don't Breathe Easy

Would you decide to drink and drive based on the results of a $1.49 test? If you would, the makers of the Guardian Angel Personal Alcohol Test are ready to help.

Periscope

Asleep With the Enemy At first, FBI Director Bob Mueller insisted there was nothing the bureau could have done to penetrate the 9-11 plot. That account has been modified over time--and now may change again.

Betting Against A Housing Bust

Robert Toll and four colleagues are sitting around his office, trading jokes and gentle barbs. The atmosphere resembles a poker game--only instead of cards, the men huddle over a map of southern California.

Technology: Space--The Next Front

Anyone who brings work home at night knows the feeling: dinner is over, the kids are in bed, but you just can't face the messy pit you call your home office.

'Those Guys Saved His Life'

At lunchtime on Thursday, Jason Priestley took his first bites of solid food since crashing his race car at Kentucky Speedway last weekend. After eight hours of surgery on Wednesday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, the actor-driver's condition is improving.

Newsmakers

For fans of "Trading Spaces," the home-decorating show that's become a runaway cable hit, it's the Great Debate: Alex or Paige? The show launched two years ago with Alex McLeod, a thirtyish Texan, as its host.

Credit: The Real Score

To measure intellect, Americans use IQ and SAT scores. For health, we use cholesterol tests and the body-mass index. And when it comes to finances, we're judged by our credit scores.

Was Blind But Now I See

Dr. Robert Hillman places a small electrical device to his neck, holds his breath and starts silently mouthing words: "One, two, three, four, five." His words, amplified by the gizmo that purrs near his throat, are pitchless and robotic, like the voices computers had in 1960s sci-fi movies.

Father Fixit

After weeks of revelations about priest abuse and church cover-ups, Father James Flavin didn't expect good news when he opened The Boston Globe one February morning.

I'll Help Myself

It's fun to gee-whiz over new technology, to "Wow!" at the latest gizmos and to dream of devices that never were and ask, "Why not?" Our affection for futurist gear fuels our love of science fiction (think we'll ever have a transporter room like Kirk and Spock?) and can shower wealth on inventors and investors.

Keeping Different Kinds Of Vows

Father John Gremmels, a Roman Catholic priest, was new to his parish when he went grocery shopping near his church in Ft. Worth, Texas, a few years ago. As he pushed his cart, he held hands with an attractive woman, setting local gossips atwitter.

The Son Also Races

Inside Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s $880,000 custom motor home is a shelf whose contents hint at his complicated role as the race-car-driving son of a martyred NASCAR legend.

Are You A Tax Chump Or A Tax Cheat?

Freelance writer Lucy McCauley relies on her creativity to make a living. And as April 15 approaches, she's applying it to her taxes, too, figuring that every life experience that might become essay fodder can count as a tax deduction.

A COSTLY DIVESTITURE

Jack Welch has always admitted that his guilty pleasure is reading the gossip pages. Now the former General Electric chairman's exploits are giving New York's tabloids unusually juicy fodder.

Go East, Young Man

Bo Feng, 32, is an unlikely mogul of the Internet age. He was born in China and didn't use a telephone until he was 14. A decade ago he worked in Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area while studying to be an art-film director.

The Ripple Effect

;Forgive Michael Useem if he sounds a bit gleeful when he talks about Enron. Where other observers see a tragic tale of executive avarice, Useem, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, sees the case study of a lifetime.

Betting Big On Lousy Stocks

When Jim Chanos and his friends go on spring break, there's no time for golf. Or the beach. Or fun of any kind-- unless your idea of a good time is sitting in a conference room talking about lousy investments.

What's Life Worth?

Lawrence Singer always figured life insurance was a bad bet. "Statistically it doesn't pay off," says the 33-year-old dentist. "You're better off socking the money away in the stock market." But since September 11, Singer has had a change of heart.

Betting On A Recovery

Alan Greenspan isn't the type to give high-fives or dance in the end zone. But if his Federal Reserve colleagues were an NFL team, they might be sending the waterboy to the locker room to ice the champagne.

Meet The Bin Ladens

Boston real-estate agent Ellen Signaigo Brockman was paging through the newspaper one day in the early 1990s when a story about a little-known terrorist named Osama bin Laden caught her eye.

'We'll Pull Through'

Sitting in her darkened Bronx apartment, watching a video of her missing father salsa dancing, Michelle Nieves is grieving--and thinking about money. Her father, Juan Nieves, a 56-year-old Puerto Rican immigrant, worked as a salad maker at Windows on the World and was the sole provider for her mother and younger sister.

Screeching To A Halt

Shhh. it's supposed to be a surprise. On Oct. 4, Terri and Ed Trombley planned to wake their two daughters--Kathleen, 5, and Laura, 10--and announce: "Come on, we're going to Disney World!" They'd board a plane and be hangin' with Mickey by nightfall.

Maxed Out

A Nation Of Shoppers, We Financed The Boom Of The '90S With A Heavy Reliance On Credit. Now, With The Economy Slowing, The Bill For Our Record Borrowing May Finally Be Coming Due

Ceos Sound The Warning

Every newspaper reader has a first stop, whether it's the sports page, the funnies or a gossip column. For business types, it's the front-page "What's News" summary of The Wall Street Journal--and as 2001 turns into an annus horribilis for corporate America, that section of newsprint is becoming more depressing than the obituary page.

Married To Nascar

John and Nancy Andretti sit with their three children in the fifth row, listening to hymns, Proverbs and the sermon. It would be an ordinary Sunday scene if the chapel weren't a converted garage, if race-car engines weren't rumbling outside and if the word "safety" didn't dominate the prayers.

A Grim Job Snapshot

It's every carpenter's favorite aphorism: measure twice, cut once. In the corporate world, that advice applies to workers, not wood. Better to execute layoffs quickly and decisively, experts say, and let the workers who remain get back to business.

A 20-Year Toll

We'd been seeing patients with fevers and weight loss, and by the spring they'd developed an unusual pneumonia. All were homosexual. A colleague and I wrote an article.

More Than Just Hot Air

Except during hurricane season, folks in Greenville, S.C., don't worry much about power outages. But the current energy crisis has still had an impact on many of the city's 98,000 residents.

Trying To Outfox Uncle Sam

Jamie and Christina Lancaster were perfectly happy with their accountant. Then the couple, both Virginia Beach real-estate agents, attended a seminar by Sanford Botkin, president of the Tax Reduction Institute.

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