Red, White, Blue And Cuckoo

After 12 years of therapy, my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes: 'No hablo ingles'."So goes the old joke by comedian Ronnie Shakes.

'Just Like High School'

Twenty-eight years old and already feeling burned out, comedy writer Rodney Rothman decided to escape Los Angeles and retreat to the only place he'd ever really felt relaxed: Florida, where he had visited his grandparents as a kid.

Periscope

Thanks to recent events in the streets of Lebanon, headlines from the Middle East of late have had even serious skeptics believing that freedom may finally be on the march--just as U.S. President George W.

Letter From New York: Hallmark Is on the March!

O woe should be me. yet another Valentine's Day approaches, and here I am, single. Apparently, I should be dreading the day. T shirts emblazoned with love is in pollutes the air stare at me from street stands; hundreds of anti-Valentine's Web sites sell greeting cards that say things like "Crappy Valentine's Day, you f---ing loser" or quote philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset lamenting that "One day, the fantasy evaporates and with it, love dies." I got an e-mail the other day saying that there's...

SPYWARE VS. ANTI-SPYWARE

The message is unnerving: "Warning! Your computer may be infected with spyware." Too true. Spyware now infects 80 percent of PCs in America. It is a form of adware that tracks your every click and sends the data to advertisers.

THE MILLIONAIRE MAYOR

Jorge Hankrhon may seem an odd choice for mayor, even in Tijuana, the notoriously sleazy Mexican border town less than 20 kilometers south of San Diego, California.

BEYOND BECKHAM

Nursing a broken foot, Wayne Rooney hobbled off the pitch just 27 minutes into England's Euro 2004 quarterfinal against Portugal to the applause of millions of television viewers worldwide.

LATINOS AND LUCRE

Four Latinos--a Dominican, a Mexican, a Cuban and an Argentine--walk up to the bar. Each asks for the best beer in the house in his own colloquial Spanish, and the bartender--the maestro de idiomas, or master of languages--serves up Heinekens.

TRAVEL: OH, TO DO THE D.R.

As the clouds over the Caribbean begin to clear, now's the time to head to the Dominican Republic. But once you get there, don't just make like a manatee and laze around in the water all day.

FAST CHAT: STEWART 'INACTION'

"Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and his writers have a new satirical textbook: "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction"--already a best seller.

JON STEWART

Since taking over "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central in 1999, 41-year-old Jon Stewart has turned the satirical news show into a comedic hit--and a major media player.

WHEN THE MOOD STRIKES

Hanging out with their friends in East London, Aysha and Sara can seem wise beyond their teenage years. They speak passionately, for instance, about the plight of children in Iraq and Sudan.

DANCING FOR THEIR LIVES

Visiting Cuba tends to produce more questions than answers. How has the country's unique brand of socialism managed to stay afloat in the face of a strict U.S. embargo?

2004: TARGETING HISPANICS

The ad fight is on for more than 20 million potential Hispanic votes. "Honor," the Dems' latest Spanish-language TV ad, is part of what the Kerry-Edwards team calls the largest Hispanic ad buy in prez-campaign history, at $1 million.

MORE THAN JUST A GAME

Only Brazilian midfielder Kaka could boast of better timing. As Franklin Foer's new book, "How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization" (255 pages.

MANIPULATING MY MOTHER TONGUE

I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Or rather, I was born with a British accent in my mouth. Actually, to be honest, I wasn't born with the accent, I developed it while spending my formative years at a British boarding school.

GOOD TIMES IN MEDELLIN

Luis Fernando Betancur Merino gazes out of his eighth-floor office window, overlooking the Colombian city of Medellin, and smiles at the bustling panorama.

THE AWAKENING OF THE SLEEPERS

Washington, D.C., is under attack! Swarms of Qaedas are invading the nation's capital. The chatter, as experts call the communication between these envoys of doom, is the most intense it's been since 1987.

LIVING LIKE LOCALS

Last fall 57-year-old Geoff Wright and his wife traveled from Britain to rural Pennsylvania to stay with an online buddy they'd met on VirtualTourist.com (VT).

THE POPE: TEXTING THE GOOD WORD

Feeling out of touch with your faith? Pope John Paul II's offering a remedy: a daily text message to America's most tech-savvy Roman Catholics. For 30 cents a message, Verizon Wireless is offering subscribers a "Thought of the Day" from the pope himself. "He's pretty dexterous," jokes Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon spokesman. (The messages are lifted from speeches and homilies--no actual papal typing is involved.) The Irish, British and Italians have been able to subscribe to the service since last...

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

Time stands still for no man. Time takes its toll. Time is of the essence. During a recent visit to Burma's Shan state, the heart of the infamous Golden Triangle, I thought often of those commonplace English expressions--partly because almost none of the clocks told the correct time.Perhaps there's good reason.

Letter From New York: Just Gay Enough

"I know what a duvet is, for god's sake." He muttered this in shame. Summoning up his courage--at least six beers' worth--he gushed out what was really bothering him. "We're a generation of men raised by women!"Hear the cry of the all-American heterosexual male, who's at a bit of a loss these days.

Sidney Brichto

With an estimated 3,000 translated versions of the Bible, does the world really need another? London-based American Reform Rabbi Sidney Brichto thinks so.

Q&A: Looking Into The Future

It's tough to predict what will happen tomorrow, let alone what the world holds in store for us nearly 300 years from now. But some of the world's top demographers are trying to forecast just that.Earlier this week, more than 20 of these experts, from as far away as India and China, met in New York with Joseph Chamie, director of the United Nations Population Division, to look at past and current trends in population, migration, fertility and mortality and to try to create a scenario for the...

Can He Do The Job?

Ana Maria Sagaon, 62, is one of 16 million Mexicans who voted for Vicente Fox three years ago, vaulting him to the presidency and breaking the 71-year reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Doris Meissner

Last week the U.S. Justice Department's Inspector General issued a long-awaited report on the government's treatment of hundreds of illegal immigrants detained in the wake of September 11.

Over-The-Top Tips

"Excuse me?" I asked. The young lady sitting alone at the bar repeated her insult. "A $1 tip for five drinks? That is so cheap.""Actually, it was three drinks, for $12, which makes the tip nearly 10 percent," I countered.

The Last Word: Kenny Gluck

The war in Iraq seriously damaged the country's clean-water supply and sewage-treatment systems, causing a wave of diarrheal diseases, including but not limited to cholera.

Mexico's New Wave

Back in the early 1990s, Mexico City artist Eduardo Abaroa was hardly an international name. He showed his abstract sculptures--made from everyday objects like metal, cotton swabs and mirrors--in borrowed houses and sold them to friends.

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