Sarah Ball

Tactical Engagement: Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston Make an Art of Tabloid War

Like Thucydides, diligently recording the ups and downs of Athenian and Spartan conflict, modern scribes have worked their pens into a frenzy over the War of 2010: Bristol Palin vs. Levi Johnston. But within that bitter battle—now an all-out redneck fracas—is another conflict: the sparring between rivals Us Weekly and People.

Salinger Like You've Never Seen Him

In April of 1968, the stamped date of the never-before-seen photograph held by documentary filmmaker Shane Salerno, J. D. Salinger would have been 49 years old. He was recently divorced, and three years into the seclusion that would span the last 45 years of his life. Salerno won't yet reveal any details about the mysterious picture.

Is 'Twilight' Looking to 'Eclipse' the Ladies?

"Twilight" is leaving you in the lurch, ladies—at least, that's what new research is claiming. Ahead of the release of "Eclipse," a new study suggests the third film is suppressing the book's romantic fervor in favor of action-packed battle scenes and, in the process, devaluing its female fans. Why? As the study puts it, because Hollywood "doesn't confer cultural legitimacy on texts until they are embraced by men, not just women."

Weekend Update: Goldman Sachs Hid Troubles From Investors

Not exactly ideal image rehab: The Times of London reported Monday that Goldman Sachs is doling out $5.3 billion in bonuses, amounting to roughly $167,783 per banker, with "with a handful of top traders expected to be in line for multi-million-[dollar] bonuses." That's the cherry on top of a stunning, four-day meltdown at the white-shoe firm, which lost $12 billion in market value on Friday alone.

Put NASA on a Diet?! Them's Fightin' Words, Mr. President.

A new space race! After President Obama announced aggressive cuts to NASA—leaving Ares rockets, the Orion crew capsule and (most prominently) the Altair lunar lander of the mooncentric Constellation program on the cutting-room floor—the backlash from critics and prominent "space boosters" caused him to rethink the plan, senior administration officials said Tuesday night.

A Ticket to the Circus

The high times of Norman Mailer, as seen from the perspective of Norris Church Mailer, his much younger, good-humored sixth wife. She takes you ringside for 33 tumultuous years with one of 20th-century literature's biggest icons.

Wait, What? Obama Still Smokes?!

The First Physical came and went Sunday, handing down a clean bill of health for President Obama—but we've been loving the feverish reaction to doc Jeff Kuhlman's note about "smoking cessation efforts." The New York Daily News wonders how much the president is still smoking, while CBS calls him "Smoker In Chief"; The Christian Science Monitor helpfully suggests to the president that instead of Nicorette he try "not inserting a cigarette into [his] mouth." Politico went with reporterly...