What if Men Had to Follow Female Beauty Rules?

We sure spend a lot of time talking about ideal female beauty—and why women spend so much time obsessing about it. But what if we lived in a world where women had always been the kings, the presidents, the bosses (and, thus, the arbiters of beauty)?

Divorce: The New Rules of Child Custody

Most parents will never forget the details of the day their children were born. For those who divorce, there's another day—equally vivid, totally different—that etches into memory: when they have to tell their children their mother and father are splitting up. What I remember is pacing through our apartment the night before, watching my girls sleep. The older one was 8 and still slept as she had when she was a newborn, arms thrown high above her head. The little one, just 4, was curled at...

The Tipping Point

David Sedaris is back with a new collection of essays, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames." He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Susanna Schrobsdorff. You ' ve been living in France a long time. Can you be funny in French now?Oh, yes. But I don't distinguish between being laughed with and laughed at. I'll take either. Are you looking forward to coming back for the book tour?I am, but once it starts, it's so all-encompassing. For the last book tour, I put a tip jar on my table, because...

Scientists Who Study Sex

Best-selling writer Mary Roach on her hilarious new book about the history of sex research and the quirky scientists who study the hows and whys of the bedroom.

Stay-At-Home Mad

A reality show touches off some real drama about when a soccer mom should get back in the game.

Reality's Believe It or Not

Physically unusual people have 'performed' for decades. But on TV, they're bigger—and smaller—than ever. Is this entertainment, or exploitation?

Can Britney Get Her Kids Back?

A prominent Los Angeles family law attorney on how child custody decisions are made when a mother is in distress—and why the Spears case is not that unusual in family court.

My Scary Battle With Bacteria

What happens when even the most potent antibiotics don't work? A personal tale from the front lines of the fight against potentially deadly bacteria.

Is Economy Facing Widening Credit Squeeze?

Kristin Schantz, a 26-year-old manager for a human-resources company in Kenosha, Wis., got some unpleasant news in the mail last week. In a form letter, Capital One told her the interest rate on her credit card was about to almost double—she'd been bumped up from a fixed 8.9 percent rate to a "variable rate that equals the prime rate plus 6.9 percent"—or about 15.8 percent. Schantz, who says she's "never late with payments," is irate. The letter blamed rising interest rates across the...

Bush's Body Language in Latin America

What can a staged grip-and-grin picture tell you about international relations?  A lot, says Peter Andersen, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Body Language" (Alpha) and professor of communications at San Diego State University. "The body language of world leaders is reflective of their attitudes either toward the individual or toward the country or the culture," he explains. The president suffers poor approval ratings in the region, and anti-Bush demonstrations have been common during...

Christmas Duty

Mitchell Bell spent last Christmas 7,000 miles from home, at an airbase in Iraq's Anbar province. The Marine pilot did manage to stay in touch with his family, though, sending a DVD of himself reading Dr. Seuss's "The Grinch" for his 2 ½-year-old daughter. Thanks to technology, his wife, Teresa, was able to ask the little girl, "Do you want me to read to you tonight, or Daddy?"The Iraq war is full of contradictions. It's a high-tech conflict fought against low-tech weapons like sniper rifles...

When Growing Up Was Nothing but Fun

Bill Bryson sounds very British to American ears. Not in a fake Madonna sort of way. It's more like he was raised in some unknown country between the United States and the United Kingdom, where people have both droll manners and unabashed warmth. As it turns out, he's from Iowa. After decades of writing best-selling travel books about Europe and Australia, Bryson has decided to explore the most distant continent of all: his own childhood in 1950's Des Moines.  In his new memoir "The Life and...