Sexual Abuse: Trusting Memories

Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may be as trustworthy as memories that persist from the time of abuse, reports the journal Psychological Science. In a first-of-its-kind study, investigators checked out CSA memories of 128 individuals by interviewing others abused by the same perpetrator, or people who learned about the victim's abuse shortly after it occurred or when the abuser confessed. Over a six-month period, they found corroborating evidence for 37 percent of memories...

Cuddle my world

Maybe the first night of your freshman year was awkward. At least you didn't ask a stranger if you could caress his shoulder. But, according to REiD Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, founders of Cuddle Party, that's your loss."We need more touch in our lives. Period," Mihalko says. Since 2004, his answer to this problem has come in the form of Cuddle Party, a company devoted to throwing self-described "affectionate play events for adults."This February, the University of Southern California invited...

Ptsd: For Social Workers, The Price Of Caring

Listening to a victim of sexual assault or a survivor of a natural disaster, social workers hear traumatic stories. Recounting these upsetting events helps victims heal, but, says a recent study, can hurt social workers in the process. A study in the journal Social Work (by Brian Bride, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia) shows that social workers face a heightened risk of developing post-traumatic-stress disorder: 7.8 percent of the general population experiences PTSD in their...

Weddings: You, Me and Poochy

Fido's more than man's best friend: increasingly, he's the best man or a groomsman, too. Incorporating pets into wedding ceremonies has become this year's hottest wedding trend--and one that experts predict is unlikely to tail off. Mindy Weiss, a wedding planner in Beverly Hills, Calif., says 40 percent of her clients now include pets in their big day, up from just a handful three years ago. Dogs usually serve as ring bearers, though brides will sometimes carry lap dogs or small cats in lieu of...

Keep On Truckin'

Stephen Fraser, 38, is earning a college degree--and without even leaving his Freightliner. He's one of 500 students enrolled at In-Cab University, the first accredited college catering to the trucking community. Drivers, whose classes start this week, listen to lectures while on the road and submit assignments at rest stops and loading docks using cell phones and Wi-Fi. "Rather than driving all day and dreaming about lottery winnings, I'm actually using my mind," says Fraser, a...

The Classroom: Other Schools of Thought

Since the publication of "Origin" in 1859, Darwin's theory of evolution has brought trouble to American classrooms. In 1925, 15 states considered legislation to forbid public schools to teach the theory. In Tennessee that year, high-school teacher John Scopes was found guilty--in the so-called Monkey Trial--of teaching evolution. More than 60 years later, in 1987, the Supreme Court ruled that Louisiana's Creationism Act, which promoted the teaching of creationism in public schools, was...

No Kitchen, Water Views

When Justin Omps, 28, moved aboard the Tycho Brahe last September, he transformed the timeworn tugboat into a floating frat house. Docked on the Potomac River at Washington, D.C.'s Gangplank Marina, Omps's 60-foot boat boasts an electric barbecue and a thatch-roof tiki bar lit by jumbo Christmas lights--and, inevitably, a trash bin overflowing with beer cans. Omps left behind a $1,000 apartment in Baltimore and now pays the marina just $700 per month. Saving money was appealing, but it is the...

BOOKS

At the stroke of midnight on Friday, Harry Potter fanatics will descend on bookstores to claim "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment of J. K. Rowling's best-selling series. Although Ashley Bernard, 12, says she has read the first five books "at least 15 times each," she will not be among the midnight crawlers. Blind from birth, she has always faced a tortuous delay of at least three months to get a Braille edition. "I don't like to be kept waiting," she says, worried...

GET OUT OF THE WATER!

Four years after a spate of shark attacks prompted a media frenzy, is another "summer of the shark" about to break over us? A week ago last Saturday, a shark killed a 14-year-old girl off the coast of Destin, Fla.--the first fatal attack in the state since 2001. Two days later and 90 miles away, another shark tore into a 16-year-old boy, who survived but lost his leg. While "two shark attacks in three days is unusual," says John Tyminski of Mote Marine Laboratory, "there's no reason to believe...

PETS: BIG BREATH, AND BARK

Found on the bathroom floor, the 3-year-old victim of a house fire appeared lifeless. Boynton Beach, Fla., firefighter William Drumm administered oxygen immediately. "She started biting the mask and looking around," he says. Thanks to a canine oxygen mask, Diva, a pit bull, survived the smoke inhalation.Once the province of veterinarians, pet oxygen masks have become a valuable tool for firefighters. The masks fit snugly around animal snouts, providing more oxygen than human masks. Best Friends...

MORE THAN ADOPTION

Sitting in the back seat of the family van, 4-year-old Lien Fleming plays with her frilly white socks and drops a bomb-shell: "My parents are probably dead." Margaret Fleming, her adoptive mother, doesn't flinch. She's accustomed to somber words from her daughter, abandoned at birth by her HIV-positive mother. Fleming, 69, adopted Lien in 2002 after seeing her picture in an adoption newsletter. The caption? "Baby in AIDS ward, Ho Chi Minh City." Those words frightened away some, but not...

Practical Applications

Each year, 1,400 high-school students from more than 40 countries are invited to compete in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest precollege science contest. The select group of young scientists is chosen from the several million students who compete in local and regional science fairs throughout the year. Participants compete for $3 million in scholarships and prizes, presenting projects in 15 categories like medicine, biochemistry,...

GAY TO WED

Bells began tolling for same-sex couples in Massachusetts one year ago this week. A year in numbers:Date same-sex couples began legally marrying: May 17, 2004Number of same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts from May 17, 2004, until February 2005: 6,142Number of male couples: 2,170Number of female couples: 3,972Number of heterosexual marriages in Massachusetts during that time: 30,872Public support in Massachusetts for marriage equality in April 2005: 56%Public support one year ago:...

WITCHCRAFT: MAKING MAGIC

As early as June a new witch may descend on Salem, Mass. The TV Land cable network is poised to erect a nine-foot, 1,500-pound statue honoring Samantha Stevens--the witch-cum-housewife in the sitcom "Bewitched." Pending final approval by Salem next week, the bronze behemoth will depict Samantha flying on a broom before a crescent moon; it will sit in a small park. "It adds to the recognition of the city and offers a whimsical look at life," says Mayor Stanley Usovicz.But some residents are...

EDUCATION: THE FUTURE DOESN'T SPEAK FRENCH

At Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas, the roster for Advanced Chinese V begins with Jason Chao and ends with Kathy Zhang. In between comes an unexpected name: Elizabeth Hoffman. Hoffman, now a 12th grader, began studying Chinese in the eighth grade, has spent a summer studying in Nanjing and plans to perfect her Mandarin when she starts college next fall. When asked by her peers--who typically take Spanish--why she is learning Chinese, she responds with a question: "Why aren't you?"As...

Prep Chic

Sean O'Mealia didn't want to go to Taft, a prestigious 115-year-old boarding school in western Connecticut. For starters, his buddies were staying at his public school in Middletown, N. J. Boarding schools, he'd been warned, were full of snobs. He didn't like the clothes either: ribbon belts and brightly colored chinos left him cold. Four years later, he calls Taft, "a fun school where it's cool to learn" and admits, "I had an antiquated stereotype" of boarding school.O'Mealia could be forgiven...

'I Always Liked to Fly'

Stricken with polio in 1946, the prognosis for 11-year-old Tenley Albright was bleak. Doctors didn't understand how the polio virus entered the body, and they didn't know how to treat it. The only certainty was that the disease began with fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and, in some cases, paralysis. To contain polio, hospitals confined children like Tenley, allowing only minimal contact with the outside world. "They actually brought my brother to the yard of the...

STD'S BAD BREAK

College calendars include exams and holidays but leave out an important annual event: when students are most likely to get tested for STDs. The peak seasons, according to each school's sexual-health and wellness center:U Penn Post-spring break Students regret risky business once back from warmer climesU Arizona Every Monday Wild on the weekendsU Alaska End of October Snow falls; dorm life heats upU Georgia Football season Parties, beer, bad decisionsU Wisconsin October and April Undergrads are...

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