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The Things We Carry: Artists Confront Compulsive Hoarding

by Sarah Kliff Right now, in the Museum of Modern Art's second-floor atrium, there is a pile of junk: empty toothpaste tubes, bottle caps without bottles, used Styrofoam containers, slivers of soap. Thousands of items—piles of clothes, pots, pans, toys, books—overwhelm the 3,000-square foot display space. Collectively, these items are a new installation, called "Waste Not," by Chinese artist Song Dong. But before these items were art, they were all the contents of the house of his mother,...

Florida, By the Numbers

  If Barack Obama swipes the Sunshine State's 27 electoral votes from the Republican column, the 2008 election is over. Can he swing it? Right now, the Illinois senator (who finished a two-day visit Tuesday) is doing his best—but John McCain (who arrives tomorrow) has signaled that he's willing to fight to the finish. Here are the latest stats on where Florida stands—conveniently categorized by which candidate they benefit: ADVANTAGE OBAMA:1 percent: Obama's lead in the RealClear...

Hotspot: Ivy, Sydney

IVY | SYDNEYA self-contained island of hedonism, this $120 million megaplex has 18 bars, nine restaurants, a ballroom, and a hotel and day spa, all owned and operated by wunderkind developer Justin Hemmes. Setting: Two buildings with wide balconies wrap around a central terrace featuring a towering Japanese maple, separated from the outside by a cobbled lane. Ambience: The beach village vibe rings perfectly with the city's bronzed and beautiful set, and extends from the casual,...

Cancer: The Roads Not Taken

With all the ways cancer cells can elude chemotherapies (as well as radiation, for some of the same reasons: radiation damages DNA, but malignant cells activate DNA-repair mechanisms), it may seem a miracle that anyone beats cancer. Yet clearly, millions of people do; some living with it for decades, others having no detectable malignancies by the end of treatment. What gives?I put this question to Keith Block, an innovative oncologist who runs the Block Center for Integrative Cancer...

The Filter: September 1, 2008... Republican Convention Edition

A round-up of this morning's must read-stories.PARTY'S PLANS UNSETTLED; MCCAIN VISITS GULF(Patrick Healy and Adam Nagourney)Senator John McCain and his advisers decided on Sunday to halt all but the most essential activities for the Republican National Convention on Monday, sacrificing a major televised platform for his political message as Mr. McCain seeks to project a forceful response to the threat of Hurricane Gustav. With the storm expected to hit the Gulf Coast on Monday, Mr. McCain and...

The Filter: August 4, 2008

A round-up of this morning's must-read stories--by guest Filterer Brian No. MCCAIN TAKES A PAGE FROM CLINTON\'S PLAYBOOK(John Harwood, New York Times) Mr. Obama has watched Senator John McCain pick up central strands of Mrs. Clinton\'s approach, and amplify them. In exaggerated form, Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, has adopted her attitude toward Mr. Obama\'s emergence (disdain), employed the same core argument against him (unproven and risky) and singled out...

But Her Body Language Said 'Yes!'

Before the month is out, I have to take note of a research article in the April issue of Psychological Science, which concludes that when it comes to reading women\'s non-verbal signals—smiles, gaze, body language, tone of voice—men are complete and utter illiterates.Especially when it comes to figuring out whether she is saying (in the family-friendly version): take me someplace where we can be horizontal and engage in activities that have been known to perpetuate the species. Or as...

Report: Head Injury Killed Bhutto

Scotland Yard concludes that the former Pakistani prime minister died from head injuries. But some Bhutto supporters still believe she was slain by gunfire.

A Guide to Predicting Your Medical Future

Risk Management: You can't lower your age or upgrade your genes, but when it comes to assessing your health with the latest screenings, your fate is in your hands. Here are the best checkups to check out—and those you can skip.

Periscope: Panicked About Expensive Food And Oil? Don't Be.

Skyrocketing energy prices and food inflation have been held up as major threats to the global economy in 2008. Just last month, oil was in danger of surging past $100 a barrel, and U.N. sources say the price of food has risen an unprecedented 40 percent in the last year. Economists worry that the higher prices will bring back the scourge of inflation, a threat the world has not seen in almost 30 years. In fact, some economists argue that inflation is already here—it's just not counted in the...

Periscope: Getting Bombed

Getting BombedIts namesake may be elusive, but the "bin Laden shot"— a throat-scorching blend of Pernod and Tabasco sauce—is easy enough to find at a trendy New York bar and it's part of the vogue for war-themed cocktails that has arisen in the United States since the country waded into Afghanistan and Iraq. Elsewhere, Boston's KO Prime steakhouse serves up the Guantánamo Bay Breeze, named after the Cuban detention camp, while the Malt Shop in Washington, D.C., pours the Shock and Awe, a...

On Collapsed Bridge, Warning Signs Were There

Survivors of Minneapolis\'s bridge collapse said there was little warning. But the warning signs were in place years before.Long before Wednesday\'s accident, which killed at least four and injured around 80, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MDOT) had warned about problems with the bridge. The structure had a "structurally deficient" rating since 1990 and has been inspected every year since, according to MDOT. Don Dorgan, an MDOT engineer, says, "We thought we had done all we...

Periscope: The War: Iran's Meddling in Iraq

How solid is evidence that Iran is stoking the conflict in Iraq? The White House has ratcheted up rhetorical attacks, suggesting that Iranian government elements were supplying Iraqi Shia insurgents with deadly weapons technology. But the idea that Iran plays a key role in fomenting violence inside Iraq took a knock last week with the publication, by the U.S. intelligence czar's office, of a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq. The NIE, representing the consensus view of all 16...

Another Recall for Generic Drugmaker

Unlike the e-coli-tainted spinach that sickened 200 people and caused three deaths this fall, this week\'s metal-tainted acetaminophen outbreak appears to have harmed no one. Even so, the Perrigo Company, the world\'s largest manufacturer of generic over-the-counter drugs, isn\'t taking any chances. At a cost of a reported $2.9 million, the company has voluntarily recalled 11 million bottles of the generic painkiller it makes for such retailers as Wal-Mart, CVS, and Dollar General. Perrigo is...

Keystone Combat

Pennsylvania\'s junior senator, Republican Rick Santorum, is fighting for his political life. After narrowing the lead of Democratic challenger, state treasurer Bob Casey, to single-digits in August, Santorum was hopeful that a post-Labor Day boost would carry him to a third term. But polls now show Casey's lead back near double digits. And a judge\'s recent decision to disqualify the Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli from the race didn\'t help Santorum, who had hoped the third-party...

No More Sneezing?

For millions of allergy-prone Americans, this can be the worst time of the year. From late summer through early fall, as much as 20 percent of the population suffers from ragweed allergy, or hay fever, which causes sneezing, coughing, runny noses, and itchy eyes, nose and throat. It can keep sufferers up at night and, in some, trigger asthma attacks. Conventional allergy shots to protect against the symptoms can require numerous visits over several months or years. But a promising new therapy...

Touting Tea

I love coffee. I love the way it smells. I love the way it tastes. (Although I'm so sensitive to caffeine, even a cup of coffee makes me talk as fast as Robin Williams might sound if he were on speed—and, hey, do you have to drive so slowly?) But I drink tea now. Most of the time.Apparently, I'm not alone. Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, other than water. Over 6.6 billion pounds of tea are produced each year.Why? More and more research is documenting that what we...

MY SECRET ISTANBUL

TURKEY'S BEST-KNOWN NOVELIST RECALLS A CHILDHOOD IN THE CITY THAT HAS BECOME HIS SOUL, RICH IN MYSTERY.

Science and Your Health

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first cardiac medication marketed to a specific race, giving Nitromed the go-ahead to market BiDil for the treatment of "self-described black patients." The drug, which is a combination of the generic drugs isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine, will be used in conjunction with other standard heart therapies. The company sought approval of the drug to treat the targeted population after clinical trials showed the drug to be significantly...

Science and Your Health

Weight Gain May be Bad for the Brain Obesity has already been linked to a number of physical ailments. Now researchers have found that being overweight in your 40s may lead to higher rates of dementia as you reach your 60s and 70s, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers analyzed 10,276 Californians who underwent detailed health evaluations from 1964 to 1973. They found that overweight volunteers in the study were 35 percent more likely to develop...

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