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MAIL CALL: INFORMED OR OVERLOADED?

Your Aug. 15 cover story, "Your Baby's Brain," did a great job of bringing parents up to date on the latest research on early-childhood development. This information is critical to parents' ability to nurture their child's healthy development. However, the explosion of research in early development over the last decade or so has overwhelmed many parents and created a great deal of anxiety. Parents are getting so many mixed messages about what to do with all this information. Suggestions run the...

A NEW LOOK AT SOME ANCIENT CREATURES

Dinosaur lovers of all ages responded enthusiastically to our June 27 cover story. "'Buried Treasure' is excellent!" said one. "I am a middle-aged engineer who still gets excited reading about progress in science." A father in Ohio reported that "my kids, aged 10 and 6, loved the issue on how dinosaurs really lived. They were glued to the magazine." Others saw the new research connecting dinosaurs to birds as just another theory soon to be discredited. "First, cold-blooded giant terrible...

'A Long-Term Threat'

The first bomb went off at 8.51 a.m., in the midst of the London rush hour. By 9.47 a.m.--56 minutes later--at least four blasts had rocked the heart of the British capital. Three were on crowded underground trains; the fourth on one of the city's signature red double-decker buses. Hours after the attacks, the number of dead remained unclear. Hundreds, however, were injured--many severely--and tens of thousands of commuters were stranded after the city shut down its subway and bus systems.Who...

AN RX FOR KIDS-WITH WARNINGS

While 7-year-old Maddie Kitz waits for a kidney transplant, her doctor, Steven Alexander, supervises her frequent dialysis at Stanford University Medical Center and prescribes a host of medications to prevent bone disease, control her blood pressure and reduce blood clots. But figuring out the right doses of those medications is something of a guessing game. The best--and in some cases the only--drugs for Maddie's complex medical condition have not been tested on kids, so each drug Alexander...

The Rise of a Religion

Readers of our March 28 cover story on the rise of Christianity praised Jon Meacham's nuanced report. "Congratulations!" said one, who appreciated Meacham "for not proselytizing... not editorializing." But another, who'd had enough of Jesus, retorted tartly, "Are you a NEWSWEEKly or a pulpit?"Congratulations on your excellent cover story "How Jesus Became Christ" (March 28). Such articles often try to debunk the "myth" of Christianity or serve as proselytizing by those who think they have all...

MAIL CALL: A HUMBLE DEFENDER OF THE CATHOLIC FAIT

Readers had mixed views about the ascension of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to lead the Roman Catholic Church, the subject of our May 2 cover story. One said, "After reading your report, I believe Pope Benedict XVI has undoubtedly met the criteria for reaching the ranks of St. Peter's successor." But another reader, reflecting on the pope's conservative views on issues such as the celibacy of priests, birth control and the role of women, insisted, " 'The 'new' pope? Sounds like the old pope to me....

THE RISE OF A RELIGION

Readers of our March 28 cover story on the rise of Christianity praised Jon Meacham's nuanced report. "Congratulations!" said one, who appreciated Meacham "for not proselytizing... not editorializing." But another, who'd had enough of Jesus, retorted tartly, "Are you a NEWSWEEKly or a pulpit?"The Creation of ChristianityCongratulations on your excellent cover story "How Jesus Became Christ" (March 28). Such articles often try to debunk the "myth" of Christianity or serve as proselytizing by...

TIP SHEET

FASHIONStep Into SpringPack up your boots, put away those pumps and say adieu to Uggs. Spring has officially arrived and, with it, a new crop of shoes that celebrate longer days, warmer nights and the first show of bare legs. Put some sparkle in your step:Precious metals. Metallic shoes are making a lustrous comeback. No longer a fashion relic of the '80s, today's pretty metals have been recast as understated flats in gold and silver that add a dash of St-Tropez sparkle to cropped pants, full...

Tip Sheet

Pack up your boots, put away those pumps and say adieu to Uggs. Spring has officially arrived and, with it, a new crop of shoes that celebrate longer days, warmer nights and the first show of bare legs. Put some sparkle in your step: Precious metals. Metallic shoes are making a lustrous comeback. No longer a fashion relic of the '80s, today's pretty metals have been recast as understated flats in gold and silver that add a dash of St-Tropez sparkle to cropped pants, full skirts and even...

The Life of a Pope

In the summer of 1981 when I was posted in Moscow for NEWSWEEK, Solidarity was riding the crest of a euphoric wave in neighboring Poland. The free trade union had been operating openly for a full year, and the country was flooded with the dissident labor union's banners, pins, stickers and other mementos, including those that celebrated the pride of Poland, Pope John Paul II.The communist authorities would abruptly change course a few months later, declaring martial law and outlawing...

MAIL CALL

Readers of our Feb. 7 cover story on diet and genes had advice of their own. A 70-year-old's recipe for rich old age: "good genes... eat healthy... play tennis and hockey... have a happy marriage and a good attitude." Another reader hailed the onset of "a new era with [complementary] medicine."Staying HealthyThanks for the great article "Diet & Genes" (Feb. 7). As someone in a health-related field--massage therapy--I have been advising clients to include turmeric in their diets to curb...

Mail Call

Readers of our Feb. 7 cover story on diet and genes had advice of their own. A 70-year-old's recipe for rich old age: "good genes... eat healthy... play tennis and hockey... have a happy marriage and a good attitude." Another reader hailed the onset of "a new era with [complementary] medicine."Thanks for the great article "Diet & Genes" (Feb. 7). As someone in a health-related field--massage therapy--I have been advising clients to include turmeric in their diets to curb inflammation in muscle...

ROCKING THE CASBAH

For more than 30 years, much of the Muslim world has been sliding backward, away from modernity. Maybe the West and Israel, defeat and humiliation, dictators, emirs or mullahs are to blame. Or maybe it's one of those cycles of fanatic religiosity that afflicts every society from time to time. Some voices of reason, however, have to stand up and say "Enough! There is a modern world and Muslims should be part of it." Some apostles of progress have to do more than bemoan their fate, bow to the...

THE ALPHA BLOGGERS

A few months ago no one had heard of "podcasting" because it didn't exist. Last summer an MTV veejay turned technophile named Adam Curry wanted to do an Internet-based radio show, distributing it through his Weblog. (A Weblog, or blog, is a personal Web site where somebody self-publishes an electronic journal, often linking to other things on the Web that strike the author's fancy.) With the help of fellow bloggers, he created spe-cial software that allowed digital audio content to be...

MAIL CALL

An EU ContenderReaders of our Oct. 11 story on the Turkish miracle shared their own views on the subject. One praised "visionaries like Ataturk and Dervis"; another deplored the Armenian genocide. As for joining the EU, a third said, "when a Turkish girl might marry a nonbeliever, then we can talk integration."A European Connection?I am a Young French, Roman Catholic "local" entrepreneur who has faith and trust in secular Turkey. But, with all due respect and admiration for Recep Tayyip Erdogan...

TONY KNOWS BEST

No one is better qualified to review the British intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq--or pass judgment on Tony Blair's style of governing--than Lord Butler. He has scaled great peaks of the British civil service; as former secretary to the cabinet his career spanned the twilight of the Conservative years to the dawn of the Blair era. His verdict is delivered in the dispassionate prose of a lifetime spent drafting memos. But it bristles with contempt for the informality of the "sofa...

BY THE SEAT OF HIS PANTS

It's Alan Greenspan's swan song. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week, as expected. The overnight Fed funds rate went from 1 percent, the lowest since the late 1950s, to 1.25 percent. Over the next year or two, most economists expect the Fed to continue increasing rates; the idea is to contain inflation without smothering the economic recovery. This seems to be Greenspan's last big move on the nation's money and credit markets. His term at the Fed ends in January 2006, and...

SICK, AND TIRED OF THE ENDLESS PAPERWORK

When my wife, Meg, suffered a severe stroke that immobilized her left side, I knew we would be facing a grueling odyssey involving several hospitals, dozens of doctors and countless therapy sessions. What I wasn't prepared for was the American Way of Managed Health Care, a system that is bureaucratic and often dysfunctional. Yes, medical practitioners in the United States are generally considered among the best in the world, and my wife primarily had first-rate care, but their back-office...

Mail Call And Corrections: How To Get Relief For

Readers responding to our April 26 cover story were full of advice. "Excellent, informative and to the point," one wrote. "Pain management was not mentioned," a doctor noted. "These techniques range from epidural and other steroid injections that decrease inflammation to percutaneous discectomies to shrink painful disc bulges to radio-frequency ablative procedures that numb nerves causing pain." Others offered their own prescriptions. "Bee stings are a folk-medicine cure for backaches, because...

Online Excerpt: Being a Better Parent

When people find out that I'm both a parent and a psychologist who has spent his entire career studying parenting, I'm often asked whether what I've learned as a researcher has helped me to be a better parent. The answer is that of course it has. It's like asking a professional chef whether studying cooking for a living has made him or her better in the kitchen at home. How could it not? Like anything else, good parenting requires knowledge.I've studied parents and their children for well over...

MAIL CALL: DIFFERING TESTIMONY ABOUT LAWSUITS

Of the more than 300 readers responding to our Dec. 15 cover story on litigation, the majority thought we were too sympathetic to the accused. "The headlines LAWSUIT HELL and CIVIL WARS themselves previewed a business-slanted attack on our civil-justice system," one said. But another wrote, "The jackpot system we have disproportionately enriches trial lawyers while vastly increasing the cost to society of numerous essential services." Others thought our coverage was too full of "lurid...

Mail Call

The Beholder's EyeReaders of our Nov. 10 report on the new global ideal of beauty hated the concept. Advised one, "Help those who need health care instead of boosting bosoms." Another protested "the loss of cultural identity." A third railed against "the risk of having--along with gorgeous bodies--empty minds."Perfection or Homogeneity?I was both interested in and repulsed by your Nov. 10 cover story on plastic surgery ("The Perfect Face"). It is sad that so many people are so self-conscious...

Periscope

Iraq: A Pyrrhic Victory?Washington trumpeted an impressive victory last week in the United Nations Security Council that cleared the way for other countries to aid in the reconstruction effort in Iraq. But it's only a symbolic win for the White House. The bulk of the financing for rebuilding Iraq will continue to come from the United States, as will the majority of troops responsible for maintaining security. India continues to insist it cannot contribute troops who are needed in Kashmir, while...

Tip Sheet

Sports: Got A Ticket to DriveBy Tara WiengartenYou could hop in the family Volvo, tour the countryside and call it a driving vacation. Or you could jump into a sports car and whip around hairpin turns like Michael Schumacher. High-performance driving schools that put you in luxury cars and Formula racers are the hottest trend in motor sports.For beginners, your best bet is the Porsche Driving Experience in Birmingham, Alabama, a two-day U.S. school that divides participants into groups based on...

Tip Sheet

Sports: Got A Ticket to DriveBy Tara WiengartenYou could hop in the family Volvo, tour the countryside and call it a driving vacation. Or you could jump into a sports car and whip around hairpin turns like Michael Schumacher. High-performance driving schools that put you in luxury cars and Formula racers are the hottest trend in motor sports.For beginners, your best bet is the Porsche Driving Experience in Birmingham, Alabama, a two-day U.S. school that divides participants into groups based on...

MAIL CALL: A SAD SEA CHANGE

The subject of our July 14 cover story on dying oceans distressed readers, who applauded our reportage. "I feel overwhelmed and powerless," said one. Another lamented, "Governments view ecosystems as resources to be exploited." A third simply stated, "Dead oceans, dead mankind."Save Our Last FrontierI thank and applaud you for your responsible July 14 cover story, "Are the Oceans Dying?" It is vital to our planet and our own survival that each of us takes our head out of the sand and becomes...

INTERNATIONAL MAIL CALL

Our June 30/July 7 special issue on new inventions delighted most readers. "Thanks for a great cover story!" cheered one. Teachers and scientists sent in praise. The few critics took issue with our contention that the individual vision is pre-eminent: "Edison did not work alone," wrote one.New Ideas to Reshape the WorldThanks for a great cover story ("Inventions That Will Change the World," June 30/July 7). Those were 10 really good selections, but I thought your layout could have been...

Mail Call

Staying HealthyWe received a favorable prognosis for men's health from readers of our June 16 cover package. A cancer survivor wrote: "It's time we took better care of ourselves than we do of our cars." Chimed another: "Older doesn't have to mean sicker." A third added that "many illnesses are the result of how we live."The State of Men's HealthI was really pleased to see your June 16 cover story on men's health ("Men's Minds, Men's Bodies"). For years women have made a steadfast and passionate...

War, A Primer

Chris Hedges has guts. Not just battlefield guts--he spent 20 years as a war correspondent--but the moral courage to tell Americans what they least want to hear about war. Real war, that is: the war of blown apart bodies and lives, of tortured souls and human depravation.In his critically acclaimed 2002 book "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," Hedges treated war as the ultimate narcotic, an addiction he himself had barely managed to kick. Now, in "What Every Person Should Know About War,"...

Mail Call

Readers provided an overall favorable prognosis for men's health, the subject of our June 16 cover package. Given the increased awareness of the important role that diet, exercise and lifestyle changes play, a 10-year prostate-cancer survivor turned activist noted it was high time that "men took better care of themselves than they do their automobiles." The clarion call was one of taking charge. "Young men need to hear from their physicians and the media that getting older doesn't have to mean...

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