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International Mail Call: Pain Management

Our May 19 cover story on pain led readers to share tales of chronic pain, acupuncture and insurance with us. A doctor said he "enjoyed reading about new advances in pain management." Another reader pointed out, "Pain and depression are connected." The rest simply praised specific therapies.Feeling Their PainA week before reading your cover article, "Taking a New Look at Pain" (May 19), I underwent major surgery. To my great fortune, my anesthesiologist is also a licensed acupuncturist. Just...

American Postcard: At Last

Highland Park, Texas, one of the wealthiest enclaves in America, is a beautiful village, refined and leafy, filled with parks, set in the heart of Dallas. Together with its slightly less affluent sister town of University Park, home to Southern Methodist University, the two Park Cities are often referred to in Dallas as "the bubble," as though the big city, with its real-world problems, seldom intrudes.Karen Watson is moving to Highland Park for the very same reasons as most of the residents....

Mail Call

No Longer Just in Your HeadReaders responding to our May 19 cover package appreciated our extensive reporting on the reality of pain and available treatments. "I am so tired of people frowning on my recurring migraines. Maybe now they'll understand," said one. Many shared stories of struggle and recovery. A teenager wrote of battling her doctor about her debilitating reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome: "I'm not willing to stop fighting. Telling someone that they should accept not getting...

The Practical Futurist: Is Biowire In Your Future?

The computer industry always promises us "standards"--but then proceeds to deliver hardware and software that just doesn't happen to work well with that of other manufacturers, or with previous versions of the same product. It's been a perennial frustration for consumers, but this time, in the rapidly emerging field of implantable computers, perhaps the manufacturers are finally getting wise.Today the EIEIO standard-setting body is scheduled to release the first draft of the 40103a standard for...

Mail Call: Show Us The Proof

Our Feb. 17 Special Report on America's plans for war stirred readers up. Many thought Colin Powell's evidence at the United Nations "did not make the case." A few lashed out at George Bush's policies on world issues. One proposed: isn't it time for a regime change in Washington?The Uncertainty of WarEven if everything Colin Powell said is true, he did not demonstrate that Iraq poses an imminent threat to the United States or its allies ("Judging the Case," Feb. 17). Therefore, he did not make...

The Editor's Desk

As we were working on this week's cover package, I kept wondering why the press has not paid more attention to George W. Bush's religious beliefs. Some have (including the excellent Web site beliefnet.com), but a LexisNexis search finds only 23 articles devoted to the subject. Yet anyone who has followed Bush knows how crucial his faith is to understanding the man and his policies. Are reporters always eager to read leaders' minds leery of peering into their souls? Are they so secular they...

Mail Call

Skeptics on America's Plans for CombatResponding to our Feb. 17 Special Report, "The War Plan," readers said they were unconvinced by the evidence presented to the United Nations by Secretary of State Colin Powell. "Do not confuse the messenger with the message," one declared. "Powell is eloquent, but his presence should not be misinterpreted as 'the case,' which must actually be made before such a horrific undertaking as war is pursued." Others worried about the damage the battle plan could...

Mail Call

Determining the Lesser of Two EvilsResponses to our Jan. 13 cover package confirmed that Americans remain divided over the handling of the dual crises in Iraq and North Korea. While some questioned what one reader called America's "selective vendetta against Saddam," others focused on North Korea's enigmatic leader. Kim Jong Il's resumption of Korea's nuclear program and military buildup "show his true colors," wrote a frustrated letter writer, who, like others, insisted on the diplomatic...

Guilt Free TV

In The Beginning, There Was Big Bird. Now, Thanks To Intense Competition From Disney And Nick, There Are More Quality Shows For Preschoolers Than Ever.

Mail Call: Living With A Sniper In The Backyard

Living With a Sniper in the BackyardReaders worried that our Oct. 21 cover, "The Tarot Card Killer," put the sniper in the spotlight. "Your cover story about the sniping attacks in D.C. was excellent," one said. "However, I wonder if the media are making things worse by publicizing these crimes." Many objected to the cover image--with what one called "its snappy graphics of red cross hairs" and a "creepy death card." Another asked, "Why not dub him 'The Pathetic Loser Who Can Only Express His...

A Tale Of Two Hogs

The pork board keeps reminding Americans how lean pork is, and if you don't believe it, you should look at some pigs. An obvious place to begin is in northeastern Iowa, where a farmer named Gary Lynch keeps 100,000 or so hogs at any one time, spread out over six counties in vast steel sheds holding 1,000 animals each. Lynch, whose license plate reads porkie--no small distinction in a state with 15 million pigs--calls himself "a family farmer," and he is one, in the sense that his family works...

Bin Laden's Bad Bet

In one of his legendary moments of brilliance, Sherlock Holmes pointed the attention of the police to the curious behavior of a dog on the night of the murder. The baffled police inspector pointed out that the dog had been silent during the night. "That was the curious incident," explained Holmes. Looking back over the last year, I am reminded of that story because the most important event that has taken place has been a nonevent. Ever since that terrible day in September 2001, we have all been...

Mail Call: The Cia's Troubles

Our June 10 investigative cover story on the terrorists who eluded the CIA generated equal measures of praise for our reporting and anger at the federal agencies that missed the clues. One reader wrote: "I'm wounded to my heart and soul... [by] the decline of a responsible government." A Tragic Failure of Intelligence NEWSWEEK's excellent June 10 cover story, "The 9/11 Terrorists the CIA Should Have Caught," turns a much-needed spotlight on major defects in both the CIA and the FBI, citing...

Wiring The New Docs

Today's Medical Students Use An Unprecedented Array Of Sophisticated Teaching Aids. But How Does That Translate Into Action When A Patient's Heart Rate Soars And His Blood Pressure Plunges?

Letters

Mail Call How We'll Work: Tomorrow's OfficeIt's great that technological advances are enabling parents to work from home and be more active in their children's lives," wrote one reader about our April 29 cover story. But much of the mail we got commented on our cover image. "It looks as if the goal is to staff 'the office of tomorrow' with those hardworking intellectual vixens who were bying for James Bond's attention a generation ago," one critic snickered. Another put it more bluntly:...

My Son Goofs Around, And I Think It's Great

My 9-year-old son, Levi, is the kind of kid for whom playing in the soccer league means getting to wear shinguards and eating soft ice cream afterward. Not that he minds the game in between. It gives him lots of opportunities for performing pratfalls and planning what he'll say when the teams congratulate one another after it ends. ("Good game." Hand slap. "Great game." Hand slap. "Excellent game." Hand slap.) What Levi isn't particularly interested in is what all those other kids are doing on...

Torture Based On Sex Alone

Rodi Alvarado Pena cleans houses for a living, thinks about her two children in Guatemala and waits. For six years she has been in the United States seeking asylum, watching her case go back and forth in a flurry of dizzying inconsistency. One judge granted her the right to stay in this country; a panel of other judges reversed that decision. The U.S. attorney general herself vacated that ruling and said the case should be decided in light of soon-to-be-released regulations. But administrations...

In The Shadow Of Mandela

South African President Thabo Mbeki is in Washington today, hoping to sell U. S. leaders on a cause dear to his heart: the Millennium Africa Recovery Plan (MAP). And in spite of his recent spate of bad publicity, Mbeki is expected to have impressed President George W. Bush with his vaunted intellectual skills and suave style of diplomacy when the two met earlier today. For Mbeki, though, the more daunting challenges may be waiting back home.Mbeki's ruling African National Congress (ANC)-the...

How To Ace College

There's so much focus on how to get into college these days, and not much advice about what to do once you get there. Back in the 1980s, the then Harvard president Derek Bok asked Richard J. Light, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, to study students on campus. The result of this 10-year survey is the new book "Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds" (242 pages. Harvard University Press. $24.95), which offers practical advice to school administrators,...

Letters

Our May 7 story on Vladimir Putin prompted mixed reviews about the Russian leader. "Putin's ideals could be dangerous if it means sacrificing individual freedom," said one reader. "Putin is at least holding Russia together and preventing it from sliding into chaos," dissented another. A few criticized us for an "alarmist" article. "The examples you give of Putin's oppression are nothing like that of the Soviets," one argued. "I'm disappointed to see you resort to distorted truisms." The Return...

Mail Call

Responding to our cover story on Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and the roots of evil, some readers said the convicted man should be put to death. "Die he certainly must," declared one, "if there is to be closure in this chapter of our history." But others expressed concern about capital punishment. "How is sitting down in a room and watching a man die any better than killing 168 people with a van full of explosives?" asked one. Another argued, "By executing McVeigh, the government is...

Surviving Sleepovers

A few weeks ago Charlotte, Phoebe and James Huth--who give their ages as 4 3/4, 7 3/4 and 10 3/4, respectively--were model hosts of a sleepover. Four friends arrived at their Newton, Mass., home at 4 p.m. and quickly proceeded to swing, dress up, gobble pizza and watch a movie. Tiring? Not at all. The children had no problem staying up an hour and a half past their usual 9 p.m. weekend bedtime. They woke up at 6:30, ate flapjacks and were picked up just before 9. The whole Huth family spent...

Sports: Michelle's Next Turn

Elegant even in her practice uniform of basic black, Michelle Kwan flashes across the ice with energy and grace. Despite the early hour and an audience of just three people, she floats through each jump; her glide is sublime, and she invests every spin and finger extension with emotion. It is vintage Kwan--but a Kwan that, of late, has rarely been on display. At 20, the best and most successful skater of her generation is struggling to stay on top. After this first of two daily 45-minute...

Mail Call

Waging the Crypto WarOur cover story on cryptography, from Steven Levy's new book, elicited strong opinions. "No event in human history has so fundamentally altered the relationship between government and governed as the crypto breakthrough," declared one reader. Several praised NEWSWEEK for placing the subject at center stage. "I learned a great deal about encryption from your excerpt," one told us. But some folks urged caution: "Logical and technical flaws must be answered before we accept...

Investing, After The Bubble Making It Back

It's over, like a bad romance. your mother told you dot-coms were no good and would let you down hard, but you didn't believe her. Now you're singing the blues, with your beloved Yahoo, Priceline and iVillage down 85 percent or more in price.Will they, and you, ever relive that peak experience of a year ago? No. You've loved and lost. Even the Net stocks that thrive won't warm to their old highs any time soon. Large numbers of the dot-coms will fail, taking what's left of your money with them....

Mail Call

Many readers of our Sept. 25 Special Report on Prague's IMF summit and the new young capitalists were optimistic about Eastern Europe's future. But some observers worried that the current generation was more concerned with worldly possessions than hard work. While one reader thought capitalism was change "for the better," another questioned if people might one day long for a time when "everyone had a right to a home, free education and medical care."Thank you for your Sept. 25 Special Report,...

Sun, Surf And Surgery

The Yan Hee Hospital in Bangkok runs what you might call a full-service operation. The gleaming institution--where staffers on in-line skates glide through the spacious lobby carrying files--is Thailand's largest-volume cosmetic-surgery hospital. Not only will its doctors snip those wrinkles away and fix the shape of your nose, the staff will also help you plan a Thai holiday tour, complete with hotel reservations. Since the baht collapsed three years ago, prices in U.S. dollars have dropped so...

Mail Call

Our July 31 report "Understanding Autism" drew a huge response from readers, many of them thanking us for focusing attention on what some consider an epidemic. "Your article will educate millions of people who have never before considered how common autism is," a grateful parent wrote. Many shared personal stories. One called autism "a thief in the night. One moment my child was there, the next he was gone." Several readers stressed the importance of research. The Enigma of Autism...

Parents Shouldn't Be On Call All The Time

I expected the usual ride request or just an update from one of my teenagers when I got the "message waiting" signal as I turned on my cell phone. Instead I heard my 14-year-old daughter say the words all parents dread: "Mom. I'm at the hospital. We had an accident. We're all fine. But call me! Right now! Why don't you have your cell phone on?""We" meant our nanny, my two teens and a friend. My heart swooped, but just for a second: I could tell the crisis was over. Even beyond her words, the...

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