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Two Gorillas Make Nice

Last week the technology elite gathered in Carlsbad, Calif., for a Wall Street Journal technology conference. Nobody gave it a second thought that some of the Microsoft people seemed to be hanging around folks from America Online just a little too much for blood rivals.

Medical Testing At Home

Getting a medical self-diagnosis at home isn't exactly new--it began with the scale in ancient Egypt. But these days, you can check a lot more than your weight.

International Periscope

North Korea: Kim Plays It Cool... For NowWhile most of the world was focused on the images of destruction being rained down upon Baghdad and other Iraqi cities last week, some in Washington had half an eye on the Korean Peninsula, waiting to see whether a second front might break out halfway around the world.

Starr Gazing: The Problem With Figure Skating

The phenomenon that is modern figure skating, a TV-ratings juggernaut for almost a decade, was born of scandal.It was exactly the right kind of scandal for American tastes, the sordid type--Peggy Fleming meets Don Corleone--we treasure.


United States: Of Politics And PanicDuct tape was adhered to America's consciousness last week, as if it were the only thing holding the country in place.


United States: Of Politics And PanicDuct tape was adhered to America's consciousness last week, as if it were the only thing holding the country in place.

An Old Enemy Is Back

It was supposed to be on its way out. Just four years ago, syphilis--the "great pox" of the 15th century--had declined to rates so low in this country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a bold new plan to eliminate the disease by 2005.

I Yam What I Yam

The Sweet Potato Queen, wearing a crown you could see from the space shuttle, sashays into a Barnes & Noble in a suburb of New Orleans to face her public, which appears to consist of 25 middle-aged women on spring break.

Mail Call: Life With Lula

Readers of our Oct. 21 report on Brazil's Lula da Silva challenged our view of the erstwhile leftist on various counts. A cynic said, "Lula has nothing new to offer"; another reader warned, "his executive credentials are thin." A third disputed the idea that Lula scares international investors.New and Improved Leadership?In your article "Can Lula Lead?" (world affairs, Oct. 21), John Maguire, senior managing director of New York-based Medley Global Advisers, is quoted as saying that if Lula...

The Road Back From Perdition

Joseph Balzer has loved flying since his very first time in a plane, at age 7. He still recalls vividly the sound of the old Ford-built prop plane and the feeling that came over him as soon as it left the ground.He can also recall what he thought was going to be his last flight 12 years ago.

On Guard, A Year Later

The problem with grading how the government has done in protecting us since September 11, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge told me last winter, "is that the only thing people will ever really notice is failure." Step by step, Ridge may be making the homeland "a little bit safer every day," as he promised then.


Money Trail Freezing the Terrorist Cash StashesDespite questions raised last week by the United Nations, Bush administration officials insist their worldwide campaign to eradicate financiers of terrorism has dramatically curbed Osama bin Laden's ability to raise cash for new Qaeda attacks.

The World's New Culture Meccas

Austin, USA: Southern Sound FactoryHank Stringer has no doubt who butters his bread. Two years ago he moved his recruitment company,, to the old Austin Opry House.


AFGHANISTANHow Best To Help?With the Loya Jirga a success and a new government in place, the situation in Afghanistan was looking up. The Bush administration was set to review its "where now?" goals.

Greed R.I.P. (For Now)

On the one hand, Alan Greenspan said the merely obvious last week during that speech to Congress in which he claimed "an infectious greed" had contaminated American business. "It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past," he said. "It is that the venues to express greed had grown so enormously." On the other hand you had tomarvel that the high priest of free-market capitalism, once a disciple of the radically unsentimental libertarian Ayn Rand, should be talking...

Credibility Gap Redux

Two recent television docudramas suggest lessons for how leaders can level with the public in a time of war. In one, Winston Churchill told citizens the truth about security lapses leading up to World War II.

Films: Extreme Art House

Peter PlagensThe short answer is: a bunch of nattily dressed 1930s types doing weird, pointless deeds in the Chrysler Building. The long answer includes a destruction derby in the lobby, an art-deco elevator filled to the brim with cement, an intermission and the prosthetic genitals of an entirely new sex.

Back To Oscar's Roots

The Oscars are in a new venue, but the location is actually very Old Hollywood. This year's ceremony will take place in the Kodak Theater, located at (and named for) the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland.

Down-Home Diplomacy

There was no vestige of the cold-war chill in Crawford, Texas, last week. President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, had Russian President Vladimir Putin down to their Prairie Chapel Ranch for a dose of diplomacy, Texas style.

Hiding Out In The U.S.A.?

Ronald L. Kuby is intimately acquainted with Islamic bombing plots in the United States. The Manhattan attorney defended or assisted more than a dozen people implicated in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the foiled attempt to blow up a series of New York landmarks in that same year.

Rome, Fearful City

Rome's Piazza di Spagna is famous as a meeting place for tourists and Italians alike, a place to see and be seen. But this week, it became a symbol of all that is happening in and to America and the perceived danger that faces not only Americans but their allies.Metal detectors were installed inside the American Express office just off the piazza.

The New New York

"There are roughly three New Yorks," E. B. White wrote in his slender paean to the city, "Here Is New York": the city of the native, "who accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable"; the city of the commuter, "devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night," and the city of the immigrant, who "came to New York in quest of something." Of those, White found this last New York--rich with dreams, fueled by striving, promising renewal--to be far and away the greatest.

At Home Away

Eloise had the right idea. A luxury hotel can be a grand place to live, and not just for impish little girls. These days so many people want to be permanent residents of five-star establishments that innkeepers from Bali to Key Biscayne, Fla., have gone on a building binge, constructing private homes attached to or affiliated with their full-service hotels.

Brazil's Turn To Hurt?

South America's two giants, Brazil and Argentina, have long been intense competitors. They have sparred in every field, from football to finance, and spent much of the past century vying for the cash and attention of the rest of the world.

Had All Your Shots?

Think chickenpox is just a childhood disease? Think again. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells of a 23-year-old mother in good health.

Arts Extra: Cutting The Clutter

After engaging an architect to design a house, most couples begin the first meeting with a discussion of their functional requirements: "I want a big kitchen." Or specific rooms: "Let's talk about the foyer." Or lifestyle: "We entertain a lot." But to get a house that really fits your needs, you have to get up-close and personal and discuss your habits.

Playing With Pain Killers

Over The Past Decade, Doctors Have Focused New Energy On Managing Their Patients' Pain, And Sales Of Prescription Painkillers Have Tripled Since 1996. For Most People, These Drugs Are A Blessing. For Some, They're A Nightmare.

How Safe Is Your Job?

Pink Slips Are Suddenly Flying Again, As Employers Show A New Willingness To Cast Off Workers At The First Hint Of Trouble. Why This Wave Of Layoffs Is Different, And What Workers Can Do To Prepare For The Worst.