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  • Write stuff: The workshop that shapes American literature

    Write stuff: The workshop that shapes American literature

    The Iowa Writers' Workshop, on its 75th anniversary, offers a window into the state of American letters.

  • How foreign writers make it to US bookshelves

    They have to fight to overcome one glaring statistic: Only 3 percent of the books published in the US each year are books in translation.

  • Harry Potter fans pleased with Pottermore website - and J.K. Rowling

    Harry Potter fans pleased with Pottermore website - and J.K. Rowling

    'We were actually pleased with what it turned out to be,' said one Connecticut teen of the future Pottermore website. Author J.K. Rowling revealed her plans for the Harry Potter fan site Thursday.

  • 'Footloose,' 'Ghostbusters,' and more: Risk-averse Hollywood remakes '80s films

    'Footloose,' 'Ghostbusters,' and more: Risk-averse Hollywood remakes '80s films

    'Footloose' is one of some 30 upcoming movies retreaded from a popular 1980s film. Hollywood hopes the blend of nostalgia and freshness will add up to box office gold.

  • Father's Day 2011: Are men on verge of a manhood crisis?

    Father's Day 2011: Are men on verge of a manhood crisis?

    On a variety of fronts, fatherhood, manhood, and even boyhood seem to be under strain or attack. On Father's Day 2011, maybe the guys could use an extra hug of appreciation.

  • Superhero summer: Behind 'Green Lantern' and the rest, an American story

    Superhero summer: Behind 'Green Lantern' and the rest, an American story

    'Green Lantern' is just one of the comic book heroes on the big screen this summer. With their popcorn, moviegoers will be consuming tales molded by the American immigrant experience.

  • Father's Day: why dads are more engaged ... and more absent

    Father's Day: why dads are more engaged ... and more absent

    Two distinct trends characterize fatherhood on Father's Day: Educated fathers are spending more time than ever with their kids, but poorer fathers are often absent altogether.

  • Father's Day: Top 5 US cities for Dads

    Father's Day: Top 5 US cities for Dads

    By Newsweek/Daily Beast Spokane? Fairmont? The origins of Father’s Day remain disputed – Spokane, Washington, often lays claim to holding the first modern Father’s Day in 1910 – but the first recorded Father’s Day celebration, in Fairmont, West Virginia, was anything but celebratory. More than a thousand children were left fatherless after the Monongah Mine disaster in 1907 killed more than 350 men. In July 1908, Father’s Day was held to honor the fathers lost in the disaster and, indeed, all Fairmont fathers. These days, of course, a new tie or a dinner out are more synonymous with Father’s Day than actually honoring dad. But that got us thinking – which cities do the best job of making dad’s job a little easier, year-round? Mirroring our Best Cities for Moms ranking, we decided to take a look at a few universal factors that can make a dad’s life more pleasant, and maybe more fun. Does a city have good schools? Does it have plenty of opportunities this Father’s Day for Dad to sneak off and play a few holes, or grab a beer and catch a baseball game? Again, almost all of the factors we looked at could apply to either Mom or Dad—but this month it’s Dad’s turn to take a break. IN PICTURES: Fathers around the world To compile the rankings, we started with the 100 biggest cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. We then looked five factors, equally weighted, to tell us about the quality of life for resident fathers, using the most recent available data: Dads-per-capita: The percentage of fathers in each city with one or more children under 18 years old, according to the Census. Educational quality: The overall caliber of public schools in each city based on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best. Scores are from Great Schools, which ranks schools based on standardized test performance. Quality time with kids: Sure there are lots of things Dad can do with the kids, but we decided to look at a ubiquitous American classic, played in big cities and small towns across the country: little league (specifically, the number of little leagues-per-dad), with data from Citysearch. Cardiologists: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men age 25-54, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For Dad’s health, we decided to look at the number of cardiologists-per-dad, with data from HealthGrades. HealthGrades doctors must be affiliated with a high-quality hospital, free of state sanctions, disciplinary actions, malpractice judgments, and monetary settlements in the last five years, and be board certified in his/her practice specialty. Father’s Day fun: Again, we used Citysearch to find the number of public golf courses and sports bars-per-dad in each city. Do you live in a father-friendly city? Read on to find out.

  • 'Green Lantern' is opening. Does it appeal only to white American males?

    'Green Lantern' is opening. Does it appeal only to white American males?

    As movies bring classic comic books to the screen, some critics say they are mining the genre's early period, which featured less diversity than it does now. 'Green Lantern' is a case in point.

  • Did revamp of 'Spider-Man' musical do enough to save itself?

    Did revamp of 'Spider-Man' musical do enough to save itself?

    'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' debuted on Broadway Tuesday. It was a revamped version of the unfinished show critics panned in February.

  • Taking on the Tonys: Is 'War Horse' the best play or 'a puppet show'?

    Taking on the Tonys: Is 'War Horse' the best play or 'a puppet show'?

    'War Horse,' which involves complex puppetry, won best play at the Tonys. 'The Book of Mormon,' written by the creators of 'South Park,' won best musical. Is this a step forward or backward?

  • Slump in construction industry creates a Sheetrock ghost town

    Slump in construction industry creates a Sheetrock ghost town

    The Sheetrock producing Empire, Nev., will become a ghost town June 20. The isolated company town quit mining gypsum and dry wall production this year as a result of the construction industry slump.

  • Parkersburg, Iowa, emerges as model for tornado recovery

    Parkersburg, Iowa, emerges as model for tornado recovery

    Parkersburg paired FEMA aid with small-town work ethic to rebuild. It could be a template for other tornado-damaged towns.

  • Forget the pirates and newbie X-men: This summer is all about the small films

    Forget the pirates and newbie X-men: This summer is all about the small films

    Though the summer movie slate includes a record 27 prequels, sequels, and spinoffs, it it still shaping up to be a great year for smaller, specialty films, say experts.

  • Jack Kevorkian drove the debate on physician-assisted suicide

    Jack Kevorkian drove the debate on physician-assisted suicide

    Jack Kevorkian, who died Thursday, was a controversial figure who confronted one of society’s most profound ethical issues: Should a physician be able to help a person commit suicide?

  • Wolf wars: Can man and predator coexist in the West?

    Wolf wars: Can man and predator coexist in the West?

    As the gray wolf comes off the Endangered Species list, new questions swirl about whether the animal can survive without federal protection – and its impact on cattle and other wildlife. The view from one ranch.

  • What's at stake in Google's plan to digitize all the world's books

    What's at stake in Google's plan to digitize all the world's books

    Google, publishers, and authors asked a judge for another 60 days Wednesday to hammer out a deal to make Google Books a reality. The agreement could shape the nascent industry.

  • Why it's so hard to win the war against US oxycodone epidemic

    Why it's so hard to win the war against US oxycodone epidemic

    Oxycodone dispensers are protected. Abusers are hard to ID. And the drug claims more lives than cocaine, heroin, meth.

  • How a savage ballpark beating improved the LAPD's image

    How a savage ballpark beating improved the LAPD's image

    The brutal beating of a Giants fan at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day shook the entire city and led to a wave of cooperation with the LAPD – and renewed appreciation for its hard work.

  • Parks around the US face economic stress this Memorial Day

    Parks around the US face economic stress this Memorial Day

    Visitors to national and state parks on Memorial Day may face reduced hours and services. States have budget problems, and national parks have nearly $11 billion in deferred maintenance.

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