What makes for a peaceful society? Hot spots from Congo to the Middle East would benefit from such knowledge. But so would the United States, which, at home, isn’t always so harmonious and abroad, is still at war in Afghanistan. The Institute for Economics and Peace, an international research group, has come up with eight ingredients for more peaceful societies. They’re laid out in a report, “Structures of Peace,” based on the institute’s annual Global Peace Index and more than 300 data sets from around the world. The US does pretty well on five of them, but falls far short on three key ingredients. Michael Shank, vice president of the institute’s US office gives his take on eight ingredients America needs to reap the economic and social benefits of peace.
Is your car ready for winter? The average age of a vehicle in the United States is 11 years, which means that many cars on the road today have been through more than a few winters. Fortunately, most cars manufactured in the last 15 years are built to withstand the test of time – and weather – provided they receive the proper care. This is especially important during the winter months when cold weather can take a toll on older vehicles. Simple maintenance and good driving habits can help lengthen vehicle life, prevent costly repairs, and most importantly, ensure that you arrive at your winter destinations safe and sound. Here's a six-point checklist for winterizing your high-mileage vehicle:
Christopher Hitchens, who passed away this week in Houston at age 62, was remembered for his one-liners and willingness to write or speak about any controversial subject. Over the years, he published books including 'God Is Not Great' and the collection of essays that came out this September, 'Arguably.' He also wrote for Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Slate and the magazine The Nation and often served as a TV commentator. Here are some of his more memorable opinions.
One of the best ways to teach kids about money is to make it fun. There are plenty of toys and games – even books – that do just that. Here are my 15 recommendations for money toys and games that entertain as well as teach something about how to handle cash, ATM cards, debt, and so on. These money games and toys are age-specific, so click through to the age of the child you plan to buy for. (Descriptions include links to examples from Amazon.com, but there are many alternatives you can find).
I've often thought that Ebenezer Scrooge's famous indictment of holiday well-wishers would make a terrific set-up for a mystery. "If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." Failing that, here are five 2011 mysteries for the suspense lover on your Christmas list. A legend returns, officially; murder pays a visit to Austen; an Old Bailey hack reminds us how much we miss his creator; a Scottish writer returns to old haunts with a new hero; and a freelance journalist stumbles onto murder and Noel Coward impersonators in rural Michigan.
Henry Clay. Al Smith. Thomas E. Dewey. Their names probably prompt hazy recollections of high school history class – but not much else. By missing out on the presidency, many would say they lost their place in history, too. But even those who didn't take the oath on Inauguration Day had their impact. Here are five great examples from Scott Farris's new book 'Almost President: The Men Who Lost the Race but Changed the Nation.'
Newt Gingrich is a big ideas guy. Ask anybody. Some of the ideas end up working, like the one a couple of decades ago that the Republican Party could actually take control of the House after 40 years of Democratic rule. Others are a little out there. An elaborate system of space mirrors to light highways? Check. Say what you will, but at least the former House speaker – and now the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination – has a fertile imagination. Here are some of his more unusual ideas.
It's on all the bestseller lists and it is definitely the book of the moment. 'Clockwork Prince' is the second in author Cassandra Clare's projected 'Infernal Devices' trilogy (which is in itself a prequel to Clare's popular 'Mortal Instruments' series). 'Clockword Prince' is set in a Victorian London with angels, vampires, and warlocks where a heroine named Tessa gets caught in the war between the strange Magister and the demon-fighters known as the Shadowhunters. With her companions, the moody Will and frail but kind Jem, Tessa must journey to a manor house that holds secrets of Tessa's past and present-day horrors for all three. But once you've read 'The Clockwork Prince' – what next? Here are a few books to keep you entertained at least until Book No. 3 of 'Infernal Devices" comes along.
In his new book 'World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business As We Knew It,' former Fast Company editor-in-chief John A. Byrne offers advice for those who want to be entrepreneurs along with insights from those who have already made it. Here are 10 of the 25 businesspeople that Byrne names in his book as game-changers.
By 2050 most of the world will live in cities, a shift that will influence culture, investment, and policy. Here are the top spots for projected growth, according to the London-based City Mayors Foundation, which studies urban affairs: Sources: City mayors, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, US Department of State, websites of cities
Social policies are a defining issue in this, or any, Republican race. With the GOP electorate increasingly focused on social issues in recent decades, their leaders' views have shifted in kind. At stake: the support of the powerful evangelical conservatives, so-called values voters for whom social issues like abortion are deciding factors. While they have their differences, all the main candidates espouse conservative social values. Take a look at where each of them stands.
Before Congress shuts out the lights and goes home for the holidays, one last bit of business is to extend the tax breaks or tax fixes that, though designated “temporary,” get renewed year after year. They are typically grist for some of the most important dealmaking in any session. Sixty-seven tax provisions are set to expire Dec. 31. At least half are typically extended retroactively.
Plenty of bookstores vanished this year, but books sure didn't. More readers discovered the joys of reading them on screens, leaning in to peruse everything from blockbuster bios and zombie adventures to the latest hot novels from the chilly confines of Scandinavia. Here's a look at 10 stories that captivated us as we turned the pages of 2011:
In politics, a gaffe is often described as a "truth told by accident." Mitt Romney has had relatively few of them during his time in politics, but lately, the former governor of Massachusetts has had a bunch. The most recent: a leaked video that shows Mr. Romney dismissing President Obama’s supporters as ‘victims,’ dependent on government. The video stoked criticism of how the candidate’s unforced errors are preempting debate on Mr. Obama’s record, especially on jobs and the economy. Here’s a list of the most memorable verbal missteps.
If Mom and Dad want to use an an iPad, why shouldn't Junior get a tablet computer, too? Many parents appear to be following that line of reasoning, judging by the popularity of tablet-style toys and gadgets this holiday season. Not that everyone loves the idea. Many child-development experts say it's best for kids not to have too much "screen time" each day, for one thing. At the same time, there's a long tradition of kids using gadgets modeled on those used by adults. For shoppers weighing a purchase, here's a look at five options that have been reviewed by Consumer Reports or other reviewers.
Houses have an almost magical ability to accumulate junk, and everyone seems to have stuff they don’t really want and won’t ever use. Instead of letting that box of unused electronics or your great aunt’s porcelain cat collection turn you into an unwilling hoarder, why not sell it off and make some extra cash? You can try doing it yourself (check out 13 Tips for a Super Yard Sale) or take your stuff to a local consignment shop (although you’re going to pay a large commission fee – at least 40 percent of the sale price, according to MSN). Like everything else these days, online is where’s happening. But if you want to earn top dollar, make sure you target the right market:
You've undoubtedly read Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!," but did you know that the Rankin/Bass TV favorite "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (you know, the one with the Snow Miser and the Heat Miser) also began as a children's book? For millions of children today Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without certain beloved TV specials. But here's to remembering that the best of the lot all came from the printed page.
The Opportunity Project (opportunityindex.org) calls itself a campaign to promote "access to the American Dream." Its state-by-state report ranks upward mobility. Instead of looking only at gross domestic product and poverty, the index weighs such things as household income, percentage of children in preschool, and crime. Here are 5 states that scored high in the Opportunity Project's report.
Everyone has Google on his or her computer these days – and that includes publishers. So why, in this day and age, would any author dare to plagiarize from the work of another? Nevertheless, the accusations continue to fly. Currently, Lenore Hart, author of "The Raven's Bride" is the latest on the hot seat, defending herself against charges that she plagiarized from another novel about Edgar Allan Poe's wife. Her publisher says she's innocent. While the outcome of the Hart incident is still to be determined, here are five high-profile cases in which an author was accused of plagiarism and fraud. Each – in its own way – rocked the book world in its time.
Thailand's lèse-majesté laws, which include prohibitions on posting anti-monarchy slurs online, are among the world's strictest, meriting jail terms of 3 to 15 years, and in some cases, more. The rising number of lèse-majesté accusations comes as the reign of octogenarian King Bhumibol Adulyadej nears its end. Some worry that a crackdown could intensify as Thailand prepares for a transition. While it's rare for foreigners to be prosecuted, they aren't exempt. Here are four high profile cases in the past decade, three of which involve foreigners: