On Columbus Day, many Americans observe Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World, which the explorer himself mistakenly thought was India. True, it's not the most exciting holiday on the calendar. It's not even observed in every state, which means Columbus Day comes with a lot of gray area about practical matters, such as who's working and who's not. Here's your practical guide to Columbus Day.
It is not just the baby boomer generation that’s maturing, it’s their cars as well. The average age of a vehicle in the United States is a record 11 years. Moreover, the vast majority of car owners plan to hold onto their cars well past the 150,000-mile mark, according to a recent survey from AutoMD.com, and nearly 80 percent are racking up more miles (up to 50,000 or more) on their current vehicle than their previous one. If you’re driving something built before Facebook or the Y2K millennium bug, here are five tips to keep it humming well beyond the 100,000-mile mark:
The 'super PAC' promises to shake up the 2012 election. This new fundraising heavyweight – which Stephen Colbert famously brought attention to with his own Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow – heralds a new era of 'superspending' in politics. Here are the basics about super PACs and how their emergence may influence elections.
Apple's announcement Wednesday that founder Steve Jobs had died sparked waves of comment across the Internet, as techies and others chose their own ways to note his achievements or mourn his passing. Some recounted their own interactions with Jobs. Others had simple words of gratitude, adding "sent from my iPhone." On Twitter, many people tagged their posts with "#thankyousteve" or "#iSad." Among a multitude of noteworthy tweets, here are five ...
Rin Tin Tin was a magnificent German Shepherd with a great backstory and an unmatched Hollywood career. But more recently he was looking a bit like a fading babyboomer memory. Then, this fall, came the publication of Susan Orlean's book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Suddenly, Rin Tin Tin is trending on Twitter – and finding a whole new place in our hearts. I recently asked Orlean six questions about her book and its regal subject. Here are excerpts of our conversation.
The winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature – one of the highest awards a writer can receive – will be announced on Thursday. All across the world, literati are preparing for the big event in a decidedly plebeian way. They’re betting on the frontrunners. British bookmaker Ladbrokes has ranked the contenders’ odds, according to bets it is accepting online from “clued up literary fans.” Here’s a somewhat surprising look at the top four contenders.
Syria’s uprising is more than six months old and more than 2,700 people have been killed in the regime’s crackdown – and yet President Bashar al-Assad is still in power. That’s due in part to the fact that Mr. Assad still has several critical bases of support in the country, as well as one very important international ally. Here's a look at what they are:
The 2011 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, a notoriously hard-to-predict award, will be announced on Thursday. Here are the winners from the past decade. Some were surprise candidates while others were expected but all – in their own unique styles – caught the attention of the Nobel committee.
The saga of American Amanda Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito – who were found guilty of murdering a young British woman in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007 – came to a close Monday with their convictions overturned on appeal. Both were set free. The path to Monday’s decision has been a long and convoluted one. A look back at several key moments:
Will this crisis ever be over?! The nations of the eurozone seem to be fighting endless battles to address fears about government finances. The worry is that unsustainable national debt loads will result in default, a financial panic, or a costly repair effort that puts a squeeze on the economy in Europe and beyond. Here's a backgrounder on the problem, its consequences, and possible ways forward.
If you have found yourself in foreclosure – or having to sell your home without making a dime – it probably seems like the end of the world, or at least your life. But here’s a word of advice: Snap out of it! As two homeowners who have had their homes foreclosed, we not only survived, we’ve flourished. And so can you. Here's how:
Why do books get banned from schools and libraries? Even readers who disagree with the practice of banning can comprehend that books heavy on sex and/or violence can polarize decision-makers when it comes to young readers. But there are other books – titles like "Where's Waldo?" or "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" – whose presence on a banned book list seems completely mysterious. The following 20 books seem innocent to many, but they have nonetheless raised reader objections at one time or another.
"Dancing with the Stars," now in its 13th season on ABC, offers its celebrity contenders a huge amount of exposure – but not much of a career boost. Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis, bounced Tuesday in the second round, is likely to go back to her preshow level of popularity, as have most of the 160 "Dancing With the Stars" contestants. But a few have bucked the trend. Using the show's extraordinary exposure – this year's premiere netted 18.6 million viewers, nearly six times the highest ratings that DWTS contestant Nancy Grace ever got on her eponymous HLN show and more than double what DWTS competitor and US soccer goalie Hope Solo got in the Women’s World Cup final this summer – these five contestants have seen their careers take off. Can you guess who was tops?
Do you think your city has the worst rush hour? No, Los Angeles, it’s not you. And New York, fugetaboutit. On Tuesday, the Texas Transportation Institute, part of Texas A&M University in College Station, released its annual rankings, based on such things as yearly delay per commuter and travel time to and from work. Here are the five US cities that ranked as having the worst traffic congestion last year.
In all likelihood, Amazon’s hotly anticipated press conference scheduled for Sept. 28 in New York will introduce its latest weapon in the tablet wars: the Amazon Kindle tablet. The new entrant in the tablet world promises to shake up the industry and threaten Apple iPad’s dominance. Rumors have been circulating for months about the Amazon Kindle tablet. Here’s what sleuthing techies have discovered so far:
A year ago, President Obama wowed the United Nations General Assembly by announcing that he looked forward to welcoming an independent Palestine into the community of nations in 12 months. Yet there he was last week, explaining why he would veto a Palestinian statehood bid in the UN Security Council. Mr. Obama, who made Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority from the outset of his administration, is now the US leader with incongruously bad relations with the Arab world. Here are three key causes of the deterioration in relations – and three steps that the United States can take to mend ties.
Each year during Banned Books Week, the American Library Association tells us which titles available in public US libraries and schools received the most complaints or challenges during the previous year. In 2010, it seems, it was modern bestsellers – rather than classics from earlier decades – that provoked the most heat. Banned Books Week 2011 is being observed from Sept. 24 - Oct. 1.
Falling satellite trackers at NASA say it will hit Friday night or Saturday morning and has a small chance of crashing in the US. But the precise track and timing of the falling satellite is still hard to predict. What is known is that events like this have happened before. From NASA rockets to Soviet satellites – including debris that actually hit someone – the history of falling space junk is long. Here are 10 other pieces of space junk that have survived the blazing voyage through Earth's atmosphere.
Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson scored a rhetorical winner in a Republican debate Thursday by saying that his neighbor's dogs 'have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.' But President Obama's latest jobs plan includes a call for more spending on roads and bridges, an idea that has at least some Republican support. Here's a look at the debate over infrastructure and the economy.
Ready or not, it’s the first day of fall, also known as the September, fall, or autumnal equinox. It’s a time marked as much by the emergence of wayfaring leaf peepers as it is by celestial coincidences. Sure, it happens every year, but this time you’ll be able to impress your friends with your budding seasonal knowledge. Take a look at the things you ought to know.
Stock markets have been swinging wildly of late. Even though corporate earnings have shown strength over the past year and not all economic indicators have been gloomy, investors are on edge. Uncertainty looms on several fronts – from concerns about the basic health of the economy to doubts about fiscal policies in the United States and Europe. Here's a look at the forces weighing on investors' outlook:
Members of the gay community responded to GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's less-than-flattering words about them by getting revenge on Google. A Google search for his name yields a less-than-flattering definition. But we're drawn to the moral of the story: casual Internet searching without context can be problematic for the subject of the search. Here are seven other politicians whose names yield curious search results.