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  • The best online April Fools' pranks of 2011

    The best online April Fools' pranks of 2011

    April Fools' Day tends to be a bonanza for tech pranksters – from Twitter-only newspapers to upside-down YouTube pages and browsers that read your facial expressions. This year was no different. Click through for a look at the funniest Web gags of 2011.

  • 12 books Seth Godin thinks you should read

    12 books Seth Godin thinks you should read

    Nonprofit group TED asks some of the world's most fascinating thinkers to share both ideas and reading lists. Here's a list of the 12 books recommended by entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin.

  • April Fool's Day history: five best-ever pranks

    April Fool's Day history: five best-ever pranks

    April Fool's Day history has been marked by many good pranks, but here are five of the most creative ever.

  • Unemployment down? For these five cities, it has gone up.

    Unemployment down? For these five cities, it has gone up.

    Unemployment has fallen to 8.8 percent, the lowest rate in two years. In March, the economy added 216,000 new jobs. But the recovery is leaving some US metros behind. Already mired in above-average joblessness, their unemployment rate is now higher than what it was when the recovery began in June 2009. Here’s a look at five of these wrong-direction metros:

  • Book club alert: 3 good picks for April

    Book club alert: 3 good picks for April

    Travel might be broadening, but in this case, it changes the course of three people's lives. The three main characters in this month's fiction roundup were born 100 years apart and on three different continents, but they all end up in the same place – the United States. Two are brought against their will as children and one makes the journey as an adult, 24 years later than she had planned.

  • Bestselling books the week of 3/31/11, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of 3/31/11, according to IndieBound*

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.

  • 10 bits of baseball history I learned from "A Game of Inches"

    10 bits of baseball history I learned from "A Game of Inches"

    "A Game of Inches" by Peter Morris takes present-day readers on a tour of baseball's origins. Here are 10 interesting glimpses into the game of the past – and how it impacts baseball as we know it today.

  • The five best online April Fools' pranks

    The five best online April Fools' pranks

    Every April Fools' Day, tech-savvy pranksters jam up the Web with a range of gags and jokes. We survey some of the best online April Fools' pranks, from upside-down You Tube videos to the promise of real, live Facebook pokes.

  • How Syria and other countries use emergency rule to quash dissent

    How Syria and other countries use emergency rule to quash dissent

    The concept of emergency rule has been at the forefront of much of the Mideast unrest. Some countries have been in a “state of emergency” for decades, long after their citizens felt any threat still existed. Others have only recently implemented the emergency laws, in an effort to quell uprisings turned too large and violent for the governments to rein in. Although meant to help a country in times of danger, emergency law has sometimes been turned into a political tool.

  • Budget battle: Four points of advice from Ike

    Opinion Budget battle: Four points of advice from Ike

    We can only begin to imagine the depth of the political fissures once Congress seriously addresses our budget challenges as opposed to punting tough compromises down the road with last-minute, stop-gap spending bills. Just consider the intensity of the heat generated today over the Republicans’ continued resolve to cut “only” $100 billion from President Obama’s proposed budget for this year, which still would leave a massive deficit in excess of $1.4 trillion. Ultimately, Americans must consider a painful, indelicate balance of much larger spending cuts along with tax increases, coupled with the need for crucial investments in our nation’s future. In confronting these agonizing political choices, both parties, and the electorate, would benefit from advice from “Ike.” Such advice can be found in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s memorable (though little remembered) radio and television address on taxes in 1954. The address was delivered on March 15, which was Tax Day back then. Its value lies not in its details but in what he said about the government’s role domestically, about sound budgeting, and about being a “good American.” These words, from a Republican, challenged listeners then regardless of party, as they will challenge listeners today. Mount Holyoke College tax-policy scholar John O. Fox gives us Ike's four critical pieces of advice.

  • Bronx Zoo cobra: her top 4 tweets

    Bronx Zoo cobra: her top 4 tweets

    Bronx Zoo cobra run amok? The Bronx Zoo insists its missing Egyptian cobra is probably hiding on zoo property. But the Twitter account @BronxZoosCobra suggests that the Bronx Zoo cobra is involved in a little Big Apple high jinks. Here are the four funniest tweets.

  • Libya 101: A primer on key battleground cities

    Libya 101: A primer on key battleground cities

    Reports from Libya are a constant flurry of cities gained and lost by Muammar Qaddafi's forces and rebel troops, and it's hard to keep track if you don't know where these cities are or why they matter. Here's an quick explanation, with cities listed west to east.

  • NATO's in charge – so who is doing what in Libya?

    NATO's in charge – so who is doing what in Libya?

    After more than a week of debate about who should have what role in the international intervention in Libya, NATO is set to assume full command. The roles of other nations involved in Libya’s conflict are likely to change as well. What were those roles, and what will they be now?

  • How dangerous is nuclear power? Three lessons from Japan.

    How dangerous is nuclear power? Three lessons from Japan.

    The devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has become the latest poster child for long-standing issues surrounding nuclear energy – issues that need to be resolved to reduce the risk of a similar nuclear crisis in the United States. These range from the seemingly eternal conundrum over dealing with highly radioactive spent fuel, to fire hazards, plant design, and emergency plans, say nuclear engineers and nuclear-safety watchdogs.

  • 10 novels in translation you should know

    10 novels in translation you should know

    The finalists for the 2011 Best Translated Book Award – sponsored by the Three Percent weblog – were announced last week. The winning works of fiction selected were translated from German, Spanish, Afrikaans, Czech, French and Swedish. To read these books is to travel the globe in extraordinary style.

  • Can Adam Smith save your marriage? Four steps of 'Spousonomics'

    Can Adam Smith save your marriage? Four steps of 'Spousonomics'

    Every marriage is a little business. "Economics is about how to allocate scarce resources," says Paula Szuchman, coauthor with Jenny Anderson of "Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes." "That's what married people are trying to do, given that they have limited resources – time, money, patience." Marriage experts and even economists aren't ready to replace Dear Abby with Adam Smith. "Marriage is more than an economic transaction." says Raymond Fisman, a Columbia University economist. Still, he's a fan of the book. Test these four economic principles on your marriage:

  • Tax filing for the jobless: Five ways to trim your tax bill

    Tax filing for the jobless: Five ways to trim your tax bill

    Tax filing is never fun, especially for the unemployed, whose income plunged but who still owe taxes. The Internal Revenue Service tried to ease things a bit last year by not fully taxing the unemployment benefits. That offer has expired. Still, there are ways that the unemployed, and newly employed, can lower their taxes this tax-filing season. Here are five of them:

  • Business news: Five things to watch March 28

    Business news: Five things to watch March 28

    The bulls were in charge last week, taking advantage of a big drop in volatility to stealthily sprint ahead. Stocks will try to keep the momentum going Monday, despite geopolitical risk and more potentially horrid housing data. Here are the Top 5 business news events we're watching for on Monday:

  • NCAA Tournament: Friday's Sweet 16 matchups

    NCAA Tournament: Friday's Sweet 16 matchups

    Arizona dismissed Duke Thursday night, making the Blue Devils the second No. 1 seed sent home in this year's NCAA Tournament. In tonight's Sweet 16 action, four teams from the bottom half of the seeding try to continue their improbable runs and the two remaining No. 1 seeds try and hang on.

  • 9 books Bill Gates thinks you should read

    9 books Bill Gates thinks you should read

    Nonprofit group TED asks some of the world's most fascinating thinkers to share both ideas and reading lists. Here's a list of the nine books recommended by Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

  • NCAA Tournament: Thursday's Sweet 16 matchups

    NCAA Tournament: Thursday's Sweet 16 matchups

    It’s the nature of the NCAA tournament beast. Of the 11 Big East Conference teams that made the tournament field, two remain (Connecticut and Marquette). That’s the same number of Mountain West Conference teams still competing in the round of 16 (BYU and San Diego State). The field has already lost a No. 1 seed (Pittsburgh), and sees four teams from the bottom half of the seeding still breathing (No. 12 Richmond, two No. 11 seeds: Virginia Commonwealth and Marquette, and No. 10 Florida State). Oh, and Butler’s back. Here’s our rundown of Thursday's Sweet 16 matchups. YOUR PICKS: Who do you have moving into the Elite Eight?

  • What Wisconsin says about labor unions' clout in America

    What Wisconsin says about labor unions' clout in America

    The clash that led Wisconsin to limit the collective-bargaining rights of public-sector unions was fed by a mix of a tea-party-backed Republican resurgence, the fiscal crisis facing state governments, and the unions’ fight to preserve power. Here are seven questions the Wisconsin union protest raised about the role of unions in the US.

  • Bestselling books the week of 3/24/11, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of 3/24/11, according to IndieBound*

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.

  • Guns in government buildings? Four controversial gun rights bills in Arizona.

    Guns in government buildings? Four controversial gun rights bills in Arizona.

    The Arizona Legislature is considering an array of bills that would ease state gun control. The bills have generated controversy, since they were crafted only weeks after the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and wounded US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others. Among the gun-related bills working their way through the Republican-controlled legislature:

  • Six ways to improve US relations in the new Middle East

    Opinion Six ways to improve US relations in the new Middle East

    The United States has an image problem in the Middle East. Years of supporting regional dictators and occupying Iraq have undermined influence. The current upheaval provides a rare opportunity for the US to reset regional relations. For years, US strategic interests, such as securing access to oil, counting allies in the fight against terror, or countering Iranian influence, trumped anemic calls in Washington for reform. But it is actually a US strategic interest to stand up for democracy, as open countries are inherently more prosperous, capable of upholding rule of law, and stable in the long-term. Initiating military action in Libya makes a transparent vision for engagement in the region imperative. Foreign policy expert Adam Hinds lists six decisive steps President Obama must take.

 
 
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