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  • 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.
    03/29/2011 02:34 pm

  • 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.
    03/29/2011 12:50 pm

  • 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:
    03/28/2011 12:08 pm

  • 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:
    03/28/2011 09:49 am

  • 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:
    03/28/2011 12:15 am

  • 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.
    03/25/2011 05:34 pm

  • 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.
    03/25/2011 12:32 pm

  • 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?
    03/24/2011 05:28 pm

  • 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.
    03/24/2011 03:15 pm

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

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.
    03/24/2011 11:07 am

  • 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:
    03/23/2011 06:56 pm

  • 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.
    03/23/2011 04:37 pm

  • Health care law's future: four scenarios

    One year ago, President Barack Obama signed a sweeping health-care law to fulfill a long-standing Democratic pledge to ensure health-care coverage for all Americans. Passage of the law was a major legislative victory for Obama and helped change the political landscape, but not always in the way Democrats had hoped. Republicans strongly opposed the law and successfully worked public skepticism about it into sweeping election victories in November. Here's a look at the uncertain future of the health care law:
    03/23/2011 03:18 pm

  • Elizabeth Taylor: 5 best biographies

    Much talent, many marriages, and great beauty. Such is the legend of Elizabeth Taylor, who died today at the age of 79. Taylor – indisputably one of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden era – attracted prodigious amounts of press coverage throughout her lengthy career. Here are a handful of the best books that chronicle her life.
    03/23/2011 12:25 pm

  • Five senators push Obama to do more in Libya

    While President Obama predicts US forces could disengage from Libya within the week, Senate hawks who pressed for military intervention watch closely to see that the mission's goals are fulfilled. Critics, including conservatives, say they are leading the nation into endless, costly wars. Here’s how the hawks respond – and what they say should happen next.
    03/22/2011 08:51 pm

  • Eight low-tech ways to revive broken gadgets

    Mouthwash. Rice. A handful of quarters. What do these household items have in common? They constitute the perfect emergency-repair kit for gadgets. When device disasters strike and warranties turn their backs on you, it's time to get in touch with your inner MacGyver. So, here are eight low-tech solutions to high-tech disasters.
    03/22/2011 05:30 pm

  • Opinion Yemen: six 'facts' to question

    With Yemen in upheaval, US pundits have peddled inflated fears about the threat it poses. While it’s easy to identify risk factors, circumstances don’t spell the kind of chaos Americans most fear, nor do they validate US support for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. His unpopular government has little moral or logistical ground to stand on. After a violent government crackdown on protesters Friday, three key military leaders have defected to the opposition, in addition to numerous other diplomats and lawmakers. But this doesn’t necessarily spell a victory for democracy. Sheila Carapico, a professor of political science and international relations at The University of Richmond and American University in Cairo debunks six claims about the tumult in Yemen.
    03/22/2011 04:33 pm

  • UN resolution on Libya: Does it let allies target Qaddafi?

    On March 17, The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973, an international rebuke of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. But how far does the resolution go? Here are the four ways UN Resolution 1973 changes the conflict in Libya.
    03/21/2011 07:36 pm

  • Four ways Japan disaster affects investors

    When the world’s third-largest economy is hit with its worst earthquake ever, a tsunami, and a subsequent nuclear crisis, the human and physical toll has been enormous. The disaster is also sending ripples through the world economy. Here is a look at four ways the Japanese crisis changes the investment landscape:
    03/21/2011 07:06 pm

  • Eight ways $100 oil may affect you

    In recent weeks, the price of a barrel of oil has stayed at about $100 a barrel, and gasoline prices have been edging closer to $4 a gallon. The costs are apparently due to events half a world away, in the Middle East. Even though plenty of oil is around, there is fear of further disruptions, and consumers, business people, and politicians have all been making adjustments. Here are eight ways that higher energy prices are starting to affect America.
    03/21/2011 06:16 pm

  • Can AT&T buy T-Mobile? Five key factors.

    The proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile presents the Obama administration with a major anti-trust dilemma. Federal regulators will consider several factors to determine whether to allow the two telecom competitors to merge:
    03/21/2011 04:45 pm

  • Opinion Nuclear power in America: Five reasons why it's safe and reliable

    Though the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant appears to be stabilizing, the United States is stepping up inspections of the country’s 104 nuclear reactors. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced that inspectors will soon visit all US reactors to ensure they can withstand the kind of “severe accident” that led to Japan’s emergency. That emergency has caused many Americans to wonder about the future of nuclear power. Is it safe and dependable? Yes, says Tony Pietrangelo, chief nuclear officer and senior vice president of the Nuclear Energy Institute (the organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry). Here’s why:
    03/21/2011 04:38 pm

  • NCAA Tournament 2011: Top buzzer-beaters and wild finishes (VIDEO)

    With 64 of the 68 teams in the field eliminated, the NCAA Tournament lived up to its reputation in the first two weekends of play, complete with shocking upsets, heart-pounding finishes, controversies, and a school from Richmond called Virginia Commonwealth. Here’s our top list of wild and crazy finishes from the second third rounds, the Sweet 16, and the Elite Eight.
    03/21/2011 02:29 pm

  • Nuclear safety: Five recent 'near miss' incidents at US nuclear power plants

    Fourteen safety-related events at nuclear power plants required follow-up inspections from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC reported in 2010. These "near-miss" events "raised the risk of damage to the reactor core – and thus to the safety of workers and the public," concluded a new report, "The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010," by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here are five of these 14 "near miss" examples:
    03/18/2011 08:28 pm

  • Graduate schools of business: Harvard (gasp!) no longer No. 1

    Graduate schools of business saw some reshuffling of rankings this year as US News & World Report downgraded perennial No. 1 Harvard and crowned a new undisputed champion. The business schools, part of US News's broader survey of all graduate schools, were ranked using nine measures. In one category, however, the Top 5 business schools were very evenly matched. Tuition ranged narrowly from $48,550 to $53,118 a year. Here's a look at the Top 5:
    03/18/2011 02:46 pm

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
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