Preparedness board game sure to be a downer for the whole family

Roll the dice and find out what homeland security disaster awaits you.

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Poverty, Inc.

Author Gary Rivlin discusses how the working poor became big business.

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Anchor babies

Illegal alien. Border hopper. Wetback. Now – “anchor baby.” The current language for undocumented people in this country allows us to think that immigration status defines a person’s basic humanity and right to dignity.

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My father’s battle with modern healthcare

This Father’s Day, Kavitha Rajagopalan looks at her father’s battle with an unexplained neurological condition and the nation’s battle for healthcare reform.

Useful fiction, or some lessons from ’Glee’

Television shows for American teens are ripe with sentimental moments. Over the years I’ve watched plenty of them, and part of the pleasure is being able to discuss the storylines and characters with my teenage patients. Onscreen fictions often provide us with an entry point to conversations that are personal, about relationships, fears, vulnerability and [...]

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Joanna Kavenna on the labor of ‘Birth’

Novelist Joanna Kavenna discusses the creative process of turning a real-life person into a fictional character for her new novel, “The Labor of Love.”

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Challenged and gifted: A lesson on dyslexia from Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom is famous for his roles in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Lord of the Rings,” among others, but not many people are aware that he came of age with dyslexia. “I was an angry, angry child at times,” Bloom told me, reflecting on the challenges he faced growing up with a learning [...]

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Graham Greene: Patron saint of bad travel

Graham Greene knows the miseries of travel. But he also understands why we go again anyway, even when we feel we barely made it back from that last trip alive.

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License-plate readers becoming a fixture in local police arsenals

Automatic license-plate readers can give police a wealth of information, including whether a car is stolen or if the driver has unpaid tickets. But opponents say they violate privacy.

How to commit the perfect crime

Note: Dan Ariely’s new book, “The Upside of Irrationality,” was released this week. See the video below for more from Dan about the book. There is a certain perverse pleasure in contemplating the perfect crime. You can apply your ingenuity to the hypothetical issues of choosing a target, evading surveillance and law enforcement, dealing with [...]

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Fifty years later, still ‘Breathless’

Half-a-century old this year, Jean-Luc Godard’s first film, “Breathless,” has long held a place in the highest of cinematic pantheons. This is the echelon reserved for movies that start revolutions, that come to stand for things larger than themselves, that are — in other words — much more than just movies. (“The Birth of a [...]

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A writer leaves journalism to find truth in fiction

Novelist Lorraine Adams had another life as a journalist. A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post, she left the newspaper after 11 years and published her first and widely acclaimed novel, “Harbor,” in 2004. She brought her knowledge of the hot-button issues of our day — illegal immigration, terrorism, panic about terrorism — [...]

Desi Arnaz in the YouTube era

YouTube, the Internet video download service owned by Google, recently reported that its users are downloading and viewing in excess of 2 billion videos per day, making the number of YouTube eyeballs for the first time greater than the number of eyeballs watching all the commercial television networks put together. Is this the triumph of [...]

For Kagan, don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t need to know

Here is what you absolutely do not “Need to Know” about Elena Kagan: whether or not she is gay. Yet everyone, it seems, is talking about just that in the run-up to next month’s confirmation hearings.

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What it feels like for a girl

When Hilary Hamann’s “Anthropology of an American Girl” first came out in 2003, it seemed natural that this monster of a book — more than 600 pages, all chronicling a few years in the life of a teenage girl in the 1970s — would come from a tiny, unknown publisher. Epics about teenage girls had [...]

Au revoir, Cannes…

A final look at the festival’s films, from the transporting “Aurora” to the glossy “Fair Game” to Godard’s divisive “Film Socialisme” CANNES, France — To be at the Cannes Film Festival is often to feel at once cut off from the world and fully a citizen of it. On the one hand, this is an [...]