Coast Guard faces funding cuts despite oil spill, other disasters

Members of Congress are questioning whether cuts proposed by the Obama Administration for the U.S. Coast Guard are the right idea in light of the recent Gulf oil spill and other headline-grabbing incidents that occurred this year.

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Travels in the Arctic for the indoor adventurer

In “The Magnetic North,” Sara Wheeler travels across the Arctic Circle, blending Norse myths, personal travelogue, journalism, history and literature.

Windows for free? Well, sort of.

It is difficult to compete with something that is free, but Microsoft — the world’s largest maker of computer software — is trying to do just that, taking on Google’s free web-based productivity applications with its own free web-based version of Microsoft Office 2010 just announced this week. That’s a tough task for Microsoft because [...]

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The double life of Cannes

CANNES, France — The Cannes Film Festival opened Wednesday night, as it often does, giving the red-carpet treatment to a big-budget, star-driven spectacle on the eve of its international release. Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood,” a “Braveheart”-like load of medieval hooey with no shortage of flaming arrows and exploding fireballs, didn’t exactly win over critics, but [...]

A place for optimism in a new, uncertain world

Since the economic bust and resulting recession, people often ask me whether I’m optimistic about our future. When we think about optimism from the perspective of behavioral economics, two important questions come to mind in light of our present circumstances. First, where do we naturally fall on the range from pessimism to optimism? And second, [...]

How can we help our kids feel safe in unsafe times?

Last week, when news broke about the Times Square bomber, I was traveling between New York and Florida. Perhaps because I was in airports, I found myself thinking more than usual about fear and anxiety in post-9/11 America. When Faisal Shahzad’s face and Nissan Pathfinder appeared on major news networks, my wife and I had [...]

How to help your child connect, online and off

When parents talk to me about their kids’ well-being, they usually raise concerns about the bonds formed at school, friendships that are increasingly maintained through cell phone texts, instant messages and chats on social networking sites like Facebook. Parents tell me that they’re not only worried about “cyber-bullying,” but also they’re nervous about the impact [...]

What’s fueling the feud between Apple and Adobe?

You probably missed this unless you are a geek, but the equivalent of a nerdy blood feud has been taking place between two Silicon Valley giants — Adobe Systems and Apple. The fight is over an Adobe product called Flash that is running right now in your computer but doesn’t run — and apparently never [...]

Fake debate: The Senate will not vote on big banks

A growing number of senators insist we should do more to reduce the size and limit the leverage of megabanks. But the debate might never reach the Senate floor.

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The battle for Kandahar

The biggest offensive of the 9-year war in Afghanistan may be about to begin.

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Five titles to look forward to this summer

For many years, publishing suffered from the same blockbuster mentality as the movie industry. Things that go boom or rom-coms in the summer, brainy award winners in the fall. Despite not having its own Oscar race, it crammed every major release by every major author into the final months of the year, leaving summer reading [...]

Sure, we’re thrifty now, but what about when the economy improves?

Work hours slashed. A spouse laid off. The family funds gone with Bernie Madoff. For one reason or another, the recession has forced most of us to take a long, hard look at our budget and give our spending habits a good old overhaul. And that hasn’t been all bad. Surveys show that we’re saving [...]