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How We Live

On Instagram, the kids are alt-right

If a Nazi texted your teenager, would you want to know? We parents seem to have accepted social media as an inevitable part of our kids’ lives. They go on Instagram where we post our pretty pictures of food and artful vacation shots, and they’re Snapchatting friends and sometimes us. And in general, they’re not looking at troubling images. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned: It’s now clear that even Instagram is teeming with dangerous messages designed to radicalize our offspring.

IN CONVERSATION Claudia Rankine with Julie Scelfo

When it comes to examining the complexities of race in America, few scholars bring the clarity of vision as Claudia Rankine, the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University and author of five poetry volumes, including Citizen: An American Lyric, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2015.

Angela Duckworth on Passion, Grit and Success

Angela Duckworth was teaching math when she noticed something intriguing: The most successful students weren’t always the ones who displayed a natural aptitude; rather, they displayed something she came to think of as grit.

Just Say No, Yes or Maybe

Parents’ perspectives on marijuana use are as disparate as the nation’s mandates. Here, how five parents talk to their children about smoking pot.

A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral

Rocko Gieselman goes by the pronoun “they.” Acknowledging the next step in identity politics, the University of Vermont has agreed to use it.

Video Chat Reshapes Domestic Rituals

Far-flung families are increasingly using Skype, Apple’s FaceTime and Google chat to do things together that would otherwise require a plane ticket.

Kindergarten Shop Class

Teaching children construction is gaining momentum across the country as a way to develop imagination and confidence in the very young.

The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In

Parents’ use of smartphones and laptops — and its effect on their children — is becoming a source of concern to researchers.

Grandma’s Gifts Need Extra Reindeer

Some parents struggle with how to keep well-meaning loved ones from overdoing it with gifts for the children.

Window Watchers in a City of Strangers

The ability to observe the private lives of strangers from the windows of our homes — and the knowledge that they can often watch us — has long been a part of city life.

When Do They Need a Fig Leaf?

Children like to strip down when the weather gets hot — but not everyone approves.

Trickledown Downsizing

For professionals, cutting costs can mean letting a beloved nanny or housekeeper go — and for workers who live hand-to-mouth, layoffs can be devastating.

Baby, You’re Home

A growing number of women have been opting to give birth in the intimate and familiar surroundings of home — even in small New York City apartments.

After the House Is Gone

Inability to make mortgage payments is driving families to make difficult choices and forcing them to reconsider what home means.

A Holiday Medley, Off Key

Millions of adults in interfaith marriages face the December dilemma: the annual conflict over how to decorate homes, how and when to give gifts and which rituals to celebrate.

The Power of No

Eloise Goldman struggled to hold the line. She knew it was ridiculous to spend $250 on a mini iPod for her 9-year-old son Ben.

Autism: What Happens When They Grow Up

Chicken and potatoes. Chicken and potatoes. Danny Boronat wants chicken and potatoes. He asks for it once, twice … 10 times.

Choosing Virginity

Remaining a virgin until marriage is neither an easy nor a common choice in Latoya Huggins’s part of Paterson, N.J. At least three of her friends became single mothers while they were still in high school, one by an older man who now wants nothing to do with the child.

Sex, Love and Nursing Homes

At 86, William Depippa is one hip dude. Sporting an earring and suspenders, he sparked the interest of Rosemary Gould, 62, a kindly grandmother who lived down the hall at the Barn Hill Care Center in Newton, N.J.

Happy Divorce

When Chanukah begins next week, Randy Fuerst and Susan Arnold will mark the Jewish Festival of Lights with the same beloved traditions they’ve enjoyed since they married in 1983.

A Car, A Call And A Terrible Crash

In the wee hours of Sunday, April 29, Chad Renegar was driving supermodel Niki Taylor and another friend home from a night on the town when his cell phone rang.

Good Dogs, Bad Medicine?

Marc Bluestone was devastated when his sandy-brown mutt, Shane, died on April 2, 1999. In January he’d taken her to a vet hospital in Fountain Valley, Calif., for …

Couples: Love–And Marriage?

Living with your boyfriend is fun. It also can be practical, meaningful and a sign of deep commitment. But as if to confirm the fears of nervous parents around the country …

Out At The Prom

Allen Wolff readied himself for prom like millions of other teenage boys. On the afternoon of May 25, the 17-year-old from Syracuse, New York, showered and shaved, leaving intact a thin …

Move Aside, Easy Rider

Over two rounds of beer and six baskets of chips and salsa, the group of tattooed and leather-vested bikers from New Jersey traded tips on gear and motorcycle dealers.

Blood, Guts and Money

When the first “ultimate fighters” kicked, punched and head-butted each other on national television 13 years ago, civilized observers responded with shock and disgust.

Rock-and-Roll Knitters

When Debbie Stoller, the feminist author and cofounder of Bust magazine, became obsessed with knitting in 1999, friends and even strangers responded with disbelief and occasionally disdain.

‘It’s Better and Cheaper Than Therapy’

When Dave Nadelberg, a writer in Los Angeles, discovered unsent love letters he wrote to a girl he stalked in the 10th grade, he knew they were beseeching, pathetic …

Shop Therapy for Guys

If we’ve learned anything from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” it’s this: hetero men want to look good, too. The Fab Five can’t be everywhere, but soon an entire …

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Media

Media savvy: Some Americans believe the dumbest things. How not to be one of them.

As the never-ending election season moves from “midterm” to “presidential” mode, Americans are deluged by news alerts on their screens, and by breaking-news tweets, emails and sensational claims on cable broadcasts. By this time next week, the public will have seen at least some of the special counsel’s report, which began with the undisputed fact that Russian agents spread disinformation on social media to influence the 2016 election…

On Instagram, the kids are alt-right

If a Nazi texted your teenager, would you want to know? We parents seem to have accepted social media as an inevitable part of our kids’ lives. They go on Instagram where we post our pretty pictures of food and artful vacation shots, and they’re Snapchatting friends and sometimes us. …

Fear of Failing

Kathryn DeWitt conquered high school like a gold-medal decathlete. She ran track, represented her school at a statewide girls’ leadership program and took eight Advanced Placement tests, including one for which she independently prepared, forgoing the class. Expectations were high. Every day at 5 p.m. test scores and updated grades were posted online. …

The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In

Parents’ use of smartphones and laptops — and its effect on their children — is becoming a source of concern to researchers.

Video Chat Reshapes Domestic Rituals

Far-flung families are increasingly using Skype, Apple’s FaceTime and Google chat to do things together that would otherwise require a plane ticket.

A Car, A Call And A Terrible Crash

In the wee hours of Sunday, April 29, Chad Renegar was driving supermodel Niki Taylor and another friend home from a night on the town when his cell phone rang.

Shop Therapy for Guys

If we’ve learned anything from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” it’s this: hetero men want to look good, too. The Fab Five can’t be everywhere, but soon an entire …

Thirty Years, Nine Lives

Like the feminist movement itself, Ms. magazine has spent the past 30 years struggling to survive in an often hostile environment. Next week, the magazine will face yet another test of its endurance….

Tv: Lobbying For A Little Restraint

As the first anniversary of the 9-11 attacks draws nearer, victims’ families are quietly waging a letter-writing campaign asking TV networks to provide warnings before airing graphic footage of the attacks. Carie Lemack, a 27-year-old from Boston whose mother was on American Airlines Flight 11, says that when she sees the plane going into the North Tower, “it’s like watching my mother being murdered over and over again.”

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Mental Health

How To Prevent Suicide Among Tweens

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 14, who are online more than ever before. A center in New Mexico is working to change that.

Get Happy: Four Well-Being Workouts

Relieving stress and anxiety might help you feel better — for a bit. Martin E.P. Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, does not see alleviating negative emotions as a path to happiness.

Teaching Peace in Elementary School

FOR years, there has been a steady stream of headlines about the soaring mental health needs of college students and their struggles with anxiety and lack of resilience. Now, a growing number of educators are trying to bolster emotional competency not on college campuses, but where they believe it will have the greatest impact: in elementary schools.

Fear of Failing

Kathryn DeWitt conquered high school like a gold-medal decathlete. She ran track, represented her school at a statewide girls’ leadership program and took eight Advanced Placement tests, including one for which she independently prepared, forgoing the class. Expectations were high. Every day at 5 p.m. test scores and updated grades were posted online. Her mother would be the first to comment should her grade go down. “I would get home from track and she would say, ‘I see your grade dropped.’ I would say, ‘Mom, I think it’s a mistake.’ And she would say, ‘That’s what I thought.’ ” (The reason turned out to be typing errors. Ms. DeWitt graduated with straight A’s.)

Men and Depression: New Treatments

For nearly a decade, while serving as an elected official and working as an attorney, Massachusetts state Sen. Bob Antonioni struggled with depression, although he didn’t know it. Most days, he attended Senate meetings and appeared on behalf of clients at the courthouse. But privately, he was irritable and short-tempered, ruminating endlessly over his cases and becoming easily frustrated by small things, like deciding which TV show to watch with his girlfriend. After a morning at the state house, he’d be so exhausted by noon that he’d drive home and collapse on the couch, unable to move for the rest of the day.When his younger brother, who was similarly moody, killed himself in 1999, Antonioni, then 40, decided to seek help. For three years, he clandestinely saw a therapist, paying in cash so there would be no record.

Autism: What Happens When They Grow Up

Chicken and potatoes. Chicken and potatoes. Danny Boronat wants chicken and potatoes. He asks for it once, twice … 10 times. In the kitchen of the family’s suburban New Jersey home, Danny’s mother, Loretta, chops garlic for spaghetti sauce. No chicken and potatoes, she tells Danny. We’re having spaghetti. But Danny wants chicken and potatoes. Chicken and potatoes. His 12-year-old sister, Rosalinda, wanders in to remind her mother about upcoming basketball tryouts. His brother Alex, 22, grabs some tortilla chips and then leaves to check scores on ESPN. His other brother Matthew, 17, talks about an upcoming gig with his band. Danny seems not to notice any of this. “Mom,” he asks in a monotone, “why can’t we have chicken and potatoes?” If Danny were a toddler, his behavior would be nothing unusual. But Danny Boronat is 20 years old. “That’s really what life with autism is like,” says Loretta. “I have to keep laughing. Otherwise, I would cry.”

The Power of No

Eloise Goldman struggled to hold the line. She knew it was ridiculous to spend $250 on a mini iPod for her 9-year-old son Ben. The price tag wasn’t the biggest issue for Goldman, a publicist, and her fund-raiser husband, Jon. It was the idea of buying such an extravagant gadget for a kid who still hasn’t mastered long division. If she gave in, how would Ben ever learn that you can’t always get what you want? Goldman knew there was a good chance the iPod would soon be lost or abandoned, just like Ben’s toy-of-choice from last year, a bright blue drum set that now sits forlornly in the basement of their suburban New York home. But Ben nagged and pestered and insisted that “everyone has one.” Goldman began to weaken. Ben’s a good kid, she reasoned; she wanted him to have what the other kids had. After doing a neighborhood-mom check and finding that Ben’s peers were indeed wired for sound, Goldman caved–but not without one last attempt to salvage some lesson about limits. She offered her son a deal. We give you an iPod, you forfeit your birthday party. “Done,” he said. Then, without missing a beat: “Now what about getting me my own Apple G4?”

Case Study: Helping Kids In Trouble

The cheerful space in Rhode Island’s Bradley Hospital could easily be mistaken for a classroom. Red sweatshirts and SpongeBob backpacks fill a row of cubbies marked with construction-paper name tags. A giant schedule of the day’s activities, including “lunch” and “story time,” hangs on a center wall, lined with yellow smiley-face cutouts to mark good behavior. But the 14 youngsters who arrive each morning for Bradley’s “Pediatric Partial” program aren’t ordinary students. They’re patients between the ages of nine months and six years with serious emotional and behavior problems. Some hurt themselves; others are violent and many have anxiety, depression and feeding disorders.According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as many as 12 million children suffer from mental, behavioral or developmental disorders that interfere with their ability to function.

On Campus: The Doctors Are ‘In’

Rhonda Venable’s first appointment last Monday was with a severely depressed sophomore who’s worried he’s too promiscuous. After the session, Venable, associate director of Vanderbilt University’s counseling center, met with a bipolar teenager, assessed an anxious student for signs of schizophrenia and arranged emergency hospitalization for an upperclassman threatening suicide. “It was very much an ordinary day,” says Venable.Long gone are the sleepy college counseling centers of decades past where therapists administered career-aptitude tests and offered tip sheets for handling roommate conflicts. Today, acknowledging their role on the front lines of the teen-depression crisis, counselors and psychologists at the nation’s colleges and universities are doing more to try to help the rising numbers of students they see with clinical depression and other acute mental illnesses.

Va. Tech: Counselors Discuss Trauma Management

The short-term effects are invariably similar. Anyone connected-directly or indirectly–to the ghastly killings at Virginia Tech on Monday inevitably will be grieving in the days and weeks ahead. But what about the long-term impact of exposure to the massacre? In the past, trauma counselors believed everyone exposed to events like these were at high-risk for debilitating emotional problems. New research, however, suggests that most adults recover quite well and that only 10 to 20 percent of the population is at risk for severe or lasting problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).Whether it’s a school shooting, natural disaster, war or accident, most people respond to a horrible event with a combination of grief, surprise, anger or shock. “These emotions are completely normal,” says Lawrence H. Bergmann, a certified trauma specialist and founder of Post Trauma Resources in South Carolina. “They are appropriate responses, but they will go away in time.

Q&A: How 9/11 Kids Coped With Their Loss

An estimated 3,000 children lost a parent in the 2001 World Trade Center attack, instilling in them a legacy of anguish. The full psychological impact on those children may never be known, but a new study—the first empirical investigation of the youngsters who lost a parent on September 11—provides some significant pointers. The findings, released today by researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, will appear in the April issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. The investigation compared 45 kids who lost a parent in the WTC attack to 34 children who had not lost a parent, and found that in the years following the attack, the rate of psychiatric illness among children who lost a parent reached nearly 73 percent.

‘Better to Be Safe and Wrong’

Earlier this week, a milkman named Charles Carl Roberts IV walked into a schoolhouse in Amish Pennsylvania and shot 10 young girls, killing five of them. Roberts’s wife was shocked by his behavior and told police she had no idea her husband was troubled until she discovered a suicide note that morning. Co-workers were equally stunned, although some told police they noticed Roberts had recently stopped chatting and joking, becoming quiet and sullen. Would anyone have been able been able to foresee Roberts’s explosive behavior? NEWSWEEK’s Julie Scelfo spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of the department of psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, to find out. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: Is there any way to tell beforehand that someone is going to commit a violent act?Jeffrey Lieberman: Usually with violent crime, there’s a certain motive or rationale—crimes of passion, crimes of envy or revenge—related to some set of circumstances that are understandable….

A Law Professor on Living with Schizophrenia

Elyn R. Saks, an associate dean at the University of Southern California with triple appointments as a professor of law, psychology and psychiatry, is one of the nation’s leading experts on mental-health law. Saks has published three scholarly books and numerous journal articles, and graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University, earned a master of letters from Oxford University, and, while completing her law degree, edited the Yale Law Journal.

Colleges: Preventing Suicides

The third apparent suicide at New York University in less than 40 days sent shock waves of sadness and concern across college campuses nationwide. Two students fell to their deaths from the 10th-floor balcony of the school library; a third fell from a sixth-floor window in a nearby building. Now NEWSWEEK has learned that Columbia, Harvard, Yale and MIT have been in discussions since last November with The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to suicide prevention, about developing the first-ever intercollegiate study to determine which kinds of programs make a measurable difference in reducing campus suicides. Another focus of the pilot study will be determining which programs are most effective at getting kids into counseling: undergrads who commit suicide are usually not the ones who reach out for help.

Family: Facing Bullies

The threat many American teenagers fear most is not Saddam Hussein, but a schoolyard bully. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, six out of 10 American teenagers witness bullying in school at least once a day. “The biggest mistake parents make is telling their kids to just ignore the bullies,” says Jodee Blanco, a former victim turned activist. Parents should listen closely when their children say they are being harassed and help them devise assertive–not aggressive–responses. Make sure your child knows he or she is not alone, but “don’t rush in to solve the problem for them,” advises Barbara Coloroso, author of “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.” Most bullying is verbal, so teach children how to use words to defend themselves. (One response for insults like “dork” or “retard” is “That’s beneath both of us.”) It’s harder to pick on a group, so make sure your kid has a buddy (or two).

Tv: Lobbying For A Little Restraint

As the first anniversary of the 9-11 attacks draws nearer, victims’ families are quietly waging a letter-writing campaign asking TV networks to provide warnings before airing graphic footage of the attacks. Carie Lemack, a 27-year-old from Boston whose mother was on American Airlines Flight 11, says that when she sees the plane going into the North Tower, “it’s like watching my mother being murdered over and over again.” Other families say the same. “There’ll be a news show on… and suddenly it’ll go to a shot of the buildings falling,” says Kathy Ashton, whose 21-year-old son started work in the WTC on Sept. 10. “Before I can look away, I’ve seen Tommy die again.” Knowing that the coverage will only increase in the weeks to come, Lemack posted a form letter on the Families of September 11 Web site; so far, hundreds of letters have been sent to national cable networks and local news stations.

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Gender & Sexuality

When Do They Need a Fig Leaf?

Children like to strip down when the weather gets hot — but not everyone approves.

A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral

Rocko Gieselman looked like any other undergraduate at the University of Vermont but perhaps a little prettier, with pale freckles dancing across porcelain skin and bright blue eyes amplifying a broad smile. Black bra straps poked out from a faded black tank top emblazoned with the logo of the indie band Rubblebucket; a silver necklace with an anchor dangled over ample décolletage.

A Gender-Neutral Glossary

SEX Classification as male or female or, rarely, intersex (not exclusively male or female). Sex is usually assigned based on external anatomy but is determined by characteristics like chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs.

Science and the Gender Gap

To get a sense of how women have progressed in science, take a quick tour of the physics department at the University of California, Berkeley. This is a storied place, the site of some of the most important discoveries in modern science–starting with Ernest Lawrence’s invention of the cyclotron in 1931. A generation ago female faces were rare, and even today visitors walking through the first floor of LeConte Hall will see a full corridor of exhibits honoring the many distinguished physicists who made history here, virtually all of them white males.But climb up to the third floor and you’ll see a different display.

Bad Girls Go Wild

When police arrived on the scene of a fatal stabbing last week in Brooklyn, N.Y., they were stunned by what they saw. The victim, an 11-year-old girl, lay crumpled on the floor, the front of her “Dora the Explorer” T shirt bloodied. The weapon, a steak knife, was in the kitchen sink. And the perpetrator, visibly upset and clinging to her mother, police say, was a little girl in a ponytail, only 9 years old.

Sex, Love and Nursing Homes

At 86, William Depippa is one hip dude. Sporting an earring and suspenders, he sparked the interest of Rosemary Gould, 62, a kindly grandmother who lived down the hall at the Barn Hill Care Center in Newton, N.J. In a six-month courtship–much of it spent on the porch talking bingo and gardening–they fell in love. “Nobody bothered,” says Rosemary, who has diabetes and congestive heart failure, “to come see what we were doing.”

Why Girls Will Be Girls

Last week a routine casemeeting turned into a teachable moment for California neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine and her eight medical residents. Briz-endine, who works at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute in San Francisco, was listening to a resident run through a new patient’s medical history. A successful, high-functioning working mother had come in complaining of short-term memory loss and persistent anxiety.

Out At The Prom

Allen Wolff readied himself for prom like millions of other teenage boys. On the afternoon of May 25, the 17-year-old from Syracuse, New York, showered and shaved, leaving intact a thin goatee, donned a rental tux and silver vest, then coated his normally spiky locks with a generous portion of hair gel.After escorting his date into the balloon-enhanced splendor of the Baker High School prom, he enjoyed a night that he later described as “absolutely amazing.”

Thirty Years, Nine Lives

Like the feminist movement itself, Ms. magazine has spent the past 30 years struggling to survive in an often hostile environment. Next week, the magazine will face yet another test of its endurance. On Monday, its owner, Liberty Media for Women, is expected to announce that the non-profit Feminist Majority Foundation will take ownership of the magazine.

Mitchell Gold on the Bible and Gay Rights

For years, Mitchell Gold, a founder of the popular furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, has been irritated by what he sees as fundamentalist Christians’ use of the Bible to justify withholding civil rights from gays. Scripture, Gold argues, was used in the past to defend slavery, prohibit interracial marriage and prevent women from voting.

Documentary: Priest and Predator

Deliver us from Evil,” a gripping new documentary opening in theaters next week, profiles Father Oliver O’Grady, a convicted pedophile who spent 22 years molesting children in parishes throughout California, where he served as their priest. In the film, O’Grady describes his sexual attraction to boys and girls, and details how church authorities, including Roger Mahony, now head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, moved him from parish to parish.

Choosing Virginity

Remaining a virgin until marriage is neither an easy nor a common choice in Latoya Huggins’s part of Paterson, N.J. At least three of her friends became single mothers while they were still in high school, one by an older man who now wants nothing to do with the child.

Dating Sites Match Lovers Who Share Disease

Dating is awkward for Sandra Liz Aquino, 41. She’s divorced and beautiful, but she’s also HIV-positive. So last month, she signed up with Prescription4Love.com, a dating Web site for people with sexually transmitted diseases and other health conditions. The site, which launched last year, is becoming a go-to spot online where singletons who also happen to have diseases from hepatitis to herpes to irritable bowel syndrome can find love and companionship without having to worry about the big…

Shop Therapy for Guys

If we’ve learned anything from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” it’s this: hetero men want to look good, too. The Fab Five can’t be everywhere, but soon an entire category of magazines will exist to help men shop. Next month Conde Nast, home to GQ and Glamour, will unleash Cargo, a bimonthly guide to buying everything from socks to sports cars. In September, Fairchild, publisher of Women’s Wear Daily and Details, will launch Vitals, a quarterly for shoppers who favor Prada over the Gap.

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Food

Meet the Kleptogastromaniacs, Customers Hooked on High-End-Food Theft

In this era of $10 artisanal mayonnaise and $50 “bacon steak,” shoplifters’ tastes have also changed accordingly. Steven Millard, a vice-president of Murray’s Cheese, says he remembers being on a train leaving the Union Square subway station and watching in astonishment as a young man pulled hundreds of dollars’ worth of steaks out of his pants — heisted, Millard presumes, from the Whole Foods just upstairs.

Now You Taste It, Now You Don’t

I can’t recall the exact date a few years ago when I ate my first ciabatta egg sandwich at Seersucker, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. But I remember precisely how great it tasted and made me feel, which is why I ate it again and again at every possible opportunity.

High Lead Found in City-Sourced Eggs

Preliminary results from a New York State Health Department study show that more than half the eggs tested from chickens kept in community gardens in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens had detectable levels of lead, unlike store-bought counterparts. While lead is a naturally occurring element that is ingested in a variety of ways, it has been well established to be harmful to humans, even in very low amounts.

Flame Retardants Found in Butter

For about a decade, scientists have known that most Americans have minute quantities of flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs, in their bodies, but they were not sure how they got there.

What Do I Do If My Kid Will Eat Only White Food?

You can’t let them live on marshmallow Fluff and string cheese alone, but you don’t have to worry too much. Try to make sure that the white foods you so tenderly arrange on your child’s plate come from the five food groups and aren’t processed.

A New Sandwich Shop for Cobble Hill

The Van Horn Sandwich Shop, which combines Southern fried fare with an industrial chic aesthetic, opened recently in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Jacob Van Horn, an architect who grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., but has spent the last four years living in Brooklyn, conceived of the restaurant last year after getting laid off from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, an architectural and engineering firm.

All Bottled Up

FINDING a visually appealing way to store wine bottles at home can be challenging, particularly since they need to be kept horizontal. “Wine is a living thing, so it’s always changing,” explained Emily Wines, a master sommelier. “The reason we store the bottles on their side is so the cork doesn’t dry out. If it’s standing up, the cork will shrink, and then you end up with oxidized flavors.”

Bake It Like a Man

What do you call a goatee-wearing, bass guitar-playing, power saw-wielding, tattooed guy who spends his days mixing flour and sugar? A baker. But Duff Goldman, head of Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes and host of the Food Network’s hugely popular “Ace of Cakes” TV show is not your ordinary pastry chef. Instead of flat sheet cakes painted with frosting flowers and cutesy messages, Goldman, 32, uses drills and blowtorches to sculpt fantastical multidimensional creations like a smoking volcano, a three-foot-tall Elvis as well as replicas of Chicago’s Wrigley Field and a 1930s Harlem speakeasy. The show’s second season, premiering Thursday night, reveals the inner workings of his bakery, where a group of fellow artists and aspiring rock stars raise dessert to precarious new heights. NEWSWEEK’s Julie Scelfo spoke with Duff about the show and his passion for pastry. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: How did you get into cakes?Duff Goldman: My sophomore year in college I went into the nicest restaurant in…

For the Love of Chocolate

All his life, Jason Judkins was seeking something, but he was looking in all the wrong places, like vending machines. “Usually between 2 and 3 o’clock I’d eat a Snickers, a Three Musketeers or a Twix,” he recalls. “Then after dinner I’d have chocolate cake, or Hershey’s Nuggets, or ice cream with Hershey’s syrup.” But that was before his first taste of a dark-chocolate truffle from the Cocoa Tree, an artisanal candy store in his town of Franklin, Tennessee. Made fresh on the premises from dark chocolate and organic cream and butter, it made his mouth “explode” with tastes he’d never gotten from an M&M. Of course, he could have bought a lot of M&Ms for the price of a single truffle, $1.80 plus tax. But these days he is satisfied with chocolate only a couple of times a week instead of twice a day, and since each piece is 10 times as good, he’s way ahead.Long after iceberg gave way to arugula, American candy remained defiantly retro: cheap, garishly wrapped and tasting just the…

Flying High on Four Stars

When The New York Times bestowed its fourth consecutive four-star rating on Le Bernardin earlier this month, the restaurant became one of only five in New York to win such an honor–and the only one to retain it for nearly 20 years. For chef Eric Ripert, who has been toiling in Le Bernardin’s kitchen for more than a decade, the award was a great thrill, as well as a huge relief. (The loss of a star can have a serious impact on the restaurant’s bottom line.)Over a recent lunch that began with barely cooked bay scallops in champagne-shallot butter sauce, followed by poached lobster in a rich champagne and chives nage and thinly pounded yellowfin tuna with extra-virgin olive oil, Ripert discussed the achievement. As the starter plates were cleared for the arrival of the main courses (wild salmon and spicy-sour baked snapper), Ripert, 40, admitted behaving like a World Series champ when the rating was announced. “As soon as we knew, I came up in the kitchen and I sprayed the entire team…

Fire Up the Grill!

Bobby Flay, chef-owner of four celebrated restaurants in New York City and Las Vegas and host of the Food Network’s “Boy Meets Grill,” is known for many things: a love of barbecue, an obsession with bold flavors and superior grill proficiency. Healthful eating, however, has never been a top priority. So the title of his new cookbook, “Grilling for Life: 75 Healthier Ideas for Big Flavor from the Fire,” may catch some fans by surprise. For his sixth cookbook, Flay teamed up with nutritionist Joy Bauer to create recipes low in simple sugars and refined carbs. The result: a collection of dishes as vibrant as Flay’s traditional repertoire but with far less unhealthy fat. NEWSWEEK’s Julie Scelfo visited Flay at his newest restaurant, Bar Americain, to find out what he learned from Bauer’s nutritional analyses: Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: Were there any personal reasons you decided to write this book?Bobby Flay: I have the most beautiful wife. She’s 30. I still think I’m 25, but I’m not … I’m 40…

Keep It Simple Stupid

For Alfred Portale, the Manhattan chef who gained fame in the 1980s with towering culinary creations that resembled architecture more than cuisine, the hardest thing in the world is cooking simply. Consider an appetizer he whipped up for Gotham Bar and Grill’s 20th-anniversary party this year: hamachi tartare with yuzo-orange vinaigrette and jalapeno pepper topped by a wasabi microgreen. Not the guy you’d expect to write a cookbook featuring recipes for popsicles and pizza.”Simple Pleasures” arrives in bookstores next month, bringing with it Portale’s hopes that it will re-energize his career. While Emeril and Wolfgang Puck were turning themselves into brands with TV shows and eponymous restaurants, Portale, 50, stayed committed to Gotham and raising two daughters. But his elaborate cooking style drew increasingly less attention as Food Network-watching Americans came to favor simple fare they could re- create at home. Thus the inspiration for “Simple Pleasures,” which joins a…

In Season: Figuring On Figs

It took centuries for Americans to appreciate what Greeks and Romans knew long ago: fresh figs are a treasured delicacy. The Black Mission variety from California, known for its pink flesh and intensely sweet flavor, is available until November ($5 per pint, plus shipping, at Dean & DeLuca; 800-999-0306). Choose ones with smooth, firm skin, hold by the stem and take a bite. Eat them with prosciutto or pick up Marie Simmons’s “Fig Heaven” (Morrow Cookbooks. $19.95) for 70 luscious recipes.

Helping Kids Get Fit

If doctors announced that nearly a fifth of our nation’s children were exhibiting signs of, say, typhoid, there’d be panic on Main Street. But for the past 10 years, public-health officials have been warning of another problem every bit as life-threatening and even more difficult to treat: childhood obesity. By now the statistics come as no surprise. Fifteen percent of children–9 million kids–are seriously overweight, a rate that has tripled since 1970. These kids are on the fast track for adult cripplers like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And not all the problems are physical. In a recent study pediatricians reported that severely obese adolescents felt slightly more social isolation than teenage cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.What can be done about our nation of chubby kids? Once kids get fat, the odds of losing weight and keeping it off are depressingly small. That’s why doctors say that prevention, not treatment, is key. Jim Hill, head of the Center for Human…

Cooking: Tastes Like Homemade

Before there were cake mixes, there was cake. But a surprising new book, “Something From the Oven” (Viking. $24.95), by food historian and former NEWSWEEK writer Laura Shapiro, reveals how the packaged-food industry, established in the 1950s to provide meals for soldiers in foxholes, worked tirelessly to convince American homemakers that processed foods were not only acceptable, but superior. It succeeded: after decades of eating boxed and frozen food, many Americans prefer artificial flavors to the real thing. But the desire to feed loved ones with food prepared “by our own hands,” says Shapiro, is one thing that hasn’t changed.

Ballparks: Big Leagues, Bitty Burgers

The joys of a ballpark visit have long included partaking in a major-league snackfest: peanuts, Cracker Jack, hot dogs–plus a beer or three to wash it all down. But at stadiums across the country last week, food vendors took a little-league approach to feeding fans by offering an array of new pint-size snacks. At Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Levy Restaurants introduced three-inch “dinkie dogs” (normally seven inches) and 1.5-ounce “bitty burgers” (normally 5.3 ounces) that it plans to roll out this season at dozens of stadiums nationwide. (Bitty burgers may help shrink waistlines, but, at $7 for a trio, they’re no less damaging to the wallet.) “Big portions are out, but mini-foods with big flavors are in,” says Levy chef John McLean. At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Cardinals fans on low-carb diets can try new lettuce-wrapped burgers or chicken sandwiches on low-carb bread. But for some fans, like John Venti, 63, who’s been a Dodgers season-ticket holder…

Food: Tomato Sauces

There’s nothing like a bowl of pasta with homemade sauce to warm your soul on a cold winter day. But if you don’t have time to spend hours stewing tomatoes with chopped onion, ground beef and the requisite bay leaf, there are many tasty alternatives. Try these brands with fresh ingredients: …

America’s Pasta Pusher

Mario Batali is the latest celebrity chef to capture Americans’ hearts and stomachs. The Seattle native owns and operates three successful Italian restaurants in New York, hosts two television cooking shows and is the author of three cookbooks about Italian culture and cuisine. Recently, he graced the cover of Gourmet magazine–having launched a new line of pasta sauces–and is planning a new Manhattan pizzeria that is scheduled to open in December. NEWSWEEK’s Julie Scelfo spoke to Batali about why Americans have become so infatuated with Italian culture and cuisine. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: Why are Americans so interested in Italian culture? Why not Belgian or Czech?Batali: Not to insult those countries, but aside from a couple of things from Belgium or Czechoslovakia, their culture is not exported here. We don’t even know what they do. Italians have made it their business to export Italian culture, from spaghetti, to design, to poster art, to wine and soft drinks. If you open a bar in…

Say Feta

Feta helps put the “big” and “fat” in Greek weddings. Now the European Commission has ruled that only Greek cheese can be called “feta.” (Other countries have five years to comply or win an appeal.) In the meantime, here’s a guide: Greek feta, typically made from sheep’s milk, is the “standard everything else is measured by,” says Steven Jenkins, author of “Cheese Primer.” French sheep’s-milk feta is “sweeter and more buttery,” says Daphne Zepos, fromagere at New York’s Artisanal. Denmark uses cow’s milk, which has “less genuine flavor,” Zepos warns. For American feta, stick to small brands made from goat’s milk.

‘South Beach Diet’ Doc Focuses on the Heart

The author of the ‘South Beach Diet’ books is urging the public and doctors to rethink treatment for heart disease—focusing more on prevention than st

Fast Chat: Changing Your Heart

Dr. Arthur Agatston’s first book, “The South Beach Diet,” was a best seller that turned into a national phenomenon. Now the cardiologist is back with “The South Beach Heart Program,” which aims to reduce heart attacks and strokes. He spoke with Julie Scelfo.It turns out that view is completely wrong. Instead, plaque develops like a little pimple in the vessel wall, but instead of filling with pus, it fills with cholesterol. Blood flow remains normal until the plaque “pimple” ruptures. The healing process includes a blood clot, and if the clot is big enough, that’s what blocks the artery.The cosmetic-surgery approach to coronary arteries–making them look nice with balloons and stents–doesn’t really work. That’s going after the wrong plaque, the kind that has already ruptured and is no longer a threat. Instead, it’s the soft plaque pimples that are little ticking time bombs, because they blow up and cause a sudden blockage. We’re spending billions of dollars going after the wrong…

Organic Chemistry

The boom in restaurants serving local organic produce has come with an unexpected downside: more bugs in your food. Without pesticides to deter them, aphids, ladybugs, caterpillars and beetles are tagging along on the journey from farm to kitchen to dinner table with greater frequency. But the reactions among diners are as diverse as the critters they’re finding on their plates.

Designing the Ultimate Kitchen

http://www.epicurious.com/archive/kitchenequipment/expertadvice/ultimate-baking-kitchen
http://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2012/10/the-ultimate-kid-friendly-kitchen.html

http://www.epicurious.com/archive/kitchenequipment/expertadvice/kitchen-of-the-future

http://www.epicurious.com/archive/kitchenequipment/expertadvice/ultimate-outdoor-kitchen

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Justice & Law

Will black women save us . . . again?

The people who will matter most in the next election won’t be the candidates, but rather the country’s 23 million black women. They are the heart and soul of the Democratic party and any politician of any complexion who ignores their power does so at his or her own peril.

On MLK Day, Honor the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Too

Ella Baker’s story may not be as exciting as that of Dr. King or Rosa Parks, but she was no less essential to the civil rights movement.

Vindicated Katrina Doc Tells Her Story

Dr. Anna Pou was accused of murdering nine patients in a New Orleans hospital wracked by Katrina, but a grand jury declined to indict her. Now she gives her side of the story.

Beneath the Hoods

What if the FBI had tortured Zacarias Moussaoui, the would-be 20th hijacker, into revealing the plot to destroy the World Trade Center in time to stop it? Who could blame it? These were not people playing by any rules of civilized warfare, and nor are terrorists in Iraq. At Abu Ghraib, military-intelligence officers were concerned about the poor “product” they were getting from prisoner interrogations, and they pressured the military-police guards there to “soften up” their charges between sessions. That, at least, is the defense of the six MPs now facing charges in the scandal. So why did Cpl. Charles Graner Jr. order a young woman to pull her shirt up to her neck? She was an accused prostitute. MPs allegedly ordered Hussein Mohsen Matar to masturbate, and rode on his naked back as he crawled on all fours. He was an accused thief. Haqi Ismail Abdul-Hamid, famously menaced by a snarling dog, had at least kicked an Iraqi policemen and threatened to kill Coalition soldiers. But he was…

‘She Was Following Orders’

As more photographic evidence of Iraqi prisoner abuse emerges, the question of who was in charge of Abu Ghraib prison remains unanswered. Were American soldiers who physically and sexually degraded prisoners acting independently or under orders from supervisors in the Army? Seven reservists assigned to Abu Ghraib from the 327th Military Police company, based near Cumberland, Md., have been charged with offenses related to the alleged abuse like conspiring to mistreat detainees and failing to protect prisoners. They include Spc. Jeremy Sivits, 24; Spc. Megan Ambuhl, 29; Pfc. Lynndie England, 21; Spc. Sabrina Harman, 26; Cpl Charles Graner, Jr., 35; Sgt. Javal Davis, 26; and Staff Sgt. Van Frederick, 37. All of the soldiers have been separated from their unit and are being held in Baghdad, except Pfc. England, 21, who is pregnant and being detained instead at Fort Bragg, NC.Harvey J. Volzer, the attorney representing Ambuhl, who faces charges of conspiring to mistreat detainees and…

Military: Jessica’s Comrades: Untold Stories From

The Jessica Lynch blitz isn’t a feel-good celebration for everyone. Lynch miraculously survived the ambush on the Army’s 507th Maintenance Company. First Sgt. Robert Dowdy–scarcely a household name–was killed riding in the military vehicle along with her. His 14-year-old daughter, Kristy, swallows hard at the constant mentions of Jessica’s battle. “Don’t they know it was Dad’s Humvee?” she says. “Don’t they know it was Dad doing stuff?”The U.S. government tried to portray POW Lynch as a hero of the attack. It didn’t publicize Sgt. Donald Walters. The 33-year-old cook and mechanic was killed in the ambush, apparently while fighting bravely, suggests a military report. But his parents, Arlene and Norman, got so few questions answered by the Army they finally filed a Freedom of Information request. “I am angry,” says his mother, who wants the government to give her son a hero’s due. Walters left a wife and three daughters. His 27-year-old widow, Stacie, says: “It seems like after a…

The Longer Arm of the Law

The Bush administration has repeatedly gone out of its way to encourage American firms to conduct business in Iraq. But a Supreme Court decision Tuesday permitting foreigners to use U.S. courts to seek redress for serious human rights violations may have wide-ranging implications for organizations doing business overseas–especially private companies hired to assist the U.S. military.The case decided by the Supreme Court yesterday was an appeal of an earlier decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That ruling permitted a Mexican doctor, Humberto Alvarez-Machain, to sue a Mexican national who assisted the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in kidnapping him from his office in Guadalajara to bring him to trial in the United States on charges relating to the murder of a federal narcotics agent. The case relied on the obscure Alien Tort Statute, which was among the laws enacted by the First Congress in 1789. The oddly-worded statute, which says federal…

Abusive Priests

The National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by the U.S. Conferenceof Catholic Bishops, last week announced its review of the causes of the priest abuse crisis. It also issued a long-awaited study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Among the major findings: 10,667 individuals made allegations of child sexual abuse by priests, 81 percent of victims were male and, of all priests against whom allegations were made, only 2 percent received prison sentences. Although the National Review Board rebuked U.S. bishops for failing to stop abuse–describing their lack of action as “leadership failures” which are “shameful to the church”–victims’ advocates are outraged that no steps are being taken to remove culpable bishops. “It is intolerable that we learn today that thousands of minors have been abused, thousands of priests accused and yet only one person, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, has been forced to resign his hierarchical position over this scandal,” said Steve…

Witness To Shame

As Roman Catholic bishops issued a meaculpa last week, Jehovah’s Witnesses, a cloistered group of 980,000, moved closer to facing a sex-abuse scandal of their own. In January a woman from Sacramento, Calif., filed a lawsuit charging that church leaders knowingly failed to notify civil authorities that she was raped by a member of her congregation. A former church leader in Maryland was indicted in February for sexually assaulting three women who say they were told by elders not to report the abuse, and were excommunicated when they did. After additional stories aired recently on TV, a victims’ support group run by William H. Bowen was deluged with e-mails and phone calls. “Catholics only protect the priests. Jehovah’s Witnesses do it for any member of the church,” says Bowen, a former elder from Kentucky. Sara Poisson says that prior to her husband’s conviction for sexually abusing her daughters, church elders told her to “pray more and be a better wife.” Church spokesman J. R….

Money: Did Ken Lay Take It With Him?

The former enron chief’s death raised questions about what assets he still had–and whether anyone can get their hands on them. Prosecutors are likely to drop criminal proceedings–standard procedure when a defendant dies before sentencing–but civil lawsuits will proceed, and may illuminate where Lay’s fortune went. Good news for plaintiffs: his estate (including insurance) may not be off limits. (graphic omitted)

Heartbreak’s Revenge

When George Berg’s wife, Sandra, began spending three nights a week studying for an MBA, he didn’t mind. But when the manager of the family’s Myrtle Beach time share called two years ago to say someone left behind a Blockbuster video card–during a weekend when Sandra was supposed to be away at a company event with their son–George got suspicious. Asking his 5-year-old about the trip, he made a heartbreaking discovery. “I asked him. ‘You went with Mommy’s [female] boss?’ He said ‘No, I went with Mommy’s gay friend from work’.”Using an arcane North Carolina law on “alienation of affection,” Berg filed suit not against his ex-wife (they divorced earlier this year) but against the other adulterer. In August, they settled for more than $150,000, and in January Berg will begin receiving monthly checks.While most states have for years been making it easier to get divorced by removing “fault” requirements like adultery, a few states have held on to “heart balm” statutes that allow people…

Mitchell Gold on the Bible and Gay Rights

For years, Mitchell Gold, a founder of the popular furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, has been irritated by what he sees as fundamentalist Christians’ use of the Bible to justify withholding civil rights from gays. Scripture, Gold argues, was used in the past to defend slavery, prohibit interracial marriage and prevent women from voting. Frustrated that few politicians dare to confront anyone brandishing a Bible, in 2005 Gold formed the group Faith In America (FIA), which says its…

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Environmental Health

High Lead Found in City-Sourced Eggs

A study suggests eggs from neighborhood gardens show elevated levels of lead, but whether the amounts are alarming is not clear.

Can a Product be Carcinogen-Free?

Want to avoid applying known carcinogens to your skin and hair?

Raising Concerns About Chemicals in Recycled Carpet Padding

Every week, it seems, a new study identifies potentially harmful chemicals in common items. Next up: the recycled foam padding installed under wall-to-wall carpeting.

Flame Retardants Found in Butter

For about a decade, scientists have known that most Americans have minute quantities of flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs, in their bodies, but they were not sure how they got there.

Appliance Anxiety: Replace It or Fix It?

Thanks to the recession, many consumers are choosing not to buy new appliances to replace broken ones, calling the repairman instead.

Looking Beyond the E.P.A.’s Seal of Approval

The president of Seventh Generation, which has been making nontoxic cleaners for decades, discusses what makes the company tick.

New I.R.S. Incentives, From Cold to Hot

Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, offers tips on ways to lower your taxes by greening your home.

A Lawn as Healthy as It Looks

In honor of spring and the continuing quest for the perfect lawn, here are some tips on achieving an attractive yard without wreaking environmental havoc.

Coming Clean on Household Cleaners

Though it wasn’t named in a recent lawsuit seeking to force makers of household cleaning products to disclose their ingredients, S.C. Johnson & Son, the maker of Windex, Glade and other products, announced that it would do just that.

Don’t Sweep It Under the Rug

Jeffrey L. Carrier, who heads the sustainability effort for the Carpet and Rug Institute, discusses the environmental impact of carpeting.

Five Beginners’ Steps to a Greener Home

The author of “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies” distilled a vast amount of green advice into five must-do steps.

Recycling Gadgets When They Go Pffft…

Jason Linnell, the executive director of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, discusses how to dispose of old electronics.

Lawsuit Seeks to Force Disclosure of Cleaning Product Ingredients

Several companies, the complaint argues, Earthjustice have ignored a New York State law passed in the early 1970s that governs the disclosure of household cleaning product ingredients.

When It Comes to Detergents, What’s the Least Irresponsible Choice?

Investigating whethe

The Stuffing Dreams Are Made Of?

As mattresses labeled “organic” and “natural” have become increasingly common, it has become harder for consumers to sort through manufacturers’ claims.

What Lies Beneath?

Currently, there are no industry standards for what terms like ”organic,” ”natural” or ”eco-friendly” mean when used to describe a mattress, and while some companies disclose all the contents of their products, others identify only some. The…

F.D.A. to Reconsider Plastic Bottle Risk

The agency was accused of failing to adequately consider research about the dangers of a substance known as bisphenol-A.

Any Other Bright Ideas?

Compact fluorescents are efficient, but many people have not embraced their glow.

Making Small Sacrifices for What They Believe Is Right

AFTER seeing ”An Inconvenient Truth” two years ago, Daniel Heuser, a second-grade teacher who is now 43, put compact fluorescent bulbs in nearly every light fixture in his two-story house in Chapel Hill, N.C., to the dismay of his wife, Jane. When…

Making the Switch (Or Not)

READERS of DotEarth (dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com), a blog written by Andrew C. Revkin, an environmental reporter for The Times, were asked to share their experiences with compact fluorescent bulbs. More than 100 people responded by e-mail or in…

The Incandescent Holdouts, Plagued by Guilt

AN ornithologist who carries her own canvas bags to the grocery store, telecommutes to save fuel, keeps her home thermostat set at 60 degrees and calculates her carbon emissions when she travels overseas to go birding, Ellen Paul of Chevy Chase, Md.,…

Worrying About the Impact Of Mercury in Fluorescents

IN the late 1980s, when Cynthia DuBose considered herself a fanatical environmentalist, she switched to compact fluorescent bulbs, buying them through the Real Goods catalog, the only place she could find them. ”I was really amazed to find out how…

The Best Bulb for Each Spot, Found by Experimenting

HAVING only recently retired from more than two decades working for the United Nations’ division for sustainable development, where he focused in part on issues of personal energy consumption, Ralph Chipman, 62, knows the stakes involved in cutting…

Must Flatter, Work Nights and Last Forever

Incandescent bulbs function by running electricity through a tungsten filament, which glows when it gets hot, producing what many people consider a pleasingly warm light. They are inefficient; around 90 percent of that energy is emitted in the form of heat rather than light.

What To Do With An Auto Graveyard

Six months after they were crushed, burned or covered with debris, New York City is ready to dispose of more than 1,000 vehicles recovered from the World Trade Center attacks. The city had planned to hand the cars and trucks over to insurance companies or owners as early as Monday.

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9/11

Protecting Children From Raw 9/11 Memories

On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, it was hard for me to comprehend that a decade had passed since I watched the towers burn in Lower Manhattan. I could still picture the bodies free-falling through the sky like broken twigs. I could still remember the feeling of white tower dust in my mouth. And the smell of burning jet fuel, even just the faintest wisp, would send my body into full-fledged panic.

Exclusive: ‘We Were Not Told To Lie’ About 9/11 And Health

After stepping down this summer as the head of the EPA, the embattled Christine Todd Whitman is once again in the hot seat. This time it’s over her role in the downplaying of health hazards for New York City residents after 9/11. A report by the EPA inspector general says that Whitman assured the public that the air was safe before testing was conclusive. She’s also under fire for allowing EPA statements to be filtered through the White House and screened by the Council on Environmental Quality, which is chaired by James Connaughton, a lawyer who formerly represented the asbestos industry.The long-term effects of inhaling contaminated air is unknown. But New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler accuses the administration of covering up a potential health danger in order to get the economy up and running. “Many people will die early because of this,” says Nadler.In her first interview since the release of the report, Whitman tells NEWSWEEK that she did not object when the White House edited out…

Letter From America

The first thing I notice is the smell. It isn’t just the caustic scent of burnt steel and jet fuel, familiar from the World Trade Center. It’s something human, the odor of death. The next things I notice are the mountains of gray dirt, stretching as far as I can see. A crane scoops from a pile and spreads it out; FBI agents swarm over it with shovels. These aren’t mere piles of dirt at all. They are the pulverized remains of the Twin Towers and all that was inside. …

What To Do With An Auto Graveyard

Six months after they were crushed, burned or covered with debris, New York City is ready to dispose of more than 1,000 vehicles recovered from the World Trade Center attacks. The city had planned to hand the cars and trucks over to insurance companies or owners as early as Monday. But at the last moment, the federal government stepped in and called a halt to the transfer.For weeks, local, state and federal officials have squabbled over whether the vehicles—most of which are coated with fine powder of World Trade Center debris—are safe. “We know the dust contains lead, zinc, mercury, asbestos, not to mention organic materials,” says New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “To release cars to owners is highly irresponsible.” On Thursday, Nadler wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Christie Todd Whitman urging her to file an emergency injunction against the city to prevent their release. On Friday, the EPA asked the city to meet with its officials before releasing the…

Q&A: How 9/11 Kids Coped With Their Loss

A new study finds that children who lost a parent on 9/11 are suffering a disproportionate share of anxiety and stress disorders.

Paul Martin

On September 11, 2001, Karen Ann Martin, the head flight attendant of American Airlines Flight 11, perished when her plane collided with the World Trade Center’s North Tower. But it wasn’t until this year that the New York City medical examiner identified some of her remains. Karen’s younger brother, Paul, spoke with Julie Scelfo.In October. They contacted my older brother. He was kind of shocked. We, all of us [Karen had three siblings], never thought we’d have any remains for her. We had a memorial when it first happened. Then we had a funeral in October 2001, when we buried an urn with rubble from Ground Zero.It was always like something was missing. Some people in my family never got to mourn her death.The remains are a lower leg and a foot. At first that was kind of hard to hear. But it was also a relief, because we knew we could finally bring her home. What are your plans?We had her remains cremated, and she actually arrived today [Dec. 13, 2006]. We plan to bury her where we…

Tv: Lobbying For A Little Restraint

As the first anniversary of the 9-11 attacks draws nearer, victims’ families are quietly waging a letter-writing campaign asking TV networks to provide warnings before airing graphic footage of the attacks. Carie Lemack, a 27-year-old from Boston whose mother was on American Airlines Flight 11, says that when she sees the plane going into the North Tower, “it’s like watching my mother being murdered over and over again.” Other families say the same. “There’ll be a news show on… and suddenly it’ll go to a shot of the buildings falling,” says Kathy Ashton, whose 21-year-old son started work in the WTC on Sept. 10. “Before I can look away, I’ve seen Tommy die again.” Knowing that the coverage will only increase in the weeks to come, Lemack posted a form letter on the Families of September 11 Web site; so far, hundreds of letters have been sent to national cable networks and local news stations. While none of the major networks have agreed to cue viewers, most say they are trying to…

9/11 Cleanup Continues

For New Yorkers living in lower Manhattan, the abandoned, black-shrouded 40-story building across from Ground Zero has for years been a reminder of how the collapsing twin towers emitted a vast blanket of environmental contamination that may still affect nearby residents and workers. On the morning of September 11, 2001, a falling section of 2 World Trade Center ripped open a 15-story hole in the Deutsche Bank Building, which allowed toxic dust and ashes to pour in. According to a damage report prepared for Deutsche Bank in 2003, asbestos, lead, mercury, dioxins and carcinogenic PCBs penetrated the building, snaking their way into interior stairwells, elevator shafts, wall cavities and ventilation systems. In the months that followed, mold also proliferated, contributing to what the report described as “a combination of contaminants … unparalleled in any other building designed for office use.”After a lengthy battle involving insurers and downtown-rebuilding officials, Deutsche…

N.Y. Closure

The site is two boroughs and more than a dozen miles away from what used to be the World Trade Center. But for hundreds of workers who spent the last 10 months at the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, the horrors have been the same. More than 1.8 million tons of debris was brought from Ground Zero. Wearing hazmat suits and respirators, law-enforcement officers and volunteers searched the wreckage for human remains, personal artifacts and, without avail, black boxes from the hijacked airplanes. By last week, 175 acres of debris had been reduced to three 25-foot heaps. But the piles continue to give up grisly artifacts: recently, a police officer’s jacket and the wallet of a female passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 were found. More than 4,400 human remains have been recovered at the landfill, from which 191 people have been identified. Now, most of the people who worked “The Hill” will head home. “What’s tough is knowing that there’re families out there who are still…

Anxiety: ‘We’re All Targets’

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the chance of a terror attack is high. Which is why attendance is soaring at American Red Cross disaster-preparation classes around the country. “I’m not freaked out,” says Linda Velez, who recently attended “Preparing for the Unexpected” in New York. “I just want more information.” Counterterrorism professionals are offering classes, too: at the Fort Sherman Institute for Human Protection at North Idaho College, a former Department of Defense expert is teaching businessmen how to fight back if they’re on a plane overtaken by hijackers. GlobalOptions, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm, is preparing private clients to survive a biological or radiological attack, whether at home or in the workplace (hint: turn the bathroom into a safe room). A former SWAT instructor in Hollywood, Fla., Walter Philbrick, is offering the granddaddy of survival classes tha

September 11: Glimpse Of A Tragedy

Millions were touched by the events of September 11, and now they’re getting a chance to understand the tragedy up close. A new exhibit by the New York State Museum, “Recovery: The World Trade Center Recovery Operation at Fresh Kills,” debuted in August at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland and will travel across the country for the next three years to places like Cleburne, Texas, and Oak Ridge, Tenn. The exhibit includes striking photographs of the 1.8 million tons of debris, plus artifacts like building facades and mangled fire-truck parts. “When you see a few pieces and then see photographs of endless piles of debris,” says exhibit organizer Mark Schaming, “you begin to more viscerally understand the magnitude of the disaster.”

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Design

Richard Meier’s High and Mighty Beach House

With 25 tons of glass and 5,000-pound I-beams, the architect creates a cottage to withstand any storm.

A High-Level Collaboration on a SoHo Loft

Prompted by her journalist partner, the choreographer and dancer Elizabeth Streb domesticates.

Tenants of a Vanishing World

An apartment at the Apthorp is a lone outpost of the kind of bohemian family life that renters could once have there.

After the Breakup, What About the Lake House?

A couple’s tale of lost love has a familiar arc, and an epilogue that has become increasingly familiar as well, as unwanted houses become prisons rather than cocoons.

The Makeover Moment

Even as many people are being more cautious than ever about spending, some homeowners are deciding that it’s a good time to renovate.

The $300 Makeover (At Least That Was the Goal)

Five designers were asked to remake a room for people in and around the city who had recently lost their jobs, spending no more than $300.

Lots of Pictures, Little Space

The Times asked a designer to help a West Coast transplant display her extensive photo collection in her Jersey City home.

Vicente Wolf Creates an Indian Sanctuary in Kips Bay

Temples and palaces in India inspire a low-cost, hot-pink room in a New York apartment.

Fitting a Nursery Into a Home Office

An interior designer helps a couple solve a New York puzzle: where to put the baby, on a $5,000 budget.

Inside Designers’ Homes

“Designers Here and There: Inside the City and Country Homes of America’s Top Decorators” documents the wide array of spaces designers create for themselves.

The Rocky Road Home

An American moving back to New York from Afghanistan had $10,000 to spend on furnishing his Chelsea apartment. The Times asked the designer Richard Mishaan to help him resettle.

Newly Married, in Search of a Style

When a young couple discovers the difficulty of making a home on a relatively small budget, it’s time to bring in the design professional for guidance.

Redecorating Isn’t Always Pretty

A client and her designer trade ideas (and barbs) en route to a happy ending on a tight budget.

A Place Fit for the Boss

A reader’s Brooklyn loft gets a makeover on a $5,000 budget with the help of a professional designer, who took the space from stark to sleek just in time for a party with colleagues.

Old Sofas Borrow a New Idea From Cars

After the success of this summer’s cash-for-clunkers program, retailers and manufacturers are introducing trade-in programs for everything from outdated entertainment centers to used mattresses.

The Couch Potato Was Born in Paris

Joan DeJean, author of “The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual — And the Modern Home Began,” explains how the sofa was an agent of cultural change.

All Dressed Up

Taking a cue from fashion, furniture companies are pushing their customers to accessorize. A necklace for your bed anyone?

High Point Hears Cheers From Abroad

The overseas market for American-made luxury furnishings, though small, is rising.

New From the Wright Archive

Tim Copeland, a Vermont furniture maker who has exclusive rights to produce Frank Lloyd Wright’s furniture, was reviewing drawings at the Taliesin West archives in Scottsdale, Ariz., last year when he made a surprising discovery. Among the drawings…

Try to Contain Yourself

Ann Sullivan, a professional organizer, shopped for storage containers that make organizing appealing.

Fans That Look Cool

Ron Rezek, the founder and owner of the Modern Fan Company in Ashland, Ore., went shopping for portable fans.

A Ph.D. in Patio Fabrics

Dr. Andrew H. Dent, a consultant who researches textiles and helps designers find materials, searched for outdoor cushions that would survive the summer.

When the Vases Hit the Floor

Porcelain, one of Thomas O’Brien’s new rugs for Safavieh Couture, features a series of childlike depictions of Chinese vases.

Made in Brooklyn

Just as Brooklyn has become a center for locally produced, handcrafted food, it has also developed a broad population of independent, often artisanal designers.

In Case You Missed It

Taschen has created a facsimile edition of 265 issues of Arts & Architecture magazines.

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Families & Relationships

Helicopter parents’ are so 20th century. Say hello to the ‘snowplow parents

$500,000 to get your kid into an elite college? Not cool. But when last week’s news about Operation Varsity Blues came out, psychologists and parenting experts recognized it for what it was: just the latest outrageous example of bad parenting they’ve been observing for decades.

A Family’s Truth About Marijuana Depends on the Family

Reporting on five families with wildly divergent ideas about what to teach their kids about marijuana, from no tolerance to offering to roll the joints and make nachos.

The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In

Parents’ use of smartphones and laptops — and its effect on their children — is becoming a source of concern to researchers.

Grandma’s Gifts Need Extra Reindeer

Some parents struggle with how to keep well-meaning loved ones from overdoing it with gifts for the children.

After the Breakup, What About the Lake House?

A couple’s tale of lost love has a familiar arc, and an epilogue that has become increasingly familiar as well, as unwanted houses become prisons rather than cocoons.

Words to Live (With a Roommate) By

The new book “I Lick My Cheese and Other Real Notes From the Roommate Frontlines” documents the absurdity of cohabitation.

At Army Base, Stork Landed With the Airborne

There has been a sharp increase in births at Fort Bragg in North Carolina after the return of thousands of soldiers.

Parent Shock: Children Are Not Décor

When a couple has invested in a pristine, high-style home for grown-ups, the transition to making that home child-friendly can be hard.

A Holiday Medley, Off Key

Millions of adults in interfaith marriages face the December dilemma: the annual conflict over how to decorate homes, how and when to give gifts and which rituals to celebrate.

Happy Divorce

When Chanukah begins next week, Randy Fuerst and Susan Arnold will mark the Jewish Festival of Lights with the same beloved traditions they’ve enjoyed since they married in 1983.

Couples: Love–And Marriage?

Living with your boyfriend is fun. It also can be practical, meaningful and a sign of deep commitment. But as if to confirm the fears of nervous parents around the country, a new study in the Journal of Family Issues says that couples who live together are much less likely to wed than they used to be.

Moms and Nannies: A Complicated Relationship

Ever since mothers were admitted to the professional classes, as a long line of books tell us, their lot has not been an easy one: they’re overworked, stressed and exhausted.

Study: A Downside to Day Care?

A new study finds that children who regularly attend day-care centers develop more behavioral problems in kindergarten than those that don’t. What’s a parent to do?