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Astronaut chow: NASA makes giant leaps in space food

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Space food has advanced light-years since the first moon walkers returned to Earth. Today's astronauts can choose from hundreds of dishes, ranging from shrimp cocktail to homemade cookies. But don't expect fresh salad.


New Humane Society award honors human heroes

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The Humane Society is now recognizing people who come to the rescue of animals with a special award. Among the recipients have been a man who rescued a deer from the ice and a woman who saved a kitten from torture.


Roll over, Beethoven: Dogs like music, too

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Kennels, animal hospitals, and rescue shelters--and increasing numbers of dog owners--are using music to calm their pets. Others are making a business out of creating or marketing “pet-friendly” CDs and even a pet radio station.


Gambling that pays off: Poker in your pajamas

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Thousands of people across North America are electing to stay at home and earn their living playing poker online. However, gambling laws remain uncertain, and luck may disappear at any moment.


Yo! Oy! It’s global hip-hop, Orthodox Jewish style

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His religious friends know him as Yitzchak Jordan. His hip-hop fans call him Y-Love. How does a black, Orthodox Jewish rapper straddle two opposing cultures?


Of mice and 'mindfulness': Fighting eating disorders

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"Mindful eating" as a technique in the treatment of eating disorders is no longer just for adults. Medical professionals are finding people are susceptible to the disorder at the earliest age--and that prevention programs as late as middle school can be too late.


Small anti-ad groups take on big billboard companies

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For years, the mammoth U.S. advertising industry has been sprinkling highways and city streets with hundreds of thousands of giant billboards throughout the country. Now, activist groups are springing up from California to New York to combat big-time advertisers by dragging them to court, sabotaging outdoor ads, or at least having a good laugh at their expense.


Teaching a robot to dance? That, and maybe a lot more

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Blade Runner-like humanoids they're not, but today's robots mimic human traits nonetheless.


Mend my broken heart dot com

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Just got dumped by your girlfriend? Disappointed lovers can now vent their heartache and seek solace on a growing number of Web sites.


Sweet'N Fat: Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

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Sugar substitutes, often considered the ally of the obese, may really be a dieter's worst enemy. Nearly 200 millions Americans use them, and these unsuspecting consumers may actually be gaining weight--not losing it--as a result, according to a new study.


Voldemort can't stop the rock, and neither can J.K. Rowling

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Publication of the final Harry Potter book last summer hasn't stopped fans from forming new "wizard rock" bands. Making and listening to wizard-themed music is a way for these Potter devotees to keep the magic alive.


Want to be Italian? Just apply yourself.

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With dual Italian citizenship, U.S. residents can freely work, retire, invest or get health care in any of the 27 member states of the European Union. Thousands are signing up to claim their second citizenship, despite the bureaucratic tangle involved.


Video games are not just for kids any more

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More Americans adults are playing video games, with many seeking action, fantasy and even intellectual challenges.


Only to find Gideon's Bible: The Good Book in the hotel nightstand turns 100

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Since 1908, sixty years before the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon went into his room, only to find it, the Gideon-distributed Bible has been sent, gratis, to nearly every hotel in the U.S., as well as those in 183 countries. That's 1.4 billion, and counting.


Cities try to go dark for Earth Hour

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After 2 million people in Sydney, Australia, turned out their lights for Earth Hour last year, a handful of cities across the U.S. and Canada have committed to be part of a global one-hour lights-out exercise on March 29. But for facilities managers and engineers preparing for the event, the task isn't as simple as flicking a switch.


Need to find a bathroom, fast? Use your cell phone.

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The capabilities of cell phones keep multiplying. New programs can alert drivers to speed traps, direct pedestrians to the nearest bathroom, and allow total strangers to engage in a game of virtual tag. And many of the applications are free.


Happily-ever-after parties are on the rise

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A growing number of couples are not only planning the wedding ceremony and the reception, they're splurging on a post-wedding party, one often has a theme, a separate guest list, and (another) open bar. For many, the honeymoon has been eclipsed by hanging out with friends and family at the suddenly popular after-party.


As super bug spreads, doctors rethink approach

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An increasingly dangerous intestinal super bug is sending ripples through the medical community. The disease, caused by a pathogen known as C. diff, thrives in unsanitary hospital conditions and in response to antibiotic treatments. These circumstances, some experts say, create a vicious cycle where the health care industry feeds the problem it is trying to treat.


The swede smell of success

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A new generation of amateur filmmakers remake movies intentionally badly, and, for some, YouTube stardom and even Hollywood await. Encouraged by a new Hollywood movie and in the footsteps of Spielberg, these are their stories.


Sizzling: Bacon is the food world's hottest new flavor

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Across the country, bacon is finding its way into surprisingly new dietary arenas. From desserts to vodka, bacon is the sizzling new flavor of the culinary world.


Forget polls. Political T-shirt sales might tell it all

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This hot election season, political merchandise is flying off the Internet, leaving some merchants to place bets on a winner based on which T-shirts are selling best.


Growing discontent with Vatican spawns underground churches

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Sexual abuse and conservative leadership are driving Catholics out of their parishes. Could underground churches be the answer?


Confusion over green dry cleaning leaves some customers steamed

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Green or organic dry cleaning offers consumers a chance to do their part for the environment. But what exactly is green dry cleaning?


Here's to the 'bromance'--straight men embracing close friendships

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Guys open up about male friendship, and sociologists explain the advent of this manly kind of love.


Dogs say, 'I do'

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Pet weddings, or “Bow-wow vows,” are on the rise in the United States and include a cadre of professionals like pet marriage counselors, pet wedding planners, pet caterers, pet trainers and pet priests.


Walking with the unknown

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Most Americans are unaware that leg aches and the inability to walk long distances may be something much more serious than aging. Peripheral Arterial Disease, a major red flag for heart attacks and strokes, is largely unheard of, especially to women, according to a recent American Heart Association study.


Therapy and evolution explain love story as old as time

New theories from therapists and evolutionary psychologists help explain why couples are so often stuck pursing and pushing the other way, a dynamic that is at the root of many divorces.


Tender love and whores: Why alcoholic womanizer poet Charles Bukowski endures 14 years after his death

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Henry Charles Bukowski, poet and novelist, was famous for his hard-drinking, womanizing ways, which he often wrote explicitly of in his works. But, despite being decried by critics, he has found a home in readers who like his straightforward language and enduring themes. Fourteen years after his death, Bukowski is showing up in DVDs, online video, new publications of his poetry, and even on a fan website. Bukowski, despite derision, lives on.


At 50, NORAD turns its eye from the Soviet threat to homeland security

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NORAD, the North Aerospace Defense Command, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this spring. The US-Canada military collaboration has undergone many changes since its Cold War beginning, but none have been as far reaching as those that came in the aftermath of 9/11.


A service for those with too much money and not enough time

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A growing industry of concierge companies compete to provide the uber-wealthy with their every last request: Quick, Rod Stewart's in Cannes, and he needs a Scottish kilt, fast.


Curling, the sport 'sweeping' the country

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Curling, the sport played on ice with brooms and smooth round stones, has expanded more in the United States in the last six years than in the previous 60 years. Forty new curling clubs have opened nationwide, most in the South and West, and some in places where there is no naturally occurring ice.


Picture books grow up: Graphic novels find an adult audience

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Novels that incorporate elements of literature and artwork is experiencing a boom among adults of all ages.


Read, Fido, read: Dogs help struggling children excel

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Dog owners train pups to read, turn story book pages and help struggling kids with "pawphonics."


Dirty pictures or a stroke of genius? The penile artist makes his mark.

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Australian painter Tim Patch has an international fan base for a unique brand of artwork--created by using a part of the body other artists keep zipped up.