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HIV and motherhood: When not only the pregnancy test is positive

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With improved treatment and longer life expectancies, a growing number of HIV-positive women choose to have a baby


The Green Fairy Returns To America

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Nearly a century after it was banned in America, Absinthe, the storied green liquor that has been falsely blamed for everything from inciting hallucinations of green fairies to driving Vincent van Gogh to suicide, is hoping to make a triumphant return. Will bartenders revive the old-world spirit’s popularity, or is it just another passing fad?


Brave new burger: The humble American sandwich goes gourmet

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Hamburgers are now elaborate culinary creations, with truffles, foie gras, gruyere and bacon compote taking the place of a simple ground beef patty topped with pickles and mustard. But is over-gourmetization by top chefs a help or hindrance to the humble spirit of this classic American sandwich?


A national holiday? High five!

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The high five--that moment of shared triumph followed by a satisfying smack--gets its fifteen minutes of fame on April 17 as enthusiasts mark National High Five Day in the name of joy and unity.


Atheists go to church, too

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Not all atheists dislike organized religion. That's why some of them have founded their own religious congregations. Just don't call them houses of God.


Many BlackBerry users accessing news in their palms

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Accessing the news on PDAs has become very common, and is a new alternative to bringing the newspaper into the bathroom.


Iraq vets go shaggy to break with the past

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Buzzcuts and close shaves are the mandated look when serving the country. But after tough tours in Iraq, a growing number of discharged Army officers are going shaggy to break with the past.


Going global to meet a college dream

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What started out as a program of elite high schoolers for children of expatriate families is now a crucial stepping stone for public school students across the U.S. The International Baccalaureate program, which turns 40 this year, has expanded its highly regarded curriculum into about 800 public schools -- giving a growing number of students their first real shot at getting into a good college.


Rethinking child testimony: Research shows children are less likely to form false memories.

After high-profile sex abuse cases in the 1980s, it was assumed by many that children were less reliable witnesses than adults. But a new wave of research led by researchers at Cornell University shows kids are actually less likely to form false memories than adults.


New condoms marketed to women say 'Do it with style'

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Navigating the condom aisle at the drug store has usually been the guy’s job, but Planned Parenthood is now offering a new line of condoms marketed to young women who may have felt embarrassed to carry condoms in the past. Packaged in chic, colorful boxes, “Proper Attire Condoms” advertise themselves as a “must have accessory” that are “required for entry.” With recent statistics in from the Center for Disease Control that 25 percent of all teenage girls have a sexually transmitted disease, condoms that women feel comfortable buying may be more important than ever.


Not only is camera film still hanging on, but for some it's the only choice.

Film lovers say that film delivers what they say digital photography can't: warmth and magic.


Foreign citizens are joining U.S. presidential campaigns, even though they can't vote

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Foreign citizens can't vote in U.S. elections, but many care passionately about who takes over the Oval Office after George W. Bush. So, they're spending vacations and school holidays campaigning for their chosen candidates, and loving democracy, American style.


Have art, will deliver

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Frustrated with the competitive world of galleries, many artists are taking their work on the road, creating their own mobile museums out of RVs, vans or trucks.


Beware: The voice of the robot is taking over

Electronic voices are taking over the pop charts. Twisted? Perhaps. And also a sign of our techno-savvy times.


Buy dress, order corsage, get babysitter. Adults go to the prom

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It's getting toward prom season around America, but high-school seniors aren't the only ones thinking about what to wear. Adults across the country are organizing proms of their own, and finding it's a lot more fun now that they've outgrown their teen angst.


Online editing service aims to make e-mails error free.

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When the stakes of an e-mail are high, professionally or personally, some writers are turning to an online editing service to make sure they get it absolutely right.


Analyze this: Therapists offer counseling online

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When you're down and troubled, psychotherapy is just a mouse click away. E-shrinks might be helpful for those who would never seek help in person, but skeptics question whether e-therapy can come close to the real thing.


Gay, Jewish and proud: Some Jews plan to infuse gay pride into Passover this year

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Some Jews celebrating Passover this year plan to read from a brand-new gay and lesbian Haggadah that will allow them to celebrate both their Jewish history and their gay pride at the same time.


A Pill for men? Scientists develop new ways for men to control their fertility

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Thanks to researchers and changing attitudes among men and women, there could one day be two packs of birth control pills on the nightstand, one for her and one for him.


Take a leech and call me in the morning: An old medical nostrum is back in vogue

For hundreds of years leeches have slithered their way in and out of the world of medicine. Long dismissed as quackery, the use of leeches by doctors is once again widely accepted, to the point where the blood-sucking worms are now FDA approved.


Prisoners' families help themselves

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An ex-con starts a Web site to help families deal with the hardships of loving someone on the inside.


Blogs are for everyone, so why not your pet?

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These days, it seems like everyone has a blog. So why not your pet?


Carbon calculators abound, but which ones measure up?

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More Americans are turning to online calculators to tell them how their lifestyles are affecting the environment. But as each one spits out a different answer, experts are asking how useful they really are.


Reuse, recycle and now, refill: Bottled water comes under attack

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There are signs that Americans may be weaning themselves off their billion-dollar bottled water habit and turning back to the tap.


Don't blush, just do the 'awkward turtle'

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Turning beet red is so five years ago. Today, teens are adopting a mascot to help them laugh off embarrassing moments. Put one hand on the other, spin your thumbs, and you're doing the "awkward turtle."


R U Awake? Cell phone users are sending text messages while asleep

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You've heard of sleepwalking, sleep driving, and sleep binge-eating. Now, cell phone users report that they are “sleep-texting,” text messaging friends from their cell phones while asleep.


Spring chickens: Gymnastics is no longer just for the young

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Looking to tone up, trim down and have some fun? A movement is underway to transform gymnastics from a competitive sport for the young into a lifetime activity. You're never too old to do a cartwheel.


Foosball anyone? An old game makes a comeback

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The “foosies” are back. Table soccer, aka foosball, was a popular bar game in the 1970s, before video arcades pushed it out of the limelight. Now it's a worldwide phenomenon, complete with international tournaments and serious prize money. The best part: you don't have to be in shape to play.


Saving the world's frogs, one ark at a time

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Thousands of species of frogs are at risk of extinction from habitat destruction and a mysterious fungus that is sweeping the globe. But zoos all over America have started placing frogs into biologically secure "arks" in an effort to prevent one of the greatest extinction crises since the dinosaurs.


Iconic American brands see a boon in sales amid lackluster U.S. demand

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U.S.-based demand for iconic American brands (e.g., McDonald's, Coca-Cola) are no longer driving sales growth for their parent companies. Sales growth, and profits, are coming from overseas sales, where demand for iconic American brands is hot.


Pet-sitting no longer for the neighborhood kid

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Professional pet-sitting has become big business. No longer the casual job left to the neighbor's kid, it's hard work, physically and emotionally.


Off the records: Old laws keep many adoptees from obtaining birth certificates

When they're grown up, millions of adoptees in America are denied their original birth certificates, and, depending on state statutes, may be given doctored-up documents. But laws are slowly changing to give them access to the medical histories they desperately need.


Taste the magic: A tropical berry makes sour foods taste sweet.

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Lemons taste like lemonade; vinegar tastes like apple juice; rhubarb tastes like sugar cane. A tropical berry called ‘magic fruit’ makes sour things taste sweet, providing adventurous eaters new fodder for experimentation.


'Mole' and 'Ratty' still messing about in boats: 'The Wind in the Willows' turns 100

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At 100, The Wind in the Willows has influenced generations of writers, and readers.


So, what's with those electric hand dryers? Clean and green, yes, but also really annoying

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The electric hand dryer, adored by facilities managers and janitors, is hated by restroom users despite being touted as environmentally superior to paper towels. What is an eco-conscious dryer-detester to do?


Got $250 to spend this summer? Rent an island.

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As summer vacation nears, islands that rent by the week are becoming increasingly popular--and economical.


Popular myth to the contrary, most U.S. politicians still work for nothing

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In a year of record-breaking campaign spending, money seems to pervade politics. But for most elected officials serving their civic duty in America, campaigning is cheap and politics is a labor of love.


Bat and ball, but not baseball: Cricket catches on

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Cricket is catching on. Surging on wave of immigrant enthusiasm, the sport is now being played for the first time in U.S. public high schools and other youth leagues, but many obstacles still stand in the way of its success here.


Army discharge stats suggest that wartime breeds a new attitude toward soldiers who are 'different'

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Recently obtained figures on Army discharges indicate that, since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army's dismissal rates for previously high-risk groups like homosexuals, the weight-challenged, and those with substance issues have decreased dramatically. Is it a new era of liberal politics in the military or is it just desperation for man-power?


Web site helps daters find real love in a virtual world

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A growing number of online daters are turning to virtual dating--meeting people through avatars--as an alternative to sifting through online profiles in the hopes of finding love.


Green roof gambit: How plant-covered rooftops will defend cities against global warming

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Green roofs are a growing trend in building development, but can they do anything besides lower the energy bill? Climate scientists think green roofs have great potential to defend cities against the ravages of global warming, and, as the research pours in, the case for green roofs is growing.


Homeopathic medicine has patients flocking, but some docs scoffing

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Patients swear by it. It comes with few side effects. And studies show it useful in treating conditions conventional medicine has no answer for. Conventional doctors say it's only a placebo, and, as a result, it remains relatively obscure. But homeopathic practitioners want to know: why all the doubt?


Retirement? Not for me, thanks

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Many baby boomers are choosing to work longer, looking for new jobs or starting their own businesses.


Marijuana advocates hopeful for legalization

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New York is poised to become the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana, and advocates are also hoping that after the election a Democratic president might pave the way for a softening of the federal stance on medical marijuana.


The lowly penny has some foes, and some friends

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Pennies now cost more to produce than they are actually worth,and the Treasury secretary says its time may have come. But others, including groups backed by mineral lobbies, think abolishing the penny would cost the economy too much and point to its long history.


USB Gadgets: The Newest (Computer) Fashion Accessory

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From a humping dog to a pole dancer, consumers are livening up their workplace and expressing their personalities with gadgets ranging from the functional to the purely decorative that plug into their computer's USB ports. In addition to their amusement value, these products, though often silly, may also provide some psychological benefits.


A protein boost for bees could mean more fruit on the shelves

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This fruit-growing season, bee colonies are shrinking. But a new protein boost for the bugs could strengthen their health and help put more fruit and nuts on the shelves this year.


Changes in TV pilot season make it tougher for aspiring actors

TV viewers weren't the only ones sitting home bored during the Hollywood writers' strike; so were many aspiring actors in Los Angeles hoping to land a part in pilot TV series. For actors with dreams of stardom (or even a steady paycheck), changes in the way TV shows are produced are making a competitive business even tougher.


Living together, living green

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Cohousing developments are sprouting up like never before, helping people live not only more communal, but also more environmentally conscious lives.