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Fleur-de-lis blooms as symbol of Katrina


Fleur-de-lis tattoos, jewelry and clothes have proliferated in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. The French colonial symbol has become an icon of solidarity among storm victims.

Advertising 2.0: The rise of the flat screen

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Spurred by the low cost of the flat screen technology and the continuing decline of newspaper circulations, many companies are now turning to digital flat screens as a new and more creative way to reach a larger group of customers at the time it matters most--when they are about to take out their wallets. Although the digital advertising industry is still relatively young, the medium has been rapidly growing – and it's not just limited to the big chain stores. More and more, flat screen advertising is creeping into the corner deli or the local pub. However, it’s still too early to tell whether the signs are having an impact, say businesses piloting the screens. And consumers seem to have mixed feelings about it, too.

Oyez, oyez, oyez! Town criers shout to be heard


Oyez, oyez, oyez, the end is not near. The town crier, the precursor of newspapers, offers more than a history lesson, and they're still alive and kicking--or in their case, crying.

Wired worshippers log on to meet God


Cyber worship is a new catch phrase that has 21st century believers buzzing. People who cannot physically attend church services can now take advantage of God-casting and watch sermons online, while those who don't buy into the idea of organized religion can address the Almighty directly on a new blog-like forum,

Reach for the sky: SlamBall’s back

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Proponents of SlamBall are trying once again to get a new professional sport off the ground. Literally. In this hybrid of basketball, hockey and gymnastics, players try to dunk baskets while propelling themselves 15 feet in the air. But will it crash once again?

Forget hops, how about some chocolate in your beer?


A worldwide shortage of hops, the flavoring found in most beers, is inspiring homebrewers to get creative with their hobby, adding everything from vanilla to spices from the Middle Ages to their drink.

The super-rich sink to unexplored depths with new breed of underwater toys

This past February a man raised his hand in The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel dining room, thus securing for his wife a three-day, training session in a two-person winged submarine in the Bahamas. An emerging trend amongst the super-rich and adventurous personal submarines are going faster, farther and deeper into the last great unexplored expanse on earth, the ocean.

Opting out of Facebook

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Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has drawn more than 70 million users, but some of the site’s original intended patrons – college grads now in their 20s – have become alienated from and uncomfortable with the platform they and their peers helped catapult into mainstream use.

Stop and smell the roses ... before the fragrance is gone

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Pollution is dulling the scent of flowers, and that may explain why bees are dying, according to a new study. But there may be a solution: citizen gardeners.

The trouble with travel guides


Seasoned travel writers are challenging the integrity of the guidebook industry, many of which crib from each other, paint the world through rose-colored glasses and offer descriptions that are out of date.

Still working: 75 years later, New Deal projects continue to matter


The government initiative that put America back to work during the Depression turns 75 this year. Many of the buildings developed as part of the New Deal's job programs still attract visitors. And some are being remodeled to last another 75 years.

Can't remember your meds? A necklace is in the works for you


Experts estimate that people who don't follow their prescriptions properly incur at least $100 billion annually in other medical costs to deal with the consequences. Now developers at Georgia Tech are creating a sensor-equipped necklace that detects pills and alerts people who forget their medication.

Yawn: A dull job can be bad for your mental health


Feeling worn out and depressed from taking long coffee breaks and playing excessive amounts of Sudoku on the job? You might be suffering from a condition called boreout. Too much free time can be as stressful as overworking.

Militant fashion? A Palestinian scarf becomes hip-hop chic


The kaffiyeh, the checkered Middle Eastern scarf symbolic of Palestinian nationalism, is gaining popularity as a hip-hop fashion accessory, losing its potent symbolism in the process. Worn by artists like Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown, it's fueled a debate over the commercial adoption of the look popularized by Yasser Arafat and Hamas.

The Answer People

Online question-and-answer communities are thriving, thanks to volunteer know-it-alls and people who wonder how much Kool-aid could turn an ocean into a drink.

Watch out adults, "kidpreneurs" are entering the world of business


If you thought the dot-comers were young, meet Cassidy Goldstein, the 11-year-old inventor of Wal-Mart's "crayon holder." Nowadays Internet-savvy children as young as 8 are learning business skills in the classroom, and a growing number of these "kidpreneurs" are launching their own businesses.

Race researchers: Behind the scenes of America's newest conversation


Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy has spurred a national discussion on race. Ironically, however, social scientists have published provocative research showing that whites are avoiding talking to blacks, not because they are overtly racist, but because they fear making a racial slip.

Hashing brings new meaning to “Beer Run”


Part scavenger hunt, part fun run--with the promise of a beer at the finish line--hashing has a distinguished lineage dating back to Victorian England. Hashes are run regularly in 178 countries and are gaining in popularity across the United States and Canada.

These frequent flyers do it for fun and fitness


People first did it at Club Med and now they're older and they're still doing it. Men and women nearing retirement age are flying on a trapeze at an increasing number of schools and retreats that offer the exhilarating activity.

The YouTube Diet: Showing the world how your pounds fade away


Looking for weight loss motivation? Thanks to YouTube, it’s as easy as point-and-click.

Choreplay: Housework gets sexy?


Spring is a natural aphrodisiac. But what about spring cleaning? New studies have shown that women are more attracted to men who do more housework. Just in time for mothers day, a new book titled "Porn for New Moms" features dads cleaning house.

Did you hear that? Direct-sound ads target one person at a time


Forget billboards and loudspeakers. These days advertisers are working with directional sound, a new technology that allows them to reach one person at a time.

New study links testosterone and day traders' profitability


Turns out successful Wall Street traders are less Gordon Gekko and more Roger Federer--cool and collected under pressure. A new study links testosterone levels with financial decision-making and shows traders whose testosterone levels are higher in the morning make more money throughout the day.

Boating, Chinese style: Dragon boats gains fans


A dragon boat is set to carry the Olympic torchbearers in Hong Kong on May 2. But dragon boating is growing in popularity outside China, and now is reported to be the fastest growing team water sports internationally. Races will be held this summer in Boston, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and Tampa Bay, Fla.

Want to safeguard your dog's health? Don't forget the eyes.


Most dog owners assume that the annual routine exam at the vet's office will take care of all aspects of their pet's health. But veterinary ophthalmologists across the country urge owners to make sure their pet's eyes get a closer look.

The little tug boat that could change the industry


Think filling the gas tank of your car is pricey? It can cost $30,000-plus to fuel a tugboat. Now, this once gritty industry is starting to go "green" with hybrid tugboats, fuel efficient technologies and lower-friction paint on the hulls.

Vision inside the eye of the storm gets sharper


A hurricane's force when it hits land can be difficult to predict. This year, scientists will try out new ways to gauge the inner churnings of these storms in the hopes of giving coastal towns more time to prepare.

Despite the delete key, the eraser pencil prevails

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The eraser pencil turns 150 this year. It has survived the ballpoint pen, the typewriter and the personal computer, and still has a dedicated following. Something to chew on.

Pagan weddings attract more than a cult following

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The couple next door may be planning to tie the knot with a pagan wedding.

The Alexander Technique steps off the stage to bring pain relief to the masses


Actors and opera singers have been using the Alexander Technique for centuries to loosen up, relax, and retrain their bodies to move more efficiently. Now, it's increasingly available for us mortals: office workers with stiff necks and gardeners with aching knees.

Spring fashion fling: Extreme high heels


This season's designer high heels bear greater resemblance to surrealist art then footwear. With heels higher than ever, these shoes, which are practically unwearable in some cases, provide an escape from every day monotony.

Elbows off the table, close your mouth when you chew: Charm schools are making a comeback


They used to be relics of the past, along with the tea parties, cotillions, and high-society soirees they evoked. But charm schools are making a comeback as an increasing number of people, especially teenage girls, are signing up to learn how to walk, talk and eat with class.

For working moms, a new Web site shows how to stay at home and still manage a career


Ever since women began entering the workforce, mothers of young children have felt pulled between work and home. Now a new Web site connects outsourcing companies with stay-at-home moms who don't want to give up on their careers.

Forget the Olympic torch, how about a hug?


While some countries consider boycotting portions of the Beijing Olympics this summer, an international group of students is trying to bring the spirit of the games to small cities across China–-one hug at a time.

U.S. neo-Nazi groups are deeply divided and poorly organized


Neo-Nazi nests still pocket the U.S., and hate groups are growing. At the same time, these organizations are riven by rivalries and plagued by poor leadership.

Want to conserve water and money? Buy a rain barrel


Harnessing rain has become an increasingly popular way for people to lower their water bills and help the environment.

Bagel brouhaha: Across America, bagel makers are boiling before baking, the inimitable "New York" style

When is a bagel not a bagel? When it's not boiled, according to enthusiasts. Independent bakers are preserving the New York style of boiling before baking, and they're claiming their share of the big bagel market.

From the bar to the bedroom, eco-friendly just got more fun


From cocktails to sex toys, organic options among sinful pleasures have started gaining popularity as people try to find more ways to incorporate green living into their everyday lives.

Free medicine from a surprising source: Drug companies


Many low-income, uninsured people do without essential medication because they can't afford the high drug prices. But help is available from, of all places, the pharmeceutical companies themselves, which offer millions of dollars worth of free prescription drugs to the needy.

Don't stop believing: Hair metal fans come out of hiding


When musical tastes changed in the 1990s, hair metal fans had to hide their love away. Now, thanks to the Web, they are coming out of the closet.

On new Web site, a woman can ditch her guy, as well as the jewelry he gave her


"You don't want it. He can't have it back" is the tagline of, where women can sell gifts from their exes and trade break-up stories.

The more women at the top, the merrier the bottom line

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A new study shows that those companies with the most women at the top achieve the best financial results--but women executives are ambivalent about the report.

Carrying the torch for the Dalai Lama

Spurred by an Olympic vision, one New Yorker is on a unique quest not to protest the Beijing games, but to see the Dalai Lama carry the Olympic Torch to promote unity with China.

Adults conquer their fear of bikes to avoid the gas pump


High gas prices and environmental concerns are leading adults to conquer their fear of the two-wheeler and at long last learn to ride a bicycle.