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Needed: A bachelor's degree for quitting smoking

Seven percent of Americans with graduate degrees smoke, compared to 46 percent of Americans who have a GED. And, now, a new study has found that "stop smoking" ad campaigns are not as effective in causing less-educated Americans to quit.

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


Researchers around the world are working on new options for male contraceptives. One day, there could be two dial packs of birth control pills on the nightstand, one for her and one for him.

Down the backstretch: Off-track betting is on last legs


Wagering on horse racing hasn't been like in "Guys and Dolls" for years. But off-track betting, which has survived, is now feeling the pinch more than ever as interest in the sport declines. A few states that offer betting opportunities away from the track have tried to halt the slide, adding slot machines and beautifying parlors with limited success. New York City, which has one of the largest "OTB" operations in the country, is having so much trouble that it is set to close the parlors in June, angering longtime patrons and employees who don't want to lose their informal community centers, however seedy.

Ready for your close-up now? Hire a personal paparazzo


While most celebrities are fed up with paparazzi trailing them everywhere, a growing number of average Joes are craving the VIP-style attention. Now, people can hire their own personal paparazzi to ambush them, create some buzz outside a club or cover their special occasions--from a bachelorette party to a childbirth.

Marriages on the fly: Elopements increase as wedding costs soar


Elopements grow in popularity as high food and gas prices drive up the cost of traditional weddings.

Eat your cake and have some more, but not on paper plates


A growing number of parents are throwing "green" birthday parties to teach their children about environmentally conscious living.

Video game turf wars: Hollywood vs. the gamers

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Steven Spielberg is the newest, and most major, film director to jump into the world of video games. His new game, set to hit stores in May, has fired industry hopes of a multi-million dollar boon for the gaming industry. So why aren't gamers more excited?

Scents and sensibility: Companies woo consumers with fragrant products


Get a whiff of this: With scientific research showing a strong link between smell and emotion, scents are being used to market products, create atmospheres and stimulate ideas. The nose knows.

Worried your kids will tire of their toys too soon? Rent them instead

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In a culture where everything is now rentable, parents are leasing toys from a monthly Netflix-like subscription service and trading them in for the next big thing when their kids lose interest.

A new beginning: African-Americans and the Mormon Church

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African-Americans who have been drawn to the Mormon Church confront issues with their religious beliefs and with friends and family members who wonder why they have chosen that church. Looking beyond the church's racially charged past, African-Americans interested in the faith try to forge their own identities amid some lingering cultural resistance.

Mental asylums: A new wave in residential housing

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People who seek housing in former mental hospitals appreciate the grand decor and allure of history, but they are left wondering whether ghosts and spirits may be among them.

Trouble selling your home? Try giving out chocolate-covered strawberries

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In a shaky economy, real estate brokers go to extremes to draw potential buyers into a home. Champagne, anyone?

Bikes are back, and so are the people who make them


A surging interest in hand-made bicycles around the country, some of it generated by a popular urban trend imitating bicycle messengers, has stimulated a century-old bicycle tradition that had faded into obscurity.

Scram! Getting rid of pesky teenagers with an ear-piercing sound


This spring, convenience stores in Canada and an apartment in Queens are the latest to rely on high-frequency, ultrasonic sound box to clear public spaces of loiterers. Emitting a sharp sound that only people age 13 to 25 can hear, the device, called the Mosquito, has begun to gain traction in the United States. Law enforcement and building administrators praise its attributes. Kids run in annoyance. In England, critics have mounted a campaign against the device, claiming age discrimination.

No SOS needed for amateur radio


The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite the wonders of instant messaging, Skype and video chat, ham radio usage is thriving. And it's not just old-timers chatting with each other. Plenty of young people are taking up the hobby.

Pricey New York is no deterrent to budget travelers--if you know where to look


Recession or not, the Big Apple still offers bargains for some budget-conscious travelers who look in the right places.

Young adults found to lack personal finance skills


College-bound students are sending alarming signals about their ability to manage money and make the right choices for their futures.

Looking for that next great read? Check your mailbox.


Following in the footsteps of Netflix, online book rental services bring books to subscribers' doorsteps for a monthly fee.

Temp doctors in demand


A doctor working through a temp agency may sound strange, but it's a common practice--and demand for these temp doctors is on the rise. Some say it's an early sign of a nationwide doctor shortage.

For some, booking travel online just isn't what it used to be

More Americans are booking travel online than ever before, but that doesn't mean they're happy about it.

The best way to avoid traffic? Get rid of the drivers


The best way to eliminate congestion, some experts say, is to take the driver out of the driver’s seat. The latest driverless design envisions a dual-mode system, whereby cars would be driven normally on smaller roads and for shorter distances, but could go driverless on specialized electric rails, or “guideways,” for high-speed controlled travel.

Politeness takes a tech turn: Cotillions teach teens electronic etiquette

In the age of instant messaging, cotillion programs are adding tech etiquette to their arsenal of social lessons in the hope that teenagers will take traditional manners into the 21st century.

Liberals meet to talk politics, shoot guns and support the Second Amendment


The right to own guns has traditionally been a cause dear to the political right. Now a bunch of liberals have begun to challenge that view, meeting to shoot guns and celebrate the Second Amendment.