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Destination weddings: A way to save money


More and more couples are getting on planes to tie the knot somewhere else. They say weddings in faraway resorts can be cheaper than local parties. The guests like the travel, too.

Are ‘marine highways’ the answer to traffic congestion?


In an era where “rush hour” is anything but, U.S. shipping is heading out to sea. The federal government is working to turn the country’s coastal areas, intracoastal waterways, lakes and rivers into a network for transit and travel that it calls “America’s Marine Highway” in hopes of relieving roadway congestion.

Brides- and grooms-to-be now include teeth straightening on their pre-wedding checklists.

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Brides- and grooms-to-be now include teeth straightening on their pre-wedding checklists.

Green preschools on the rise


As energy awareness and conservation gain public support, preschools in New York, Oregon and even South Dakota are among thousands of schools nationwide to adopt green practices into their business models and teaching curriculums. Last year, 526 schools registered for green certification, up from 21 schools in 2002, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, a private group that is considering certification for more than 1,000 schools around the country.

Weaseling out of the ferret ban


Despite an image as smelly mean weasels, ferrets are indispensable companions to some owners, and this little-known aspect of their existence has led to pockets of resistance in cities like New York, where owners willingly break the law for their pets.

Some diners request seats in the ‘No Birthday’ section


Loud and splashy birthday songs have become part of the dining experience at many restaurants, but not everyone is clapping along. And some of those are the waiters.

Recycling by design


Even as conventional plastic recycling programs continue to expand around the country, a rising number of eco-conscious citizens are turning to so-called “upcycling,” creating fashionable handbags, jewelry and even chandeliers out of the plastic bags and takeout containers that might otherwise be thrown away.

Offline daters often wonder: Is this actually a date?

In a world of Internet matchmaking, the old-fashioned method of offline dating has become a confusing mystery. Without the clear intentions of dating sites, people who continue to opt for the traditional route of dating often find themselves asking, Wait, is this a date?

Faux-bamas: Impersonators' tone is gentle to the new president

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Typically the harshest critics of a sitting president, impersonators are holding off for President Barack Obama. At least, for now.

Guerrilla knitting: a new meaning for gangsta wrap


Guerrilla knitters are taking their sticks to the streets, throwing yarn bombs and proving that their hobby’s not just for grandmas.

A loaf of bread, a box of wine, and ... wait, did you say box?


Boxed wine is no longer something to sneer at. Once the vintage of college parties, it is growing in popularity, and its biggest consumers are upper-income households. It even has a new name: Cask wine.

For light sleepers, silence isn’t golden


Many light sleepers can’t drift off without some kind of white noise. New iPhone applications and Facebook groups offer them a broad—and quirky—selection of ambient sounds and a way to share stories of their affliction. If you need white noise to fall asleep, silence isn’t golden.

That museum guard may be an artist, too


In many museums, the guard telling you where the bathroom is may be an artist. These “guardists” can rely on the steady source of income, but working at an art museum often informs and transforms their own art.

The many applications of memory


The USA Memory Championships drew a record number of entrants this year. Using fairly simple techniques, competitors perform miraculous tasks, tasks which seem more miraculous considering how hard it is these days just to remember one’s own telephone number. While more are drawn to memory contests than ever, experts remain skeptical of whether techniques used in competition can be applied in everyday life.

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy: invasive insect edition


A new study predicts that in June 2010, key factors will align to create the kind of environment in which unwanted foreign pests can thrive: An increased number of flights will connect distant airports with similar weather conditions. The result? A perfect recipe for the spread of invasive organisms.

Lost something? Perhaps a saint can find it for you


The Catholic Church is flush with saints. Lost a key? There’s one for that. People have been praying to saints for all sorts of favors. That faith may be misplaced, some say, but that won’t stop the true believer.