The Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets last night, 111-to-106. It was a normally forgettable late January game. But every victory means something to a Lakers team suffering through a dreadful first half of the season. Last night's win was the Lakers' third in a row. It means there are signs of life for a team that was expected to dominate this year. And the big reason for that: L.A.'s best player has taken on a new role.
With John Kerry stepping down from the seat he held for 28 years to become secretary of state, rumors are swirling about who his short-term replacement will be — and who will run in the special election in six months. Gov. Deval Patrick is appointing the replacement Wednesday.
The Gallup Organization made its name with landmark public opinion polls. The company surveyed everything from presidential elections to religious preferences, branding itself as the most trusted name in polling.
But lately, Gallup's name has been tarnished by a whistle-blower lawsuit and a suspension from winning federal contracts.
Gallup's roots stretch back to 1922, when its founder, George Gallup, was a college junior. He got a summer job interviewing people in St. Louis.
He couldn't figure out how his wife, who suspected him of having an affair, knew the contents of his private conversations.
"His wife knew things that he said in his car and office, including conversations over the telephone," recalls Qi Hong, a former journalist from Shandong province in eastern China, and a friend of the official.
So Qi asked a buddy who owned bug-detecting equipment to help.
"What are those?" I asked my mom, suspiciously eyeing the little cardboard tub with its cellophane cover. It held a heap of pale, miniature cabbages. "They're Brussels sprouts," she said. "They're supposed to be good for you," she added, sealing my doom.
At dinnertime, the mystery vegetable reappeared, steaming hot and greenish-yellow but otherwise unaltered. It gave off a sulfurous stench. I recoiled, but I knew my job. I took a bite.
When Secretariat won what was certified to be his last race, I went down onto the track at Woodbine, and gauging where he had crossed the finish line, snatched up the last grass that perhaps the greatest thoroughbred ever had laid hooves to in his career.
Nearly 44 percent of Americans don't have enough savings or other liquid assets to stay out of poverty for more than three months if they lose their income, according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development.
In his inaugural address, President Obama talked about a country where even "a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else." But in reality, that's not always the case. A new report finds that one of the biggest obstacles for many Americans is that they don't have the savings or assets they need to help them get ahead.
For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?
On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.