Shopper Monica Eaves, with her daughter, Sophia, 2, shops for holiday gifts at The Grove outdoor mall in Los Angeles on Tuesday. A strong start to the holiday season is raising confidence that the consumer is back and that 2011 could be a better year for the economy than expected. AP Photographer/AP hide caption

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Are We Headed Toward Economic Recovery?

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You Are the Sunshine of My Life Stevie Wonder
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Agitation Miles Davis
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E.s.p.
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The 46-year-old research submarine, here just before a dive in the Gulf of Mexico in November, has made more than 4,600 ocean trips. Over the next year and a half it will be renovated. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

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Deep-Water Sub Dives Into The Fountain Of Youth

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Main Vein Jamiroquai
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Barbara Newhall Follett was 13 when Knopf published her first book, The House Without Windows, which she had been working on since she was 8. Columbia University Archives hide caption

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Barbara Newhall Follett, Disappearing Child Genius

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French-American composer Pierre de Gaillande is a devoted fan of the famous French singer-songwriter Georges Brassens. He has translated the musician's songs into English for a new album, Bad Reputation. Beowulf Sheehan hide caption

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The English Makeover Of A French Legend

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Public Benches Pierre De Gaillande
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Mock-up of a high-speed-rail train by Siemens, one of the firms in the running for the Florida contract, with Siemens executives Eric Spiegel (left) and Oliver Hauck in Tampa in October. Steve Nesius/AP Images for Siemens hide caption

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States Move Ahead With High-Speed-Rail Projects

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Chameleon Herbie Hancock
Sunday Mystery Rjd2 & RJD2
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Operation Gratitude volunteer Joan Mazzarelli models one of the hats and scarves she knits for the care packages. Since March, the 98-year-old has knitted 527 scarfs for the troops. Courtesy of Maryssa D'Angelo hide caption

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Group's Care Packages Aim To Lift Troops' Spirits

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Box of Rain Grateful Dead
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Blackwell (right) with, from left, reggae singers Junior Murvin, Bob Marley and Jacob Miller. Nathalie Delon/Courtesy of Universe Books hide caption

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Chris Blackwell Reflects On 50 Years Of Island Records

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In her interview last week, Robin Rogers told us she felt blessed. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Robin Rogers Dies: Blues Singer Felt Blessed

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