October 20, 2012 The Center for Responsive Politics says that 942 superPACs have raised more than $403 million during this election season. A beguiling pitch aimed at people eager to contribute to a political campaign can also have some of the makings of a classic con.
October 13, 2012 Paddy Roy Bates,the self-proclaimed prince of Sealand, died this week at the age of 91. In 1965, Bates boarded an artillery platform seven miles off the English coast and set up Radio Essex, a "pirate" music station. But he didn't stop there.
September 15, 2012 The Russian president admitted this week that many of his highly publicized stunts are staged. Critics charge that state-run media may have returned to a time when Russians don't turn to the news for news so much as clues to what people in power expect them to think.
September 1, 2012 A lot of Americans identify themselves by their work. It used to be a kind of identity stamp, but the economic crisis may have hastened a change that was already under way: more people living with a series of short-term jobs instead of lifetime occupations.
August 18, 2012 NPR's Scott Simon says voters and candidates might benefit if more politicians took real vacations — if they went somewhere, for at least a short time, where no one knows them. Where they don't have to ask for votes, money or spout talking points.
July 14, 2012 Bob Greenberg died this week at the age of 67. He was a sportscaster who happened to be blind. When I've told people he's one of the most extraordinary people I've ever worked with, there's usually polite incomprehension: A blind sportscaster?
July 7, 2012 Over the years, I've come to see good sense in my mother's advice: "If you're always slightly overdressed, you're never underdressed." If you begin with "Mr." or "Ms.," you may offend someone with sharp or silly questions, but not with discourtesy.
June 23, 2012 The Pew Research Center says Asian-Americans are now the fastest-growing ethnic and immigrant group in the United States. Pew says Asian-Americans also tend to be the most educated and prosperous. But every Asian group here has a different immigration story.