December 26, 2012 The week between Christmas and New Year's used to be a sleepy spot on the American calendar. Nowadays, it's crammed with people rushing around reminiscing with friends and families, returning presents and raking in gift-card booty. Others, even perhaps members of Congress, go straight back to work in this fiscal cliffhanger of a year.
November 22, 2012 Whether by choice or by circumstance, a lot of Americans are spending Thanksgiving alone. Some are too busy with work or school, or can't afford to travel. Others have family tensions or prefer to skip the dinner-table questions and bad jokes. A few are even crossing to Canada, where it's just another Thursday.
November 17, 2012 Post-election pomp and circumstance seem to be in our national DNA, but there have been some low-key inaugurals, including during the Great Depression and World War II. With a looming fiscal cliff, is this the time for a simple swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 21, rather than another megamillion-dollar blowout?
November 8, 2012 "No campaign is perfect," Mitt Romney said on Election Day. "Like any campaign, people can point to mistakes." And so here we are, as the election dust settles, asking seasoned political observers to do just that — point out a handful of foul-ups, fallacies and false steps in Romney's run.
November 7, 2012 A gloomy economy dooms the incumbent? Undecideds break toward the challenger? The tallest guy always wins? Not this time.
November 3, 2012 In an election where we're told every vote counts, a large swath of eligible Americans are not planning to vote early or late or at any time. For myriad reasons — cynicism, apathy, moral objections — some people are choosing to abstain. Here's what they told us.
November 1, 2012 Despite all of the possible female candidates waiting in the wings, many political observers express doubt that a woman will be elected president — or even nominated — in the near future. Which is weird. Because in just about every other aspect of American life, women are taking over.
October 29, 2012 You don't need the threat of a menacing storm like Hurricane Sandy to get folks in line. Look around — we line up to dance and dine, to buy tickets and the newest iPhone, and for the opportunity to cast an early ballot.
October 27, 2012 If a biomechanical breakthrough creates sentient machines, that could lead to some immediate moral quandaries for humans — and could push the debate about robot rights to the front burner.
October 26, 2012 Plants can sometimes exhibit human-like behavior — some respond to music, smell other plants or seem to shrink away when touched. In fact, some would argue that greenery is sensitive enough to deserve rights.
October 25, 2012 If attorney Steven Wise gets his way, next year could be a game changer for animal rights in America. The director of the Nonhuman Rights Project plans to file a series of lawsuits in hopes that a court will finally recognize that a nonhuman plaintiff can be a legal "person" in the eyes of the law.
October 22, 2012 Where there are political rallies, there are protesting groups. Where there are campaign speeches, there are fact checking teams. And where there are presidential candidates' debates, there are drinking games.
October 20, 2012 If President Obama and Mitt Romney's were trees, what kind would they be? We consulted an arborist to find out. But why stop there? We talked to an architect, a pastry chef, a wine expert and a comic-strip writer for some more unconventional ways to think about the candidates.
October 17, 2012 Predicting a presidential winner is one of America's favorite pastimes, and not just for political pundits. One theory is based on whether you're from a "football state" or a "baseball state." And, of course, there are Halloween mask sales. And this year, Chia candidates.