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David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
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Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
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Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
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May 6, 2013
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April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
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Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
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Clifford D. May:
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Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
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Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
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US man departing country arrested on terror charges
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Caroline B. Glick:
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April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
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US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
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FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
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April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Jan 17, 2012/ 23 Teves, 5772
American posterior a growing problem for mass transit
The airlines have been wrestling for years with the problem of overweight Americans, passengers who can't fit in their seats and slop over onto the hapless person next to them.
Before the airlines began shoehorning travelers into every available seat, the problem could be resolved by moving one or another of the two into a row with an empty seat. Now they are wrestling with the concept of charging supersized passengers for two seats. It may be fair, but it's terrible public relations.
Mass transit systems are wrestling with similar problems, and indeed have been for quite some time. The New York Times tells us that, back in 1984, the city held the "First All-American Tush Tally" in which officials sought to determine whether the average Big Apple bottom could fit into the seats of Japanese-made subway cars.
At the time, some transit systems had seats 17 inches wide, but it was clear from the passengers' ever-increasing avoirdupois that the days of those seats were numbered. The standard now seems to be 17.55 inches to 17.75 inches, with Amtrak settling on a comparatively roomy 18.5 inches.
Mass-transit passengers have solutions denied to their airline brethren. They can stand, clutching a pole or strap-hanging, or wander through cars in hopes of finding an empty seat next to a reasonably svelte passenger.
Martin Schroder, chief engineer for the American Public Transport Association, was quoted in The Times as saying, "It's clear that the U.S. population is getting heavier. We are trying to get our hands on that" -- an unfortunate choice of words, but you see what he means -- "and figure out what is the best average weight to use." Indeed, the feds are considering raising the standard passenger weight for bus testing from 150 pounds to 175 pounds. A walk down the streets of any American city shows that the feds may be a little late to that party. A lot of American males would be delighted to see 175 pounds again and be able to fit in a standard mass-transit seat without the problem of flab overlap.
First lady Michelle Obama may want to broaden her obesity-fighting diet-and-exercise program from schoolchildren to commuters using mass transit. The mandate is there. It's not called the seat of government for nothing.
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