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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

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Switching Cell Phone Providers to Get Easier in 2014

Look for competition among cell phone service providers to heat up next year. With a push from the Federal Communications Comm., Verizon, AT&T and other big carriers will begin telling customers when their initial contracts are up and that they're free to switch providers. The process, known as "unlocking" a phone, often goes unnoticed by many customers when a typical two-year contract ends. And some people don't realize they have the option to switch to a lower-cost provider.

Smaller carriers, such as U.S. Cellular and Leap Wireless, are sure to benefit along with cell phone users, some of whom may be able to cut monthly bills in half.

Note: Not all phones work on every provider's network, so be sure to check with a potential new carrier before switching. Expect cell phones to cost more, too, as cell carriers see less of a need to subsidize phones to hawk service contracts.

Taking Smart Phones Up a Notch

Coming next year: Bubble-like keyboards that rise from smart phone screens on command. Tactus Technology will debut prototypes to phone manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The use of layers of elastic material enables the screen to stretch, allowing a microfluid to fill in the spots for keys without distorting the images on the screen. When the user is finished typing, the microfluid disperses back into a storage container in the phone. Touch technology will evolve in coming years, eventually allowing people to feel textures, etc.

Big Cities on the Rise

By 2050, 89% of Americans will live in an urban area, up from 83% now.

Big cities are making a comeback. After sliding during much of the decade of the 2000s, growth in many rose dramatically in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Now that the economy is picking up, there's no sign of a reversal, and both young folks and empty nesters will continue to be drawn to urban centers. The youngsters prefer to live close to workplaces and increasingly eschew car ownership. The older group is eager to give up tedious commutes and caring for suburban homes and lawns.

And it's not just Sun Belt cities that will gain. Chicago, New York, Boston, Portland, Ore., Washington, D.C., and even cities such as Indianapolis and Minneapolis will see growth rates that a decade ago might have been considered wishful thinking.

By 2040, there will be a half-dozen metro areas with populations of more than 10 million, up from two now (NYC and L.A.). Expect about 10 others with over 5 million inhabitants.


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Grabbing Electricity Right Out of the Air

What if the wireless signal used by your electronic device also charged it? The technology for such energy harvesting is being tested in laboratories, and work is under way to make everyday applications cost-effective and reliable. One model at Duke University uses standard wireless signals to create energy with the same efficiency as solar panels. Efforts to collect more power are ongoing. There are hurdles to clear, but widespread use is probably just a few years out. Power from wireless signals might be captured by materials applied to office ceilings and other parts of buildings. It could then be put to other uses...powering sensors, for instance, to monitor weather, crops or health or to collect manufacturing data.

Advertising That Can Tell You're in the Mood to Shop

A few tech giants are hard at work on the next wave of advertising methods: Offering deals based on a shopper's mood. Widespread use of smart phones and wearable devices such as fitness monitors will generate growing amounts of data about the owner's mental or emotional state...data that could be mined by advertisers.

Some ideas on the drawing board: Eye-tracking cameras, to gauge reactions when a shopper sees a given ad...and whether a dilated pupil signals a possible sale.

MRI tech, to measure blood flows in regions of the brain governing decisions about impulse buys. And electric sensors able to detect the hint of a smile or frown.

But advertisers will go slowly...devising privacy safeguards will take years.

Congress to Cut Farm Bill Deal in '14 (And Milk Prices Won't Double)

Congressional agreement on a farm bill is likely to come in early 2014. The deal will scale back the House's $40-billion reduction for food stamps and will find middle ground on crop subsidy formulas. Included in the compromise: A new dairy program. Participating farmers can pay premiums to protect the margin between the prices they receive for milk and the cost of feed they buy for their cows.

Don't believe claims that retail milk prices will double because of delays in passing a farm bill. It's true that if the existing program isn't renewed by Dec. 31, a law from 1949 will govern prices. But the Dept. of Agriculture can delay steps to make the switch. And Congress can make intermediate moves to block the increase.

'Electronic Tattoos' Will Help Keep Tabs on Your Body

Health monitoring gadgets will soon be as thin and flexible as bandages. "Electronic tattoos" are poised to hit the commercial marketplace next year. They'll stick to skin to monitor hydration, muscle activity, heart rate and more. Diabetics will be among the early adopters, using the sensors to check blood sugar and insulin levels. They're sure to catch on quickly with athletes and soldiers, too.

It Could Cost You to Save Money with a Bank

Will banks start charging depositors to hold their money? With the Fed mulling no longer paying banks any interest (now just 0.25%) to hold their reserves, It's unlikely, but possible.

At least that's what some bankers say will happen if the central bank stops paying interest on reserves, trying to spur banks to lend more rather than keeping money locked up. Banks will claim that if they don't earn interest on reserves, they'll need another way to recoup the costs of holding depositors' funds... administrative expenses and the fees paid to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Look for verbal sparks to fly over the matter in coming months, as the Fed prepares to taper off its bond buying and get banks to take up the stimulative baton.

Police Monitoring Social Media for Crime Leads

Police officials are turning to software to monitor social media posts. It alerts them to keywords and phrases that may be linked to crime... drug sales, gang violence, sex crimes, etc. Such software can also help authorities keep a bead on people hunkered down during a tornado or other natural disaster.

But federal guidelines stress that police should have a valid reason to monitor posts on social media sites amid concerns about invasions of privacy. Moreover, posts shielded by privacy settings are legally off-limits to monitoring.

Among the software providers: SnapTrends, BlueJay and DigitalStakeout.

2013 Elections Have Few Lessons for 2014, 2016 Races

Hidden in the mixed bag of gubernatorial election results in N.J. and Va.:

A boost for Republicans. Disdain for the health law translated into votes. Big shares of voters in both states oppose President Obama's health mandate... 50% in N.J., 53% in Va...and they overwhelmingly chose Republican candidates.

That dislike will probably linger, especially if the Obama administration can't fix problems with the enrollment website anytime soon. On the other hand, voter frustration over the government shutdown...generally helping Democrats... is sure to fade by next fall unless more shutdowns occur, which is unlikely.

But don't look for many other national lessons in the N.J. and Va. results. For starters, the outcomes don't suggest anything at all new about 2016, despite what you may hear elsewhere about the impact on the presidential race.

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is the GOP front-runner. But a question remains: Is he conservative enough to win the Republican nomination in 2016? To be sure, he'll face opposition from the party's right, just as Mitt Romney did in 2012. Even if he is the nominee, the primary fight will cost money and energy.

It's also premature to read the results as a sign of tea party weakness. The tea party-backed candidate lost in Va., but by only a narrow margin. Though opposition for what that wing of the party stands for was above 40% in both states, much of it came from Democrats unlikely to back any GOPer.

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