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First one to the office gets the patent: House of Representatives passes change to patent procedure

First one to the office gets the patent: House of Representatives passes change to patent procedure

Last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make the most radical changes to patent law that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has seen in 60 years. Backed by many Republicans and Democrats, as well as the White House, the bill will allow the first person who files an application—rather than [...]

You can diagnose, sure, but how’s your bedside manner?

You can diagnose, sure, but how’s your bedside manner?

Med school could be changing in a very big way. At Virginia Tech Carilion, administrators have started to rely on more than just grades and test scores to determine admission. Additionally, they have instituted the multiple mini interview (M.M.I.), a series of nine unprompted interviews focusing on social skills, ethics and communicative ability. Students get [...]

Behind closed doors, parents still spank their kids: surprising results of a new study on corporal punishment

Behind closed doors, parents still spank their kids: surprising results of a new study on corporal punishment

When researchers at Southern Methodist University put microphones in the households of 37 families the intent wasn’t to study spanking or corporal punishment—the original aim was to study yelling with voluntary audio recordings of parents conducting life at home. What came back were dozens of instances of smacks and slaps, followed by the crying of [...]

How does a national obsession with true crime affect us?

How does a national obsession with true crime affect us?

Smart, Dugard, Holloway, Anthony…these are the names that have captured our national attention in the last few years, and now the public profile of these women is on the rise. Jaycee Dugard just gave her first big interview to Dianne Sawyer, Elizabeth Smart is about to become ABC News’ contributor on missing person cases and [...]

Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse, by Annette Fuentes

Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse, by Annette Fuentes

Since the Columbine shootings of 1999, educational institutions across the country have worked to reduce campus violence by introducing school site police officers, surveillance systems, drug testing and zero-tolerance policies. Many agree that the intention behind these measures is laudable, but extreme cases of rule enforcement—like the 2010 arrest of a twelve-year-old for doodling on [...]

Animal wrangling on film sets can be a real zoo

Animal wrangling on film sets can be a real zoo

Animals in movies are adorable and exciting – think of Dr. Doolittle, Babe, Free Willy and Water for Elephants. But this week, the animal activist organization PETA organized a rally at the premiere of the film Zookeeper to protest the fact that a giraffe named Tweet collapsed and died the day after wrapping his scenes [...]

Comedy Congress, live from the Crawford Family Forum

Comedy Congress, live from the Crawford Family Forum

Come on Washington, quit making it so easy. We in the world of satire like a challenge; we enjoy making fun of the subtle ironies in politics, digging out the points of ridicule amidst the complicated political policies. And what do you offer up instead: Weiner jokes?? You make it too easy Washington, we thought [...]

When you check in, do you like to check out?

When you check in, do you like to check out?

According to a survey by one credit card company, nearly 80 percent of travelers expect to remain “connected” all or some of the time during vacation. Of course, that means joined at the fingertip to our seemingly ubiquitous devices – iPhones, Blackberries, cell phones, laptops and screens. Now some hotels are offering “digital detox” packages [...]

Writing Movies For Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

Writing Movies For Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

Writing isn’t always fun, but it can be profitable! Learn the secret screenwriting techniques taught elsewhere only by monks of the Tibetan Plateau. Robert Ben Garant of <i>The State</i> and Thomas Lennon of <i>Reno 911</i> shine some light into the hidden cash crop of Hollywood, screenplays. Robert and Thomas have made over a billion dollars [...]

Downtown Women’s Center gets a new home, but its 71 apartments are already full

Downtown Women’s Center gets a new home, but its 71 apartments are already full

Shirley Farris, 68, struggled with homelessness off and on for years. Now, she is a proud new resident of the Downtown Women’s Center, a shelter and support network in the heart of L.A.’s Skid Row. The DWC prides itself on its holistic approach to serving L.A.'s homeless women, but with all of its beds currently [...]