As Italy tries to fight its way out of a full-blown recession, the state and local governments are coming up with creative — and some say questionable — sources of revenue.
The latest example comes from Venice, where Benetton, the trendy Italian clothing-maker, is poised to put the city's first shopping mall right on the Grand Canal. Residents are up in arms, but officials say deals like these keep the lagoon city afloat.
You've probably seen them in the grocery store — cans of coconut water with their come-hither photos of young, green coconuts, tops sheared off, a straw poking out, and blue and green boxes that evoke cool, tropical breezes. Some vendors even sell the real thing. Artist John Gordon Gauld enjoys fresh coconut water when he's thirsty after biking through New York City.
Anyone who has gone to the drug store knows that the labels on sunscreens can be confusing. The sun protection factor, or SPF, numbers are all over the place. Some say "sunblock"; others says "sunscreen." What's the difference between "waterproof" and "water-resistant?"
For the first time ever, the U.S. synchronized swimming team didn't qualify for the Summer Olympics. But two of its members, who until recently knew each other only as rivals, are going to London to compete in synchronized swimming duets — against duets that have been together for years.
Mary Killman, 21, and Mariya Koroleva, 22, became roommates early last year, training with the national team in Indianapolis. Previously, they had competed against each other in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ever wanted to just disappear into a secret garden of earthly delights, of twists and turns of evocative ruin, exuberant tropics, the Zen of a Japanese teahouse?
Consider Chanticleer, in Wayne, Pa. It's part of the old Main Line ring of estates around Philadelphia. In fact, right across the street from the garden is the former home of Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, the heiress portrayed by Katherine Hepburn in Philadelphia Story.
Seven years ago, writer and former U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford had the success of a lifetime when his 2003 memoir Jarhead was turned into a high-budget Hollywood movie.
Swofford, then 35, had hit it big. But flush with cash and still grappling with post-war life, he suddenly found himself in the throes of a self-destructive rampage replete with drugs, alcohol and infidelity.