In the thousand-plus or so emails I get each time a ScuttleButton puzzle is posted, I invariably will get dozens and dozens of complaints that it was just too easy, that it insulted their intelligence, that I need to make them more challenging. That was clearly the case last week, as there were nearly 100 such emails.
Well, be careful what you wish for. This week's puzzle is one of the most difficult.
As The Voice returns to NBC this week for its fourth season, viewers are seeing two new, if quite familiar, faces as Shakira and Usher occupy the coaches' seats vacated by Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Its talent-show rival over on Fox, The X Factor, will also see two new judges when (if? no, "when," surely) it comes back in the fall.
So why does The Voice seem so healthy and The X Factor so wobbly?
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:43 pm
In 1997, Kazakhstan, recently freed from the Soviet Union, packed up its border-location capital, and moved it to the inhospitable steppe, smack in the middle of the country. That's where the country's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, thought it should be. It was named "Astana," which translates to ... "capital."
As oral arguments were beginning Tuesday in the first of two same-sex marriage cases inside the Supreme Court, the steps in front of the court were filled with throngs of what looked to be mostly gay-marriage supporters, spilling out in front of the building and to the other side of the street.
About a half hour earlier, a parade of traditional-marriage supporters had arrived, later headed to a rally on the National Mall.
Last week, scientists announced they had sequenced the full genome of the most widely used human cell line in biology, the "HeLa" cells, and published the results on the web. But the descendents of the woman from whom the cells originated were never consulted before the genetic information was made public, and thus never gave their consent to its release.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:56 pm
The chairman of the Bank of Cyprus abruptly stepped down after a special administrator was appointed to oversee its restructuring in the wake of a painful bailout of the island nation by international lenders.
Canadian twin-sister duo Tegan and Sara are one of alternative pop's most celebrated acts, having released seven full-length albums over nearly two decades as musical collaborators. They've also been longtime Current favorites, stopping by for an in-studio performance in 2007 and an intimate performance in the UBS forum in 2010.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:57 am
Tuesday's news from Afghanistan underscores the challenges that remain as the U.S. and its allies try to hand over security to that nation's military and police.
-- "5 Afghan Police Killed In Suicide Attack In East": The Associated Press writes that "eight suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, killing five officers and wounding four others, a security official said."
Meg Wolitzer returns with The Interestings, a big and deliciously complicated novel that follows a group of summer-camp friends through the decades. Jules, Ash, Ethan and Jonah first dubbed themselves "the Interestings" as teenagers in the sweltering confines of Boys Teepee 3 at the artsy camp Spirit-in-the-Woods. All of them are bright, talented kids — artists, musicians, actors — but what happens to close friendship and early promise when you grow up? For the Interestings, that question will have very different answers.