1. State Dept. Official Quits Over Afghan War

    The Washington Post says the recent resignation of a state department official was the first to be caused by the Afghan war. The 36-year-old was a former Marine Corps captain who accepted a position with the Foreign Service earlier this year and was assigned to work on development efforts. In a letter released last month he said he had “lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan.”

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  2. Man Paid for Not Working

    Anthony Armatys was paid handsomely, almost $500,000, for his work at a New Jersey telecommunications company. The only problem? He never worked there. Armatys changed his mind after he was originally hired in 2002 and declined the company’s job offer says the Star-Ledger. But the payroll department never got the memo and continued to deposit Armatys’ paycheck into his bank account. He now faces six years in prison.

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  3. Help Thy Neighbor

    Bartering is back. As the economy continues to constrict wallets, neighbors in Detroit are rediscovering the age-old tradition of bartering says the Free Press. But instead of swapping cups of sugar, they are trading skills and services including massages, resume checking and chimney cleaning.

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  4. Safe Texting Behind the Wheel

    What if your car could answer a text message for you? Wireless companies and automotive suppliers are looking for ways to allow drivers to safely text says the Plain-Dealer. And voice-based systems that covert text into speech are being touted as a possible answer.

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  5. House on the Rocks

    It’s a home on the rocks. A Detroit architect is planning to encase a vacant home in ice this winter says the Free Press. A photographer will document as the house in sprayed with water and gradually covered in ice. The pair hopes to shed light on the impact foreclosures have had on the region.

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  6. Body Detective

    Ever wonder why you get goose bumps when you’re cold and hiccups when you drink too much? The San Diego Union-Tribune asked a group of doctors for insight into the body’s mysterious oddities and they came up with an interesting list of reasons for inexplicable occurrences like brain freeze, side stitches and charley horses.

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  7. Battle of the Sexes Gets Chilly

    A classic office debate is reexamined in the New York Times this morning: are men more tolerant of the cold than women? Unfortunately, experts have yet to come up with a good answer. While it is commonly thought that men are better at withstanding colder temperatures because of their higher metabolisms, the Times says the research is inconclusive.

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  8. Beef on the Roads

    And finally, drivers in Massachusetts had no beef with their morning commute says the Boston Herald. State troopers waived scores of vehicles through tolls as workers hurried to clean up after an accident that left cow carcasses scattered all over the road.

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  9. Yankees Onto World Series

    The Yankees’ win over the Los Angeles Angels last night was big news in all the New York papers this morning. Daily News writer Mark Feinsand begins his article with these words: “The Yankees will have a chance to end the decade the same way they started it - as World Series Champions.”

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  10. Personality by Zip Code

    It’s not just White Sox fans and Cubs fans dividing the Windy City. A new study has found that people who are more agreeable tend to cluster on the south side of Chicago, while the north is home to “neurotic types.” The data is included in a new book that looks at personality clusters around the country says the Chicago Tribune. In New York, anxious, arty types fill most of the city while Southerners tend to be gregarious.

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  11. R-Rated Rosie Back on Air

    Rosie O’Donnell is coming back to the airwaves. USA Today shows us her new home studio, built for her Sirius XM radio show that starts November 2nd. The story says O’Donnell will likely feel at home on satellite radio - she doesn’t have to filter her language.

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  12. Indian Cinema Comes to US

    Popcorn has been replaced by samosas and mango juice at the country’s fastest growing theater chain writes the LA Times. As the Indian American population in this country continues to grow, Bollywood becomes more and more keen to tap into US audience, which make up 70 percent of its foreign sales. Big Cinemas, India’s largest theater chain, now has 18 locations around the country - many of which show exclusively Indian films.

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  13. Rebuild Your 401(K)

    The Dallas Morning News writes that “at the height of the recession and the tumult in the stock market, many workers were stunned to see their 401(k)s shrink to 201(k)s.” The paper says slow and steady is the best strategy for rebuilding your portfolio. Other tips include diversifying your assets and maximizing your savings.

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  14. Pay’n'Preach

    A pastor in Chicago is trying a new strategy to fill the pews: pay people to attend. The Sun-Times says Rev. Dan Willis has offered tickets to a $1000 raffle in order to drum up a larger congregation. And it’s working. For the last few weeks there has been a traffic jam on Sundays outside of the church.

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  15. Baby Einstein Refunds

    If you were duped by the Baby Einstein series, you can get your money back says the Chicago Tribune. The Walt Disney Co. is offering a refund to customers who purchased a Baby Einstein video in the past five years. Experts recently concluded that the show does not help the development of a baby’s brain.

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  16. Healthy Halloween

    I don’t know any kids who would think this was a good idea but the Patriot News has an article this morning on how to add healthier snacks into the Halloween mix. Dieticians recommend 100-calorie packs of cookies or crackers as a good balance between healthy and boring. And if you decide to give out chocolate, opt for a dark variety, which has antioxidants.

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  17. Police Look for Zombie Attacker

    We’re a week away from Halloween but the zombie patrol is out in full force. The Iowa City Press Citizen says police are looking for a man who attacked another man last night after identifying him as a zombie.

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  18. “?Twilight’ Puts Troy in the Spotlight

    The “Twilight” series has put the tiny Washington town of Troy on the map, which is both a blessing and a curse says the Seattle Times. Fans of the book have breathed new life into the stagnant economy but some locals say the transition from a “logging community to a tourist location” has been difficult.

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  19. Dirty Dancing Curbed in High Schools

    So you think you can dance - dirty? Think again. The LA Times profiles two high schools leading the charge against “freaking, grinding and other provocative dances.” Students and their parents must sign a detailed contract, which explicitly sets out the rules of the dance floor, before attending school dances. Administrators say the tactic has been successful, though some parents think the rules are overkill as teenager’s musical tastes continue to change.

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  20. Too Much Information

    As teenagers would say, TMI. Are retailers going too far in tracking your web habits? That’s the question USA Today poses this morning. The paper says that while companies store numeric descriptions (instead of the names) of the users they track, “it’s not hard to determine personal information behind the numbers.”

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  21. Voting and Vaccinating

    A public health expert takes to the opinion page of the New York Times this morning with an interesting proposal: Why not use the H1N1 vaccine as a reward? The idea is that if you turn up to vote, you’re eligible for a flu shot. Douglas Shenson writes that a pilot program last November with the regular flu vaccine proved to be very effective.

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  22. On the Road With Apps

    There was a time when cops were the only one who knew where speed traps were set up or when an Amber Alert was released. Now, products that simulate the role of law enforcement are flooding the app market says the Detroit Free Press. Experts point out the irony is that drivers will likely use these apps, which are intended to improve safety, while driving.

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  23. Lightweight Hiking

    He was a “backpacker without a pack” writes Stephen Reingold of the Star Tribune in a piece profiling a 60-year old hiker who spent three months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with only nine pounds of gear. A bubble wrap sleeping pad and a pillow that doubled as a food bag helped him keep the weight of his supplies down.

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  24. Trivial emergency calls known as “Yuppie 911” problem

    The Anchorage Daily News says as technology improves, hikers can call for help in situations that would normally not be considered life threatening.

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