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Nation / World

In this undated image released by David's Bridal, a model wears a short double weave floral matalasse dress with a bow from the White by Vera Wang collection. At David's Bridal, 26 of the 75 gowns launched for spring 2015 are short, said Anne Acierno, executive vice president for design, merchandising and product development. (AP Photo/David's Bridal)

Brides Favor Short Wedding Gowns

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New York — Helen Bradley isn’t one of those women who fantasized about her wedding as a girl, so when the time came to tie the knot on the 10th tee of a golf course, she wanted to be relaxed, comfortable and economical. A short gown was just right for her September nuptials, said the 27-year-old bank worker in Madison, Wis. “I had tried on a few long dresses and none of them felt like me. I’m a very practical person. My mom picked out the short dress from a sale rack and it’s rare that I would like anything that my mom picks out,” …

Animal Cells Frozen To Combat Extinction

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Escondido, Calif. — Whenever an endangered animal dies at the San Diego Zoo, researchers race out, regardless of the hour, to remove its sperm or eggs, maybe a bit of ear or eyeball, and carefully freeze the cells in liquid nitrogen. Today, the survival of the northern white rhinoceros and dozens of other …

Social Security Q&A: Checking on Medicare Benefits Application

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Question: I applied for Medicare benefits last week. How can I check the status of my application? Answer: Checking the status of your application is easy. If you applied for benefits, you can check the status at Social Security’s secure website, secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/IAPS/applicationStatus, but you must wait five days from the date you originally filed. You will need to enter your Social Security number …

On Fashion: Is Gray the New Black? For Hair, It’s Becoming the Latest Fashion

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Baltimore — Writer Joan Didion, looking fragile and all of her 80 years under wispy, chalk-white hair, is the new face of Celine’s spring 2015 advertising campaign. Joni Mitchell, signature cheekbones as hard as granite under her long, …

When Music and Politics Mix

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New York — Leaving the Metropolitan Opera recently after hearing Valery Gergiev conduct Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, I walked past a handful of shivering Ukrainian activists standing in the frigid cold on the sidewalk. They waved …

Waning Funds May End Philippines’ 40-Year Organ Festival

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Manila, Philippines — A nearly 200-year-old Philippine bamboo pipe organ, said to be the oldest and most complete in the world, has survived time, storms and wars. But an annual concert festival that has showcased its unique, lilting …

To Your Good Health: Psyllium Allergy Rare but Possible

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I would like to know if you have ever heard of a person being allergic to psyllium fiber? My doctor suggested I take Metamucil for constipation, as opposed to stool softeners. However, when I took it, my face and eyes began to itch, I began …

Miss Manners: Don’t Blame Higher Education for People Who Are Rude

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear Miss Manners: What do you think of a daughter who sends her mother the following requirement (among others) for a “cordial” relationship with her? “Accept that husband is going to call you by your first name. We need you never again to register a verbal or nonverbal …

Labs Named Top Breed in U.S.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New York — America’s fondness for Labrador retrievers is still setting records, but bulldogs are breaking new ground. Labs reigned as the nation’s top dog last year for the 24th year after breaking poodles’ decades-old record in 2013, according to American Kennel Club rankings set to be released …

Around the Remote: TV Picks for March 1-7

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Don’t Miss Downton Abbey — It’s the holiday-themed Season 5 finale of this still-addictive period drama and we have lots of questions: Why won’t the cops leave Anna (Joanne Froggatt) alone? Will Tom (Allen Leech) stay or go? Is poor Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) finally in her happy …

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Ludic Joy

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hint and Explanation: Force Checkmate We watch with laughing eyes as our Australian greyhound/border collie chases with abandonment several Kong balls we have kicked into the air. Cody leaps and leaps and leaps again with irrepressible excitement, igniting a tableau of three at play, humans and canine. One …

Going Nose-to-Snout with the Locals in Gainesville, Fla.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gainesville, Fla. — Rule No. 1 when it comes to fleeing an alligator: Don’t run in a straight line. I learned this while standing feet from a prehistoric-looking, kayak-size animal that had crawled up onto the bank of …

How to Sell that ‘Unsellable’ Home

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Do you think your house is unsellable due to its location? Highly rated real estate agents on Angie’s List explain how to sell a house, even in the most undesirable spot. If the most important thing in real estate is location, location, location, how do you sell your …