Slate's Chatterbag Tim Noah puts the "worst" holiday shopping season in three decades into perspective. Nut sentence: "A close reading of any of these stories makes clear that more U.S. dollars were spent buying holiday gifts this year than in any previous year since the birth of Jesus Christ." That doesn't tell the whole story—there was a 1.5 percent increase in spending this year, but when you adjust for inflation, that looks more like a 0.5 percent to 1 percent decrease. (I find it pretty alarming that the Christmas immediately following the September 11 attacks saw more robust shopping than this year's.) Still, the point is made, and it's a good one.
Offbeat options for waiting out the apocalypse.
A new study in Lancet Infectious Diseases makes a somewhat lower estimate
Early and wide testing helps curtail the epidemic while casting light on the prevalence and lethality of the virus.
Rules designed to keep alcohol safe for children are slowing down production of a product that’s in short supply.
Students who would have graduated this spring can start practicing medicine immediately.