Balance Sheet

Article excerpt

Caissons Rolling

The Pentagon admits it needs 30,000 more troops to meet all of its various security commitments around the globe. It took a while, but the honesty is refreshing. Liberating, even.

Magic Beans

Harvard researchers find coffee drinkers have a 30-to-50-percent lower risk of diabetes than non-java addicts. Diabetes joins colon cancer, cirrhosis, gallstones, and Parkinson's disease as ailments coffee seems to protect against.

Packet Protector

Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) promises to protect Voice Over Internet Protocol from federal and state regulation. California, Minnesota, and New York are among the states that say online telephone calls should comply with the same regulations as 19th-century telecom.

Crude Investment

Oil begins to flow from Kirkuk to the rest of the world, providing northern Iraq with a key source of wealth.

Good Goo

A report from the Institute of Physics says "gray goo" doomsaying by the likes of Prince Charles obscures the gains nano-technology could bring to developing countries, including better water purification and cheaper, more accurate diagnoses of diseases such as tuberculosis.

Virtually Educated

About 1,000 kids in Wisconsin enjoy the flexibility of virtual charter schools. Without rigid districts, students can sign up for classes that would be unavailable if they stuck to their brick-and-mortar schools.

Puzzle Box

Researchers at Microsoft look at imposing crushing costs on spammers--not in money but in time, by requiring e-mail senders' computers to solve a computational puzzle as a condition of delivery. …