Is the 5-Second Rule Right?

The 5-Second Rule


Q. You know the five-second rule for dropped food? Is it really safe if you pick it up in time?

A. “The five-second rule probably should become the zero-second rule,” said Dr. Roy M. Gulick, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College. “Eating dropped food poses a risk for ingestion of bacteria and subsequent gastrointestinal disease, and the time the food sits on the floor does not change the risk.” Continue reading


No ‘Moby-Dick’: A Real Captain, Twice Doomed

February 11, 2011
HONOLULU — In the annals of the sea, there were few sailors whose luck was worse than George Pollard Jr.’s.

Pollard, you see, was the captain of the Essex, the doomed Nantucket whaler whose demise, in 1820, came in a most unbelievable fashion: it was attacked and sunk by an angry sperm whale, an event that inspired Herman Melville to write “Moby-Dick.” Continue reading

A Yearbook Dedicated to Inclusion


THE yearbook for Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School doubles as its unofficial social register: students closely study the index of names in the back and count how many times they appear.
“If you’re more popular, you’re featured more; if you’re not, you’re barely seen,” said Quentin Blackwell, 17, a co-captain of the football team who appeared five times last year. “It shows your status, where you are on the totem pole of high school.”
Continue reading


SAT-Optional _ Will Trend Take Off or Sputter?

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — If you’re one of those students afraid standardized test scores don’t paint the full picture of your potential, your options are growing. More and more colleges don’t require the SAT or ACT exams.

Wake Forest and Smith just admitted their first class of applicants who could decline to submit SAT or ACT scores, while Sewanee and Fairfield will do the same next year.

But is the ”test optional” movement gaining steam, or running out of it? Continue reading

Need a new book? Go to the library!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SHIRA WEISS, a 34-year-old publicist, showed up one day with her two children at the Teaneck Public Library for the first time in years after her husband had gently inquired why she needed to spend so much on books.

She applied for a new library card and — after taking out two chick-lit novels, an illustrated “Star Wars” book for her 5-year-old, Jake, and two animal books for her 2-year-old, Ben — she instinctively pulled out her wallet to pay. Continue reading

When Economy Sours, Tootsie Rolls Soothe Souls

March, 2009


Raymond Schneider politely elbowed his way through crowds of customers as he made for the bulk candy bins at Dylan’s Candy Bar across from Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan. Since he was laid off in December, Mr. Schneider, a 33-year-old interior designer, says he has become a “gummy junkie,” stocking up on sweets every time he shops for groceries.

“Sugar is comforting,” he said as he scooped Red Licorice Scottie Dogs into a plastic bag. “There’s nothing more stressful than growing financial insecurity everywhere.” Continue reading