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12:51pm

Wed October 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Fed Sees An Expanding Economy; Check How Its Language Has Changed

Eight times a year the Federal Reserve releases "beige book" reports about how the economy is doing. Named for the traditional color of their covers and based on reports from the central bank's 12 districts, they're largely anecdotal and full of generalizations about what businesses leaders and others are saying about current conditions.

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12:34pm

Wed October 19, 2011
Education

Why Is College So Expensive?

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 4:16 pm

Sproul Plaza at the University of California, Berkeley. Tuition at U.C. Berkeley was about $700 a year in the 1970s. Today, families pay over $15,000 per year to attend.

Eric Risberg AP

Many of the protesters occupying Wall Street and other places say they are upset about the rising price of going to college. Tuition and other costs have been going up faster than inflation, and family incomes can't keep up. Despite public outrage about the problem, there's little sign these costs will drop anytime soon.

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12:29pm

Wed October 19, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

IQ Isn't Set In Stone, Suggests Study That Finds Big Jumps, Dips In Teens

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 9:50 am

Brain researchers say the big fluctuations in IQ performance they found in teens were not random — or a fluke.

iStockphoto.com

For as long as there's been an IQ test, there's been controversy over what it measures. Do IQ scores capture a person's intellectual capacity, which supposedly remains stable over time? Or is the Intelligent Quotient exam really an achievement test — similar to the S.A.T. — that's subject to fluctuations in scores?

The findings of a new study add evidence to the latter theory: IQ seems to be a gauge of acquired knowledge that progresses in fits and starts.

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12:11pm

Wed October 19, 2011
The Salt

FDA Probe Points To Cantaloupe Packing Plant As Source Of Listeria

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 3:42 pm

Owner Eric Jensen examines cantaloupe on the Jensen Farms near Holly, Colo., last month.

Ed Andrieski AP

The Jensen Farms cantaloupe blamed for the deadliest listeria outbreak in years may have become contaminated in the farm's own packing facilities.

That's the conclusion of the FDA's investigation into the source of the outbreak so far, although the saga is far from over.

And once again, the likely culprit is poop.

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11:54am

Wed October 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Americans' Student Loans Balance Now Exceeds $1 Trillion

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 12:04 pm

Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit card debt. Estimates show students graduating this year with about $27,000 in debt.
iStockphoto.com

USA Today parses through New York Federal Reserve's latest report (pdf) on Household Debt and Credit and finds that for the first time, this year the amount of student loans will surpass the $100 billion mark and the outstanding balance will exceed $1 trillion.

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