New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, was hosting a group of school children in his office when a spider appeared. Christie did not grant it a pardon. Kids laughed and cheered as he gave it the smack-down. Christie joked it's one of the perks of being governor - you can kill critters on your desk without getting into any trouble. Well, not completely true. The animal rights group PETA issued a statement criticizing what they called a thoughtless act.
Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast six months ago, and, as with other natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was there from day one, finding people temporary shelter and later supporting rebuilding efforts.
FEMA also has a lesser-known role. It oversees the creation of flood maps, which model the risk of flooding in different areas during storms. These maps are also used to set building codes and flood insurance rates. In New York and New Jersey, FEMA is updating those maps, and so far many homeowners don't like what they are seeing.