Hot Topics: Searching for America's Next Middle-Aged Supermodel
Next Top Model:
It's a sign of the times that renowned New York modeling agency Wilhelmina has launched a contest to find America's next top model -- but only women over 40 can apply. In its quest to find the next Cindy Joseph, Carol Alt, Beverly Johnson or Iman, the agency is holding casting calls around the country and accepting online entries. The winner receives a modeling contract, trip to New York, style makeover and other goodies.
Workers want pensions, and research shows that the kind of guaranteed income sources that pensions offer are the best route to long-term financial security in retirement. How to encourage more companies to offer them again? Start by reforming regulations that have made it harder to fund pensions, suggests Reuters columnist and SecondAct.com contributor Mark Miller. Encourage companies to offer hybrid cash-balance plans that work like 401(k)s but require employers to pay out a specific sum at retirement, and let workers take pension plans with them when they switch jobs. Read more of Miller's suggestions here.
Better Off, Thanks to the Recession:
When writer and editor Ann Brenoff got laid off two years ago after an 18-year career at the Los Angeles Times she didn't get mad. Instead, she used the setback as an opportunity to change her family's consumption habits. Today, Brenoff barters marketing and public relations work for household services such as window washing and carpet cleaning, and has become such a bargain shopper she's been featured as an expert on TV, she writes in this essay in the Times. "After decades of living paycheck to paycheck no matter how fat an income I earned, I've actually incorporated savings into our family budget for the first time," she says. "What am I saving for? My retirement, of course. And the irony isn't lost on me that I needed to lose my job in order to be able to retire from it one day."
Safeguard Your Gadgets on the Road:
As mobile devices have proliferated, so have security threats. PC World writer Logan Kugler discovered that the hard way during a cross-country trip when someone hacked into his Facebook account using Firesheep, a malware that sneaks in through the Firefox web browser and an open WiFi network to grab someone's login information from social networks or e-mail. How to stop it? Use common sense. If you're traveling with a smartphone, iPad, laptop or other mobile device, use strong passwords, don't tamper with security settings and update software often to take advantage of upgrades that fix known problems. Also, as tempting as those free, unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots are, don't use them. Read all of Kugler's security tips here.
Scanning the Scanners:
In case you needed another reason to dislike airport full-body scanners, the Transportation Security Administration said this week it will retest 250 of the controversial devices that showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected. A TSA spokeswoman, however, tells NBC News there's no real cause for alarm because the readings were the result of typos or math errors, not actual higher radiation levels. The agency said it will retest all scanners that use backscatter X-rays, which expose travelers to low levels of ionizing radiation, by the end of March.
A 90-year-old guard at Santa Anita racetrack in Southern California became a hero this week when he threw himself between a racehorse that had broken loose from its trainer and a young girl. According to a KTLA News report, John Shear, a paddock guard and former jockey who has worked at the racetrack for 50 years, was recovering from injuries sustained in the incident at a local hospital. The girl was unhurt.
"I prefer red wine, but I'm not against a good martini," says 100-year-old ski racer Lou Batori of Michigan. (Don't miss the CBS News video.)
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