If your child squirms ...
It’s almost impossible to keep grade-school pupils from squirming in their chairs. But a growing number of school districts throughout the country have hit on a solution: They’re seating the kids on big, rubbery exercise stability balls at their desks. By balancing their posteriors on the balls, the children work out their restlessness and find they are able to concentrate better on their studies. “The whole theory with the brain is that when your body’s engaged, your brain’s engaged,” said Tiffany Miller, a fourth-grade teacher in Fort Collins, Colo. “I call it actively sitting.”

The new William Shakespeare: worthy of a "pinup"?
The world has been given a new view of William Shakespeare. This week, Shakespeare scholars and art historians unveiled what they say is the only likeness of the playwright to have been painted during his lifetime. Far from the bald, solemn-faced visage of countless renderings, this new Shakespeare has a rosy expression, a full, almost bouffant hairdo, and a closely trimmed auburn beard. The portrait was recently unearthed from the private collection of an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family, the Cobbes, who have held it for nearly 300 years; they inherited it from Shakespeare’s only known literary patron, the 3rd Earl of Southampton. Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Birthday Trust said the portrait could turn Shakespeare into a “pinup.” 

The pefect pet owner
Kenneth Munzert of Baltimore had no close relatives. As he grew old, he feared he would outlive his German shepherd, Beauregard, and that no one would be there to care for the dog. Beauregard ended up dying shortly before Munzert did last year, at 88. Nonetheless, in his will Munzert directed that his $1 million home be auctioned off, and the proceeds donated to care for dogs whose owners have died. Munzert left an additional $700,000 to animal charity groups. “Ken was just the sort of pet owner that he wished everyone would be,” said a local SPCA spokesman.