With a rare mix of blazing speed, safety and energy efficiency, the new Tesla Model S P85D left the folks at Consumer Reports grasping for ways to properly rate the car, after it scored a 103 — out of 100. "It kind of broke the system," says Jake Fisher, director of the magazine's auto test division.

If you want to measure a society's political health, two films from Latin America slyly suggest, look at how it treats the help. Sebastian Silva's gleeful 2009 black comedy, The Maid, drew on his own experience as the cosseted son of a well-to-do Chilean family propped up by its housekeeper. Brazilian filmmaker Anna Muylaert began writing her new film, The Second Mother, two decades ago, when she hired a nanny to care for her first child.

With the passage of a new law earlier this year, North Dakota has become the first state to legalize law enforcement use of armed drones.

Though the law limits the type of weapons permitted to those of the "less than lethal" variety — weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers — the original bill actually aimed to ensure that no weapons at all were allowed on law enforcement drones.

The sponsor of the original bill, Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, said he wasn't happy with how that part of the law turned out.

Paul Kingsnorth's new novel, The Wake — a grim tale of medieval conquest and revenge — became a hit against all odds in the U.K. last year, and it's about to be released here.

I met Kingsnorth at his home in the countryside of far western Ireland. He and his wife grow their own food and home school their two young kids. "I think we'll get bees and chickens, we hope, maybe something else," he told me, calling out to his daughter. "Lela, you want an alpaca, don't you? Lela wants an alpaca or a donkey or anything fluffy, really."

In the climactic development of We Are Your Friends, a Los Angeles DJ has a breakthrough. Cole (Zac Efron) constructs a dance track from sampled sounds of his recent life, including zippers, staple-guns and remarks by the Girl Who Got Away and the Friend Who Died. Both the song and the scene are preposterous, but the autobiographical audio-collage neatly exemplifies the movie, an intermittently engaging medley of genres, moods and intentions.

Late August may be the absolutely worst time to launch a political TV blitz. But a Democratic superPAC, Priorities USA Action, is offering up a minicampaign this week and next, warning Republicans that their heated rhetoric on immigration is captured on videotape and being prepped for prime time later in the race.

A decade after Hurricane Katrina — the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history — President Obama told a crowd in New Orleans that the storm was a "man-made" calamity that had as much to do with economic inequality and the failure of government as it did the forces of nature.

"What started out as a natural disaster became a man-made disaster — a failure of government to look out for its own citizens," the president said in a speech at a newly opened community center in the Lower Ninth Ward, a predominantly black neighborhood that was devastated by Katrina.

Boeing is moving to settle a lawsuit accusing it of mishandling its 401(k) plan for thousands of workers. The case is part of a legal assault by a consumer rights attorney to stop companies from offering employees high-cost, bad retirement plans.

Picking a mate can be one of life's most important decisions. But sometimes people make a choice that seems to make no sense at all. And humans aren't the only ones — scientists have now seen apparently irrational romantic decisions in frogs.

Little tungara frogs live in Central America, and they're found everywhere from forests to ditches to parking lot puddles. These frogs are only about 2 centimeters long, but they are loud. The males make calls to woo the females.

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Walter Edgar's Journal

Conversation on the Civil War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Amercian

Dr. Wm. Marszalek talks with Dr. Walter Edgar about Sherman as a commander who came to abhor the senseless slaughter of the War, and who sought a different strategy to bring the South to surrender.

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