23 Aug 2014
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5 Things to Know: Stamp Prices Increase Today, Polar Vortex Staying Put

Here are some interesting and important things to know for the coming week.

5 Things to Know: Stamp Prices Increase Today, Polar Vortex Staying Put

From last night's most buzzed-about Grammy performances to the new postage stamp price, here are five things you need to know for the coming week: 

1. The price of first-class postage stamps rises to 49 cents today, up from 46 cents. Regulators approved the hike in December as part of  an effort to help increase revenue.  

2. The "polar vortex" that's bringing in frigid air might be around for a while. The cold snap is also stretching supplies of propane gas and causing transportation bottlenecks across a broad section of the United States, officials told the  Associated Press.  

3. A brain-dead Texas woman, Marlise Muñoz, will be taken off life support after a hospital kept her on it for two months—against her family's wishes—because she was pregnant. Muñoz's husband sued, arguing that the fetus couldn't survive and accusing the hospital of "cruel and obscene mutilation" of a dead body.  A judge sided with him and ordered the hospital to turn off life support by today.  

4. No one bargains for sickness on the high seas. And for more than 600 passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas, the cruise has become a bit of a nightmare. The cruise ship set sail from New Jersey on Tuesday, but it's headed home two days early because of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on board.

5.  You know texting and driving is a no-no. But texting and walking may be dangerous too, as videos of people texting, walking into open manholes and tripping into things have illustrated. Researchers say it's not just because smart phone users are looking down and mentally distracted by their chats—it's also because they fall into abnormally stiff, robot-like gaits.

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