Though it's not likely to end the debate over the safety of full-body scanners, a new study has found that the scanners used for security screening at the nation's airports do not expose passengers to dangerous levels of radiation. The analysis by the Marquette University College of Engineering concluded that radiation levels from so-called backscatter scanners are considerably lower than those of other X-ray procedures such as mammograms. The findings will be published in Medical Physics, an international journal.LOS ANGELES TIMES

A new hairdo doesn't call for new passport

Maybe you've gone gray or dyed your hair recently -- do you need to get a new passport? No, according to the State Department. Your appearance would have to be significantly changed, such as having had gender reassignment surgery.


Demand for hotel rooms has bounced back Just three years after the official end of the recession, the nation's hotel operators are enjoying record demand for hotel rooms, according to a new study by STR Global, the Nashville hotel research firm formerly known as Smith Travel Research. "Forget location, the name of the game is demand, demand, demand," the study said. The nation's hotels sold more than 1 billion room nights in 2011, surpassing the previous record set in 2007 by nearly 20 million room nights, according to the study.


Dollywood coaster lets you soar like an eagle Wild Eagle, the new $20 million attraction at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is the first "wing coaster" in the United States. Riders don't sit over the track as in a conventional roller coaster but on either side of it, with nothing above or beneath them but the rush of air. It's a bit like hitching a ride on the wing of a huge bird.